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THE SWISS TWINS

By Lucy Fitch Perkins


Also by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Geographical Series

THE DUTCH TWINS PRIMER. Grade!.

THE DUTCH TWINS AND LITTLE BROTHER. Grade II.

THE FARM TWINS. Grades I-III.

THE ESKIMO TWINS. Grade II.

THE DUTCH TWINS. Grade III.

THE PICKANINNY TWINS. Grades III-IV.

THE CHINESE TWINS. Grades III-IV.

THE JAPANESE TWINS. Grade IV.

THE SWISS TWINS. Grade IV.

THE NORWEGIAN TWINS. Grades IV-V.

THE FILIPINO TWINS. Grade V.

THE IRISH TWINS. Grade V.

THE ITALIAN TWINS. Grade V.

THE MEXICAN TWINS. Grade V.

THE SCOTCH TWINS. Grade VI.

THE SPANISH TWINS. Grades VI-VII.

THE BELGIAN TWINS. Grade VII.

THE FRENCH TWINS. Grade VII.


Historical Series

THE INDIAN TWINS. Grades III-IV.

THE CAVE TWINS. Grade IV.

THE SPARTAN TWINS. Grade V.

THE COLONIAL TWINS OF VIRGINIA. Grade VI.

THE AMERICAN TWINS OF1812. Grade VI.

THE PIONEER TWINS. Grade VI.

THE AMERICAN TWINS OF THE REVOLUTION. Grade VII.

THE PURITAN TWINS. Grade VII.

Each volume is illustrated by the author

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY LUCY FITCH PERKINS

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO REPRODUCE
THIS BOOK OR PARTS THEREOF IN ANY FORM

The Riverside Press

CAMBRIDGE - MASSACHUSETTS

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.


CONTENTS

I. THE RESPONSIBLE CUCKOO

II. THE TWINS LEARN A NEW TRADE

III. A MOUNTAIN STORM

IV. THE LONELY HERDSMAN

V. THE PASS

VI. NEW FRIENDS AND OLD

This book belongs to


I. THE RESPONSIBLE CUCKOO

THE RESPONSIBLE CUCKOO

High on the kitchen wall of an old farm-house on a mountainside
in Switzerland there hangs a tiny wooden clock. In the tiny
wooden clock there lives a tiny wooden cuckoo, and every hour he
hops out of his tiny wooden door, takes a look about to see what
is going on in the world, shouts out the time of day, and pops
back again into his little dark house, there to wait and tick
away the minutes until it is time once more to tell the hour.

Late one spring afternoon, just as the sun was sinking out of
sight, lighting up the snow-capped mountains with beautiful
colors and sending long shafts of golden light across the
valleys, the cuckoo woke with a start.

"Bless me!" he said to himself, "Here it is six o'clock and not a
sound in the kitchen! It's high time for Mother Adolf to be
getting supper. What in the world this family would do without me
I really cannot think! They'd never know it was supper time if I
didn't tell them, and would starve to death as likely as not. It
is lucky for them I am such a responsible bird." The tiny wooden
door flew open and he stuck out his tiny wooden head. There was
not a sound in the kitchen but the loud ticking of the clock.

"Just as I thought," said the cuckoo. "Not a soul here."

There stood the table against the kitchen wall, with a little
gray mouse on it nibbling a crumb of cheese. Along finger of
sunlight streamed through the western window and touched the
great stone stove, as if trying to waken the fire within. A beam
fell upon a pan of water standing on the floor and sent gay
sparkles of light dancing over the shining tins in the cupboard.
The cuckoo saw it all at a glance. "This will never do," he
ticked indignantly. There was a queer rumbling sound in his
insides as if his feelings were getting quite too much for him,
and then suddenly he sent a loud "cuckoo" ringing through the
silent room. Instantly the little gray mouse leaped down from the
table and scampered away to his hole in the wall, the golden
sunbeam flickered and was gone, and shadows began to creep into
the corners. "Cuckoo, cuckoo," he shouted at the top of his
voice, "cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo," - six times in all, - and then,
his duty done, he popped back again into his little dark house,
and the door clicked behind him.

Out in the garden Mother Adolf heard him and, raising her head
from the onion-bed, where she was pulling weeds, she counted on
her fingers, "One, two, three, four, five, six! Bless my soul,
six o'clock and the sun already out of sight behind old Pilatus,"
she said, and, rising from her knees a little stiffly, she stood
for a moment looking down the green slopes toward the valley.

Far, far below, the blue waters of Lake Lucerne mirrored the
glowing colors of the mountain-peaks beyond its farther shore,
and nearer, among the foothills of old Pilatus itself, a little
village nestled among green trees, its roofs clustered about a
white church-spire. Now the bells in the steeple began to ring,
and the sound floated out across the green fields spangled with
yellow daffodils, and reached Mother Adolf where she stood. Bells
from more distant villages soon joined in the clamor, until all
the air was filled with music and a hundred echoes woke in the
mountains.

The tiny wooden cuckoo heard them and ticked loudly with
satisfaction. "Everybody follows me," he said to himself proudly.
"I wake all the bells in the world."

"Where can the children be?" said Mother Adolf aloud to herself,
looking about the garden. "I haven't heard a sound from either
the baby or the Twins for over an hour," and, making a hollow
between her lands, she added her own bit of music to the chorus
of the hills.

(line of music notation)

she sang, and immediately from behind the willows which fringed
the brook at the end of the garden two childish voices gave back
an answering strain.

(line of music notation)

A moment later two sunburned, towheaded, blue-eyed children, a
boy and girl of ten, appeared, dragging after them a box mounted
on rough wooden wheels in which there sat a round, pink, blue-
eyed cherub of a baby. Shouting with laughter, they came tearing
up the garden path to their mother's side.

"Hush, my children," said Mother Adolf, laying her finger on her
lips. "It is the Angelus."

The shouts were instantly silenced, and the two children stood
beside the mother with clasped hands and bowed heads until the
echoes of the bells died away in the distance.

Far down on the long path to the village a man, bending under the
weight of a huge basket, also stood still for a moment in silent
prayer, then toiled again up the steep slope.

"See," cried Mother Adolf as she lifted her head, "there comes
Father from the village with bread for our supper in his basket.
Run, Seppi, and help him bring the bundles home. Our Fritz will
soon be coming with the goats, too, and he and Father will both
be as hungry as wolves and in a hurry for their supper. Hark!"
she paused to listen.

Far away from out the blue shadows of the mountain came the sound
of a horn playing a merry little tune.

"There's Fritz now," cried Mother Adolf. "Hurry, Seppi, and you,
Leneli, come with me to the kitchen. You can give little Roseli
her supper, while I spread the table and set the soup to boil
before the goats get here to be milked." She lifted the baby in
her arms as she spoke, and set off at a smart pace toward the
house, followed by Leneli dragging the cart and playing peek-a-
boo with the baby over her mother's shoulder.

When they reached the door, Leneli sat down on the step, and
Mother Adolf put the baby in her arms and went at once into the
quiet house. Then there was a sound of quick steps about the
kitchen, a rattling of the stove, and a clatter of tins which
must have pleased the cuckoo, and soon she reappeared in the door
with a bowl and spoon in her hands.

The bowl she gave to Leneli, and little Roseli, crowing with
delight, seized the spoon and stuck it first into an eye, and
then into her tiny pink button of a nose, in a frantic effort to
find her mouth. It was astonishing to Baby Roseli how that
rosebud mouth of hers managed to hide itself, even though she was
careful to keep it wide open while she searched for it. When she
had explored her whole face with the spoon in vain, Leneli took
the tiny hand in hers and guided each mouthful down the little
red lane.

Over their heads the robin in the cherry tree by the door sat
high up on a twig and chirped a good-night song to his nestlings.
"Cherries are ripe, cherries are ripe, cherries are ripe in
June," sang the robin. At least that is what Leneli told the baby
he said, and surely she ought to know.

Before Baby Roseli had finished the last mouthful of her supper,
Father and Seppi appeared with the bundles, and then there was
the clatter of many little hoofs on the hard earth of the door-
yard, and round the corner of the old gray farm-house came big
brother Fritz with the goats. With Fritz came Bello, his faithful
dog, barking and wagging his tail for joy at getting home again.
Bello ran at once to Leneli and licked her hand, nearly upsetting
the bowl of milk in his noisy greeting, and the baby crowed with
delight and seized him by his long, silky ears.

"Down, Bello, down," cried Leneli, holding the bowl high out of
reach; "you'll spill the baby's supper!" And Bello, thinking she
meant that he should beg for it, sat up on his hind legs with his
front paws crossed and barked three times, as Fritz had taught
him to do.

"He must have a bite or he'll forget his manners," laughed Fritz,
and Leneli broke off a crumb of bread and tossed it to him. Bello
caught it before it fell, swallowed it at one gulp, and begged
for more.

"No, no," said Leneli, "good old Bello, go now with Fritz and
help him drive the goats to the milking-shed, and by and by you
shall have your supper."

Fritz whistled, and instantly Bello was off like a shot after
Nanni, the brown goat, who was already on her way to the garden
to eat the young green carrot-tops she saw peeping out of the
ground.

"It's time that child was in bed," said the cuckoo to himself,
and out he came from his little house and called "cuckoo" seven
times so reproachfully that Leneli hastened upstairs with the
baby and put her down in her crib at once.

Baby Roseli did not agree with the cuckoo. She wanted to stay up
and play with Bello, and hear the robin sing, but Leneli sat down
beside the crib, and while Mother Adolf milked the goats she sang
over and over again an old song.

"Sleep, baby, sleep!

Thy father watches the sheep,

Thy mother is shaking the dreamland tree

And down falls a little dream on thee.

Sleep, baby, sleep!"


"Sleep, baby, sleep!

The large stars are the sheep,

The little stars are the lambs, I guess,

And the silver moon is the shepherdess.

Sleep, baby, sleep!"

Over and over she sang it, until at last the heavy lids closed
over the blue eyes. Then she crept quietly down the creaking
stairs in the dark, and ate her bread and cheese and drank her
soup by candle-light with her father and mother, Seppi and Fritz,
all seated about the kitchen table.

By nine o'clock the room was once more silent and deserted, the
little mouse was creeping quietly from his hole in the wall, and
Bello lay by the door asleep with his nose on his paws. High over
Mt. Pilatus the moon sailed through the star-lit sky, bathing the
old gray farm-house in silver light and playing hide and seek
with shadows on the snow-capped peaks.

"Cuckoo," called the tiny wooden cuckoo nine times, and at once
the bells in the village steeple answered him. "That's as it
should be," ticked the cuckoo. "That church-bell is really very
intelligent. Let me see; to-morrow morning I must wake the
roosters at three, and the sun at four, and the family must be up
by five. I'll just turn in and get a wink of sleep myself while I
can," and he popped into the clock ones more and shut the door.


II. THE TWINS LEARN A NEW TRADE

THE TWINS LEARN A NEW TRADE

At five o'clock the next morning Father and Mother Adolf were
already up, and the cuckoo woke Fritz, but though he shouted five
times with all his might and main, neither Seppi nor Leneli
stirred in their sleep.

"Fritz, go wake the Twins," said Mother Adolf, when he came to
the door of the shed where she was milking the goats. "Only don't
wake the baby. I want her to sleep as long as she will."

"Yes, Mother," said Fritz dutifully, and he was off at once,
leaping up the creaky stairs three steps at a time.

He went first to Leneli's bed and tickled her toes. She drew up
her knees and slept on. Then he went to Seppi's bed, and when
shaking and rolling over failed to rouse him, he took him by one
leg and pulled him out of bed. Seppi woke up with a roar and cast
himself upon Fritz, and in a moment the two boys were rolling
about on the floor, yelling like Indians. The uproar woke Leneli,
and the baby too, and Mother Adolf, hearing the noise, came
running from the goat-shed just in time to find Seppi sitting on
top of Fritz beating time on his stomach to a tune which he was
singing at the top of his lungs. The baby was crowing with
delight as she watched the scuffle from Leneli's arms.

Mother Adolf gazed upon this lively scene with dismay. Then she
picked Seppi off Fritz's stomach and gazed sternly at her oldest
son. "Fritz," said she, "I told you to be quiet and not wake the
baby."

"I was quiet," said Fritz, sitting up. "I was just as quiet as I
could be, but they wouldn't wake up that way, so I had to pull
Seppi out of bed; there was no other way to get him up." He
looked up at his mother with such honest eyes that in spite of
herself her lips twitched and then she smiled outright.

"I should have known better than to send such a great overgrown
pup of a boy as you on such an errand," she said. "Bello would
have done it better. Next time I shall send him.

"And now, since you are all awake, I will tell you the great news
that Father told me last night. He has been chosen by the commune
to take the herds of the village up to the high alps to be gone
all summer. He will take Fritz with him to guard the cattle while
he makes the cheese. There is no better cheese-maker in all the
mountains than your father, and that is why the commune chose
him," she finished proudly.

More than anything else in the world, every boy in that part of
Switzerland longs to go with the herds to the high mountain
pastures for the summer, and Fritz was so delighted that he
turned a somersault at once to express his feelings. When he was
right side up again, a puzzled look came over his face, and he
said, "Who will take care of our own goats?"

"Ah," answered his mother, and she sighed a little. "There is no
one but Seppi and Leneli. Together they must fill your place, and
you, Fritz, must take them with you to-day up the mountain to
learn the way and begin their work."

"To-day! This very day?" screamed the Twins. They had never been
up to the goat-pastures in their lives, and it was a most
exciting event.

Then Leneli thought of her mother. She flung her arms about her
neck. "But who will stay with you, dear Mother?" she cried. "All
day you will be alone, with everything to do and no one to speak
to but the baby."

"Yes," sighed the mother, "that is true. It will be a long,
lonely summer for me, but there is no other way, so we must each
do our part bravely and not complain. It is good fortune that
Father and Fritz will both be earning money in the alps, and,
with wise old Bello to help you, you will soon be as good
goatherds as your brother. Come, now, hurry and eat your
breakfasts, for the goats are already milked and impatient to be
gone."

She took Roseli in her arms and disappeared down the stairs, and
when, a few moments later, the Twins and Fritz came into the
kitchen, she had their breakfast of bread and milk ready for
them, and their luncheon of bread and cheese wrapped in a clean
white cloth for Fritz to put in his pocket.

Father Adolf came back from the garden, where he had been hoeing
potatoes, to see the little procession start away for the hills.
First came the goats, frisking about in the fresh morning air and
jingling all their bells. Then came Bello, looking very
important, then Fritz with a cock's feather in his cap and his
little horn and his cup slung over his shoulder, and last of all
the Twins.

"It's a long way, my children," said Mother Adolf, as she kissed
them good-bye. "Your legs will get tired, but you must climb on
just the same. If every one stopped when he was tired, the
world's work would never be done. Learn the way carefully and
remember always to pray if any danger comes. You are very near
the good God on the mountain, and He will take care of you if you
ask Him, never fear."

"Obey Fritz," said Father Adolf, "and do not stray off by
yourselves. Stay always with Fritz and the goats."

"We will," cried the Twins, and away they ran to join their
brother, who was already some little distance ahead of them. They
turned as the path rounded the great cliff where the echoes
lived, and the Twins waved their hands, while Fritz played his
merry little tune on the horn. Then the rocks hid them from view,
and the long climb began in earnest.

It was many rough uphill miles to the alps where the goats were
pastured, and the stout little legs ached with weariness long
before they reached the patches of green grass which were
reserved for them. On the way up they passed fields where cows
were grazing, and Bello had hard work to keep the goats in the
path, but these pastures were only for cows, and goats were not
allowed in them. For two hours they climbed steadily up and up,
following a mountain path that led sometimes beside a rushing
brook, sometimes along the edges of dizzy precipices, and always
among rocks with wonderful views of distant snow-capped peaks
above them and green, green valleys below.

At last, when it seemed to the weary children that they could not
go another step, they came out upon a high pasture, where Fritz
called a halt. The goats leaped joyfully forward, snatching
greedy mouthfuls of the rich green grass which grew among the
rocks. Bello flopped heavily down on a flat stone with his tongue
hanging out, and Fritz and the Twins rolled over on their backs
on a soft carpet of grass to rest.

Almost at once Seppi said, "I'm hungry."

"So 'm I," said Leneli.

"You'll be hungry all the time up here," said Fritz
encouragingly. "It's the air."

"Let's eat," urged Seppi.

Fritz took the package of luncheon from his pocket and opened it.


"It looks very small. It looks a great deal smaller than it did
at home," said Leneli. "I wonder why?"

"You are hungrier now than you were then," said Fritz.

"I could eat it all myself," said Seppi.

"But you won't," laughed Fritz; "I'll see to that." He divided
the bread and cheese into three equal portions and handed one to
each of the Twins. The third he put in his own pocket. "Now I
don't care what you do with yours," he said; "only, if you eat it
all now, you'll be hungry enough to browse with the goats before
it's time to go home. Better take just a bite and a drink of
water and eat more by and by."

Seppi looked hungrily at his portion and took a bite. Then he
just couldn't stop, and before he knew it his whole luncheon was
gone and it was only nine o'clock in the morning!

Leneli took two bites of hers, and then, wrapping it carefully in
the piece of cloth, placed it high up on an overhanging rock out
of the way of temptation. Then, while Fritz was teaching Seppi
all the tricks of a goat-boy's trade, she found a soft patch of
grass all spangled with blue gentians and fell asleep with her
head on her arm. She slept for some time, and Fritz and Seppi,
seeing how tired she was, did not disturb her.

She was roused at last by the tinkling of a goat-bell almost over
her head, and woke up just in time to see her luncheon, cloth and
all, disappearing into the mouth of Nanni, the brown goat! Poor
Leneli screamed with dismay, and Fritz and Seppi, thinking
perhaps she had hurt herself, came dashing to her side. Leneli
was boiling with rage. She could only point at Nanni, who stood
calmly out of reach above them with the last scrap of cloth
dangling from her lips.

"You wretched, black-hearted pig of a goat!" she screamed,
stamping her foot. "You've eaten every bit of my lunch, and I'd
only taken two little teeny bites! Oh, I wish I'd eaten it all
like that greedy Seppi!"

Fritz and Seppi were sorry, but when they saw the goat looking
down at Leneli so calmly while she stormed and scolded below,
they rolled over on the ground helpless with laughter.

"It's all very well for you to laugh, sniffed Leneli; "you've
both got your lunches," and she went away quite sulkily and sat
down on a stone by herself. Bello came and sat beside her and
licked her hand.

Fritz had to dash away just then after a straying goat, but he
was soon back again with his luncheon in his hand. "Here," he
said, "you can have some of my bread and cheese."

"Oh, Fritzi," said Leneli gratefully, "you are as good and kind
as that goat is bad, but I'm going to take only a teeny mouthful,
just to keep me from starving!"

"All right," said Fritz, holding the slice of bread for her to
bite. "To-morrow we'll ask Mother to put up more bread and
cheese, and if you get hungry again, you can milk old Nanni
herself and get even with her that way."

"But I don't know how to milk," said Leneli with her mouth full.

"It's time you learned then," said Fritz briskly. "You've seen
Mother do it over and over again. Come, I'll teach you."

Nanni, the goat, had leaped down from her high perch, and was now
taking a drink from a little sparkling mountain rill which flowed
through the pasture.

"Come along," said Fritz. "There's no time like the present,"
and, taking his cup in his hand, he started toward her.

Leneli hung back a little. "Nanni is the naughtiest goat in the
whole flock," she said resentfully. "If it weren't for getting my
lunch back, I wouldn't try to milk her."

It may be that Nanni heard it and was offended, or it may be that
she knew that she had no milk to give them so early in the
morning. Anyway, she made up her mind she would not be bothered
at that time of day, so as fast as they came near her, she walked
on a few steps, and by the time they had reached that spot she
had moved farther still.

"We mustn't frighten her," said Fritz, "It's bad for the milk."

For some time they patiently followed her about, and at last just
as they were ready to lay hands upon her, she suddenly leaped
upon a rock and from that to a higher one, until she stood far
out of reach on a dizzy overhanging cliff.

"That Nanni!" cried Fritz wrathfully as he prepared to follow
her. "She'll break her pesky neck and mine too some day."

He climbed a tree for a short cut to the cliff and dropped from
an overhanging branch to the narrow shelf of rock in front of the
goat. Bello, meanwhile, ran back and forth below, barking like
everything, but quite unable either to follow Nanni up the steep
trail, or to climb the tree as Fritz had done.

"Come, Nanni," said Fritz, holding out his hand as he stepped
carefully toward her.

Nanni sniffed and backed. Leneli and Seppi watched from below,
breathless with anxiety. If she should back too much she might
fall over the cliff and be killed. If she should dash forward she
might knock Fritz over it instead. But Fritz was a wise goat-
boy! He put his hand in his pocket and drew out a handful of
salt, which he kept for just such times as this. He held it out
toward Nanni and carefully and slowly backed away from the edge
of the cliff, coaxing her to follow him. As she stepped forward,
he stepped back, and in this way led her by a roundabout path
down the farther side of the rocks to the place where the other
goats wore still feeding.

"Oh, Fritzi, I never could do that," said Leneli, hugging him
when he was on safe ground once more. "I should be so
frightened."

"I could," said Seppi promptly; "I'm not afraid."

"Don't you try it, young man," said Fritz, "unless it's the only
thing you can do. The best goat-boy is the one who keeps his
goats from getting into such places. It's much cleverer to keep
out of trouble than to get out."

They gave up the milking lesson for the time being, but when the
long day was over and they were on their way down the mountain-
pass in the late afternoon, they came to a wide level space. Here
they paused, and, while Seppi stood with his arm about Nanni's
neck and fed her handfuls of green grass, Leneli really did milk
enough for a refreshing drink to sustain her on the long homeward
journey.


Singing, playing tunes on the horn, and rousing the ever-ready
echoes with their yodels, they ran down the steep mountain path
in a much shorter time than it had taken to climb it in the
morning, and came in sight of the old farm-house just as the


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