I. The Cricket's School
THERE was once a fat old cricket,1 who thought
a good deal of himself.2 He had such a big, shining body;
way of chirping1 so loudly,3 that no one could ever forget
4 where he
He was a very good sort of cricket, and was always ready b to say
pleasant things to everybody. Yet, sad to relate,6 he had a very
bad habit of boasting.7 He liked to talk8 about the wonderful
things that he had seen and done, when he was quite young and lived
near the white farm-house.
When he was telling these stories, the big crickets, who heard
him, seldom 9 said a word. They mostly 10 just sat and looked
at one another. The little crickets loved to hear him talk,11
and they would often come12 to the door of his housewhich was
a hole in the ground-and ask him to tell them more.
One evening he said that he would teach 13 them a few things, which
all crickets should know.14 He then told them to stand in a row,15
and this is what he said :
With what part of your bodies do you run and leap ?" 16
our legs," they cried.
Do you do anything else with your legs? " he asked.
We clean ourselves with them," said one.
We use them and our mouths to make houses in the ground,"
Oh yes, and we hear with our two front legs," cried one bright
17 little fellow.
." That is right, replied the fat old cricket. " Most
creatures 18 hear with things called ears, that grow on the sides
- of 'their 'beads, but I think it 19 much nicer to hear with one's
legs, as we do."
" Why, how strange it must be not to hear with one's legs!
cried all the little crrckets together.
There are a great many queer 20 things to be seen in the great
world," said their teacher. 13 "I have seen some big,
big creatures with only two legs and no wings whatever." 21
How dreadful !"22 cried the little crickets. " We do
not see how they could move about at all."
It must be very hard to do so," said the big cricket. "I
was very sorry 22 for` tliem." Then he spread 23 out his own
wings and stretched his six legs to show how well he was fitted
24 to walk or fly.
But how can they sing if they have no wings ?" asked the bright
They sing through their mouths, in much the same way as the .birds," 25
he said. "I am sure it must be much easier to sing by rubbing
26 one's wings together, as we do."
I could tell you many queer things about these twolegged27 creatures," he
continued,28 "for I have seen the houses in which they live.
Then there are other large, four-footed creatures that are terrible
to behold,29 but, my children, I was never afraid of any of them.
I am one of the truly 30 brave 31 people, who are never frightened,
no matter how terrible the sight.32 I hope, children, that you
will always be brave, like me. If anything should scare you,33
do not jump or run away. Stay just where you are, and-"
But the little crickets never heard the rest of what their teacher
had to say, for at that moment 34 Brown Bess,3b the cow, came through
the broken fence towards the spot where the crickets were gathered
The teacher gave one "chirp," and hurried 37 down his
hole as fast as he could. The little crickets tumbled 38 over one
another in their hurry 37 to get away. The fat old cricket, who
had been out in the great world, never again talked to them about
1 A little insect, often heard in the cornfields in summertime.
We say : the crickets are chirping, when they make their noise.
2 Or: hal a very great opinion of himself. What is your opinion
of him ? (What do you think of him ?) 3 Adverb to : loud ; s. loudness;
opp. softly, quietly. 4 a, forgetful. He never remembers where
he has put his books ; he is a very forgetful boy. Forgetfulness
is a very bad habit. 5 Or : willing. 6 Or : tell. Sad to relate
: It makes one sad to talk . about it. 7 When a man often tells
us how wonderfully strong or wise he is, we call him boastful.
It is better to be modest than to boast. 8 He was fond of talking. 9
Or: rarely, hardly ever; opp. often. 10 At most times, usually,
generally. li Or: listened to him with the greatest pleasure, found
his words most interesting. 1z Would come : used to come. 13 You
go to school to learn, and your teacher teaches you. He taught
me, he has taught me. 14 Or : ought to know. 15 In a row : one
next to the other. The houses of a street are in a row. Trees are
often planted in rows.
18 Crickets can leap (or jump) very high. 17 Or : clever, intelligent
; opp. stupid, silly ; s. brightness. 18 Or : animals, living beings.
19 Or : it seems to me, in my opinion it is. 20 Or: strange, unusual,
odd. 21 Or : no wings at all, no wings of any kind. 22 Or : sad.
It fills them with sorrow to think of these poor creatures, they
are sorry for them. 23 A bird or insect spreads its wings when
it flies, and folds them together when it is not flying. 24 He
had all that was wanted for walking or flying. 250r : in a way
that is very much like that of the birds. 26 When it is cold, we
rub our hands together to make them warm. Past : rubbed. 27 Having
two legs. 28 Or : went on. He said some more. 29 Or : see, look
at. Past : I beheld. 80 a. true; really. 31 A boy who is not easily
frightened is brave. The man who fights for his country is brave.
s. bravery. 32 Even if what they see is very terrible. 33 Or :
seem terrible to you. 34 Or: just then. 35 Bess, short for Elizabeth.
36 Where they had come together, where they were all together.
37 When we have little time to do a thing, we are in a hurry. When
we are late in leaving home, we hurry to school. 38 Or : fell.