| For the Children's Hour|
|by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey|
|A choice collection of stories for the preschool child, carefully selected, adapted, and arranged by two veteran kindergarten teachers. Includes nature stories, holiday stories, fairy tales and fables, as well as stories of home life. Emphasis is placed on fanciful tales for their value in the training of the imagination and on cumulative tales for developing a child's sense of humor and appealing to his instinctive love of rhyme and jingle. Ages 4-7 |
HOW CEDRIC BECAME A KNIGHT
Adapted from "In Storyland," by Elizabeth Harrison.
 A LONG time ago, in a small stone hut, at the foot of a
high hill, there lived a little boy named Cedric. At
the top of the hill there stood a grand old castle.
The little boy used to watch the strong iron gate rise
slowly from the ground as the brave knights rode out of
the castle courtyard. It was a gay sight when the sun
lighted their helmets and shone upon their brave faces.
Their horses, even, seemed proud to carry them. Little
Cedric thought nothing was so beautiful to see as the
knights riding down the hill.
One day Cedric was playing with his kitten, and the
queer little thing went out into the middle of the
dusty road and curled herself up for a nap. Suddenly
Cedric saw five knights galloping down the hill and the
kitten was still fast asleep in the highway. He jumped
out and gathered the little thing up in his arms just
before the horses swept by.
As they passed, one of the knights smiled down upon
Cedric and said: "My little boy, you are brave enough
to be a knight some day."
And as Cedric went into the house he whispered softly
to himself: "To be a knight some day." He ate his
supper of bread and milk, and undressed for bed, just
as he did every night, but when he went to sleep he
dreamed of being the bravest knight in the whole world,
who should rescue a beautiful princess from an ugly
giant who had shut her up in a dungeon.
In the morning he fed the doves, and watered the cows,
and brought hay for the horses. He helped his
 mother with the housework, and at last he said: "Do
you think I could ever grow up to be a knight, mother?"
His mother smiled and said: "Knights have many hard
things to do. You are only a very little boy, Cedric.
Run out to play."
One evening, when it was summer time, Cedric stood in
the doorway, and he heard the tramp of horses' feet,
and he saw a gay party of horsemen coming. His face
lighted up with a glad smile. It was Sir Rollin Du
Bois and his soldiers riding home from the king's war.
As they rode nearer he saw that even the tallest knight
looked weary, and one of them stopped and said:
"Little man, will you give me a drink of cold water?"
Cedric ran and filled a cup at the spring.
"Thank you," said the soldier; "you are as courteous as
a knight, my boy."
And Cedric ran to tell his mother, and asked again:
"Mother dear, can I ever be a knight?"
After many months a wonderful thing happened. One day
Cedric's father came in from his work and said: "Sir
Rollin wishes a lad to come to the castle as a page.
May Cedric go, mother?"
Cedric's heart nearly stopped beating, until his mother
said slowly: "Yes." And she made a bundle of his few
clothes that very afternoon, and his father took him up
the steep hill to the castle gate.
The iron gate slowly lifted, they crossed the
drawbridge and the courtyard, and went into one of the
castle rooms where the walls and ceiling and floor were
all of stone.
"You would like to be a knight, my lad?" said Sir
Rollin, after he had talked with Cedric's father. "You
 will not mind hard tasks, and you will be brave
and true? It will take many years."
"I will try," said Cedric.
So he bade his father good-bye and he went with an
older boy up a flight of stone steps to a tiny room
where he was to sleep for the night upon a pile of
straw with only a sheepskin to cover him.
That night his supper was coarse rye bread and a bowl
of broth, and in the morning his lessons began—learning
how to stand straight, and run very fast, and jump on
or off a horse when it was galloping, and throw a spear
straight at a mark. Above all, must he go quickly when
Sir Rollin called, and do an errand faithfully and
After years and years Cedric grew large and tall. One
day Sir Rollin came to him and said: "Cedric, you are
to take a letter to the king. It must reach him
quickly. Take my gray horse and ride swiftly, and
remember how greatly I trust you."
Cedric's heart beat high with joy to know that Sir
Rollin had chosen him for a messenger from all the
pages. He was ready in half an hour. He jumped on the
gray horse and galloped off down the highway. But the
road was dark and lonely, and at last he entered the
deep woods. "If I am ever to be a knight, I must learn
to be brave," thought Cedric, but he was quite sure he
heard a deep growl close by. He rode steadily forward,
but there, coming toward him, was the great wild boar
which had destroyed the farmer's cattle. Cedric
spurred his horse forward and hurled his spear at the
boar, and it rolled over upon the ground—dead.
After a time he came to a little village and he saw
 a group of boys who were tormenting a poor lame
man in their midst.
"How dare you!" cried Cedric, riding up in their midst,
and he said, gently, to the old man, who was trembling
with fright: "Come with me. You may ride my horse."
So Cedric walked until they reached the next village,
where he left the old man at his own door, and then
hurried on—not stopping for food even. Late in the
evening he reached the house where he was to rest for
the night, and by dawn the next day he was up and off
on his journey once more.
As he rode along he came to a rippling brook and he saw
a poor little fish lying on the bank, gasping for
breath, where some fisherman had carelessly left it to
"You poor little thing!" thought Cedric, as he stepped
down from his horse and gently laid the fish back in
the brook once more and watched it swim gaily away. "A
knight should help any suffering thing, no matter how
small," he said as he rode on.
At last the king's beautiful palace was in sight, and
Cedric rode into the courtyard—very weary—but carrying
Sir Rollin's letter safe. And when the king read the
letter he sent for Cedric. Sir Rollin had written to
say that Cedric was brave, and true, and courteous, and
ready to be a soldier. So the king told him that he
was to serve in the army and live at the palace.
Then, after some more years, came a wonderful day when
the king called Cedric to his great throne-room. There
sat the king upon a beautiful throne of gold and beside
him the queen. There was a canopy of velvet over their
heads, and all the ladies-in-waiting and the courtiers
stood about. Cedric knelt upon one
 knee before
the king's throne, as was the custom in those days; the
king raised his beautiful golden sceptre and struck
Cedric lightly upon the shoulder with it, saying at the
same time: "Arise, Sir Cedric!" And Cedric knew that
he was at last a knight.
After a while he had a beautiful castle of his own, and
his own prancing black horses, and he was always so
brave, and noble, and kind that all his people loved
him, and called him "Sir Cedric, the Good."
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics