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- Journeys Through Bookland V2 - 3/71 -


brought you to eat, and much good may it do you, and with your health agree."

When the Partridge heard these words he believed, and came out to the Falcon, who thereupon struck his talons into him and seized him.

Cried the Partridge, "Is this that which you told me you had brought me from the field, and whereof you told me to eat, saying, 'Much good may it do you, and with your health agree?' Thou hast lied to me, and may God cause what you eat of my flesh to be a killing poison in your maw!"

When the Falcon had eaten the Partridge his feathers fell off, his strength failed, and he died on the spot. Know that he who digs for his brother a pit, himself soon falls into it.

MINERVA AND THE OWL

"My most solemn and wise bird," said Minerva one day to her Owl, "I have hitherto admired you for your profound silence; but I have now a mind to have you show your ability in discourse, for silence is only admirable in one who can, when he pleases, triumph by his eloquence and charm with graceful conversation."

The Owl replied by solemn grimaces, and made dumb signs. Minerva bade him lay aside that affectation and begin; but he only shook his wise head and remained silent. Thereupon Minerva commanded him to speak immediately, on pain of her displeasure.

The Owl, seeing no remedy, drew up close to Minerva, and whispered very softly in her ear this sage remark: "Since the world is grown so depraved, they ought to be esteemed most wise who have eyes to see and wit to hold their tongues."

THE SPARROW AND THE EAGLE

From The Arabian Nights

Once a Sparrow, flitting over a flock of sheep, saw a great Eagle swoop down upon a newly weaned lamb and carry it up in his claws and fly away. Thereupon the Sparrow clapped his wings and said, "I will do even as this Eagle did."

So he waxed proud in his own conceit, and, mimicking one greater than he, flew down forthright and lighted on the back of a fat ram with a thick fleece, that was matted by his lying till it was like woolen felt. As soon as the Sparrow pounced upon the sheep's back he flopped his wings to fly away, but his feet became tangled in the wool, and, however hard he tried, he could not set himself free.

While all this was passing, the shepherd was looking on, having seen what happened first with the Eagle and afterward with the Sparrow. So in a great rage he came up to the wee birdie and seized him. He plucked out his wing feathers and carried him to his children.

"What is this?" asked one of them.

"This," he answered, "is he that aped a greater than himself and came to grief."

The Old Man and Death

A poor and toil-worn peasant, bent with years and groaning beneath the weight of a heavy fagot of firewood which he carried, sought, weary and sore-footed, to gain his distant cottage. Unable to bear the weight of his burden longer, he let it fall by the roadside, and lamented his hard fate.

"What pleasure have I known since I first drew breath in this sad world? From dawn to dusk it has been hard work and little pay! At home is an empty cupboard, a discontented wife, and lazy and disobedient children! O Death! O Death! come and free me from my troubles!"

At once the ghostly King of Terrors stood before him and asked, "What do you want with me?"

"Noth-nothing," stammered the frightened peasant, "except for you to help me put again upon my shoulders the bundle of fagots I have let fall!"

INFANT JOY

By William Blake

"I have no name; I am but two days old." "What shall I call thee?" "I happy am; Joy is my name." Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty Joy! Sweet Joy, but two days old. Sweet Joy I call thee: Thou dost smile: I sing the while, "Sweet joy befall thee!"

THE BABY

By George Macdonald

Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high? A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose? Something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss? Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get that pearly ear? God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands? Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things? From the same box as the cherub's wings.

How did they all just come to be you? God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear? God thought of YOU, and so I am here.

THE DISCONTENTED STONECUTTER

Adapted from the Japanese

Once upon a time there was a man who worked from early morning till late at night cutting building stones out of the solid rock. His pay was small and hardly enough to keep his wife and children from starving. So the poor stonecutter grew discontented and sighed and moaned bitterly over his hard lot.

One day when his work seemed harder than usual and his troubles more than he could bear he cried out in despair:

"Oh, I wish I could be rich and lie at ease on a soft couch with a curtain of red silk!"

Just then a beautiful fairy floated down from heaven, and softly said, "Thy wish is granted thee." So the poor stonecutter found himself rich and powerful and resting easily on his silken couch with its red curtain. As he gazed out, however, he saw the king of the country ride by with many horsemen before and behind him, and with a great golden sunshade held over his head. It irritated the rich man to have no parasol over his head and to see another more powerful than himself, and in his discontentment he exclaimed, "Would that I were a king such as that one."

Once again his good fairy appeared, waved his wand, and said, "It shall be as thou desirest." Immediately the man was king, and before him and behind him rode his men-at-arms, and over his head was a golden sunshade. But elsewhere the sun shone fiercely down and dried up the vegetation with its terrible heat. It was reflected into the face of the king so that even the golden sunshade did not keep him from suffering. Once more he sighed discontentedly, "If I could only be the sun!"

[Illustration: THE STONECUTTER AND HIS SILKEN COUCH]

Almost before he spoke he found himself to be the sun, and he began joyously to send his fiery rays above, below and everywhere roundabout him. He scorched the grass of the earth, and burned the faces of its rulers and felt his power unlimited until a little cloud placed itself between him and the earth and threw back his scorching rays. It still angered him to find something more powerful than himself, and he wished


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