A Happy Boy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 121 pages of information about A Happy Boy.

Oyvind sat down on the grass again, the goat roaming about near him; but he was no longer as happy with it as before.


The goat was tethered near the house, but Oyvind wandered off, with his eyes fixed on the cliff.  The mother came and sat down beside him; he asked her to tell him stories about things that were far away, for now the goat was no longer enough to content him.  So his mother told him how once everything could talk:  the mountain talked to the brook, and the brook to the river, and the river to the sea, and the sea to the sky; he asked if the sky did not talk to any one, and was told that it talked to the clouds, and the clouds to the trees, the trees to the grass, the grass to the flies, the flies to the beasts, and the beasts to the children, but the children to grown people; and thus it continued until it had gone round in a circle, and neither knew where it had begun.  Oyvind gazed at the cliff, the trees, the sea, and the sky, and he had never truly seen them before.  The cat came out just then, and stretched itself out on the door-step, in the sunshine.

“What does the cat say?” asked Oyvind, and pointed.

The mother sang,—­

     “Evening sunshine softly is dying,
      On the door-step lazy puss is lying. 
     ’Two small mice,
      Cream so thick and nice;
      Four small bits of fish
      Stole I from a dish;
      Well-filled am I and sleek,
      Am very languid and meek,’
      Says the pussie."[1]

[Footnote 1:  Auber Forestier’s translation.]

Then the cock came strutting up with all the hens.

“What does the cock say?” asked Oyvind, clapping his hands.

The mother sang,—­

     “Mother-hen her wings now are sinking,
      Chanticleer on one leg stands thinking: 
     ’High, indeed,
      You gray goose can speed;
      Never, surely though, she
      Clever as a cock can be. 
      Seek your shelter, hens, I pray,
      Gone is the sun to his rest for to-day,’—­
      Says the rooster."[1]

[Footnote 1:  Auber Forestier’s translation.]

Two small birds sat singing on the gable.

“What are the birds saying?” asked Oyvind, and laughed.

    “’Dear Lord, how pleasant is life,
      For those who have neither toil nor strife,’—­
      Say the birds."[2]

—­was the answer.

[Footnote 2:  Translated by H.R.G.]

Thus he learned what all were saying, even to the ant crawling in the moss and the worm working in the bark.

Project Gutenberg
A Happy Boy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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