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Wood Magic A Fable   By: (1848-1887)

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A Fable



Author of "The Gamekeeper at Home," "Field and Hedgerow," "The Toilers of the Field," Etc.



New Impression

Longmans, Green, and Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London New York, Bombay, and Calcutta 1907

All rights reserved


First published, 2 vols., post 8vo, by Cassell & Co., in 1881; Reissued by them in one volume in 1882.

'Silver Library' Edition, June, 1883. Reprinted September, 1894; January, 1899; February, 1903; April, 1907.

Inscribed to Harold.


I. Sir Bevis II. At Home III. Adventures of the Weasel IV. Brook Folk V. Kapchack VI. The Squirrel VII. The Courtiers VIII. The Emperor Choo Hoo IX. The Council X. Traitors XI. The Storm in the Night XII. The Old Oak. The King's Despair XIII. The Courtship in the Orchard XIV. The Great Battle XV. Palace Secrets XVI. The New King XVII. Sir Bevis and the Wind


Little need be said as to this re issue of Wood Magic . It was originally published in two volumes, post 8vo, by Messrs. Cassell & Co. in 1881, and re issued by them in one volume in 1882. The present edition is reprinted from the original edition. The frontispiece and vignette are drawn by the accomplished lady who chooses to be known as E. V. B., whose illustrations to the Story Without an End charmed many boys and girls years ago, and I hope still fascinate their children.

C. J. L.




One morning as little "Sir" Bevis [such was his pet name] was digging in the farmhouse garden, he saw a daisy, and throwing aside his spade, he sat down on the grass to pick the flower to pieces. He pulled the pink tipped petals off one by one, and as they dropped they were lost. Next he gathered a bright dandelion, and squeezed the white juice from the hollow stem, which drying presently, left his fingers stained with brown spots. Then he drew forth a bennet from its sheath, and bit and sucked it till his teeth were green from the sap. Lying at full length, he drummed the earth with his toes, while the tall grass blades tickled his cheeks.

Presently, rolling on his back, he drummed again with his heels. He looked up at the blue sky, but only for a moment, because the glare of light was too strong in his eyes. After a minute, he turned on his side, thrust out one arm, placed his head on it, and drew up one knee, as if going to sleep. His little brown wrist, bared by the sleeve shortening as he extended his arm, bent down the grass, and his still browner fingers played with the blades, and every now and then tore one off.

A flutter of wings sounded among the blossom on an apple tree close by, and instantly Bevis sat up, knowing it must be a goldfinch thinking of building a nest in the branches. If the trunk of the tree had not been so big, he would have tried to climb it at once, but he knew he could not do it, nor could he see the bird for the leaves and bloom. A puff of wind came and showered the petals down upon him; they fell like snowflakes on his face and dotted the grass.

Buzz! A great bumble bee, with a band of red gold across his back, flew up, and hovered near, wavering to and fro in the air as he stayed to look at a flower.

Buzz! Bevis listened, and knew very well what he was saying. It was: "This is a sweet little garden, my darling; a very pleasant garden; all grass and daisies, and apple trees, and narrow patches with flowers and fruit trees one side, and a wall and currant bushes another side, and a low box hedge and a haha, where you can see the high mowing grass quite underneath you; and a round summer house in the corner, painted as blue inside as a hedge sparrow's egg is outside; and then another haha with iron railings, which you are always climbing up, Bevis, on the fourth side, with stone steps leading down to a meadow, where the cows are feeding, and where they have left all the buttercups standing as tall as your waist, sir... Continue reading book >>

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