Emilie Poulsson.

In the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes online

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chrysalis grave, she said: " I shall be a Butterfly some day!"

But her relations thought her head was wandering, and they
said, " Poor thing!"

And when she was a Butterfly, and was going to die again, she
said: " I have known many wonders — I have faith — I can trust
even now for what shall come next."

Margaret (tatty.
In ^^ Parables from Nature.'^



I



THE CATERPILLAR.




To THE Teacuek: —

Whoever has once had the pleasure i-f
bringing the beautiful marvel of the cat-
erpillar's metamorphosis to a child's
notice will scarcely need any other
incentive than the delight of that expe-
rience to lead her to repeat it as often as
possible. Perhaps there are some people who only know the wonder by
hearsay, and accept it indifferently among other zoolouical facts. Let
me tell you, friends, the world has a new delight to offer you. Do not
forego it any longer. Get a box, fill it half full of earth and fasten a
piece of netting over the top.

When you see a caterpillar on plant or tree, capture him and place him
in this box, taking care also to break off some leaves of that particular
plant or tree for him to eat. Keep the caterpillar supplied with food,
and then watch and wait, and you will surely be repaid for your trouble.
The caterpillar which feeds on the milkweed is a very obliging
creature. I remember how a dozen of them hung themselves under my
window at the farmhouse; and some were even so kind as to split their
old coats and drop them off' while we watched them. And when the
marvelous chrysalis appeared !— vivid green with tiny spots of bright
gold!— and when my first little butterfly crawled out, dripping and
bedraggled looking, to be sure, but soon as gay a creature as ever spread
wings! — ah ! tliere are few pleasures like the pleasure of that experience.
This change of outward form, while the inner life continues uninter-
ruptedly, is one of nature's most beautiful symbolisms, and every child
should be in possession of it.

While teacher and children are watching the miracle, the work and
play in the kindergarten will, of course, illustrate the same idea.

A good series in clay is first a leaf with tiny eggs upon it; then the
caterpillar; then the chrysalis (or cocoon if your caterpillar makes one);
the butterfly or moth is rather difficult, but is an interesting and valua-
ble lesson. Model the parts separately.

In the butterfly game, the change which is now made from "a little
worm is on the ground " to " a caterpillar's on the ground " is a welcome
one as being nearer the truth. A worm lives and dies a worm. It does
not turn into a butterfly.

Neither does the cocoon break up into ever so many butterflies or
moths, as one could but infer from seeing the game as played in some
kindergartens. "But," says one of these kindergartners, "it is so



314 IN THE child's WOKLD.

pretty, and it gives so many children sometliing to do in the game."
"And tlien," says another, "we must not be too hteral. Children are
natural poets. We must give them poetic interpretations."

Are the kindergarten games, then, merely pretty spectacles or merely
outlets for the effervescence of childhood? The teacher who finds noth-
ing more in the games, and the one who thoughtlessly allows the playing
of the games to degenerate into these, has missed a vital point in
Frcehel's theory.

The kindergarten surely provides ample scope for the development of
the child's imagination. There will be no danger of hampering it, how-
ever careful we are as to the accuracy of all the impressions we give in
the plays and songs. And, if any impressions last, be sure that the false
ones, given in our strivings against being too literal, will last as long as
any of the others.

To return to the part of the butterfly game which is under discussion.
In some kindergartens the game is made a true representation as well as
a charming play.

After tlie butterfly has emerged, the winds whistle and blow the empty
chrysalis about and break it to pieces. As the one butterfly from the
chrysalis flits here and there seeking honey, it discovers other butterflies
(children previously chosen) hiding among the flowers.

Many other ways might be suggested, but, whatever may be the way
in which this or any representative game is played, let it be one which is
essentially true and according to nature.

As to the untrue finale being more "poetic," is that really the ca.se?
Ready to my hand I find a quotation from an essay " On Poetic Inter-
pretation of Nature," by Prof. J. C. Shairp: —

^^ Every neio province of knowledge which science coicquers, poetry may
in turn enter into and possess. * * * * And here we see how liuely
science and poetry may interact and minister to each other."

Wordsworth also affirms that *^ the remotest discoveries of the chemist,
the botanist and the mineralogist^'' (if familiarized to men) are " as proper
ohjects of the poeVs art as any upon which it can he employed.''^

Shall we not, then, trust the word of critic and poet regarding these

relations, and avoid putting science and poetry in opposition, when they

may so beautifully agree?

E. P.
" The Kindergarten Magazivt."



IN THE CHILD S AVOKT.I). 315



THE TALK.

We are going to have some pets in the kindergarten. When
we keep pets we must be very careful to make them comfortable
and liappy.

What pets have you at home? What do they need? Food
and shelter, for comfort; love, shown by kindness and petting,
for happiness.

The little pets which we shall have here will need food and
air. The kindest thing we can do for them is to give them
plenty of fresh leaves of just the kind they like; they do not
seem to care for anything else.

What shape is the caterpillar's body? What is it covered with?
What colors do you see on it? How does it move? How many
legs at the front part of its body? At the back part? Those
at the front part are its real feet; the short, thick ones at the
back are only folds of the skin to help the caterpillar to cling to
leaves and stems, and to support his body as he crawls.

Somebody with very sharp eyes may come and look at the side
of the caterpillar and tell me what he sees. Little spots? Yes,
spots which are not merely pretty but which are very necessary,
for they are the caterpillar's breathing holes. How do ive
breathe? (An opportunity comes here for a hygienic hint con-
cerning breathing through the nostrils, so carefully lined with
protecting hairs, instead of through the mouth.)

How do fishes breathe? (Let the children have a picture of a
fish and point out the gills. Ask again how the caterpillar
breathes. Notice its small eyes and compare with the large and
brilliant eye of the butterfly. The observation of the caterpillar
should be carried on from day to day. If you do not succeed m
being present when the skin is being cast, you will at least find
the old skin in a little bunch somewhere in the box or jar; that
is, unless your caterpillar belongs to the kind which eats its old
clothes every time it comes out in new ones! The rewards of
constant watching are well worth the trouble.)

There are some things about caterpillars that our eyes are not



316 IN THK UHILl/S WORLD.

sharp enough to see; but the wise men have used glasses and
found out many wonders. They tell us that some caterpillars
have a spinning tube in the lower lip and two bags in the body
out of which they get a silky stuff. This silky stuff comes out
through the spinning tube and stiffens to a thread as soon as
the air touches it.

When this kind of caterpillar has eaten and grown all it can
and is ready to make its chrysalis, it winds this tine, filmy thread
all around itself till it is entirely shut in by a silken wall with
no windows or doors, no opening anywhere.

(Show cocoon.) Inside this snug cocoon the caterpillar makes
its chrysalis. Should you think there was anything alive in the
cocoon? Is it not a safe resting place for the caterpillar? And
is it not wonderful that the little creature could make it?

Other caterpillars make other kinds of cocoons. Some will
wrap themselves about with leaves, fastening theni with the
silky threads. Some of the hairy caterpillars pull the hairs out
of their own bodies and weave them together. And some make
comfortable and safe cocoons out of bits of wood, held together
by the same home-made silk.

The caterpillars which make these curious homes fur them-
selves do not change into butterflies, but into moths, which are
verv much like butterflies in some ways and different in others.



TEACHER'S READING.

The same as under " The Butteitiy."

Larva?, - - - - - A. D. T. Whitney

FOR THE CHILDREN.
The Green House with Gold Nails ("Kindergarten Stones

and Morning Talks''), . . . . ^. E. Wiltse

A Funny Little Log House (" Little Folks in Feathers and

Fur"), - - - - - - - ■ O. T. Miller



IN THE child's WORLD. 817



STORIES

••SUCH A BEAUTY."

" Cliip-chip-chee-ee-e,
What shall our breakfast be-ee?"

sang a mother bird, her bright eyes glancing here, there, every-
where.

'*0 mother! mother! See-ee!
Here vipon the tree-ee-e,"

sang one of the young birds, peeping through the leufy branches
and imitating his mother's tones as well as he could.

The mother hopped nearer to the eager young bird and looked
down. There she spied a plumii, big caterpillar of a handsome
pale-green color and ornamented with bright little knobs of red,
yellow and blue.

■• (Jhip-cliip-cliee-ee,
None of that for mc-ec,"

sang the mother bird in a most excited manner. And then she
called her young birds to look at the caterpillar. She earnestly
told them to notice Avell every mark upon it, for it was not at all
good to eat, and they must never touch it. Not onlv was this
kind of caterpillar disagreeable to the taste, but she had heard
that it was poisonous.

*^'Now tell me just how it looks," said tlie anxious mother,
'*' so that I may bo sure that you know and will never try to
catch this kind."

So the young birds described the caterpillar, peering down so
as to tell exactly how it looked. They said that it was like new
leaves, or the lettuce in the garden; that it had some spots like
tiny cherries, and some like the bluest of blueberries. '' It is
very strange that this caterpillar should not be good to eat,"
said one of the young birds, " when it looks like so many things
which are very good.'*



318 IN THE child's WORLD.

" See, mother, there are yellow seeds on its back, too! " chirped
the other little bird.

"They look like seeds, I know," said the mother; ''but of
course they are not. All these gay colors and knobs will help
you to remember the kind of caterpillar you are not to eat. I
am glad it is such a beauty." Satisfied that her birdlings now
knew the pretty caterpillar as an unsafe kind of food, she spread
her wings and flew away, singing; —

" Chip-chip-cliee-ee-e!
Off to the apple tree-ee-e.
Fri;it shall our breakfast be.
Away, away with me."

And the little ones followed, trying to keep up with her, and
doing well, considering how short a time they had been out of
their nest and on their wings, so to speak.

What about the caterpillar all this time? Oh! it had been
placidly eating as usual, not at all disturbed by the bird-talk
going on above. Very well contented that its gay coat should be
such a good protection, it wriggled itself along farther and began
to nibble a fresh leaf.

A few days later the caterpillar, whose appetite had [failed,
began to feel very strangely.

*' I feel as if I should like to hide and sleep," it thought.
*' I must be ill — I am so" —

" you beauty! " said a voice. " You look as if you had tiny
red and yellow and blue beads sewed on your back. I wonder
whether Aunt Helen will not tell me a story about you. Crawl
along here and get on this stick — that's right — I won't hurt you."

The caterpillar clung to the stick, and the little boy started
to get down from the tree into which he had climbed "just for
fun." But getting down was not as easy as climbing up had
been, and the little boy had to leave the caterpillar on the tree
after all.

" I '11 ask Aunt Helen to come," he said to himself. " Then
I can climb and get the caterpillar and reach it down to her."
So saying he ran off to the house.

" Yps," said the caterpilla", on finding itself alone again,




319



IN THE CHILD S WOKLlJ.



" I think I /iac? better hide." And it did. It crawled off a little
way from where the boy had left it, and began to spin imme-
diately.

By the time the little boy had reached the house and had
found Aunt Helen, and she had finislied some Avork which she
could not leave, and they had both reached the tree at the end
of the garden, the caterpillar had wound a mesh of silk about
itself and could no longer be seen. The little boy was greatly
puzzled as he looked in vain for the green caterpillar.

" It was such a big fellow, auntie — as big as your thumb. I
thought it would be too clumsy to get far away. I wish I could
find it. I never saw such a pretty caterpillar — such a j)erfect
beauty!"

" I know where it is," said Aunt Helen. " I see a cocoon up
there, and I am sure your caterpillar must be in it. Just break
that twig off gently — that one which has something fastened to
it — and reach it down to me. That is part of the story," she
added, with a smile, as she saw how puzzled the little boy was.

"Oh! is it?" he exclaimed, hastening to break off the twig
and to hand it to her. In a twinkling he was down from the
tree, all eagerness for the explanation. So they sat in the swing
and Aunt Helen told him the whole story then and there; and
several months later, the little boy ran to his auntie, saying:-
" The story has come true! There's a beautiful moth, oh! such
a beauty! flying about in my room, and the cocoon is empty."*

E. P.



THE FARMER.




To THE Teacher: —

This talk treats more especially of the farmer's spring work of prepa-
ration, since we reviewed, during thfe harvest season, the farmer's sum-
mer work and dwelt upon its results.

For city children, have as many pictures of farm life as i^ossible. A
box in the window planted with corn and beans will be a miniature Held
and the children will feel themselves farmers in the care of it.

Watching the growth of seeds planted by themselves will be a delight-
ful experience to the children.

Besides the seeds planted in earth, some shovild be grown without
earth, that the roots may be observed Let a piece of cotton batting
float on some water in a tumbler, and lay two or three beans on the cot-
ton. Replenish the water when necessary. Beans are very satisfactory
because of their size and familiarity. Peas are also good, and corn will
give an example of the contrasting endogenous plants.



322



IN THE CHILD S ^VOKLD.



THE TALK.





I am thinking of a worker — one
who works out of doors instead of
in a shop.

Can yon guess what worker I
mean? It is the farmer. Do yon
remember any one we have talked
of lately who wished to be a
farmer? (Froebel.)
Let us play we are all visiting at a farm
in the springtime. What shall we hear
early in the morning? The cocks crow-
ingj-the pigeons cooing, other birds sing-
ing, the cattle lowing, being so eager to
get out to pasture — all the farmyard noises.
What shall we see? The big barn and
farmyard where the animals live, the
pigeon house on its tall pole, the orchard
where the trees are standing in even rows,
the gardens for flowers and vegetables,
great fields stretching away, and woods in
the distance. (Some of the children who
have been to the country will be ready to
contribute to this description. Contrast
with city sights and sounds.)

What places in the city look a little like the country? The
Common, Public Garden, Charles-bank, etc. (whatever parks
the children are familiar with), because of the trees and grass
and space.

The people at the farm are up very early ; for the cattle and
poultry must be fed and the cows milked, and the farmer wishes
to get out to his fields very soon. He has so much to do.

In the spring he must plough his fields — this breaks the soil
wliich has been getting hard and packed together all winter —



IN THE child's WORLD. 333

then he must harrow them ''to make the ground more soft and
loose."

(Describe plough and harrow, and speak of the usefulness of
the horse to the farmer.)

When the ground is ready the farmer must sow his seed.
What kinds of seeds do you think he will sow? Grass seed,
barley and wheat, oats, buckwheat, etc. Some kinds he sowed
last autumn, and they have been waiting all winter for the spring
warmth and the spring rains before they sprouted and sent out
their green blades.

How will these crops be useful? What else will the farmer
probably plant? Corn, beans, potatoes, etc., and sometimes
trees. What do all seeds need to make them grow? Earth, sun-
shine, rain.

Besides the ploughing and the j^lanting and the raking, the
farmer has other spring work to do. He must cut off the dead
and useless branches of the trees in the orchard and of the vines
where the grapes grow. Very early in the spring he gathers sap
from some of the trees. Who can tell what kind of trees, and
what he makes of the sap?

What tools does the farmer use? Plough, harrow, spade, hoe,
rake, pitchfork, etc. Tell some other things he needs in his
work. Ladders to enable him to reach the high branches of the
trees, baskets and barrels for his eggs and fruit and vegetables,
milk pails and milk cans, churn, etc., etc. (Many of these can
be made in clay and other kindergarten materials.)

Tell all the things we use which come from the farm. Do we
not use some of these things every day? Let us not forget how
much we have for which we must thank the good farmer.



'624: IN" THE child's wokld.



TEACHER'S READING.

Nature, - - -... Emerson

My Summer hi a Garden, - - - - -CD. Warner

Hiawatha's Fastinir, /
Blessing the Corntields, j - - - - - Longjellow

Tlie Barefoot Boy, - .... Whittier

Farmyard Song, - - - - - J. T. Tnmhridge

Up at a Villa, Down in a City, _ . . . /z. Broioning

The Rescue of an Old Place, - - - - Munj C. Bobbins

Rosanna, -.-.._ j//^.j, Edgeworth

FOR THE CHILDREN.
Queen Hildegarde, - - - Laura Bichards

The Farmyard (" Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks''), ^'. E. Wiltse
The Farmer and his Sons, - - - ^Esop



bTORlES.

A BARNYAED TALK.

{From the Norwegian.)

" Cock-a-doodle-doo!" crowed the Cock early in the morning.
" I am the cleverest of all on the farm. Every morning I wake
the people up so that the children can get to school at the right
time, and not have to stay in for being late. That is the reason
the children like me so much. They feed me with corn and
bread every day."

" Cluck, cluck I" said the Hen. ''You ought not to be so
conceited, little father. " You never give the children anything
to eat, but /do! Almost every day I lay an egg; and with my
eggs pancakes are made for the children, and they like jDancakes
so much that they would gladly eat them every day. Under-
stand, then, that I am cleverer than you.''

"Mew, mew, mew," said Pussy-cat, who had heard tbe Cock
and Hen talking. " It is really I who am the cleverest," said
she. " If I did not kill all the rats and mice, then those wicked
animals v/ould come and eat up all the butter and cheese and all



IX THE guild's WOKLD. 825

the bread and cake, so that the children would have to go to
school without any luncheon and would sit there and starve!
That is the reason the children and I are such good friends.
They give me milk and let me sit on their laps."

"■ Bow, wow, wow!" said the Dog. He had put his head out
of the kennel when he heard how Pussy was boasting. "■ How
do you think things would go if I did n't watch over the house
night and day? So I am surely the most important one on the
farm."

Just then up came the farmer, who had overheard everything.

" You are all kind and useful," said he. And he scattered
corn to the cock and hen, and gave Puss a saucer of milk, and
the dog a bone to gnaw.

Then they were all happy and satisfied and stopped disputing.

Emilie Poulsson.



THE FARMER AND THE BIRDS.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown Thrush thought themselves very fortu-
nate when they found a large brush heap in which they could
make their nest. But one day, after the nest was finished and
the eggs were laid, Mr. Thrush heard some news which made
him change his mind.

" Oh! my dear," he said to his wife when she cjime home after
her daily exercise, " we have made a mistake. This brush heap
that we thought was such a good place for our nest, is to be
burned to-morrow! What shall we do? Our eggs will all be
ruined ! "

"Oh, no!" said Mrs. Thrush, "they will not be harmed. I
will watch for the master to-morrow and show him that I have
a nest here, and he will not burn it up. Have you not noticed
how many birds there are on the place? The master never
allows any one to hurt them. In fact, the red birds and mock-
ing birds, who stay here all winter, tell me that he puts food
where they can get it when they can find none themselves."

"Then," said Mr. Thrush, "perhaps he will spare our nest.
You can try, at any rate."



326 IN THK child's wokld.



So the next day, when the master came near the brush heap,
Mrs. Thrush flew to a tree growing close by, and then back to
her nest again, several times.

" Kobert," said the master to the man who helped him on the
farm, '^' see that thrush! She acts as if she had a nest in that
brush heap. Yes, she has! I can see it. It will not do to burn
the brush now, for that would destroy her nest; and yet I need
to plough this ground for the late corn that I want to raise.
I know what we can do. Get four long sticks from the woodpile
and we will move the brush away."

Robert brought the sticks; then, by placing themselves on
opposite sides of the brush, crossing the sticks and putting them
under the heap, the two men moved it to a little distance.* After
that the horse was fastened to the plough and the ground was
ploughed.

Then the farmer and his man planted the corn. They marked
off the ground into squares of four feet each, made a hole at each
corner of the squares, put three or four kernels of corn into each
hole, drew the earth over the corn with a hoe and pressed it
down with the foot to make it firm, so that it might keep moist
longer after the next rain. Meantime, Mrs. Thrash, anxious to
cover her eggs, had flown back to the nest as soon as the men
had left the brush heap; and she sat looking contentedly on at
their work.

Some days later a rainstorm came. The bird's eggs did not
get wet, however, for these were kept warm and dry under the
mother's wings; but the raindrops trickled down into the earth
and gave the kernels of corn a drink. After drinking the water
the kernels began to swell. They kept swelling more and more
until at last a baby leaf burst the skin, pushed its way up and
came out of the ground. The little leaf was folded tightly at
first, but after a while it spread itself out. Then the stalk
began to grow longer; and by and by another leaf came on the
opposite side of the stalk. The third leaf grew on the same side
of the stalk as the first; and on which side do you suppose. the
fourth leaf came out?

* A fact.




The Farmer.



327



328 IN THE child's world.

"On the same side as the second — just as it is in our
weaving!"

Yes. And now can you tell me why the corn did not have
two leaves instead of one at a time?

'' When we soaked a kernel of corn and cut it open, we found
only one baby leaf in it, besides the food for the baby plant to
eat until it could feed itself from the earth and the aii". So it
could not make more than one leaf at a time."

You are right. But I should have told you that the corn was
making roots at the same time that it made stalk and leaves, so
that it had roots by which to suck in food from the earth, and
leaves by which to suck in food from the air; and with all this
food it grew very fast. The master took care that the weeds
should not choke it.

As soon as the corn was up a few inches, the master directed
Eobert to go over the ground with a harrow. This destroyed all
the weeds that had started at the same time as the corn. Then
Robert ploughed the ground in again, but was careful not to
throw the earth on the young corn. After that the farmer kept
the weeds from growing by using the cultivator once in a while
until the corn was as high as his shoulder; then it was strong
enough not to need his help any more.

While the corn was still growing, Mrs. Thrush heard one



Online LibraryEmilie PoulssonIn the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes → online text (page 21 of 29)