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And the urchins that stand with their thievish
eyes Forever on watch, ran off with each prize.
Then away to the field it went blustering and
humming, And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming; It plucked by their tails the grave matronly cows, 5 And tossed the colts' manes all about their
brows, Till, offended at such a familiar salute, They all turned their backs and stood silently
mute. So on it went capering and playing its pranks ; Whistling with reeds on the broad river-banks ; 10 Puffing the birds as they sat on the spray, Or the traveler grave on the king's highway. It was not too nice to bustle the bags Of the beggar and flutter his dirty rags. 'Twas so bold that it feared not to play its joke 15 With the doctor's wig and the gentleman's cloak. Through the forest it roared, and cried gayly,
You sturdy old oaks, I'll make you bow!”
Then it rushed like a monster o'er cottage and
farm, Striking their inmates with sudden alarm; And they ran out like bees in a midsummer
There were dames with their kerchiefs tied over
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps; The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed
aloud, And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd ; 10 There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying
on, Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon
to be gone.
But the wind had passed on, and had met in a
lane With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in
For it tossed him, and twirled him, then passed,
and he stood With his hat in a pool, and his shoe in the mud.
commotion (kom mõ'shun): excite
ment creaking (krēk'ing): making
squeaking noise galloping (gallup ing) gentleman (jen’tl mn) kerchief (ker'chif): cloth tied
round the head matronly (mā'trun lý): motherly
nice (nis): dainty, particular offended (of fend'ed): insulted poultry (põl’try): domestic fowls terrified (ter'ri fid): frightened thievish (thēv'ish): sly, secret threatened (thrět'nd): warned urchins (ur'chins): small boys
HELPS TO STUDY
putting up ladders and laying logs on the thatched roof to keep the wind from blowing it off
This poem is in the same spirit as “ Jack Frost.” The wind is out for fun and mischief.
1. What does it do to the signs and the people in the town? 2. What does it do to the animals on the farm? 3. What does it do to the trees in the forest ? 4. Does it do, or come near doing, any serious damage ? 5. Tell some of the pranks and some of the real harm that you have known the wind to do. 6. Read the poem aloud with life and spirit.
BROWNIE ON THE ICE
You would enjoy reading the whole book from which this story is taken. It begins this way:
It begins this way: “ There was once a little Brownie who lived — where do you think he lived ? — in a coal-cellar.” He was “only a little old man, about a foot high, all dressed in brown, with a brown face and hands, and a brown peaked cap, just the color of a brown mouse." He played all sorts of funny tricks, and was always the friend of the six children who lived in the house.
Devonshire is not very cold. Grass stays green and roses bloom there almost all year. So skating or sliding on ice is a great treat.
Winter was a grand time with the six little children, especially when they had frost and snow. This happened seldom enough for it to be the greatest possible treat when it did happen; and it never lasted very long, for the winters are warm 5 in Devonshire.
There was a little lake three fields off, which made the most splendid sliding place that ever was. No skaters went near it, it was not large enough ; and besides, there was nobody to skate, the neigh-10 borhood being lonely. The lake itself looked the