| 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 |
THE UNGRATEFUL SOLDIER
 HERE is another story of the battlefield, and it is much
like the one which I have just told you.
Not quite a hundred years after the time of Sir Philip
Sidney there was a war between the Swedes
and the Danes. One day a great battle was fought, and the
Swedes were beaten, and driven from the field. A soldier of
the Danes who had been slightly wounded was sitting on the
ground. He was about to take a drink from a flask. All at
once he heard some one say,—
"O sir! give me a drink, for I am dying."
It was a wounded Swede who spoke. He was
lying on the ground only a little way off. The Dane went to
him at once. He knelt down by the side of his fallen foe,
and pressed the flask to his lips.
"Drink," said he, "for thy need is greater than mine."
Hardly had he spoken these words, when the Swede raised
himself on his elbow. He pulled a pistol from his pocket, and
shot at the man who
would have befriended him. The bullet grazed the Dane's
shoulder, but did not do him much harm.
"Ah, you rascal!" he cried. "I was going to
 befriend you, and you repay me, by trying to kill me. Now I
will punish you. I would have given you all the water, but
now you shall have only half." And with that he drank the
half of it, and then gave the rest to the Swede.
When the King of the Danes heard about this, he sent for
the soldier and had him tell the story just as it was.
"Why did you spare the life of the Swede after he had tried
to kill you?" asked the king.
 "Because, sir," said the soldier, "I could never kill a
"Then you deserve to be a
nobleman," said the king. And he rewarded him by making him a knight, and giving him a
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