Copyright
Various.

The Junior Classics, Volume 2: Folk Tales and Myths online

. (page 1 of 31)
Online LibraryVariousThe Junior Classics, Volume 2: Folk Tales and Myths → online text (page 1 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


JUNIOR CLASSICS, VOLUME 2, FOLK TALES ***




Produced by MFR, For Emmy and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This book was
produced from images made available by the HathiTrust
Digital Library.)





The Junior Classics, Volume 2: Folk Tales and Myths





[Illustration:

_Junior
Classics_

THE·YOUNG·FOLKS’
SHELF·OF·BOOKS

_P·F·Collier·&·Son Corporation_
_New York_]




[Illustration: AH, NAUGHTY PANDORA!—page 351

_From the painting by Maxfield Parrish_]




THE
JUNIOR CLASSICS

SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY
WILLIAM PATTEN
MANAGING EDITOR OF THE HARVARD CLASSICS

INTRODUCTION BY
CHARLES W. ELIOT, LL.D.
PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY

WITH A READING GUIDE BY
WILLIAM ALLAN NEILSON, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, HARVARD UNIVERSITY
PRESIDENT SMITH COLLEGE, NORTHAMPTON, MASS., SINCE 1917

VOLUME TWO

_Folk Tales and Myths_

[Illustration]

P. F. COLLIER & SON CORPORATION
NEW YORK

Copyright, 1912
By P. F. COLLIER & SON

Copyright, 1918
By P. F. COLLIER & SON

Acknowledgments of permission given by authors and
publishers for the use of copyright material
appear in Volume 10

MANUFACTURED IN U. S. A.

TC




CONTENTS


PAGE

NOTE 8

STORIES FROM NORTHERN SAGAS

The Northmen’s Story of How All Things
Began _E. M. Wilmot-Buxton_ 9
How the Queen of the Sky Gave Gifts to Men _E. M. Wilmot-Buxton_ 17
The Dwarfs and the Fairies _A. and E. Keary_ 21
How Thor Went to Jötunheim _A. and E. Keary_ 26
How Thor’s Hammer Was Lost and Found _E. M. Wilmot-Buxton_ 40
Iduna’s Apples of Youth _A. and E. Keary_ 51
How the Fenris Wolf Was Chained _E. M. Wilmot-Buxton_ 72
The Story of Balder the Beautiful _E. M. Wilmot-Buxton_ 80
The Wonderful Quern Stones _Julia Goddard_ 91

THE STORY OF BRUNHILDA AND SIEGFRIED

Brunhilda and the Magic Sword _Constance Maud_ 99
Brunhilda’s Sleep Guarded by Loki’s Fiery
Arm _Constance Maud_ 107
How Siegfried Killed the Dragon _Constance Maud_ 115
How Siegfried Finds Brunhilda _Constance Maud_ 133

THE STORY OF LOHENGRIN

The Plot Against the Beautiful Elsa of
Brabant _Constance Maud_ 141
The Knights of the Holy Grail _Constance Maud_ 148
Lohengrin the Champion of Elsa of Brabant _Constance Maud_ 150
Ortruda Plots for Revenge _Constance Maud_ 158
The Departure of Lohengrin _Constance Maud_ 162
The Wooing of the Daughter of the King of
Ireland _From the Gudrun Lay_ 171

THREE TALES OF THE RHINE

The Lady of Kynast _Xavier B. Saintine_ 180
The Guardian Angel _Xavier B. Saintine_ 183
The Giant Who Laughed at a Dwarf _Xavier B. Saintine_ 185
The Legend of Saint Christopher _Lillian M. Gask_ 187
Prince Ivan and the Gray Wolf _Lillian M. Gask_ 195
King Robert of Sicily _Henry W. Longfellow_ 213

MYTHS OF GREECE AND ROME

The Riddle of the Sphinx _Elsie F. Buckley_ 222
The Gift of Athene _Sir George W. Cox_ 250
Daphne, Child of the Morning _Sir George W. Cox_ 253
The Vengeance of Apollo _Sir George W. Cox_ 255
The Story of Arion _Sir George W. Cox_ 261
The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice _Sir George W. Cox_ 267
Orpheus the Sweet Singer _Sir George W. Cox_ 273
Niobe, a Victim of Latona’s Jealousy _Thomas Bulfinch_ 278
The Sad Story of Pyramus and Thisbe _Thomas Bulfinch_ 282
The Twelve Labors of Hercules _Thomas Bulfinch_ 286
Hercules’s Search for the Apples of
Hesperides _Nathaniel Hawthorne_ 292
The Story of Cupid and Psyche _Thomas Bulfinch_ 318
How Phaëton Drove the Sun _Thomas Bulfinch_ 330
Baucis and Philemon Changed into Two Trees _Thomas Bulfinch_ 339
The Paradise of Children _Nathaniel Hawthorne_ 342

TWO TALES OF THE HUDSON

Rip Van Winkle _Washington Irving_ 364
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow _Washington Irving_ 386

SOME ANIMAL MYTHS OF VARIOUS LANDS

The Hare Who Thought the World Had Come
to an End _H. N. Francis_ 430
A Hindoo Tale translated from the
Jataka
The Watering of the Saplings _Rev. W. H. D. Rouse_ 433
A Hindoo Tale translated from the
Jataka
The Old Hare and the Elephants _Sir Edwin Arnold_ 434
A Hindoo Tale translated from the
Hitopadeca
The Elephant Has a Bet With the Tiger _Walter Skeat_ 436
A Tale from the Malay Peninsula
How the Tortoise Out-Ran the Deer _C. F. Hartt_ 441
A Tale from the Amazon River
Which was the Stronger, the Tortoise, the
Tapir, or the Whale? _C. F. Hartt_ 444
A Tale from the Amazon River
How the Turtle Got His Shell _Annie Ker_ 446
A Tale from New Guinea
The Legend of Rata _Sir George Grey_ 450
A Maori Myth
Why the Hippopotamus Lives in the Water _Elphinstone Dayrell_ 455
A West African Myth
Why the Elephant Has Small Eyes _Elphinstone Dayrell_ 457
A West African Myth
The Boy Who Set a Snare for the Sun _H. R. Schoolcraft_ 460
An American Indian Myth
The Bird Lover _Cornelius Mathews_ 465
Wunzh, the Father of Indian Corn _Cornelius Mathews_ 479
When Brer Wolf Have His Corn Shucking _Anonymous_ 487
A Tale told by the Georgia Negroes
Brer Rabbit’s Cool Air Swing _Anonymous_ 490
A Tale told by the Georgia Negroes

THREE STORIES OF THE SEASONS

The Four Seasons _Lillian M. Gask_ 493
The Three Lemons _Lillian M. Gask_ 500
The Winter-Spirit and His Visitor _Cornelius Mathews_ 512




ILLUSTRATIONS


AH, NAUGHTY PANDORA!

The Paradise of Children

_Frontispiece illustration in color from the painting by
Maxfield Parrish_


THEY WOULD SWOOP DOWN AND BEAR HIS LIFELESS BODY TO VALHALLA

Brunhilda and the Magic Sword

_From the painting by K. Dielitz_


TENDERLY HE LOOKED AT HER, AND SLOWLY KISSED HER ON BOTH EYES

Brunhilda’s Sleep Guarded by Loki’s Fiery Arm

_From the painting by K. Dielitz_


SIEGFRIED SLAYS THE DRAGON

How Siegfried Killed the Dragon

_From the painting by K. Dielitz_


“THROUGH HEAVEN’S VICTORY, THY LIFE IS MINE!”

Lohengrin the Champion of Elsa of Brabant

_From the painting by Ferdinand Leeke_


AS HE ENTERED THE VILLAGE, HE MET A NUMBER OF PEOPLE NONE OF WHOM
HE KNEW

Rip Van Winkle

_From the painting by Arthur Rackham_


A TROOP OF STRANGE CHILDREN RAN AT HIS HEELS

Rip Van Winkle

_From the painting by Arthur Rackham_


A PROVOKINGLY SHORT PETTICOAT TO DISPLAY THE PRETTIEST FOOT IN
THE COUNTRY ROAD

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

_From the painting by Arthur Rackham_




NOTE


_The character of the contents of volumes 1, 2 and 3 is so closely
related that they may be said to constitute three volumes under one
general title. There are myths of Greece and Rome in this volume as well
as in volume 3, and there are more animal myths in volume 1, particularly
of the Hindoos and of the North American Indians._

_What gives the volume a special character is the large group of stories
from the Sagas or Epic Songs of the Northmen, including the story of
Brunhilda and Siegfried, and a particularly attractive version of
Lohengrin, condensed, but not rewritten, from the story by Miss Maud._

_These stories belong to us, in a very particular sense, since the blood
that flows in the veins of English and American boys is largely the blood
of the fair-faced, fair-haired Northmen (or Scandinavians, or Danes,
or whatever we call them) who invaded England in the ninth and tenth
centuries. Their strong bodies and strong wills have worked wonders in
the world and have made the world a pleasanter place to live in. It was
the Northman blood that sent Robinson Crusoe a-wandering, and helped
Christian defeat the Giant in Doubting Castle._

—_W.P._




THE NORTHMEN’S STORY OF HOW ALL THINGS BEGAN

By E. M. Wilmot-Buxton


Once upon a time, before ever this world was made, there was neither
earth nor sea, nor air, nor light, but only a great yawning gulf, full of
twilight.

To the north of this gulf lay the Home of Mist, a dark and dreary land,
out of which flowed a river of water from a spring that never ran dry.
As the water in its onward course met the bitter blasts of wind from the
yawning gulf, it hardened into great blocks of ice, which rolled far down
into the abyss with a thunderous roar and piled themselves one on another
until they formed mountains of glistening ice.

South of this gulf lay the Home of Fire, a land of burning heat, guarded
by a giant with a flaming sword, which, as he flashed it to and fro
before the entrance, sent forth showers of sparks. And these sparks fell
upon the ice-blocks and partly melted them, so that they sent up clouds
of steam; and these again were frozen into hoar-frost, which filled all
the space that was left in the midst of the mountains of ice.

Then one day, when the gulf was full to the very top, this great mass of
frosty rime, warmed by the flames from the Home of Fire, and frozen by
the cold airs from the Home of Mist, came to life and became the Giant
Ymir, with a living, moving body and cruel heart of ice.

Now there was as yet no tree, nor grass, nor anything that would serve
for food, in this gloomy abyss. But when the Giant Ymir began to grope
around for something to satisfy his hunger, he heard a sound as of some
animal chewing the cud; and there among the ice-hills he saw a gigantic
cow, from whose udder flowed four great streams of milk, and with this
his craving was easily stilled.

But the cow was hungry also, and began to lick the salt off the blocks of
ice by which she was surrounded. And presently, as she went on licking
with her strong, rough tongue, a head of hair pushed itself through the
melting ice. Still the cow went on licking, until she had at last melted
all the icy covering and there stood fully revealed the frame of a mighty
man.

Ymir looked with eyes of hatred at this being, born of snow and ice, for
somehow he knew that his heart was warm and kind, and that he and his
sons would always be the enemies of the evil race of the Frost Giants.

So, indeed, it came to pass. For from the sons of Ymir came a race of
giants whose pleasure was to work evil on the earth; and from the Sons of
the Iceman sprang the race of the gods, chief of whom was Odin, Father
of All Things that ever were made; and Odin and his brothers began at
once to war against the wicked Frost Giants, and most of all against the
cold-hearted Ymir.

Now when, after a hard fight, the Giant Ymir was slain, such a river
of blood flowed forth from his wounds that it drowned all the rest of
the Frost Giants save one, who escaped in a boat, with only his wife on
board, and sailed away to the edge of the world. And from him sprang all
the new race of Frost Giants, who at every opportunity issued from their
land of twilight and desolation to harm the gods in their abode of bliss.

When the giants had been thus driven out, All-Father Odin set to work
with his brothers to make the earth, the sea, and the sky; and these they
fashioned out of the great body of the Giant Ymir.

Out of his flesh they formed Midgard, the earth, which lay in the center
of the gulf; and all round it they planted his eyebrows to make a high
fence which should defend it from the race of giants.

With his bones they made the lofty hills, with his teeth the cliffs, and
his thick curly hair took root and became trees, bushes, and the green
grass.

With his blood they made the ocean, and his great skull, poised aloft,
became the arching sky. Just below this they scattered his brains, and
made of them the heavy gray clouds that lie between earth and heaven.

The sky itself was held in place by four strong dwarfs, who support it on
their broad shoulders as they stand east and west and south and north.

The next thing was to give light to the new-made world. So the gods
caught sparks from the Home of Fire and set them in the sky for stars;
and they took the living flame and made of it the sun and moon, which
they placed in chariots of gold, and harnessed to them beautiful horses,
with flowing manes of gold and silver. Before the horses of the sun they
placed a mighty shield to protect them from its hot rays; but the swift
moon steeds needed no such protection from its gentle heat.

And now all was ready save that there was no one to drive the horses of
the sun and moon. This task was given to Mani and Sol, the beautiful son
and daughter of a giant; and these fair charioteers drive their fleet
steeds along the paths marked out by the gods, and not only give light to
the earth but mark out months and days for the sons of men.

Then All-Father Odin called forth Night, the gloomy daughter of the
cold-hearted giant folk, and set her to drive the dark chariot drawn by
the black horse, Frosty-Mane, from whose long wavy hair the drops of dew
and hoar-frost fall upon the earth below. After her drove her radiant
son, Day, with his white steed Shining-Mane, from whom the bright beams
of daylight shine forth to gladden the hearts of men.

But the wicked giants were very angry when they saw all these good
things; and they set in the sky two hungry wolves, that the fierce, gray
creatures might forever pursue the sun and moon, and devour them, and so
bring all things to an end. Sometimes, indeed, or so say the men of the
North, the gray wolves almost succeed in swallowing sun or moon; and then
the earth children make such an uproar that the fierce beasts drop their
prey in fear. And the sun and moon flee more rapidly than before, still
pursued by the hungry monsters.

One day, so runs the tale, as Mani, the Man in the Moon, was hastening
on his course, he gazed upon the earth and saw two beautiful little
children, a boy and a girl, carrying between them a pail of water.
They looked very tired and sleepy, and indeed they were, for a cruel
giant made them fetch and carry water all night long, when they should
have been in bed. So Mani put out a long, long arm and snatched up the
children and set them in the moon, pail and all; and there you can see
them on any moonlight night for yourself.

But that happened a long time after the beginning of things; for as yet
there was no man or woman or child upon the earth.

And now that this pleasant Midgard was made, the gods determined
to satisfy their desire for a home where they might rest and enjoy
themselves in their hours of ease.

They chose a suitable place far above the earth, on the other side of the
great river which flowed from the Home of Mist where the giants dwelt,
and here they made for their abode Asgard, wherein they dwelt in peace
and happiness, and from whence they could look down upon the sons of men.

From Asgard to Midgard they built a beautiful bridge of many colors, to
which men gave the name of Rainbow Bridge, and up and down which the gods
could pass on their journeys to and from the earth.

Here in Asgard stood the mighty forge where the gods fashioned their
weapons wherewith they fought the giants, and the tools wherewith they
built their palaces of gold and silver.

Meantime, no human creature lived upon the earth, and the giants dared
not cross its borders for fear of the gods. But one of them, clad in
eagle’s plumes, always sat at the north side of Midgard, and, whenever he
raised his arms and let them fall again, an icy blast rushed forth from
the Mist Home and nipped all the pleasant things of earth with its cruel
breath. In due time the earth brought forth thousands of tiny creatures,
which crawled about and showed signs of great intelligence. And when the
gods examined these little people closely, they found that they were of
two kinds.

Some were ugly, misshapen, and cunning-faced, with great heads, small
bodies, long arms and feet. These they called Trolls or Dwarfs or Gnomes,
and sent them to live underground, threatening to turn them into stone
should they appear in the daytime. And this is why the trolls spend all
their time in the hidden parts of the earth, digging for gold and silver
and precious stones, and hiding their spoil away in secret holes and
corners. Sometimes they blow their tiny fires and set to work to make all
kinds of wonderful things from this buried treasure; and that is what
they are doing when, if one listens very hard on the mountains and hills
of the Northland, a sound of tap-tap-tapping is heard far underneath the
ground.

The other small earth creatures were very fair and light and slender,
kindly of heart and full of good will. These the gods called Fairies
or Elves, and gave to them a charming place called Elfland in which to
dwell. Elfland lies between Asgard and Midgard, and since all fairies
have wings they can easily flit down to the earth to play with the
butterflies, teach the young birds to sing, water the flowers, or dance
in the moonlight round a fairy ring.

Last of all, the gods made a man and woman to dwell in fair Midgard; and
this is the manner of their creation.

All-Father Odin was walking with his brothers in Midgard where, by the
seashore, they found growing two trees, an ash and an elm. Odin took
these trees and breathed on them, whereupon a wonderful transformation
took place. Where the trees had stood, there were a living man and woman,
but they were stupid, pale, and speechless, until Hœnir, the god of
Light, touched their foreheads and gave them sense and wisdom; and Loki,
the Fire-god, smoothed their faces, giving them bright color and warm
blood, and the power to speak and see and hear.

It only remained that they should be named, and they were called Ask and
Embla, the names of the trees from which they had been formed. From these
two people sprang all the race of men which lives upon this earth.

And now All-Father Odin completed his work by planting the Tree of Life.

This immense tree had its roots in Asgard and Midgard and the Mist Land;
and it grew to such a marvellous height that the highest bough, the Bough
of Peace, hung over the Hall of Odin on the heights of Asgard; and the
other branches overshadowed both Midgard and the Mist Land. On the top
of the Peace Bough was perched a mighty eagle, and ever a falcon sat
between his eyes, and kept watch on all that happened in the world below,
that he might tell to Odin what he saw.

Heidrun, the goat of Odin, who supplied the heavenly mead, browsed on the
leaves of this wonderful tree, and from them fed also the four mighty
stags from whose horns honey-dew dropped on to the earth beneath and
supplied water for all the rivers of Midgard.

The leaves of the Tree of Life were ever green and fair, despite the
dragon which, aided by countless serpents, gnawed perpetually at its
roots, in order that they might kill the Tree of Life and thus bring
about the destruction of the gods.

Up and down the branches of the tree scampered the squirrel, Ratatosk, a
malicious little creature, whose one amusement it was to make mischief by
repeating to the eagle the rude remarks of the dragon, and to the dragon
those of the eagle, in the hope that one day he might see them in actual
conflict.

Near the roots of the Tree of Life is a sacred well of sweet water from
which the three Weird Sisters, who know all that shall come to pass,
sprinkle the tree and keep it fresh and green. And the water, as it
trickles down from the leaves, falls as drops of honey on the earth, and
the bees take it for their food.

Close to this sacred well is the Council Hall of the gods, to which every
morning they rode, over the Rainbow Bridge, to hold converse together.

And this is the end of the tale of How All Things began.




HOW THE QUEEN OF THE SKY GAVE GIFTS TO MEN

By E. M. Wilmot-Buxton


By the side of All-Father Odin, upon his high seat in Asgard, sat Frigga,
his wife, the Queen of the Asas. Sometimes she would be dressed in
snow-white garments, bound at the waist by a golden girdle, from which
hung a great bunch of golden keys. And the earth-dwellers, gazing into
the sky, would admire the great white clouds as they floated across the
blue, not perceiving that these clouds were really the folds of Frigga’s
flowing white robe, as it waved in the wind.

At other times she would wear dark gray or purple garments; and then the
earth-dwellers made haste into their houses, for they said, “the sky is
lowering to-day, and a storm is nigh at hand.”

Frigga had a palace of her own called Fensalir, or the Hall of Mists,
where she spent much of her time at her wheel, spinning golden thread, or
weaving web after web of many-colored clouds. All night long she sat at
this golden wheel, and if you look at the sky on a starry night you may
chance to see it set up where the men of the South show a constellation
called the Girdle of Orion.

Husbands and wives who had dwelt lovingly together upon earth were
invited by Frigga to her hall when they died, so they might be forever
united within its hospitable walls.

Frigga was especially interested in all good housewives, and she herself
set them an excellent example in Fensalir. When the snowflakes fell, the
earth-dwellers knew it was Frigga shaking her great feather bed, and when
it rained they said it was her washing day. It was she who first gave to
them the gift of flax that the women upon earth might spin, and weave,
and bleach their linen as white as the clouds of her own white robe.

And this is how it came about.

There once was a shepherd who lived among the mountains with his wife and
children; and so very poor was he that he often found it hard to give his
family enough to satisfy their hunger. But he did not grumble; he only
worked the harder; and his wife, though she had scarcely any furniture,
and never a chance of a new dress, kept the house so clean, and the old
clothes so well mended, that, all unknown to herself, she rose high in
the favor of the all-seeing Frigga.

Now one day, when the shepherd had driven his few poor sheep up the



Online LibraryVariousThe Junior Classics, Volume 2: Folk Tales and Myths → online text (page 1 of 31)