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With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the lightsifted snowflakes fall;
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams,
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.

10

QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. What things told the family | 6. What things did the family that it was time to go to

hear after they had gone bed?

to bed? 2. How did Uncle Moses pre- 7. Read aloud and explain the

pare to end the evening ? last seven lines, which Can you see him do these tell how they slowly sank

two things? Try it now. into slumber. Have you 3. Who said the evening ever gone to sleep in that prayer? What did she

way? express gratitude for? 8. Tell whether you have been 4. What kind of prayer did she able to understand “Snownot offer?

Bound” and whether you 5. For what did she pray for have enjoyed it.

those who were outside her
own household ?

“THE LITTLE FELLER'S STOCKIN””

JOSEPH C. LINCOLN

This charming story of Christmas Eve, and a young farmer, his young wife, their little curly-headed boy, and his little stocking was written by Joseph C. Lincoln, a story writer and a poet of the present time.

Let us try now to see the story. First, we must see a moonlit Christmas Eve, the Christmas holly shining on the hill, a farm house with its old fireplace, a little stocking hanging on the mantel, a little trundle bed in the attic, and a little sleepy, curly head full of happy Christmas dreams. We must hear sleigh bells jingle and Christmas laughter ring.

Then we must see a hopeful little curly-headed boy standing on a chair to hang his stocking on the mantel, and then hurrying away to bed to dream of Old Santy and his sleigh and his reindeer and the pretty Christmas toys they will bring him.

Then we must see a young farmer and his young wife standing before the old fireplace touched to tears at the sight of that little faded stocking and the thought that they have so little with which to buy toys for their little, hopeful, and trustful boy.

Then you must imagine you hear the father saying that even if the crops fail and the mortgage is a heavy load for them, and the bills seem to take all their money, that so long as they have a dime left at Christmas time they will use it to keep that little fellow from finding an empty stocking on Christmas morning and to keep alive his childish faith in Santa Claus.

This whole poem is just what the father said to the mother and you must try to say it as you imagine he said it.

Learn the meanings of the following words: flue (Aloo): a chimney.

security for the payment of a reely (rē'li) : really.

debt. If the debt be not paid, mortgage (môr'gāj): a claim the property is taken from the

against a piece of property as owner to pay the debt.

“THE LITTLE FELLER'S STOCKIN'

Oh, it's Christmas Eve, and moonlight, and the Christ

mas air is chill, And the frosty Christmas holly shines and sparkles on

the hill; 5 And the Christmas sleigh bells jingle, and the Christmas

laughter rings, As the last stray shoppers hurry, takin' home the

Christmas things; And up yonder in the attic there's a little trundle bed 10 Where there's Christmas dreams a-dancin' through a

sleepy, curly head; And it's “Merry Christmas,” Mary, once agin fer me

and you, With the little feller's stockin' hangin' up beside the flue.

15 'Tisn't silk, that little stockin', and it isn't much for

show, And the darns are pretty plenty round about the heel

and toe; And its color's kinder faded, and its sorter worn and 20 old,

But it reely is surprisin' what a lot of love 'twill hold;

And the little hand that hung it by the chimbly there

along Has a grip upon our heartstrings that is mighty firm

and strong; So old Santy won't forgit it, though it isn't fine and new,5 That plain little worsted stockin' hangin' up beside

the flue.

And the crops may fail, and leave us with our plans all

knocked ter smash, And the mortgage may hang heavy, and the bills use 10

up the cash, But whenever comes the season, jest so long's we've

got a dime, There'll be somethin' in that stockin' — won't there, Mary? — every time.

15. And if in amongst our sunshine there's a shower or

two of rain, Why, we'll face it bravely, smilin', and we'll try not ter

complain, Long as Christmas comes and finds us here together, 20

me and you, With the little feller's stockin' hangin' up beside the flue.

QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. Describe the scene of this 4. Now read aloud the story poem.

just as if you were the 2. Who speaks in the poem?

father and were saying 3. Tell in your own words what

he is saying.

it.

RED FOX

CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS

It has not been very many years since naturalists began to tell us about the real lives and feelings of animals. Long ago animals were“ just animals.” But now many men and women are studying the lives, habits, and feelings of the different animals in such a way as to know that these animals have very interesting habits, feelings, and what may almost be called “ thoughts."

This fine story of “Red Fox” tells us how a poor red fox, captured to be the sport of man, felt, acted, and at last, by his cunning, escaped from his captors.

Do you know what a “Hunt Club” is? It is a set of fine gentlemen and ladies who engage in the following sport:

On an appointed day, a large number of rich men and women, handsomely dressed in riding suits, gather at a beautiful Club House for a day of sport.

Each one is riding a fine horse, which is trained to “ follow the hounds."

A man called “ The Master of the Hounds" brings out a large pack of beautiful and excited dogs, which have been trained to chase foxes.

A poor little fox, captured, as “ Red Fox” was captured in this story, has been turned loose some days before in the fields near the Club House.

And now the ladies and the gentlemen have gathered to ride after the hounds as they chase the fox to his death.

The hounds find the scent of the fox, and away goes everybody, at breakneck speed following the baying hounds over ditches, fences, and streams.

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