« AnteriorContinuar »
the youngest korolevna, the king's daughter, for a wife; but the one who should have the daring to undertake but not succeed in delivering the palace from the crows would have his head cut off. Ivan attentively read the announcement, once, twice, and once more. Finally he made the sign of the cross and went to the palace. He said to the servants:
“Open the window and let me listen to the birds.”
The servants obeyed and Ivan listened for a while. Then he said:
“Show me to your sovereign king.”
When he reached the room where the king sat on a high, rich chair, he bowed and said:
“There are three crows, a father crow, a mother crow, and a son crow. The trouble is that they desire to obtain thy royal decision as to whether the son crow must follow his father crow or his mother crow.”
The king answered: “The son crow must follow the father crow.”
As soon as the king announced his royal decision the crow father with the crow son went one way and the crow mother disappeared the other way, and no one has heard the noisy birds since. The king gave one half of his kingdom and his youngest korolevna to Ivan, and a happy life began for him.
In the meantime his father, the rich merchant, lost his wife and by and by his fortune also. There was no one left to take care of him, and the old man went begging under the windows of charitable people. He went from one window to another, from one village to another, from one town
to another, and one bright day he came to the palace where Ivan lived, begging humbly for charity. Ivan saw him and recognized him, ordered him to come inside, and gave him food to eat and also supplied him with good clothes, asking questions:
- Dear old man, what can I do for thee?” he said.
“If thou art so very good," answered the poor father, without knowing that he was speaking to his own son, “let me remain here and serve thee among thy faithful servants.”
“Dear, dear father!” exclaimed Ivan, “thou didst doubt the true song of the nightingale, and now thou seest that our fate was to meet according to the predictions of long ago.”
The old man was frightened and knelt before his son, but his Ivan remained the same good son as before, took his father lovingly into his arms, and together they wept over their sorrow.
Several days passed by and the old father felt courage to ask his son, the korolevitch:
“Tell me, my son, how was it that thou didst not perish in the boat?”
Ivan Korolevitch laughed gayly.
"I presume,” he answered, “that it was not my fate to perish at the bottom of the wide sea, but my fate was to marry the korolevna, my beautiful wife, and to sweeten the old age of my dear father.'
From “Folk Tales from the Russian."
Ho'ly (hö'li) Rus'sia, to the Russian his country is sacred; I van' (ě ván'), a Russian masculine name; kăf'tan, a long coat; clev'er (klěv'ēr), knowing; af fect'ed (a fék'těd), moved with feeling; predict'ing (pre dikt’ing), foretelling; an noyed', bothered; ko ro lev'na (ko rõ lāv'nä), daughter of a king; roy'al, kingly; chăr'it a ble, liberal in giving to the poor; ko ro lev'itch (kö rõlāv'ētch), son of a king. STUDY HELPS
What do you learn of Ivan's family in the opening lines?
What did his father wish especially to know? How much did he say he would give for this knowledge?
Tell the story of how Ivan learned the language of the birds. What made them willing to teach him?
Why was Ivan so moved when he next heard the nightingale?
Why do you suppose they paid no attention? Why did they pay attention to his second warning?
Tell how he rid the king of the troublesome crows. What was his reward?
How did he meet his father again? Are you glad he treated his father as he did?
What explanation of his good fortune did he make?
MADGE A. BIGHAM
If I told you Joe-Boy had a pet as big around as a bird's egg, and with eight legs and eight eyes, what would you guess it was? No, it was n't a fly, because they have n't as many as eight legs, you know, and a great many more than eight eyes. But this pet of Joe-Boy's was very fond of flies I can tell you that. It was a great big brown spider, and Joe-Boy named her Mrs. Spider-Brown the morning he found her in his room. Now, Mrs. Spider-Brown had always lived in the flower garden before this-her family did not like to live in houses very much--but for some queer notion she thought she would spin her a web in somebody's house. Maybe she thought there would be more flies to catch. Anyway, late one night, while everybody was sleeping, Mrs. Spider-Brown crawled into Mrs. Gipsy's house, and when she had looked all around she said to herself:
“I like this house very much indeed! It looks dainty