Part 4 out of 5
called "The Sower." Perhaps you have
Putting in the seed was not so easy to do
as to watch; sometimes Margery got in too
much, and sometimes not enough; but
her father helped fix it, and soon she did
They planted peas, beans, spinach,
carrots, and parsnips. And Margery's father
made a row of holes, after that, for the
tomato plants. He said those had to be
transplanted; they could not be sown from
When the seeds were in the trenches
they had to be covered up, and Margery
really helped at that. It is fun to do it.
You stand beside the little trench and
walk backward, and as you walk you hoe
the loose earth back over the seeds; the
same dirt that was hoed up you pull back
again. Then you rake very gently over
the surface, with the back of a rake, to
even it all off. Margery liked it, because
now the garden began to look LIKE a
But best of all was the work next day,
when her own little particular garden was
begun. Father Brown loved Margery and
Margery's mother so much that he wanted
their garden to be perfect, and that meant
a great deal more work. He knew very
well that the old grass would begin to
come through again on such "green"
soil, and that it would make terribly hard
weeding. He was not going to have any
such thing for his two "little girls," as he
called them. So he fixed that little garden
very fine! This is what he did.
After he had thrown out all the turf, he
shoveled clean earth on to the garden,--
as much as three solid inches of it; not a
bit of grass was in that. Then it was ready
for raking and fertilizing, and for the lines.
The little footpaths were marked out by
Father Brown's feet; Margery and her
mother laughed well when they saw it, for
it looked like some kind of dance. Mr.
Brown had seen gardeners do it when he
was a little boy, and he did it very nicely:
he walked along the sides of the square,
with one foot turned a little out, and the
other straight, taking such tiny steps that
his feet touched each other all the time.
This tramped out a path just wide enough
for a person to walk.
The wider path was marked with lines
Margery thought, of course, all the
flowers would be put in as the vegetables
were; but she found that it was not so.
For some, her father poked little holes
with his finger; for some, he made very
shallow ditches; and some very small seeds
were just scattered lightly over the top of
Margery and her mother had taken so
much pains in thinking out how the flowers
would look prettiest, that maybe you will
like to hear just how they designed that
garden. At the back were the sweet peas,
which would grow tall, like a screen; on the
two sides, for a kind of hedge, were yellow
sunflowers; and along the front edge were
the gay nasturtiums. Margery planned
that, so that she could look into the garden
from the front, but have it shut away
from the vegetable patch by the tall flowers
on the sides. The two front corners
had coreopsis in them. Coreopsis is a tall,
pretty, daisy-like flower, very dainty and
bright. And then, in little square patches
all round the garden, were planted white
sweet alyssum, blue bachelor's buttons,
yellow marigolds, tall larkspur, many-
colored asters and zinnias. All these lovely
flowers used to grow in our grandmothers'
gardens, and if you don't know what they
look like, I hope you can find out next
Between the flowers and the middle
path went the seeds for that wonderful
salad garden; all the things Mrs. Brown
had named to Margery were there. Margery
had never seen anything so cunning
as the little round lettuce-seeds. They
looked like tiny beads; it did not seem
possible that green lettuce leaves could
come from those. But they surely would.
Mother and father and Margery were
all late to supper that evening. But they
were all so happy that it did not matter.
The last thing Margery thought of, as she
went to sleep at night, was the dear,
smooth little garden, with its funny foot-
path, and with the little sticks standing
at the end of the rows, labeled "lettuce,"
"beets," "helianthus," and so on.
"I have a garden! I have a garden!"
thought Margery, and then she went off
THE LITTLE COTYLEDONS
This is another story about Margery's
The next morning after the garden was
planted, Margery was up and out at six
o'clock. She could not wait to look at her
garden. To be sure, she knew that the
seeds could not sprout in a single night,
but she had a feeling that SOMETHING might
happen while she was not looking. The
garden was just as smooth and brown as
the night before, and no little seeds were
But a very few mornings after that,
when Margery went out, there was a funny
little crack opening up through the earth,
the whole length of the patch. Quickly
she knelt down in the footpath, to see.
Yes! Tiny green leaves, a whole row of
them, were pushing their way through the
crust! Margery knew what she had put
there: it was the radish-row; these must
be radish leaves. She examined them very
closely, so that she might know a radish
next time. The little leaves, no bigger
than half your little-finger nail, grew in
twos,--two on each tiny stem; they were
Margery flew back to her mother, to say
that the first seeds were up. And her
mother, nearly as excited as Margery,
came to look at the little crack.
Each day, after that, the row of radishes
grew, till, in a week, it stood as high as
your finger, green and sturdy. But about
the third day, while Margery was stooping
over the radishes, she saw something very,
very small and green, peeping above
ground, where the lettuce was planted.
Could it be weeds? No, for on looking
very closely she saw that the wee leaves
faintly marked a regular row. They did
not make a crack, like the radishes; they
seemed too small and too far apart to push
the earth up like that. Margery leaned
down and looked with all her eyes at the
baby plants. The tiny leaves grew two on
a stem, and were almost round. The more
she looked at them the more it seemed to
Margery that they looked exactly as the
radish looked when it first came up. "Do
you suppose," Margery said to herself,
"that lettuce and radish look alike? They
don't look alike in the market!"
Day by day the lettuce grew, and soon
the little round leaves were easier to
examine; they certainly were very much like
Then, one morning, while she was
searching the ground for signs of seeds,
Margery discovered the beets. In irregular
patches on the row, hints of green were
coming. The next day and the next they
grew, until the beet leaves were big enough
Margery looked. Then she looked again.
Then she wrinkled her forehead. "Can
we have made a mistake?" she thought.
"Do you suppose we can have planted all
For those little beet leaves were almost
round, and they grew two on a stem,
precisely like the lettuce and the radish;
except for the size, all three rows looked alike.
It was too much for Margery. She ran to
the house and found her father. Her little
face was so anxious that he thought something
unpleasant had happened. "Papa,"
she said, all out of breath, "do you think
we could have made a mistake about my
garden? Do you think we could have put
radishes in all the rows?"
Father laughed. "What makes you
think such a thing?" he asked.
"Papa," said Margery, "the little leaves
all look exactly alike! every plant has just
two tiny leaves on it, and shaped the same;
they are roundish, and grow out of the
stem at the same place."
Papa's eyes began to twinkle. "Many
of the dicotyledonous plants look alike at
the beginning," he said, with a little drawl
on the big word. That was to tease Margery,
because she always wanted to know
the big words she heard.
"What's `dicotyledonous'?" said
"Wait till I come home to-night, dear,"
said her father, "and I'll tell you."
That evening Margery was waiting
eagerly for him, when her father finished
his supper. Together they went to the
garden, and father examined the seedlings
carefully. Then he pulled up a little
radish plant and a tiny beet.
"These little leaves," he said, "are not
the real leaves of the plant; they are only
little food-supply leaves, little pockets to
hold food for the plant to live on till it gets
strong enough to push up into the air. As
soon as the real leaves come out and begin
to draw food from the air, these little
substitutes wither up and fall off. These two
lie folded up in the little seed from the
beginning, and are full of plant food. They
don't have to be very special in shape, you
see, because they don't stay on the plant
after it is grown up."
"Then every plant looks like this at
first?" said Margery.
"No, dear, not every one; plants are
divided into two kinds: those which have
two food leaves, like these plants, and
those which have only one; these are called
dicotyledonous, and the ones which have
but one food leaf are monocotyledonous.
Many of the dicotyledons look alike."
"I think that is interesting," said
Margery. "I always supposed the plants were
different from the minute they began to
"Indeed, no," said father. "Even some
of the trees look like this when they first
come through; you would not think a
birch tree could look like a vegetable or a
flower, would you? But it does, at first;
it looks so much like these things that in
the great nurseries, where trees are raised
for forests and parks, the workmen have
to be very carefully trained, or else they
would pull up the trees when they are
weeding. They have to be taught the
difference between a birch tree and a weed."
"How funny!" said Margery dimpling.
"Yes, it sounds funny," said father;
"but you see, the birch tree is dicotyledonous,
and so are many weeds, and the
dicotyledons look much alike at first."
"I am glad to know that, father," said
Margery, soberly. "I believe maybe I shall
learn a good deal from living in the country;
don't you think so?"
Margery's father took her in his arms.
"I hope so, dear," he said; "the country
is a good place for little girls."
And that was all that happened, that day.
THE TALKATIVE TORTOISE
 Very freely adapted from one of the Fables of Bidpai.
Once upon a time, a Tortoise lived in a
pond with two Ducks, who were her very
good friends. She enjoyed the company
of the Ducks, because she could talk with
them to her heart's content; the Tortoise
liked to talk. She always had something
to say, and she liked to hear herself say it.
After many years of this pleasant living,
the pond became very low, in a dry season;
and finally it dried up. The two Ducks
saw that they could no longer live there,
so they decided to fly to another region,
where there was more water. They went
to the Tortoise to bid her good-by.
"Oh, don't leave me behind!" begged
the Tortoise. "Take me with you; I must
die if I am left here."
"But you cannot fly!" said the Ducks.
"How can we take you with us?"
"Take me with you! take me with you!"
said the Tortoise.
The Ducks felt so sorry for her that at
last they thought of a way to take her.
"We have thought of a way which will
be possible," they said, "if only you can
manage to keep still long enough. We will
each take hold of one end of a stout stick,
and do you take the middle in your mouth;
then we will fly up in the air with you and
carry you with us. But remember not to
talk! If you open your mouth, you are
The Tortoise said she would not say a
word; she would not so much as move her
mouth; and she was very grateful. So the
Ducks brought a strong little stick and
took hold of the ends, while the Tortoise
bit firmly on the middle. Then the two
Ducks rose slowly in the air and flew away
with their burden.
When they were above the treetops,
the Tortoise wanted to say, "How high
we are!" But she remembered, and kept
still. When they passed the church steeple
she wanted to say, "What is that which
shines?" But she remembered, and held
her peace. Then they came over the village
square, and the people looked up and
saw them. "Look at the Ducks carrying
a Tortoise!" they shouted; and every one
ran to look. The Tortoise wanted to say,
"What business is it of yours?" But she
didn't. Then she heard the people shout,
"Isn't it strange! Look at it! Look!"
The Tortoise forgot everything except
that she wanted to say, "Hush, you foolish
people!" She opened her mouth,--
and fell to the ground. And that was the
end of the Tortoise.
It is a very good thing to be able to hold
ROBERT OF SICILY
 Adapted from Longfellow's poem.
An old legend says that there was once
a king named Robert of Sicily, who was
brother to the great Pope of Rome and
to the Emperor of Allemaine. He was
a very selfish king, and very proud; he
cared more for his pleasures than for the
needs of his people, and his heart was so
filled with his own greatness that he had
no thought for God.
One day, this proud king was sitting in
his place at church, at vesper service; his
courtiers were about him, in their bright
garments, and he himself was dressed in
his royal robes. The choir was chanting
the Latin service, and as the beautiful
voices swelled louder, the king noticed one
particular verse which seemed to be
repeated again and again. He turned to a
learned clerk at his side and asked what
those words meant, for he knew no Latin.
"They mean, `He hath put down the
mighty from their seats, and hath exalted
them of low degree,'" answered the clerk.
"It is well the words are in Latin, then,"
said the king angrily, "for they are a lie.
There is no power on earth or in heaven
which can put me down from my seat!"
And he sneered at the beautiful singing,
as he leaned back in his place.
Presently the king fell asleep, while the
service went on. He slept deeply and long.
When he awoke the church was dark and
still, and he was all alone. He, the king,
had been left alone in the church, to awake
in the dark! He was furious with rage and
surprise, and, stumbling through the dim
aisles, he reached the great doors and beat
at them, madly, shouting for his servants.
The old sexton heard some one shouting
and pounding in the church, and thought
it was some drunken vagabond who had
stolen in during the service. He came to
the door with his keys and called out,
"Who is there?"
"Open! open! It is I, the king!" came
a hoarse, angry voice from within.
"It is a crazy man," thought the sexton;
and he was frightened. He opened the
doors carefully and stood back, peering
into the darkness. Out past him rushed
the figure of a man in tattered, scanty
clothes, with unkempt hair and white,
wild face. The sexton did not know that
he had ever seen him before, but he looked
long after him, wondering at his wildness
and his haste.
In his fluttering rags, without hat or
cloak, not knowing what strange thing
had happened to him, King Robert rushed
to his palace gates, pushed aside the
startled servants, and hurried, blind with
rage, up the wide stair and through the
great corridors, toward the room where
he could hear the sound of his courtiers'
voices. Men and women servants tried to
stop the ragged man, who had somehow
got into the palace, but Robert did not
even see them as he fled along. Straight
to the open doors of the big banquet hall
he made his way, and into the midst of
the grand feast there.
The great hall was filled with lights and
flowers; the tables were set with everything
that is delicate and rich to eat; the courtiers,
in their gay clothes, were laughing
and talking; and at the head of the feast,
on the king's own throne, sat a king. His
face, his figure, his voice were exactly like
Robert of Sicily; no human being could
have told the difference; no one dreamed
that he was not the king. He was dressed
in the king's royal robes, he wore the royal
crown, and on his hand was the king's
own ring. Robert of Sicily, half naked,
ragged, without a sign of his kingship on
him, stood before the throne and stared
with fury at this figure of himself.
The king on the throne looked at him.
"Who art thou, and what dost thou here?"
he asked. And though his voice was just
like Robert's own, it had something in it
sweet and deep, like the sound of bells.
"I am the king!" cried Robert of Sicily.
"I am the king, and you are an impostor!"
The courtiers started from their seats,
and drew their swords. They would have
killed the crazy man who insulted their
king; but he raised his hand and stopped
them, and with his eyes looking into
Robert's eyes he said, "Not the king; you
shall be the king's jester! You shall wear
the cap and bells, and make laughter for
my court. You shall be the servant of
the servants, and your companion shall be
the jester's ape."
With shouts of laughter, the courtiers
drove Robert of Sicily from the banquet
hall; the waiting-men, with laughter, too,
pushed him into the soldiers' hall; and there
the pages brought the jester's wretched
ape, and put a fool's cap and bells on
Robert's head. It was like a terrible dream;
he could not believe it true, he could not
understand what had happened to him.
And when he woke next morning, he believed
it was a dream, and that he was
king again. But as he turned his head,
he felt the coarse straw under his cheek
instead of the soft pillow, and he saw that
he was in the stable, with the shivering
ape by his side. Robert of Sicily was a
jester, and no one knew him for the king.
Three long years passed. Sicily was
happy and all things went well under the
king, who was not Robert. Robert was
still the jester, and his heart was harder
and bitterer with every year. Many times,
during the three years, the king, who had
his face and voice, had called him to
himself, when none else could hear, and had
asked him the one question, "Who art
thou?" And each time that he asked it
his eyes looked into Robert's eyes, to find
his heart. But each time Robert threw
back his head and answered, proudly,
"I am the king!" And the king's eyes
grew sad and stern.
At the end of three years, the Pope bade
the Emperor of Allemaine and the King
of Sicily, his brothers, to a great meeting
in his city of Rome. The King of Sicily
went, with all his soldiers and courtiers
and servants,--a great procession of
horsemen and footmen. Never had been a
gayer sight than the grand train, men in
bright armor, riders in wonderful cloaks
of velvet and silk, servants, carrying
marvelous presents to the Pope. And at the
very end rode Robert, the jester. His
horse was a poor old thing, many-colored,
and the ape rode with him. Every one
in the villages through which they passed
ran after the jester, and pointed and
The Pope received his brothers and
their trains in the square before Saint
Peter's. With music and flags and
flowers he made the King of Sicily welcome,
and greeted him as his brother. In the
midst of it, the jester broke through the
crowd and threw himself before the Pope.
"Look at me!" he cried; "I am your
brother, Robert of Sicily! This man is
an impostor, who has stolen my throne.
I am Robert, the king!"
The Pope looked at the poor jester
with pity, but the Emperor of Allemaine
turned to the King of Sicily, and said, "Is
it not rather dangerous, brother, to keep
a madman as jester?" And again Robert
was pushed back among the serving-men.
It was Holy Week, and the king and
the emperor, with all their trains, went
every day to the great services in the
cathedral. Something wonderful and holy
seemed to make all these services more
beautiful than ever before. All the people
of Rome felt it: it was as if the presence
of an angel were there. Men thought of
God, and felt his blessing on them. But
no one knew who it was that brought the
beautiful feeling. And when Easter Day
came, never had there been so lovely, so
holy a day: in the great churches, filled
with flowers, and sweet with incense, the
kneeling people listened to the choirs
singing, and it was like the voices of angels;
their prayers were more earnest than ever
before, their praise more glad; there was
something heavenly in Rome.
Robert of Sicily went to the services
with the rest, and sat in the humblest
place with the servants. Over and over
again he heard the sweet voices of the
choirs chant the Latin words he had heard
long ago: "He hath put down the mighty
from their seat, and hath exalted them of
low degree." And at last, as he listened,
his heart was softened. He, too, felt the
strange blessed presence of a heavenly
power. He thought of God, and of his
own wickedness; he remembered how
happy he had been, and how little good
he had done; he realized, that his power
had not been from himself, at all. On
Easter night, as he crept to his bed of straw,
he wept, not because he was so wretched,
but because he had not been a better king
when power was his.
At last all the festivities were over, and
the King of Sicily went home to his own
land again, with his people. Robert the
jester came home too.
On the day of their home-coming, there
was a special service in the royal church,
and even after the service was over for
the people, the monks held prayers of
thanksgiving and praise. The sound of
their singing came softly in at the palace
windows. In the great banquet room, the
king sat, wearing his royal robes and his
crown, while many subjects came to greet
him. At last, he sent them all away, saying
he wanted to be alone; but he commanded
the jester to stay. And when they were
alone together the king looked into Robert's
eyes, as he had done before, and said,
softly, "Who art thou?"
Robert of Sicily bowed his head. "Thou
knowest best," he said, "I only know that
I have sinned."
As he spoke, he heard the voices of the
monks singing, "He hath put down the
mighty from their seat,"--and his head
sank lower. But suddenly the music
seemed to change; a wonderful light shone
all about. As Robert raised his eyes, he
saw the face of the king smiling at him
with a radiance like nothing on earth,
and as he sank to his knees before the glory
of that smile, a voice sounded with the
music, like a melody throbbing on a single
"I am an angel, and thou art the king!"
Then Robert of Sicily was alone. His
royal robes were upon him once more;
he wore his crown and his royal ring. He
was king. And when the courtiers came
back they found their king kneeling by
his throne, absorbed in silent prayer.
THE JEALOUS COURTIERS
 Adapted from the facts given in the German of H. A. Guerber's
Marchen und Erzahlungen (D. C. Heath & Co.).
I wonder if you have ever heard the
anecdote about the artist of Dusseldorf and
the jealous courtiers. This is it. It seems
there was once a very famous artist who
lived in the little town of Dusseldorf. He
did such fine work that the Elector, Prince
Johann Wilhelm, ordered a portrait statue
of himself, on horseback, to be done in
bronze. The artist was overjoyed at the
commission, and worked early and late
at the statue.
At last the work was done, and the artist
had the great statue set up in the public
square of Dusseldorf, ready for the
opening view. The Elector came on the
appointed day, and with him came his favorite
courtiers from the castle. Then the statue
was unveiled. It was very beautiful,--
so beautiful that the prince exclaimed in
surprise. He could not look enough, and
presently he turned to the artist and shook
hands with him, like an old friend. "Herr
Grupello," he said, "you are a great artist,
and this statue will make your fame even
greater than it is; the portrait of me is perfect!"
When the courtiers heard this, and saw
the friendly hand-grasp, their jealousy of
the artist was beyond bounds. Their one
thought was, how could they safely do
something to humiliate him. They dared
not pick flaws in the portrait statue, for
the prince had declared it perfect. But at
last one of them said, with an air of great
frankness, "Indeed, Herr Grupello, the
portrait of his Royal Highness is perfect;
but permit me to say that the statue of the
horse is not quite so successful: the head
is too large; it is out of proportion."
"No," said another, "the horse is really
not so successful; the turn of the neck,
there, is awkward."
"If you would change the right hind-
foot, Herr Grupello," said a third, "it
would be an improvement."
Still another found fault with the horse's
The artist listened, quietly. When they
had all finished, he turned to the prince and
said, "Your courtiers, Prince, find a good
many flaws in the statue of the horse;
will you permit me to keep it a few days
more, to do what I can with it?"
The Elector assented, and the artist
ordered a temporary screen built around
the statue, so that his assistants could
work undisturbed. For several days the
sound of hammering came steadily from
behind the enclosure. The courtiers, who
took care to pass that way, often, were
delighted. Each one said to himself, "I
must have been right, really; the artist
himself sees that something was wrong;
now I shall have credit for saving the
prince's portrait by my artistic taste!"
Once more the artist summoned the
prince and his courtiers, and once more the
statue was unveiled. Again the Elector
exclaimed at its beauty, and then he turned
to his courtiers, one after another, to see
what they had to say.
"Perfect!" said the first. "Now that
the horse's head is in proportion, there
is not a flaw."
"The change in the neck was just what
was needed," said the second; "it is very
"The rear right foot is as it should be,
now," said a third, "and it adds so much
to the beauty of the whole!"
The fourth said that he considered the
tail greatly improved.
"My courtiers are much pleased now,"
said the prince to Herr Grupello; "they
think the statue much improved by the
changes you have made."
Herr Grupello smiled a little. "I am
glad they are pleased," he said, "but the
fact is, I have changed nothing!"
"What do you mean?" said the prince
in surprise. "Have we not heard the sound
of hammering every day? What were you
hammering at then?"
"I was hammering at the reputation of
your courtiers, who found fault simply
because they were jealous," said the artist.
"And I rather think that their reputation
is pretty well hammered to pieces!"
It was, indeed. The Elector laughed
heartily, but the courtiers slunk away,
one after another, without a word.
 A shortened version of the familiar tale.
There was once an old king, so wise and
kind and true that the most powerful
good fairy of his land visited him and
asked him to name the dearest wish of his
heart, that she might grant it.
"Surely you know it," said the good
king; "it is for my only son, Prince Cherry;
do for him whatever you would have done
"Gladly," said the great fairy; "choose
what I shall give him. I can make him the
richest, the most beautiful, or the most
powerful prince in the world; choose."
"None of those things are what I want,"
said the king. "I want only that he shall
be good. Of what use will it be to him to
be beautiful, rich, or powerful, if he grows
into a bad man? Make him the best prince
in the world, I beg you!"
"Alas, I cannot make him good," said
the fairy; "he must do that for himself.
I can give him good advice, reprove him
when he does wrong, and punish him if he
will not punish himself; I can and will be
his best friend, but I cannot make him
good unless he wills it."
The king was sad to hear this, but he
rejoiced in the friendship of the fairy for
his son. And when he died, soon after,
he was happy to know that he left Prince
Cherry in her hands.
Prince Cherry grieved for his father
and often lay awake at night, thinking of
him. One night, when he was all alone
in his room, a soft and lovely light
suddenly shone before him, and a beautiful
vision stood at his side. It was the good
fairy. She was clad in robes of dazzling
white, and on her shining hair she wore
a wreath of white roses.
"I am the Fairy Candide," she said to
the prince. "I promised your father that
I would be your best friend, and as long
as you live I shall watch over your happiness.
I have brought you a gift; it is not
wonderful to look at, but it has a wonderful
power for your welfare; wear it, and
let it help you."
As she spoke, she placed a small gold
ring on the prince's little finger. "This
ring," she said, "will help you to be good;
when you do evil, it will prick you, to
remind you. If you do not heed its warnings
a worse thing will happen to you, for
I shall become your enemy." Then she
Prince Cherry wore his ring, and said
nothing to any one of the fairy's gift. It
did not prick him for a long time, because
he was good and merry and happy. But
Prince Cherry had been rather spoiled by
his nurse when he was a child; she had
always said to him that when he should
become king he could do exactly as he
pleased. Now, after a while, he began to
find out that this was not true, and it made
The first time that he noticed that even
a king could not always have his own way
was on a day when he went hunting. It
happened that he got no game. This put
him in such a bad temper that he grumbled
and scolded all the way home. The
little gold ring began to feel tight and
uncomfortable. When he reached the palace
his pet dog ran to meet him.
"Go away!" said the prince, crossly.
But the little dog was so used to being
petted that he only jumped up on his
master, and tried to kiss his hand. The
prince turned and kicked the little creature.
At the instant, he felt a sharp prick in his
little finger, like a pin prick.
"What nonsense!" said the prince to
himself. "Am I not king of the whole
land? May I not kick my own dog, if I
choose? What evil is there in that?"
A silver voice spoke in his ear: "The
king of the land has a right to do good,
but not evil; you have been guilty of bad
temper and of cruelty to-day; see that
you do better to-morrow."
The prince turned sharply, but no one
was to be seen; yet he recognized the voice
as that of Fairy Candide.
He followed her advice for a little, but
presently he forgot, and the ring pricked
him so sharply that his finger had a drop
of blood on it. This happened again and
again, for the prince grew more self-willed
and headstrong every day; he had some
bad friends, too, who urged him on, in the
hope that he would ruin himself and give
them a chance to seize the throne. He
treated his people carelessly and his servants
cruelly, and everything he wanted
he felt that he must have.
The ring annoyed him terribly; it was
embarrassing for a king to have a drop
of blood on his finger all the time! At
last he took the ring off and put it out
of sight. Then he thought he should be
perfectly happy, having his own way; but
instead, he grew more unhappy as he grew
less good. Whenever he was crossed, or
could not have his own way instantly, he
flew into a passion,
Finally, he wanted something that he
really could not have. This time it was a
most beautiful young girl, named Zelia;
the prince saw her, and loved her so much
that he wanted at once to make her his
queen. To his great astonishment, she
"Am I not pleasing to you?" asked the
prince in surprise.
"You are very handsome, very charming,
Prince," said Zelia; "but you are not
like the good king, your father; I fear you
would make me very miserable if I were
In a great rage, Prince Cherry ordered
the young girl put in prison; and the key of
her dungeon he kept. He told one of his
friends, a wicked man who flattered him
for his own purposes, about the thing,
and asked his advice.
"Are you not king?" said the bad friend,
"May you not do as you will? Keep the
girl in a dungeon till she does as you command,
and if she will not, sell her as a
"But would it not be a disgrace for me
to harm an innocent creature?" said the
"It would be a disgrace to you to have
it said that one of your subjects dared
disobey you!" said the courtier.
He had cleverly touched the Prince's
worst trait, his pride. Prince Cherry went
at once to Zelia's dungeon, prepared to
do this cruel thing.
Zelia was gone. No one had the key
save the prince himself; yet she was gone.
The only person who could have dared
to help her, thought the prince, was his
old tutor, Suliman, the only man left who
ever rebuked him for anything. In fury,
he ordered Suliman to be put in fetters
and brought before him.
As his servants left him, to carry out
the wicked order, there was a clash, as of
thunder, in the room, and then a blinding
light. Fairy Candide stood before him.
Her beautiful face was stern, and her silver
voice rang like a trumpet, as she said,
"Wicked and selfish prince, you have
become baser than the beasts you hunt;
you are furious as a lion, revengeful as a
serpent, greedy as a wolf, and brutal as a
bull; take, therefore, the shape of those
beasts whom you resemble!"
With horror, the prince felt himself
being transformed into a monster. He tried
to rush upon the fairy and kill her, but
she had vanished with her words. As he
stood, her voice came from the air, saying,
sadly, "Learn to conquer your pride by
being in submission to your own subjects."
At the same moment, Prince Cherry felt
himself being transported to a distant
forest, where he was set down by a clear
stream. In the water he saw his own
terrible image; he had the head of a lion, with
bull's horns, the feet of a wolf, and a tail
like a serpent. And as he gazed in horror,
the fairy's voice whispered, "Your soul
has become more ugly than your shape is;
you yourself have deformed it."
The poor beast rushed away from the
sound of her words, but in a moment he
stumbled into a trap, set by bear-catchers.
When the trappers found him they were
delighted to have caught a curiosity, and
they immediately dragged him to the palace
courtyard. There he heard the whole
court buzzing with gossip. Prince Cherry
had been struck by lightning and killed,
was the news, and the five favorite courtiers
had struggled to make themselves
rulers, but the people had refused them,
and offered the crown to Suliman, the
good old tutor.
Even as he heard this, the prince saw
Suliman on the steps of the palace, speaking
to the people. "I will take the crown
to keep in trust," he said. "Perhaps the
prince is not dead."
"He was a bad king; we do not want
him back," said the people.
"I know his heart," said Suliman, "it
is not all bad; it is tainted, but not corrupt;
perhaps he will repent and come back to
us a good king."
When the beast heard this, it touched
him so much that he stopped tearing at
his chains, and became gentle. He let his
keepers lead him away to the royal
menagerie without hurting them.
Life was very terrible to the prince, now,
but he began to see that he had brought
all his sorrow on himself, and he tried to
bear it patiently. The worst to bear was
the cruelty of the keeper. At last, one
night, this keeper was in great danger; a
tiger got loose, and attacked him. "Good
enough! Let him die!" thought Prince
Cherry. But when he saw how helpless
the keeper was, he repented, and sprang
to help. He killed the tiger and saved the
As he crouched at the keeper's feet, a
voice said, "Good actions never go
unrewarded!" And the terrible monster was
changed into a pretty little white dog.
The keeper carried the beautiful little
dog to the court and told the story, and
from then on, Cherry was carefully treated,
and had the best of everything. But in
order to keep the little dog from growing,
the queen ordered that he should be fed
very little, and that was pretty hard for
the poor prince. He was often half starved,
although so much petted.
One day he had carried his crust of
bread to a retired spot in the palace woods,
where he loved to be, when he saw a poor
old woman hunting for roots, and seeming
"Poor thing," he thought, "she is even
hungrier than I;" and he ran up and
dropped the crust at her feet.
The woman ate it, and seemed greatly
Cherry was glad of that, and he was
running happily back to his kennel when
he heard cries of distress, and suddenly he
saw some rough men dragging along a
young girl, who was weeping and crying for
help. What was his horror to see that the
young girl was Zelia! Oh, how he wished
he were the monster once more, so that
he could kill the men and rescue her! But
he could do nothing except bark, and bite
at the heels of the wicked men. That
could not stop them; they drove him off,
with blows, and carried Zelia into a palace
in the wood.
Poor Cherry crouched by the steps, and
watched. His heart was full of pity and
rage. But suddenly he thought, "I was
as bad as these men; I myself put Zelia in
prison, and would have treated her worse
still, if I had not been prevented." The
thought made him so sorry and ashamed
that he repented bitterly the evil he had
Presently a window opened, and Cherry
saw Zelia lean out and throw down a piece
of meat. He seized it and was just going
to devour it, when the old woman to whom
he had given his crust snatched it away
and took him in her arms. "No, you shall
not eat it, you poor little thing," she said,
"for every bit of food in that house is
At the same moment, a voice said, "Good
actions never go unrewarded!" And
instantly Prince Cherry was transformed
into a little white dove.
With great joy, he flew to the open
palace window to seek out his Zelia, to try
to help her. But though he hunted in
every room, no Zelia was to be found.
He had to fly away, without seeing her.
He wanted more than anything else to
find her, and stay near her, so he flew out
into the world, to seek her.
He sought her in many lands, until one
day, in a far eastern country, he found
her sitting in a tent, by the side of an old,
white-haired hermit. Cherry was wild with
delight. He flew to her shoulder, caressed
her hair with his beak, and cooed in her
"You dear, lovely little thing!" said
Zelia. "Will you stay with me? If you will,
I will love you always."
"Ah, Zelia, see what you have done!"
laughed the hermit. At that instant, the
white dove vanished, and Prince Cherry
stood there, as handsome and charming
as ever, and with a look of kindness and
modesty in his eyes which had never been
there before. At the same time, the hermit
stood up, his flowing hair changed to shining
gold, and his face became a lovely
woman's face; it was the Fairy Candide.
"Zelia has broken your spell," she said to
the Prince, "as I meant she should, when
you were worthy of her love."
Zelia and Prince Cherry fell at the fairy's
feet. But with a beautiful smile she bade
them come to their kingdom. In a trice,
they were transported to the Prince's palace,
where King Suliman greeted them with
tears of joy. He gave back the throne,
with all his heart, and King Cherry ruled
again, with Zelia for his queen.
He wore the little gold ring all the rest
of his life, but never once did it have to
prick him hard enough to make his finger
THE GOLD IN THE ORCHARD
 An Italian folk tale.
There was once a farmer who had a fine
olive orchard. He was very industrious,
and the farm always prospered under
his care. But he knew that his three
sons despised the farm work, and were
eager to make wealth fast, through adventure.
When the farmer was old, and felt that
his time had come to die, he called the
three sons to him and said, "My sons,
there is a pot of gold hidden in the olive
orchard. Dig for it, if you wish it."
The sons tried to get him to tell them
in what part of the orchard the gold was
hidden; but he would tell them nothing more.
After the farmer was dead, the sons
went to work to find the pot of gold; since
they did not know where the hiding-place
was, they agreed to begin in a line, at one
end of the orchard, and to dig until one of
them should find the money.
They dug until they had turned up the
soil from one end of the orchard to the
other, round the tree-roots and between
them. But no pot of gold was to be found.
It seemed as if some one must have stolen
it, or as if the farmer had been wandering
in his wits. The three sons were bitterly
disappointed to have all their work for
The next olive season, the olive trees in
the orchard bore more fruit than they had
ever given; the fine cultivating they had
had from the digging brought so much
fruit, and of so fine a quality, that when it
was sold it gave the sons a whole pot of gold!
And when they saw how much money
had come from the orchard, they suddenly
understood what the wise father had meant
when he said, "There is gold hidden in
the orchard; dig for it."
MARGARET OF NEW ORLEANS
If you ever go to the beautiful city
of New Orleans, somebody will be sure
to take you down into the old business
part of the city, where there are banks
and shops and hotels, and show you a
statue which stands in a little square there.
It is the statue of a woman, sitting in a low
chair, with her arms around a child, who
leans against her. The woman is not at
all pretty: she wears thick, common shoes,
a plain dress, with a little shawl, and a
sun-bonnet; she is stout and short, and
her face is a square-chinned Irish face;
but her eyes look at you like your mother's.
Now there is something very surprising
about this statue: it was the first one that
was ever made in this country in honor of a
woman. Even in old Europe there are not
many monuments to women, and most of
the few are to great queens or princesses,
very beautiful and very richly dressed.
You see, this statue in New Orleans is not
quite like anything else.
It is the statue of a woman named
Margaret. Her whole name was Margaret
Haughery, but no one in New Orleans
remembers her by it, any more than you
think of your dearest sister by her full
name; she is just Margaret. This is her
story, and it tells why people made a
monument for her.
When Margaret was a tiny baby, her
father and mother died, and she was
adopted by two young people as poor and
as kind as her own parents. She lived with
them until she grew up. Then she married,
and had a little baby of her own. But very
soon her husband died, and then the baby
died, too, and Margaret was all alone in
the world. She was poor, but she was
strong, and knew how to work.
All day, from morning until evening,
she ironed clothes in a laundry. And every
day, as she worked by the window, she
saw the little motherless children from the
orphan asylum, near by, working and playing
about. After a while, there came a
great sickness upon the city, and so many
mothers and fathers died that there were
more orphans than the asylum could
possibly take care of. They needed a good
friend, now. You would hardly think,
would you, that a poor woman who worked
in a laundry could be much of a friend
to them? But Margaret was. She went
straight to the kind Sisters who had the
asylum and told them she was going to
give them part of her wages and was
going to work for them, besides. Pretty soon
she had worked so hard that she had some
money saved from her wages. With this,
she bought two cows and a little delivery
cart. Then she carried her milk to her
customers in the little cart every morning;
and as she went, she begged the left-over
food from the hotels and rich houses, and
brought it back in the cart to the hungry
children in the asylum. In the very hardest
times that was often all the food the
A part of the money Margaret earned
went every week to the asylum, and after a
few years that was made very much larger
and better. And Margaret was so careful
and so good at business that, in spite
of her giving, she bought more cows and
earned more money. With this, she built
a home for orphan babies; she called it
her baby house.
After a time, Margaret had a chance
to get a bakery, and then she became a
bread-woman instead of a milk-woman.
She carried the bread just as she had
carried the milk, in her cart. And still she
kept giving money to the asylum. Then
the great war came, our Civil War. In all
the trouble and sickness and fear of that
time, Margaret drove her cart of bread;
and somehow she had always enough to
give the starving soldiers, and for her
babies, besides what she sold. And
despite all this, she earned enough so that
when the war was over she built a big
steam factory for her bread. By this time
everybody in the city knew her. The children
all over the city loved her; the business
men were proud of her; the poor people
all came to her for advice. She used to
sit at the open door of her office, in a calico
gown and a little shawl, and give a good
word to everybody, rich or poor.
Then, by and by, one day, Margaret
died. And when it was time to read her
will, the people found that, with all her
giving, she had still saved a great deal of
money, and that she had left every cent
of it to the different orphan asylums of
the city,--each one of them was given
something. Whether they were for white
children or black, for Jews, Catholics, or
Protestants, made no difference; for
Margaret always said, "They are all orphans
alike." And just think, dears, that splendid,
wise will was signed with a cross
instead of a name, for Margaret had never
learned to read or write!
When the people of New Orleans knew
that Margaret was dead, they said, "She
was a mother to the motherless; she was
a friend to those who had no friends;
she had wisdom greater than schools can
teach; we will not let her memory go from
us." So they made a statue of her, just as
she used to look, sitting in her own office
door, or driving in her own little cart. And
there it stands to-day, in memory of the
great love and the great power of plain
Margaret Haughery, of New Orleans.
THE DAGDA'S HARP
 The facts from which this story was constructed are found
in the legend as given in Ireland's Story, Johnston and Spencer
(Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.).
You know, dears, in the old countries
there are many fine stories about things
which happened so very long ago that
nobody knows exactly how much of them is
true. Ireland is like that. It is so old that
even as long ago as four thousand years
it had people who dug in the mines, and
knew how to weave cloth and to make
beautiful ornaments out of gold, and who
could fight and make laws; but we do
not know just where they came from, nor
exactly how they lived. These people left
us some splendid stories about their kings,
their fights, and their beautiful women;
but it all happened such a long time ago
that the stories are mixtures of things that
really happened and what people said about
them, and we don't know just which is
which. The stories are called LEGENDS. One
of the prettiest legends is the story I am
going to tell you about the Dagda's harp.
It is said that there were two quite
different kinds of people in Ireland: one set
of people with long dark hair and dark
eyes, called Fomorians--they carried long
slender spears made of golden bronze
when they fought--and another race of
people who were golden-haired and blue-
eyed, and who carried short, blunt, heavy
spears of dull metal.
The golden-haired people had a great
chieftain who was also a kind of high
priest, who was called the Dagda. And
this Dagda had a wonderful magic harp.
The harp was beautiful to look upon,
mighty in size, made of rare wood, and
ornamented with gold and jewels; and it
had wonderful music in its strings, which
only the Dagda could call out. When the
men were going out to battle, the Dagda
would set up his magic harp and sweep
his hand across the strings, and a war song
would ring out which would make every
warrior buckle on his armor, brace his
knees, and shout, "Forth to the fight!"
Then, when the men came back from the
battle, weary and wounded, the Dagda
would take his harp and strike a few
chords, and as the magic music stole out
upon the air, every man forgot his weariness
and the smart of his wounds, and
thought of the honor he had won, and of
the comrade who had died beside him,
and of the safety of his wife and children.
Then the song would swell out louder,
and every warrior would remember only
the glory he had helped win for the king;
and each man would rise at the great tables
his cup in his hand, and shout "Long live
There came a time when the Fomorians
and the golden-haired men were at war;
and in the midst of a great battle, while
the Dagda's hall was not so well guarded
as usual, some of the chieftains of the
Fomorians stole the great harp from the
wall, where it hung, and fled away with
it. Their wives and children and some few
of their soldiers went with them, and they
fled fast and far through the night, until
they were a long way from the battlefield.
Then they thought they were safe, and they
turned aside into a vacant castle, by the
road, and sat down to a banquet, hanging
the stolen harp on the wall.
The Dagda, with two or three of his
warriors, had followed hard on their track.
And while they were in the midst of their
banqueting, the door was suddenly burst
open, and the Dagda stood there, with his
men. Some of the Fomorians sprang to
their feet, but before any of them could
grasp a weapon, the Dagda called out to
his harp on the wall, "Come to me, O my
The great harp recognized its master's
voice, and leaped from the wall. Whirling
through the hall, sweeping aside and killing
the men who got in its way, it sprang to its
master's hand. And the Dagda took his
harp and swept his hand across the strings
in three great, solemn chords. The harp
answered with the magic Music of Tears.
As the wailing harmony smote upon the
air, the women of the Fomorians bowed
their heads and wept bitterly, the strong
men turned their faces aside, and the little
Again the Dagda touched the strings,
and this time the magic Music of Mirth
leaped from the harp. And when they
heard that Music of Mirth, the young
warriors of the Fomorians began to laugh;
they laughed till the cups fell from their
grasp, and the spears dropped from their
hands, while the wine flowed from the
broken bowls; they laughed until their
limbs were helpless with excess of glee.
Once more the Dagda touched his harp,
but very, very softly. And now a music
stole forth as soft as dreams, and as sweet
as joy: it was the magic Music of Sleep.
When they heard that, gently, gently, the
Fomorian women bowed their heads in
slumber; the little children crept to their
mothers' laps; the old men nodded; and
the young warriors drooped in their seats
and closed their eyes: one after another
all the Fomorians sank into sleep.
When they were all deep in slumber,
the Dagda took his magic harp, and he and
his golden-haired warriors stole softly
away, and came in safety to their own
THE TAILOR AND THE THREE BEASTS
 From Beside the Fire, Douglas Hyde (David Nutt, London).
There was once a tailor in Galway, and
he started out on a journey to go to the
king's court at Dublin.
He had not gone far till he met a white
horse, and he saluted him.
"God save you," said the tailor.
"God save you," said the horse. "Where
are you going?"
"I am going to Dublin," said the tailor,
"to build a court for the king and to get a
lady for a wife, if I am able to do it." For,
it seems the king had promised his daughter
and a great lot of money to any one who
should be able to build up his court. The
trouble was, that three giants lived in the
wood near the court, and every night they
came out of the wood and threw down
all that was built by day. So nobody could
get the court built.
"Would you make me a hole," said
the old white garraun, "where I could go
a-hiding whenever the people are for bringing
me to the mill or the kiln, so that they
won't see me; for they have me perished
doing work for them."
"I'll do that, indeed," said the tailor,
He brought his spade and shovel, and
he made a hole, and he said to the old white
horse to go down into it till he would see
if it would fit him. The white horse went
down into the hole, but when he tried to
come up again, he was not able.
"Make a place for me now," said the
white horse, "by which I'll come up out
of the hole here, whenever I'll be hungry."
"I will not," said the tailor; "remain
where you are until I come back, and I'll
lift you up."
The tailor went forward next day, and
the fox met him.
"God save you," said the fox.
"God save you," said the tailor.
"Where are you going," said the fox.
"I'm going to Dublin, to try will I be
able to make a court for the king."
"Would you make a place for me where
I'd go hiding?" said the fox. "The rest
of the foxes do be beating me, and they
don't allow me to eat anything with
"I'll do that for you," said the tailor.
He took his axe and his saw, and he
made a thing like a crate, and he told the
fox to get into it till he would see whether
it would fit him. The fox went into it,
and when the tailor got him down, he
shut him in. When the fox was satisfied at
last that he had a nice place of it within,
he asked the tailor to let him out, and the
tailor answered that he would not.
"Wait there until I come back again,"
The tailor went forward the next day,
and he had not walked very far until he
met a modder-alla; and the lion greeted
"God save you," said the lion.
"God save you," said the tailor.
"Where are you going?" said the lion.
"I'm going to Dublin till I make a court
for the king if I'm able to make it," said
"If you were to make a plough for me,"
said the lion, "I and the other lions could
be ploughing and harrowing until we'd
have a bit to eat in the harvest."
"I'll do that for you," said the tailor.
He brought his axe and his saw, and he
made a plough. When the plough was
made he put a hole in the beam of it, and
he said to the lion to go in under the plough
till he'd see was he any good of a ploughman.
He placed the lion's tail in the hole
he had made for it, and then clapped in a
peg, and the lion was not able to draw out
his tail again.
"Loose me out now," said the lion, "and
we'll fix ourselves and go ploughing."
The tailor said he would not loose him
out until he came back himself. He left
him there then, and he came to Dublin.
When he came to Dublin, he got workmen
and began to build the court. At the
end of the day he had the workmen put a
great stone on top of the work. When the
great stone was raised up, the tailor put
some sort of contrivance under it, that he
might be able to throw it down as soon as
the giant would come as far as it. The
workpeople went home then, and the tailor
went in hiding behind the big stone.
When the darkness of the night was come,
he saw the three giants arriving, and they
began throwing down the court until they
came as far as the place where the tailor
was in hiding up above, and a man of them
struck a blow of his sledge on the place
where he was. The tailor threw down the
stone, and it fell on him and killed him.
They went home then and left all of the
court that was remaining without throwing
it down, since a man of themselves was
The tradespeople came again the next
day, and they were working until night,
and as they were going home the tailor
told them to put up the big stone on the
top of the work, as it had been the night
before. They did that for him, went home,
and the tailor went in hiding the same as
he did the evening before.
When the people had all gone to rest, the
two giants came, and they were throwing
down all that was before them, and as soon
as they began, they put two shouts out of
them. The tailor was going on manoeuvring
until he threw down the great stone,
and it fell upon the skull of the giant that
was under him, and it killed him. There
was only the one giant left in it then, and
he never came again until the court was
Then when the work was over, the tailor
went to the king and told him to give him
his wife and his money, as he had the court
finished; and the king said he would not
give him any wife until he would kill the
other giant, for he said that it was not by
his strength he killed the two giants
before that, and that he would give him
nothing now until he killed the other one
for him. Then the tailor said that he
would kill the other giant for him, and
welcome; that there was no delay at all
The tailor went then till he came to the
place where the other giant was, and asked
did he want a servant-boy. The giant said
he did want one, if he could get one who
would do everything that he would do himself.
"Anything that you will do, I will do
it," said the tailor.
They went to their dinner then, and
when they had it eaten, the giant asked
the tailor "would it come with him to swallow
as much broth as himself, up out of
its boiling." The tailor said, "It will come
with me to do that, but that you must give
me an hour before we begin on it." The
tailor went out then, and he got a sheep-
skin, and he sewed it up till he made a bag
of it, and he slipped it down under his
coat. He came in then and said to the giant
to drink a gallon of the broth himself first.
The giant drank that up out of its boiling.
"I'll do that," said the tailor. He was
going on until he had it all poured into the
skin, and the giant thought he had it drunk.
The giant drank another gallon then, and
the tailor let another gallon down into the
skin, but the giant thought he was drinking it.
"I'll do a thing now that it won't come
with you to do," said the tailor.
"You will not," said the giant. "What
is it you would do?"
"Make a hole and let out the broth
again," said the tailor.
"Do it yourself first," said the giant.
The tailor gave a prod of the knife, and
he let the broth out of the skin.
"Do that you," said he.
"I will," said the giant, giving such a
prod of the knife into his own stomach
that he killed himself. That is the way
the tailor killed the third giant.
He went to the king then, and desired
him to send him out his wife and his money,
for that he would throw down the court
again unless he should get the wife. They
were afraid then that he would throw down
the court, and they sent the wife to him.
When the tailor was a day gone,
himself and his wife, they repented and
followed him to take his wife off him again.
The people who were after him were
following him till they came to the place
where the lion was, and the lion said to
them: "The tailor and his wife were here
yesterday. I saw them going by, and if ye
loose me now, I am swifter than ye, and I
will follow them till I overtake them."
When they heard that, they loosed out the
The lion and the people of Dublin went
on, and they were pursuing him, until they
came to the place where the fox was, and
the fox greeted them, and said: "The tailor
and his wife were here this morning, and
if ye will loose me out, I am swifter than
ye, and I will follow them, and overtake
them." They loosed out the fox then.
The lion and the fox and the army of
Dublin went on then, trying would they
catch the tailor, and they were going till
they came to the place where the old white
garraun was, and the old white garraun
said to them that the tailor and his wife
were there in the morning, and "Loose me
out," said he; "I am swifter than ye, and
I'll overtake them." They loosed out the
old white garraun then, and the old white
garraun, the fox, the lion, and the army
of Dublin pursued the tailor and his wife
together, and it was not long till they came
up with him, and saw himself and the wife
out before them.
When the tailor saw them coming, he
got out of the coach with his wife, and he
sat down on the ground.
When the old white garraun saw the
tailor sitting down on the ground, he said,
"That's the position he had when he made
the hole for me, that I couldn't come up
out of, when I went down into it. I'll go
no nearer to him."
"No!" said the fox, "but that's the way
he was when he was making the thing for
me, and I'll go no nearer to him."
"No!" says the lion, "but that's the very
way he had, when he was making the plough
that I was caught in. I'll go no nearer
They all went from him then and
returned. The tailor and his wife came home
THE CASTLE OF FORTUNE
 Adapted from the German of Der Faule und der Fleissige
by Robert Reinick.
One lovely summer morning, just as the
sun rose, two travelers started on a journey.
They were both strong young men, but one
was a lazy fellow and the other was a
As the first sunbeams came over the
hills, they shone on a great castle standing
on the heights, as far away as the eye
could see. It was a wonderful and beautiful
castle, all glistening towers that gleamed
like marble, and glancing windows that
shone like crystal. The two young men
looked at it eagerly, and longed to go
Suddenly, out of the distance, something
like a great butterfly, of white and gold,
swept toward them. And when it came
nearer, they saw that it was a most beautiful
lady, robed in floating garments as fine as
cobwebs and wearing on her head a crown
so bright that no one could tell whether
it was of diamonds or of dew. She stood,
light as air, on a great, shining, golden ball,
which rolled along with her, swifter than
the wind. As she passed the travelers, she
turned her face to them and smiled.
"Follow me!" she said.
The lazy man sat down in the grass
with a discontented sigh. "She has an easy
time of it!" he said.
But the industrious man ran after the
lovely lady and caught the hem of her
floating robe in his grasp. "Who are you,
and whither are you going?" he asked.
"I am the Fairy of Fortune," the
beautiful lady said, "and that is my castle. You
may reach it to-day, if you will; there is
time, if you waste none. If you reach it
before the last stroke of midnight, I will
receive you there, and will be your friend.
But if you come one second after midnight,
it will be too late."
When she had said this, her robe slipped
from the traveler's hand and she was gone.
The industrious man hurried back to his
friend, and told him what the fairy had
"The idea!" said the lazy man, and he
laughed; "of course, if a body had a horse
there would be some chance, but WALK all
that way? No, thank you!"
"Then good-by," said his friend, "I am
off." And he set out, down the road
toward the shining castle, with a good steady
stride, his eyes straight ahead.
The lazy man lay down in the soft grass,
and looked rather wistfully at the faraway
towers. "If I only had a good horse!"
Just at that moment he felt something
warm nosing about at his shoulder, and
heard a little whinny. He turned round,
and there stood a little horse! It was a
dainty creature, gentle-looking, and finely
built, and it was saddled and bridled.
"Hola!" said the lazy man. "Luck
often comes when one isn't looking for
it!" And in an instant he had leaped on
the horse, and headed him for the castle
of fortune. The little horse started at a
fine pace, and in a very few minutes they
overtook the other traveler, plodding along
"How do you like shank's mare?"
laughed the lazy man, as he passed his
The industrious man only nodded, and
kept on with his steady stride, eyes straight
The horse kept his good pace, and by
noon the towers of the castle stood out
against the sky, much nearer and more
beautiful. Exactly at noon, the horse
turned aside from the road, into a shady
grove on a hill, and stopped.
"Wise beast," said his rider; "`haste
makes waste,' and all things are better
in moderation. I'll follow your example,
and eat and rest a bit." He dismounted
and sat down in the cool moss, with his
back against a tree. He had a lunch in his
traveler's pouch, and he ate it comfortably.
Then he felt drowsy from the heat and the
early ride, so he pulled his hat over his
eyes, and settled himself for a nap. "It
will go all the better for a little rest," he
That WAS a sleep! He slept like the seven
sleepers, and he dreamed the most beautiful
things you could imagine. At last, he
dreamed that he had entered the castle of
fortune and was being received with great
festivities. Everything he wanted was
brought to him, and music played while
fireworks were set off in his honor. The
music was so loud that he awoke. He
sat up, rubbing his eyes, and behold, the
fireworks were the very last rays of the
setting sun, and the music was the voice
of the other traveler, passing the grove
"Time to be off," said the lazy man,
and looked about him for the pretty horse.
No horse was to be found. The only living
thing near was an old, bony, gray donkey.
The man called, and whistled, and looked,
but no little horse appeared. After a long
while he gave it up, and, since there was
nothing better to do, he mounted the old
gray donkey and set out again.
The donkey was slow, and he was hard
to ride, but he was better than nothing;
and gradually the lazy man saw the
towers of the castle draw nearer.
Now it began to grow dark; in the castle
windows the lights began to show. Then
came trouble! Slower, and slower, went the
gray donkey; slower, and slower, till, in
the very middle of a pitch-black wood, he
stopped and stood still. Not a step would
he budge for all the coaxing and scolding
and beating his rider could give. At last
the rider kicked him, as well as beat him,
and at that the donkey felt that he had had
enough. Up went his hind heels, and down
went his head, and over it went the lazy
man on to the stony ground.
There he lay groaning for many minutes,
for it was not a soft place, I can assure