Howard Pyle.

The wonder clock, or, Four & twenty marvelous tales : being one for each hour of the day online

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Online LibraryHoward PyleThe wonder clock, or, Four & twenty marvelous tales : being one for each hour of the day → online text (page 1 of 16)
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Estate of

Ernst and Eleanor

van LUben Sels


Wonder Clock



Harper j> Brothers J892

Copyright, 1887, by HARPER & BROTHERS,

All rights reserved.




PUT on my dream -cap one day and stepped into Won-

Along the road I jogged and never dusted my shoes,
and all the time the pleasant sun shone and never
burned my back, and the little white clouds floated
across the blue sky and never let fall a drop of rain
to wet my jacket. And by and by I came to a steep hill.

I climbed the hill, though I had more than one tumble in doing
it, and there, on the tip-top, I found a house as old as the world itself.

That was where Father Time lived ; and who should sit in the sun
at the door, spinning away for dear life, but Time's Grandmother herself ;
and if you would like to know how old she is you will have to climb
to the top of the church steeple and ask the wind as he sits upon the
weather-cock, humming the tune of Over-yonder song to himself.
" Good-morning," says Time's Grandmother to me.
" Good-morning," says I to her.
" And what do you seek here ?" says she to me.
" I come to look for odds and ends," says I to her.
" Very well," says she ; " just climb the stairs to the garret, and there
you will find more than ten men can think about."

" Thank you," says I, and up the stairs I went. There I found all
manner of queer forgotten things which had been laid away, nobody
but Time and his Grandmother could tell where.



Over in the corner was a great, tall clock, that had stood there silently
with never a tick or a ting since men began to grow too wise for toys
and trinkets.

But I knew very well that the old clock was the

Wonder Clock;
so down I took the key and wound it gurr ! gurr ! gurr !

Click ! buzz ! went the wheels, and then tick-tock ! tick-tock ! for the
Wonder Clock is of that kind that it will never wear out, no matter
how long it may stand in Time's garret.

Down I sat and watched it, for every time it struck it played a pretty
song, and when the song was ended click ! click ! out stepped the
drollest little puppet -figures and went through with a dance, and I saw
it all (with my dream-cap upon my head).

But the Wonder Clock had grown rusty from long standing, and
though now and then the puppet-figures danced a dance that I knew as
well as I know my bread-and-butter, at other times they jigged a step
I had never seen before, and it came into my head that maybe a dozen
or more puppet-plays had become jumbled together among the wheels
back of the clock-face.

So there I sat in the dust watching the Wonder Clock, and when it
had run down and the tunes and the puppet-show had come to an end,
I took off my dream - cap, and whisk ! there I was back home again
among my books, with nothing brought away with me from that country
but a little dust which I found sticking to my coat, and which I have
never brushed away to this day.

Now if you also would like to go into Wonderland, you have only
to hunt up your dream-cap (for everybody has one somewhere about the
house), and to come to me, and I will show you the way to Time's garret.

That is right ! Pull the cap well down about your ears.

Here we are ! And now I will wind the clock. Gurr ! gurr ! gurr !

Tick-tock ! tick-tock !

I. Bearskin. .......

II. The Water of Life . . . ...

III. How One Turned his Trouble to Some Account

IV. How Three Went out into the Wide World.

V. The Clever Student and the Master of Black Arts .
VI. The Princess Golden Hair and the Great Black Raven
VII. Cousin Greylegs, the Great Red Fox, and Grandfather Mole
VIII. One Good Turn Deserves Another ....

IX. The White Bird

X. How the Good Gifts were Used by Two
XL How Boots Befooled the King ....

XII. The Step-mother ......

XIII. Master Jacob .......

XIV. Peterkin and the Little Grey Hare ....
XV. Mother Hildegarde ......

XVI. Which is Best ,












XVII. The Simpleton and his Little Black Hen
XVIII. The Swan Maiden

XIX. The Three Little Pigs and the Ogre .
XX. The Staff and the Fiddle
XXI. How the Princess's Pride was Broken
XXII. How Two Went into Partnership

XXIII. King Stork . . .

XXIV. The Best that Life has to Give


. 241


. 279


f lustrations.

Head-piece Preface .
Head-piece Table of Contents
Head-piece List of Illustrations




Head-piece Bearskin ....

The Baby drifts to the River's Bank in the Basket
Bearskin parts from the Princess
The Princess weeps ....
Bearskin and the Swineherd feast together






Head-piece The Water of Life . . . .

The King gazes upon the Picture
The North Wind flies with the Faithful Servant
The King brings the Water of Life to the Princess
The Faithful Servant gives the King his Golden Bracelet




Head-piece How One Turned his Trouble to Some Account
The Soldier takes Trouble to Town
The Soldier brings Trouble to the King .
The Giants fight one another
27ie Rich Man takes Trouble home




FOUR O'CLOCK . . . . 39

Head-piece How Three went out into the Wide World . . . 41

The Grey Goose meets the Sausage . . . . . 43

The Great Red Fox calls upon the Cock . . . . . 45

The Great Red Fox calls upon the Sausage .... 46

The Great Red Fox rests softly . . . . . . 47


Head-piece The Clever Student and the Master of Black Arts . . 51

A Princess walks beside the River . . . . . 53

The Clever Student and the Princess " . . . . . 55

The Master of Black Arts and the Little Black Hen . . . 57

The Master of Black Arts is caught in his Tricks ... 60

SIX O'CLOCK . . . 63

Head-piece The Princess Golden Hair and the Great Black Raven . "' * 65

The King meets the Great Black Raven . . . . . 67

The Princess Golden Hair drinks . . . . . 69

Princess Golden Hair comes to Death's Door . . . . 71

The Princess finds the Prince . . . . . 75

SEVEN O'CLOCK . ,. . 77

Head-piece Cousin Grey legs, the Great Red Fox, and Grandfather Mole . 79

Cousin Greylegs and the Great Red Fox go to the Fair . . . 8 1

Cousin Greylegs runs away with the Bag . . . . 83

The Great Red Fox meets Grandfather Mole . . . . 85

The Great Red Fox tries the Fire . . . . . 87


Head-piece One Good Turn Deserves Another . . . . 91

The Young Fisherman catches a Strange Fish . . . . 93

The Young Fisherman and the Grey Master . . . . 97

The Grey Master is caught in the Water . . . .. j o i

The Princess finds the Young Fisherman . . . .103



NINE O'CLOCK . . 105

Head-piece The White Bird . 107

The Prince knocks at the Door of the Poor Little House . 109

The Prince finds the Three Giants sleeping in

The Prince finds the Sword of Brightness 115

The White Bird knows the Prince . . . 119


Head-piece How the Good Gifts were used by Two . 123

St. Nicholas knocks at the Rich Man's Door . 125

St. Nicholas in the Poor Man's House . 127

The Poor Man welcomes St. Christopher 129

The Saints feast in the Rich Man's House . 131

ELEVEN O'CLOCK . . . 135

Head-piece How Boots befooled the King . 137

Peter goes to the King's Castle . 139

Paul comes Home again ... 14 T

The Old Woman smashes her Pots and Crocks . 143

The Councillor finds a Wisdom-sack 145



Head-piece The Stepmother .... 151

The Step-daughter follows the Golden Ball . 153

The Young King brings the Maiden up from the Pit i$5

The Step-mother bewitches the Young Queen . . 15 7

The Young King caresses the White Dove . . 159

ONE O'CLOCK . . 161

Head-piece Master Jacob . 163

Master Jacob brings his Fat Pig to Town . . 165

Master Jacob and his Black Goat . 167

The Three Cronies and the Black Goat ... 1 7 r

Master Jacob meets the Three Cronies . . . 173


* Page


Head-piece Peterkin and the Little Grey Hare 177

Peterkin in his Fine Clothes . 179

Peterkin carries away the Gianfs Goose . 183

Peterkin brings the Silver Bell to the King . 185

Peterkin combs the Giant 's Hair . . . . . 187


Head-piece Mother Hildegarde ... .191

The Princess comes to Mother Hildegarde 1 s Door 193

The Princess looks into the Jar . . 195

The Wood-pigeons feed the Princess . . . . . 197

Mother Hildegarde carries away the Baby . 199

FOUR O'CLOCK ... 203

Head-piece Which is Best 1 . . . . . . ..205

The Rich Brother leaves the Poor Brother in Blindness . . . 207

The Poor Man finds the Little Door . . .209

The Poor Man finds that which is the Best . . . . 211

The Rich Man finds that which he Deserves . . . , 213

FIVE O'CLOCK . . . 217

Head-piece The Simpleton and his Little Black Hen . . . . 219

Caspar starts to Town with his Little Black Hen . . . 221

Caspar finds a Bag of Money . . . . 223

Three of them share the Money . . . . .225

Caspar rides to the King" s Castle . . . . 227

SIX O'CLOCK. ... 229

Head-piece The Swan Maiden . . . . . .231

The Swan carries the Prince on its Back . . . . 233

The Prince comes to the Three-eyed Witch's House . . . 235

The Swan Maiden helps the Young Prince , . . . 237

The Witch and the Woman of Honey and Meal . . . 239




Head-piece The Three Little Pigs and the Ogre . . . . 243

The Ogre meets the Three Little Pigs in the Forest . . . 245

The Ogre climbs the Tree . . . . . 247

' The Ogre shuts his Eyes and counts . . . . 249

The Ogre sticks fast in the Window . . .' 251


Head-piece The Staff and the Fiddle . . . . . 255

The Fiddler helps the Old Woman . . . . . 257

The Fiddler and the Dwarf . . ,- Jfl . 259

The Fiddler finds the Princess . . . . . . 261

The Fiddler and the Little Black Mannikin . . . . 263

NINE O'CLOCK ... 267

Head-piece How the Princess's Pride was broken , . . .269

The Gooseherd plays with the Golden Ball . . . . 271

The King peeps over the Hedge . ... . . . 273

The Princess takes her Eggs to Market , . . . . 275

The Princess knows the Young King . . . . . 277

TEN O'CLOCK . . . 279

Head-piece How Two Went into Partnership . . . .281

The Great Red Fox goes to the Store-house . . . 283

The Great Red Fox frightens Father Goat .... 285

The Great Red Fox and Uncle Bear at the Store-house . . 287

The Bear and the Fox go to Farmer John's again . . . 289


Head-piece King Stork . . . . . . .293

The Drummer helps the Old Man , . . . . 295

The Princess comes forth from the Castle at Night . . . 297

The Drummer helps himself . . . , . .299

The Drummer catches the One-eyed Raven .... 303




Head-piece The Best that Life has to Give .

The Blacksmith steals the Dwarf's Pine-cones
The Blacksmith chooses the Raven
The Blacksmith brings the Little Bird to the Queen
The Young Blacksmith Forges the Ring .






One O'clock*

e of the C70c,and silence deep

The old House-Cat comes creepy-creep
With soft feet goes from room to room
Her green eyes shiningthrough the *

And finds all fast l



HERE was a king travelling through the country, and
he and those with him were so far away from home
that darkness caught them by the heels, and they had
to stop at a stone mill for the night, because there
was no other place handy.

While they sat at supper they heard a sound in
the next room, and it was a baby crying.

The miller stood in the corner, back of the stove,
with his hat in his hand. " What is that noise ?" said the king to him.

" Oh ! it is nothing but another baby that the good storks have brought
into the house to-day," said the miller.

Now there was a wise man travelling along with the king, who could
read the stars and everything that they told as easily as one can read one's
A B C's in a book after one knows them, and the king, for a bit of a jest,
would have him^nd out what the stars had to foretell of the miller's baby.
So the wise manwent out and took a peep up in the sky, and by and by he
came in again.

" Well," said the king, " and what did the stars tell you ?"
" The stars tell me," said the wise man, " that you shall have a daughter,
and that the miller's baby, in the room yonder, shall marry her when they
are old enough to think of such things."


" What !" said the king, " and is a miller's baby to marry the princess
that is to come ! We will see about that." So the next day he took the
miller aside and talked and bargained, and bargained and talked, until the
upshot of the matter was that the miller was paid two hundred dollars, and
the king rode off with the baby.

As soon as he came home to the castle he called his chief forester to
him. " Here," says he, " take this baby and do thus and so with it, and
when you have killed it bring its heart to me, that I may know that you
have really done as you have been told."

So off marched the forester with the baby ; but on his way he stopped
at home, and there was his good wife working about the house.

" Well, Henry," said she, " what do you do with the baby ?"

" Oh !" said he, " I am just taking it off to the forest to do thus and so
with it."

" Come," said she, " it would be a pity to harm the little innocent, and
to have its blood on your hands. Yonder hangs the rabbit that you
shot this morning, and its heart will please the king just as well as the

Thus the wife talked, and the end of the business was that she and the
man smeared a basket all over with pitch and set the baby adrift in it on
the river, and the king was just as well satisfied with the rabbit's heart as he
would have been with the baby's.

But the basket with the baby in it drifted on and on down the river,
until it lodged at last among the high reeds that stood along the bank. By
and by there came a great she-bear to the water to drink, and there she
found it.

Now the huntsmen in the forest had robbed the she-bear of her cubs, so
that her heart yearned over the little baby, and she carried it home with her
to fill the place of her own young ones. There the baby throve until he
grew to a great strong lad, and as he had fed upon nothing but bear's milk
for all that time, he was ten times stronger than the strongest man in the

One day, as he was walking through the forest, he came across a wood-
man chopping the trees into billets of wood, and that was the first time he
had ever seen a body like himself. Back he went to the bear as fast as he
could travel, and told her what he had seen. " That," said the bear, " is the
most wicked and most cruel of all the beasts."

" Yes," says the lad, " that may be so, all the same I love beasts like that

botamf tynmv to f Ijmebjs bt^ibe


as I love the food I eat, and I long for nothing so much as to go out into
the wide world, where I may find others of the same kind."

At this the bear saw very well how the geese flew, and that the lad
would soon be flitting.

" See," said she, " if you must go out into the wide world you must.
But you will be wanting help before long ; for the ways of the world are not
peaceful and simple as they are here in the woods, and before you have lived
there long you will have more needs than there are flies in summer. See,
here is a little crooked horn, and when your wants grow many, just come to
the forest and blow a blast on it, and I will not be too far away to help you."

So off went the lad away from the forest, and all the coat he had upon
his back was the skin of a bear dressed with the hair on it, and that was
why folk called him " Bearskin."

He trudged along the high-road, until he came to the king's castle, and
it was the same king who thought he had put Bearskin safe out of the way
years and years ago.

Now, the king's swineherd was in want of a lad, and as there was
^aothing better to do in that town, Bearskin took the place and went every
^norning to help drive the pigs into the forest, where they might eat the
acorns and grow fat.

One day there was a mighty stir throughout the town ; folk crying, and
making a great hubbub. " What is it all about ?" says Bearskin to the

What ! and did he not know what the trouble was ? Where had he
been for all of his life, that he had heard nothing of what was going on in
the world ? Had he never heard of the great fiery dragon with three heads
that had threatened to lay waste all of that land, unless the pretty princess
were given up to him ? This was the very day that the dragon was to come
for her, and she was to be sent up on the hill back of the town ; that was
why all the folk were crying and making such a stir.

" So !" says Bearskin, " and is there never a lad in the whole country
that is man enough to face the beast? Then I will go myself if nobody
better is to be found." And off he went, though the swineherd laughed
and laughed, and thought it all a bit of a jest. By and by Bearskin came
to the forest, and there he blew a blast upon the little crooked horn that
the bear had given him.

Presently came the bear through the bushes, so fast that the little twigs
flew behind her. " And what is it that you want ?" said she.


" I should like," said Bearskin, " to have a horse, a suit of gold and silver
armor that nothing can pierce, and a sword that shall cut through iron and
steel ; for I would like to go up on the hill to fight the dragon and free the
pretty princess at the king's town over yonder."

" Very well," said the bear, " look back of the tree yonder, and you will
find just what you want."

Yes ; sure enough, there they were back of the tree : a grand white
horse that champed his bit and pawed the ground till the gravel flew, and a
suit of gold and silver armor such as a king might wear. Bearskin put on
the armor and mounted the horse, and off he rode to the high hill back of
the town.

By and by came the princess and the steward of the castle, for it was he
that was to bring her to the dragon. But the steward stayed at the bottom
of the hill, for he was afraid, and the princess had to climb it alone, though
she could hardly see the road before her for the tears that fell from her
eyes. But when she reached the top of the hill she found instead of the
dragon a fine tall fellow dressed all in gold and silver armor. And it did
not take Bearskin long to comfort the princess, I can tell you. " Cornea
come," says he, " dry your eyes and cry no more ; all the cakes in the oven
are not burned yet ; just go back of the bushes yonder, and leave it with me
to talk the matter over with Master Dragon."

The princess was glad enough to do that. Back of the bushes she went,
and Bearskin waited for the dragon to come. He had not long to wait
either ; for presently it came flying through the air, so that the wind rattled
under his wings.

Dear, dear ! if one could but have been there to see that fight between
Bearskin and the dragon, for it was well worth the seeing, and that you may
believe. The dragon spit out flames and smoke like a house afire. But he
could do no hurt to Bearskin, for the gold and silver armor sheltered him so
well that not so much as one single hair of his head was singed. So Bear-
skin just rattled away the blows at the dragon slish, slash, snip, clip until
all three heads were off, and there was an end of it.

After that he cut out the tongues from the three heads of the dragon,
and tied them up in his pocket-handkerchief.

Then the princess came out from behind the bushes where she had lain
hidden, and begged Bearskin to go back with her to the king's castle, for the
king had said that if any one killed the dragon he should have her for his
wife. But no ; Bearskin would not go to the castle just now, for the time


was not yet ripe ; but, if the princess would give them to him, he would like
to have the ring from her ringer, the kerchief from her bosom, and the neck-
lace of golden beads from her neck.

The princess gave him what he asked for, and a sweet kiss into the
bargain, and then Bearskin mounted upon his grand white horse and rode
away to the forest. " Here are your horse and armor," said he to the
bear, "and they have done good service to-day, I can tell you." Then
he tramped back again to the king's castle with the old bear's skin over
his shoulders.

" Well," says the swineherd, " and did you kill the dragon ?"

" Oh, yes," says Bearskin, " I did that, but it was no such great thing to
do after all."

At that the swineherd laughed and laughed, for he did not believe a
word of it.

And now listen to what happened to the princess after Bearskin had
left her. The steward came sneaking up to see how matters had turned
out, and there he found her safe and sound, and the dragon dead.
$ Whoever did this left his luck behind him," said he, and he drew his
sword and told the princess that he would kill ner if she did not swear
to say nothing of what had happened. Then he gathered up the
dragon's three heads, and he and the princess went back to the castle

" There !" said he, when they had come before the king, and he flung
down the three heads upon the floor, " I have killed the dragon and I have
brought back the princess, and now if anything is to be had for the labor I
would like to have it." As for the princess, she wept and wept, but she
could say nothing, and so it was fixed that she was to marry the steward,
for that was what the king had promised.

At last came the wedding-day, and the smoke went up from the chim-
neys in clouds, for there was to be a grand wedding-feast, and there was no
end of good things cooking for those who were to come.

" See now," says Bearskin to the swineherd where they were feeding
their pigs together, out in the woods, " as I killed the dragon over yonder,
I ought at least to have some of the good things from the king's kitchen ;
you shall go and ask for some of the fine white bread and meat, such as the
king and princess are to eat to-day."

Dear, dear, but you should have seen how the swineherd stared at this
and how he laughed, for he thought the other must have gone out of his

Dragon but

wits ; but as for going to the castle no, he would not go a step, and that
was the long and the short of it.

" So ! well, we will see about that," says Bearskin, and he stepped to a
thicket and cut a good stout stick, and without another word caught the
swineherd by the collar, and began dusting his jacket for him until it
smoked again.

" Stop, stop !" bawled the swineherd.

" Very well," says Bearskin ; " and now will you go over to the castle for
me, and ask for some of the same bread and meat that the king and
princess are to have for their dinner?"


Yes, yes ; the swineherd would do anything that Bearskin wanted him.

" So ! good," says Bearskin ; " then just take this ring and see that the
princess gets it ; and say that the lad who sent it would like to have some
of the bread and meat that she is to have for her dinner."

So the swineherd took the ring, and off he started to do as he had been
told. Rap ! tap ! tap ! he knocked at the door. Well, and what did he

Oh ! there was a lad over in the woods yonder who had sent him to
ask for some of the same bread and meat that the king and princess were
to have for their dinner, and he had brought this ring to the princess as a

But how the princess opened her eyes when she saw the ring which she
had given to Bearskin up on the hill ! For she saw, as plain as the nose on
her face, that he who had saved her from the dragon was not so far away as
she had thought. Down she went into the kitchen herself to see that the
very best bread and meat were sent, and the swineherd marched off with a
great basket full.

" Yes," says Bearskin, " that is very well so far, but I am for having
some of the red and white wine that they are to drink. Just take this
kerchief over to the castle yonder, and let the princess know that the lad
to whom she gave it upon the hill back of the town would like to have a
taste of the wine that she and the king are to have at the feast to-day."

Well, the swineherd was for saying " no " to this as he had to the other,

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Online LibraryHoward PyleThe wonder clock, or, Four & twenty marvelous tales : being one for each hour of the day → online text (page 1 of 16)