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"How d'ye do?-Boxer was me. Didn't I bark well? Now I am come to play with you."

The children clapped their hands; for they knew they were going to have some fun if Brownie was there - he was the best little playfellow in the world. And then they had him all to themselves. Nobody ever saw him except the children.

"Come on!" cried he, in his shrill voice, half like an old man's, half like a baby's. "Who'll begin to gather cherries ?”

They all looked blank; for the tree was high to where the branches sprung, and besides, their mother had said they were not to climb. And the ladder

lay flat upon the grass-far too heavy for little

hands to move.

"What! you big boys don't expect a poor little fellow like me to lift the ladder all by myself? Try! I'll help you."

No sooner had they taken hold of the ladder than it rose up, and fixed itself quite safely against the tree.

"But we must not climb-mother told us not," said the boys. "Mother said we were to stand at the bottom and pick up the cherries." "Very well. Obey your mother. the tree myself."

I'll just run up

Before the words were out of his mouth, Brownie had darted up the ladder like a monkey, and disappeared among the fruit-laden branches.

The children looked dismayed for a minute, till they saw a merry brown face peeping out from the green leaves at the top of the tree.

"Biggest fruit always grows highest," cried the Brownie. "Stand in a row, all you children. Little boys, hold out your caps: little girls, make a bag of your pinafores. Open your mouths and shut your eyes, and see what the queen will send you."

They laughed and did as they were told. Thereupon they were drowned in a shower of cherriescherries falling like hailstones, hitting them on their heads, their cheeks, their noses - filling their caps and pinafores, and then rolling and tumbling on to the grass.

What a glorious scramble they had- these three little boys and three little girls! How they laughed and jumped and knocked heads together in picking up the cherries, yet never quarreled. There were such heaps, it would have been ridiculous to squabble over them. Besides, whenever they began to quarrel, Brownie always ran away.

Brownie was the merriest of the lot.

He ran up

and down the tree like a cat, helped to pick up the cherries, and was first-rate at filling the market basket.

"We were to eat as many as we liked, only we must first fill the basket," said the eldest girl. Upon this they all set to at once, and filled it to the brim.

"Now we'll have a dinner-party," cried the Brownie. He squatted like a Turk, crossing his queer little legs in a way that nobody but a Brownie could manage. "Sit in a ring! sit in a ring! and we'll see who can eat fastest."

The children obeyed. How many cherries they devoured, and how fast they did it! I only hope they were not ill next day. But perhaps nothing does disagree with one when one dines with a Brownie.

They ate so much, and laughed so much, that they had quite forgotten the gardener. All of a sudden, they heard him angrily clicking the orchard gate, and talking to himself as he walked through.

"That nasty dog! It wasn't Boxer after all. A nice joke! to find him quietly asleep in his kennel after having hunted him, as I thought, from one end of the garden to the other! Now for the cherries

and the children-bless us, where are the children? And the cherries? Why, the tree is as bare as a blackthorn in February! The starlings have been at it, after all. Oh, dear! oh, dear!"

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Oh, dear! oh, dear!" echoed a voice from behind the trees, followed by shouts of mocking laughter. Not from the children. They sat demure in a ring, with their hands before them. In the center was the huge basket of cherries, piled as full as it could possibly hold. But the Brownie had disappeared.

"You naughty brats, I'll have you punished!" cried the gardener, furious at the laughter. But as there was nothing wrong, it was difficult to say what had been the harm done and who had done it.

So he went growling back to the house, carrying the cherries to the mistress. She coaxed him into good temper again, bidding also the children to behave well to him, since he was an old man, and not really bad-only cross. As for the little folks, she had not the slightest intention of punishing them. As for Brownie, it was impossible to catch him. So nobody was punished at all.

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The tiny cell is forlorn,

Void of the little living will
That made it stir on the shore.
Did he stand at the diamond door

Of his house in a rainbow frill?
Did he push, when he was uncurl'd,
A golden foot or a fairy horn
Thro' his dim water world?

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