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Little Frank and other tales : chiefly in words of one syllable online

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LITTLE F RANK,



OTHER TALES:



CHIEFLY IN \VOIU>* OF ONK SVU.ABLK.



y> CHILDREN'S BOOK <|

$ COLLECTION H



LIBRARY OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



V



LITTLE FRANK



OTHER TALES.

CHIEFLY IN WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE.




DARTON AND HARVEY,

GttACECHURCH-STREET.

1838.



TO MY LITTLE BOOK.



May many a merry girl and boy
Prize thee, my book, above each toy.
May bat and ball aside be laid,
And dolly quite cast into shade.
Thy pages tell of the timid bird,
Whose voice by the sedgy stream is heard ;
And of the hawk, who, with wings of speed,
Darts on the prey which his young ones need ;
And of the glow-worm's fairy light,
Which shines like a gem through the summer
night.



IV TO MY LITTLE BOOK.

They tell of the north, with its ice and snow,

Where roses and violets never will blow ;

Where the rein-deer, fleet, doth lightly bound,

With its fur-lined sledge o'er the frozen ground.

Of the clever rat's skill thy pages show,

Who makes his snug home where the waters flow,

And when any dangerous foe is near,

He dives 'neath the stream, and hides in fear.

But if each bright eye should more brightly shine,

When it reads these simple tales of thine,

I shall fondly hope that not all in vain

Have been the glad labours of my pen.



THE OWL.

"On, dear Tom \" said Grace, in a low
voice to her brother, " here we have sat
as still as mice for such a long time.
I am so tired !"

" Let us go into the hall, then," said
Tom.

" But will not mamma's friends think
us rude to leave the room ?" said Grace.

" Oh, I dare say not/' said Tom ;
" but I will go and ask mamma/'



THE OWL.



Mrs. Moore gave them leave to do
as they wished, and Tom and Grace
were soon in the hall.

" Come, Grace/' said her brother,
as he led her to the glass-door which
looked on to the lawn, " what say you
to a race down the broad path, and
back through the nut- walk ?"

" No, thank you/' said she, as she
drew back ; " it is so dark in the nut-
walk, I do not wish to go near it/'

" It will not be dark now/' said
Tom : "see how brightly the moon
shines ! why I could see to read by its
light."



THE OWL. d

Grace looked up, and saw that dark
clouds were rising, and would soon
pass over the moon, and then all would
be dark again ; but she strove to hide
her fears, and said, as she took Tom's
hand, " Come, then, let us go ; but
you will not run away and leave me,
will you?"

" Oh, no, dear Grace, that I will
not/' said Tom : " now then, one, two,
three, and away/'

At the end of the broad walk, they
stood still to take breath. Grace cast
her eyes into the thick shade of the

B 2



4 THE OWL.

trees and shrubs, and saw no cause for
fear ; but as the wind blew through the
leaves and branches, she could fancy
she heard voices, first on her right hand,
and then on her left. As she had
feared, the moon was now quite hid by
clouds, and the pale light of the stars
could not shine through the gloom of
the nut- walk.

" Pray let us go now, Tom/' said
Grace, as she clung to him. " Why do
you stand so still ? Hark ! what is that
noise ? Oh, Tom, pray come home ;
there it is again \"



THE OWL. 5

" Dear Grace/' said Tom, " do not
fear, it is only a bird ; let us stay a
short time, and perhaps we may see it."

" Oh/' said Grace, " it must be a
great ugly bird, to make such a noise
as that, and I do not wish to see it."

" No, it is not very great or very
ugly/' said Tom ; " and I know you
will want to see it, when I tell you that
it is an owl ; and I dare say it is the
same that Smith told me of, which has
its nest in the old oak."

" Oh, is it?" said Grace : " there it
is again, Hoot ! hoot ! hoot !"



D THE OWL.

" Hush," said Tom ; " come a step
or two this way : now look, do not you
see him 1"

"Where?" said Grace, "on that
bare branch of the yew ? O dear ! I
never saw such a bird before : what a
large round head he has !"

" And look at his beak/' said Tom,
"in the shape of a hook, that is for
him to tear his prey with. There, that
cloud has blown over, and we can see
him well. He is quite brisk now: I
should like to see him dart on a bird or
a mouse."




"O dear! I never saw sush a "bird before: what a
large round head he has!"



THE OWL. 7

" I should not," said Grace ; " for
though it is no worse than for us to
eat cows and sheep, yet his sharp
claws must hurt them so much, and
I could not bear to hear them squeak."

" Nor I," said Tom. " Well, the
old man has flown away now, so we
had better go home."

" Did you ever see an owl before,
Tom r said Grace.

" Yes, once, a long while ago, when
I was at play in the wood. I was
going to hide in the trunk of an old
tree, but when I put my head in, I



8 THE OWL.

heard such a noise, and looking up, I
saw a large owl : he flapped his wings,
and looked so fierce, that I ran away ;
and mamma told me a great deal about
owls, when I got home."

" We must not run over the lawn,
Tom/' said Grace, " for the dew is so
thick/'

" Well, here we are at the door, quite
safe," said Tom : " now you will not be
afraid when you hear an owl hoot
again/'

" Oh, no, said Grace, I shall not,
indeed/'



JOHN GRANTS RETURN
FROM SEA.

AT a small farm-house, a long way
from any large town, lived an old man
and his wife, whose names were James
and Kate Grant. They had had five
sons, who were now all grown up, and
had left their home to earn their own
bread. One had gone to sea, but had
not been heard of for four or five years,
so that it was thought he must be
dead.



10 JOHN GRANT'S

It was a cold bleak night ; the wind
was high, and the snow beat against
the front of the old house. As James
and his wife sat by their snug and warm
fire-side, they thought how glad they
ought to be for such a nice home, and
that they should thank their good God
for His care of them in their old age.

" I am not so strong as I was," said
James, " for I feel that a little work tires
me now ; and though Ned Brown is a
good boy, yet he is too young to be of
much use to me/'

" Ah/' said Kate, with a deep sigh,



RETURN FROM SEA. It

" it seems hard that we, who have had
five boys, should now be left all alone
with none to help us : if one of them
would but come and live here I should
feel quite young once more/'

" Where is our poor John?" said
the old man, as tears rose in his eyes.
" Oh that I had not let him go to sea !
What a night is this for those on ship-
board ! May they be kept from harm !
Put a fresh log on the fire, good wife,
for it is very cold/'

"Oh, my poor boy!" said Kate,
" shall I ever see him again ? He was



12 JOHN GRANT'S

the best child of them all : how could
I let him go from home ?"

" We did it for the best at the time,"
said James, " and it will not bring 1 him
back to mourn over him now. Dear
me ! what can make the dog bark in
that strange way ?"

" I dare say/' said Kate, "he does
not like to hear the wind howl in the
old trees : hark ! how the boughs
creak ! When first you and I came to
live here, those trees were young and
in their prime, but now I think they
will not stand much longer than we
shall/'



RETURN FROM SEA. 13

" Oh, yes," said the old man, " they
are not quite so near their end as we
are, my dear ; but I do not like to
hear Lion keep up such a noise ; it
cannot be all right, I am sure/'

James Grant got up from his arm-
chair, and went to the door ; but he
could hear no noise, nor could he see
anything, for the snow beat right in his
face. Just as he came back, he heard
his wife call out, that she saw a man
look through the window at her ; and
in great fear she begged James not to
go out.



14 JOHN GRANT'S

"Why should I care?" said he:
" I have done no harm, and it may
be some one who has lost his way in
the dark, and who is in want of help/'

With these words he put on his hat,
and with a stout stick in his hand, to
use in case of need, he went out.

He had not gone far, ere the man he
was in search of came up to him, and
begged a place to sleep in that night,
as it was a long way to the next
town.

" You must speak to my wife," said
James ; " and if she likes to do so, I




"" As she said this, she looked in the man's face, and s
that his eyes were full cf tears."





RETURN FROM SEA. 15

dare say she can give you a bed. Come
in, for you are cold and wet/'

The man did as he was bid, took off his
thick coat, which was quite white with
snow, and went to the fire. As Kate
set a chair for him, she saw that he had
on a short blue jacket, such as her John
wore when he came home from his first
trip to sea. The sight of this, and the
man's honest face, quite won her heart ;
and she soon set before him some bread
and cheese, and a mug of warm beer.

" Come," said James, when he was
once more in his seat, " I am glad to

c 2



16 JOHN GRANT'S

see you here, for this is a lone place,
and it does one good to see a new face
now and then. Wife, have you not got
any meat to give our friend ?"

" I do not want more, thank you/'
said the man : " you have lived in this
old house a long while, have you not ?"

" Why, yes, we have," said James ;
"it is near fifty years since we first
came. Pray have you been here be-
fore ?'

"How can you ask?" said Kate,
" such an out-of-the-way place as it is."

" I used to know it quite well, when



RETURN FROM SEA. 17

I was a boy : I lived not far from here,
then/' said the seaman.

" There now, wife/' said James.

" Lived near here !" said Kate :
" why when you were a boy, there
could not have been a house within
three miles of this : pray what was your
name ?"

" I will tell you by and by/' said the
man : " but can you tell me where
Charles and Ned Grant are gone? I
used to play with them when we were
young, and I love them very much."

" Charles and Ned Grant !" said



18 JOHN GRANT'S

both the old folks at once, " why who

should they be but our own boys !

they have left us a long while now.

Charles went a long way off, where he

could get more work than in this land ;

and Ned lives at a farm of his own, and

has a wife and child."

" You had a son John, who went
to sea, had you not?" said the man.

" Oh, yes, and a dear son he was :
when you came in you put me so in
mind of him," said Kate ; " but we
fear he must be dead now, for he never
writes to us or comes to see us."



RETURN FROM SEA. 19

As she said this, she looked in the
man's face, and saw that his eyes were
full of tears.

"My mother! my dear mother!"
said he, as he got up and threw his
arms round her neck . ' 6 And now your
lost son has come home, and will not
leave you, but will take care of you,
and work for you all his life."

Poor James and his wife were so
full of joy, that they could not speak
for some time ; but they thanked God
in their hearts, for having brought their
dear son home to them to cheer their
old age.



LITTLE FRANK AND THE RAT.

ONE fine spring day Mrs. Dean set
out for a walk. She crossed the lawn
at the back of the house, and chose a
long path, which had thick shrubs on
each side, and led her to the gate of a
field.

At one end of this field there was a
small pond of clear water ; on its banks
grew r long grass and rushes, and the
little birds sang their sweet songs in
the lime-trees that hung ov 7 er the water.





" What a droll thing ! I shall like to -watch you all the
more now I know something about you."



LITTLE FRANK AND THE RAT. 21

As Mrs. Dean came near to the spot,
she saw her little boy there. He sat
quite still on the edge of the pond.

" Frank, my dear," said she, " why
do you sit there? it is too damp a
place."

" Oh,mamma, "said Frank, "do come
and see this droll sight ! Look on the
other side ; just by that old stump of a
tree is a large water-rat. I have seen
him a long time, and I think he wants
to dig a hole in the bank : if I go near
to look at him, he jumps into the pond.
Is he going to make a place to live in ?"



22 LITTLE FRANK

"Yes, my dear," said Mrs Dean, " he
will dig a deep place in the earth, to
serve him for a nest ; and I dare say he
will make two holes to creep in and
out of, one higher than the other, in
case the water should rise above one
of them."

" Does the rat eat the small fishes or
worms, mamma?" said Frank.

" No, my dear, it feeds on the soft
roots of plants, which it finds in the
water, or in the damp parts of the
fields. It is not so fierce as the land-
fat, and its fur is more soft and close.



AND THE RAT. 23

When it hears a noise, it leaps into the
water, and dives down in fear ; but it
cannot stay long there for want of air,
so it rises again, and just puts its nose
above the water, that it may be able to
breathe and yet not be seen."

" What a droll thing!" said Frank:
" I shall like to watch you all the more
now I know something about you.
Good-bye, little busy rat, for to-day."



FRANK AND A FIELD-MOUSE.

A FEW days after Frank had seen the
rat at work on the bank of the pond,
he was at play in the fields with his
pet dog. He saw Dash scratch up the
ground and smell about.

"Here, Dash ! Dash!" said Frank ;
" what are you doing ?"

Just then a small brown mouse
came out of his hole, and ran away
very fast. Frank was a kind boy,
and would not let Dash run after it and




' Frank -was a kind boy, and -would not let Dash run
after it."



THE FIELD-MOUSE. 25

kill it, as he wished. He held his dog
tight, and sat down near the spot, to
see if the mouse would come back ; but
as it did not, he ran in-doors to tell his
mamma what he had seen.

" It was such a nice little mouse,
mamma, with a very long tail ; and it
ran away at a great rate."

"Yes, my dear," said Mrs. Dean,
" the field-mouse is very quick and
can leap well. It does much harm
in the fields and gardens, and to the
ricks of corn, and is often found in
farm-yards. Owls, kites, dogs, and

D



26 FRANK AND

cats make war against the poor field-
mouse, and I fear that men do so too."

" Poor thing !" said Frank ; " I am sure
I would not kill one, for I like to see
them run in and out of their holes."

" In its nest in the ground," said Mrs.
Dean,, " or under a bunch of moss, it
hoards up its store of food before the
cold days come : sometimes it finds out
the holes which the mole has left, and
lives in them."

" How sly," said Frank, " not to
make a place of his own ! Thank you,
dear mamma, for this tale about him."



A TRUE TALE

OF A

LITTLE GIRL WHO FELL INTO A TAN-PIT.

Now I will tell you a tale about a little
girl, whom we will call Anne Grey,
though that was not her real name.
Anne was very fond of her doll, for
she had no little boys or girls of her
own age to play with.

Like some other dolls, I know, (and
some little girls too,) its clothes were

D 2



28 THE LITTLE GIRL

apt to get dirty, and Anne thought it
would be great fun to put Miss Dolly
to bed for the day, while she washed
them up. Well, once, when the
maids were busy in the wash-house,
Anne thought it just the right time for
her to begin, so she set to work in great
glee. When all the clothes were nice
and clean, she went to the garden to
look for a place where she could hang
them up to dry. She soon found one
to suit her ; tied up a line, and went
back to the house for the things.
Her way to and from the garden



A TRUE TALE. 29

led through a tan-yard, and the busy
little girl, in her haste to push by the
edge of one of the pits, fell splash in,
with all her doll's clean clothes in her
hand. What was to be done now?
there she was, up to her chin in the
nasty brown water, and she could not
get out. Old Mrs. Bigg, who was at
work just by, heard the poor child cry,
and ran to help her.

" Oh, do pray take me out," said
she; " 1 will not do so any more !"

So she was soon pulled out, and put
into a tub of warm water, for which,



30 A TRUE TALE.

you may be sure, there was much need.
It was a long time ere poor Anne ran
so fast through the tan-yard again.



31



THE USEFUL DOG.

ONE day, as Tom Price was on his
way to school, with his bag of books
at his back, he stood still to look
at a fine large dog which lay in the
sun before the door of a poor man's
house.

" Take care how you go near that
fierce dog," said the gruff voice of a
man who passed by just then.

" I do not think he will hurt me,"



32 THE USEFUL DOG.

said Tom, " if I do no harm : see, he
lets me pat his head."

The dog got up, and seemed to like
Tom to stroke him ; but as soon as he
saw the man, he gave a low growl, and
looked quite fierce.

" There, you see I told you right,"
said the man, as he made haste away.
Just then the master of the dog came
out, and sat on a bench by the door.

" If you please," said Tom, " what
makes the dog growl at that man who
went by, while he seems so fond of
me?"



THE USEFUL DOG. 33

"I will tell you," said he; "he
knows that that is a bad man ; for one
day he got over my hedge, and stole
some fruit ; but the dog caught him,
and would not let him go till I went
out to him."

" What a good guard he must be !"
said Tom.

" Yes," said the man, " and I can tell
you more than that ; for one day a little
girl who was at play near the mill-
stream, fell in, and might have been
drowned, had not I and my dog been
near and heard her screams."



34 THE USEFUL DOG.

" Did the dog jump in ?" said Tom.

" Yes ; and he swam down the stream
after her, and brought her safe to land.
She was soon quite well ; and the dog
and she are now such great friends, it
is quite droll to see them/'

" I must run away now," said Tom,
" for it is my school-time. When I am
a man I hope I shall have such a dog
of my own."



35



CHARLES ROSS AND THE
HAWK.

WHAT does make little Charles Ross
run so fast across that long field ? he
looks as though he had a great deal to
tell. Yes, see, there is his aunt Lucy,
not far off ; he will soon catch her, I
think. There, now he has got up to
her ; but he is so out of breath he can-
not speak just yet. Aunt Lucy says
something to him, let us go near and
hear what it is.



36 CHARLES ROSS AND THE HAWK.

" My dear boy, you should not run
so fast this hot day. Pray where have
you been all this time, and what have
you seen ?"

"Oh,aunt!" saysCharles, "assoonas
I came from school, I went to the farm-
yard to feed my fowls ; and it was very
well I did, for what should I see but a
cruel hawk pounce down in the midst of
my poor chicks : the old hen flew at him,
and pecked him well with her beak, and
shook her wings at him, but he was too
bold to care for that ; so I gave a loud
shout, and flung my cap at him, just as




" I aimed so well that the cap struck him, and made
him drop his prey."



CHARLES ROSS AND THE HAWK. 37

he flew off with the white chick in his
claws. I aimed so well, that the cap
struck him, and made him drop his
prey : I then ran to it, but the poor
thing was quite dead, and its nice white
down was all dyed with blood. Do
you know, dear aunt, I felt so vexed
that the tears came into my eyes ; but
then I thought I must not be angry
with the hawk, for God made it, and
had taught it what sort of food to take
home to its young ones.''

Now see how pleased aunt Lucy looks,
and how she kisses Charles, and says, " I



38 CHARLES ROSS AND THE HAWK.

am very glad to hear you speak so, my
own dear boy, and to see that you
thought of what I told you a day or
two ago, that the wise and good God
has made all things well, and that He
cannot err in any of His works."



39



GEORGE AND ROSE'S LONG
WALK.

" COME/' said George King, a boy of
five years old, to his sister Rose, "come
and play on the grass-plat with me. I
will lend you my new ball."

" Oh, yes," said Rose, as she put
down her doll, " that I will."

In a short time they were tired of
play ; and Rose said to George, " Let
us go and see aunt Jane, we both know
the way quite well/'



40 GEORGE AND ROSE'S LONG WALK.

" It is such a long walk," said George,
" and I think there will not be time
before it grows dark.' 5

"Oh, yes there will;" saidRose, "and
I dare say aunt Jane will send us home
in the chaise." So she took George's
hand, and led him into the lane, for
though she was not so old as he was,
she often made him do as she pleased.

Now the way was long, and the sun
was low in the sky, but George and
Rose thought no more of that. They
went on over two or three fields, till
they came to a high gate.



GEORGE AND ROSfi's LONG WALK. 41

" Now, then," said George, " we
must climb this, for I find it will not
open;" so he was soon on the other
side. But Rose was so short she could
not even get to the top rail.

" Oh, what are we to do?" cried she.

" Why, if you cannot get over,
Rose," said George, " we must go
back, for there is no way but this to
reach aunt Jane's house."

"Oh dear, oh dear!" said Rose,
" why we are so near to it, I can
see the roof through the trees."

" I cannot help it," said George ;



42 GEORGE AND ROSE'S LONG WALK.

" we must not stay here, for it will
soon be dark."

"lam so tired!" said poor Rose,
with a sigh.

" Do not think of that now," said
George, as he got off the top of the
gate on which he had sat to rest, " for
we have a long way to go back, and
must make haste ;" so, hand-in-hand,
they set off.

In a short time they met a man that
knew them well : "Ah, go home, go
home," said he, as he shook his stick
at them; " they are all in a great fright
about you.



GEORGE AND ROSE'S LONG WALK. 43

Poor George and Rose ran as fast
as they could, for they now thought
they had done wrong to leave home.

As soon as they got to the door,
Rose ran up to her grandmamma,
and said, as tears ran down her cheeks,
" It was all my fault, that it was ; for
George did not wish to go, but I led
him out."

"No," said George, "it was my
fault too, for I knew it was wrong,
and Rose did not."

"Well," said their kind grand-
mamma, as she kissed them and dried



44 GEORGE AND ROSE'S LONG WALK.

their eyes, "you will not do so any
more, I dare say, now that you feel
that you are too young to go out alone.
But it is high time you were in bed, so
run up stairs to Ann, like a good boy
and girl."



45



THE GLOW-WORM.

As John and Mary Green were on
their way home from their aunt's house,
where they had spent the day, they
saw something bright in the grass by
the road-side.

"Look, look! what is that?" said
John to the maid.

" Oh, I dare say it is a drop of dew
which shines in the light of the moon,"
said she.



46 THE GLOW-WORM.

" Oh, no," said Mary, " the moon
does not shine through that thick hedge
at all: let me try to pick it up."

" Here it is," cried John, " I have
got hold of it ; but it does not shine
now : this cannot be it."

" Do not drop it," said Mary ; " but
take it home to mamma, and she will
tell us what it is."

They now made all the haste they
could : they found their mamma at the
hall-door, who was looking out for
them, and told her what they had
brought.



THE GLOW-WORM. 47

" Oh, I dare say it is a glow-
worm," said she : " let me look at it :
yes, that it is."

" A glow-worm ! mamma," said John
and Mary, " what is that ?"

" It is a small worm, w r hich is able
to send forth a light from its body,
which shines in the dark, as you
saw it. This is the only insect of the
kind which js found in our isle, but
there are many in other lands, and
some of them give far more light than
this does. There is the fire-fly, which,
as it flits in and out of the dark bushes



48 THE GLOW-WORM.

in the night with its star-like light,
must look very pretty."

" Oh, how I wish I could see it !"
said John.

" The men who live where the fire-
flies are, sometimes use them as a lamp,
to guide them from place to place."

" How droll," said Mary, " when
you want a light, just to run into the
woods and catch one !"

" How many things there are in the
world," said John, " which I have not
heard of!"

" Yes," said his mamma, " that is



THE GLOW-WORM. 49

quite true ; and though you should live
to be an old man, you will still have to
say the same, for the earth and the sea
are full of the works of the Lord, and
no life is too long in which to learn
them all."



50



THE REED-BIRD.

" JAMES, James, where are you gone?"
said Jesse Wright.

" Hush, Jesse, here I am, quite
safe," said James. " Pray do not
make such a noise."

" What have you found there ?" said
Jesse, as she spied him out deep in the
thick rushes. " Shall I come to you ?"

" No, no," said James, " that you


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Online LibraryJohn WilsonLittle Frank and other tales : chiefly in words of one syllable → online text (page 1 of 2)