Famous Stories Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about Famous Stories Every Child Should Know.

And he said, “Thy mother!”

A mighty cry of joy went forth through all the star, because the mother was reunited to her two children.  And he stretched out his arms and cried, “O, mother, sister, and brother, I am here!  Take me!” And they answered him, “Not yet,” and the star was shining.

He grew to be a man, whose hair was turning gray, and he was sitting in his chair by the fireside, heavy with grief, and with his face bedewed with tears, when the star opened once again.

Said his sister’s angel to the leader:  “Is my brother come?”

And he said, “Nay, but his maiden daughter.”

And the man who had been the child saw his daughter, newly lost to him, a celestial creature among those three, and he said, “My daughter’s head is on my sister’s bosom, and her arm is around my mother’s neck, and at her feet there is the baby of old time, and I can bear the parting from her, God be praised!”

And the star was shining.

Thus the child came to be an old man, and his once smooth face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and feeble, and his back was bent.  And one night as he lay upon his bed, his children standing round, he cried, as he had cried so long ago: 

“I see the star!”

They whispered one to another, “He is dying.”

And he said, “I am.  My age is falling from me like a garment, and I move towards the star as a child.  And O, my Father, now I thank Thee that it has so often opened, to receive those dear ones who await me!”

And the star was shining, and it shines upon his grave.

II

THE KING OF THE GOLDEN RIVER; OR, THE BLACK BROTHERS

I.—­HOW THE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM OF THE BLACK BROTHERS WAS INTERFERED WITH BY SOUTHWEST WIND, ESQUIRE

In a secluded and mountainous part of Stiria there was, in old time, a valley of the most surprising and luxuriant fertility.  It was surrounded, on all sides, by steep and rocky mountains, rising into peaks, which were always covered with snow, and from which a number of torrents descended in constant cataracts.  One of these fell westward, over the face of a crag so high, that, when the sun had set to everything else, and all below was darkness, his beams still shone full upon this waterfall, so that it looked like a shower of gold.  It was, therefore, called by the people of the neighbourhood, the Golden River.  It was strange that none of these streams fell into the valley itself.  They all descended on the other side of the mountains, and wound away through broad plains and by populous cities.  But the clouds were drawn so constantly to the snowy hills, and rested so softly in the circular hollow, that in time of drought and heat, when all the country round was burnt up, there was still rain in the little valley; and its crops were so heavy, and its hay so high, and its apples so red, and its grapes so blue, and its wine so rich, and its honey so sweet that it was a marvel to everyone who beheld it, and was commonly called the Treasure Valley.

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Famous Stories Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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