so much trouble about my medicine and my food.
I didn’t think about her. I only thought what a bother it was. I wish
I hadn’t thought so much about being miserable, that I never
thought of trying to be good.
I believe the Sea-captain is right, and I shall tell him so to-morrow,
when he comes here to tea;
He’s going to look at my blackbird’s leg, and if it is really set, he
wants me to let it go free.
He says captivity is worse than convalescence, and so I should think
it must be.
Are you tired, little Sister? You feel shaky. Don’t beg my pardon; I
beg yours. I’ve not let you go out of my sight for weeks.
Get your things on, and have a gallop on Jack.
Ride round this way and let me see you. I won’t say a word about
wishing I was going too; and if my head gets bad whilst
you’re away, I will bear it my very best till you come back.
Tell me one thing before you start. If I learn to be patient, shall I
learn to be brave, do you think? The Sea-captain says so.
He says, “Self-command is the making of a man,” and he’s a finely-made
man himself, so he ought to know.
Perhaps, if I try hard at Convalescence now, I may become a brave
sea-captain hereafter, and take my beautiful ship into battle,
and bring her out again with flying colours and fame,
If the courage that dares, and the courage that bears, are really
one and the same.
THE ADVENTURES OF AN ELF.
A PICTURE POEM FOR THE LITTLE ONES.
By Fedor Flinzer. Freely translated by J.H. Ewing.
Dear children, listen whilst
What to a certain Elf befell,
Who left his house and sallied forth
Adventure seeking, south and north,
And west and east, by path and field,
Resolved to conquer or to yield.
A thimble on his back he carried,
With a rose-twig his foes he parried.
It was a sunny, bright, spring
When to the wood he took his way;
He knew that in a certain spot
A Bumble Bee his nest had got.
The Bee was out, the chance was good,
But just when grabbing all he could,
He heard the Bee behind him humming,
And only wished he’d heard him coming!
In terror turned the tiny
And now a famous fight began:
The Bee flew round, and buzzed and stung,
The Elf his prickly rose-staff swung.
Now fiercely here, now wildly there,
He hit the Bee or fought the air.
At last one weighty blow descended:
The Bee was dead—the fight was ended.