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Just So Stories

by Rudyard Kipling

Trenelli Publishing : Stockbridge, GA
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Table of Contents

How the Whale Got His Throat
How the Camel Got His Hump
How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
How the Leopard Got His Spots
The Elephant's Child
The Singsong of Old Man Kangaroo
The Beginning of the Armadillos
How the First Letter Was Written
How the Alphabet Was Made
The Crab That Played With the Sea
The Cat That Walked By Himself
The Butterfly That Stamped

About the Author
Publisher's Note


How the Whale Got His Throat

In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale,
and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish and the garfish, and the crab
and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate,
and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find
in the sea he ate with his mouth -- so! Till at last there was only
one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small 'Stute Fish,
and he swam a little behind the Whale's right ear, so as to be out of
harm's way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, "I'm
hungry." And the small 'Stute Fish said a small 'stute voice, "Noble
and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?"
"No," said the Whale. "What is it like?"
"Nice," said the small 'Stute Fish. "Nice but nubbly."
"Then fetch me some," said the Whale, and he made the sea froth up
with his tail.
"One at a time is enough," said the 'Stute Fish. "If you swim to
latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty West (that is magic), you will
find, sitting on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing on but
a pair of blue canvas breeches, a pair of suspenders (you must not
forget the suspenders, Best Beloved), and a jackknife, one shipwrecked
Mariner, who, it is only fair to tell you, is a man of infinite-
So the whale swam and swam to latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty
West, as fast as he could swim, and on a raft, in the middle of the
sea, with nothing to wear but a pair of blue canvas breeches, a pair
of suspenders (you must particularly remember the suspenders, Best
Beloved), and a jackknife, one single, solitary shipwrecked Mariner,
trailing his toes in the water. (He had his mummy's leave to paddle,
or else he would never have done it, because he was a man of infinite-
Then the Whale opened his mouth back and back and back till it
nearly touched his tail, and he swallowed the shipwrecked mariner, and
the raft he was sitting on, and his blue canvas breeches, and the
suspenders (which you must not forget), and the jackknife -- he
swallowed them all down into his warm, dark, inside cupboards, and
then he smacked his lips -- so, and turned round three times on his
But as soon as the Mariner, who was a man of infinite-resource-and-
sagacity, found himself truly inside the Whale's warm, dark, inside
cupboards, he stumped and he jumped and he thumped and he bumped, and
he pranced and he danced, and he banged and he clanged, and he hit and
he bit, and he leaped and he creeped, and he prowled and he howled,
and he hopped and he dropped, and he cried and he sighed, and he
crawled and he bawled, and he stepped and he lepped, and he danced
hornpipes where he shouldn't, and the Whale felt most unhappy indeed.
(Have you forgotten the suspenders?)
So he said to the 'Stute Fish, "This man is very nubbly, and
besides he is making me hiccough. What shall I do?"
"Tell him to come out," said the 'Stute Fish.
So the Whale called down his own throat to the shipwrecked Mariner,
"Come out and behave yourself. I've got the hiccoughs."
"Nay, nay!" said the Mariner. "Not so, but far otherwise. Take me
to my natal-shore and the white-cliffs-of-Albion, and I'll think about
it." And he began to dance more than ever.
"You had better take him home," said the 'Stute Fish to the Whale.
"I ought to have warned you that he is a man of infinite-resource-and-
So the Whale swam and swam and swam, with both flippers and his
tail, as hard as he could for the hiccoughs, and at last he saw the
Mariner's natal-shore and the white-cliffs-of-Albion, and he rushed
halfway up the beach, and opened his mouth wide and wide and wide, and
said, "Change here for Winchester, Asheulot, Nashua, Keene, and
stations of the Fitchburg road"; and just as he said "Fitch" the
Mariner walked out of his mouth. But while the Whale had been
swimming, the Mariner, who was a man of infinite-resource-and-
sagacity, had taken his jackknife and cut up the raft into a little
square grating all running crisscross, and he had tied it firm with
his suspenders (now you know why you were not to forget the
suspenders!), and he dragged that grating good and tight into the
Whale's throat, and there it stuck! Then he recited the following
Sloka, which, as you have not heard it, I will now proceed to relate
By means of a grating
I have stopped your ating.
For the Mariner he was also an Hi-ber-ni-an. And he stepped out on
to the shingle, and went home to his mother, who had given him leave
to trail his toes in the water; and he married and lived happily ever
after. So did the Whale. But from that day on, the grating in his
throat, which he could neither cough up nor swallow down, prevented
him from eating anything except very, very small fish; and that is the
reason why whales nowadays never eat men or boys or little girls.
The small 'Stute Fish went and hid himself in the mud under the
Door-Sills of the Equator. He was afraid that the Whale might be
angry with him.
The Sailor took the jackknife home. He was wearing the blue canvas
breeches when he walked out on the shingle. The suspenders were left
behind, you see, to tie the grating with; and that is the end of that

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

When the cabin port-holes are dark and green
Because of the seas outside;
When the ship goes wop (with a wiggle between)
And the steward falls into the soup-tureen,
And the trunks begin to slide;
When Nursey lies in the floor in a heap,
And Mummy tells you to let her sleep,
And you aren't waked or washed or dressed,
Why, then you will know (if you haven't guessed)
You are Fifty North and Forty West!


How the Camel Got His Hump

Now this is the next tale, and it tells how the camel got his big
In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, and
the Animals were just beginning to work for Man, there was a Camel,
and he lived in the middle of a Howling Desert because he did not want
to work; and besides, he was a Howler himself. So he ate sticks and
thorns and tamarisks and milkweed and prickles, most 'scruciatingly
idle; and when anybody spoke to him he just said "Humph!" Just
"Humph!" and no more.
Presently the Horse came to him and on Monday morning, with a
saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, "Camel, O Camel,
come out and trot like the rest of us."
"Humph!" said the Camel, and the Horse went away and told the Man.
Presently the Dog came to him, with a stick in his mouth, and said,
"Camel, O Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us."
"Humph!" said the Camel, and the Dog went away and told the Man.
Presently the Ox came to him, with the yoke on his neck, and said,
"Camel, O Camel, come and plow like the rest of us."
"Humph!" said the Camel, and the Ox went away and told the Man.
At the end of the day the Man called the Horse and the Dog and the
Ox together, and said, "Three, O Three, I'm very sorry for you (with
the world so new-and-all); but that Humph-thing in the Desert can't
work, or he would have been here by now, so I am going to leave him
alone, and you must work doubletime to make up for it."
That made the Three very angry (with the world so new-and-all), and
they held a palaver, and an indaba, and a punchayet, and a powwow on
the edge of the Desert; and the Camel came chewing milkweed most
'scruciatingly idle, and laughed at them. Then he said, "Humph!" and
went away again.
Presently there came the Djinn in charge of All Deserts, rolling in
a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is Magic),
and he stopped to palaver and powwow with the Three.
"Djinn of All Deserts," said the Horse, "is it right for anyone to
be idle, with the world so new-and-all?"
"Certainly not," said the Djinn.
"Well," said the Horse, there's a thing in the middle of your
Howling Desert (and he's a Howler himself) with a long neck and long
legs, and he hasn't done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He
won't trot."
"Whew!" said the Djinn, whistling, "that's my Camel, for all the
gold in Arabia! What does he say about it?"
"He says 'Humph!'," said the Dog, "and he won't fetch and carry."
"Does he say anything else?"
"Only 'Humph!'; and he won't plow," said the Ox.
"Very good," said the Djinn. "I'll humph him if you will kindly
wait a minute."
The Djinn rolled himself up in his dust-cloak, and took a bearing
across the desert, and found the Camel most 'scruciatingly idle,
looking at his own reflection in a pool of water.
"My long and bubbling friend," said the Djinn, "what's this I hear
of your doing no work, with the world so new-and-all?"
"Humph!" said the Camel.
The Djinn sat down, with his chin in his hand, and began to think a
Great Magic, while the Camel looked at his own reflection in the pool
of water.
"You've given the Three extra work ever since Monday morning, all
on account of your 'scruciating idleness," said the Djinn; and he went
on thinking Magics, with his chin is his hand.
"Humph!" said the Camel.
"I shouldn't say that again if I were you," said the Djinn; you
might say it once too often. Bubbles, I want you to work."
And the Camel said "Humph!" again; but no sooner had he said it
than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing
up into a great big lolloping humph.
"Do you see that?" said the Djinn. "That's your very own humph
that you've brought upon your very own self by not working. Today is
Thursday, and you've done no work since Monday, when the work began.
Now you are going to work."
"How can I," said the Camel, "with this humph on my back?"
"That's made a-purpose," said the Djinn, "all because you missed
those three days. You will be able to work now for three days without
eating, because you can live on your humph; and don't you ever say I
never did anything for you. Come out of the desert and go to the
Three, and behave. Humph yourself!"
And the Camel humphed himself, humph and all, and went away to join
the Three. And from that day to this the Camel always wears a humph
(we call it a hump now, not to hurt his feelings); but he has never
yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of
the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Camel's hump is an ugly hump
Which you may well see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire.

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the garden too,
Have lifted the hump--
The horrible hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo--
If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo--
We all get hump--
Cameelious hump--
Kiddies and grown-ups too!


How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red
Sea, there lived a Parsee from whose hat the rays of the sun were
reflected with more-than-oriental splendour. And the Parsee lived by
the Red Sea with nothing but his hat and his knife and a cooking stove
of the kind that you must particularly never touch. And one day he
took flour and water and currants and plums and sugar and things, and
made himself one cake which was two feet across and three feet thick.
It was indeed a Superior Comestible (that's magic), and he put it on
the stove because he was allowed to cook on that stove, and he baked
it and he baked it till it was all done brown and smelt most
sentimental. But just as he was going to eat it there came down to
the beach from the Altogether Uninhabited Interior one Rhinoceros with
a horn on his nose, two piggy eyes, and few manners. In those days
the Rhinoceros's skin fitted him quite tight. There were no wrinkles
in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a Noah's Ark Rhinoceros, but
of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he
has no manners now, and he never will have any manners. He said,
"How!" and the Parsee left that cake and climbed to the top of a palm
tree with nothing on but his hat, from which the rays of the sun were
always reflected with more-than-oriental-splendour. And the
Rhinoceros upset the oil stove with his nose, and the cake rolled on
the sand, and he spiked that cake on the horn of his nose, and he ate
it, and he went away, waving his tail, to the Exclusively Uninhabited
Interior which abuts on the islands of Mazanderan, Socotra, and the
Promontories of the Larger Equinox. Then the Parsee came down from
his palm tree and put the stove on its legs and recited the following
Sloka, which, as you have not heard, I will now proceed to relate:
Them that takes cakes
Which the Parsee-man bakes
Makes dreadful mistakes.
And there was a great deal more in that than you would think.
Because, five weeks later, there was a great heat wave in the Red
Sea, and everybody took off all the clothes they had. The Parsee took
off his hat; but the Rhinoceros took off his skin and carried it over
his shoulder as he came down to the beach to bathe. In those days it
buttoned underneath with three buttons and looked like a waterproof.
He said nothing whatever about the Parsee's cake, because he had eaten
it all; and he never had any manners, then, since, or henceforward.
He waddled straight into the water and blew bubbles through his nose,
leaving his skin on the beach.
Presently the Parsee came by and found the skin, and he smiled one
smile that ran all round his face two times. Then he danced three
times round the skin and rubbed his hands. Then he went to his camp
and filled his hat with cake-crumbs, for the Parsee never ate anything
but cake, and never swept out his camp. he took that skin, and he
shook that skin, and he scrubbed that skin, and he rubbed that skin
just as full of old, dry, stale, tickly cake-crumbs and some burned
currants as ever it could possibly hold. Then he climbed to the top
of his palm tree and waited for the Rhinoceros to come out of the
water and put it on.
And the Rhinoceros did. He buttoned it up with the three buttons,
and it tickled like cake-crumbs in bed. Then he wanted to scratch,
but that made it worse; and then he lay down on the sands and rolled
and rolled and rolled, and every time he rolled the cake-crumbs
tickled him worse and worse and worse. Then he ran to the palm tree
and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed himself against it. He rubbed so
much and so hard that he rubbed his skin into a great fold over his
shoulders, and another fold underneath, where the buttons used to be
(but he rubbed the buttons off), and he rubbed some more folds over
his legs. And it spoiled his temper, but it didn't make the least
difference to the cake-crumbs. They were inside his skin and they
tickled. So he went home, very angry indeed and horribly scratchy;
and from that day to this every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin
and a very bad temper, all on account of the cake-crumbs inside.
But the Parsee came down from his palm tree, wearing his hat, from
which the rays to the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental
splendour, packed up his cooking-stove, and went away in the direction
of Orotavo, Amygdala, the Upland Meadows of Anantarivo, and the
Marshes of Sonaput.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This Uninhabited Island
Is off Cape Gardafui,
By the Beaches of Socotra
And the Pink Arabian Sea:
But its hot--too hot from Suez
For the likes of you and me
Ever to go
In a P. and O.
And call on the Cake-Parsee!


How the Leopard Got His Spots

In the days when everybody started fair, Best Beloved, the Leopard
lived in a place called the High Veldt. 'Member it wasn't the Low
Veldt, or the Bush Veldt, or the Sour Veldt, but the 'sclusively bare,
hot, shiny High Veldt, where there was sand and sandy-coloured rock
and 'sclusively tufts of sandy-yellowish grass. The Giraffe and the
Zebra and the Eland and the Koodoo and the Hartebeest lived there; and
they were 'sclusively sandy-yellow-brownish all over; but the Leopard,
he was the 'sclusivest sandiest-yellowish-brownest of them all -- a
grayish-yellowish catty-shaped kind of beast, and he matched the
'sclusively sandy-yellow-brownish color of the High Veldt to one
hair. This was very bad for the Giraffe and the Zebra and the rest of
them, for he would lie down by a 'sclusively yellowish-grayish-
brownish stone or clump of grass, and when the Giraffe or the Zebra or
the Eland or the Koodoo or the Bush-Buck or the Bonte-Buck came by he
would surprise them out of their jumpsome lives. He would indeed!
Also, there was an Ethiopian with bows and arrows (a 'sclusively
grayish-brownish-yellowish man he was then), who lived on the High
Veldt with the Leopard; and the two used to hunt together -- the
Ethiopian with his bows and arrows, and the Leopard 'sclusively with
his teeth and claws -- till the Giraffe and the Eland and the Koodoo
and the Quagga and all the rest of them didn't know which way to jump,
Best Beloved. They didn't indeed!
After a long time -- things lived ever so long in those days --
they learned to avoid anything that looked like a Leopard or an
Ethiopian; and bit by bit -- the Giraffe began it, because his legs
were the longest -- they went away from the High Veldt. They scuttled
for days and days and days and days till they came to a great forest,
'sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-
blatchy shadows, and there they hid: and after another long time, what
with standing half in the shade and half out of it, and what with the
slippery-slidy shadows of the trees falling on them, the Giraffe grew
blotchy, and the Zebra grew stripy, and the Eland and the Koodoo grew
darker, with little wavy gray lines on their backs like bark on a tree
trunk; and so, though you could hear them and smell them, you could
very seldom see them, and then only when you knew precisely where to
look. They had a beautiful time in the 'sclusively speckly-spickly
shadows of the forest, while the Leopard and the Ethiopian ran about
over the 'sclusively grayish-yellowish-reddish High Veldt outside,
wondering what where all their breakfasts and their dinners and their
teas had gone. At last they were so hungry that they ate rats and
beetles and rock-rabbits, the Leopard and the Ethiopian, and then they
had the Big Tummy-Ache, both together; and then they met Baviaan --
the dogheaded, barking Baboon, who is Quite the Wisest Animal in All
South Africa.
Said Leopard to Baviaan (and it was a very hot day), "Where has all
the game gone?"
And Baviaan winked. He knew.
Said the Ethiopian to Baviaan, "Can you tell me the present habitat
of the aboriginal Fauna?" (That meant just the same thing, but the
Ethiopian always used long words. He was a grown-up.)
And Baviaan winked. He knew.
Then said Baviaan, "The game has gone into other spots; and my
advice to you, Leopard, is to go into other spots as soon as you can."
And the Ethiopian said, "That is all very well, but I wish to know
whither the aboriginal Fauna has migrated."
Then said Baviaan, "The aboriginal Fauna has joined the aboriginal
Flora because it was high time for a change; and my advice to you,
Ethiopian, is to change as soon as you can."
That puzzled the Leopard and the Ethiopian, but they set off to
look for the Aboriginal Flora, and presently, after ever so many days,
they saw a great, high forest full of tree trunks all 'sclusively
speckled and sprottled and spottled, dotted and splashed and slashed
and hatched and crosshatched with shadows. (Say that very quickly
aloud, and you will see how very shadowy the forest must have been.)
"What is this," said the Leopard, "that is so 'sclusively dark, and
yet so full of little pieces of light?"
"I don't know," said the Ethiopian, "but it ought to be the
aboriginal Flora. I can smell Giraffe, and I can hear Giraffe, but I
can't see Giraffe."
"That's curious," said the Leopard. "I suppose it is because we
have just come in out of the sunshine. I can smell Zebra, and I can
hear Zebra, but I can't see Zebra."
"Wait a bit," said the Ethiopian. "It's a long time since we've
hunted 'em. Perhaps we've forgotten what they were like."
"Fiddle!" said the Leopard. "I remember them perfectly on the High
Veldt, especially their marrow bones. Giraffe is about seventeen feet
high, of a 'sclusively fulvous golden-yellow from head to heel; and
Zebra is about four and a half feet high, of a 'sclusively gray-fawn
yellow from head to heel."
"Umm," said the Ethiopian, looking into the speckly-spickly shadows
of the aboriginal Flora-forest. "Then they ought to show up in this
dark place like ripe bananas in a smokehouse."
But they didn't. The Leopard and the Ethiopian hunted all day, and
though they could smell them and hear them, they never saw one of
"For goodness' sake," said the Leopard at teatime, "let us wait
till it gets dark. This daylight hunting is a perfect scandal."
So they waited till dark, and then the Leopard heard something
breathing sniffily in the starlight that fell all stripy through the
branches, and he jumped at the noise, and it smelt like Zebra, and it
felt like Zebra, and when he knocked it down it kicked like Zebra, but
he couldn't see it. So he said, "Be quiet, O you person without any
form. I am going to sit on your head till morning, because there is
something about you that I don't understand."
Presently he heard a grunt and a crash and a scramble, and the
Ethiopian called out, "I've caught a thing that I can't see. It
smells like Giraffe, and it kicks like Giraffe, but it hasn't any
"Don't you trust it," said the Leopard. "Sit on its head till
morning -- same as me. They haven't any form -- any of 'em."

So they said down on them hard till bright morning-time, and then
Leopard said, "What have you at your end of the table, Brother?"
Then the Ethiopian scratched his head and said, "It ought to be
'sclusively a rich fulvous orange-tawny from head to heel, and it
ought to be Giraffe; but it is covered all over with chestnut
blotches. What have you at your end of the table, Brother?"
And the Leopard scratched his head and said, "It ought to be
'sclusively a delicate grayish-fawn, and it ought to be Zebra; but it
is covered all over with black and purple stripes. What in the world
have you been doing to yourself, Zebra? Don't you know that if you
were on the High Veldt I could see you ten miles off? You haven't any
"Yes," said the Zebra, "but this isn't the High Veldt. Can't you
"I can now," said the Leopard. "But I couldn't all yesterday. How
is it done?"
"Let us up," said the Zebra, "and we will show you."
They let the Zebra and the Giraffe get up; and Zebra moved away to
some little thorn-bushes where the sunlight fell all stripy, and
Giraffe moved off to some tallish trees where the shadows fell all
"Now watch," said the Zebra and the Giraffe. "This is the way its
done. One -- two -- three! And where's your breakfast?"
Leopard stared, and Ethiopian stared, but all they could see were
stripy shadows and blotched shadows in the forest, but never a sign of
Zebra and Giraffe. They had just walked off and hidden themselves in
the shadowy forest.
"Hi! Hi!" said the Ethiopian. "That's a trick worth learning.
Take a lesson by it, Leopard. You show up in this dark place like a
bar of soap in a coal-scuttle."
"Ho! Ho!" said the Leopard. "Would it surprise you very much to
know that you show up in this dark place like a mustard plaster on a
sack of coals?"
"Well, calling names won't catch dinner," said the Ethiopian. "The
long and the little of it is that we don't match our backgrounds. I'm
going to take Baviaan's advice. He told me I ought to change; and as
I've nothing to change except my skin I'm going to change that."
"What to?" said the Leopard, tremendously excited.
"To a nice working blackish-brownish color, with a little purple in
it, and touches of slaty-blue. It will be the very thing for hiding
in hollows and behind trees."
So he changed his skin then and there, and the Leopard was more
excited than ever; he had never seen a man change his skin before.
"But what about me?" he said, when the Ethiopian had worked his
last little finger into his fine new black skin.
"You take Baviaan's advice too. He told you to go into spots."
"So I did," said the Leopard. "I went into other spots as fast as
I could. I went into this spot with you, and a lot of good its has
done me."
"Oh," said the Ethiopian. "Baviaan didn't mean spots in South
Africa. He meant spots on your skin."
"What's the use of that?" said the Leopard.
"Think of Giraffe," said the Ethiopian. "Or if you prefer stripes,
think of Zebra. They find their spots and stripes give them perfect
"Umm," said the Leopard. "I wouldn't look like Zebra -- not for
ever so."
"Well, make up your mind," said the Ethiopian, "because I'd hate to
go hunting without you, but I must if you insist on looking like a
sunflower against a tarred fence."
"I'll take spots then," said the Leopard. "But don't make 'em too
vulgar-big. I wouldn't look like Giraffe -- not for ever so."
"I'll make 'em with the tips of my fingers," said the Ethiopian.
"There's plenty of black left over on my skin still. Stand over!"
Then the Ethiopian put his five black fingers close together (there
was plenty of black left over on his new skin still) and pressed them
all over the Leopard, and wherever the five fingers touched they left
five little black marks, all close together. You can see them on any
Leopard's skin you like, Best Beloved. Sometimes the finger slipped
and the marks got a little blurred; but if you look closely at any
Leopard now you will see that there are always five spots -- of five
black finger tips.
"Now you are a beauty!" said the Ethiopian. "You can lie out on
the bare ground and look like a heap of pebbles. You can lie out on
the naked rocks and look like a piece of pudding-stone. You can lie
out on a leafy branch and look like sunshine sifting through the
branches; and you can lie right across the center of a path and look
like nothing in particular. Think of that and purr!"
"But if I'm all like this," said the Leopard, "why didn't you go
spotty too?"
"Oh, plain black's best," said the Ethiopian. "Now come along and
we'll see if we can't get even with Mr. One-Two-Three-Where's-Your-

So they went away and they lived happily ever afterward, Best
Beloved. That is all.
Oh, now and then you will hear grown-ups say, "Can the Ethiopian
change his skin or the Leopard his spots?" I don't think even
grown-ups would keep saying such a silly thing if the Leopard and the
Ethiopian hadn't done it once -- do you? But they will never do it
again, Best Beloved. They are quite contented as they are.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am the Most Wise Baviaan, saying in most wise tones,
"Let us melt into the landscape--just us two by our lones."
People have come--in a carriage--calling. But Mummy is there...
Yes, I can go if you take me--Nurse says she doesn't care.
Let's go up to the pig-sties and sit on the farmyard rails!
Let's say things to the bunnies, and watch 'em skitter their tails!
Let's--oh, anything, daddy, so long as its you and me,
And going truly exploring, and not being in till tea!
Here's your boots (I've brought 'em), and here's you cap and stick,
And here's your pipe and tobacco. Oh, come along out of it--quick.


The Elephant's Child

In the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no
trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he
could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn't pick things up
with it. But there was one elephant -- a new Elephant -- an
Elephant's Child -- who was full of 'satiable curiosity, and that
means that he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa,
and he filled all Africa with his 'satiable curiosities. He asked his
tall aunt, the Ostrich, why her tail-feathers grew just so, and his
tall aunt the Ostrich spanked him with her hard, hard claw. He asked
his tall uncle, the Giraffe, what made his skin so spotty, and his
tall uncle, the Giraffe, spanked him with his hard, hard hoof. And
still he was full of 'satiable curiosity! He asked his broad aunt,
the Hippopotamus, why her eyes were red, and his broad aunt, the
Hippopotamus, spanked him with her broad, broad hoof; and he asked his
hairy uncle, the Baboon, why melons tasted just so, and his hairy
uncle, the Baboon, spanked him with his hairy, hairy paw. And still
he was full of 'satiable curiosity! He asked questions about
everything that he saw, or heard, or felt, or smelt, or touched, and
all his uncles and aunts spanked him.
One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes
this 'satiable Elephant's Child asked a fine new question that he had
never asked before. He asked "What does the Crocodile have for
dinner?" Then everybody said "Hush!" in a loud and dretful tone, and
they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a
long time.
By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird
sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thorn-bush, and he said, "My
father has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my
'satiable curiosity; and I still want to know what the Crocodile has
for dinner!"
Then Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, "Go to the banks of
the great gray-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever
trees, and find out."
That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the
Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent,
this 'satiable Elephant's child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the
little short red kind) and a hundred pounds of sugar cane (the long
purple kind) and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said
to all his dear families, "Good-bye. I am going to the great
gray-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to
find out what the Crocodile has for dinner." And they all spanked him
once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.
Then he went away, a little warm, but not at all astonished, eating
melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could not pick it up.
He went from Graham's Town to Kimberely, and from Kimberely to
Khama's Country, and from Khama's Country he went east by north,
eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the
great gray-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with
fever-trees, precisely as the Kolokolo Bird had said.
Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved, that till that
very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this 'satiable Elephant's
Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what one was like.
It was all his 'satiable curiosity.
The first thing that he found was a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake
curled round a rock.
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but have you
seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?"
"Have I seen a Crocodile?" asked the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake,
in a voice of dretful scorn. "What will you ask me next?"
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child, "but could you kindly tell
me what he has for dinner?"
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake uncoiled himself very
quickly from the rock, and spanked the Elephant's Child with his
scalesome, flailsome tail.
"That is odd," said the Elephant's Child, "because my father and my
mother, and my uncle and my aunt, not to mention my other aunt, the
Hippopotamus, and my other uncle, the Baboon, have all spanked me for
my 'satiable curiosity -- and I suppose this is the same thing."
So he said good-bye very politely to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-
Snake, and helped to coil him up on the rock again, and went on, a
little warm, but not at all astonished, eating melons, and throwing
the rind about, because he could not pick it up, till he trod upon
what he thought was a log of wood at the very edge of the great
gray-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees.
But it was really the Crocodile, O Best Beloved, and the Crocodile
winked one eye -- like this!
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but do you
happen to have seen a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?"
Then the Crocodile winked the other eye and lifted half his tail
out of the mud; and the Elephant's Child stepped back most politely,
because he did not wish to be spanked again.
"Come hither, Little One," said the Crocodile. "Why do you ask
such things?"
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but my
father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me, not to mention my
tall aunt, the Ostrich, and my tall uncle, the Giraffe, who can kick
ever so hard, as well as my broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my hairy
uncle, the Baboon, and including the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake,
with the scalesome, flailsome tail, just up the bank, who spanks
harder than any of them; and so, if it's quite all the same to you, I
don't want to be spanked any more."
"Come hither, Little One," said the Crocodile, "for I am the
Crocodile," and he wept crocodile tears to show that it was quite
Then the Elephant's Child grew all breathless, and panted, and
kneeled down on the bank and said, "You are the very person I have
been looking for all these long days. Will you please tell me what
you have for dinner?"
"Come hither, Little One," said the Crocodile, "and I'll whisper."
Then the Elephant's Child put his head down close to the
Crocodile's musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his
little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour and minute, had
been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.
"I think," said the Crocodile -- and he said it between his teeth,
like this -- "I think today I will begin with Elephant's Child!"
At this, O Best Beloved, the Elephant's Child was much annoyed, and
he said, speaking through his nose, like this, "Let go! You are
hurtig be!"
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake scuffled down from the bank
and said, "My young friend, if you do not now, immediately and
instantly, pull as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your
acquaintance in the large-pattern leather ulster" (and by this he
meant the Crocodile) "will jerk you into yonder limpid stream before
you can say Jack Robinson."
This is the way Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.
Then the Elephant's Child sat back on his little haunches, and
pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose began to stretch. And
the Crocodile floundered into the water, making it all creamy with
great sweeps of his tail, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled.
And the Elephant's Child's nose kept on stretching; and the
Elephant's Child spread all his little four legs and pulled, and
pulled, and pulled, and his nose kept on stretching, and the Crocodile
thrashed his tail like an oar, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled,
and at each pull the Elephant's Child's nose grew longer and longer --
and it hurt him hijjus!
Then the Elephant's Child felt his legs slipping, and he said
through his nose, which was now nearly five feet long, "This is too
butch for be!"
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake came down from the Bank, and
knotted himself in a double-clove-hitch round the Elephant's Child's
hind legs, and said, "Rash and inexperienced traveler, we will now
seriously devote ourselves to a little high tension, because if we do
not, it is my impression that yonder self-propelling man-of-war with
the armor-plated upper deck" (and by this, O Best Beloved, he meant
the Crocodile), "will permanently vitiate your future career."
That is the way Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.
So he pulled, and the Elephant's Child pulled, and the Crocodile
pulled; but the Elephant's Child and the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-
Snake pulled hardest; and at last the Crocodile let go of the
Elephant's Child's nose with a plop that you could hear all up and
down the Limpopo.
Then the Elephant's Child sat down most hard and sudden; but first
he was careful to say "Thank you" to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-
Snake; and next he was kind to his poor pulled nose, and wrapped it
all up in cool banana leaves, and hung it in the great gray-green,
greasy Limpopo to cool.

"What are you doing that for?" asked the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child, "but my nose is badly out
of shape, and I am waiting for it to shrink."
"Then you will have to wait a long time," said the Bi-Coloured-
Python-Rock-Snake. "Some people do not know what is good for them."
The Elephant's Child sat there for three days waiting for his nose
to shrink. But it never grew any shorter, and, besides, it made him
squint. For, O Best Beloved, you will see that the Crocodile had
pulled it out into a really truly trunk same as all Elephant's have
At the end of the third day a fly came and stung him on the
shoulder, and before he knew what he was doing he lifted up his trunk
and hit that fly dead with the end of it.
"'Vantage number one!" said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.
"You couldn't have done that with a mere-smear nose. Try and eat a
little now."
Before he thought what he was doing the Elephant's Child put out
his trunk and plucked a large bundle of grass, dusted it clean against
his forelegs, and stuffed it into his own mouth.
"'Vantage number two!" said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.
"You couldn't have done that with a mear-smear nose. Don't you think
the sun is very hot here?"
"It is," said the Elephant's Child, and before he thought what he
was doing he schlooped up a schloop of mud from the banks of the great
gray-green, greasy Limpopo, and slapped it on his head, where it made
a cool schloopy-sloshy mud-cap all trickly behind his ears.
"'Vantage number three!" said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.
"You couldn't have done that with a mear-smear nose. Now how do you
feel about being spanked again?"
"'Scuse me," said the Elephant's Child, "but I should not like it
at all."
"How would you like to spank somebody?" said the Bi-Coloured-
"I should like it very much indeed," said the Elephant's Child.
"Well," said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, "you will find that
new nose of yours very useful to spank people with."
"Thank you," said the Elephant's Child, "I'll remember that; and
now I think I'll go home to all my dear families and try."
So the Elephant's Child went home across Africa frisking and
whisking his trunk. When he wanted fruit to eat he pulled fruit down
from a tree, instead of waiting for it to fall as he used to do. When
he wanted grass he plucked grass up from the ground, instead of going
to his knees as he used to do. When the flies bit him he broke off
the branch of a tree and used it as a fly-whisk; and he made himself a
new, cool, slushy-squshy mud-cap whenever the sun was hot. When he
felt lonely walking through Africa he sang to himself down his trunk,
and the noise was louder than several brass bands. He went especially
out of his way to find a broad Hippopotamus (she was no relation of
his), and he spanked her very hard, to make sure that the Bi-Coloured-
Python-Rock-Snake had spoken the truth about his new trunk. The rest
of the time he picked up the melon rinds that he had dropped on the
way to the Limpopo -- for he was a Tidy Pachyderm.
One dark evening he came back to all his dear families, and he
coiled up his trunk and said; "How do you do?" They were very glad to
see him, and said, "Come here and be spanked for your 'satiable
"Pooh," said the Elephant's Child. "I don't think you peoples know
anything about spanking; but I do, and I'll show you."
Then he uncurled his trunk and knocked two of his dear brothers
head over heels.
"O Bananas!" said they, "where did you learn that trick, and what
have you done to your nose?"
"I got a new one from the Crocodile on the banks of the great
gray-green, greasy Limpopo River," said the Elephant's Child. "I
asked him what he had for dinner, and he gave me this to keep."
"It looks very ugly," said his hairy uncle, the Baboon.
"It does," said the Elephant's Child. "But it's very useful," and
he picked up his hairy uncle, the Baboon, by one hairy leg, and hove
him into a hornet's nest.
Then that bad Elephant's Child spanked all his dear families for a
long time, till they were very warm and greatly astonished. He pulled
out his tall Ostrich's tail-feathers; and he caught his tall uncle,
the Giraffe, by the hind leg, and dragged him through a thorn-bush;
and he shouted at his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and blew bubbles
in her ear when she was sleeping in the water after meals; but he
never let anyone touch the Kolokolo Bird.
At last things got so exciting that his dear families went off one
by one in a hurry to the banks of the great gray-green, greasy Limpopo
River, all set about with fever trees, to borrow new noses from the
Crocodile. When they came back nobody spanked anybody anymore; and
ever since that day, O Best Beloved, all the Elephants you will ever
see, besides all those that you won't, have trunks precisely like
those of the 'satiable Elephant's Child.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I keep six honest serving men;
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men:
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small--
She keeps ten million serving men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes--
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!


The Singsong of Old Man Kangaroo

Not always was the Kangaroo as now we do behold him, but a
Different Animal with four short legs. He was gray, and he was
woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on an outcrop in the
middle of Australia, and he went to the Little God Nqa.
He went to Nqa at six before breakfast, saying, "Make me different
from all other animals by five this afternoon."
Up jumped Nqa from his seat on the sand-flat and shouted, "Go
He was gray, and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he
danced on a rock-ledge in the middle of Australia, and he went to the
Middle God Nquing.
He went to Nquing at eight after breakfast, saying, "Make me
different from all other animals; make me, also, wonderfully popular
by five this afternoon."
Up jumped Nquing from his burrow in the spinifex and shouted, "Go
He was gray, and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he
danced on a sandbank in the middle of Australia, and he went to the
Big God Nqong.
He went to Nqong at ten before dinner-time, saying, "Make me
different from all other animals; make me popular and wonderfully run
after by five this afternoon."
Up jumped Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan and shouted, "Yes, I
Nqong called Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- always hungry, dusty in
the sunshine, and showed him Kangaroo. Nqong said, "Dingo! Wake up,
Dingo! Do you see that gentleman dancing on an ashpit? He wants to
be popular and very truly run after. Dingo, make him so!"
Up jumped Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- and said, "What, that
Off ran Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- always hungry, grinning like a
coal-scuttle -- ran after Kangaroo.
Off went the proud Kangaroo on his four little legs like a bunny.
This, O Best Beloved, ends the first part of the tale!

He ran through the desert; he ran through the mountains; he ran
through the salt-pans; he ran through the reed-beds; he ran through
the blue gums; he ran through the spinifex; he ran till his front legs
He had to!
Still ran Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- always, hungry, grinning
like a rat-trap, never getting nearer, never getting farther -- ran
after Kangaroo.
He had to!
Still ran Kangaroo -- Old Man Kangaroo. He ran through the
ti-trees; he ran through the mulga; he ran through the long grass; he
ran through the short grass; he ran through the Tropics of Capricorn
and Cancer; he ran till his hind legs ached.
He had to!
Still ran Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- hungrier and hungrier,
grinning like a horsecollar, never getting nearer, never getting
farther; and they came to the Wollgong River.
Now, there wasn't any bridge, and there wasn't any ferryboat, and
Kangaroo didn't know how to get over; so he stood on his legs and
He had to!
He hopped through the Flinders; he hopped through the Cinders; he
hopped through the deserts in the middle of Australia. He hopped like
a Kangaroo.
First he hopped one yard; then he hopped three yards; then he
hopped five yards; his legs growing stronger, his legs growing
longer. He hadn't any time for rest or refreshment, and he wanted
them very much.
Still ran Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- very much bewildered, very
much hungry, and wondering what in the world or out of it made Old Man
Kangaroo hop.
For he hopped like a cricket; like a pea in a saucepan; or a new
rubber ball on a nursery floor.
He had to!
He tucked up his front legs; he hopped on his hind legs; he stuck
out his tail for a balance-weight behind him; and he hopped through
the Darling Downs.
He had to!
Still ran Dingo -- Tired-Dog Dingo -- hungrier and hungrier, very
much bewildered, and wondering when in the world or out of it would
Old Man Kangaroo stop.
Then came Nqong from his bath in the salt-pans, and said, "It's
five o'clock."
Down sat Dingo -- Poor-Dog Dingo -- always hungry, dusky in the
sunshine; hung out his tongue and howled.
Down sat Kangaroo -- Old Man Kangaroo -- stuck out his tail like a
milking stool behind him, and said, "Thank goodness that's finished!"
Then said Nqong, who is always a gentleman, "Why don't aren't you
grateful to Yellow-Dog Dingo? Why don't you thank him for all he has
done for you?"
Then said Kangaroo -- Tired Old Kangaroo -- "He's chased me out of
the homes of my childhood; he's chased me out of my regular mealtimes;
he's altered my shape so I'll never get it back; and he's played Old
Scratch with my legs."
Then said Nqong, "Perhaps I'm mistaken, but didn't you ask me to
make you different from all other animals, as well as to make you very
truly sought after? And now it is five o'clock."
"Yes," said Kangaroo. "I wish now that I hadn't. I thought that
you would do it by charms and incantations; but this is a practical
"Joke!" said Nqong from his bath in the blue gums. "Say that again
and I'll whistle up Dingo and run you hind legs off."
"No," said Kangaroo, "I must apologise. Legs are legs, and you
needn't alter 'em so far as I'm concerned. I only meant to explain to
Your Lordliness that I've nothing to eat since morning, and I'm very
empty indeed."
"Yes," said Dingo -- Yellow-Dog Dingo -- "I am in just the same
situation. I've made him different from all other animals; but what
may I have for my tea?"
Then said Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan, "Come and ask me
about it tomorrow, because I'm going to wash."
So they were left in the middle of Australia, Old Man Kangaroo and
Yellow-Dog Dingo, and each said, "That's your fault."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This is the mouth-filled song
Of the race that was run by a Boomer,
Run in a single burst--only event of its kind--
Started by big God Nqong from Warrigaborrigarooma,
Old Man Kangaroo First:
Yellow-Dog Dingo behind.

Kangaroo bounded away,
His back-legs working like pistons--
Bounded from morning till dark,
Twenty-five feet to a bound.
Yellow-Dog Dingo lay
Like a yellow cloud in the distance--
Much too busy to bark.
My! but they covered the ground!

Nobody knows where they went,
Or followed the track they flew in,
For that Continent
Hadn't been given a name.
They ran thirty degrees
From Torres Straits to the Leeuwin
(Look at the Atlas please),
And they ran back as they came.

S'posing you could trot
From Adelaide to the Pacific,
For an afternoon's run--
Half what these gentleman did--
You would feel rather hot,
But your legs would develop terrific--
Yes, my importunate son,
You'd be a Marvelous Kid!


The Beginning of the Armadillos

This, O Best Beloved, is another story of the High and Far-Off
Times. In the very middle of those times was a Stickly-Prickly
Hedgehog, and he lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon, eating
shelly snails and things. And he had a friend, a Slow-Solid Tortoise,
who lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon, eating green lettuces and
things. And so that was all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?
But also, and at the same time, in those High and Far-Off Times,
there was a Painted Jaguar, and he lived on the banks of the turbid
Amazon too; and he ate everything that he could catch. When he could
not catch deer or monkeys he would eat frogs and beetles; and when he
could not catch frogs and beetles he went to his Mother Jaguar, and
she told him how to eat hedgehogs and tortoises.
She said to him ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, "My
son, when you find a hedgehog you must drop him into the water and
then he will uncoil, and when you catch a Tortoise you must scoop him
out of his shell with your paw." And so that was all right, Best
One beautiful night on the banks of the turbid Amazon, Painted
Jaguar found Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog and Slow-Solid Tortoise sitting
under the trunk of a fallen tree. They could not run away, and so
Stickly-Prickly curled himself up into a ball, because he was a
hedgehog, and Slow-Solid Tortoise drew in his head and feet into his
shell as far as they would go, because he was a Tortoise; and so that
was all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?
"Now attend to me," said Painted Jaguar, "because this is very
important. My mother said that when I meet a Hedgehog I am to drop
him into the water and then he will uncoil, and when I meet a Tortoise
I am to scoop him out of his shell with my paw. Now which of you is
Hedgehog and which is Tortoise? because, to save my spots, I can't
"Are you sure of what your Mummy told you?" said Stickly-Prickly
Hedgehog. "Are you quite sure? Perhaps she said that when you uncoil
a Tortoise you must shell him out of the water with a scoop, and when
you paw a Hedgehog you must drop him on the shell."
"Are you sure of what your Mummy told you?" said Slow-Solid
Tortoise. "Perhaps she said that when you water a Hedgehog you must
drop him into your paw, and when you meet a Tortoise you must shell
him till he uncoils."
"I don't think it was at all like that," said Painted Jaguar, but
he felt a little puzzled; "but, please, say it again more distinctly."
"When you scoop water with your paw you uncoil it with a Hedgehog,"
said Stickly-Prickly. "Remember that, because it is very important."
"But," said the Tortoise, "when you paw your meat you drop it into
a Tortoise with a scoop. Why can't you understand?"
"You are making my spots ache," said Painted Jaguar; "and besides,
I didn't want your advice at all. I only wanted to know which of you
is Hedgehog and which is Tortoise."
"I shan't tell you," said Stickly-Prickly, "but you can scoop me
out of my shell if you like."
"Aha!" said Painted Jaguar. "Now I know you're Tortoise. You
thought I wouldn't! Now I will." Painted Jaguar darted out his
paddy-paw just as Stickly-Prickly curled himself up, and of course
Jaguar's paddy-paw was just filled with prickles. Worse than that, he
knocked Stickly-Prickly away and away into the woods and the bushes,
where it was too dark to find him. Then he put his paddy-paw into his
mouth, and of course the prickles hurt worse than ever. As soon as he
could speak he said, "Now I know he isn't Tortoise at all. But," he
said, "How do I know that this other is Tortoise?"
"But I am Tortoise," said Slow-and-Solid. "Your mother was quite
right. She said that you must scoop me out of my shell with your
paw. Begin."
"You didn't say that a minute ago," said Painted Jaguar, sucking
the prickles out of his paddy-paw. "You said something quite
"Well, suppose you say that I said that she said something quite
different, I don't see that it makes any difference; because if she
said what you said I said she said, it's just the same as if I said
what she said she said. On the other hand, if you think she said that
you were to uncoil me with a scoop, instead of pawing me into drops
with a shell, I can't help that, can I?"
"But you said you wanted to be scooped out of your shell with my
paw," said Painted Jaguar.
"If you'll think again you'll find that I didn't say anything of
the kind. I said that your mother said that you were to scoop me out
of my shell," said Slow-and-Solid.
"What will happen if I do?" asked Painted Jaguar, most sniffily and
most cautious.
"I don't know, because I've never been scooped out of my shell
before; but I tell you truly, if you want to see me swim away you've
only got to drop me into the water."
"I don't believe it," said Painted Jaguar. "You've mixed up all
the things my mother told me to do with the things that you asked me
whether I was sure that she didn't say, till I don't know whether I'm
on my head or my painted tail; and now you come and tell me something
I can understand, and it makes me more mixy than before. My mother
told me that I was to drop one of you into the water, and as you seem
so anxious to be dropped in I don't think you want to be dropped. So
jump into the turbid Amazon and be quick about it."
"I warn you that your Mummy won't be pleased. Don't tell her I
didn't tell you," said Slow-Solid.
"If you say another word about what my mother said --" the Jaguar
answered, but he had not finished the sentence before Slow-and-Solid
quietly dived into the turbid Amazon, swam underwater for a long way,
and came out on the bank where Stickly-Prickly was waiting for him.
"That was a very narrow escape," said Stickly-Prickly. "I don't
like Painted Jaguar. What did you tell him that you were?"
"I told him truthfully that I was a truthful Tortoise, but he
wouldn't believe it, and he made me jump into the river to see if I
was, and I was and he is surprised. Now he's gone to tell his Mummy.
Listen to him!"
They could hear Painted Jaguar roaring up and down among the trees
and the bushes by the side of the turbid Amazon, till his Mummy came.
"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving
her tail, "what have you done that you shouldn't have done?"
"I tried to scoop something that said it wanted to be scooped out
of its shell with my paw, and my paw is full of per-ickles," said
Painted Jaguar.
"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving
her tail, "by the prickles in your paddy-paw I see that that must have
been a Hedgehog. You should have dropped him into the water."
"I did that to the other thing; and he said he was a Tortoise, and
I didn't believe him, and it was quite true, and he has dived under
the turbid Amazon, and he won't come up again, and I haven't anything
at all to eat, and I think we had better find lodgings somewhere
else. They are too clever on the turbid Amazon for poor me!"
"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving
her tail, "now attend to me and remember what I say. A Hedgehog curls
himself up into a ball and his prickles stick out every which way at
once. By this you may know the Hedgehog."
"I don't like this old lady one little bit," said Stickly-Prickly,
under the shadow of a large leaf. "I wonder what else she knows?"
"A Tortoise can't curl himself up," Mother Jaguar went on, ever so
many times, graciously waving her tail. "He only draws his head and
legs into his shell. By this you may know the Tortoise."
"I don't like this old lady at all -- at all," said Slow-Solid
Tortoise. "Even Painted Jaguar can't forget those directions. It's a
pity you can't swim, Stickly-Prickly."
"Don't talk to me," said Stickly-Prickly. "Just think how much
better it would be if you could curl up. This is a mess! Listen to
Painted Jaguar."
Painted Jaguar was sitting on the banks of the turbid Amazon
sucking prickles out of his paws and saying to himself --

"Can't curl, but can swim--
Slow-Solid, that's him!
Curls up, but can't swim--
Stickly-Prickly, that's him!"

"He'll never forget that this month of Sundays," said
Stickly-Prickly. "Hold up my chin, Slow-and-Solid. I'm going to try
to learn how to swim. It may be useful."
"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid; and he held up Stickly-Prickly's
chin, while Stickly-Prickly kicked in the waters of the turbid Amazon.
"You'll make a fine swimmer yet," said Slow-and-Solid. "Now, if
you can unlace my back-plates a little, I'll see what I can to towards
curling up. It may be useful."
Stickly-Prickly helped to unlace Tortoise's back-plates, so that by
twisting and straining Slow-and-Solid actually managed to curl up a
tiddy wee bit.
"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly; "but I shouldn't do anymore just
now. It's making you black in the face. Kindly lead me into the
water once again and I'll practice that side-stroke which you say is
so easy." And so Stickly-Prickly practiced and Slow-Solid swam
"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid. "A little more practice will
make you a regular whale. Now, if I may trouble you to unlace my back
and front plates two holes more, I'll try that fascinating bend you
say is so easy. Won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"
"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly, all wet from the turbid Amazon.
"I declare, I shouldn't know you from one of my own family. Two
holes, I think, you said? A little more expression, please, and don't
grunt quite so much, or Painted Jaguar may hear us. When you've
finished, I want to try that long dive which you say is so easy.
Won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"
And so Stickly-Prickly dived, and Slow-and-Solid dived alongside.
"Excellent!" said Slow-and-Solid. "A leetle more attention to
holding your breath, and you will be able to keep house at the bottom
of the turbid Amazon. Now I'll try that exercise of wrapping my hind
legs round my ears which you say is so peculiarly comfortable. Won't
Painted Jaguar be surprised!"
"Excellent!" said Stickly-Prickly. "But it's straining your
back-plates a little. They are all overlapping now, instead of lying
side by side."
"Oh, that's the result of exercise," said Slow-and-Solid. "I've
noticed that your prickles seem to be melting into one another, and
that you're growing to look rather more like a pine-cone, and less
like a chestnut-burr, than you used to."
"Am I?" said Stickly-Prickly. "That comes from soaking in the
water. Oh, won't Painted Jaguar be surprised!"
They went on with their exercises, each helping the other, till
morning came; and when the sun was high they rested and dried
themselves. Then they saw that they were both of them quite different
than they had been.
"Stickly-Prickly", said Tortoise after breakfast, "I am not what I
was yesterday; but I think that I may yet amuse Painted Jaguar."
"That was the very thing I was thinking of now," said Stickly-
Prickly. "I think scales are a tremendous improvement on prickles --
to say nothing of being able to swim! Oh, won't Painted Jaguar be
surprised! Let's go find him."
By and by they found Painted Jaguar, still nursing his paddy-paw
that had been hurt the night before. He was so astonished that he
fell three times backwards over his own painted tail without stopping.
"Good morning!" said Stickly-Prickly. "And how is your dear
gracious Mummy this morning?"
"She is quite well, thank you," said Painted Jaguar; "but you must
forgive me if I do not at this precise moment recall your name."
"That's unkind of you," said Stickly-Prickly, "seeing that at this
time yesterday you tried to scoop me out of my shell with your paw."
"But you hadn't any shell. It was all prickles," said Painted
Jaguar. "I know it was. Just look at my paw!"
"You told me to drop into the turbid Amazon and be drowned," said
Slow-Solid. "Why are you so rude and forgetful today?"
"Don't you remember what your mother told you?" said
Stickly-Prickly --

"Can't curl, but can swim--
Slow-Solid, that's him!
Curls up, but can't swim--
Stickly-Prickly, that's him!"

Then they both curled themselves up and rolled round and round
Painted Jaguar till his eyes turned truly cartwheels in his head.
Then he went to fetch his mother.
"Mother," he said, "there are two new animals in the woods today,
and the one that you said couldn't swim, swims; and the one that you
said couldn't curl, curls; and they've gone shares in their prickles,
I think because both of them are scaly all over, instead of one being
smooth and the other very prickly; and, besides that, they are both
rolling round and round in circles, and I don't feel comfy."
"Son, son!" said his mother ever so many times, graciously waving
her tail, "a Hedgehog is a Hedgehog, and can't be anything but a
Hedgehog; and a Tortoise is a Tortoise, and can never be anything
"But it isn't a Hedgehog, and it isn't a Tortoise. It's a little
bit of both, and I don't know its proper name."
"Nonsense!" said Mother Jaguar. "Everything has its proper name.
I should call it 'Armadillo' till I found out the real one. And I
should leave it alone."
So Painted Jaguar did as he was told, especially about leaving them
alone; but the curious thing is that from that day to this, O Best
Beloved, no one on the banks of the turbid Amazon has ever called
Stickly-Prickly and Slow-Solid anything except Armadillo. There are
Hedgehogs and Tortoises in other places, of course (there are some in
my garden); but the real old and clever kind, with their scales lying
lippety-lappety one over the other, like pine-cone scales, that lived
on the banks of the turbid Amazon in the High and Far-Off Days, are
always called Armadillos, because they were so clever.
So that's all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I've never seen the Amazon,
I've never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdalena,
They can go there when they will.

Yes, weekly from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll down--roll down to Rio!)
And I'd like to roll down to Rio
Someday before I'm old.

I've never seen a Jaguar,
Nor yet an Armadill--
O dilloing in his armor,
And I s'pose I never will,

Unless I go down to Rio
These wonders to behold--
Roll down--roll down to Rio--
Roll really down to Rio!
Oh, I'd love to roll to Rio
Someday before I'm old!


How the First Letter Was Written

Once upon a most early time was a Neolithic man. He was not a Jute
or an Angle, or even a Dravidian, which he might well have been, Best
Beloved, but never mind why. He was a Primitive, and he lived cavily
in a Cave, and he wore very few clothes, and he couldn't read and he
couldn't write and he didn't want to, and except when he was hungry he
was quite happy. His name was Tegumai Bopsulai, and that means, "Man-
who-does-not-put-his-foot-forward-in-a-hurry"; but we, O Best Beloved,
will call him Tegumai, for short. And his wife's name was Teshumai
Tewindrow, and that means, "Lady-who-asks-a-very-many-questions"; but
we, O Best Beloved, will call her Teshumai, for short. And his little
girl-daughter's name was Taffimai Metallumai, and that means, "Small-
person-without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked"; but I'm going to
call her Taffy. And she was Tegumai Bopsulai's Best Beloved and her
own Mummy's Best Beloved, and she was not spanked half as much as was
good for her; and they were all three very happy. As soon as Taffy
could run about she went everywhere with her Daddy Tegumai, and
sometimes they would not come home to the Cave till they were very
hungry, and then Teshumai Tewindrow would say, "Where in the world
have you two been to, to get so shocking dirty? Really, my Tegumai,
you're no better than my Taffy."
Now attend and listen!
One day Tegumai Bopsulai went down through the beaver-swamp to the
Wagai river to spear carp-fish for dinner, and Taffy went too.
Tegumai's spear was made of wood with shark's teeth at the end, and
before he had caught any fish at all he accidentally broke it clean
across by jabbing it down too hard on the bottom of the river. They
were miles and miles from home (of course they had their lunches with
them in a little bag), and Tegumai had forgotten to bring any extra
"Here's a pretty kettle of fish!" said Tegumai. "It will take me
half a day to mend this."
"There's your big black spear at home," said Taffy. "Let me run
back to the Cave and ask Mummy to give it to me."
"It's too far for your little fat legs," said Tegumai. "Besides,
you might fall into the beaver-swamp and be drowned. We must make the
best of a bad job." He sat down and took out a little leather
mendy-bag, full of reindeer sinews and strips of leather, and lumps of
bee's wax and resin, and began to mend the spear. Taffy sat down too,
with her toes in the water and her chin in her hand, and thought very
hard. Then she said --
"I say, Daddy, it's an awful nuisance that you and I don't know how
to write, isn't it? If we did we could send a message for the new
"Taffy," said Tegumai, "how often have I told you not to use
slang? 'Awful' isn't a pretty word, -- but it would be a convenience,
now that you mention it, if we could write home."
Just then a Stranger-man came along the river, but he belonged to a
far tribe, the Tewaras, and he did not understand one word of
Tegumai's language. He stood on the bank and smiled at Taffy, because
he had a little girl-daughter of his own at home. Tegumai drew a hank
of deer sinews from his mendy-bag and began to mend his spear.
"Come here," said Taffy. "Do you know where my Mummy lives?" And
the Stranger-man said, "Um!" -- being, as you know, a Tewara.
"Silly!" said Taffy, and she stamped her foot, because she saw a
shoal of very big carp going up the river just when her daddy couldn't
use his spear.
"Don't bother grown-ups," said Tegumai, so busy with his
spear-mending that he did not turn round.
"I aren't," said Taffy. "I only want him to do what I want him to
do, and he won't understand."
"Then don't bother me," said Tegumai, and he went on pulling and
straining at the deer sinews with his mouth full of loose ends. The
Stranger-man -- a genuine Tewara he was -- sat down on the grass, and
Taffy showed him what her Daddy was doing. The Stranger-man thought,
"This is a very wonderful child. She stamps her foot at me and she
makes faces. She must be the daughter of that noble Chief who is so
great he won't take any notice of me." So he smiled more politely
than ever.
"Now," said Taffy, "I want you to go to my Mummy, because your legs
are longer than mine, and you won't fall into the beaver-swamp, and
ask for Daddy's other spear -- the one with the black handle that
hangs over our fireplace."
The Stranger-man (and he was a Tewara) thought, "This is a very,
very wonderful child. She waves her arms and shouts at me, but I
don't understand a word of what she says. But if I don't do what she
wants, I greatly fear that that haughty Chief, Man-who-turns-his-back-
on-callers, will be angry." He got up and twisted a big flat piece of
park off a birch-tree and gave it to Taffy. He did this, Best
Beloved, to show that his heart was as white as the birch-bark and
that he meant no harm; but Taffy didn't quite understand.
"Oh!" said she. "Now I see! You want my Mummy's living-address?
Of course I can't write, but I can draw pictures if I've anything
sharp to scratch with. Please lend me the shark's tooth off your
The Stranger-man (and he was a Tewara) didn't say anything, so
Taffy put up her little hand and pulled at the beautiful bead and seed
and shark-tooth necklace round his neck.
The Stranger-man (and he was a Tewara) thought, "This is a very,
very, very wonderful child. The shark's tooth on my necklace is a
magic shark's tooth, and I was always told that if anybody touched it
without my leave they would immediately swell up or burst, but this
child doesn't swell up or burst, and that important Chief, Man-who-
attends-strictly-to-his-business, who has not yet taken any notice of
me at all, doesn't seem to be afraid that she will swell up or burst.
I had better be more polite."
So he gave Taffy the shark's tooth, and she lay down flat on her
tummy with her legs in the air, like some people on the drawing-room
floor when they want to draw pictures, and she said, "Now I'll draw
you some beautiful pictures! You can look over my shoulder, but you
mustn't joggle. First I'll draw Daddy fishing. It isn't very like
him; but Mummy will know, because I've drawn his spear all broken.
Well, now I'll draw the other spear that he wants, the black-handled
spear. It looks as if it was sticking in Daddy's back, but that's
because the shark's tooth slipped and this piece of bark isn't big
enough. That's the spear I want you to fetch; so I'll draw a picture
of me myself 'splaining it to you. My hair doesn't really stand up
like I've drawn, but it's easier to draw that way. Now I'll draw
you. I think your very nice really, but I can't make you pretty in
the picture, so you mustn't be 'fended. Are you 'fended?"
The Stranger-man (and he was a Tewara) smiled. He thought, "There
must be a big battle going to be fought somewhere, and this extra-
ordinary child, who takes my magic shark's tooth but who does not
swell up or burst, is telling me to call the great Chief's tribe to
help him. He is a great Chief, or he would have noticed me."
"Look," said Taffy, drawing very hard and rather scratchily, "now
I've drawn you, and I've put the spear that daddy wants into your
hand, just to remind you that you're to bring it. Now I'll show you
how to find my Mummy's living-address. You go along till you come to
two trees (those are trees), and then you go over a hill (that's a
hill), and then you come into a beaver-swamp all full of beavers. I
haven't put in all the beavers, because I can't draw beavers, but I've
drawn their heads, and that's all you'll see of them when you cross
the swamp. Mind you don't fall in! Then our Cave is just beyond the
beaver-swamp. It isn't as high as the hills really, but I can't draw
things very small. That's my Mummy outside. She's beautiful. She's
the most beautifullest Mummy there ever was, but she won't be 'fended
when she sees I've drawn her so plain. She'll be pleased of me
because I can draw. Now, in case you forget, I've drawn the spear
that Daddy wants outside our Cave. It's inside really, but you show
the picture to my Mummy and she'll give it to you. I've made her
holding up her hands, because I know she'll be so pleased to see you.
Isn't it a beautiful picture? And do you quite understand, or shall I
'splain it again?"
The Stranger-man (and he was a Tewara) looked at the picture and
nodded very hard. He said to himself, "If I do not fetch this great
Chief's tribe to help him, he will be slain by his enemies who are
coming up on all sides with spears. Now I see why the great Chief
pretended not to notice me! He feared that his enemies were hiding in
the bushes and would see him deliver a message to me. Therefore he
turned his back, and let the wise and wonderful child draw the
terrible picture showing me his difficulties. I will away and get for
him help from his tribe." He did not even ask Taffy the road, but
raced off into the bushes like the wind, with the birch-bark in his
hand, and Taffy sat down most pleased.
Now this is the picture that Taffy had drawn for him!

[I don't have a scanner so I can't include the illustrations. See
the Publisher's Note at the end of this file.]

"What have you been doing, Taffy?" said Tegumai. He had mended his
own spear and was carefully waving it to and fro.
"It's a little berangement of my own, Daddy dear," said Taffy. "If
you won't ask me questions, you'll know all about it in a little time,
and you'll be surprised. You don't know how surprised you'll be,
Daddy! Promise you'll be surprised."
"Very well," said Tegumai, and went on fishing.
The Stranger-man -- did you know he was a Tewara? -- hurried away
with the picture and ran for some miles, till quite by accident he
found Teshumai Tewindrow at the door of her Cave, talking to some
other Neolithic ladies who had come in to a Primitive lunch. Taffy
was very like Teshumai, especially about the upper part of the face
and eyes, so the Stranger-man -- always a pure Tewara -- smiled
politely and handed Teshumai the birch-bark. He had run hard, so that
he panted, and his legs were scratched with brambles, but he still
tried to be polite.
As soon as Teshumai saw the picture she screamed like anything and
flew at the Stranger-man. The other Neolithic ladies knocked him down
and sat on him in a long line of six, while Teshumai pulled his hair.
"It's as plain as the nose on this Stranger-man's face," she said.
"He has stuck my Tegumai all full of spears, and frightened poor Taffy
so that her hair stands all on end; and not content with that, he
brings me a horrid picture of how it was done. Look!" She showed the
picture to the other Neolithic ladies sitting patiently on the
Stranger-man. "Here is my Tegumai with his arm broken; here is a
spear sticking into his back; here is a man with a spear ready to
throw; here is another man throwing a spear from a Cave, and here are
a whole pack of people" (they were Taffy's beavers really, but they
did look rather like people) "coming up behind Tegumai. Isn't it
"Most shocking!" said the Neolithic ladies, and they filled the
Stranger-man's hair with mud (at which he was surprised), and they
beat upon the Reverberating Tribal Drums, and called together all the
chiefs of the Tribe of Tegumai, with their Hetmans and Dolmans, all
Neguses, Woons, and Akhoonds of the organization, in addition to the
Warlocks, Angekoks, Juju-men, Bonzes, and the rest, who decided that
before they chopped the Stranger-man's head off he should instantly
lead them down the river and show them where he had hidden poor Taffy.
By this time the Stranger-man (in spite of being a Tewara) was
really annoyed. They had filled his hair with mud; they had rolled
him up and down on knobby pebbles; they had sat on him in a long line
of six; they had thumped him and bumped him till he could hardly
breathe; and though he did not understand their language, he was
almost sure that the names the Neolithic ladies called him were not
ladylike. However, he said nothing till all the Tribe of Tegumai were
assembled, and then he led them back to the bank of the Wagai river,
and there they found Taffy making daisy-chains, and Tegumai carefully
spearing small carp with his mended spear.
"Well, you have been quick!" said Taffy. "But why did you bring so
many people? Daddy dear, this is my surprise. Are you surprised,
"Very," said Tegumai; "but it has ruined all my fishing for the
day. Why, the whole dear, kind, nice, clean, quiet Tribe is here,
And so they were. First of all walked Teshumai Tewindrow and the
Neolithic ladies, tightly holding on to the Stranger-man (although he
was a Tewara). Behind them came the Head Chief, the Vice-Chief, the
Deputy and Assistant Chiefs (all armed to the upper teeth), the
Hetmans and Heads of Hundreds, Platoffs with their Platoons, and
Dolmans with their Detachments; Woons, Neguses, and Akhoonds ranking
in the rear (still armed to the teeth). Behind them was the Tribe in
hierarchical order, from owners of four caves (one for each season), a
private reindeer-run, and two salmon-leaps, to feudal and prognathous
Villeins, semi-entitled to half a bearskin of winter nights, seven
yards from the fire, and adscript serfs, holding the reversion of a

scraped marrow-bone under heriot (Aren't those beautiful words, Best
Beloved?). They were all there, prancing and shouting, and they
frightened every fish for twenty miles, and Tegumai thanked them in a
fluid Neolithic oration.
Then Teshumai Tewindrow ran down and kissed and hugged Taffy very
much indeed; but the Head Chief of the Tribe of Tegumai took Tegumai
by the top-knot and shook him severely.
"Explain! Explain! Explain!" cried all the Tribe of Tegumai.
"Goodness' sakes alive!" said Tegumai. "Let go of my top-knot.
Can't a man break his carp-spear without the whole countryside
descending on him? You're a very interfering people."
"I don't believe you've brought my Daddy's black-handled spear
after all," said Taffy. "And what are you doing to my nice
They were thumping him by twos and threes and tens till his eyes
turned round and round. He could only gasp and point at Taffy.
"Where are the bad people who speared you, my little darling?"
asked Teshumai Tewindrow.
"There weren't any," said Tegumai. My only visitor this morning
was the poor fellow that you are trying to choke. Aren't you well, or
are you ill, O Tribe of Tegumai?"
"He came with a horrible picture," said the Head Chief, "a picture
that showed you were full of spears."
"Er -- um -- Pr'aps I better 'splain that I gave him that picture,"
said Taffy, but she did not feel quite comfy.
"You!" said the Tribe of Tegumai all together. "Small-person-
without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked! You?"
"Taffy dear, I'm afraid we're in for a little trouble," said her
Daddy, and put his arm round her, so she didn't care.
"Explain! Explain! Explain!" said the Head Chief of the Tribe of
Tegumai, and he hopped on one foot.
"I wanted the Stranger-man to fetch Daddy's spear, so I drawded
it," said Taffy. "There wasn't lots of spears. There was only one
spear. I drawded it three times to make sure. I couldn't help it
looking as if it stuck into Daddy's head -- there wasn't room on the
birch-bark; and those things that Mummy called bad people are my
beavers. I drawded them to show him the way through the swamp; and I
drawded Mummy at the mouth of the Cave looking pleased because he is a
nice Stranger-man, and I think you are just the stupidest people in
the world," said Taffy. "He is a very nice man. Why have you filled
his hair with mud? Wash him!"
Nobody said anything at all for a long time, till the Head Chief
laughed; then the Stranger-man (who was at least a Tewara) laughed;
then Tegumai laughed till he fell down flat on the bank; then all the
Tribe laughed more and worse and louder. The only people who did not
laugh were Teshumai Tewindrow and all the Neolithic ladies. They were
very polite to all their husbands, and said "idiot" ever so often.
Then the Head Chief of the Tribe of Tegumai cried and said sang, "O
Small-person-without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked, you've hit
upon a great invention!"
"I didn't intend to; I only wanted Daddy's black-handled spear,"
said Taffy.
"Never mind. It is a great invention, and someday men will call it
writing. At present it is only pictures, and, as we have seen today,
pictures are not always properly understood. But a time will come, O
Babe of Tegumai, when we shall make letters -- all twenty-six of 'em,
-- and when we shall be able to read as well as to write, and then we
shall always say exactly what we mean without any mistakes. Let the
Neolithic ladies wash the mud out of the Stranger-man's hair."
"I shall be glad of that," said Taffy, "because, after all, though
you've brought every single other spear in the Tribe of Tegumai,
you've forgotten my Daddy's black-handled spear."
Then the Head Chief cried and said and sang, "Taffy dear, the next
time you write a picture-letter, you'd better send a man who can talk
our language with it, to explain what it means. I don't mind it
myself, because I am Head Chief, but it's very bad for the rest of the
Tribe of Tegumai, and, as you can see, it surprises the stranger."
Then they adopted the Stranger-man (a genuine Tewara of Tewar) into
the Tribe of Tegumai, because he was a gentleman and did not make a
fuss about the mud that the Neolithic ladies had put into his hair.
But from that day to this (and I suppose it is all Taffy's fault),
very few little girls have ever liked learning to read or write. Most
of them prefer to draw pictures and play about with their Daddies --
just like Taffy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There runs a road by Merrow Down--
A grassy track today it is--
An hour out of Guildford town,
Above the river Wey it is.

Here, when they heard the horse-bells ring,
The ancient Britons dressed and rode
To watch the dark Phoenicians bring
Their goods along the Western road.

And here, or hereabouts, they met
To hold their racial talks and such--
To barter beads for Whitby jet,
And tin for gay shell torques and such.

But long and long before that time
(When bison used to roam on it)
Did Taffy and her Daddy climb
That down, and had their home on it.

Then beavers built in Broadstonebrook
And made a swamp where Bramley stands;
And bears from Shere would come and look
For Taffimai where Shamley stands.

The Wey, that Taffy called Wagai,
Was more than six times bigger then;
And all the Tribe of Tegumai
They cut a noble figure then!


How the Alphabet Was Made

The week after Taffimai Metallumai (we will still call her Taffy,
Best Beloved) made that little mistake about her Daddy's spear and the
Stranger-man and the picture-letter and all, she went carp-fishing
with again with her Daddy. Her Mummy wanted her to stay at home and
help hang up hides to dry on the big drying-poles outside their
Neolithic Cave, but Taffy slipped away down to her Daddy quite early,
and they fished. Presently she began to giggle, and her Daddy said,
"Don't be silly, child."
"But wasn't it inciting!" said Taffy. "Don't you remember how the
Head Chief puffed out his cheeks, and how funny the nice Stranger-man
looked with mud in his hair?"
"Well do I," said Tegumai. "I had to pay two deerskins -- soft
ones with fringes -- to the Stranger-man for the things we did to
"We didn't to anything," said Taffy. "It was Mummy and the other
Neolithic ladies -- and the mud."
"We won't talk about that," said her Daddy. "Let's have lunch."
Taffy took a marrow bone and sat mousy-quiet for ten whole minutes,
while her Daddy scratched on a piece of birch-bark with a shark's
tooth. Then she said, "Daddy, I've thinked of a secret surprise. You
make a noise -- any sort of noise.
"Ah!" said Tegumai. "Will that do to begin with?"
"Yes," said Taffy. "You look just like a carp-fish with its mouth
open. Say it again, please."
"Ah! ah! ah!" said her Daddy. "Don't be rude, my daughter."
"I'm not meaning rude, really and truly," said Taffy. "It's part
of my secret-surprise-think. Do say ah, Daddy, and keep your mouth
open at the end, and lend me that tooth. I'm going to draw a
carp-fish's mouth wide open."
"What for?" said her Daddy.
"Don't you see?" said Taffy, scratching away on the bark. "That
will be our little secret s'prise. When I draw a carp-fish with his
mouth open in the smoke at the back of our Cave -- if Mummy doesn't
mind -- it will remind you of that ah-noise. Then we can play that it
was me jumped out of the dark and s'prised you with that noise -- same
as I did in the beaver-swamp last winter."
"Really?" said her Daddy, in the voice that grown-ups use when they
are truly attending. "Go on, Taffy."
"Oh bother! she said. "I can't draw all of a carp-fish, but I can
draw something that means a carp-fish's mouth. Don't you know how
they stand on their heads rooting in the mud? Well, here's a
pretense-carp fish (we can play that the rest of him is drawn). Her's
just his mouth, and that means ah." And she drew this.

| , |
| __ |
| / \ |
|/ \|

"That's not bad," said Tegumai, and scratched his own piece of bark
for himself; "but you've forgotten the feeler that hands across his
"But I can't draw, Daddy."
"You needn't draw anything of him except just the opening of his
mouth and the feeler across. Then we'll know he's a carp-fish, 'cause
the perches and trouts haven't got feelers. Look here, Taffy." And
he drew this.

| , |
| __ |
|/ \|

"Now I'll copy it," said Taffy. "Will you understand this when you
see it?" And she drew this.

/ \
_ /____\__
/ \
\/ \/

"Perfectly," said her Daddy. "And I'll be quite as s'prised when I
see it anywhere, as if you had jumped out from behind a tree and said
"Now make another noise," said Taffy, very proud.
"Yah!" said her Daddy, very loud.
"H'm," said Taffy. "That's a mixy noise. The end part is ah-carp-
fish-mouth; but what can we do about the front part? Yer-yer-yer-yer
and ah! Ya!"
"It's very like the carp-fish-mouth noise. Let's draw another bit
of the carp-fish and join 'em," said her Daddy. He was quite incited
"No. If they're joined, I'll forget. Draw it separate. Draw his
tail. If he's standing on his head the tail will come fist. 'Sides,
I think I can draw tails easiest," said Taffy.
"A good notion," said Tegumai. "Here's a carp-fish tail for the
yer-noise." And he drew this.

__ __
\ \ / /
\ \_/ /
| V |
| |

"I'll try now," said Taffy. "'Member I can't draw like you,
Daddy. Will it do if I just draw the split part of the tail, and the
sticky-down line for where it joins?" And she drew this.
_ _
/ \ / \

Her Daddy nodded, and his eyes were shiny bright with 'citement.
"That's beautiful," she said. "Now make another noise, Daddy."
"Oh!" said her Daddy, very loud.
"That's quite easy," said Taffy. "You make your mouth all around
like an egg or stone. So an egg or stone will do for that."
"You can't always find eggs or stones. We'll have to scratch a
round something like one." And he drew this.
/ \
| |

"My gracious!" said Taffy, "what a lot of noise-pictures we've
made, -- carp-mouth, carp-tail, and egg! Now, make another noise,
"Ssh!" said her Daddy, and frowned to himself, but Taffy was too
incited to notice.
"That's quite easy," she said, scratching on the bark.
"Eh, what?" said her Daddy. "I meant I was thinking, and didn't
want to be disturbed."
"It's a noise just the same. It's the noise a snake makes, Daddy,
when it is thinking and doesn't want to be disturbed. Let's make the
ssh-noise a snake. Will this do?" And she drew this.

/ \-<
_ \

"There," she said. "That's another s'prise-secret. When you draw
a hissy-snake by the door of your little back-cave where you mend the
spears, I'll know you're thinking hard; and I'll come in most
mousy-quiet. And if you draw it on a tree by the river when you're
fishing, I'll know you want me to walk most most mousy quiet, so as
not to shake the banks."
"Perfectly true," said Tegumai. "And there's more in this game
than you think. Taffy dear, I've a notion that your Daddy's daughter
has hit upon the finest thing that there ever was since the Tribe of
Tegumai took to using shark's teeth instead of flint for their
spear-heads. I believe we've found out the big secret of the world."
"Why?" said Taffy, and her eyes shone too with incitement.
"I'll show," said her Daddy. "What's water in the Tegumai
"Ya, of course, and it means river too -- like Wagai-ya -- the
Wagai river."
"What is bad water that gives you fever if you drink it -- black
water -- swamp-water?"
"Yo, of course."
"Now, look," said her Daddy. "S'pose you saw this scratched by the
side of a pool in the beaver-swamp?" And he drew this.

_ _ __
/ \ / \ / \
\/ | |
| \__/

"Carp-tail and round egg. Two noises mixed! Yo, bad water," said
Taffy. "'Course I wouldn't drink that water because I'd know you said
it was bad."
"But I needn't be near the water at all. I might be miles away,
hunting, and still --"
"And still it would be just the same as if you stood there and
said, 'G'way, Taffy, or you'll get fever.' All that in a carp-fish-
tail and a round egg! O Daddy, we must tell Mummy, quick!" and Taffy
danced all round him.
"Not yet," said Tegumai; "not till we've gone a little further.
Let's see. Yo is bad water, but so is food cooked on the fire, isn't
it?" And he drew this.

__ __
/ \ / \
\__ | |
\ \__/

"Yes. Snake and egg," said Taffy. "So that means dinner's ready.
If you saw that scratched on a tree you'd know it was time to come to
the Cave. So'd I."
"My Winkie!" said Tegumai. "That's true too. But wait a minute.
I see a difficulty. So means 'come and have dinner', but sho means
the drying-poles where we hang our hides."
"Horrid old drying-poles!" said Taffy. "I hate helping to hang
hot, heavy hides on them. If you drew the snake and egg, and I
thought it meant dinner, and I came in from the wood and found that it
meant I was to help Mummy hang the two hides on the drying-poles, what
would I do?"
"You'd be cross. So'd Mummy. We must make a new picture for sho.
We must draw a spotty snake that hisses sh-sh, and we'll play that the
plain snake only hisses ssss."
"I couldn't be sure how to put in the spots," said Taffy. "And
p'raps if you were in a hurry you might leave it them out, and I'd
think it was so when it was sho, and then Mummy would catch me just
the same. No! I think we'd better draw a picture of the horrid
drying-poles their very selves, and make quite sure. I'll put them in
just after the hissy-snake. Look!" and she drew this.
"P'raps that's safest. It's very like our drying-poles, anyhow,"
said her Daddy, laughing. "Now I'll make a new noise with a snake and
drying-pole sound in it. I'll say shi. That's Tegumai for spear,
Taffy." And he laughed.
"Don't make fun of me," said Taffy, as she thought of her
picture-letter and the mud in the Stranger-man's hair. "You draw it,
"We won't have beavers or hills this time, eh?" said her Daddy.
"I'll just draw a straight line for my spear," and he drew this.
/ \ | | ^
\__ -|---|- |
_ \ | | |
\__/ | | |

"Even Mummy couldn't mistake that for me being killed."
"Please don't, Daddy. It makes me uncomfy. Do some more noises.
We're getting on beautifully."
"Er-hm!" said Tegumai, looking up. "We'll say shu. That means
Taffy drew the snake and the drying pole. Then she stopped. "We
must make a new picture for the end sound, mustn't we?"
"Shu-shu-u-u-u!" said her Daddy. "Why, it's just like the round-
egg sound made thin."
"Then s'pose we draw a thin round egg, and pretend it's a frog that
hasn't eaten anything for years."
"N-no," said her Daddy. "If we drew that in a hurry we might
mistake it for the round egg itself. Shu-shu-shu! I'll tell you what
we'll do. We'll open a little hole at the end of the round egg to
show how the O-noise runs out all thin, ooo-ooo. Like this." And he
drew this.
/ \
| |

"Oh, that's lovely! Much better that a thin frog. Go on," said
Taffy, using her shark's tooth.
Her Daddy went on drawing, and his hand shook with incitement. He
went on till he had drawn this.
__ ___
/ \ | | / \ /\ /\ / \
\__ -|---|- | | \ / __/_____\__
_ \ | | \___/ | / \
\__/ | | | / \

"Don't look up, Taffy," he said. "Try if you can make out what
that means in the Tegumai language. If you can, we've found the
"Snake -- pole -- broken-egg -- carp-tail and carp-mouth," said
Taffy. "Shu-ya. Sky-water (rain)." Just then a drop fell on her
hand, for the day had clouded over. "Why, Daddy, it's raining. Was
that what you meant to tell me?"
"Of course," said her Daddy. "And I told it you without saying a
word, didn't I?"
"Well, I think I would have known it in a minute, but that raindrop
made me quite sure. I'll always remember now. Shu-ya means rain, or
'it is going to rain.' Why, Daddy!" She got up and danced round
him. "S'pose you went out before I was awake, and drawed shu-ya in
the smoke on the wall, I'd know it was going to rain and take my
beaver-skin hood. Wouldn't Mummy be surprised!"
Tegumai got up and danced. (Daddies didn't mind doing those things
in those days.) "More than that! More than that!" he said. "S'pose
I wanted to tell you that it wasn't going to rain much and you must
come down to the river, what would we draw? Say the words in
Tegumai-talk first."
"Shu-ya-las, ya maru." (Sky-water ending. River come to.) "What
a lot of new sounds! I don't see how we can draw them!"
"But I do -- but I do! said Tegumai. "Just attend a minute, Taffy,
and we won't do anymore today. We've got shu-ya all right, haven't
we? but this las is a teaser. La-la-la!" and he waved his
"There's a hissy-snake at the end and the carp-mouth before the
snake -- as-as-as. We only want la-la," said Taffy.
"I know it, but we have to make la-la. And we're the first people
in all the world who've ever tried to do it, Taffimai!"
"Well," said Taffy, yawning, for she was rather tired. "Las means
breaking or finishing as well as ending, doesn't it?"
"So it does," said Tegumai. "Yo-las means that there's no water in
the tank for Mummy to cook with -- just when I'm going hunting, too."
"And shi-las means that your spear is broken. If only I'd thought
of that instead of drawing silly beaver pictures for the Stranger!"
"La! La! La!" said Tegumai, waving his stick and frowning. "Oh,
"I could have drawn shi quite easily," Taffy went on. "Then I'd
have drawn your spear all broken -- this way!" And she drew.

| >
| /

"The very thing," said Tegumai. "That's la all over. It isn't
like any of the other marks, either." And he drew this.
| /\ / \
| --/--\-- \__
| / \ \
| \/ \/ \__/

"Now for ya. Oh, we've done that before. Now for maru.
Mum-mum-mum. Mum shuts one's mouth up, doesn't it? We'll draw a shut
mouth, like this." And he drew.

__ __
/ \ / \
/ | |_

"Then the carp-mouth open. That makes ma-ma! But what about this
rrrr-thing, Taffy?"
"It sounds all rough and edgy, like your shark-tooth saw when
you're cutting out a plank for the canoe," said Taffy.
"You mean all sharp at the edges, like this?" said Tegumai. And he

__ __ __
/ | / | / |
/ |/ |/ |_

"'Xactly," said Taffy. "But we don't want all those teeth; only
put two."
"I'll only put in one," said Tegumai. "If this game of ours is
going to be what I think it will, the easier we make our
sound-pictures the better for everybody." And he drew.
/ |
/ |

"Now we've got it," said Tegumai, standing on one leg. "I'll draw
'em all in a string like fish."
"Hadn't we better put a little bit of stick or something between
each word, so's they won't rub up against each other and jostle, same
as if they were carps?"
"Oh, I'll leave a space for that," said her Daddy. And very
incitedly he drew them all without stopping, on a big new bit of
__ ___ __
/ \ | | / \ /\ /\ / \ | __ / \
\__ -|---|- | | \ / __/_____\__ | _/__\_ \__
_ \ | | \___/ | / \ | / \ \
\__/ | | | / \ |---> \__/

_ _
/ \ / \ __ __ __ __ __
| _/__\_ / \/ \ _/__\_ / | / \
| / \ / \ / \ / | \__/

"Shu-ya-las-ya-maru," said Taffy, reading it out sound by sound.
"That's enough for today," said Tegumai. "Besides, you're getting
tired, Taffy. Never mind, dear. We'll finish it tomorrow, and then
we'll be remembered for years and years after the biggest trees you
can see are all chopped up for firewood."
So they went home, and all that evening Tegumai sat on one side of
the fire and Taffy on the other, drawing ya's and yo's and shu's and
shi's in the smoke on the wall and giggling together till her Mummy
said, "Really, Tegumai, you're worse than my Taffy."
"Please don't mind," said Taffy. "It's only our secret s'prise,
Mummy dear, and we'll tell you all about it the very minute it's done;
but please don't ask me what it is now, or else I'll have to tell."
So her Mummy most carefully didn't; and bright and early the next
morning Tegumai went down to the river to think about new
sound-pictures, and when Taffy got up she saw Ya-las (water is ending
or running out) chalked on the side of the big stone water-tank,
outside the Cave.
"Um," said Taffy. "These picture-sounds are rather a bother!
Daddy's just as good as come here himself and told me to get more
water for Mummy to cook with." She went down to the spring at the
back of the house and filled the tank from a bark bucket, and then she
ran down to the river and pulled her Daddy's left ear -- the one that
belonged to her to pull when she was good.
"Now come along and we'll draw all the leftover sound-pictures,"
said her Daddy, and they had a most inciting day of it, and a
beautiful lunch in the middle, and two games of romps. When they came
to T, Taffy said that as her name, and her Daddy's, and her Mummy's
all began with that sound, they should draw a sort of family group of
themselves holding hands. That was all very well to draw once or
twice; but when it came to drawing it six or seven times, Taffy and
Tegumai drew it scratchier and scratchier, till at last the T-sound
was only a long thin Tegumai with his arms out to hold Taffy and
Teshumai. You can see from these three pictures partly how it

o____O____ ____O____ __________
|| | \ o | | | |
\| | -| | |
| | || | |

Many of the other pictures were much too beautiful to begin with,
especially before lunch, but as they were drawn over and over again on
birch-bark, they became plainer and easier, till at last even Tegumai
said he could find no fault with them. They turned the hissy-snake
around for the Z-sound, to show it was hissing backwards in a soft and
gentle way,
>--/ \

and they just made a twiddle for E, because it came into the
pictures so often;
/ \

and they drew pictures of the sacred Beaver of the Tegumais for the
/ .\ __ ___ ___
| \ / .\ | .\ | \
| | | \ | \ | __/
(++ / (+__/ (____/ | \
\+_/ |___/

and because it was a nasty, nosy noise, they just drew noses for
the N-sound, till they were tired;

_\ _\ _\ _\ __\
\ ) \ | |

and they drew a picture of a big lake-pike's mouth for the greedy
/ _

and they drew the pike's mouth again with a spear behind it for the
scratchy, hurty Ka-sound;

| /---|
| / _
| /
and they drew pictures of a little bit of the winding Wagai river
windy-windy Wa-sound;

_ __ ___ __
\\ //- \ _ /
|| ^ \\ / / \ /
\\/^\_// \/ \/
- ---

and so on and so forth and so following till they had done and
drawn all the sound-pictures that they wanted, and there was the
Alphabet, all complete.
And after thousands and thousands and thousands of years, and after
Hieroglyphics and Demotics, and Nilotics, and Cryptics, and Cufics,
and Runics, and Dorics, and Ionics, and all sorts of other ricks and
tricks (because the Woons, and the Neguses, and the Akhoonds, and the
Repositories of Tradition would never leave a good thing alone when
they saw it), the fine old easy, understandable Alphabet -- A, B, C,
D, E, and the rest of 'em -- got back into its proper shape again for
all Best Beloveds to learn when they are old enough.
But I remember Tegumai Bopsulai, and Taffimai Metallumai and
Teshumai Tewindrow, her dear Mummy, and all the days gone by. And it
was so -- just so -- a little time ago -- on the banks of the Big

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Of all the Tribe of Tegumai
Who cut that figure, none remain,--
On Merrow Down the cuckoos cry--
The silence and the sun remain.

But as the faithful years return
And hearts unwounded sing again,
Comes Taffy dancing through the fern
To lead the Surrey spring again.

Her brows are bound with bracken-fronds,
And golden elf-locks fly above;
Her eyes are bright as diamonds
And bluer than the skies above.

In moccasins and deer-skin cloak,
Unfearing, free and fair she flits,
And lights her little damp-wood smoke
To show her Daddy where she flits.

For far--oh, very far behind,
So far she cannot call to him,
Comes Tegumai alone to find
The daughter that was all to him.


The Crab That Played With the Sea

Before the High and Far-Off Times, O my Best Beloved, came the Time
of the Very Beginnings; and that was in the days when the Eldest
Magician was getting Things ready. First he got the Earth ready; then
he got the Sea ready; then he told all the Animals that they could
come out and play. And the Animals said, "O Eldest Magician, what
shall we play at?" and he said, "I will show you." He took the
Elephant -- All-the-Elephant-there-was -- and said, "Play at being an
Elephant," and All-the-Elephant-there-was played. He took the Beaver
-- All-the-Beaver-there-was -- and said, "Play at being a Beaver," and
All-the-Beaver-there-was played. He took the Cow -- All-the-Cow-
there-was -- and said, "Play at being a Cow," and All-the-Cow-there-
was played. He took the Turtle -- All-the-Turtle-there-was -- and
said, "Play at being a Turtle," and All-the-Turtle-there-was played.
One by one he took all the beasts and birds and fishes and told them
what to play at.
But towards evening, when people and things grow restless and
tired, there came up the Man (With his own little girl-daughter?) --
Yes, with his own best beloved little girl-daughter sitting on his
shoulder, and he said, "What is this play, Eldest Magician?" and the
Eldest Magician said, "Ho, Son of Adam, this is the Play of the Very
Beginning; but you are too wise for this play." And the Man saluted
and said, "Yes, I am too wise for this play; but see that you make all
the Animals obedient to me."
Now, while the two were talking together, Pau Amma the Crab, who
was next in the game, scuttled off sideways and stepped into the sea,
saying to himself, "I will play my play alone in deep waters, and I
will never be obedient to this Son of Adam." Nobody saw him go away
except the little girl-daughter where she leaned on the Man's
shoulder. And the play went on till there were no more Animals left
without orders; and the Eldest Magician wiped the fine dust off his
hands and walked about the world to see how the Animals were playing.
He went North, Best Beloved, and he found All-the-Elephant-there-
was digging with his tusks and stamping with his feet in the nice new
clean earth that had been made ready for him.
"Kun?" said All-the-Elephant-there-was, meaning, "Is this right?"
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician, meaning, "That is quite
right," and he breathed upon the great rocks and lumps of earth that
All-the-Elephant-there-was had thrown up, and they became the Great
Himalayan Mountains, and you can look them out on the map.
He went East, and he found All-the-Cow-there-was feeding in the
field that had been made ready for her, and she licked her tongue
round a whole forest at a time, and swallowed it and sat down to chew
her cud.
"Kun?" said All-the-Cow-there-was.
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the
bare patch where she had eaten, and upon the place where she had sat
down, and one became the great Indian Desert, and the other became the
Desert of Sahara, and you can look them out on the map.
He went West, and he found All-the-Beaver-there-was making a
beaver-dam across the mouths of broad rivers that had been made ready
for him.
"Kun?" said All-the-Beaver-there-was.
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the
fallen trees and the still water, and they became the Everglades in
Florida, and you may look them out on the map.
Then he went South and found All-the-Turtle-there-was scratching
with his flippers in the sand that had been got ready for him, and the
sand and the rocks whirled through the air and fell far off into the
"Kun?" said All-the-Turtle-there-was.
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the
sand and the rocks, where they had fallen into the sea, and they
became the most beautiful islands of Borneo, Celebes, Sumatra, Java,
and all the rest of the Malay Archipelago, and you can look them out
on the map!
By and by the Eldest Magician met the Man on the banks of the Perak
river, and said, "Ho! Son of Adam, are all the Animals obedient to
"Yes," said the Man.
"Is all the Earth obedient to you?"
"Yes," said the Man.
"Is all the Sea obedient to you?"
"No," said the man. "Once a day and once a night the Sea runs up
the Perak river and drives the sweet-water back into the forest, so
that my house is made wet; once a day and once a night it runs down
the river and draws all the water after it, so that there is nothing
left but mud, and my canoe is upset. Is that the play you taught it
to play?"
"No," said the Eldest Magician. "That is a new and a bad play."
"Look!" said the Man, and as he spoke the great Sea came up the
mouth of the Perak river, driving the river backwards till it
overflowed all the dark forests for miles and miles and miles, and
flooded the Man's house.
"This is wrong. Launch your canoe and we will find out who is
playing with the Sea," said the Eldest Magician. They stepped into
the canoe; the little girl-daughter came with them; and the Man took
his kris -- a curving, wavy dagger with a blade like a flame, -- and
they pushed out on the Perak river. Then the sea began to run back
and back, and the canoe was sucked out of the mouth of the Perak
river, past Selangor, past Malacca, past Singapore, out and out to the
island of Bingtang, as though it had been pulled by a string.
Then the Eldest Magician stood up and shouted, "Ho! beasts, birds,
and fishes, that I took between my hands at the Very Beginning and
taught you the play that you should play, which one of you is playing
with the Sea?"
Then all the beasts, birds and fishes said together, "Eldest
Magician, we play the plays that your taught us to play -- we and our
children's children. But not one of us plays with the Sea."
Then the Moon rose big and full over the water, and the Eldest
Magician said to the hunchbacked old man who sits in the Moon spinning
a fishing-line with which he hopes one day to catch the world, "Ho!
Fisher of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?"
"No," said the Fisherman. "I am spinning a line with which I shall
someday catch the world, but I do not play with the Sea." And he went
on spinning his line.
Now there is also a Rat up in the Moon who always bites the old
Fisherman's line as fast as it is made, and the Eldest Magician said
to him, "Ho! Rat of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?"
And the Rat said, "I am too busy biting through the line that this
old Fisherman is spinning. I do not play with the Sea." And he went
on biting the line.
Then the little girl-daughter put up her little soft brown arms
with the beautiful white bracelets and said, "O Eldest Magician! when
my father here talked to you at the Very Beginning, and I leaned upon
his shoulder while the beasts were being taught their plays, one beast
went away naughtily into the Sea before you had taught him his play."
And the Eldest Magician said, "How wise are little children who see
and are silent! What was the beast like?"
And the little girl-daughter said, "He was round and he was flat;
and his eyes grew upon stalks; and he walked sideways like this; and
he was covered with strong armor upon his back."
And the Eldest Magician said, "How wise are little children who
speak truth! Now I know where Pau Amma went. Give me the paddle!"
So he took the paddle; but there was not need to paddle, for the
water flowed steadily past all the islands till they came to the place
called Pusat Tasek -- the Heart of the Sea -- where the great hollow
is that leads down to the heart of the world, and in that hollow grows
the Wonderful Tree, Pauh Janggi, that bears the magic twin nuts. Then
the Eldest Magician slid his arm up to the shoulder through the deep
warm water, and under the roots of the Wonderful Tree he touched the
broad back of Pau Amma the Crab. And Pau Amma settled down at the
touch, and all the Sea rose up as water rises in a basin when you put
your hand into it.
"Ah!" said the Eldest Magician. "Now I know who has been playing
with the Sea," and he called out, "What are you doing, Pau Amma?"
And Pau Amma, deep down below, answered, "Once a day and once a
night I go out to look for my food. Once a day and once a night I
return. Leave me alone."
Then the Eldest Magician said, "Listen, Pau Amma. When you go out
from your cave the waters of the Sea pour down into Pusat Tasek, and
all the beaches of all the islands are left bare, and the little fish
die, and Raja Moyang Kaban, the King of the Elephants, his legs are
made muddy. When you come back and sit in Pusat Tasek, the waters of
the Sea rise, and half the little islands are drowned, and the Man's
house is flooded, and Raja Abdullah, the King of the Crocodiles, his
mouth is filled with the salt water."
Then Pau Amma, deep down below, laughed and said, "I did not know I
was so important. Henceforth I will go out seven times a day, and the
waters shall never be still."
And the Eldest Magician said, "I cannot make you play the play you
were meant to play, Pau Amma, because you escaped me at the Very
Beginning; but if you are not afraid, come up and we will talk about
"I am not afraid," said Pau Amma, and he rose to the top of the sea
in the moonlight. There was nobody in the world so big as Pau Amma --
for he was the King Crab of all Crabs. Not a common Crab, but a King
Crab. One side of his great shell touched the beach at Sarawak; the
other touched the beach at Pahang; and he was taller than the smoke of
three volcanoes! As he rose up through the branches of the wonderful
Tree he tore off one of the great twin-fruits -- the magic double-
kernelled nuts that make people young, -- and the little girl-daughter
saw it bobbing alongside the canoe, and pulled it in and began to pick
out the soft eyes of it with her little golden scissors.
"Now," said the Magician, "Make a Magic, Pau Amma, to show that
you are really important."
Pau Amma rolled his eyes and waved his legs, but he could only stir
up the Sea, because, though he was a King Crab, he was nothing more
than a Crab, and the Eldest Magician laughed.
"You are not so important after all, Pau Amma," he said. "Now let
me try," and he made a Magic with his left hand -- just the little
finger of his left hand -- and -- lo and behold, Best Beloved, Pau
Amma's hard, blue-green-black shell fell off him as a husk falls off a
cocoa-nut, and Pau Amma was left all soft -- soft as the little crabs
that you sometimes find on the beach, Best Beloved.
"Indeed, you are very important," said the Eldest Magician. "Shall
I ask the Man here to cut you with his kris? Shall I send for Raja
Moyang Kaban, the King of the Elephants, to pierce you with his tusks,
or shall I call Raja Abdullah, the King of the Crocodiles, to bite
And Pau Amma said, "I am ashamed! Give me back my hard shell and
let me go back to Pusat Tasek, and I will only stir out once a day and
once a night to get my food."
And the Eldest Magician said, "No, Pau Amma, I will not give you
back your shell, for you will grow bigger and prouder and stronger,
and perhaps you will forget your promise, and you will play with the
Sea once more."
Then Pau Amma said, "What shall I do? I am so big that I can hide
only in Pusat Tasek, and if I go anywhere else, all soft as I am now,
the sharks and the dogfish will eat me. And if I go to Pusat Tasek,
all soft as I am now, though I may be safe, I can never stir out to
get my food, and so I shall die." Then he waved his legs and
"Listen, Pau Amma," said the Eldest Magician. "I cannot make you
play the play you were meant to play, because you escaped me at the
Very Beginning; but if you choose, I can make every stone and every
hole and every bunch of weed in all the seas a safe Pusat Tasek for
you and your children for always."
Then Pau Amma said, "That is good, but I do not choose yet. Look!
there is that Man who talked to you at the Very Beginning. If he had
not taken up your attention I should not have grown tired of waiting
and run away, and all this would never have happened. What will he do
for me?"
And the Man said, "If you choose, I will make a Magic, so that both
the deep water and the dry ground will be a home for you and your
children -- so that you shall be able to hide both on the land and in
the sea."
And Pau Amma said, "I do not choose yet. Look! there is that girl
who saw me running away at the Very Beginning. If she had spoken
then, the Eldest Magician would have called me back, and all this
would never have happened. What will she do for me?"
And the little girl-daughter said, "This is a good nut that I am
eating. If you choose, I will make a Magic and I will give you this
pair of scissors, very sharp and strong, so that you and your children
can eat cocoa-nuts like this all day long when you come up from the
Sea to the land; or you can make a Pusat Tasek for yourself with the
scissors that belong to you when there is no stone or hole nearby; and
when the earth is too hard, with the help of these same scissors you
can run up a tree."
And Pau Amma said, "I do not choose yet, for all soft as I am,
these gifts would not help me. Give me pack my shell, O Eldest
Magician, and then I will play your play."
And the Eldest Magician said, "I will give it back, Pau Amma, for
eleven months of the year; but on the twelfth month of every year it
shall grow soft again, to remind you and all your children that I can
make magics, and to keep you humble, Pau Amma; for I see that if you
can run both under the water and on land, you will grow too bold; and
if you can climb trees and crack nuts and dig holes with your
scissors, you will grow too greedy, Pau Amma."
Then Pau Amma thought a little and said, "I have made my choice. I
will take all the gifts."
Then the Eldest Magician made a Magic with his right hand, with all
five fingers of his right hand, and lo and behold, Best Beloved, Pau
Amma grew smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller, till at last
there was only a little green crab swimming in the water alongside the
canoe, crying in a very small voice, "Give me the scissors!"
And the little girl-daughter picked him up on the palm of her
little brown hand, and sat him in the bottom of the canoe and gave him
the scissors, and he waved them in his little arms, and opened them
and shut them and snapped them, and said, "I can eat nuts. I can
crack shells. I can dig holes. I can climb trees. I can breathe in
the dry air, and I can find a safe Pusat Tasek under every stone. I
did not know I was so important. Kun?" (Is this right?)
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician, and he laughed and gave him
his blessing; and the little Pau Amma scuttled over the side of the
canoe into the water; and he was so tiny that he could have hidden
under the shadow of a dry leaf on land or a dead shell at the bottom
of the sea.
"Was that well done?" said the Eldest Magician.
"Yes," said the Man. "But now we must go back to Perak, and that
is a weary way to paddle. If we had waited till Pau Amma had gone out
of Pusat Tasek and come home, the water would have carried us there by
"You are lazy," said the Eldest Magician. "So your children shall
be lazy. They shall be the laziest people in the world. They shall
be called the Malazy -- the lazy people," and he held up his finger to
the Moon and said, "O Fisherman, here is the Man too lazy to row
home. Pull his canoe home with your line, Fisherman."
"No, said the Man. "If I am to be lazy all my days, let the Sea
work for me twice a day forever. That will save paddling."
And the Eldest Magician laughed and said, "Payah kun" (That is
And the Rat of the Moon stopped biting the line; and the Fisherman
let down his line till it touched the Sea, and he pulled the whole
deep Sea along, past the Island of Bingtang, past Singapore, past
Malacca, past Selangor, till the canoe whirled into the mouth of the
Perak River again.
"Kun?" said the Fisherman of the Moon."
"Payah kun," said the Eldest Magician. "See now that you pull the
Sea twice a day and twice a night forever, so that the Malazy
fishermen may be saved paddling. But be careful not to do it too
hard, or I shall make a magic on you as I did to Pau Amma."
Then they all went up the Perak River and went to bed, Best
Now listen and attend!
From that day to this the Moon has always pulled the Sea up and
down and made what we call the tides. Sometimes the Fisher of the Sea
pulls a little too hard, and then we get spring-tides; and sometimes
he pulls a little too softly, and then we get what are called
neap-tides; but nearly always he is careful, because of the Eldest
And Pau Amma? You can see when you go to the beach, how all Pau
Amma's babies make little Pusat Taseks for themselves under every
stone and bunch of weed on the sands; you can see them waving their
little scissors; and in some parts of the world they truly live on the
dry land and run up palm trees and eat cocoa-nuts, exactly as the
little girl promised. But once a year all Pau Ammas must shake off
their hard armor and be soft -- to remind them of what the Eldest
Magician could do. And it isn't fair to kill or hunt Pau Amma's
babies just because old Pau Amma was stupidly rude a very long time
Oh, yes! And Pau Amma's babies hate being taken out of their
little Pusat Taseks and being brought home in pickle-bottles. That is
why they nip you with their scissors, and it serves you right!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

China-going P. and O.'s
Pass Pau Amma's playground close,
And his Pusat Tasek lies
Near the track of most B.I.'s.
U.Y.K. and N.D.L.
Know Pau Amma's home as well
As the fisher of the sea knows
'Bens,' M.M.'s and Rubattinos.
But (and this is pretty queer)
A.T.L.'s can not come here;
O. and O. and D.O.A.
Must go round another way.
Orient, Anchor, Bibby, Hall,
Never go that way at all.
U.C.S. would have a fit
If it found itself on it.
And if 'Beavers' took their cargoes
To Penang instead of Lagos,
Or a fat Shaw-Savill bore
Passengers to Singapore,
Or a White Star were to try a
Little trip to Sourabaya
Or a B.S.A. went on
Past Natal to Cheribon,
Then great Mr. Lloyds would come
With a wire and take them home!

You'll know what my riddle means
When you've eaten mangosteens.

Or, if you can't wait till then, ask them to let you have the
outside page of the Times; turn over to page 2, where it is marked
'Shipping' on the top left hand; then take the Atlas (and that is the
finest picture-book in the world) and see how the names of the places
that the steamers go fit into the names of the places on the map. Any
steamer-kiddy ought to be able to do that; but if you can't read, ask
someone to show it you.


The Cat That Walked By Himself

Hear and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened and
became and was, O my Best Beloved, when the Tame animals were wild.
The Dog was wild, and the Horse was wild, and the Cow was wild, and
the Sheep was wild, and the Pig was wild -- as wild as wild could be
-- and they walked in the Wet Wild Woods by their wild lones. But the
wildest of all wild animals was the Cat. He walked by himself, and
all places were alike to him.
Of course the Man was wild too. He was dreadfully wild. He didn't
even begin to be tame until he met the Woman, and she told him that
she did not like living in his wild ways. She picked out a nice dry
Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed
clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back
of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail down, across
the opening of the Cave; and she said, "Wipe your feet, dear, when you
come in, and now we'll keep house."
That night, Best Beloved, they ate wild sheep roasted on the hot
stones, and flavored with wild garlic and wild pepper; and wild duck
stuffed with wild rice and wild fenugreek and wild coriander; and
marrow bones of wild oxen; and wild cherries, and wild grenadillas.
Then the Man went to sleep in front of the fire; but the Woman sat up,
combing her hair. She took the bone of the shoulder of mutton -- the
big fat blade-bone -- and she looked at the wonderful marks on it, and
she threw more wood on the fire, and she made a Magic. She made the
First Singing Magic in the world.
Out in the Wet Wild Woods all the wild animals gathered together
where they could see the light of the fire a long way off, and they
wondered what it meant.
Then Wild Horse stamped with his wild foot and said, "O my Friends
and O my Enemies, why have the Man and the Woman made that great light
in that great Cave, and what harm will it do us?"
Wild Dog lifted up his wild nose and smelled the smell of roast
mutton, and said, "I will go up and see and look, and say; for I think
it is good. Cat, come with me."
"Nenni!" said the Cat. "I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all
places are alike to me. I will not come."
"Then we can never be friends again," said Wild Dog, and he trotted
off to the cave. But when he had gone, a little way the Cat said to
himself, "All places are alike to me. Why should I not go too and see
and look and come away at my own liking?" So he slipped after Wild
Dog softly, very softly, and hid himself where he could hear
When Wild Dog reached the mouth of the Cave he lifted up the dried
horse-skin with his nose and sniffed the beautiful smell of the roast
mutton, and the Woman, looking at the blade-bone, heard him, and
laughed, and said, "Here comes the first. Wild Thing out of the Wild
Woods, what do you want?"
Wild Dog said, "O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, what is this that
smells so good in the Wild Woods?"
Then the Woman picked up a roasted mutton-bone and threw it to Wild
Dog, and said, "Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, taste and try."
Wild Dog gnawed the bone, and it was more delicious than anything he
had ever tasted, and he said, "O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, give
me another."
The Woman said, "Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, help my Man to
hunt through the day and guard his Cave at night, and I will give you
as many roast bones as you need."
"Ah!" said the Cat, listening. "This is a very wise Woman, but she
is not so wise as I am."
Wild Dog crawled into the Cave and laid his head on the Woman's
lap, and said, "O my Friend and Wife of my Friend, I will help your
Man to hunt through the day, and at night I will guard your Cave."
"Ah!" said the Cat, listening. "That is a very foolish Dog." And
he went his way back through the Wet Wild Woods waving his wild tail,
and walking by his wild lone. But he never told anybody.
When the Man waked up he said, "What is Wild Dog doing here?" And
the Woman said, "His name is not Wild Dog anymore, but the First
Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and
always. Take him with you when you go hunting."
Next night the Woman cut great green armfuls of fresh grass from
the water-meadows, and dried it before the fire, so that it smelt like
new-mown hay, and she sat at the mouth of the Cave and plaited a
halter out of horse-hide, and she looked at the shoulder of
mutton-bone -- at the big broad blade-bone -- and she made a Magic.
She made the Second Singing Magic in the world.
Out of the Wild Woods all the wild animals wondered what had
happened to Wild Dog, and at last Wild Horse stamped with his foot and
said "I will go and see and say why Wild Dog has not returned. Cat,
come with me."
"Nenni!" said the Cat. "I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all
places are alike to me. I will not come." But all the same he
followed Wild Horse softly, very softly, and hid himself where he
could hear everything.
When the Woman heard Wild Horse tripping and stumbling on his long
mane, she laughed and said, "Here is the second. Wild Thing out of
the Wild Woods, what do you want?"
Wild Horse said, "O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, where is Wild
The Woman laughed, and picked up the blade-bone and looked at it,
and said, "Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, you did not come here
for Wild Dog, but for the sake of this good grass."
And Wild Horse, tripping and stumbling on his long mane, said,
"That is true; give it to me to eat."
The Woman said, "Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, bend your wild
head and wear what I give you, and you shall eat the wonderful grass
three times a day."
"Ah," said the Cat, "this is a clever woman, but she is not so
clever as I am."
Wild Horse bent his wild head, and the Woman slipped the plaited
hide halter over it, and Wild Horse breathed on the Woman's feet and
said, "O my Mistress, and Wife of my Master, I will be your servant
for the sake of the wonderful grass."
"Ah," said the Cat, listening, "that is a very foolish horse." And
he went back through the Wet Wild Woods, waving his wild tail and
walking by his wild lone. But he never told anybody.
When the Man and the Dog came back from hunting, the Man said,
"What is Wild Horse doing here?" And the Woman said, "His name is
not Wild Horse anymore, but the First Servant, because he will always
carry us from place to place for always and always and always. Ride
on his back when you go hunting."
Next day, holding her wild head high that her wild horns should not
catch in the wild trees, Wild Cow came up to the Cave, and the Cat
followed, and hid himself just the same as before; and when Wild Cow
had promised to give her milk to the Woman every day for the sake of
the wonderful grass, the Cat went back through the Wet Wild Woods,
waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone, just the same as
before. But he never told anybody. And when the Man and the Horse
and the Dog came home from hunting and asked the same questions as
before, the Woman said, "Her name is not Wild Cow anymore, but the
Giver of Good Food. She will give us the warm white milk for always
and always and always, and I will take care of her while you and the
First Friend and the First Servant go hunting."
Next day the Cat waited to see if any other Wild thing would go up
to the Cave, but no one moved in the Wet Wild Woods, so the Cat walked
there by himself; and he saw the Woman milking the Cow, and he saw the
light of the fire in the Cave, and he smelt the smell of the warm
white milk.
Cat said, "O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, where did Wild Cow go?"
The Woman said, "Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, go back to the
Woods again, for I have braided up my hair, and I have put away the
magic blade-bone, and we have no more need of either friends or
servants in our Cave."
Cat said, "I am not a friend, and I am not a servant. I am the Cat
who walks by himself, and I wish to come into your cave."
Woman said, "Then why did you not come with First Friend on the
first night?"
Cat grew very angry and said, "Has Wild Dog told tales of me?"
Then the Woman laughed and said, "You are the Cat who walks by
himself, and all places are alike to you. You are neither a friend
nor a servant. You have said it yourself. Go away and walk by
yourself in all places alike."
Then the Cat pretended to be sorry and said, "Must I never come
into the Cave? Must I never sit by the warm fire? Must I never drink
the warm white milk? You are very wise and very beautiful. You
should not be so cruel even to a Cat."
Woman said, "I knew I was wise, but I did not know I was
beautiful. So I will make a bargain with you. If I ever say one word
in your praise you may come into the Cave."
"And if you say two words in my praise?" said the Cat.
"I never shall," said the Woman, "but if I say two words in your
praise, you may sit by the fire in the Cave."
"And if you say three words?" said the Cat.
"I never shall," said the Woman, "but if I say three words in your
praise you may drink the warm white milk three times a day for always
and always and always."
Then the Cat arched his back and said, "Now let the Curtain at the
mouth of the Cave, and the Fire at the back of the Cave, and the
Milk-pots that stand beside the Fire, remember what my Enemy and the
Wife of my Enemy has said." And he went away through the Wet Wild
Woods waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone.
That night when the Man and the Horse and the Dog came home from
hunting, the Woman did not tell them of the bargain that she had made
with the Cat, because she was afraid that they might not like it.
Cat went far and far away and hid himself in the Wet Wild Woods for
a long time till the Woman forgot all about him. Only the Bat -- the
little upside-down Bat -- that hung inside the Cave, knew where Cat
hid; and every evening Bat would fly to Cat with news of what was
One evening Bat said, "There is a Baby in the Cave. He is new and
pink and fat and small, and the Woman is very fond of him."
"Ah," said the Cat, "but what is the Baby fond of?"
"He is fond of things that are soft and tickle," said the Bat. "He
is fond of warm things to hold in his arms when he goes to sleep. He
is fond of being played with. He is fond of all those things."
"Ah," said the Cat, listening, "then my time has come."
Next night Cat walked through the Wet Wild Woods and hid very near
the Cave till morning-time, and Man and Dog and Horse were hunting.
The Woman was busy cooking that morning, and the Baby cried and
interrupted. So she carried him outside the Cave and gave him a
handful of pebbles to play with. But still the Baby cried.
Then the Cat put out his paddy-paw and patted the Baby on the
cheek, and it cooed; and the Cat rubbed against its fat knees and
tickled it under its fat chin with its tail. And the Baby laughed;
and the Woman heard him and smiled.
Then the Bat -- the little upside-down Bat -- that hung in the
mouth of the Cave said, "O my Hostess and Wife of my Host and Mother
of my Host's Son, a Wild Thing from the Wild Woods is most beautifully
playing with your Baby."
"A blessing on that Wild Thing whoever he may be," said the Woman,
straightening her back, "for I was a very busy woman this morning and
he has done me a service."
That very minute and second, Best Beloved, the dried horse-skin
Curtain that was stretched tail-down at the mouth of the Cave fell
down -- whoosh! -- because it remembered the bargain she had made with
the Cat, and when the Woman went to pick it up -- lo and behold! --
the Cat was sitting quite comfy inside the Cave.
"O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy and Mother of my Enemy," said the
Cat, "it is I; for you have spoken a word in my praise, and now I can
sit within the Cave for always and always and always. But still I am
the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me."
The Woman was very angry, and shut her lips tight and took up her
spinning wheel and began to spin.
But the Baby cried because the Cat had gone away, and the Woman
could not hush it, for it struggled and kicked and grew black in the
"O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy and Mother of my Enemy," said the
Cat, "take a strand of the wire that you are spinning and tie it to
your spinning-whorl and drag it along the floor, and I will show you a
magic that shall make your Baby laugh as loudly as he is now crying."
"I will do so," said the Woman, "because I am at my wits' end; but
I will not thank you for it."
She tied the thread to the little clay spindle-whorl and drew it
across the floor; and the Cat ran after it and patted it with his paws
and rolled head over heels, and tossed it backward over his shoulder
and chased it between his hind legs and pretended to lose it, and
pounced down upon it again, till the Baby laughed as loudly as it had
been crying, and scrambled after the Cat and frolicked all over the
Cave till it grew tired and settled down to sleep with the Cat in its
"Now," said the Cat, "I will sing the Baby a song that shall keep
him asleep for an hour." And he began to purr, loud and low, low and
loud, till the Baby fell fast asleep. The Woman smiled as she looked
down upon the two of them and said, "That was wonderfully done. No
question but you are very clever, O Cat."
That very minute and second, Best Beloved, the smoke of the fire at
the back of the Cave came down in clouds from the roof -- puff! --
because it remembered the bargain she had made with the Cat, and when
it had cleared away, -- lo and behold! -- the Cat was sitting quite
comfy close to the fire.
"O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy and Mother of my Enemy," said the
Cat, "it is I, for you have now spoken a second word in my praise, and
now I can sit by the warm fire for always and always and always. But
still I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to
Then the Woman was very very angry, and let down her hair and put
more wood on the fire and brought out the broad blade-bone of the
shoulder of mutton and began to make a Magic that should prevent her
from saying a third word in praise of the Cat. It was not a Singing
Magic, Best Beloved, it was a Still Magic; and by and by the Cave grew
so still that a little wee-wee mouse crept out of a corner and ran
across the floor.
"O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy and Mother of my Enemy," said the
Cat, "is that little mouse part of your magic?"
"Ouh! Chee! No indeed!" said the Woman, and she dropped the
blade-bone and jumped upon the footstool in front of the fire and
braided up her hair very quickly for fear that the mouse should run up
"Ah," said the Cat, watching, "Then the mouse will do me no harm if
I eat it?"
"No," said the Woman, braiding up her hair, "eat it quickly and I
will ever be grateful to you."
Cat made one jump and caught the little mouse, and the Woman said,
"A hundred thanks. Even the First Friend is not quick enough to catch
little mice as you have done. You must be very wise."
That very moment and second, O Best Beloved, the Milk-Pot that
stood by the fire cracked in two pieces -- ffft -- because it remem-
bered the bargain she had made with the Cat, and when the Woman got
down from the footstool -- lo and behold! -- the Cat was lapping up
the warm white milk that lay in one of the broken pieces.
"O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy and Mother of my Enemy," said the
Cat, "it is I; for you have now spoken three words in my praise, and
now I can drink the warm white milk three times a day for always and
always and always. But still I am the Cat that walks by himself, and
all places are alike to me."
Then the Woman laughed and set the Cat a bowl of the warm white
milk and said, "O Cat, you are as clever as a man, but remember that
your bargain was not made with the Man or the Dog, and I do not know
what they will do when they come home."
"What is that to me?" said the Cat. "If I have my place in the
Cave by the fire and the warm white milk three times a day, I do not
care what the Man or the Dog can do."
That evening when the Man and the Dog came into the Cave, the Woman
told them all the story of the bargain while the Cat sat by the fire
and smiled. Then the Man said, "Yes, but he was not made a bargain
with me or with all proper Men after me." Then he took off his two
leather boots and he took up his little stone axe (that makes three)
and he fetched a piece of wood and a hatchet (that is five al-
together), and he set them out in a row and he said, "Now we will make
our bargain. If you do not catch mice when you are in the Cave for
always and always and always, I will throw these five things at you
whenever I see you, and so shall all proper Men do after me."
"Ah," said the Woman, listening, "this is a very clever Cat, but he
is not so clever as my Man."
The Cat counted the five things (and they looked very knobby) and
he said, "I will catch mice when I am in the Cave for always and
always and always; but still I am the Cat that walks by himself, and
all places are alike to me."
"Not when I am near," said the Man. "If you had not said that last
I would have put all these things away for always and always and
always; but now I am going to throw my two boots and my little stone
axe (that makes three) at you whenever I meet you. And so shall all
proper Men do after me!"
Then the Dog said, "Wait a minute. He has not made a bargain with
me or with all proper dogs after me." Then he showed his teeth and
said, "If you are not kind to the Baby while I am in the Cave for
always and always and always, I will hunt you till I catch you, and
when I catch you I shall bite you. And so shall all proper Dogs do
after me."
"Ah," said the Woman, listening, "this is a very clever Cat, but he
is not so clever as the Dog."
Cat counted the Dog's teeth (and the looked very pointed) and he
said, "I will be kind to the Baby while I am in the Cave, as long as
he does not pull my tail too hard, for always and always and always.
But still I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike
to me."
"Not when I am near," said the Dog. "If you had not said that last
I would have shut my mouth for always and always and always; but now I
am going to hunt you up a tree whenever I meet you. And so shall all
proper Dogs do after me."
Then the Man threw his two boots and his little stone axe (that
makes three) at the Cat, and the Cat ran out of the Cave and the Dog
chased him up a tree; and from that day to this, Best Beloved, three
proper Men out of five will always throw things at a Cat whenever they
meet him, and all proper Dogs will chase him up a tree. But the Cat
keeps his side of the bargain too. He will kill mice and he will be
kind to Babies when he is in the house, just as long as they do not
pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that and between times,
and when the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by
himself, and all places are alike to him. Then he goes out to the Wet
Wild Woods or up the Wet Wild Trees or on the Wet Wild Roofs, waving
his wild tail and walking by his wild lone.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pussy can sit by the fire and sing,
Pussy can climb a tree,
Or play with a silly old cork and string
To 'muse herself, not me.
But I like Binkie, my dog, because
He knows how to behave;
So, Binkie's the same as the First Friend was,
And I am the Man in the Cave.

Pussy will play man-Friday till
It's time to wet her paw
And make her walk on the window sill
(For the footprint Crusoe saw);
Then she fluffles her tail and mews,
And scratches and won't attend.
But Binkie will play whenever I choose,
And he is my true First Friend.

Pussy will rub my knees with her head
Pretending she loves me hard;
But the very minute I go to my bed
Pussy runs out in the yard,
And there she stays till the morning-light;
So I know it is only pretend;
But Binkie, he snores at my feet all night,
And he is my Firstest Friend!


The Butterfly That Stamped

This, O my Best Beloved, is a story -- a new and a wonderful story
-- a story quite different from the other stories -- a story about The
Most Wise Sovereign Suleiman-bin-Daoud -- Solomon the Son of David.
There are three hundred and fifty-five stories about Suleiman-bin-
Daoud; but this is not one of them. It is not the story of the
Lapwing, who found the Water; or the Hoopoe who shaded Suleiman-bin-
Daoud from the heat. It is not the story of the Glass Pavement, or
the Gold Bars of Balkis. It is the story of the Butterfly that
Now attend all over again and listen!
Suleiman-bin-Daoud was wise. He understood what the beasts said,
what the birds said, what the fishes said, and what the insects said.
He understood what the rocks said deep in the earth when they bowed in
towards one another and groaned; and he understood what the trees said
when they rustled in the middle of the morning. He understood
everything, from the bishop on the bench to the hyssop on the wall,
and Balkis, his Head Queen, the Most Beautiful Queen Balkis, was
nearly as wise as he was.
Suleiman-bin-Daoud was strong. Upon the third finger of the right
hand he wore a ring. When he turned it once, Afrits and Djinns came
out of the earth to do whatever he told them. When he turned it
twice, Fairies came down from the sky to do whatever he told them; and
when he turned it three times, the very great angel Azrael of the
Sword came dressed as a water-carrier, and told him the news of the
three worlds -- Above -- Below -- and Here.
And yet Suleiman-bin-Daoud was not proud. He very seldom showed
off, and when he did he was sorry for it. Once he tried to feed all
the animals in all the world in one day, but when the food was ready
an Animal came out of the deep sea and ate it up in three mouthfuls.
Suleiman-bin-Daoud was very surprised and said, "O Animal, who are
you?" And the Animal said, "O King, live forever! I am the smallest
of thirty thousand brothers, and our home is at the bottom of the
sea. We heard that you were going to feed all the animals in the
world, and my brothers sent me to ask when dinner would be ready."
Suleiman-bin-Daoud was more surprised than ever and said, "O Animal,
you have eaten all the dinner that I made ready for all the animals in
the world." And the Animal said, "O King, live forever, but do you
really call that a dinner? Where I come from we eat twice as much as
that between meals." Then Suleiman-bin-Daoud fell flat on his face
and said "O Animal! I gave that dinner to show what a great and rich
king I was, and not because I wanted to be kind to the animals. Now I
am ashamed, and it serves me right." Suleiman-bin-Daoud was really a
truly wise man, Best Beloved. After that he never forgot that it was
silly to show off; and now the real part of my story begins.
He married ever so many wives. He married nine hundred and ninety-
nine wives, besides the Most Beautiful Balkis; and they all lived in a
great golden palace in the middle of a lovely garden with fountains.
He didn't really want nine-hundred and ninety-nine wives, but in those
days everybody married ever so many wives, and of course the King had
to marry ever so many more just to show that he was the King.
Some of the wives were nice, but some were simply horrid, and the
horrid ones quarreled with the nice ones and made them horrid too, and
then they would all quarrel with Suleiman-bin-Daoud and that was
horrid for him. But Balkis the Most Beautiful never quarreled with
Suleiman-bin-Daoud. She loved him too much. She sat in her rooms in
the Golden Palace, or walked in the Palace garden, and was truly sorry
for him.
Of course if he had chosen to turn his ring on his finger and call
up the Djinns and the Afrits they would have magicked all those nine
hundred and ninety-nine quarrelsome wives into white mules of the
desert or greyhounds or pomegranate seeds; but Suleiman-bin-Daoud
thought that that would be showing off. So, when they quarreled too
much, he only walked by himself in one part of the beautiful Palace
gardens and wished he had never been born.
One day, when they had all quarreled for three weeks -- all nine
hundred and ninety-nine wives together -- Suleiman-bin-Daoud went out
for peace and quiet as usual; and among the orange trees he met Balkis
the Most Beautiful, very sorrowful because Suleiman-bin-Daoud was so
worried. And she said to him, "O my Lord and Light of my Eyes, turn
the ring upon your finger and show these Queens of Egypt and
Mesopatamia and Persia and China that you are the great and terrible
King." But Suleiman-bin-Daoud shook his head and said, "O my Lady and
Delight of my Life, remember the Animal that came out of the sea and
made me ashamed before all the animals in all the world because I
showed off. Now, if I showed off before these Queens of Persia and
Egypt and Abyssinia and China, merely because they worry me, I might
be made even more ashamed than I have been."
And Balkis the Most Beautiful said, "O my Lord and Treasure of my
Soul, what will you do?"
And Suleiman-bin-Daoud said, "O my Lady and Content of my Heart, I
shall continue to endure my fate at the hands of these nine hundred
and ninety-nine Queens who vex me with their continual quarreling."
So he went on between the lilies and the loquats and the roses and
the cannas and the heavy-scented ginger-plants that grew in the
garden, till he came to the great camphor tree that was called the
Camphor Tree of Suleiman-bin-Daoud. But Balkis hid among the tall
irises and the spotted bamboos and the red lilies behind the camphor
tree, so as to be near her own true love, Suleiman-bin-Daoud.
Presently two Butterflies flew under the tree, quarreling.
Suleiman-bin-Daoud heard one say to the other, "I wonder at your
presumption in talking like this to me. Don't you know that if I
stamped my foot all Suleiman-bin-Daoud's Palace and this garden here
would immediately vanish in a clap of thunder."
Then Suleiman-bin-Daoud forgot his nine hundred and ninety-nine
bothersome wives, and laughed, till the camphor tree shook, at the
Butterfly's boast. And he held out his finger and said, "Little man,
come here."
The Butterfly was dreadfully frightened, but he managed to fly up
to the hand of Suleiman-bin-Daoud, and clung there, fanning himself.
Suleiman-bin-Daoud bent his head and whispered very softly, "Little
man, you know that all your stamping wouldn't bend one blade of
grass. What made you tell that awful fib to your wife? -- for
doubtless she is your wife."
The Butterfly looked at Suleiman-bin-Daoud and saw the most wise
King's eyes twinkle like stars on a frosty night, and he picked up his
courage with both wings, and he put his head on one side and said, "O
King, live forever. She is my wife; and you know what wives are
Suleiman-bin-Daoud smiled in his beard and said, "Yes, I know,
little brother."
"One must keep them in order somehow," said the Butterfly, "and she
has been quarreling with me all the morning. I said that to quiet
And Suleiman-bin-Daoud said, "May it quiet her. Go back to your
wife, little brother, and let me hear what you say."
Back flew the Butterfly to his wife, who was all of a twitter
behind a leaf, and she said, "He heard you! Suleiman-bin-Daoud
himself heard you!"
"Heard me!" said the Butterfly. "Of course he did. I meant him to
hear me."
"And what did he say? Oh, what did he say?"
"Well," said the Butterfly, fanning himself most importantly,
"between you and me, my dear -- of course I don't blame him, because
his Palace must have cost a great deal and the oranges are just
ripening -- he asked me not to stamp, and I promised I wouldn't."
"Gracious!" said his wife, and sat quite quiet; but
Suleiman-bin-Daoud laughed till the tears ran down his face at the
impudence of the bad little Butterfly.
Balkis the Most Beautiful stood up behind the tree among the red
lilies and smiled to herself for she had heard all this talk. She
thought, "If I am wise I can yet save my Lord from the persecutions of
these quarrelsome Queens," and she held out her finger and whispered
softly to the Butterfly's Wife, "Little woman, come here." Up flew
the Butterfly's Wife, very frightened, and clung to Balkis's white
Balkis bent her beautiful head down and whispered, "Little woman,
do you believe what your husband has just said?"
The Butterfly's Wife looked at Balkis, and saw the most beautiful
Queen's eyes shining like deep pools of starlight on them, and she
picked up her courage with both wings and said, "O Queen, be lovely
forever. You know what men-folk are like."
And the Queen Balkis, the Wise Balkis of Sheba, put her hand to her
lips to hide a smile and said, "Little sister, I know."
"They get angry," said the Butterfly's Wife, fanning herself
quickly, "over nothing at all, but we must humour them, O Queen. They
never mean half they say. If it pleases my husband to believe that I
believe he can make Suleiman-bin-Daoud's Palace disappear by stamping
his foot, I'm sure I don't care. He'll forget about it by tomorrow."
"Little sister," said Balkis, "you are quite right; but next time
he begins to boast, take him at his word. Ask him to stamp, and see
what will happen. We know what men-folk are like, don't we? He'll be
very much ashamed."
Away flew the Butterfly's Wife to her husband, and in five minutes
they were quarreling worse than ever.
"Remember!" said the Butterfly. "Remember what I can do if I stamp
my foot."
"I don't believe you one little bit," said the Butterfly's Wife.
"I should very much like to see it done. Suppose you stamp now."
"I promised Suleiman-bin-Daoud that I wouldn't," said the
Butterfly, "and I don't want to break my promise."
"It wouldn't matter if you did," said his wife. "You couldn't bend
a blade of grass with your stamping. I dare you to do it," she said.
"Stamp! Stamp! Stamp!"
Suleiman-bin-Daoud, sitting under the camphor tree, heard every
word of this, and he laughed as he had never laughed in his life
before. He forgot all about his Queens; he forgot all about the
Animal that came out of the sea; he forgot about showing off. He just
laughed with joy, and Balkis, on the other side of the tree, smiled
because her own true love was so joyful.
Presently the Butterfly, very hot and puffy, came whirling back
under the shadow of the camphor tree and said to Suleiman, "She wants
me to stamp! She wants to see what will happen, O
Suleiman-bin-Daoud! You know I can't do it, and now she'll never
believe a word I say. She'll laugh at me to the end of my days!"
"No, little brother," said Suleiman-bin-Daoud, "she will never
laugh at you again," and he turned the ring on his finger -- just for
the little Butterfly's sake, not for the sake of showing off -- and,
lo and behold, four huge Djinns came out of the earth!
"Slaves," said Suleiman-bin-Daoud, "when this gentleman on my
finger" (that was where the impudent Butterfly was sitting) "stamps
his front forefoot you will make my Palace and these gardens disappear
in a clap of thunder. When he stamps again you will bring them back
"Now, little brother," he said, "go back to your wife and stamp all
you've a mind to."
Away flew the Butterfly to his wife, who was crying "I dare you to
do it! I dare you to do it! Stamp! Stamp now! Stamp!" Balkis saw
the four vast Djinns stoop down to the four corners of the gardens
with the Palace in the middle, and said, "At last Suleiman-bin-Daoud
will do for the sake of a Butterfly what he ought to have done long
ago for his own sake, and the quarrelsome Queens will be frightened!"
Then the Butterfly stamped. The Djinns jerked the Palace and the
gardens a thousand miles into the air; there was a most awful
thunderclap, and everything grew inky-black. The Butterfly's Wife
fluttered about in the dark, crying "Oh, I'll be good! I'm so sorry I
spoke. Only bring the gardens back, my dear darling husband, and I'll
never contradict again."
The Butterfly was nearly as frightened as his wife, and
Suleiman-bin-Daoud laughed so much that it was several minutes before
he found breath enough to whisper to the Butterfly, "Stamp again,
little brother. Give me back my Palace, most great magician."
"Yes, give him back his Palace," said the Butterfly's Wife, still
flying about in the dark like a moth. "Give him back his Palace, and
don't let's have any more horrid magic."
"Well, my dear," said the Butterfly as bravely as he could, "you
see what your nagging has led to. Of course it doesn't make any
difference to me -- I'm used to this kind of thing -- but as a favor
to Suleiman-bin-Daoud I don't mind putting things right."
So he stamped once more, and that instant the Djinns let down the
Palace and the gardens, without even a bump. The sun shone on the
dark-green orange-leaves; the fountains played among the pink Egyptian
lilies; the birds went on singing; and the Butterfly's Wife lay on her
side under the camphor tree waggling her wings and panting, "Oh, I'll
be good! I'll be good!"
Suleiman-bin-Daoud could hardly speak for laughing. He leaned back
all weak and hiccouphy, and shook his finger at the Butterfly and
said, "O great wizard, what is the sense of returning to me my Palace
if at the same time you slay me with mirth!"
Then came a terrible noise, for all the nine hundred and
ninety-nine Queens ran out of the Palace shrieking and shouting and
calling for their babies. They hurried down the great marble steps
below the fountain, one hundred abreast, and the Most Wise Balkis went
statelily forward to meet them and said, "What is your trouble, O
They stood on the marble steps one hundred abreast and shouted,
"What is our trouble? We were living peacefully in our golden palace,
as is our custom, when upon a sudden the Palace disappeared, and we
were left sitting in a thick and noisome darkness; and it thundered,
and Djinns and Afrits moved about in the darkness! That is our
trouble, O Head Queen, and we are most extremely troubled on account
of that trouble, for it was a troublesome trouble, unlike any trouble
we have known."
Then Balkis the Most Beautiful Queen -- Suleiman-bin-Daoud's Very
Best Beloved -- Queen that was of Sheba and Sabie and the Rivers of
the Gold of the South -- from the Desert of Zinn to the Towers of
Zimbabwe -- Balkis, almost as wise as the Most Wise Suleiman-bin-
Daoud himself, said, "It is nothing, O Queens! A Butterfly has made
complaint against his wife because she quarreled with him, and it has
pleased our Lord Suleiman-bin-Daoud to teach her a lesson in
low-speaking and humbleness, for that is counted a virtue among the
wives of the butterflies."
Then up spoke an Egyptian Queen -- the daughter of a Pharaoh -- and
she said, "Our Palace cannot be plucked up by the roots like a leek
for the sake of a little insect. No! Suleiman-bin-Daoud must be
dead, and what we heard and saw was the earth thundering and darkening
at the news."
Then Balkis beckoned that bold Queen without looking at her, and
said to her and to the others, "Come and see."
They came down the marble steps, one hundred abreast, and beneath
his camphor-tree, still weak with laughing, they saw the Most Wise
King Suleiman-bin-Daoud rocking back and forth with a Butterfly on
either hand, and they heard him say, "O wife of my brother in the air,
remember after this, to please your husband in all things, lest he be
provoked to stamp his foot yet again; for he has said that he is used
to this magic, and he is most eminently a great magician -- one who
steals away the very Palace of Suleiman-bin-Daoud himself. Go in
peace, little folk!" And he kissed them on the wings, and they flew
Then all the Queens except Balkis -- the Most Beautiful and
Splendid Balkis, who stood apart smiling -- fell flat on their faces,
for they said, "If these things are done when a Butterfly is
displeased with his wife, what shall be done to us who have vexed our
King with our loud-speaking and open quarreling through many days?"
Then they put their veils over their heads, and they put their
hands over their mouths, and they tiptoed back to the Palace most
Then Balkis -- The Most Beautiful and Excellent Balkis -- went
forward through the red lilies into the shade of the camphor tree and
laid her hand upon Suleiman-bin-Daoud's shoulder and said, "O my Lord
and Treasure of my Soul, rejoice, for we have taught the Queens of
Egypt and Ethiopia and Abyssinia and Persia and India and China a
great and memorable teaching.
And Suleiman-bin-Daoud, still looking after the Butterflies where
they played in the sunlight, said, "O my Lady and Jewel of my
Felicity, when did this happen? For I have been jesting with a
Butterfly ever since I came into the garden." And he told Balkis what
he had done.
Balkis -- The tender and Most Lovely Balkis -- said, "O my Lord and
Regent of my Existence, I hid behind the camphor tree and saw it all.
It was I who told the Butterfly's Wife to ask the Butterfly to stamp,
because I hoped that for the sake of the jest my Lord would make some
great magic and that the Queens would see it and be frightened." And
she told him what the Queens had said and seen and thought.
Then Suleiman-bin-Daoud rose up from his seat under the camphor
tree, and stretched his arms and rejoiced and said, "O my Lady and
Sweetener of my Days, know that if I had made a magic against my
Queens for the sake of pride or anger as I made that feast for all the
animals, I should certainly have been put to shame. But by means of
your wisdom I have made the magic for the sake of a jest and for the
sake of a little Butterfly, and -- behold! -- it has also delivered me
from the vexations of my vexatious wives! Tell me, therefore, O my
Lady and Heart of my Heart, how did you come to be so wise?"
And Balkis the Queen, beautiful and tall, looked up into
Suleiman-bin-Daoud's eyes and put her head a little on one side, just
like the Butterfly, and said, "First, O my Lord, because I loved you;
second, because I know what women-folk are."
Then they went up to the Palace and lived happily ever afterwards.
But wasn't it clever of Balkis?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There was never a Queen like Balkis,
From here to the wide world's end;
But Balkis talked to a butterfly
As you would talk to a friend.

There was never a King like Solomon,
Not since the world began,
But Solomon talked to a butterfly
As a man would talk to a man.

She was Queen of Sabaea--
And he was Asia's Lord--
But they both of 'em talked to butterflies
When they took their walks abroad!


About the Author

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay,
India. His parents were John Lockwood Kipling and Alice MacDonald
Kipling. When he was six, his parents and he returned to England, and
they left him for five years at a foster home at Southsea. He then
went to the United Services College at Westward Ho in Devon.
He returned to India in 1882, and worked for seven years as a
journalist. During this time he published {Departmental Ditties} (his
first book, in 1886) and several other books. He married Caroline
Balestier, an American, in 1892. They lived on her property in
Brattleboro, Vermont for about ten years. While he lived in America,
he wrote {Captains Courageous}, {Kim}, {The Jungle Books}, and the
{Just So Stories}.
They returned to England about 1902, and lived in Sussex until he
died on January 18, 1936. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1907.
Some of his books include The Jungle Books, 1894 and 1895; Captains
Courageous, 1897; Kim, 1901; and Just So Stories, 1902. For a
completer bibliography, see his entry in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica,
in the Micropaedia.


Publisher's Note

Since I'm publishing this as a text file, I couldn't include
Kipling's illustrations (and I left out his captions for the
illustrations too). Maybe if I get a lot of donations for this and
the other stories I am distributing, I shall be able to buy a desktop
scanner and release a second edition with all the illustrations.
The Just So Stories are public domain text. The About The Author
text is based on the articles on Rudyard Kipling in the Encyclopaedia
Brittanica and the World Book Encyclopaedia.
You are welcome to print out as many copies as you like, and to
give away this text file to as many people or bulletin boards or
on-line services as you like. If you have enjoyed these stories you
might want to send a check or money order for some amount to the
fellow that typed and proofed them for you (me). This will enable me
to keep typing up things like this for you.
If you notice any typos in this or any of the other stories I have
distributed, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

James T. Henry III
405 Gardner Road
Stockbridge, GA

I have also released "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll
and "The Tale of Ivan the Fool" by Leo Tolstoy as text files. If you
cannot find them on a bulletin board you can write to me. Indicate
whether you want them as text files on a 3.5" 720k disk or printed
out. Either way, send a check or money order for $5 for either, or $8
for both.
My next project (I've already started it) will be Lud-in-the-Mist,
by Hope Mirrlees -- a marvelous fantasy novel.
I have recieved word from Murray Leinster's agency that his works
may not be distributed this way, so I shan't be doing those as I
announced earlier that I would do if I got permission.
Other things I am considering include Rudyard Kipling's
{Departmental Ditties}; G.K. Chesterton's {The Club of Queer Trades},
"The Wild Goose Chase", {Orthodoxy} and {Manalive}; George MacDonald's
"The Golden Key"; some poems of Robert W. Service; Samuel Colerige's
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"; Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the
Lock"; and Lewis Carroll's {Sylvie and Bruno}. Which I will publish
first depends a lot on which are most requested!


Publication list (c) 1991 by James T. Henry III.

Trenelli Publications
405 Gardner Road
Stockbridge, GA 30281-1515

Also published by Trenelli Publications:
(in .TXT for non-IBM and .ZIP for IBM & compatible)

SNARK.TXT "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll, together
with some excerpts from {Through the Looking-Glass, and
What Alice Found There}. This marvelous narrative poem,
probably Carroll's best work, contains some of the most
quotable stanzas in English literature.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

IVAN.TXT "The Tale of Ivan the Fool" by Leo Tolstoy.

In a certain kingdom of a certain realm there once lived a rich
peasant. And the rich peasant had three sons: Semyon the Soldier,
Taras the Big-Belly, and Ivan the Fool, and an unmarried daughter,
Malyana the Mute. Semyon the Soldier went to war to serve the tsar;
Taras the Big-Belly went to a merchant in town to trade; and Ivan the
Fool stayed at home with his sister to break his back with hard work.
Now the Old Devil was vexed that the brothers had not quarreled
over the sharing but had parted amicably. He summoned three imps.
"Look here," he said, "there are three brothers: Semyon the
Soldier, Taras the Big-Belly and Ivan the Fool. They ought to have
quarreled, but instead they live in peace and friendship. The Fool
spoiled the whole business for me. You three go and take on those
three brothers, and stir them up so they'll tear one another's eyes
out. Can you do this?"
"We can," they said.
"How will you do it?"
"Like this: first we'll ruin them, and when they haven't so much as
a bone to gnaw on, we'll pile them into a heap -- and then they'll
start fighting."

JSTORIES.TXT "How they Disposed of the Cats", "Taxonomy", "The
Vikings Come", and "Funeral of a Tree" by Jim Henry III.

TEXTFILE.TXT "On the Uses of Text Files" by Jim Henry III. Includes
references. Text files for starship travellers;
shareware books; big list of stories in the public
domain; and more. Currently released is the second

MAGIC.TXT "On Magic" by Jim Henry III. Three kinds of magic in
real life and in stories, and whether each is
necessarily wrong.

METHODS.TXT "On Methods of Distributing Software, or, The Many
Varieties of Shareware" by Jim Henry III. Includes
references. Distinguishes different varieties of
shareware without distracting propaganda (not much,
anyway) for the author's own shareware programs.

ELEPHANT.TXT "The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling. Released as
a prieview of the Just So Stories.

NORSMYTH.TXT "About Yggdrasil and Norse Mythology" by Jim Henry III.
Includes extensive references. Accompanies
YGGDRASL.EXE, a text adventure game program by Jim Henry
III. Look for YGG??.ZIP.

DSKDST1.TXT Directory of Disk Distributors, 1st edition. I welcome
help in making the 2nd edition more complete.

Coming soon:

LUD-MIST.ZIP {Lud-in-the-Mist} by Hope Mirrlees. Our longest
publication so far, and maybe the best. This classic
fantasy novel was first published in 1926, and, sadly,
has been out of print most of the time since. Once it's
out on bulletin boards, hopefully it will never be out
of print again. Look first for PREV_LUD.ZIP, which will
be include just the first three chapters as a preview.

The Free State of Dorimare was a very small country, but, seeing that
it was bounded on the south by the sea and on the north and east by
mountains, while its centre consisted of a rich plain, watered by two
rivers, a considerable variety of scenery and vegetation was to be
found within its borders. Indeed, towards the west, in striking
contrast with the pastoral sobriety of the central plain, the aspect
of the country became, if not tropical, at any rate distinctly
exotic. Nor was this to be wondered at, perhaps; for beyond the
Debatable Hills (the boundary of Dorimare in the west) lay Fairyland.
There had, however, been no intercourse between the two countries for
many centuries.

CLUBQUER.TXT {The Club of Queer Trades} by G.K. Chesterton.
WILDGOOS.TXT "The Wild Goose Chase" by G.K. Chesterton.
GOLDKEY.TXT "The Golden Key" by George MacDonald.
MARINER.TXT "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor


Trenelli Publishing

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Books Online -- Books On Disk

Trenelli Publishing releases stories, poems and essays through disk
distributors and bulletin boards. All are either public domain or
have been released by the copyright owner to be distibuted freely but
not modified in any way. Donations in any amount to support our
continued work will be very welcome. In some cases a donation may get
you an unabridged or illustrated version of the work.

MAGIC, PREV_LUD and LUD-MIST. They will have .ZIP or .TXT file

Jim Henry III
Trenelli Publishing
405 Gardner Road
Stockbridge, GA 30281-1515

sagacity, had taken his jackknife and cut up the raft into a little
square grating all running crisscross, and he had tied it firm with
his suspenders (now you know why you were not to forget the
suspenders!), and he dragged that grating good and tight into the
Whale's throat, and there it stuck! Then he recited the following
Sloka, which, as you have not heard it, I will now proceed to relate
By means of a grating
I have stopped your ating.
For the Mariner he was also an Hi-ber-ni-an. And he stepped out on
to the shingle, and went home to his mother, who had given him leave
to trail his toes in the water; and he married and lived happily ever
after. So did the Whale. But from that day on, the grating in his
throat, which he could neither cough up nor swallow down, prevented
him from eating anything except very, very small fish; and that is the
reason why whales nowadays never eat men or boys or little girls.
The small 'Stute Fish went and hid himself in the mud under the
Door-Sills of the Equator. He was afraid that the Whale might be
angry with him.
The Sailor took the jackknife home. He was wearing the blue canvas
breeches when he walked out on the shingle. The suspenders were left
behind, you see, to tie the grating with; and that is the end of that

 December 6, 2017  Add comments

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