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A Little Boy Lost   By: (1841-1922)

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A LITTLE BOY LOST

By W. H. Hudson

Illustrated by A. D. M'Cormick

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE HOME ON THE GREAT PLAIN,

II THE SPOONBILL AND THE CLOUD,

III CHASING A FLYING FIGURE,

IV MARTIN IS FOUND BY A DEAF OLD MAN,

V THE PEOPLE OF THE MIRAGE,

VI MARTIN MEETS WITH SAVAGES,

VII ALONE IN THE GREAT FOREST,

VIII THE FLOWER AND THE SERPENT,

IX THE BLACK PEOPLE OF THE SKY,

X A TROOP OF WILD HORSES,

XI THE LADY OF THE HILLS,

XII THE LITTLE PEOPLE UNDERGROUND,

XIII THE GREAT BLUE WATER,

XIV THE WONDERS OF THE HILLS,

XV MARTIN'S EYES ARE OPENED,

XVI THE PEOPLE OF THE MIST,

XVII THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA,

XVIII MARTIN PLAYS WITH THE WAVES,

CHAPTER I

THE HOME ON THE GREAT PLAIN

Some like to be one thing, some another. There is so much to be done, so many different things to do, so many trades! Shepherds, soldiers, sailors, ploughmen, carters one could go on all day naming without getting to the end of them. For myself, boy and man, I have been many things, working for a living, and sometimes doing things just for pleasure; but somehow, whatever I did, it never seemed quite the right and proper thing to do it never quite satisfied me. I always wanted to do something else I wanted to be a carpenter. It seemed to me that to stand among wood shavings and sawdust, making things at a bench with bright beautiful tools out of nice smelling wood, was the cleanest, healthiest, prettiest work that any man can do. Now all this has nothing, or very little, to do with my story: I only spoke of it because I had to begin somehow, and it struck me that I would make a start that way. And for another reason, too. His father was a carpenter . I mean Martin's father Martin, the Little Boy Lost. His father's name was John, and he was a very good man and a good carpenter, and he loved to do his carpentering better than anything else; in fact as much as I should have loved it if I had been taught that trade. He lived in a seaside town, named Southampton, where there is a great harbour, where he saw great ships coming and going to and from all parts of the world. Now, no strong, brave man can live in a place like that, seeing the ships and often talking to the people who voyaged in them about the distant lands where they had been, without wishing to go and see those distant countries for himself. When it is winter in England, and it rains and rains, and the east wind blows, and it is grey and cold and the trees are bare, who does not think how nice it would be to fly away like the summer birds to some distant country where the sky is always blue and the sun shines bright and warm every day? And so it came to pass that John, at last, when he was an old man, sold his shop, and went abroad. They went to a country many thousands of miles away for you must know that Mrs. John went too; and when the sea voyage ended, they travelled many days and weeks in a wagon until they came to the place where they wanted to live; and there, in that lonely country, they built a house, and made a garden, and planted an orchard. It was a desert, and they had no neighbours, but they were happy enough because they had as much land as they wanted, and the weather was always bright and beautiful; John, too, had his carpenter's tools to work with when he felt inclined; and, best of all, they had little Martin to love and think about.

But how about Martin himself? You might think that with no other child to prattle to and play with or even to see, it was too lonely a home for him. Not a bit of it! No child could have been happier. He did not want for company; his playfellows were the dogs and cats and chickens, and any creature in and about the house. But most of all he loved the little shy creatures that lived in the sunshine among the flowers the small birds and butterflies, and little beasties and creeping things he was accustomed to see outside the gate among the tall, wild sunflowers. There were acres of these plants, and they were taller than Martin, and covered with flowers no bigger than marigolds, and here among the sunflowers he used to spend most of the day, as happy as possible... Continue reading book >>




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