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The Mouse, the Bird, and the
I Remember (Poetry).......... 12
The Little Dog (A Fable)
The Fox and the Horse........ 18
King John and the Abbot of
Canterbury (In Two Parts)
Little Thumb (In Three Parts)
...24, 28, 33
The Three Cakes..
The Goose and the Horse
Good Night and Good Morning
The Giant and the Tailor (17
Meddlesome Matty (Verses) 50
The Nests of Birds (In Two
The Grateful Beasts (In Two
The Fir Tree (In Three Parts)
.....82, 85, 87
NEW CODE READERS.
The horse is a very useful animal, and is so well known by all, that it is useless to describe it. It is not certain which is its native country; but most likely it was first found in Asia, and spread from there to Europe and Africa.
The lips and teeth of the horse adapt it for cropping the short grass on dry plains or hills; so that it finds plenty to eat where a cow would be almost starved. Its feet are better suited to dry than wet ground. It wants plenty of water to drink ; and during the dry season in the hot plains of South America, large troops of wild horses often rush with great fury to the rivers, and are so eager to drink the water, that many are trampled under foot, and their bones left to whiten in the sun.
The eyes of the horse are large, and his sight good. His sense of smell is so very fine, that horses which run in a wild state are said to be able to scent their enemies when they are three
miles away. Their skin is covered with a coat of short hair, smooth in summer, and longer and rougher in winter.
Wild horses are not so much subject to disease as tame ones. They are less in size than tame horses, and have a larger head, larger ears, and the mane more upright, while the tail is much shorter. They mostly move about in droves, headed by a large grey or black stallion, who makes himself their leader. There are vast herds of them in the immense plains of South America, and a savage kind of people live among them. Large quantities of the hides of horses are every year brought into England from South America, and many million pounds of horse-bair.
The English horses are now thought to be the finest in the world. The hunters are the swiftest, and the drag-horses the heaviest and strongest ; much care has been taken in their breeding, and it has been crowned with success.
The horse has a good memory of places, and finds again, very readily, a road he has gone over before. He is also sometimes very clever in opening doors and corn-chests; and often shows a degree of sense and shrewdness which excites the wonder of the beholders. A little girl, the daughter of a gentleman in Warwickshire, playing on the banks of a canal, fell in, and no doubt would have been drowned, had not a small pony, which was a great favourite with the family, jumped in, and brought the child out in his mouth, without hurting her in the least.
Another horse was so tame and docile, that at the desire of his master he would ungirth his own saddle, wash his feet in a pail of water, bring in a table, and chairs, and tea-things, and take a kettle of boiling water from a blazing fire.
A gentleman had a favourite mare and colt grazing in a field on the banks of the river Severn. One day, the mare came in front of the house, and stamped her feet loudly, so as to call the attention of the family. When she saw the groom walking after her, she set off at a fast gallop, and led him to a part of the river where her foal was lying dead, having been drowned in the water.
It is said that the Shetland ponies, when they come to a boggy piece of ground, put their noses to it, and then pat it in a curious manner with their feet; and that from the sound and feeling of the ground they know whether it will bear them. They do the same with ice, and it is never found that they make a mistake.
There is an island in the river Elbe, which is often covered with water during the tides in the spring of the year. One day, the water rose so quickly, that the mares, which were grazing in the fields with their foals, found themselves standing in deep water, which would drown their foals unless their heads could be raised above it. They made a loud neighing to call all the other mares together, to see what was to be done; and then every two horses took a colt between them, and, pressing their sides, lifted it above the water, and held it there six hours, till the tide had gone down.
THE MOUSE, THE BIRD, AND THE
Once upon a time, a mouse, a bird, and a sausage took it into their heads to keep house together; and to be sure they lived for a long time in great comfort, and added so much to their store that they soon became very rich. It was the bird's business to fly every day into the forest and bring wood; the mouse had to carry the water, to make the fire, and lay the cloth for dinner; but the sausage was cook to the household.
He who is too well off, often begins to be lazy, and long for something fresh. Now it chanced one day that the bird met with one of his friends, to whom he boasted greatly of his good fortune. But the other bird laughed at him, and called him a poor fool, who worked hard whilst the two at home had an easy job of it; for when the mouse had made the fire and fetched the water, she went and lay down in her own little room till she was called to lay the cloth; and the sausage sat by the pot, and had nothing to do but to see that the food was well cooked ; and when it was meal time had only to butter it, salt it, and get it ready to eat, which it could do in a minute. The bird flew home, and having laid his burden on the ground they all sat down to table, and after they had