pro cras’ ti na tor, one who puts off doing any thing.
res o lu’tions, promises made to one’s self; resolves.
yon’der, there; in that place.
mon’strous, of great size.
gi’ant, an unreal person, supposed to be of great size.
hor’rid, causing great fear or alarm.
ex pect’ed, thought; looked for.
* * * * *
“I’M GOING TO.”
“O dear, dear! Where am I?” said Johnny in despair. “Please let me out! I want my mamma!”
“No, you don’t,” said Wait-a-bit. “You don’t care much about her, and this is really where you belong. This is the kingdom of Procrastination, and yonder comes the king.”
“The kingdom of what?” said Johnny, who had never heard such a long word in his life before.
But just then he heard a heavy foot-fall, and a great voice that sounded like a roar, saying, “Has he come? Did you get him?”
“Yes, here he is,” said Wait-a-bit, “and he’d just been saying it a little while before we picked him up.”
Johnny looked up and saw a monstrous giant, with a bright green body and red legs, and a yellow head and two horrid coal-black eyes.
“Let me have him,” said the giant. So he took him up just as if he had been a rag-baby, and looked him all over, turning him from side to side, and from head to feet.
O but Johnny was frightened, and expected every moment to be swallowed!
“Let’s see,” said the giant; “he always says ‘Pretty soon.’ No, that isn’t it. What is it, my fine fellow, that you always say to your mamma when she asks you to do any thing for her?
“It isn’t ‘Pretty soon,’ nor ‘In a minute.’ What is it? They all mean about the same thing, to be sure, and bring every body to me in the end; but I must know exactly, or I can’t put you in the right place.”
Johnny hung his head, and did not want to tell; but an extra hard poke of the giant’s big finger made him open his mouth and say with shame, that he always said, “I’m going to.”
“O that’s it!” said the giant. “Well, then, you stand there.”
So he unwound a bit of the web from his fingers—just enough so that he could hold the Procrastinator’s Primer—and stood him at the end of a long row of children, who were saying over and over again, just as fast as they could speak, “Going to, going to, going to, going to,” just that, and nothing else in the world.
Johnny was tired and hungry by this time, and longed to see his mamma, thinking that, if he could only get back: to her, he would always mind the very moment she told him to do any thing.
He made a great many good resolutions while he stood there. At last the giant called him to come and say his lesson.
“You shall have a short one to-day,” said he, “and need say it only a thousand times, because it is your first day here. To-morrow, you must say it a million.”