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ELIZABETH A. DAVIS.
THINK,” said Mother Golden Head,
To all her children dear, “I think we'd better be astir,
And see how things appear."
Then forth she led them one by one,
Through fields and meadows sweet;
'Tis rare for one to meet.
“Good-morning, Mistress Golden Head,"
Said modest Daisy White; “It seems to me I never saw
You look so fresh and bright.
“Pray tell me where you've been to find
Such lovely shining hair;
That can at all compare."
“I think I've only been asleep,
Yes, fast asleep,” she said;
Gold-dust upon my head." * From Boyden's Speaker, Scott, Foresman & Co., publishers.
How the Robin's Breast Became Red.*
ONG ago in the far North, where it is very cold,
there was only one fire. A hunter and his little son took care of this fire and kept it burning day and night. They knew that if the fire went out the people would freeze and the white bear would have the Northland all to himself. One day the hunter became ill, and his son had the work to do.
For many days and nights he bravely took care of his father and kept the fire burning.
The white bear was always hiding near, watching the fire. He longed to put it out, but he did not dare, for he feared the hunter's arrows.
When he saw how tired and sleepy the little boy was, he came closer to the fire and laughed to himself.
One night the poor boy could endure the fatigue no longer, and fell fast asleep.
The white bear ran as fast as he could, and jumped upon the fire with his wet feet, and rolled upon it. At last, he thought it was all out, and went happily away to his cave.
A gray robin was flying near, and saw what the white bear was doing.
She waited until the bear went away. Then she flew down and searched with her sharp little eyes until
* From Nature Myths and Stories, by permission of A. Flanagan, publisher.
she found a tiny live coal. This she fanned patiently with her wings for a long time.
Her little breast was scorched red, but she did not stop until a fine red flame blazed up from the ashes.
Then she flew away to every hut in the Northland.
Wherever she touched the ground a fire began to burn.
Soon, instead of one little fire, the whole North country was lighted up.
The white bear went further back into his cave in the iceberg, and growled terribly.
He knew that there was now no hope that he would ever have the Northland all to himself.
This is the reason that the people in the North country love the robin, and are never tired of telling their children how its breast became red.
Only a Flower.*
NLY a flower," the rich man said,
When he trod it down in his careless walk; But his little daughter raised its head,
And tenderly held the broken stalk.
And from its place by the dusty way,
She carried it home to her garden small,
Sunlight and shadow would on it fall.
It lived and thrived in the garden fair;
And when the autumn winds were chill,
The hardy wild flower blossomed still.
The little maiden often smiled
To see it bloom when the rose was dead;
This sermon short in the blossom read:
Too often we crush with our careless feet ,
The flowers of love in our paths that blow, And that cherished, would open full and sweet
When summer blossoms were lying low.
* From Boyden's Speaker, Scott, Foresman & Co., publishers.
The Ugly Duckling.*
T was so beautiful in the country. It was the sum
mer time. The wheat-fields were golden, the oats were green, and the hay stood in great stacks in the green meadows.
The stork paraded about among them on his long, red legs, chattering away in Egyptian, the language he had learned from his lady-mother.
All around the meadows and corn fields grew thick woods, and in the midst of the forest was a deep lake. Yes, it was beautiful, it was delightful in the country.
In a sunny spot stood a pleasant old farm house, circled all about with deep canals; and, from the walls down to the water's edge, grew great burdocks, so high that under the tallest of them a little child might stand upright. The spot was as wild as if it had been in the very centre of the thick wood!
In this snug retreat sat a duck upon her nest, watching for her young brood to hatch; but the pleasure she had felt at first was almost gone; she had begun to think it a wearisome task, for the little ones were so long coming out of their shells, and she seldom had visitors. The other ducks liked much better to swim about in the canals than to climb the slippery banks, and sit under the burdock leaves to have a gossip with her. It was a long time to stay so much by herself.
At length, however, one shell cracked, and soon * From Andersen's Fairy Tales, by permission of Ginn & Co., publishers.