« AnteriorContinuar »
THE SECRET OF SUCCESS
One day, in huckleberry time, when little Johnny Flails And half a dozen other boys were starting with their pails To gather berries, Johnny's pa, in talking with him, said That he could tell him how to pick so he'd come out ahead.
“First you find your bush,” said Johnny's pa, “and then
stick to it till You've picked it clean. Let those go chasing all about
who will In search of better bushes; but it 's picking tells, my son, To look at fifty bushes does n't count like picking one.”
And Johnny did as he was told; and sure enough, he found,
And Johnny recollected this when he became a man;
and push, Wise, steady-going Johnny won by “sticking to his bush.'
Tri'flērs, persons without any serious purpose.
Where were Johnny and his companions going?
THE LANGUAGE OF THE BIRDS
VERRA X. K. DE BLUMENTHAL
Somewhere, in a town in holy Russia, there lived a rich merchant with his wife. He had an only son, a dear, bright, and brave boy called Ivan. One lovely day Ivan sat at the dinner table with his parents. Near the window in the same room hung a cage, and a nightingale, a sweetvoiced, gray bird, was imprisoned within. The sweet nightingale began to sing its wonderful song with trills and high silvery tones. The merchant listened and listened to the song and said:
“How I wish I could understand the meaning of the different songs of all the birds! I would give half my wealth to the man, if only there were such a man, who could make plain to me all the different songs of the different birds.'
Ivan took notice of these words and no matter where he went, no matter where he was, no matter what he did, he always thought of how he could learn the language of the birds.
Some time after this the merchant's son happened to be hunting in a forest. The winds rose, the sky became clouded, the lightning flashed, the thunder roared loudly, and the rain fell in torrents. Ivan soon came near a large tree and saw a big nest in the branches. Four small birds were in the nest; they were quite alone, and neither father nor mother was there to protect them from the cold and wet. The good Ivan pitied them, climbed the tree, and covered the little ones with his "kaftan,” a long-skirted coat which the Russian peasants and merchants usually
wear. The thunder
“Ivan, I thank thee; thou hast protected my little children from the cold and rain and I wish to do something for thee. Tell me what thou dost wish.”
Ivan answered: “I am not in need; I have everything for my comfort. But teach me the birds' language.”
Stay with me three days and thou shalt know all about it.
Ivan remained in the forest three days. He understood well the teaching of the big bird and returned home more clever than before. One beautiful day soon after this Ivan sat with his parents when the nightingale was singing in
His song was so sad, however, so very sad, that the merchant and his wife also became sad, and their son, their good Ivan, who listened very attentively, was even more affected, and the tears came running down his cheeks.
“What is the matter?” asked his parents; "what art thou weeping about, dear son?”
“Dear parents,” answered the son, “it is because I understand the meaning of the nightingale's song, and because this meaning is so sad for all of us.”
“What then is the meaning? Tell us the whole truth; do not hide it from us," said the father and mother.
“Oh, how sad it sounds!” replied the son. “How much better would it be never to have been born!"
“Do not frighten us,” said the parents, alarmed. “If thou dost really understand the meaning of the song, tell us at once."
“Do you not hear for yourselves? The nightingale says: "The time will come when Ivan, the merchant's son, shall become Ivan, the king's son, and his own father shall serve him as a simple servant.'
The merchant and his wife felt troubled and began to distrust their son, their good Ivan. So one night they gave him a drowsy drink, and when he had fallen asleep they took him to a boat on the wide sea, spread the white sails, and pushed the boat from the shore.
For a long time the boat danced on the waves and finally it came near a large merchant vessel, which struck against it with such a shock that Ivan awoke. The crew on the large vessel saw Ivan and pitied him. So they decided to take him along with them and did so. High, very high,
above in the sky they perceived cranes. Ivan said to the sailors:
“Be careful; I hear the birds predicting a storm. Let us enter a harbor or we shall suffer great danger and damage. All the sails will be torn and all the masts will be broken."
But no one paid any attention and they went farther on. In a short time the storm arose, the wind tore the vessel almost to pieces, and they had a very hard time to repair all the damage. When they were through with their work they heard many wild swans flying above them and talking very loud among themselves.
“What are they talking about?" inquired the men, this time with interest.
“Be careful,” advised Ivan. “I hear and distinctly understand them to say that the pirates, the terrible sea robbers, are near. If we do not enter a harbor at once they will imprison and kill us.”
The crew quickly obeyed this advice and as soon as the vessel entered the harbor the pirate boats passed by and the merchants saw them capture several unprepared vessels. When the danger was over, the sailors with Ivan went farther, still farther. Finally the vessel anchored near a town, large and unknown to the merchants. A king ruled in that town who was very much annoyed by three black crows. These three crows were all the time perching near the window of the king's chamber. No one knew how to get rid of them and no one could kill them. The king ordered notices to be placed at all crossings and on all prominent buildings, saying that whoever was able to relieve the king from the noisy birds would be rewarded by obtaining