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The Talking Thrush       CERTAIN man had a garden, and in his garden he sowed cotton seeds. By-and-by the cotton seeds grew up into a cotton bush, with big brown pods upon it. These pods burst open when they are ripe; and you can see the fluffy white cotton bulging all white out of the pods. There was a Thrush in this garden, and the Thrush thought within herself how nice and soft the cotton looked. She plucked out some of it to... more...

PREFACE From the extreme West of the Indo-European world, we go this year to the extreme East. From the soft rain and green turf of Gaeldom, we seek the garish sun and arid soil of the Hindoo. In the Land of Ire, the belief in fairies, gnomes, ogres and monsters is all but dead; in the Land of Ind it still flourishes in all the vigour of animism. Soils and national characters differ; but fairy tales are the same in plot and incidents, if not in... more...

INVOCATION.(1) Praise to Válmíki,(2)bird of charming song,(3)  Who mounts on Poesy’s sublimest spray,And sweetly sings with accent clear and strong  Ráma, aye Ráma, in his deathless lay. Where breathes the man can listen to the strain  That flows in music from Válmíki’s tongue,Nor feel his feet the path of bliss attain  When Ráma’s glory by... more...

THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LANDOnce upon a time the youngest son of a king became filled with the desire to go abroad and see the world. He got his father's permission to depart, kissed his parents good-bye, mounted his black horse, and galloped away down the high road. Soon the gray towers of the old castle in which he was born hid themselves behind him.The Prince journeyed on, spending the days in traveling, and the nights in little wayside inns, till... more...

The Jackals and the Wolf. A pack of Jackals[FN#155] went out one day to seek food, and as they prowled about in quest of this, behold, they happened upon a dead camel and said in themselves, "Verily we have found wherewithal we may live a great while; but we fear lest one of us oppress the other and the strong bear down the weak with his strength and so the puny of us perish. Wherefore it behoveth us seek one who shall judge between us and... more...


There was once, among the Banu Ozrah, a handsome and accomplished man, who was never a single day out of love, and it chanced that he became enamoured of a beauty of his own tribe and sent her many messages; but she ceased not to entreat him with cruelty and disdain; till, for stress of love and longing and desire and distraction, he fell sick of a sore sickness and took to his pillow and murdered sleep. His malady redoubled on him and his... more...

THE STORY OF THE ENCHANTED HORSE. The Nooroze, or the new day, which is the first of the year and spring, is observed as a solemn festival throughout all Persia, which has been continued from the time of idolatry; and our prophet's religion, pure as it is, and true as we hold it, has not been able to abolish that heathenish custom, and the superstitious ceremonies which are observed, not only in the great cities, but celebrated with... more...

Persia was an empire of such vast extent, that its ancient monarchs, not without reason, assumed the haughty title of King of kings. For not to mention those subdued by their arms, there were kingdoms and provinces whose kings were not only tributary, but also in as great subjection as governors in other nations are to the monarchs. One of these kings, who in the beginning of his reign had signalized himself by many glorious and successful... more...

The Arabian Nights Entertainments. The chronicles of the Sassanians, ancient kings of Persia, who extended their empire into the Indies, over all the adjacent islands, and a great way beyond the Ganges, as far as China, acquaint us, that there was formerly a king of that potent family, who was regarded as the most excellent prince of his time. He was as much beloved by his subjects for his wisdom and prudence, as he was dreaded by his... more...

KIDD'S TREASURE Captain Kidd is the most ubiquitous gentleman in history. If his earnings in the gentle craft of piracy were frugally husbanded, he has possibly left some pots of money in holes in the ground between Key West and Halifax. The belief that large deposits of gold were made at Gardiner's Island, Dunderberg, Cro' Nest, New York City, Coney Island, Ipswich, the marshes back of Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Isles of Shoals, Money Island,... more...