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PREFACE These scattered leaves from the unwritten school-book of the wilderness have been gathered together for the children of to-day; both as a slight contribution to the treasures of aboriginal folk-lore, and with the special purpose of adapting them to the demands of the American school and fireside. That is to say, we have chosen from a mass of material the shorter and simpler stories and parts of stories, and have not always insisted upon... more...

THE NURSERY AND ITS RHYMES It is a mistake to suppose that any one nation or people has exclusive right to Mother Goose. She is an omnipresent old lady. She is Asiatic as well as European or American. Wherever there are mothers, grandmothers, and nurses there are Mother Gooses,—or; shall we say, Mother Geese—for I am at a loss as to how to pluralize this old dame. She is in India, whence I have rhymes from her, of which the following... more...

INTRODUCTION This book is for the greater part a collection of Hawaiian songs and poetic pieces that have done service from time immemorial as the stock supply of the hula. The descriptive portions have been added, not because the poetical parts could not stand by themselves, but to furnish the proper setting and to answer the questions of those who want to know. Now, the hula stood for very much to the ancient Hawaiian; it was to him in place... more...

CHAPTER I Once upon a time there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom. That is a short name, and you have heard it before, so you will not have much trouble in remembering it. He lived in a great town in the North country, where there were plenty of chimneys to sweep, and plenty of money for Tom to earn and his master to spend. He could not read nor write, and did not care to do either; and he never washed himself, for there was no... more...

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...


THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.   Long, long ago, in ancient times, there lived a King and Queen,And for the blessing of a child their longing sore had been:At last, a little daughter fair, to their great joy, was given,And to the christening feast they made, they bade the Fairies seven—   The Fairies seven, who loved the land—that they the child might bless,Yet one old Fairy they left out, in pure forgetfulness.And at the... more...

PROLOGUE Come, sit with me beside the broad hearthstone and gaze into the depths of the fire when it burns low, for not among the leaping flames alone are there to be seen marvelous things. Deep hidden from your eyes at first, but plainly visible as you look closer, are countless forms of brightness and of beauty. You will find them among the shining coals that glimmer in scarlet and gold before you when the embers lie clear and warm upon the... more...

THE FAIRIES OF CARAGONAN. Once upon a time a lot of fairies lived in Mona. One day the queen fairy's daughter, who was now fifteen years of age, told her mother she wished to go out and see the world. The queen consented, allowing her to go for a day, and to change from a fairy to a bird, or from a bird to a fairy, as she wished. When she returned one night she said: "I've been to a gentleman's house, and as I stood listening, I heard the... more...

HOW THE HODJA SAVED ALLAH   ot far from the famous Mosque Bayezid an old Hodja kept a school, and very skilfully he taught the rising generation the everlasting lesson from the Book of Books. Such knowledge had he of human nature that by a glance at his pupil he could at once tell how long it would take him to learn a quarter of the Koran. He was known over the whole Empire as the best reciter and imparter of the Sacred Writings of the... more...

PREFACE The Editor takes this opportunity to repeat what he has often said before, that he is not the author of the stories in the Fairy Books; that he did not invent them 'out of his own head.' He is accustomed to being asked, by ladies, 'Have you written anything else except the Fairy Books?' He is then obliged to explain that he has NOT written the Fairy Books, but, save these, has written almost everything else, except hymns, sermons, and... more...