Imágenes de páginas

in a clear little fish-pond, and had the greatest delight in them. He often seated himself by the side of it, and broke crumbs of bread into the water, and then came the dear little fishes, and were pleased to like the taste of it. Then he cried continually to them, “Fishes, fishes, now mind you take care of two things, if you wish always to live as happily as you live now. You must never go through the grate into the large fish-pond, which lies beyond this small one, and you must not swim up to the top of the water, when I am not beside you."

But, the fishes did not understand what he said ;then the good man thought to himself, I will make my meaning thoroughly plain to them, and placed himself by the grate.

And when one of them came and wanted to swim through, he splashed about with a little stick in the water, until the fishes were afraid, and swam away. And when one of them came up to the surface of the water, he did the very same thing until it went down to the bottom again.

Now, thought he, they must have understood, and he went home. Then the three pretty little gold fishes went to each other and shook their heads, and could not understand what the good man could mean by not letting them go up to the top of the water, or swim through the grating into the large fish-pond. “Does not he himself walk about up there above ?” said one of them, “then why should not we also be allowed to go up a little higher ?"

"And why should we be locked up?” said the second ; “what harm can it do us to have a little swim now and then in the big fish-pond ?”

[ocr errors]


He must be a very hard man,” replied the first " and does not really love us, or like to see us enjoying ourselves."

“I shall not be guided by what he says," added the second, “I will at once set about making a little pleasure-trip into the large fish-pond.”

"And I," cried the other, “ will in the meantime play about a while at the top of the water in the sun."

The third gold-fish was the only one who was wise enough to think, “the good man must have had a reason for forbidding us to do these things, for that he loves us and likes to see us happy is quite certain. If not, why should he come so often and give us crumbs of bread, and look so pleased when we eat them up. No, he is certainly not hard, and I will do what he wishes, although I do not know why he would like me to do so.”

The good fish stayed down at the bottom of the pond. The others, however, did as they said they would do. One swam through the grate into the large fish-pond, and the other played about near the top of the water in the sunshine, and both of them mocked their brother because he would not come and enjoy himself in the same way. But what happened ?

The first had hardly got into the great fish-pond, when a pike sprang upon him and swallowed him. The other who was amusing himself on the upper part of the water, was seen by a .bird of prey which at once darted down, caught him, and devoured him. The prudent, obedient, third gold-fish was now the only one left alive.

The good man rejoiced over his obedience, and every day brought him the very best of food. He lived very happily and reached a very great age.

From the German of Campe.





death re-gis-ter


un-gen-tle want-on

prayers just-ice want-on pray-ers

The wanton troopers riding by,
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! they cannot thrive
Who killed thee, thou ne'er didst alive'
Them any harm ; alas ! nor could
Thy death to them do any good,
I'm sure I never wished them ill;
Nor do I for all this, nor will;
But if my simple prayers may yet
Prevail with heaven, to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears,
Rather than fail. But oh, my fears !
It cannot do so. Heaven's King
Keeps register of everything,
And nothing may we use in vain,
Ev'n beasts must be with justice slain.

Andrew Marvell, born 1620, died 1678.

[blocks in formation]

Almost all children have seen pictures of hedgehogs, but hedge-hogs themselves are becoming more and more rare. Twenty or thirty years ago they were much more common, and were often to be found in dry ditches and sunny hedge-sides, half covered over with leaves. They are about the size and the shape of guinea pigs, and have very bright little eyes and very sharp noses with which they burrow under the soil, and eat up the roots of such plants as they like. The under part of their bodies is covered with soft hair, but their backs and sides are thickly set with very sharp thorny spikes, and when they are attacked they instantly roll themselves up into a ball with this thorny side outwards. It is a very lucky thing for them that they have some means of defence, for they have a great many enemies, so many, that there is a danger of their becoming extinct. Farmers do not

like them, because they think they suck the cow's milk when they are asleep,-boys nearly always make a point of destroying them when they see them, and dogs also find a pleasure in killing them. They do it in this way—when the hedge-hog sees a dog, it puts its head and feet inside, and turns itself into a prickly ball at once. The dog looks at it, wags his tail as if it was a very funny joke indeed, and then in spite of the prickles hurting him he pops his nose under the hedge-hog, and tosses it up in the air as high as he can, hoping the shock of the fall will make the poor animal uncurl again ; and when at last it does so, he rushes at it and gives it a nip in the unprotected part of its body, which kills it.

14.-THE HEDGEHOG-(Continued).






un-eas y

leaves un-eas-y

prick-les Hedge-hogs are very sensitive, and a very little illusage kills them. If they are kindly treated they become very tame, and will live for years in a kitchen or garden, basking by the kitchen fire, or trotting about the garden quite happily. In the house they live on beetles, crickets, meat and milk; in the garden


« AnteriorContinuar »