: Stories To Tell Children

There was once a family of little Larks who lived with their mother in a

nest in a cornfield. When the corn was ripe the mother Lark watched very

carefully to see if there were any sign of the reapers' coming, for she

knew that when they came their sharp knives would cut down the nest and

hurt the baby Larks. So every day, when she went out for food, she told

the little Larks to look and listen very closely to everything that

went on, and to tell her all they saw and heard when she came home.

One day when she came home the little Larks were much frightened.

"Oh, Mother, dear Mother," they said, "you must move us away to-night!

The farmer was in the field to-day, and he said, 'The corn is ready to

cut; we must call in the neighbours to help.' And then he told his son

to go out to-night and ask all the neighbours to come and reap the corn


The mother Lark laughed. "Don't be frightened," she said; "if he waits

for his neighbours to reap the corn we shall have plenty of time to

move; tell me what he says to-morrow."

The next night the little Larks were quite trembling with fear; the

moment their mother got home they cried out, "Mother, you must surely

move us to-night! The farmer came to-day and said, 'The corn is getting

too ripe; we cannot wait for our neighbours; we must ask our relatives

to help us.' And then he called his son and told him to ask all the

uncles and cousins to come to-morrow and cut the corn. Shall we not move


"Don't worry," said the mother Lark; "the uncles and cousins have plenty

of reaping to do for themselves; we'll not move yet."

The third night, when the mother Lark came home, the baby Larks said,

"Mother, dear, the farmer came to the field to-day, and when he looked

at the corn he was quite angry; he said, 'This will never do! The corn

is getting too ripe; it's no use to wait for our relatives, we shall

have to cut this corn ourselves.' And then he called his son and said,

'Go out to-night and hire reapers, and to-morrow we will begin to cut.'"

"Well," said the mother, "that is another story; when a man begins to do

his own business, instead of asking somebody else to do it, things get

done. I will move you out to-night."