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were in the way; at other times the pony was in the fields ; then Cheery had the keys of the stable. But this night Grumble had the keys himself: the night was rainy, and the pony was safely housed ; and so down he went, creeping along till he reached the stable door. The instant he opened it, out rushed the same three little fat old men whom he and Cheery had met on their way to market, and who promised so much about the pony. As soon as they saw Grumble, they set up a shout, and poked at him with their sticks. Then they danced and laughed, and they pinched and kicked him without mercy, Here they beat him—there they pushed him; and at last they bound him with hay-bands hand and foot. Then they untied the pony, placed Grumble on his back, and telling him he was all the “bad luck” of the house, bade the pony scamper round and round the world, and not to stop until he was told.
Away went the pony at a quick, uncomfortable, shaking trot, with Grumble tied to his back, and was soon out of sight. Then the three little men danced out at the roof of the stable, and all again was still.
In the morning Grumble could not be found; and as the pony was missing also, an old dame said she thought she had seen Grumble riding through the village the night before. Days passed, weeks passed, months passed, and sometimes a tale was spread in the village that the pony had been seen trotting through with Grumble on his back. But whenever this happened, something went wrong. At one of Grumble's visits to the village, Tom Tapster's beer turned sour; at another visit, all the boys and girls
were frightened by the bull ; at a third visit, which was just before Christmas, no mistletoe could be found anywhere. In short, whenever anybody said they had seen Grumble, some ill-luck was found to have happened just at the very time; until at last, whenever things went wrong in the village, people said, “Grumble has been riding through to-day."
As for Cheery, after he had sorrowed for the loss of the pony, everything became gay, glad, and thriving with him ; and his merry little wife, and his merry little children, made his home as happy as any one could wish.
Thus endeth the tale of Grumble and Cheery.
THERE's a little mischief-making
Elfin, who is ever nigh,
And his name is By-and-By.
Will be better done,” he'll cry,
Put it off,” says By-and-By.
Will his faithless guidance rue-
Clearly we shall never do.
If on “Now," we more rely;
Leads the pilot “ By-and-By."
THE VOICE OF SPRING.
I AM coming, little maiden !
I am coming! I am coming!
See, the yellow catkins cover
Hark! the little lambs are bleating ;
Turn thy eyes to earth and beaven! God for thee the Spring has given,
Taught the birds their melodies,
THE MONKEY AND THE CATS,
Two hungry cats, having stolen some cheese, could not agree between themselves how to divide their booty; therefore they went to law, and a cunning monkey was to decide their cause.
“Let us see,” said the judge (with as arch a look as could be), “ay, ay, this slice truly outweighs the other;" and with that he bit off a large piece, in order, as he told them, to make a fair balance.
The other scale had now become too heavy, which gave this upright judge a pretence to make free with a second mouthful.
Hold! hold!” cried the two cats ; “ give each of us our share of what is left, and we will be content.”
“ If you are content,” said the monkey, "justice is not : the law, my friends, must have its course."
Upon this, he nibbled first one piece and then the other, till the poor cats, seeing their cheese in a fair way to be all eaten up, most humbly begged him not to put himself to any further trouble, but to give them what still remained.
“Ha! ha! ha! not so fast, I beseech you, good ladies,” said the monkey; "we owe justice to ourselves as well as to you; and what remains is due to me as the lawyer." Upon this, he crammed the whole into his mouth at once, and very gravely broke up the court!
This fable teaches us that it is better to put up with a trifling loss, than to run the risk of losing all we have by going to law.
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY.
“ WILL you walk into my parlour ?" said the spider
to the fly ; "'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did
spy : The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, And I've got many curious things to show when you
are there." "Oh no, no," said the little fly; “ to ask me is in
vain, For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come
“I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up
so high; Will you rest upon my little bed ?” said the spider
to the fly : “There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets
are fine and thin; And if you like to rest a while, I'll snugly tuck you
in !” "Oh no, no," said the little fly; "for I've often heard
it said, They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your