| Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers|
|by Mary E. Burt|
|Twenty-seven stories adapted for young children from selections of works of classic writers of the ancient world. The stories were chosen by the author for their inspirational value, either 'because they contained fine moral points, or else because they were poetic statements of natural phenomena which might enhance the study of natural science.' Writers represented in the collection include Plato, Homer, Hesiod, Aristophanes, Pliny, and Ovid. Ages 6-9 |
A CLOUD AND A FOUNTAIN
 A GREAT white cloud went sailing off into the sky on a
bright summer day. It met a breeze which blew it away
to the north where it became quite cold. So it
shrugged its shoulders and pulled its flying, feathery
robes close together which caused it to become a trifle
heavier and it fell a little lower.
Then an east wind caught it and drove it against the
side of a mountain and held it there, squeezed tight up
against the mountain as you squeeze your wet sponge
against a slate.
Its little fleecy
 particles were pressed into round
drops, and the greater part of the beautiful cloud had
become rain, but what was left escaped from the cruel
east wind and flew away.
The little rain drops tried to keep together as they
fell on the side of the mountain, so they all joined
hands and ran along a little way until they came to a
great queer basin on the rock that was full of water.
They leapt into this basin, but it was full of water
that they were pushed out again, and so they kept hold
of hands and ran dancing down the side of the mountain
in a little channel which they found, where a stream
used to run.
 Now it happened that a shepherd boy had been lying all
of this time in a grassy field at the foot of the
mountain, tending his sheep. He had been looking up
into the sky watching the great white cloud over his
head. It did not look like a cloud to him, but like a
beautiful white horse with wings flying about in the
Sometimes it seemed to fly closer to him, and sometimes
it seemed to fly away. And he believed it really was a
flying horse, so he kept watching and watching it.
When the wind blew it against the side of the mountain,
the horse appeared to be thirsty, and the boy believed
 saw him strike the earth with his hoof.
When the stream came dancing down the side of the
mountain, the Shepard lad said to himself, "surely the
beautiful flying horse was very thirsty and struck the
earth with his hoof, and it do not doubt that he broke
open a fountain and it has sprung out of the ground and
is running down the mountain." Then he climbed up the
side of the mountain and sure enough, he found the
queer rock basin with the fountain jetting up from it,
sending a little stream down the mountain. Then the
boy went home driving his sheep, and he called his
 other shepherd lads together and told them
of the strange sight which he really believed that he
And the friends of the shepherd boy believed as he did
that the fountain came because the horse was thirsty
and struck the ground with his hoof. So they called
the spring "The fountain of the Horse" and I think if
we were shepherd lads watching off on a lonely
mountain, we might imagine even more wonderful things
about them than has been told in this story.
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