The Nursery, May 1877, Vol. XXI. No. 5 online

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Produced by Emmy, Juliet Sutherland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at Music
by Linda Cantoni.



_A Monthly Magazine_


VOLUME XXI. - No. 5.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.


[Illustration: Contents]


The Young Lamplighter 129
Fourth Lesson in Astronomy 131
The Poor Blind Woman 133
"Good-morning, Sir!" 136
Playing April-Fool 138
The Eider-Duck 139
The Trial-Trip 141
Swaddling-Clothes 142
Drawing-Lesson 145
Fanny and Louise 146
True Story of a Bird 149
A Rough Sketch 151
Peter's Pets 153
The Strolling Bear 154
The Parrot and the Sparrow 156


"Popping Corn" 132
The Cooper's Song 135
Polliwogs 143
The Toad 148
That Fox 158
Grasshopper Green (_with music_) 160

[Illustration: Decoration]



[Illustration: W]ALLACE is a boy about ten years old, who lives in a
town near Boston. He has a brother Charles, eighteen years of age. These
two brothers are the town lamplighters.

There are at least fifty lamps to be lighted every night; and some of
them are a good deal farther apart than the street-lamps in large
cities. Charles takes the more distant ones for his part of the work,
and drives from post to post in a gig.

Wallace, being a small boy, calls to his aid his father's saddle-horse.
This horse is a kind, gentle creature, and as wise as he is kind. He and
Wallace are about the same age, and have always been good friends.

So when Wallace puts the saddle on him every evening, just before dark,
the horse knows just what is going to be done. He looks at the boy with
his great bright eyes, as much as to say, "We have our evening work to
do, haven't we, Wallace? Well, I'm ready: jump on."

Wallace mounts the horse; and they go straight to the nearest lamp-post.
Here the horse stops close by the post, and stands as still and steady
as the post itself.

Then Wallace stands upright on the saddle, takes a match from his
pocket, lights the lamp, drops quickly into his seat again, takes up the
bridle, gives the word to the horse, and on they go to the next

So they go on, till all the lamps allotted to Wallace are lighted. Then
they trot home merrily, and, before Wallace goes to bed himself, I am
sure he does not forget to see that his good horse is well fed and cared

This is a true story.




BECAUSE our earth has one sun and one moon, you may think all earths
have only one; but wise men have looked through their telescopes, and
have discovered that some of the stars which look to us like single
stars are really double; and many of them are clusters of three or four,
all lighting up the same planets.

Those earths, then, have more than one sun: they have two, three, or
four, as the case may be. Think of two suns. How bright it must be! And
imagine one of them red, and the other blue, as some of them are.
Wouldn't you feel as if you were living in a rainbow?

And how would you like to look out of the window in the evening and see
four moons? The wise men can see through their telescopes that Jupiter
has four and Saturn eight. (You remember I told you Jupiter and Saturn
are two of the earths lighted up by our sun.) Shouldn't you think so
many moons would make the nights so bright that one could hardly go to

On the whole, I think we get along very well as we are; and I hope the
people who live in the brightness of two suns have strong eyes given
them. It must be very beautiful, though. Perhaps you can get an idea how
it seems to have a red sun, if you look through a piece of red glass;
but I do not believe we can any of us imagine what it would be like to
have two suns of different colors.

Do you think a red sun shining on a moon makes a red moon? A colored sun
or a colored moon seems very strange to us; but I suppose the people
that are used to them would think our white light strange.

I wonder whether the two suns rise and set at the same time. But we may
all wonder and wonder. Nobody knows much about it. I hope you will all
look at a double star through a telescope, if you ever have an

M. E. R.



BRING a yellow ear of corn, and then rub, rub, rub,
Till the kernels rattle off from the nub, nub, nub!
Then put them in a hopper made of wire, wire, wire,
And set the little hopper on the fire, fire, fire!
If you find them getting lively, give a shake, shake, shake;
And a very pretty clatter they will make, make, make:
You will hear the heated grains going pop, pop, pop;
All about the little hopper, going hop, hop, hop!
When you see the yellow corn turning white, white, white,
You may know that the popping is done right, right, right:
When the hopper gets too full, you may know, know, know,
That the fire has changed your corn into snow, snow, snow:
Turn the snow into a dish, for it is done, done, done;
Then pass it round and eat - for that's the fun, fun, fun!




I HAVE a true story to tell about a colored woman who lives in the city
of Salem, not far from Boston.

She is old and poor and blind. She has had a husband and six children;
but they are all dead; her last remaining son was killed in the war, and
she is now quite alone in the world.

But she is a cheerful old body. She does not whine, nor complain, nor
beg; though she needs help much, and is very thankful for any help that
is given her.

When she goes out to walk, she finds her way as well as she can by
groping about with her big umbrella. Very often she loses her way, and
goes in the wrong direction; and sometimes she gets bewildered: but I
have never known her to be really lost or hurt. There is always somebody
to set her right; and it is pleasant to see how kind every one is to

Many a time I have seen some gentleman, while hurrying to catch his
train, stop to help her over the crossing; or some handsomely-dressed
lady take her by the arm, and set her right, when she has gone astray.

Best of all it is, though, to see the children so kind to her. She comes
to our square every Saturday; and, as she is very apt to go to the wrong
gate, the little girls - bless their dear hearts! - seem to consider it
their duty to guide her, and to help her over the slippery places.

In the picture, you may see Lily helping the poor old woman along, as I
often see her from my window. Another day it may be Lina, and the next
time Mamie; for they are all good to her. Even baby Robin runs to meet
her, and is not afraid of her black face.

Last week, these small folks had a fair for her in Lily's house. Nobody
thought they would get so much money; but they made fifty dollars out of
it. This will make the old woman comfortable for a long time.

The good woman said, when she was told what they had done, that she
hoped the Lord would reward them, for she could not.

I think he has rewarded them already by making them very happy while
they were doing this kind deed.




I AM the cooper: I bind the cask:
The sweat flows down as I drive my task;
Yet on with the hoop! And merry's the sound
As I featly pound,
And with block and hammer go travelling round,
And round and round.

I am the cooper: I bind the cask;
And gay as play is my nimble task;
And though I grow crooked with stooping to pound,
Yet merry's the sound
As with block and with hammer I journey round
And round and round.

I am the cooper: I bind the cask:
Am healthy and happy - what more shall I ask?
Not in king's palaces, I'll be bound,
Such joy is found,
Where men do nothing, and still go round,
And round and round.

So I'll still be a cooper, and bind the cask:
Bread for children and wife is all I ask;
And glad will they be at night, I'll be bound,
That, with cheerful sound,
Father all day went a-hammering round,
And round and round.



THERE was once a little robin that grew to be so tame, that it would
come to my sister Helen's door every morning for a few crumbs. Sometimes
it would perch on the table.

What a power there is in kindness! It is very pleasant to form these
friendships with birds; so that they learn to trust you and to love you.
The sound of the human voice often seems to have a strange effect on
animals, as if they almost understood your words.

My sister would say, "Good-morning, sir! Come in! Don't make yourself a
stranger. Hard times these; but you will find plenty of crumbs on the
table. Don't be bashful. You don't rob us. Try as you may, you can't eat
us out of house and home. You have a great appetite, have you? Oh, well,
eat away! No cat is prowling round."


The little bird, as if he knew that my sister was talking to him, would
chirp away, and seem quite happy. As soon as the warm weather came, his
visits were not so frequent; but, every now and then, he would make his
appearance, as if to say, "Don't forget me, Helen. I may want some more
crumbs when the cold weather comes."



IT was the last evening in March, and raining drearily out of doors; but
in mamma's sitting-room all was bright, warm, and cosey. Jim and his big
brother Rob were stretched out on the rug, feet in the air, watching the
blazing fire, and talking of the tricks they meant to play next day.

"No, sir," said Rob, "you can't fool me! I know about every way there is
of fooling; and I'd just like to see anybody try it on me!" And Rob
rolled over on his back, and studied the ceiling with a very defiant

Poor little Jim looked very much troubled; for, if Rob said he could not
be fooled, of course he couldn't be; and he did want to play a trick on
Rob so badly! At last he sprang up, saying, "I'm going to ask mamma;"
and ran out of the room. Rob waited a while; but Jim did not come back:
so he yawned, stretched, and went to bed.

Next morning, bright and early, up jumped Jim, pulled on his clothes;
wrong-side out and upside down (for he was not used to dressing
himself), and crept softly downstairs.

An hour or two later, Rob went slowly down, rubbing his eyes. He put on
his cap, and took up the pail to go for the milk; but it was very heavy.
What could be the matter with it? Why, somebody had got the milk
already. Just then, Jim appeared from behind the door, crying, "April
Fool! April Fool! You thought I couldn't fool you; but I did."

Rob looked a little foolish, but said nothing, and went out to feed his
hens. To his great surprise, the biddies were already enjoying
breakfast; and again he heard little Jim behind him, shouting, "April
Fool! April Fool!"

Poor Rob! He started to fill the kitchen wood-box; but Jim had filled
it. Jim had filled the water-pails: in fact, he had done all of Rob's
work; and at last, when he trudged in at breakfast-time, with the sugar
that Rob had been told to bring from the store the first thing after
breakfast, Rob said, "I give up, Jim. You have fooled me well. But such
tricks as yours are first-rate, and I don't care how many of them you



DID you ever sleep under an eider-down quilt? If you have, you must have
noticed how light and soft it was. Would you like to hear where the
eider-down comes from? I will tell you.


A long, long way from here, there is a country called Norway. It is a
very cold country, and very rocky; and there are a great many small
islands all around it. It is on these islands that the dear little
eider-ducks build their nests. They take a great deal of time and
trouble to make them, and they use fine seaweed, mosses, and dry sticks,
so as to make them as strong as they can.

When the mother-duck has laid four or five eggs, which are of a pretty,
green color, she plucks out some of the soft gray down that grows on her
breast, to cover them up, and keep them warm, while she goes off to find
some food.

And now what do you think happens? Why, when she comes back to sit on
her eggs, she finds that all her eggs and beautiful down have been taken
away! Oh! how she cries, and flaps her wings, to find her darling eggs

But, after a while, she lays five more, and again pulls the down out of
her dear little breast to cover them. She goes away again; and again the
people take the down away.

When she returns the second time, her cries are very sad to hear; but,
as she is a very brave little duck, she thinks she will try once more;
and this time she is left in peace, and when she has her dear little
children-ducks around her, you may be sure she is a joyful mamma.

So this is where the eider-down comes from; and, as there are a great
many ducks, the people get a great deal of down; and with this down are
made the quilts which keep us so warm in cold winter-nights.

The eider-down quilts are very light and warm; but I always feel sorry
for the poor mamma-duck.





DAVIE and Harold are two little Boston boys. They are brothers. Last
summer, they had two pretty little yachts given them by a friend. Then
they had a launch in the bath-tub; and their mamma named the yachts,
breaking a bottle of water (a small medicine-bottle) over the bows.
Davie's yacht was named the "West Wind;" and Harold's, the "Flyaway."

One afternoon, the boys went to City Point, hired a row-boat, and rowed
out about halfway to Fort Independence, where they put the little
vessels into the water for a trial-trip. It was a pretty sight to see
the sails fill with the wind, and the tiny yachts ride the waves as if
they meant to go to China before they stopped.

The "West Wind" beat the "Flyaway," and I regret to say that Davie
taunted his brother with the fact, and made him cry; for Harold is a boy
that takes every thing to heart.



DID the little readers of "The Nursery" ever think how thankful they
should be for the free use of their arms and legs? I do not believe it
ever came into their thoughts that there could be any other way than to
use them freely. But in Syria, a country many miles from here, the
mothers do not let their babies kick their feet, and hold out their dear
little hands. They are bound very closely in what are called

They are seldom undressed, and are kept in a rough cradle, and rocked to
sleep as much as possible. When the mother carries them out, she straps
them to her back; and often, on the mountains there, one may see a woman
with a baby on her back, and a great bundle of sticks in her arms.

With the sticks she makes her fire, in a room where there is no chimney,
and where the smoke often makes poor baby's eyes smart; but all he can
do, poor swaddled child, is to open his mouth, and cry.

This custom of binding the baby up so straight and tight is a very old
one. The Bible tells us, you know, that the mother of Jesus "wrapped him
in swaddling-clothes, and laid him in a manger." So the people of Syria
keep on using swaddling-clothes, thinking, that, if they do not, the
baby will grow crooked.


They are used in Russia also, and in other countries of northern Europe.
Poor babies! We pity them.



THE cat-tails all along the brook
Are growing tall and green;
And in the meadow-pool, once more,
The polliwogs are seen;
Among the duck-weed, in and out,
As quick as thought they dart about;
Their constant hurry, to and fro,
It tires me to see:
I wish they knew it did no good
To so uneasy be!
I mean to ask them if they will
Be, just for one half-minute, still!
"Be patient, little polliwogs,
And by and by you'll turn to frogs."

But what's the use to counsel them?
My words are thrown away;
And not a second in one place
A polliwog will stay.
They still keep darting all about
The floating duck-weed, in and out.
Well, if they will so restless be,
I will not let it trouble me,
But leave these little polliwogs
To wriggle till they turn to frogs!




VOL. XXI. - NO. 5.]


FANNY was a little pony, and Louise was a little girl. Fanny had a long
black mane and tail, and Louise had long brown curls. Louise wore a
gypsy-hat with blue ribbons, and Fanny wore a saddle and bridle with
blue girths and reins.

Louise was a gentle little girl, and Fanny was a very headstrong pony;
consequently Fanny had it all her own way. When she was trotting along
the road, with Louise on her back, if she chanced to spy a nice prickly
thistle away up on a bank, up she would scramble, as fast as she could
go, the sand and gravel rolling down under her hoofs; and, no matter how
hard Louise pulled on the reins, there she would stay until she had
eaten the thistle down to the very roots. Then she would back down the
bank, and trot on.

Fanny was fond of other good things besides thistles. She would spy an
apple on a tree, no matter how thick the leaves were; and, without
waiting to ask Louise's permission, she would run under the tree,
stretch her head up among the branches, and even raise herself up on her
hind-legs, like a dog, to reach the apple.

Louise would clasp Fanny around the neck, and bury her face in her mane:
but she often got scratched by the little twigs; and many a long hair
has she left waving from the apple-boughs after such an adventure.

Whenever Fanny smelled any very savory odor issuing from the kitchen,
she would trot up, and put her head in at the window, waiting for Biddy
to give her a doughnut or cooky. One day a boy named Frank borrowed
Fanny, as he wished to ride out with a little girl from the city. As
they were passing a farm-house, Fanny perceived by the smell that some
one was frying crullers there.


She immediately ran down the lane to the house, and stuck her head in at
the open window, and would not stir from the spot until the farmer's
wife gave her a cruller. Then she went quickly back to the road, and
behaved very properly all the rest of the way.

Fanny was such a good pony, with all her tricks, that the neighbors
often used to borrow her. This Fanny did not think at all fair; and she
soon found a way to put a stop to it. One warm summer day, the minister
borrowed her in order to visit a sick man about two miles away. After
several hours he returned, very warm and tired, walking through the
dust, and leading Fanny, who came limping along, holding down her head,
and appearing to be very lame.

She had fallen lame when only half-way to the sick man's house; and the
good old minister had led her all the way, rather than ride her when she
was lame. All the family gathered around Fanny to see where she was
hurt, when Fanny tossed her head, kicked up her heels, and pranced off
to the stable, no more lame than a young kitten. It had been all a trick
to punish the minister for borrowing her. And it succeeded; for he never
asked for Fanny again.

L. S. H.



WHAT a curious thing is the little brown toad;
Do come and look at it, pray!
It sits in the grass, and, when we come near,
Just hops along out of our way.

It does not know how to sing like a bird,
Nor honey to make like a bee;
'Tis not joyous and bright like a butterfly;
Oh, say, of what use can it be?

But, since God made it, and placed it here,
He must have meant it to stay:
So we will be kind to you, little brown toad,
And you need not hop out of our way.

E. A. B.



ONE day last spring, in looking over the contents of some boxes which
had long been stowed away in the attic, I found some pieces of lace,
which, though old-fashioned, seemed to me very pretty. But they were
yellow with age, - quite too yellow for use.

I took them to the kitchen, and, after a nice washing, spread them on
the grass to bleach. I knew that the bright sun would soon take away
their yellow hue.

A day or two after, Johnnie came running in, and said, "Auntie, the
birds are carrying off all your old rags out there," pointing to the
place where the laces were spread. Out I went to see about my "old
rags," as he called them; and I found that several pieces were missing.
We knew that the birds must have taken them; but, where to look for
them, we could not tell.

That afternoon, Johnny invited me and his cousins to take a row with him
in his boat to Rocky Island, of which the readers of "The Nursery" have
heard before. We were all glad to go. As we were passing some bushes on
the bank of the river, one of us spied something white among them. We
wondered what it could be.

Johnny rowed nearer; and we could see that it was a piece of lace.
Rowing nearer still, we saw another piece, and another, and at the same
time heard the flutter of wings. We then asked to be landed, and our
boatman soon brought us to shore in fine style.

On parting the bushes, we saw a nest just begun, and a piece of lace
near it, but not woven in. Close by were four other pieces; but they
were all caught by the little twigs, so that the bird could not get them
to the nest. We took the lace off carefully, leaving the nest as it was,
and brought it away with us.

On returning to the house, the children measured the lace, and found
nearly six yards, the largest piece being about two yards. It seemed
quite a lift for the little birds; and it was too bad that after all
they did not get the use of it. But do you think they were discouraged?

Oh, no! for they soon had a nice nest built; and one day Johnny found an
egg in the nest, which, from its bright hue, he knew to be a robin's
egg. This was followed by other eggs, and, in due time, by a whole brood
of young birds.




HERE is a boy drawing on a wall. He is a shoemaker's boy. His name is

Tom, the baker's boy, and a little girl named Ann are looking on. "What
is it?" asks Ann at sight of the picture.

"It's a fine lady, of course," says Tom. "Don't you see her head-dress


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