“Ah, yes!” he cried, “I
have it at last:
Your troubles, dear Mrs. Goose, are past;
There is a school-master, wise and good,
I know where he lives in yonder wood,
To-morrow evening, you shall see
In yon broad meadow his school will be,
He’ll bring you a book with the A, B, C,
And he’ll give his little lesson free.”
But now just listen, and you shall hear
About that fox; he went off, my dear,
And he bought a coat, and a beaver hat,
And a pair of specs, and a black cravat.
Next evening he came dressed up to charm,
With the little “Reader” under his arm,
Where the goose stood waiting without alarm,
For, indeed, she hadn’t a thought of harm.
Had she looked at all, you would have
She need not have been so quickly caught,
For the long red bushy fox’s tail,
Swept over the meadow like a trail.
But ’twas rather dark, for night was near,
And another thing, I greatly fear.
She felt too anxious to see quite clear;
She was simply a goose of one idea.
The school-master opens wide his book,
The goose makes a long, long neck, to look,
He opens his mouth, as if to cough,
When, snippety-snap! her head flies off.
Now, cackle loudly her sisters fond,
Who are watching proudly from the pond,
While off to the town that lies beyond,
The whole of the frightened flock abscond.
That day, the geese made a solemn vow,
Which their faithful children keep till now,
That, never shall goose or gosling look
At any school-master or his book.
So, if ever you should chance to hear
Them talking of school, don’t think it queer
If they say some hard things, or appear
To show a certain degree of fear;
It is always so with geese, my dear.
[Illustration: “LADY-BIRD, FLY AWAY HOME!”]
BY HENRY BACON.
Parisians adore the sunshine. On a sunny day the many squares and parks are peopled by children dressed in gay costumes, always attended by parents or nurses. The old gingerbread venders at the gates find a ready sale for chunks of coarse bread (to be thrown to the sparrows and swans), hoops, jump-ropes, and wooden shovels,—for the little ones are allowed to dig in the public walks as if they were on private grounds and heirs of the soil. Here the babies build their miniature forts, while the sergents-de-ville (or policemen), who are old soldiers, look kindly on, taking special care not to trample the fortifications as they pass to and fro upon their rounds.
Here future captains and admirals sail their miniature fleet, and are as helplessly horror-stricken when the graceful swans sally out and attack their little vessels, as when from Fortress Monroe the spectators watched the “Merrimac” steam down upon the shipping in the roads.