Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

But just in the middle,

Oh ! shocking to tell ! From his rope in an instant

Poor Harlequin fell. Yet he touched not the ground,

But with talons outspread, Hung suspended in air

At the end of a thread.

And there came the Beetle,

So blind and so black, Who carried the Emmet,

His friend, on his back; And there was the Gnat,

And the Dragon-fly too, With all their relations,

Green, orange, and blue. And there came the Moth

In his plumage of down, And the Hornet in jacket

Of yellow and brown. Who with him the Wasp,

His companion did bring,
But they promised that evening

To lay by their sting.
And the sly little Dormouse

Crept out of his hole,
And led to the feast

His blind brother the Mole ; And the Snail with his horns

Peeping out from his shell,
Came from a great distance,

The length of an ell.
A mushroom their table,

And on it was laid
A water-dock leaf,

Which a table-cloth made ; The viands were various,

To each of their taste; And the Bee brought his honey

To crown the repast.

Then the Grasshopper came

With a jerk and a spring, Very long was his leg,

Though but short was his wing. He took but three leaps,

And was soon out of sight, Then chirp'd his own praises

The rest of the night.

With step so majestic,

The Snail did advance, And promised the gazers

A minuet to dance ;

But they all laugh'd so loud

That he pulld in his head, And went in his own

Little chamber to bed.

Then as evening gave way

To the shadows of night, The watchman, the Glow-worm,

Came out with his light:
Then home let us hasten

While yet we can see,
For no watchman is waiting

For you and for me.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]
[merged small][graphic][subsumed]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


THERE was once a little brother who took his younger sister by the hand, and said to her, “We have never known a happy hour since we lost our mother. Our step-mother does nothing but beat or kick us all day long. What would our poor mother say if she knew how ill we are used ? Come, let us go forth into the wide world.” And away they wandered over meadows, fields, and stones. Towards evening they reached a large wood; and what with grief, hunger, and fatigue,

! they soon fell fast asleep.

When they awoke next morning, the brother said, “Sister, I am very thirsty, and if I could but find a spring, I should be so glad to drink.” And he took his sister by the hand, and they went to look for a stream. But their wicked step-mother, who was a witch, had slunk after them, and bewitched all the springs in the forest. So when they reached a sparkling stream, and the brother was going to drink, the sister heard it murmur, “Whoever drinks out of me will become a tiger." The sister then cried out, “Brother, do not drink, or else you will become a wild beast, and tear me to pieces." So the brother did not drink, but said, “I will wait till we come to the next stream.” And when they reached another spring, the sister heard it murmur, “Whoever drinks out of me will become a wolf.” Then the sister exclaimed, “Brother, do not drink, or you will become a wolf, and eat me up.” So the brother did not drink, but answered, “I will wait till we come to the next stream, but then I must drink.” And when they reached the third spring, the sister heard it say, “Whoever drinks out of me will become a fawn.” Then the sister said, “Oh, brother, I beseech you not to drink, or you will become a fawn, and run away from me.” But the brother had already knelt down and drunk of its waters; and as soon as he had moistened his lips he was changed to a young fawn. The sister and the fawn wept together as they sat mournfully side by side. At length the little girl said, “Be easy,

dear fawn, I will never leave you.” She took off her golden band, and put it round the fawn's neck, and, having made a rope out of some rushes, she led the little animal along. And after going a long, long way, she at last found a empty hut, where she thought they might live. Every morning she gathered roots, berries, or nuts, for herself, and fresh grass for the fawn; and when evening came, and she felt tired, she said her prayers, and then pillowed her head on the little fawn's back, and went to sleep. In short, they might have been very happy, if the brother had but retained his own shape.

They had lived in this way a long while, when it happened one day that the king went a hunting in the forest. The fawn, hearing the sound of the horn, the baying of the hounds, and the hallooing of the huntsmen, said to his sister, “Let me join the hunt, for I can keep away no longer.” And he begged and begged, till at last she consented. Only, pray, come back again to-night,” said she, “and mind you knock at the door and say, “Sister, let me in’; for if you do not say so, I shall not open it.”

The fawn now darted away, and was delighted to scent the fresh air as he bounded along. The king and his huntsmen saw the beautiful animal and gave chase, but were unable to overtake it. It was now dark, and the fawn ran home, and knocked at the door, saying, “Sister, let me in." The little door was immediately opened, and in jumped her companion. The next day the hunt was again abroad, and no sooner did the fawn hear the horn than he said to his sister, “Pray, sister, open the door, for I must be off.” When the king and his huntsmen again caught sight of the fawn, they all pursued him; but he was too swift for them. Towards evening, however, one of the hunters wounded him slightly in the foot, so that he limped as he went along very slowly. This enabled one of the huntsmen to watch him to the hut, when he heard him crying out, “Sister,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »