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- Story Hour Readers Book Three - 10/20 -


The Rich Brother did not wait to hear any more but said, "Lend the Mill to me for an hour."

Taking it under his arm, the stingy Rich Brother ran across the fields toward home.

His wife was in the hayfield, spreading the hay after the mowers. He passed her on the way home and told her that he would attend to breakfast that morning.

"I will call you when all is ready," said he.

When the Rich Brother reached home, he placed the Mill on the table, and told it to grind porridge and red herrings.

The Mill began at once to grind oatmeal porridge and fat red herrings.

All the dishes and pans were soon filled. Then the porridge and herrings began to flow over the kitchen floor into the yard.

The Rich Brother tried to stop the Mill. He turned and twisted and screwed the handle, but he could not stop it, for he did not know the magic words.

At last he waded through the porridge across the fields to the mowers, crying, "Help! Help!"

When he told the mowers about the Mill, they said, "Ask your brother to stop the Mill, or we shall be drowned in porridge."

Then the Rich Brother ran to the Poor Brother's house, crying and shouting for help.

The Poor Brother laughed when he found out what had happened. They rowed back to the kitchen in a boat, and the Poor Brother whispered the magic words. The Mill stopped grinding.

In the course of time, the porridge soaked into the ground, but after that nothing would grow there excepting oats, and afterwards the brooks and ponds were always filled with herrings.

The Rich Brother no longer wished to keep the Mill. The Poor Brother carried it home once more and placed it behind the door.

Years afterwards, a rich merchant sailed from a distant land and anchored his ship in the harbor. He visited the home of the Poor Brother and asked about the Mill, for he had heard how wonderful it was.

"Will it grind salt?" the merchant asked.

"Yes, indeed!" said the Poor Brother. "It will grind anything in the whole world excepting snow and ham."

"Let me borrow the Mill for a short time, and great will be your reward," said the merchant.

He thought it would be much easier to fill his ship with salt from the Mill, than to make a long voyage across the ocean to procure his cargo.

The Poor Brother consented gladly. The merchant went away with the Mill. He did not wait to find out how to stop the grinding.

When the merchant went aboard the ship, he said to the captain, "Here is a great treasure. Guard it carefully."

The captain thought that the little Mill did not appear very wonderful, but he placed it upon the deck of the ship. Then he ordered the sailors to their posts of duty, and the ship sailed away.

When they were out at sea, the merchant said, "Captain, we need not go any further upon our voyage. The Mill will grind out salt enough to fill the hold of the ship."

So saying he cried,

"Grind, quickly grind, little Mill, Grind SALT--with a right good will!"

And the Mill ground salt, and more salt, and still more salt. When the hold of the ship was full of salt, the merchant cried, "Now you must stop, little Mill."

But the little Mill did not stop. It kept on grinding salt, and more salt, and still more salt.

The captain shouted, "We shall be lost! The ship will sink!"

One of the sailors called, "Ahoy, captain! Throw the Mill overboard."

So, heave ho! Heave ho! And overboard went the wonderful Mill, down to the bottom of the deep sea.

The captain and his crew sailed home with the merchant's cargo of salt.

But the Mill kept on grinding salt at the bottom of the sea.

AND THAT IS WHY THE SEA IS SALT.

At least, so some people say.

SENNIN THE HERMIT

In the far-away land of Japan, there was a little village that lay at the foot of a high mountain.

Every day the children went to play on the grassy bank near a pond at one end of the village. They threw stones into the water. They fished, and they sailed their toy boats. They picked the wild flowers that grew in the fields near by.

They carried with them rice to eat, and from morning until evening they played near the pond.

One day, while they were at play, the children were surprised to see an old man with a long, white beard walking toward them. He came from the direction of the mountain.

The children stopped their games to watch the old man. He came into their midst, and patting them upon their heads easily made them his friends.

The children continued their play, for they knew that the old man was kind.

The man watched the children, and when it was time for them to go home, he said, "Come to the flat rock on the side of the mountain to-morrow, and I will show you some wonderful games."

Then he climbed up the mountain once more and disappeared.

The following morning, the children went to the flat rock. They found the old man waiting for them.

"Now, my dear children," said he, "I am going to amuse you. Look here!"

He picked up some dry sticks. He blew at the ends of the sticks, and at once they became sprays of beautiful cherry, plum, and peach blossoms. He passed a branch of each of the flowers to the girls.

Then he took a stone and threw it into the air. The stone turned into a dove!

Another stone became an eagle, another a nightingale, or any bird a boy chose to name.

"Now," said the old man, "I will show you some animals that I am sure will make you laugh."

The children clapped their hands.

He recited some verses, and a company of monkeys came leaping upon the rock. The monkeys jumped about, grinning at the same time and performing funny tricks.

The children clapped their hands again.

Then the old man bowed to them and said, "Children, I can play no more games to-day. It is time for you to go back to the village. Farewell!"

The old man turned to go. He went up the mountain in the direction of a cave. The children tried to follow him, but in spite of his age he was more nimble than they. They ran far enough, however, to see him enter the cave.

When they reached the entrance, the old man had disappeared.

The cave was surrounded by fragrant flowers; but into its depths the children did not dare to go.

Suddenly one of the girls pointed upwards, crying, "There is the old grandfather!"

The others looked up, and there, standing on a cloud over the top of the mountain, was the old man.

"Let us go home now," said one of the boys.

On the way, they met two men of the village, whom their parents had sent to search for them.

When the children had told their story, one of the men exclaimed, "Ah, happy children! The kind old man is surely Sennin, the wonderful Hermit of the Mountain!"

FOREIGN CHILDREN

Little Indian, Sioux or Crow, Little frosty Eskimo, Little Turk or Japanee, O! Don't you wish that you were me?

You have seen the scarlet trees


Story Hour Readers Book Three - 10/20

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