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THE LONELY BIRD.
HE snow fell lightly, the wind was low, “ I wish I had some one to talk to me;
And whistled softly and merrily ; It is weary sitting alone,” he said,
And the snowdrops nodded cheerily. And the birds will be out in their best array ;
To choose their mates and to build away,
Their nests where the green boughs spread. Their hearts were light and their song was
The snow next day had melted away,
And pleasant beamed out the sun,
And two birds sat on the budding spray
Where before there had been but one,
And they sang a song so sweet and clear
That every one listened far and near; All save one songster upon a tree,
The violet crept from her leaves to hear, He ruffled his plumes and nodded his head, And was kissed by the golden sun.
A PERSIAN JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK.
NLY there was no my Uncle Suleeman, and yet they are sitting in
bean-stalk, and Ke- high places. Some time I shall do the same. They rim was not going sit all day long among their cushions, smoking their to market to sell a long pipes and drinking of the wine of Schiraz ; cow; neither had he and every one pays court to them.
It is an easy a hat to put the life ; I hope to do the same." beans in. The coun- “ Your uncles were in the schools. Hussum is a try, too, was not at great philosopher, and his work was done before you all like the country were born; it is time for him to rest. And Suleeman
where Jack lived, is an astrologer ; it cost him many sleepless nights for the
houses to watch the stars. You are of no use to me, had flat roofs,
Kerim.” and mulberry-trees Then Kerim kissed his mother, and saidgrew in such quan- “Isn't there anything I can do, mother?—just tities, and had such try me once more.”
abundance of His mother considered.
leaves, that the “If I could only trust you to take my work to "HIE SEIZED THE PIECE OF WORK."
silkworms had the silk merchant,” she said meditatively, “it plenty of food, and yielded much soft flossy would save me a journey, for I am so tired, I can silk, with which the Persians made the most scarcely crawl about the house." beautiful brocades and silken stuffs.
“Let me take it to him, mother. I will run all But for all this, Kerim and his mother were very the way, and not stop once to play on the road, poor, though the mother worked hard at embroidery, but will bring the money straight back to you." and tapestry, and shawls, and carpets.
“ If I only dared to trust you,” said his mother. Kerim was an idle boy, though good-natured and “You need have no fear,” said Kerim, suddenly ; fond of his mother. Still, he did not help her much, and he seized the piece of work, and away be and when she scolded him he would put his arm darted. round her neck, and say,
"Poor little mother! When I am rich you shall The sun was hot, and Kerim ran very fast and got not work."
quite out of breath; so he thought he would stop and “Ah, Kerim!” she would answer, “I know not rest under the shade of a rock that jutted out. when that will be, since you will not do any work.” Some one else was resting also : a tall man in Then Kerim laughed, and said,
flowing robes, with a most beautiful beard, which “My Uncle Hussum does not work, neither does quite glittered in the sunshine ; and Kerim
in a remarkable manner, and then, if you are wise you will make your fortune and your mother's also."
“But is it sure to bring a fortune?” said Kerim. “ Certain.”
Then Kerim put his mother's embroidery into the stranger's hand, and took the carrot, and before he had time to repent of the bargain the stranger had vanished, and he was left under the shady rock. He went home very slowly.
Well, Kerim?" said his mother. “Well, mother?” said Kerim.
“ Put down that dirty carrot, child, and give me the money."
“Dirty carrot !” exclaimed Kerim ; “it's going to make our fortune, mother. I've sold the work
for it, and it's the best bargain you ever had.” L.L.
“Sold my beautiful work for that dirty vege
table !” shrieked the mother, at the same time Mla
seizing Kerim by the shoulder and giving him
such a shaking that the carrot dropped from his HE WAS ABOUT TO RUN AWAY."
hand. The mother would have fung it out of
doors, but as she stooped to pick it up it suddenly stood open-mouthed admiring it and the various gave a bound, and rooted itself so firmly in a corner ornaments on the man's dress.
He was so en- of the paved floor where a patch of earth was grossed in watching him that he did not perceive visible, that tug as she would she could not remove that he had dropped his mother's work on the it, and at the same time a strange noise was heard ground.
as of a screw being driven into a piece of wood. The stranger, however, saw it, and said —
“ Whose handiwork is that? and where are you taking it?"
Then Kerim, in some confusion, picked up the piece of embroidery, and answered
“It is my mother's; and I am going to take it to the silk merchant, who will pay well for it.”
“I will buy it,” said the stranger. “It matches a robe that I have torn, and I will give more than the silk merchant will give you for it.”
“The merchant will give many pieces of silver." The stranger laughed.
“Ridiculous!" said he ; “ridiculous to give all that work for so paltry a sum! I will give you something in exchange that will make your fortune ;” and he drew from beneath the folds of his garment a carrot, with a bushy green top.
I Kerim clutched the piece of tapestry very tightly.
“Oh no, no!” Kerim said, and he was about to run away when the stranger stopped him.
“ This carrot,” he said, “is worth more than all the silver and gold the merchant has in his chests. You are born for fortune, my boy, or you would not have met with me to-day. You need not be afraid to take it, for it will make your fortune. All you have to do is to set it in a great flower-pot inside the house, and it will grow down into the earth, and when it has grown to its full length it will blossom
THE CARROT DROPPED FROM HIS HAND."
Kerim stood looking on. “It's an uncommon around, and were wreathed around a crystal carrot,” said he, “and if you'll only wait a little, goblet in which sparkled the wine of Schiraz, such mother, you may see wonderful things."
as his uncle drank of. The player played and sang, So they waited ; and night and morning Kerim until, overcome with fatigue, he sank amidst the watered his carrot. But in the meantime Kerim soft pillows, and soon afterwards fell asleep. and his mother were poorer than ever.
Then a chorus of rare birds took up the
song, and sang so sweet a lullaby that III.
Kerim felt drowsy himself; but a voice now One morning when Kerim went to look at his seemed to whisper in his earcarrot, he found, to his surprise, that no carrot-top “Take of the treasures of the was to be seen, but instead there was something cave and make thy way to the that looked like a trap-door studded with silver nails. upper world again. Haste Kerim called his mother.
thee, haste ! for Hafiz seldom “ It was not here last night," said he. “I expect slumbers long, and will awake.” it comes from the carrot.”
This, then, was the restingAnd Kerim lifted up the trap-door cautiously; place of the great poet. If he for it was a trap-door opening on a staircase, that could only take the lute, then had hundreds and hundreds of steps leading down, would his fortune indeed be Kerim could not tell where, for there were so many made, for all Persia would steps down, down, that Kerim felt quite dizzy. listen and applaud. Cau
" I'll go and see where it leads to, mother.” tiously he approached, cau
"Oh, dear, no! Don't go, Kerim, don't go ; it may tiously he put out his hand ; be some trap to catch you. Who knows but-_» but Hafiz stirred
But Kerim was down a dozen steps already, then in his slumbers, down another dozen ; it was no trouble to descend, and Kerim, the steps were so easy.
He continued his descent, and at last came to a great cavern with crystal pillars and lamps, with naptha burning in them, hanging from the archways.
“I must be far down tomir under the earth,” said he to himself, "and the carrot must have grown into staircase so as
LL to bring me
“ON A PILE OF EMBROIDERED CUSHIONS RECLINED A FIGURE" here in order that I may make
drawing back, stumbled over a golden-clasped my fortune. 1 E o
volume, which he picked up, and fled, for the eyes must see what
of Hafiz were unclosing. can be done."
He gained the crystal-pillared cavern, and the He advanced towards a corridor that struck out lamps were still burning, and lighted him to the to the left from the cavern, and saw a light in the winding staircase. He mounted it, and sprang up distance, and also heard the most beautiful music, the steps with such agility that he seemed to be at and a voice chanting snatches of poetry that made the top in one bound. him think of his Uncle Suleeman, who, besides “Open, mother, open !” he shouted. And even being an astrologer, was also a poet.
as he spoke the trap-door few up, and he was once Kerim crept cautiously along, and beheld through more at home. an opening in a silken curtain a most splendid
IV. apartment, where the most precious productions of | Kerim and his mother said nothing about the Persia were heaped together. On a pile of em- golden-bound volume ; but every night Kerim broidered cushions reclined a figure clad in magni- learned one of the poems it contained, and every ficent garments, holding a lute in his hands. He morning he repeated it in the market-place or was crowned with roses, and roses were scattered at the gates of the city, or wherever people were
he took in his armis, and began
to make his way back. But this time he was not to get off so easily. He hadn't gone far be
fore he heard heavy footsteps behind him, and a loud voice cried "Stop thief ! stop thief! Robber of the king's treasure, lay down thy booty, I command thee ! Close rocks, close rocks, and hold him till I come !"
And as these words echoed through the rocks it "A HAMMER WAS FORTUNATELY CLOSE BY."
sounded to Kerim as if a thousand voices were
speaking. But still he struggled on with his burden, gathered together. Such verses as he recited were though he felt that the rocks were gradually coming far beyond any that his uncle Suleeman could com- nearer and nearer, and he knew that if he could not pose, and crowds gathered to hear him, and to re- reach the staircase in time he would be crushed ward the young poet. Even the king sent for him between them. Still, on he ran, shouting as loudly to the palace, and gave him a large sum of money as he could for his verses. So altogether Kerim collected
To save mishap !" a small fortune, and might have lived comfortably enough upon it. Only he was not content ; he Fortunately his mother heard him, and as he put wanted more.
his foot on the first step she lifted the trap-door, “I must go down again, and see if I cannot get and such a flood of light rushed in that it blinded the lute. Then one would not have the trouble of the giant of the turquoise mine for a moment. He learning verses. With such music they would come started back, believing that the sun was falling into of themselves.” So he opened the trap-door, and the depths of the earth ; and in that moment Kerim went down a second time. When, however, he sprang upon the floor of his mother's house, and reached the last step he found, to his surprise, as he did so he heard the rocks close with a noise that he was in darkness.
as of thunder, making a thick wall between himself He groped his way along a narrow passage, that
and his went on and on, until he thought it would have no ending. All at once he heard sounds as of sharp mother the load of treasure he had brought she hammers chipping off pieces of rock, and suddenly a was quite frightened. dim light shone out from a lamp swinging above him, “We must hide it,” said Kerim," and only bring which,gradually gaining strength, lighted up the part out a little at a time.” where he was standing, which was, he supposed, So they buried it underneath the stone flags inpart of a mine, full on every side of rocks of blue side the house, and every night Kerim dreamed of turquoise.
what a rich man he was, and how he had horses “ Ha!” thought Kerim, “I must be under the and chariots, and servants, and a grand palace ; mountains of Khorassan, and my carrot has struck but when he awoke he said to himselfa wonderful vein. Now I shall make my fortune." “I might have all these, but I have only a heap
A hammer was fortunately close by ; so he chipped of blue stones that I dare not use.” and chipped away at the rocks until he had got a Then Kerim grew restless. He wandered about, great heap of turquoise together, whose value he feeling too rich to recite verses for money, and so he could not estimate. He took off his outer robe, and kept out of the crowded streets, for fear that people packed the precious stones into a great bundle. This should come and beg a song from him. He had
• So Kerim escaped ; and when he showed his