Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

There is a quiet little stream,

That runs into the moat, Where tall green sedges spread their leaves,

And water-lilies float.

Close by the margin of the brook

The old duck made her nest,
Of straw, and leaves, and withered grass,

And down from her own breast.

And then she sat for four long weeks

In rainy days and fine,
Until the ducklings all came out-

Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.

One peeped out from beneath her wing,

One scrambled on her back; “That's very rude," said old Dame Duck,

“Get off! quack, quack, quack, quack!”

[ocr errors]

“'Tis close," said Dame Duck, shoving out

The egg-shells with her bill; * Besides, it never suits young ducks

To keep them sitting still."

66

So, rising from her nest, she said,

“Now, children, look at me; A well-bred duck should waddle so,

From side to side-d'ye see?”

“ Yes,” said the little ones, and then

She went on to explain : A well-bred duck turns in its toes

As I do—try again.”

[ocr errors]

“Yes," said the ducklings, waddling on:

“That's better," said their mother; “But well-bred ducks walk in a row,

Straight-one behind another."

“Yes," said the little ducks again,

All waddling in a row: “Now to the pond,” said old Dame Duck

Splash, splash, and in they go.

[ocr errors]

“Let me swim first,” said old Dame Duck,

“ To this side, now to that; There, snap at those great brown-winged flies,

They make young ducklings fat.

“Now when you reach the poultry-yard,

The hen-wife, Molly Head,
Will feed you, with the other fowls,

On bran and mashed-up bread.

“The hens will peck and fight, but mind,

I hope that all of you
Will gobble up the food as fast

As well-bred ducks should do.

“You'd better get into the dish,

Unless it is too small;
In that case, I should use my foot,

And overturn it all.”

The ducklings did as they were bid,

And found the plan so good, That, from that day, the other fowls

Got hardly any food.

Aunt Effie.

[merged small][ocr errors]

A DUCK who had got such a habit of stuffing,

That all the day long she was panting and puffing, And by every creature who did her great crop see, Was thought to be galloping fast for a dropsy;

One day, after eating a plentiful dinner,
With full twice as much as there should have been in her,
While up to her forehead still greedily roking,
Was greatly alarmed by the symptoms of choking.

Now there was an old fellow, much famed for discerning
(A drake, who had taken a liking for learning),
And high in repute with his feathery friends,
Was called Dr. Drake: for this doctor she sends.

In a hole of the dunghill was Dr. Drake's shop,
Where he kept a few simples for curing the crop ;
Small pebbles, and two or three different gravels,
With certain famed plants he had found in his travels.

So taking a handful of suitable things,
And brushing his topple and pluming his wings,
And putting his feathers in apple-pie order,
He went to prescribe for the lady's disorder.

“Dear sir,” said the duck, with a delicate quack,
Just turning a little way round on her back,
And leaning her head on a stone in the yard,
“My case, Dr. Drake, is exceedingly hard.

[ocr errors]

"I feel so distended with wind, and opprest,
So squeamish and faint, such a load at my chest;
And, day after day, I assure you it is hard,
To suffer with patience these pains in my gizzard.”

“Give me leave,” said the doctor with medical look, As her cold flabby paw in his fingers he took ; "By the feel of your pulse, your complaint, I've been thinking, Must surely be owing to eating and drinking.”

“Oh! no, sir, believe me,” the lady replied
(Alarmed for her stomach, as well as her pride),
“I'm sure it arises from nothing I eat,
But I rather suspect I got wet in feet.

my

“I've only been raking a bit in the gutter,
Where cook has been pouring some cold melted butter,
And a slice of green cabbage, and scraps of cold meat :
Just a trifle or two, that I thought I could eat.”

The doctor was just to his business proceeding,
By gentle emetics, a blister, and bleeding,
When all on a sudden she rolled on her side,
Gave a terrible quack, and a struggle, and died !

Her remains were interred in a neighbouring swamp
By her friends with a great deal of funeral pomp ;
But I've heard, this inscription her tombstone displayed :
“Here poor Mrs. Duck, the great glutton, is laid”;
And all the young ducklings are brought by their friends
There to learn the disgrace in which gluttony ends.

Ann and Jane Taylor. The Butterfly's Ball

a

“COME, take up your hats

, and away let us haste To the Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, The Trumpeter, Gadfly, has summon'd the crew, And the Revels are now only waiting for you."

So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a throng,
And on the smooth Grass by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad oak that for ages had stood,
Saw the Children of Earth and the Tenants of Air
For an Evening's Amusement together repair.

And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back.
And there was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their Relations, green, orange and blue.
And there came the Moth, with his plumage of down,
And the Hornet in jacket of yellow and brown;
Who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring,
But they promised that evening to lay by their sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his hole,
And brought to the Feast his blind Brother, the Mole.
And the Snail, with his horns peeping out of his shell,
Came from a great distance, the length of an ell.

a

A Mushroom their Table, and on it was laid
A water-dock leaf, which a table-cloth made.
The Viands were various, to each of their taste,
And the Bee brought her honey to crown the Repast.
Then close on his haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a corner look'd up to the skies;

« AnteriorContinuar »