Will you go?"

"Yes," answered Sophocles; and Pericles, because he did not dare refuse, said "Yes" also.

Then they went to the shore of the sea, and the people followed them. There was no boat to be found anywhere, for the fishers were all away upon the water; but there was a big wooden bowl lying upon the shore, which the fishermen used to carry their fish to market in.

"This will do," said Pericles, who, because he weighed the most, was the greatest fool of the three.

So the wise men all sat within the bowl, with their feet together, and the people pushed them out into the water.

The tide caught the bowl and floated it out to sea, and before long the wise men were beyond sight of land.

They were all greatly frightened, for the bowl was old and cracked, and the water leaked slowly through until their feet were covered. They clung to the edge with their hands and looked at one another with white faces. Said Pericles,

"I was a fool to come to sea in this bowl."

"Ah," remarked Socrates, "if you are a fool, as you confess, then you cannot be a wise man."

"No," answered Pericles, "but I 'll soon be a dead man."

"I also was a fool," said Sophocles, who was weeping from his one eye and trembling all over, "for if I had stayed upon land I would not have been drowned."

"Since you both acknowledge it," sighed Socrates, "I will confess that I also am a fool, and have always been one; but I looked so wise the people insisted I must know everything!"

"Yes, yes," Sophocles groaned, "the people have murdered us!"

"My only regret," said Pericles, "is that my wife is not with me. If only she were here"--

He did not finish what he was saying, for just then the bowl broke in two. And the people are still waiting for the three wise men to come back to them.

Little Bun Rabbit

Little Bun Rabbit

"Oh, Little Bun Rabbit, so soft and so shy, Say, what do you see with your big, round eye?" "On Christmas we rabbits," says Bunny so shy, "Keep watch to see Santa go galloping by."

Little Dorothy had passed all the few years of her life in the country, and being the only child upon the farm she was allowed to roam about the meadows and woods as she pleased. On the bright summer mornings Dorothy's mother would tie a sun-bonnet under the girl's chin, and then she romped away to the fields to amuse herself in her own way.

She came to know every flower that grew, and to call them by name, and she always stepped very carefully to avoid treading on them, for Dorothy was a kind-hearted child and did not like to crush the pretty flowers that bloomed in her path. And she was also very fond of all the animals, and learned to know them well, and even to understand their language, which very few people can do. And the animals loved Dorothy in turn, for the word passed around amongst them that she could be trusted to do them no harm. For the horse, whose soft nose Dorothy often gently stroked, told the cow of her kindness, and the cow told the dog, and the dog told the cat, and the cat told her black kitten, and the black kitten told the rabbit when one day they met in the turnip patch.

Therefore when the rabbit, which is the most timid of all animals and the most difficult to get acquainted with, looked out of a small bush at the edge of the wood one day and saw Dorothy standing a little way off, he did not scamper away, as is his custom, but sat very still and met the gaze of her sweet eyes boldly, although perhaps his heart beat a little faster than usual.

Dorothy herself was afraid she might frighten him away, so she kept very quiet for a time, leaning silently against a tree and smiling encouragement at her timorous companion until the rabbit became reassured and blinked his big eyes at her thoughtfully. For he was as much interested in the little girl as she in him, since it was the first time he had dared to meet a person face to face.

Finally Dorothy ventured to speak, so she asked, very softly and slowly,

"Oh, Little Bun Rabbit, so soft and so shy, Say, what do you see with your big, round eye?"

"Many things," answered the rabbit, who was pleased to hear the girl speak in his own language; "in summer-time I see the clover-leaves that I love to feed upon and the cabbages at the end of the farmer's garden.

Mother Goose in Prose Page 58

L. Frank Baum Children's Books

Fairy Tales and Children's Books

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Children's Books
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
Children's Picture Books