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burnt as soon as possible. The old willow-tree waved its branches in the wind, and large drops of water fell from its leaves, as if it were crying. So the sparrows said, "Why are you crying? It is very beautiful here. How brightly the sun shines, and how briskly the clouds sail along!"
The willow then told them all about the pride of the buckwheat, and the punishment which it had received. I, who now repeat the story, heard it from the talkative sparrows, who told it me one evening, when I asked them for a tale.
THE PET LAMB.
The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink, I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain lamb, with a maiden at its side.
No other sheep were near, the lamb was all alone, And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little maiden kneel,
While to that mountain lamb she gave its evening meal;
The lamb, while from her hand, he thus his supper
Seemed to feast with head and ears, and his tail with pleasure shook;
"Drink, pretty creature, drink," she said in such
That I almost received her heart into my own.
'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty
I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair;
Now with her empty can the maiden turned away, But ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she stay.
"What ails thee, young one? What! why pull so at thy cord?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be
Rest, little young one, rest: what is't that aileth thee?
"Rest, little young onc, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When my father found thee first, in places far away;
Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned by none,
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.
"He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home;
A blessed day for thee! then whither would'st thou roam ?
A faithful nurse thou hast: the dam that did thee yean
Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have been.
"Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in this can,
Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in every day, when the ground is wet with dew,
I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.
"It will not, will not rest! poor creature, can it be That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee?
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear, And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.
"Alas! the mountain-tops, that look so green and fair,
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry roar like lions for their prey.
"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky; Night and day thou art safe-our cottage is hard by;
Why bleat so after me? why pull so at thy chain?
THE SCHOOL TRIAL.
The court being sat, Dorothy Careful, widow, attended to make a complaint against Henry Luckless, and other person or persons unknown, for breaking three panes of glass, value ninepence, in her window. The court consisted of five of the leading boys of the school, of whom the oldest was the judge, and the proceedings were as follows:
Dorothy Careful, widow, thus deposed: "I was sitting at work by my fireside, between the hours of six and seven in the evening, just as it was growing dusk, and little Jack was playing beside me, when all at once crack went the window, and down fell a little basket of cakes that was set up against it. I started up, and cried to Jack, 'Dear me! what's the matter?' Says Jack, 'Somebody has thrown a stone, and broke the window, and I dare say it is some of the schoolboys.' With that I ran out of the house, and saw some boys making off as fast as they could go. So I ran after them as quick as my old legs would carry me; but I should never have come near them, if one had not happened to fall down. Him I caught, and brought back to my house, when Jack knew him at once to be Master Harry Luckless. So I told him I would complain of him the next day; and I hope your worship will make him pay the damage, and give him a good whipping into the bargain for injuring a poor widow woman!"
The court having heard Mrs. Careful's story, desired her to sit down; and then calling up Master Luckless, asked him what he had to say for himself. Luckless appeared with his face a good deal scratched, and looking very downcast. After making his bow, and sobbing two or three times, he began:—
My lord, I am as innocent of this matter as any boy in the school, and I am sure I have suffered enough about it already. Billy Thompson and I were playing in the land near Mrs. Careful's house, when we heard the window crash; and directly after she came running out towards us. Upon this Billy ran away, and I ran too, thinking if I remained, I might have to bear the blame. But after running a little way, I stumbled over something that lay in the road; and before I could get up again she overtook me, and caught me by the hair, and began lugging and cuffing me. I told her it was not I that broke her window, but it did not signify. So she dragged me to the light, lugging and scratching me all the while, and then she said she would inform against me; and that is all I know about the matter."
Judge: I find, good woman, that you were willing to revenge yourself, without waiting for the justice of this court.
Widow Careful: My lord, I confess I was in a great passion, and did not properly consider what was doing.
Judge: Well, where is Billy Thompson?