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READING-LITERATURE: First Reader by  Harriette Taylor Treadwell and Margaret Free

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The Lad and the North Wind

Once there was a poor woman.

She had one son.

One day he went to the safe for meal.

Along came the North Wind,
puffing and blowing.

He caught up the meal,
and away he went.


The lad went to the safe for more meal.

The North Wind came again.

He carried the meal off with a puff.

And he carried the meal off a third time.


Then the lad became angry.

"I will go to the North Wind," he said.

"I will ask him for my meal."

So off he went.


He walked and walked.

At last he came to the North Wind's house.

"Good-day, North Wind," said the lad.


"Good-day," said the North Wind.

"Thank you for coming to see me.

What do you want?"


"You took our meal yesterday.

Will you give it to me?" said the lad.

"We shall starve without our meal."


"I have no meal," said the North Wind.

"But I will give you this cloth.

You have only to say,

'Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,
and serve a good dinner.'

And you have all you want."


"Thank you, North Wind," said he.

And he set off for home.


[Illustration]

It was a long way.

So he stopped at an inn.

He sat down at a table.

He took up the cloth, and said,

"Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,
and serve up a good dinner."

And the cloth did as it was bid.


The landlord saw the dinner.

"That is a fine cloth," he said.


Soon the lad went to bed.

The landlord took the cloth,
and he put another in its place.


Next morning the lad took the cloth
and went home.


"Mother," he said,
"I have been to the North Wind.
He is a good fellow.
He gave me this cloth.
I have only to say,

'Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,
and serve up a good dinner.'

And I have all I want to eat."


"That may be true," said his mother.

"But let me see it.

Then I shall believe it."


The lad drew out the table.

He laid the cloth and said,

"Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,
and serve up a good dinner."

But not a crumb did it serve.


"I must go back to the North Wind,"
said the lad.

And away he went.

He walked and walked.

At last he came
to the North Wind's house.


"Good-day, North Wind," said the lad.


"Good-day, lad," said the North Wind.

"Thank you for coming to see me.

What do you want now?"


"I want my meal," said the lad.

"This cloth is not worth a penny."


"I have no meal," said the North Wind.

"But you may have this ram.

You have only to say,
'Ram, ram, make money!'

And he will make all the money you want."


"Thank you, North Wind," said he.

And he set off for home.

It was a long way.

So he stopped at the inn.

He wanted some money.


[Illustration]

So he said to the ram,
"Ram, ram, make money."

And the ram did as it was bid.


The landlord saw the money.

"That is a fine ram," he said.


Soon the lad went to bed.


The landlord took the ram,
and he put another in its place.


Next morning the lad took the ram
and went home.

"Mother," he said,
"I have been to the North Wind.
He is a fine fellow.
He gave me this ram.

I have only to say,
'Ram, ram, make money.'

And he makes all the money I want."


"That may be true," said his mother.

"But let me see it.

Then I shall believe it."


"Ram, ram, make money,"
said the lad.

But not a penny did he make.


"I must go back to the North Wind,"
said the lad.

And off he went.


It was a long way.

He walked and walked.

At last he came
to the North Wind's house.


"Good-day, North Wind," said the lad.


"Good-day, lad," said the North Wind.

"What do you want now?"


"I want my meal," said the lad.

"This ram is not worth a penny."


"I have no meal," said the North Wind.


"But I will give you this stick.

You have only to say,
'Stick, stick, lay on.'

And it will lay on till you say,
'Stick, stick, stop.' "


The lad took the stick.

"Thank you, North Wind," said he.

And he set off for home.


He stopped at the same inn.

After supper he shut his eyes
and began to snore.


[Illustration]

The landlord saw the stick.

"That must be a fine stick," he said.


He thought the lad was asleep.

He reached for the stick.

Just then the lad cried out,
"Stick, stick, lay on."

So the stick laid on.


The landlord jumped over tables and chairs.

He yelled and he roared.

"Lad, lad, stop the stick," he cried.

"You shall have your cloth
and your ram again."


So the lad said,
"Stick, stick, stop."


He took the cloth and the ram
and the stick.

Then he set off for home.

So the North Wind gave the lad
the worth of his meal.


-Norse Folk Tale.


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