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she could ner-er do) was the Cat-er-pil-lar's i-dea of perfect glor-y.
Now in the neigh-bour-ing corn-field there lived a Lark, and the Cat-er-pil-lar sent a mes-sage to him, to beg him to come and talk to her; and when he came she told him all her dif-fi-cul-ties, and asked him what she was to do, to feed and rear the lit-tle crea-tures so dif-ferent from her-self. “Per-haps you will be a-ble to inquire and hear some-thing a-bout it next time you go up high," ob-served the Cat-er-pil-lar, tim-id-ly. The Lark said, “ Per-haps he should ;" but he did not sat-is-fy her cu-ri-os-i-ty an-y fur-ther. Soon af-ter-wards, how-ev-er, he went sing-ing up-wards in-to the bright blue sky. By de-grees his voice died a-way in the dis-tance till the green Cat-er-pil-lar could not hear a sound. It is noth-ing to say she could not see him; for, poor thing, she never could see far at an-y time, and had a dif-ficul-ty in look-ing up-wards at all, e-ven when she reared her-self up most care-ful-ly, which she did now; but it was of no use. So she dropped up-on her legs a-gain, and re-sumed her walk round the But-ter-fly's eggs, nib-bling a bit of the cab-bage leaf now and then, as she moved a-long.
“What a time the Lark has been gone!" she cried, at last. “I won-der where he is just now! I would give all my legs to know! He must have flown up high-er than u-su-al this time, I do think! How I should like to know where it is that he goes to, and what he hears in that cu-ri-ous blue sky. He al-ways sings in go-ing up and com-ing down, but he never lets an-y se-cret out. He is ver-y ver-y close !”
And the green Cat-er-pil-lar took an-oth-er turn round the But-ter-fly's eggs.
At last, the Lark's voice be-gan to be heard a-gain. The Cat-er-pil-lar al-most jumped for joy, and it was not long be-fore she saw her friend de-scend with hushed note to the cab-bage bed.
“ News, news, glo-ri-ous news, friend Cat-er-pil-lar!" sang the Lark ; " but the worst of it is, you won't be-lieve me !"
“I be-lieve ev-er-y-thing I am told," ob-served the Cat-er-pil-lar, has-ti-ly.
“Well, then, first of all, I will tell you what these little crea-tures are to eat ;" and the Lark nod-ded his beak to-wards the eggs. “What do you think it is to be? Guess !"
“Dew and the hon-ey out of flowers, I am a-fraid," sighed the Cat-er-pil-lar.
“No such thing, old la-dy! Some-thing sim-pler than that. Some thing that you can get at quite eas-i-ly.”
“I can get at noth-ing quite eas-i-ly but cab-bage leaves,” mur-mured the Cat-er-pil-lar in dis-tress.
“Ex-cel-lent! my good friend,” cried the Lark, ex-ulting-ly; “you have found it out. You are to feed them with cab-bage leaves."
“ Never ! ” said the Cat-er-pil-lar, in-dig-nant-ly. “It was their dy-ing moth-er's last re-quest that I should do no such thing."
“ Their dy-ing mother knew noth-ing a-bout the mat-ter," per-sist-ed the Lark; “ but why do you ask me, and then dis-be-lieve what I say? You have nei-ther faith nor trust." .
“Oh, I be-lieve ever-y-thing I am told," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
.“ Nay, but you do not,” re-plied the Lark; "you won't le-lieve me e-ven a-bout the food, and yet that is but a
be-gin-ning of what I have to tell you. Why, Cat-erpil-lar, what do you think those lit-tle eggs will turn out to be?"
"But-ter-flies, to be sure," said the Cat-er-pil-lar.
"Cat-er-pil-lars!" sang the Lark; "and you'll find it out in time;" and the Lark flew a-way, for he did not want to stay and con-test the point with his friend.
"Ithought the Lark had been wise and kind," observed the mild, green Cat-er-pil-lar, once more be-ginning to walk round the eggs, "but I find that he is fool-ish and sau-cy in-stead. Per-haps he went up too high this time. Ah, it's a pit-y when peo-ple who soar so high are sil-ly and rude nev-er-tbe-less. Dear! I still won-der whom he sees and what he does upyon-der."
"I would tell you, if you would be-lieve me," sang the Lark, de-scend-ing once more.
"I be-lieve ev-er-y-thing I am told," re-it-er-a-ted the Cat-er-pil-lar, with as grave a face as if it were a fact.
"Then I'll tell you some-thing else," cried the Lark; "for the best of my news re-mains be-hind. You will one day be a but-ter-fly yourself."
"Wretch-ed bird !" ex-claimed the Cat-er-pil-lar, "you jest with my in-fe-ri-ori-ty—now you are cru-el as well as fool-ish. Go a-way! I will ask your ad-vice no more."
"I told you you would not be-lieve me," cried the Lark, net-tled in his turn.
"I be-lieve ev-er-y-thing that I am told," per-sist-ed the Cat-er-pil-lar; " that is"—and she hes-i-ta-ted—" ev-er-ything that it is rea-son-a-ble to be-lieve. But to tell me that but-ter-flies' eggs are cat-er-pil-lars, and that cat-erpil-lars leave off crawl-ing, and get wings and be-come but-ter-flies! Lark, you are too wise to be-lieve such non-sense your-self, for you know it is im-poss-i-ble."
“I know no such thing," said the Lark, warm-ly. “Wheth-er I hov-er o-ver the corn-fields of earth, or go up in-to the depths of the sky, I see so man-y won-der ful things, I know no rea-son why there should not be more. Oh, Cat-er-pil-lar! it is be-cause you crawl, be-cause you nev-er get be-yond your cab-bage leaf, that, you call any-thing im-poss-i ble."
“ Non-sense!” shout-ed the Cat-er-pil-lar; “I know what's poss-i-ble, and what's not poss-i-ble, ac-cord-ing to my ex-pe-ri-ence and ca-pac-i-ty, as well as you do Look at my long green bod-y and these end-less legs, and then talk to me a-bout hav-ing wings and a paint-ed feath-er-y coat! Tool !"
" And fool you ! you would be wise, Cat-er-pil-lar !" cried the in-dig-nant Lark. "Fool, to at-tempt to reason a-bout what you can-not un-dor-stand! Do you not hear how my song swells with re-joi-cing as I soar upwards to the mys-te-ri-ous won-der world a-bove? Oh, Cat-er-pil-lar! what comes to you from thence re-ceive as I do, up-on trust.”
" That is what you call ”
“How am I to learn Faith?” asked the Cat-er-pil-lar. At that mo-ment she felt some-thing at her side. She looked round-eight or ten lit-tle green cat-er-pil-lars were mov-ing about, and had al-read-y made a show of a hole in the cab-bage leaf. They had bro-ken from the But-ter-fly's eggs! Shame and a-maze-ment filled our green friend's heart, but joy soon fol-lowed ; for as the first won-der was poss-i-ble, the sec-ond might be so too. “ Teach me your les-son, Lark !" she would say; and the Lark sang to her of the won-ders of the earth be-low, and of the heav-ens a-bove. And the Cat-er-pil-lar talked
all the rest of her life to her re-la-tions of the time when she should be a but-ter-fly.
But none of them be-lieved her. She nev-er-the-less had learnt the Lark's les-son of Faith, and when she was go-ing in-to her chrys-a-lis grave, she said, “ I shall be a But-ter-fly some day! But her re-la-tions thought her head was wan-der-ing, and they said, “ Poor thing !" · And when she was a But-ter-fly and was go-ing to die a-gain, she said, “I have known man-y won-ders—I have faith-I can trust e-ven now for what shall come next!”-Mrs. Alfred Gatty.
LESSON XCVI. —THE OLD EAGLE TREE. In a re-mote field, in a dis-tant coun-try, stood a large tu-lip tree, ap-pa-rent-ly of a cen-tu-ry's growth, and one of the most gi-gan-tic of that splen-did spe-cies. It looked like the fath-er of the sur-round-ing for-est. A sin-gle tree of huge di-mens-ions stand-ing all a-lone is a sub-lime ob-ject. On the top of this tree an old ea-gle, com-mon-ly called the “Fish-ing Ea-gle,” had built her nest ev-er-y year for man-y years, and un-mo-lest-ed raised her young. What is re-mark-a-ble, as she procured her food from the O-cean, this tree stood full ten miles from the sea-shore. It had long been known as the “Old Ea-gle Tree."
On a warm, sun-ny day, some la-bour-ers were sow-ing corn in an ad-join-ing field. At a cer-tain hour of the day the old ea-gle was known to set off for the sea-side, to gath-er food for her young. As she this day re-turned with a large fish in her claws, the men sur-round-ed the tree, and by yell-ing, and hoot-ing, and throw-ing stones, so scared the poor bird, that she dropped her fish, and they car-ried it off in triumph.