A Book for Kids(txt+pdf+epub+mobi电子书下载)

发布时间:2021-02-18 22:26:11


作者:Dennis, C. J. (Clarence James)


A Book for Kids

A Book for Kids试读:



I'd like to be a baker, and come when morning breaks,Calling out, "Beeay-ko!" (that's the sound he makes)--Riding in a rattle-cart that jogs and jolts and shakes,Selling all the sweetest things a baker ever bakes;Currant-buns and brandy-snaps, pastry all in flakes;   But I wouldn't be a baker if . . .      I couldn't eat the cakes.         Would you?THE DAWN DANCEWhat do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn!Bobbing here, and bowing there, gossiping away,And how I wished that you were there to see the merry play!But you were snug abed, my boy, blankets to your chin,Nor dreamed of dancing birds without or sunbeams dancing in.Grey Thrush, he piped the tune for them. I peeped out through the glassBetween the window curtains, and I saw them on the grass--Merry little fairy folk, dancing up and down,Blue bonnet, yellow skirt, cloaks of grey and brown,Underneath the wattle-tree, silver in the dawn,Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn.


'Rover, rover, cattle-drover, where go you to-day?'I go to Cuppacumalonga, fifty miles away;   Over plains where Summer rains have sung a song of glee,   Over hills where laughing rills go seeking for the sea,I go to Cuppacumalonga, to my brother Bill.      Then come along, ah, come along!         Ah, come to Cuppacumalonga!            Come to Cuppacumalonga Hill!'Rover, rover, cattle-drover, how do you get there?'For twenty miles I amble on upon my pony mare,   The walk awhile and talk awhile to country men I know,   Then up to ride a mile beside a team that travels slow,And last to Cuppacumalonga, riding with a will.      Then come along, ah, come along!         Ah, come to Cuppacumalonga!            Come to Cuppacumalonga Hill!'Rover, rover, cattle-drover, what do you do then?'I camp beneath a kurrajong with three good cattle-men;   Then off away at break of day, with strong hands on the reins,   To laugh and sing while mustering the cattle on the plains--For up to Cuppacumalonga life is jolly still.      Then come along, ah, come along!         Ah, come to Cuppacumalonga!            Come to Cuppacumalonga Hill!'Rover, rover, cattle-drover, how may I go too?'I'll saddle up my creamy colt and he shall carry you--   My creamy colt who will not bolt, who does not shy nor kick--   We'll pack the load and take the road and travel very quick.And if the day brings work or play we'll meet it with a will.      So Hi for Cuppacumalonga!         Come Along, ah, come along!            Ah, come to Cuppacumalonga Hill!THE SWAGMANOh, he was old and he was spare;His bushy whiskers and his hairWere all fussed up and very greyHe said he'd come a long, long wayAnd had a long, long way to go.Each boot was broken at the toe,And he'd a swag upon his back.His billy-can, as black as black,Was just the thing for making teaAt picnics, so it seemed to me.'Twas hard to earn a bite of bread,He told me.  Then he shook his head,And all the little corks that hungAround his hat-brim danced and swungAnd bobbed about his face; and whenI laughed he made them dance again.He said they were for keeping flies--"The pesky varmints"--from his eyes.He called me "Codger". . . "Now you seeThe best days of your life," said he."But days will come to bend your back,And, when they come, keep off the track.Keep off, young codger, if you can."He seemed a funny sort of man.He told me that he wanted work,But jobs were scarce this side of Bourke,And he supposed he'd have to goAnother fifty mile or so."Nigh all my life the track I've walked,"He said.  I liked the way he talked.And oh, the places he had seen!I don't know where he had not been--On every road, in every town,All through the country, up and down."Young codger, shun the track," he said.And put his hand upon my head.I noticed, then, that his old eyesWere very blue and very wise."Ay, once I was a little lad,"He said, and seemed to grow quite sad.I sometimes think: When I'm a man,I'll get a good black billy-canAnd hang some corks around my hat,And lead a jolly life like that.THE ANT EXPLOREROnce a little sugar ant made up his mind to roam--To fare away far away, far away from home.He had eaten all his breakfast, and he had his ma's consentTo see what he should chance to see and here's the way he went--Up and down a fern frond, round and round a stone,Down a gloomy gully where he loathed to be alone,Up a mighty mountain range, seven inches high,Through the fearful forest grass that nearly hid the sky,Out along a bracken bridge, bending in the moss,Till he reached a dreadful desert that was feet and feet across.'Twas a dry, deserted desert, and a trackless land to tread,He wished that he was home again and tucked-up tight in bed.His little legs were wobbly, his strength was nearly spent,And so he turned around again and here's the way he went--Back away from desert lands feet and feet across,Back along the bracken bridge bending in the moss,Through the fearful forest grass shutting out the sky,Up a mighty mountain range seven inches high,Down a gloomy gully, where he loathed to be alone,Up and down a fern frond and round and round a stone.A dreary ant, a weary ant, resolved no more to roam,He staggered up the garden path and popped back home.


Flippity-flop!  Flippity-flop!Here comes the butcher to bring us a chop   Cantering, cantering down the wide street   On his little bay mare with the funny white feet;Cantering, cantering out to the farm,Stripes on his apron and basket on arm.   Run to the window and tell him to stop--   Flippity-flop!  Flippity-flop!


Harry was a funny man, Harry was a hatter;He ate his lunch at breakfast time and said it didn't matter.He made a pot of melon jam and put it on a shelf,For he was fond of sugar things and living by himself.He built a fire of bracken and a blue-gum log,And he sat all night beside it with his big--black--dog.


I'd like to be a postman, and walk along the street,Calling out, "Good Morning, Sir," to gentlemen I meet,Ringing every door-bell all along my beat,In my cap and uniform so very nice and neat.Perhaps I'd have a parasol in case of rain or heat;   But I wouldn't be a postman if . . .      The walking hurt my feet.         Would you?


As I rode in to Burrumbeet,I met a man with funny feet;And, when I paused to ask him whyHis feet were strange, he rolled his eyeAnd said the rain would spoil the wheat;So I rode on to Burrumbeet.As I rode in to Beetaloo,I met a man whose nose was blue;And when I asked him how he gotA nose like that, he answered, "WhatDo bullocks mean when they say 'Moo'?"So I rode on to Beetaloo.

As I rode in to Ballarat,I met a man who wore no hat;And, when I said he might take cold,He cried, "The hills are quite as oldAs yonder plains, but not so flat."So I rode on to Ballarat.

As I rode in to Gundagai,I met a man and passed him byWithout a nod, without a word.He turned, and said he'd never heardOr seen a man so wise as I.But I rode on to Gundagai.

As I rode homeward, full of doubt,I met a stranger riding out:A foolish man he seemed to me;But, "Nay, I am yourself," said he,"Just as you were when you rode out."So I rode homeward, free of doubt.OUR STREETIn our street, the main street   Running thro' the town,You see a lot of busy folk   Going up and down:Bag men and basket men,   Men with loads of hay,Buying things and selling things   And carting things away.The butcher is a funny man,   He calls me Dandy Dick;The baker is a cross man,   I think he's often sick;The fruiterer's a nice man,   He gives me apples, too;The grocer says, "Good morning, boy,   What can I do for you?"Of all the men in our street   I like the cobbler best,Tapping, tapping at his last   Without a minute's rest;Talking all the time he taps,   Driving in the nails,Smiling with his old grey eyes--   (Hush) . . .  telling fairy tales.THE LITTLE RED HOUSEVery few grown-up people understand houses. Only children understandthem properly, and, if I understand them just a little, it is becauseI knew Sym. Sym and his wife, Emily Ann, lived in the Little RedHouse. It was built on a rather big mountain, and there were no otherhouses near it. At one time, long ago, the mountain had been coveredall over with a great forest; but men had cut the trees down, all butone big Blue-gum, which grew near the Little Red House. The Blue-gumand the Little Red House were great friends, and often had long talkstogether. The Blue-gum was a very old tree--over a hundred yearsold--and he was proud of it, and often used to tell of the time, longago, when blackfellows hunted 'possums in his branches. That wasbefore the white men came to the mountain, and before there were anyhouses near it.Once upon a time I put a verse about the mountain and the Little RedHouse into a book of rhymes which I wrote for grown ups. I don'tthink they thought much about it. Very likely they said, "0h, it'sjust a house on a hill," and then forgot it, because they were toobusy about other things.This is the rhyme:A great mother mountain, and kindly is she,Who nurses young rivers and sends them to sea.And, nestled high up on her sheltering lap,Is a little red house, with a little straw capThat bears a blue feather of smoke, curling high,And a bunch of red roses cocked over one eye.I have tried here to draw the Little Red House for you as well as Ican; and it isn't my fault if it happens to look just a little likesomebody's face. I can't help it, can I? if the stones of the door-steplook something like teeth, or if the climbing roses make the windowslook like a funny pair of spectacles. And if Emily Ann will hang bibfluffy bobs on the window blinds for tassels, and if they swing aboutin the breeze like moving eyes, well, I am not to blame, am I? Itjust happens. The only thing I am sorry for is that I couldn't getthe big Blue-gum into the picture. Of course, I could have drawn itquite easily, but it was too big.

Sym and Emily Ann were fond of the Little Red House, and you may besure the Little Red House was fond of them--he was their home. Theonly thing that bothered him was that they were sometimes away fromhome, and then he was miserable, like all empty houses.Now, Sym was a tinker--a travelling tinker. He would do a littlegardening and farming at home for a while, and then go off about thecountry for a few days, mending people's pots and pans and kettles.Usually Sym left Emily Ann at home to keep the Little Red Housecompany, but now and then Emily Ann went with Sym for a trip, andthen the Little Red House was very sad indeed.One morning, just as the sun was peeping over the edge of the world,the big Blue-gum woke up and stretched his limbs and waited for theLittle Red House to say "Good morning." The Blue-gum always waitedfor the greeting because he was the older, and he liked to haveproper respect shown to him by young folk, but the Little Red Housedidn't say a word.The big Blue-gum waited and waited; but the Little Red House wouldn'tspeak.After a while the Blue-gum said rather crossly, "You seem to be outof sorts this morning."But the Little Red House wouldn't say a word."You certainly do seem as if you had a pain somewhere," said theBlue-gum. "And you look funny. You ought to see yourself!""Indeed?" snapped the Little Red House, raising his eyebrows just asa puff of wind went by. "I can't always be playing the fool, likesome people.""I've lived on this mountain, tree and sapling, for over a hundredyears," replied the big Blue-gum very severely, "and never beforehave I been treated with such disrespect. When trees become housesthey seem to lose their manners."

"Forgive me," cried the Little Red House. "I didn't mean to be rude.I was just listening. There are things going on inside me that Idon't like.""I hope they aren't ill-treating you," said the Blue-gum."They are going to leave me!" sighed the Little Red House."And they are laughing quite happily, as if they were glad about it.There's a nice thing for you!--Going to leave me, and laughing about it!""But perhaps you are wrong," said the big Blue-gum, who was not sohard-hearted as he seemed."I always know," moaned the Little Red House. "I can't be mistaken.Sym was singing his Tinker's song this morning long before the sunwas up. And then I heard him tell Emily Ann not to forget her umbrella.That means that she is going; and the little dog is going, and I shallbe all alone.""Well," answered the Blue-gum rather stiffly, "you still have ME forcompany.""I know," sighed the Little Red House. "Don't think I'm ungrateful.But, when they both go away, I shan't be really and truly a home againuntil they come back--just an empty house; and it makes me miserable.How would YOU like to be an empty house?""Some day I might be," replied the Blue-gum, "if I don't grow too old.There is some fine timber in me yet."Suddenly there was a great clattering and stamping inside the LittleHouse, and Sym began to sing his Tinker's song."Kettles and pans! Kettles and pans!All the broad earth is the tinkering man's--The green leafy lane or the fields are his home,The road or the river, where'er he way roam.He roves for a living and rests where he can.Then bring out your kettle! ho! kettle or pan!"There's a nice thing for you!" said the Little Red House bitterly."What kind of a song do you call that? Any old place is good enoughfor his home, and I am just nothing!""Oh, that's only his way of putting it," answered the Blue-gum kindly."He doesn't really mean it, you know; he wants a change, that's all."But the Little Red House wouldn't say a word."It looks a good deal like rain this morning, doesn't it?" said theBlue-gum cheerfully, trying to change the subject.But the Little Red House wouldn't say a word.Very soon Sym and Emily Ann, carrying bundles, came out of the LittleRed House, laughing and talking; and Sym locked the door."Now for a jolly trip!" shouted Sym, as he picked up his firepot andsoldering-irons.But all at once Emily Ann ceased laughing and looked back wistfullyat the Little Red House."After all I'm sorry to leave our little home," she said. "See howsad it looks!""Hurry on!" cried Sym, who was all eagerness for the trip. Then he,too, looked back. "Why, you forgot to draw down the blinds," he said."No, I didn't forget," answered Emily Ann, "but I think it a shame toblindfold the Little Red House while we are away. I just left theblinds up so that he could see things. Good-bye, little home," shecalled. And the Little Red House felt just the least bit comforted tothink that Emily Ann was sorry to leave him. Then she went off downthe winding path with Sym; and Sym began to shout his Tinker's Songagain.The Little Red House watched them go down the mountain.Away they went: through the gate, past the black stump, round by thebracken patch and over the bridge, across the potato paddock, throughthe sliprails--getting smaller and smaller--past the sign-post, downby the big rocks--getting smaller and smaller--under the tree-ferns,out on to the stony flat, across the red road, until they were justtwo tiny specks away down in the valley. Then they went through awhite gate, round a turn, and the high scrub hid them.Had you been able to see the Little Red House just at that moment, youwould have been sure he was going to cry--he looked so miserable andso lonely.

"Cheer up!" said the big Blue-gum.But the Little Red House couldn't say a word.Presently the big Blue-gum groaned loudly."Oo! Ah! Ah! Golly!" groaned the Blue-gum in a strange voice."I beg your pardon? said the Little Red House."Oh, I have a nasty sharp pain in my side," said the Blue-gum. "I dohope and trust it isn't white-ants. It would be simply horrible, ifit were. Fancy getting white-ants at my time of life! Here I havelived on this mountain, tree and sapling, for over a hundred years;and to think those nasty, white, flabby little things should get meat last is horrible--horrible!""I am sorry," said the Little Red House. "I'm afraid I've been veryselfish, too. I was forgetting that everyone has troubles of his own;but I hope it isn't so bad as you fear.""It is bad enough," groaned the Blue-gum. "Ow! There it is again. I'mafraid it IS white-ants. I can feel the wretched little things nipping."But the Little Red House hardly heard him. He was thinking again ofhis own troubles.So they stood all through that day, saying very little to each other.Rabbits came and played about the Little Red House, and lizards ranover his door-step, and once a big wallaby went flopping right pastthe front gate. But the Little Red House paid no attention. He wastoo busy thinking of his loneliness.Birds came and perched in the branches of the big Blue-gum, andchattered and sang to him, trying to tell him the news of other treeson distant mountains. But the big Blue-gum took no notice. He was toobusy thinking about white-ants.So the sun sank low behind the Little House, and the shadow of thetall Blue-gum began to creep down the mountain and get longer andlonger.Just as it was growing dark, the big Blue-gum said Suddenly, "Itcertainly looks more like rain than ever. The heavy clouds have beengathering all day, and we shall get it properly to-night."But the rain did not come that night, nor the next day, nor for twodays and nights. And all this while the Little Red House and the BigBlue-gum remained silent and miserable--one through loneliness, theother through white-ants.But on the evening of the third day the big Blue-gum said, "The rainwill come to-night for certain. I know by the feel of the air.""Let it come!" said the Little Red House. "I don't care. I couldn'tbe more miserable than I am."Just as he said that, one great rain-drop fell right on the middleof his roof--Plop!"It's coming already," cried the Blue-gum, "and it's going to pour."Then three more big drops fell--Plop! Plop! Plop!"I have never in my life seen such big rain-drops," said the Blue-gum."I've lived on this mountain, tree and sapling, for--"But--Crash! came rain before he could finish; and in two secondseverything was sopping wet. The noise of it was deafening,"Why, it's a cloud-burst!" shouted the Blue-gum. "Half of my leaveshave been stripped off already." Then he peered through the rain andthe dark to see how the Little Red House was taking it. "Why, what'sthe matter with your face?" he cried. "You look awful.""I'm crying!" sobbed the Little Red House. "That's all--just crying."Can't you see the tears?"

"Nonsense!" said the Blue-gum. "Those are not tears. It's just therain-water running off your window-sills.""I tell you I'm crying!" wailed the Little Red House. "I'm cryingbitterly. I should know, shouldn't I? I'm shivering and cryingbecause I'm cold and lonely and miserable.""Oh, very well," agreed the Blue-gum. "You are crying. But if thisrain doesn't stop soon, you'll cry the front path away. It certainlyis wet."Very late that night the rain eased a little and then stoppedaltogether. The tears ceased to run from the eyes of the LittleRed House, and they now came only in drops, slower and slower, fallinginto the great pool by the front door."It's a hard world!" sobbed the Little Red House, squeezing outanother tear."Listen!" cried the Big Blue-gum. "Do you hear THAT?"From far away on the distant ranges came a dull, moaning sound. Asthey listened it grew louder, and right in the middle of of it cameanother sound--Thump!"That's wind," said the Blue-gum; "and a big wind, too.""Let it come!" sighed the Little Red House. "I couldn't be moremiserable than I am."As he spoke, the moaning grew louder, and there were three or fourquite big thumps one after another."What's that thumping?" asked the little House."Those are my poor brothers," answered the big Blue-gum very sadly,"Those are trees going down before the big wind. The birds werebringing me messages from those poor fellows quite lately; and now Ishall never hear from them again. It's very sad.""I never thought the wind could blow down big trees," said the LittleHouse."No tree knows when his time will come," the big Blue-gum answeredgravely. "I've had some very narrow escapes in my time, as tree andsapling on this mountain."The Little Red House was very quiet and thoughtful for a long timeafter that. Then he asked suddenly, "Which way do you think you wouldfall if you did fall?"But the big Blue-gum said that he couldn't tell. It depended on thewind, and he might fall any way."Not on me!" cried the Little House.The Blue-gum said that he didn't know; but he hoped not."If you DID fall on me," said the Little Red House, "I suppose itwould hurt me."The Blue-gum said it certainly would, and there would be very littleleft but splinters and glass.





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