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Penelope’s Plan. Penelope Hawthorne sat in the school-room window-seat at Easney Vicarage, one afternoon, looking very gravely out at the garden. She had sat there for some time, with her hands in her lap and a little troubled frown on her forehead, and anyone who knew her well would have guessed at once that she was thinking over a “plan.” Penelope was just thirteen years old, the eldest of the Hawthorne children, and as she... more...

THE MAN IN THE MOON. THE Man in the MoonCame tumbling down,And asked his way to Norwich;   They told him south,And he burnt his mouthWith eating cold pease-porridge.   TO MARKET, TO MARKET. TO market, to market, to buy a fat Pig;Home again, home again, dancing a jig.   To market, to market, to buy a fat Hog;Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.       THERE WAS A MAN. There was a man, and... more...

THE TAILOR AND THE CROW A carrion crow sat on an oak,Fol de riddle, lol de riddle, hi ding do,   Watching a tailor shape his cloak;   Sing heigh ho,   the carrion crow,   Fol de riddle,   lol de riddle,   hi ding do.   Wife,   bring me my old bent bow, Fol de riddle,   lol de riddle,   hi   ding do.   That I may shoot yon carrion crow; Sing heigh ho,... more...

THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS. Once upon a time there was an old Sow with three little Pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune.     The first that went off met a Man with a bundle of straw, and said to him, "Please, Man, give me that straw to build me a house"; which the Man did, and the little Pig built a house with it. Presently came along a Wolf, and knocked at the door,... more...

TO read the old Nursery Rhymes brings back queer lost memories of a man's own childhood. One seems to see the loose floppy picture-books of long ago, with their boldly coloured pictures. The books were tattered and worn, and my first library consisted of a wooden box full of these volumes. And I can remember being imprisoned for some crime in the closet where the box was, and how my gaolers found me, happy and impenitent, sitting on the box, with... more...


There was once a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called the Simpleton. He was laughed at and despised and neglected on all occasions. Now it happened one day that the eldest son wanted to go into the forest, to hew wood, and his Mother gave him a beautiful cake and a bottle of wine to take with him, so that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst. When he came to the wood he met a little old grey man, who, bidding him good-day,... more...

OURSELVES I'm Jack. I've always been Jack, ever since I can remember at least, though I suppose I must have been called 'Baby' for a bit before Serena came. But she's only a year and a half younger than me, and Maud's only a year and a quarter behind her, so I can scarcely remember even Serena being 'Baby'; and Maud's always been so very grown up for her age that you couldn't fancy her anything but 'Maud.' My real name isn't John though, as you... more...

WINDY GAP My name is Helena, and I am fourteen past. I have two other Christian names; one of them is rather queer. It is 'Naomi.' I don't mind having it, as I am never called by it, but I don't sign it often because it is such an odd name. My third name is not uncommon. It is just 'Charlotte.' So my whole name is 'Helena Charlotte Naomi Wingfield.' I have never been called by any short name, like 'Lena,' or 'Nellie.' I think the reason must be... more...

'WHAT A LOT OF BOYS!' It was before the days of sailor suits and knickerbockers. Nowadays boys would make great fun of the quaint little men in tight-fitting jackets, and trousers buttoning on above them, that many people still living can remember well, for it is not so very long ago after all. And whatever the difference in their clothes, the boys of then were in themselves very like the boys of now—queer, merry, thoughtless fellows for... more...

Among the four hundred human beings who peopled our parish there were two notable men and one highly gifted woman. All three are dead, and lie buried in the churchyard of the village where they lived. Their graves form a group—unsung by any poet, but worthy to be counted among the resting-places of the mighty. The woman was Mrs. Abel, the Rector's wife. None of us knew her origin—I doubt if she knew it herself: beyond her husband and... more...