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have; and the gardener helped him to place in his garden such seeds or herbs as would best flourish there.
But Richard thought himself too wise to consult the gardener on the subject. So he went to his father's garden, and pulling up a number of flowers, took them, and planted them in his own plot of ground. Next morning, when he came to look at them, they hung their heads down like mourners at a funeral; so he threw them away, and planted others in their places.
He was very soon tired of this kind of work, and thought it was paying rather dear for the pleasure of having a few flowers. He therefore gave it up, and it was not long before his piece of ground was over-run with weeds and thistles.
By and by, it became summer, and one day as he was passing his brother's garden, he saw something red hanging near the ground, which, on looking closer, he found to be a strawberry. “Ah," said he, “I wish I had planted strawberries in my garden!”
Some time after, he saw some little berries of a milk-white colour hanging in bunches from a small tree. These were white currants, and were very nice indeed to eat. "Ah," said he again, “I wish I had planted currants in my garden!"
“Eat as many as you like," said Henry, "just as if they were your own. You might have had strawberries and currants quite as nice as mine are, if you had taken the advice of the gardener, and not leaned so much on your own opinion."
I had a dove, and the sweet dove died;
peas : Why not live sweetly as in the green trees?
THE COCK, THE SCYTHE, AND THE CAT.
Once upon a time, a father sent for his three sons, and
gave to the eldest a cock, to the second a scythe, and to the third a cat. "I am now old,” said he: “my end is approaching, and I would fain provide for you before I die. Money I have none, and what I now give you seems of but little worth; yet it rests with yourselves alone to turn my gifts to good account. Only seek out for a land where what you have is as yet unknown, and
your fortune is made.” After the death of the father, the eldest set out with his cock; but wherever he went, in every town, he saw from afar off a cock sitting upon the church steeple, and turning round with the wind. In the villages he always heard plenty of them crowing, and his bird was therefore nothing
new; so there did not seem much chance of his making his fortune.
At length, it happened that he came to an island, where the people had never heard of a cock, and knew not even how to reckon the time. They knew, indeed, if it were morning or evening;, but at night, if they lay awake, they had no means of knowing how time went. “Behold," said he to them, “what a noble animal this is! How like a knight he is ! He carries a bright red crest upon his head, and spurs upon his heels; he crows three times every night at stated hours, and at the third time the sun is about to rise. But this is not all. Sometimes he screams in broad daylight, and then you must take warning, for the weather is surely about to change."
This pleased the natives mightily; they kept awake one whole night, and heard, to their great joy, in how glorious a manner the cock called the hour at two, four, and six o'clock.
Then they asked him whether the bird was to be sold, and how much he would sell it for. “About as much gold as an ass can carry," said he. “A very fair price for such an animal," cried they with one voice, and agreed to give him what he asked.
When he came home with his wealth, his brothers were filled with wonder; and the second said, “I will now set forth likewise, and see if I can turn my scythe to as good an account.” There did not seem, however, much chance of this; for, go where he would, he was met by peasants, who had as good a scythe on their
shoulders as he had. But at last, as good luck would have it, he came to an island where the people had never heard of a scythe. There, as soon as the corn was ripe, they went into the fields and pulled it up; but this was very hard work, and a great deal of it was lost. The man then set to work with his scythe, and mowed down their whole crop so quickly, that the people stood staring open-mouthed with wonder. They were willing to give him what he asked for such a wonderful thing; but he only took a horse laden with as much gold as it could carry.
Now the third brother had a great longing to go and see what he could make of his cat. So he set out; and at first it was with him as it had been with the others. So long as he kept upon the main land, he met with no success. There were plenty of cats everywhere, indeed too many, so that the young ones were for the most part drowned as soon as they were born.
At last he passed over to an island, where, as it chanced most luckily for him, nobody had ever seen a cat; and they were overrun with mice to such a degree, that the little wretches danced upon the tables and chairs, whether the master of the house were at home or not.
The people grumbled loudly at this grievance; the king himself knew not how to get rid of them in his palace; in every corner mice were squeaking, and they gnawed everything that their teeth could lay hold of.
Here was a fine field for puss. She soon began her chase, and had cleared two rooms in the twinkling of an eye; when the people besought their king to buy the wonderful animal, for the good of the public, at any price. The king at once gave what was asked—a mule laden with gold and jewels; and thus the third brother came back with a richer prize than either of the others.
In the meantime, the cat feasted away upon the mice in the royal palace, and ate up so many that they were not in such great numbers as before. At length, quite spent and tired with her work, she became very thirsty; so she stood still, drew up her head, and cried, “Miau, miau!" The king gathered together all his subjects when he heard this strange cry, and many ran shrieking in great fright out of the palace.
But the king held a council below as to what was best to be done; and it was at length fixed to send a herald to the cat, to warn her to leave the castle at once, or that force would be used to remove her. "For," said they, "we had far rather put up with the mice (since we are used to that evil) than get rid of them at the risk of our lives."
A page, therefore, was sent, and he asked the cat “whether she were willing to leave the castle?" But puss, whose thirst became every moment more and more pressing, replied nothing but
Miau, miau !" which the page thought must surely mean "No, no!" and he therefore carried this answer to the king. “ Well then,” said the king, "we must try what force can do.” So the guns were planted, and the palace was fired on