THE BOYS LOOKED IN WONDER
TO THE STORY-TELLER
[v] THIS volume, though intended also for the children's own
reading and for reading aloud, is especially planned for
story-telling. The latter is a delightful way of arousing a
gladsome holiday spirit, and of showing the inner meanings
of different holidays. As stories used for this purpose are
scattered through many volumes, and as they are not always
in the concrete form required for story-telling, I have
endeavored to bring together myths, legends, tales, and
historical stories suitable to holiday occasions.
There are here collected one hundred and twenty stories for
seventeen holidays—stories grave, gay, humorous, or
fanciful; also some that are spiritual in feeling, and
others that give the delicious thrill of horror so craved by
boys and girls at Halloween time. The range of selection is
wide, and touches all sides of wholesome boy and girl
nature, and the tales have the power to arouse an
appropriate holiday spirit.
As far as possible the stories are presented in their
original form. When, however, they are too long for
inclusion, or too loose in structure for story-telling
purposes, they are adapted.
Adapted stories are of two sorts. Condensed:
[vi] in which case a piece of literature is shortened, scarcely
any changes being made in the original language. Rewritten:
here the plot, imagery, language, and style of the original
are retained as far as possible, while the whole is moulded
into form suitable for story-telling. Some few stories are
built up on a slight framework of original matter.
Thus it may be seen that the tales in this volume have not
been reduced to the necessarily limited vocabulary and
uniform style of one editor, but that they are varied in
treatment and language, and are the products of many minds.
A glance at the table of contents will show that not only
have selections been made from modern authors and from the
folklore of different races, but that some quaint old
literary sources have been drawn on. Among the men and books
contributing to these pages are the Gesta Romanorum, Il
Libro d'Oro, Xenophon, Ovid, Lucian, the Venerable Bede,
William of Malmesbury. John of Hildesheim, William Caxton,
and the more modern Washington Irving, Hugh Miller, Charles
Dickens, and Henry Cabot Lodge; also those immortals, Hans
Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, Horace E. Scudder,
Eugene Field, and others.
The stories are arranged to meet the needs of story-telling
in the graded schools. Reading-lists, showing where to find
[vii] for story-telling and collateral reading, are added. Grades
in which the recommended stories are useful are indicated.
The number of selections in the volume, as well as the
references to other books, is limited by the amount and
character of available material. For instance, there is
little to be found for Saint Valentine's Day, while there is
an overwhelming abundance of fine stories for the Christmas
season. Stories like Dickens's "Christmas Carol," Ouida's
"Dog of Flanders," and Hawthorne's tales, which are too long
for inclusion and would lose their literary beauty if
condensed, are referred to in the lists. Volumes containing
these stories may be procured at the public library.
A subject index is appended. This indicates the ethical,
historical, and other subject-matter of interest to the
teacher, thus making the volume serviceable for other
occasions besides holidays.
In learning her tale the story-teller is advised not to
commit it to memory. Such a method is apt to produce a
wooden or glib manner of presentation. It is better for her
to read the story over and over again until its plot,
imagery, style, and vocabulary become her own, and then to
retell it, as Miss Bryant says, "simply, vitally, joyously."
[ix] THE compiler's thanks are due to the following publishers
and authors who have allowed the publication of their
stories in this volume:—
To the American Book Company for permission to use "A Brave
Girl," by James Johonnot; "A Gunpowder Story," by John Esten
Cooke; "Columbus and the Egg," and "Cornelia's Jewels," by
James Baldwin; "Shippeitaro," by Mary F. Nixon-Roulet;
"Signing of the Declaration of Independence," by H. A.
Guerber; "The Proud Oak Tree," and "The Three Little
Butterfly Brothers," from Deutsches Drittes Lesebuch.
To the Century Company for permission to use "Bill Brown's
Test," by Cleveland Moffett.
To the Cosmopolitan Magazine for permission to use "A
Prisoner's Valentine," by Millicent Olmsted.
To the Courier-Journal Job Printing Company for permission
to use "Two Hero-Stories of the Civil War," by Ben La Bree.
To J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., for permission to use "The
King of the Cats," by Ernest Rhys.
To E. P. Dutton and Company, for permission to use "Saint
Christopher," by William Caxton; "The Lark and its Young
Ones," and "The Smithy," by P. V. Ramaswami Raju.
To Ginn and Company for permission to use "Washington the
Athlete," by Albert F. Blaisdell and Francis K. Ball.
[x] To Henry Holt and Company for permission to use "A Flag
Incident," by M. M. Thomas; and "Baucis and Philemon," by H.
To J. B. Lippincott Company for permission to use "The
Revenge of Coriolanus," by Charles Morris; "The Three Kings
of Cologne," by H. S. Morris.
To Little, Brown and Company for permission to use "The
Greedy Geese," from Il libro d'Oro, translated by Mrs.
To Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company for permission to use
"Training for the Presidency," by Orison Swett Marden.
To the Macmillan Company for permission to use "Queen
Margaret and the Robbers," by Albert F. Blaisdell; "The
Boston Tea-Party," by John Andrews; "The Little
Drummer-Boy," by Albert Bushnell Hart; "Burg Hill's on
Fire," by Elizabeth W. Grierson.
To Milton Bradley Company for permission to use "The Fairy's
New Year Gift," by Emilie Poulsson; "The Snowdrop," adapted
by Bailey and Lewis.
To the New York State Museum for permission to use "The
Elves," and "The Spirit of the Corn," by Harriet Maxwell
To the Presbyterian Board of Publication for permission to
use "Betsy Ross and the Flag," by Harry Pringle Ford,
published in Forward Magazine.
To G. P. Putnam's Sons for permission to use "He rescues the
Birds," "The Colonel of the Zouaves," "Why Lincoln was
called 'Honest Abe,' " by Noah Brooks; "The Magpie's Nest,"
and "The Strange Visitor," by Joseph Jacobs.
[xi] To Fleming H. Revell Company for permission to use "The
Caņon Flowers," by Ralph Connor.
To Mr. William S. Walsh for permission to use "The Three
Purses," and "The Thunder Oak."
To Houghton Mifflin Company for permission to use "Arachne,"
and "Cupid and Psyche," by Josephine Preston Peabody; "A
Solomon come to Judgment," "George Pickett's Friend,"
"Lincoln and the Little Girl," by Charles W. Moores; "Hofus
the Stone-Cutter," from the Riverside Third Reader; "Babes
in the Woods," by John Burroughs; "Hansel and Grethel," by
the Brothers Grimm; "The Busy Blue Jay," by Olive Thorne
Miller; "The Dove who spoke Truth," by Abbie Farwell Brown;
"The Dryad of the Old Oak," by James Russell Lowell; "The
Elves and the Shoemaker," and "Young George and the Colt,"
by Horace E. Scudder; "The First Harvest Home in Plymouth,"
by W. De Loss Love, Jr.; "The Mother Murre," by Dallas Lore
Sharp; "The Pine Tree," "The Little Match Girl," "The
Loveliest Rose in the World," by Hans Christian Andersen;
"Little Piccola," by Celia Thaxter; "The Nail," by the
Brothers Grimm; "The Old Woman who became a Woodpecker," by
Phœbe Cary; "The Pride of the Regiment," by Harry M.
Kieffer; "The Quails," from the Riverside Fourth Reader;
"The Stream that Ran Away," by Mary Austin; "The
Star-Spangled Banner," by Eva March Tappan; "The Mutiny," by
A. de Lamartine; "Washington at Yorktown," and "Washington's
Modesty," by Henry Cabot Lodge; "Why the Evergreen Trees
never lose their Leaves," by Florence Holbrook.