| Fifty Famous Stories Retold|
|by James Baldwin|
|Includes fifty legendary tales depicting certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people. Children naturally take a deep interest in such stories. The reading of them will not only give pleasure but will lay the foundation for broader literary studies, as nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose. Ages 6-9 |
IT was a dark September morning. There was a storm at
sea. A ship had been driven on a low rock off the shores of
the Farne Islands. It had been broken in two by the waves,
and half of it had been washed away. The other half lay yet
on the rock, and those of the crew who were still alive were
clinging to it. But the waves were dashing over it, and in a
little while it too would be carried to the bottom.
Could any one save the poor, half-drowned men who were
 On one of the islands was a lighthouse; and there, all
through that stormy night, Grace Darling had listened to the
Grace was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper, and she
had lived by the sea as long as she could
In the darkness of the night, above the noise of the winds
and waves, she heard screams and wild cries. When
daylight came, she could see the wreck, a mile away, with the angry
waters all around it. She could see the men clinging to the
"We must try to save them!" she cried. "Let us go out in
the boat at once!"
"It is of no use, Grace," said her father. "We cannot
He was an old man, and he knew the force of the mighty
"We cannot stay here and see them die," said Grace. "We must
at least try to save them."
Her father could not say, "No."
In a few minutes they were ready. They set off in the heavy
lighthouse boat. Grace pulled one oar, and her father the
other, and they made straight toward the wreck. But it was
hard rowing against such a sea, and it seemed as though they
would never reach the place.
At last they were close to the rock, and now
 they were in greater danger than before. The fierce waves
broke against the boat, and it would have been dashed in
pieces, had it not been for the strength and skill of the
But after many trials, Grace's father climbed upon the
wreck, while Grace herself held the boat. Then one by one
the worn-out crew were helped on board. It was all that the
girl could do to keep the frail boat from being drifted
away, or broken upon the sharp edges of the rock.
Then her father clambered back into his place. Strong
hands grasped the oars, and by and by all were safe in the
lighthouse. There Grace proved to be no less tender as a
nurse than she had been brave as a sailor. She cared most
kindly for the ship-wrecked men until the storm had died away
and they were strong enough to go to their own homes.
All this happened a long time ago, but the name of Grace
Darling will never be forgotten. She lies buried now in a
little churchyard by the sea, not far from her old home.
Every year many people go there to see her grave; and there
a monument has been placed in honor of the brave girl. It
is not a large monument, but it is one that speaks of
the noble deed which made Grace Darling famous. It is a
figure carved in stone of a woman lying at rest, with a
boat's oar held fast in her right hand.
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