the bird also noticed that, and though he was fainting with thirst, and
in his pain plucked up the green blades of grass, he did not touch the
The evening came, and yet nobody appeared to bring the poor bird a
drop of water. Then he stretched out his pretty wings and beat the air
frantically with them ; his song changed to a mournful piping, his little
head sank down towards the flower, and the bird's heart broke with
want and yearning. Then the flower could not fold its leaves, as it had
done on the previous evening, and sleep ; it drooped, sorrowful and sick,
towards the earth.
Not till the next morning did the boys come ; and when they found
the bird dead they wept wept many tears and dug him a neat grave,
which they adorned with leaves of flowers. The bird's corpse was put
into a pretty red box, for he was to be royally buried the poor bird !
While he was alive and sang they forgot him, and let him sit in his
cage and suffer want ; but now that he was dead he had adornment and
But the patch of turf with the Daisy on it was thrown out into the
high road : no one thought of the flower that had felt the most for the
little bird, and would have been so glad to console him.
A GREAT GRIEF.
THIS story really consists of two parts ; the first part might be left
out, but it gives us a few particulars, and these are useful.
We were staying in the country at a gentleman's seat, where it hap-
pened that the master was absent for a few days. In the meantime
there arrived from the next town a lady ; she had a pug dog with her,
and came, she said, to dispose of shares in her tan-yard. She had her
papers with her, and we advised her to put them in an envelope, and to
write thereon the address of the proprietor of the estate, " General
War- Commissary Knight," &c.
She Listened to us attentively, seized the pen, paused, and begged us
to repeat v the direction slowly. AVe complied, and she wrote ; but in
the midst of the " General War " she stuck fast, sighed deeply,
and said, " I am only a woman ! " Her Puggie had seated itself on the
A Great Grief.
ground while she wrote, and growled ; for the dog had come with her
for amusement and for the sake of its health ; and then the bare floor
ought not to be offered to a visitor. His outward appearance was
characterized by a snub nose and a very fat back.
" He doesn't bite," said the lady ; " he has no teeth. He is like one
of the family, faithful and grumpy ; but the latter is my grandchildren's
fault, for they have teazed him : they play at wedding, and. want to give
him the part of the bridesmaid, and that's too much for him. poor old
WAITING TO SEE PUGGIE'S GRAVE.
And she delivered her papers, and took Puggie upon her arm. And
this is the first part of the story, which might have been left out.
PUGGIE DIED ! ! That 's the second part.
It was about a week afterwards we arrived in the town, and put up at
the inn. Our windows looked into the tan-yard, which was divided
into two parts by a partition of planks ; in one half were many skins
and hides, raw and tanned. Here was all the apparatus necessary to
carry on a tannery, and it belonged to the widow. Puggie had died in
the morning, and was to be buried in this part of the yard : the grand-
children of the widow (that is, of the tanner's widow, for Puggie had
never been married) filled up the grave, and it was a beautiful grave
it must have been quite pleasant to lie there.
The grave was bordered with pieces of flower-pots and strewn over
with sand ; quite at the top they had stuck up half a beer bottle, with
the neck upwards, and that was not at all allegorical.
98 Stories for the Household.
The children danced round the grave, and the eldest of the boys among
them, a practical youngster of seven years, made the proposition that
there should be an exhibition of Puggie's burial-place for all who lived
in the lane ; the price of admission was to be a trouser button, for every
boy would be sure to have one, and each might also give one for a little
girl. This proposal was adopted by acclamation.
And all the children out of the lane yes, even out of the little lane
at the back nocked to the place, and each gave a button. Many were
noticed to go about on that afternoon with only one brace ; but then
they had seen Puggie's grave, and the sight was worth much more.
But in front of the tan-yard, close to the entrance, stood a little girl
clothed in rags, very pretty to look at, with curly hair, and eyes so blue
and clear that it was a pleasure to look into them. The child said not
a word, nor did she cry ; but each time the little door was opened she
gave a long, long look into the yard. She had not a button that she
knew right well, and therefore she remained standing sorrowfully out-
side, till all the others had seen the grave and had gone away ; then
she sat down, held her little brown hands before her eyes, and burst
into tears : this girl alone had not seen Puggie's grave. It was a grief
as great to her as any grown person can experience.
We saw this from above; and, looked at from above, how many a grief
of our own and of others can make us smile ! That is the story, and
whoever does not understand it may go and purchase a share in the
tan-yard from the widow.
THE Flea, the Grasshopper, and the Skipjack once wanted to see which
of them could jump highest; and they invited the whole world, and
whoever else would come, to see the grand sight. And there the three
famous jumpers were met together in the room.
"Yes, I'll give my daughter to him who jumps highest," said the
King, " for it would be mean to let these people jump for nothing."
The Flea stepped out first. He had very pretty manners, and bowed
in all directions, for he had young ladies' blood in his veins, and was
accustomed to consort only with human beings ; and that was of great
Then came the Grasshopper : he was certainly much heavier, but he
had a good figure, and wore the green uniform that was born with him.
This person, moreover, maintained that he belonged to a very old family
in the land of Egypt, and that he was highly esteemed there. He had
just come from the field, he said, and had been put into a card house
three storeys high, and all made of picture cards with the figures turned
inwards. There were doors and windows in the house, cut in the body
of the Queen of Hearts,
THE THEEE CANDIDATES.
" I sing so," lie said, " that sixteen native crickets who have chirped
from their youth up, and have never yet had a card house of their o\vn,
would become thinner than they are with envy if they were to hear me."
Both of them, the Flea and the Grasshopper, took care to announce
who they were, and that they considered themselves entitled to marry
The Skipjack said nothing, but it was said of him that he thought all
the more; and directly the Yard Dog had smelt at him he was ready to
assert that the Skipjack was of good family, and formed from the breast-
bone of an undoubted goose. The old councillor, who had received
three medals for holding his tongue, declared that the Skipjack pos-
sessed the gift of prophecy : one could tell by his bones whether there
would be a severe winter or a mild one ; and that 's more than one can
always tell from the breast-bone of the man who writes the almanack.
I shall not say anything more," said the old King. " I only go on
quietly, and always think the best."
Now they were to take their jump. The Flea sprang so high that uo
100 Stories for the Household.
one could see him ; and then they asserted that he had not jumped at
ill. That was very mean. The Grasshopper only sprang half as high,
but he sprang straight into the King's face, and the King declared that
was horribly rude. The Skipjack stood a long time considering ; at last
people thought that he could not jump at all.
" I only hope he 's not become unwell," said the Yard Dog, and then
he smelt at him again.
" Tap!" he sprang with a little crooked jump just into the lap of the
Princess, who sat on a low golden stool.
Then the King said, " The highest leap was taken by him who jumped
up to my daughter ; for therein lies the point ; but it requires head to
achieve that, and the Skipjack has shown that he lias a head.' ;
And so he had the Princess.
" I jumped highest, after all," said the Flea. " But it 'a all the same.
Let her have the goose-bone with its lump of wax and bit of stick. I
jumped at the highest ; but in this world a body is required if one wishes
to be seen."
And the Flea went into foreign military service, where it is said he
The Grasshopper seated himself out in the ditch, and thought and
considered how things happened in the world. And he too said, " Body
is required ! body is required ! " And then he sang his own melancholy
song, and from that we have gathered this story, which they say is not
true, though it's in print.
THE SHIRT COLLAR.
THERE was once a rich cavalier whose whole effects consisted of a
Bootjack and a Hair-brusli, but he had the finest Shirt Collar in the
world, and about this Shirt Collar we will tell a story.
The Collar was now old enough to think of marrying, and it happened
that he was sent to the wash together with a Garter.
" My word !" exclaimed the Shirt Collar. " I have never seen any-
thing so slender and delicate, so charming and genteel. May I ask your
" I shall not tell you that," said the Garter.
" Where is your home ?" asked the Shirt Collar.
But the Garter was of rather a retiring nature, and it seemed such a
strange question to answer.
' I presume you are a girdle?" said the Shirt Collar " a sort of
under girdle ? I see that you are useful as well as ornamental, rnv little
' You are not to speak to me," said the Garter. " I have not, I think,
giren you any occasion to do so."
The Shirt Collar.
" Oh ! when one is as beautiful as you are," cried the Shirt Collar, " I
fancy that is occasion enough."
" Go!" said the Garter ; " dou't come so near me : you look to me
quite like a man."
" I am a fine cavalier, too," said the Shirt Collar. " I possess a boot,
jack and a hair-brush."
THE SHIET COLLAK IN ITS GLOKT.
And that was not true at all, for it was his master who owned these
things, but he was boasting.
" Don't come too near me," said the Garter ; " I 'in not used to that."
" Affectation ! " cried the Shirt Collar.
And then they were taken out of the wash, and starched, and hung
over a chair in the sunshine, and then laid on the ironing-board ; and
now came the hot Iron.
" Mrs. Widow ! " said the Shirt Collar, " little Mrs. Widow, I 'in
102 Stories for the Household.
getting quite warm ; I 'm being quite changed : I 'm losing all my
creases ; you 're burning a hole in me ! Ugh ! I propose to you."
" You old rag !" said the Iron, and rode proudly over the Shirt Collar,
for it imagined that it was a steam boiler, and that it ought to be out on
the railway, dragging carriages. " You old rag !" said the Irou.
The Shirt Collar was a little frayed at the edges, therefore the Paper
Scissors came to smooth away the frayed places.
"Ho, ho!" said the Shirt Collar; "I presume you are a first-rate
dancer. How you can point your toes ! no one in the world can do that
" 1 know that," said the Scissors.
" You deserve to be a countess," said the Shirt Collar. " All that I
possess consists of a genteel cavalier, a bootjack, and a comb. If I had
only an estate ! "
" What ! do you want to marry r" cried the Scissors ; and they were
angry, and gave such a deep cut that the Collar had to be cashiered.
" I shall have to propose to the Hair-brush," thought the Shirt Collar.
:c It is wonderful what beautiful hair you have, my little lady. Have
you never thought of engaging yourself ?"
" Yes, you can easily imagine that," replied the Hair-brush. " I am
engaged to the Bootjack."
" Engaged !" cried the Shirt Collar.
Now there was no one left to whom he could offer himself, and so he
A long time passed, and the Shirt Collar was put into the sack of a
paper dealer. There was a terribly ragged company, and the fine ones
kept to themselves, and the coarse ones to themselves, as is right. They
all had much to tell, but the Shirt Collar had most of all, for he was a
terrible Jack Brag.
" I have had a tremendous number of love affairs," said the Shirt
Collar. " They would not leave me alone ; but I was a fine cavalier, a
starched one. I had a bootjack and a hair-brush that I never used : you
should only have seen me then, when I was turned down. I shall never
forget my first love ; it was a girdle ; and how delicate, how charming,
how genteel it was ! And my first love threw herself into a washing-tub,
and all for me ! There was also a widow desperately fond of me, but 1
let her stand alone till she turned quite blade. Then there was a dancer
who gave me the wound from which I still suffer she was very hot
tempered. My own hair-brush was in love with me, and lost all her hair
from neglected love. Yes, I 've had many experiences of this kind ; but
I am most sorry for the Garter I mean for the girdle, that jumped
into the wash-tub for love of me. I 've a great deal on my conscience.
It 's time I was turned into white paper."
And to that the Shirt Collar came. All the rags were turned into
white paper, but the Shirt Collar became the very piece of paper we see
here, and upon which this story has been printed, and that was done
because he boasted so dreadfully about things that were not at all true.
And this we must remember, so that we may on no account do the same,
for we cannot know at all whether we shall not be put into the rag Lag
and manufactured into white paper, on which our whole history, even
the most secret, shall be printed, so that we shall be obliged to run
about and tell it, as the Shirt Collar did.
OLE LTJK-OIE'S VISIT.
THEKE 's nobody in the whole world who knows so many stories as
Ole Luk-Oie. He can tell capital histories.
Towards evening, when the children still sit nicely at table, or upon
their stools, Ole Luk-Oie comes. He comes up the stairs quite softly,
for he walks in his socks : he opens the door noiselessly, and i^hisk ! he
squirts sweet milk in the children's eyes, a small, small stream, but
enough to prevent them from keeping their eyes open ; and thus they
cannot see him. He creeps just among them, and blows softly upon
their necks, and this makes their heads heavy. Tes, but it doesn't hurt
them, for Ole Luk-Oie is very fond of the children ; he only wants them
to be quiet, and that they are not until they are taken to bed : they are
to be quiet that he may tell them stories
When the children sleep, Ole Luk-Oie. sits down upon their bed. He
is well dressed : his coat is of silk, but it is impossible to say of what
colour, for it shines red, green, and blue, according as he turns. Under
each arm he carries an umbrella : the one with pictures on it he spreads
over the good children, and then they dream all night the most glorious
stories ; but on his other umbrella nothing at all is painted : this he
spreads over the naughty children, and these sleep in a dull way, and
when they awake in the morning they have not dreamed of anything.
104 Stories for the Household.
Now we shall hear how Ole Luk-Oie, every evening through one
whole week, came to a little boy named Hjalmar, and what he told him.
There are seven stories, for there are seven days in the week.
"Listen," .said Ole Luk-Oie in the evening, when he had put Iljalmar
to bed ; " now I '11 clear up."
And all the flowers in the flower-pots became great trees, stretching
out their long branches under the ceiling of the room and along the walls,
so that the whole room looked like a beauteous bower ; and all the twigs
were covered with flowers, and each flower was more beautiful than a rose,
and smelt so sweet that one wanted to eat it it was sweeter than jam.
The fruit gleamed like gold, and there were cakes bursting with raisins.
It was incomparably beautiful. But at the same time a terrible wail
sounded from the table drawer, vln'iv lljalmar's school-book lay.
""Whatever can that be?" said Ole Luk-Oie; and he went to the
table, and opened the drawer. It was the slate which was suffering
from convulsions, for a wrong number had got into the sum, so that it
was nearly falling in pieces ; the slate pencil tugged and jumped at its
string, as if it had been a little dog who wanted to help the sum ; but
he could not. And thus there was a great lamentation in lljalmar's
copy-book ; it was quite terrible to hear. On each page the great
letters stood in a row, one underneath the other, and each with a little
one at its side ; that was the copy ; and next to these were a few more
letters which thought they looked just like the first; and these Hjalmar
had written; but they lay down just as if they had tumbled over the
pencil lines on which they were to stand.
" See, this is how you should hold yourselves," said the Copy. " Look,
sloping in this way, with a powerful swing!"
" Oh, we should be very glad to do that," replied Iljalinar's Letters,
"but we cannot ; we are too weakly."
"Then you must take medicine," said Ole Luk-Oie.
" Oh, no," cried they ; and they immediately stood up so gracefully
that it was beautiful to behold.
' Yes, now we cannot tell any stories," said Ole Luk-Oie ; " now I
must exercise them. One, two! one two !" and thus he exercised the
.Letters ; and they stood quite slender, and as beautiful as any copy can
be. But when Ole Luk-Oie went away, and Hjalmar looked at them
next morning, they were as weak and miserable as ever.
As soon as Hjalmar was in bed, Ole Luk-Oie touched all the furni-
ture in the room with his little magic squirt, and they immediately
began to converse together, and each one spoke of itself, with the
exception of the spittoon, which stood silent, and was vexed that they
Ole l.uk-Ole. 105
should be so vain as to speak ouly of themselves, and thiuk only of
themselves, without any regard for him who stood so modestly in the
corner for every one's use.
Over the chest of drawers hung a great picture in a gilt frame it
was a landscape. One saw therein large old trees, flowers in the grass,
and a broad river which flowed round about a forest, past many castles,
and far out into the wide ocean.
Ole Luk-Oie touched the painting with his magic squirt, and the
birds in it began to sing, the branches of the trees stirred, and the
clouds began to move across it ; one could see their shadows glide over
Now Ole Luk-Oie lifted little Hjalmar up to the frame, and put the
boy's feet into the picture, just in the high grass; and there he stood;
and the sun shone upon him through the branches of the trees. He ran
to the water, and seated himself in a little boat which lay there ; it was
painted red and white, the sails gleamed like silver, and six swans, each
with a gold circlet round its neck and a bright blue star on its forehead,
drew the boat past the great wood, where the trees tell of robbers and
witches, and the flowers tell of the graceful little elves, and of what the
butterflies have told them.
Gorgeous fishes, with scales like silver and gold, swam after their
boat ; sometimes they gave a spring, so that it splashed in the water ; and
birds, blue and red, little and great, flew after them in two long rows ;
the gnats danced, and the cockchafers said, " Boom ! boom !" They all
wanted to follow Hjalmar, and each one had a story to tell.
That was a pleasure voyage. Sometimes the forest was thick and
dark, sometimes like a glorious garden full of sunlight and flowers ; and
there were great palaces of glass and of marble ; on the balconies stood
Princesses, and these were all little girls whom Hjalmar knew well he
had already played with them. Each one stretched forth her hand, and
held out the prettiest sugar heart which ever a cake-woman could sell ;
and Hjalmar took hold of each sugar heart as he passed by, and the
Princess held fast, so that each of! them got a piece she the smaller
share, and Hjalmar the larger. At each palace little Princes stood
sentry. They shouldered golden swords, and caused raisins and tin
soldiers to shower down : one could see that they were real Princes.
Sometimes Hjalmar sailed through forests, sometimes through great
halls or through the midst of a town. He also came to the town where
his nurse lived, who had carried him in her arms when he was quite a
little boy, and who had always been so kind to him ; and she nodded
and beckoned, and sang the pretty verse she had made herself and had
sent to Hjalmar.
"I've loved thee, and kissed thce, Hjalmar, dear boy;
I 've watched thee waking and sleeping;
May the good Lord guard thee in sorrow, in joy,
And have thee in His keeping."
And all the birds sang too, the flowers danced on their stalks, and the
old trees nodded, just as if Ole Luk-Oie had been telling stories to them.
106 Stories for the Household,
How the rain was streaming down without ! Hjaliuar could hear it
in his sleep ; and when Ole Luk-Oie opened a window, the water stood
quite up to the window-sill : there was quite a lake outside, and a noble
ship lay close by the house.
" If thou wilt sail with me, little Hjalmar,'' said Ole Luk-Oie, " thou
canst voyage to-night to foreign climes, and be back again to-morrow."
And Hjalmar suddenly stood in his Sunday clothes upon the glorious
ship, and immediately the weather became fine, and they sailed through
the streets, and steered round by the church ; and now everything was
one great wild ocean. They sailed on until land was no longer to be
seen, and they saw a number of storks, who also came from their home,
and were travelling towards the hot countries : these storks flew in a
row, one behind the other, and they had already flown far far ! One
of them was so weary that his wings would scarcely carry him farther :
he was the very last in the row, and soon remained a great way behind
the rest ; at last he sank, with outspread wings, deeper and deeper ; he
gave a few more strokes with his pinions, but it was of no use ; now he
touched the rigging of the ship with his feet, then he glided down from
the sail, and bump ! he stood upon the deck.
Xow the cabin boy took him and put him into the hencoop with the
Fowls, Ducks, and Turkeys ; the poor Stork stood among them quite
" Just look at the fellow !" said all the Fowls.
And the Turkey-cock swelled himself up as much as ever he could,
and asked the Stork who he was ; and the Ducks walked backwards and
quacked to each other, " Quackery ! quackery !"
And the Stork told them of hot Africa, of the pyramids, and of the
ostrich, which runs like a wild horse through the desert ; but the Ducks
did not understand what he said, and they said to one another,
" We 're all of the same opinion, namely, that he 's stupid."
" Yes, certainly he 's stupid," said the Turkey-cock ; and he gobbled.
Then the Stork was quite silent, and thought of his Africa.
" Those are wonderful thin, legs of yours," said the Turkey-cock.
" Pray, how much do they cost a yard ?"
"Quack! quack! quack!" grinned all the Ducks; but the Stork
pretended not to hear it at all.
" You may just as well laugh too," said the Turkey-cock to him, " for
that was very wittily said. Or was it, perhaps, too high for you ? Yes,
yes, he isn't very penetrating. Let us continue to be interesting among
And then he gobbled, and the Ducks quacked, " Gick ! gack ! gick !
gack !" It was terrible how they made fun among themselves.
But Hjalmar went to the hencoop, opened the back door, and called
to the Stork ; and the Stork hopped out to him on to the deck. Xow
he had rested, and it seemed as if he nodded at Hjalmar, to thank him.
Then he spread his wings, and flew away to the warm countries ; but
Ole Luk-Oie. 107
the Fowls clucked, and the Ducks quacked, and the Turkey-cock became
fiery red iu the face.
" To-morrow we shall make songs of you," said Hjalmar ; and so saying
he awoke, and was lying in his linen bed. It was a wonderful journey
that Ole Luk-Oie had caused him to take that night.
'' I tell you what," said Ole Luk-Oie, " you must not be frightened.
Here you shall see a little Mouse," and he held out his hand with the
pretty little creature in it. " It bas come to invite you to a wedding.