Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I know it by its air so pure,

And fields so fresh and fair ; Within its walls it lies secure,

No cruel foe comes there.

There is a flock, a little flock,

Of lambs all fair and white,
That feed within this peaceful fold,

And safely sleep at night.
I know them by their dovelike eyes,

And voices soft and low,
And by the love those little lambs

Towards their shepherd show.

There is a Shepherd full of grace,

Who dwells above the sky;
He came to earth to save His flock,

And for their sakes to die !
I know Him by His pierced hands,

And by His wounded side;
I know Him by His voice of love,

When, 'Feed my lambs,' He cried.

I know Him, and to Him I go,

All helpless as I am,
And cry, O Jesus, Shepherd kind,
Keep me Thy little lamb !

sin and evil way,
In mercy set me free;
And let me in Thy happy fold,
For eve
dwell with Thee !

M. A. S. M.

From every

FABLES FROM THE FARM-YARD.

BY MONA B. BICKERSTAFFE,
AUTHOR OF 'ARAKI THE DAIMIO, ETC.

NO. III.

PROUD MR PIG AND PATIENT NEDDY BRAY.

6

OULD you like to take a turn round

the place?' said farmer Hodgson one day to a friend who was paying him a visit.

'Yes, I should, very much. I hear you have some very fine fat

cattle ; and I especially want to see those for which you had the prize last agricultural show.'

As the farmer was not a little proud of his live-stock, he felt pleased to hear that

they were highly spoken of in the country. So he smiled pleasantly as he led the way

into the farm-yard. Horses and cows, oxen and sheep, were all duly inspected, and highly approved of too. When stopping before a row of well-built pigsties, the farmer drew his friend's attention to one in particular. 'Look at this fellow,' said he, 'I think you will admire him. Come, sir, get up and show yourself;' and leaning over, he gave a poke with his stick. The reply from below was a very dissatisfied grunt; but the creature appealed to, though evidently very much disinclined to move, not desiring to have a second poke from the farmer's stick, contrived at last to stand on his legs for a few minutes, and then dropped down again to his former lazy attitude.

“Isn't he a beauty, Windsor?' asked the farmer. Mr Windsor laughed. "Well, as to beauty, you know that is all a matter of

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

taste; but he is certainly the fattest creature I ever saw. Why, he has scarcely any legs to stand on!'

•Therein lies his perfection,' said his owrer; "he got me a prize last show, and I have since sold him to Squire Duke, of Lyston Grange. He wants him for killing, and I believe he shall have to slaughter him here.'

'For killing! Well, I confess I should not like to eat him; he is rather too fat for me.'

If Mr Pig had been in the least bright, he might have been made miserable by the knowledge of his future fate; but as it was, he was far too lazy to keep awake for more than five minutes at a time, so he was fast asleep again before the farmer and his friend had finished their comments on his appearance, and thus he went on living in happy unconsciousness of what was before him.

The next morning, as he was enjoying the sunshine, lying as usual in state on his couch of clean straw, occasionally exerting himself so far as to open one eye or to shake his ear, as a fly hurrying into it tickled him beyond bearing, he found, to his great surprise and indignation, his privacy intruded upon by a stranger; and actually opening both eyes in his excessive astonishment, he perceived a long head, ornamented with very long ears, stretched over the wall, apparently with a desire to nibble at some turnip-tops which some one had thrown into

the sty.

[ocr errors]

1

Good morning, sir,' said the owner of the long ears. As

you don't appear to be eating your turnips, I should take it very kind if you would move them a little nearer to me.'

i am amazed at your impudence,' said Mr Pig, rising with great difficulty to his feet, and turning up his short nose so as to express the great disdain he felt for his visitor. 'I have not the least idea who you are,' continued he; ‘but do you for one moment suppose that I, who am accustomed to be waited on by every one about the farm, should think of demeaning myself by waiting upon you? If you can reach those turnip-tops, you are

6

[ocr errors]

quite welcome to take them (they are a coarse kind of food that I should never touch); if not, you may leave them, and take yourself off as soon as possible. Your long ears make me feel quite nervous, and if you were to speak in that terrible language which you sometimes use, I believe I should die of fright.'

* Poor creature !' said Neddy mildly, 'I am sorry for you.'

'Poor creature !' screamed Mr Pig; 'do you dare to apply that term to me? Me, a gentleman living in a house of my own, feeding on the best of everything, and waited on by every one! Compare your mangy hide, worn out by blows and hard usage, with my

delicate skin, and then see who is to be pitied, Mr Bray !

“You are, to be sure,' said Neddy, even more mildly than before. 'I am !' shouted the pig ; 'as how, I

pray?

?' *Well, you see,' said Neddy, though I grant it that you speak truth in saying that I receive a good many blows and a great deal of hard usage, which unfortunately have left their marks on a coat that once was sleek and handsome, still it is a comfort, through all my fatigues and hardships, to know that I am of some use in the world. Every day brings me a round of duties to perform; and though it is not always easy to work when one is hungry, or to pull on a load that is much too heavy for my strength, still, by patience and forbearance, I manage to get through all that I have to do; and then at night, after my work, I enjoy a most comfortable sleep in my shed; and master, hard as he is in some things, never forgets to give me a hearty good supper. Besides, during the day even, I often have opportunities of enjoying a bit of rest and refreshment near the places where we stop with our goods; and as my maxim is to work hard when I must, and rest when I may, I am never very miserable after all. An idle life is, I believe, a wretched one; and I am sure you cannot say that you are very happy

« AnteriorContinuar »