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The Little Brown Hen Hears the Song of the Nightingale & The Golden Harvest   By: (1878-)

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By Jasmine Stone Van Dresser]




The Little Brown Hen Hears the Song of the Nightingale & The Golden Harvest

By Jasmine Stone Van Dresser

Author of "How to Find Happyland"

With an Introduction by Margaret Beecher White

The Illustrations by William T. Van Dresser


Paul Elder and Company San Francisco and New York

Copyright, 1908 by Paul Elder and Company



It is the duty of all good, useful stories to give a message to their readers. The two dainty stories contained in this little volume each carries its message of truth. Pure, simple and wholesome in quality, they cannot fail to refresh as well as instruct those who receive them.

In the Golden Harvest the lesson of patience taught by the little apple tree's experience will bear rich fruit I do not doubt, and the wisdom of the little brown hen cannot help but teach us all to listen for the nightingale's song of harmony in our own lives.


The Little Brown Hen Hears the Song of the Nightingale


A POMPOUS old gander who lived in a barn yard thought himself wiser than the rest of the creatures, and so decided to instruct them.

He called together all the fowls in the barn yard, and the pigeons off the barn roof, and told them to listen to him.

They gathered around and listened very earnestly, for they thought they would learn a great deal of wisdom.

"The first thing for you to learn," said the gander, "is to speak my language. It is very silly for you to chatter as you do. Now we will all say, 'honk!' one, two, three, 'honk!'"

The creatures all tried very hard to say "honk!" but the sounds they made were so remarkable that I cannot write them, and none of them sounded like "honk!"

The gander was very angry.

"How stupid you are!" he cried. "Now you all must practise till you learn it. Do not let me hear a peep or cluck or a coo! You must all 'honk' when you have anything to say."

So they obediently tried to do as he said.

When the little brown hen laid an egg, instead of making the fact known with her sharp little "cut cut cut cut ah cut!" as a well ordered hen should do, she ran around the barn yard trying to say, "honk! honk!"

But nobody heard her, and nobody came to look for the egg.

The guinea fowls way down in the pasture ceased calling "la croik! la croik!" and there was no way of finding where they had hid their nests. In the afternoon, when their shrill cries should have warned the farmers that it was going to rain, they were still honking, or trying to, so the nicely dried hay got wet.

Next morning chanticleer, instead of rousing the place with his lusty crow, made an effort at honking that could not be heard a stone's throw away, and so the whole farm overslept.

All day there was a Babel of sounds in the barn yard. The turkeys left off gobbling and made a queer sound that they thought was "honk!" the ducks left off quacking, the chicks left off peeping, and said nothing at all, for "honk!" was too big a mouthful for them; and the soft billing and cooing of the doves were turned into an ugly harsh sound.

Things were indeed getting into a dreadful state, and they grew worse, instead of better.

The hens forgot to lay eggs, the doves became proud and pompous like the gander, and as for the turkey gobblers, they kept the place in an uproar, for they thought they could really honk! and they never ceased from morning till night... Continue reading book >>

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