“I thought as much,” said the boy. “You don’t know how to do anything.”
Then he took the whip, and gave the king lessons in whip cracking. “Now you see how it is done,” he said, as he handed it back. “If the geese try to run away, crack it loud.”
The king laughed. He did his best to learn his lesson; and soon the boy again started off on his errand.
Maximilian sat down on a stone, and laughed at the thought of being a goose-herd. But the geese missed their master at once. With a great cac-kling and hissing they went, half flying, half running, across the meadow.
The king ran after them, but he could not run fast. He tried to crack the whip, but it was of no use. The geese were soon far away. What was worse, they had gotten into a garden, and were feeding on the tender veg-e-ta-bles.
A few minutes after-ward, the goose boy came back with the book.
“Just as I thought,” he said. “I have found the book, and you have lost the geese.”
“Never mind,” said the king, “I will help you get them again.”
“Well, then, run around that way, and stand by the brook while I drive them out of the garden.”
The king did as he was told. The boy ran forward with his whip, and after a great deal of shouting and scolding, the geese were driven back into the meadow.
“I hope you will pardon me for not being a better goose-herd,” said Maximilian; “but, as I am a king, I am not used to such work.”
“A king, indeed!” said the boy. “I was very silly to leave the geese with you. But I am not so silly as to believe that you are a king.”
“Very well,” said Maximilian, with a smile; “here is another gold piece, and now let us be friends.”
The boy took the gold, and thanked the giver. He looked up into the king’s face and said,—
“You are a very kind man, and I think you might be a good king; but if you were to try all your life, you would never be a good gooseherd.”
In the North Sea there is a great rock called the Inch-cape Rock. It is twelve miles from any land, and is covered most of the time with water.
Many boats and ships have been wrecked on that rock; for it is so near the top of the water that no vessel can sail over it without striking it.
More than a hundred years ago there lived not far away a kind-heart-ed man who was called the Abbot of Ab-er-broth-ock.
“It is a pity,” he said, “that so many brave sailors should lose their lives on that hidden rock.”
So the abbot caused a buoy to be fastened to the rock. The buoy floated back and forth in the shallow water. A strong chain kept it from floating away.
On the top of the buoy the abbot placed a bell; and when the waves dashed against it, the bell would ring out loud and clear.
Sailors, now, were no longer afraid to cross the sea at that place. When they heard the bell ringing, they knew just where the rock was, and they steered their vessels around it.