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unwind the ball and let us see whether the core is a cotton-seed or a bean."

And of course it was a bean.

The ball was restored to its rightful owner; and every one praised the boy's wisdom.


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I. THE BALL OF THREAD A POOR old woman who was employed to guard a cotton-field plucked, one day, a few bolls and spun the cotton into a fine thread, which she wound into a ball.

On her way home that evening she passed a lake, and thought she would like to bathe her feet. So, placing the ball on the bank, she stepped into the water.

At this moment another woman passed by. She picked up the ball, saying: "What beautiful thread! Did you spin it?”'

Yes," answered the old woman.

“May I look at it closely?" asked the other woman, and without waiting for permission, she started away with it.

Come back!” cried the old woman. “Bring back my thread!"

Your thread?'' shouted the other. “Not at all; it is mine."

Thus quarreling, they entered the city where they met a policeman, and he took them to a judge.

When the judge had heard the case he said, “You both claim the ball, but neither of you produces any witnesses to support her claim. Hence, since possession is nine points of the law, I order that the woman who has the ball shall keep it.”

Just outside the judgment hall, the wise young Raman was playing with some other boys, and he overheard the judge's decision. At once he burst into a loud laugh.

“Why do you laugh?" inquired the judge,

“Because your decision is so stupid," answered the boy.

“How then should the case be decided?" asked the judge, almost wrathfully.

“Let me show you!" replied Raman. He called the two women and first questioned the one who had the thread in her hand.

“When did you spin this cotton?
"To-day," she answered boldly.
“Where did you get the cotton?
"In the fields outside the city.”
“What did you wind the thread on?”'

A cotton-seed,” came the reply after a moment's hesitation.

Raman then turned to the other woman. “Did you spin this thread?” he asked. “Yes." “What did you wind it on?” “A dried bean," she answered. "Now," said Raman, to the bailiff, "just

A RICH man, being at the point of death, handed over all his wealth to a trusted neighbor, asking him to keep it in trust and saying, “When my son comes of age, give him whatever you wish.”

This the neighbor agreed to do, and, after the man died, he took the money home.

When the boy came of age, he went to his father's friend to claim his fortune.

"Very well," said the trustee, "your father on his death-bed told me to give you whatever part of his fortune I should wish. This I promised to do; so take this!" And he handed the boy a hundred rupees.

Now this sum was scarcely a thousandth part of the fortune the rich man had left, and indignantly the son refused it. Instead, he rushed to the court to beg justice.

It happened that at this time the court was presided over by the clever boy Raman. To him, therefore, the heir told his tale.

Raman had the trustee summoned at once and asked him on what grounds he withheld the fortune from the boy.

“Your Honor," the man replied, “this boy's father on his death-bed handed over all his money to me with these words, ‘When my son comes of age, give him whatever you wish.' Hence I now give him what I wish."

“Ah!” said Raman, after a moment's thought, “You are certainly right in wishing to adhere so closely to the dead man's wishes; but I fear you have made a mistake. You have not given the boy what you wish; rather you have given him what you do not wish. What you wish is the part of the fortune which you are withholding for yourself. This it is which the boy's father wanted you to give to the boy, and which you, by your own words, agreed to give. Therefore, you shall keep the hundred rupees only for yourself, but the rest you must deliver at once to the boy."

Thus was the boy made rich; but the trustee, on account of his greed and dishonesty, received only the hundred rupees.

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By Tudor JENKS 1

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KNOW what I'll do," said the Maybe we won't have more than three prize66

Green Goblin, to his friend winners. Come on over to the White Owl's the Will-o'-the-Wisp. “I'll tree, and we 'll have the Town Crier give out give a spelling-match." the notices."

“With prizes?” asked the So they fitted over to the tree and found Will-o'-the-Wisp.

the Town Crier, who for a fee of four four“Why, of course. One leafed clovers gave out the notice at the

will be the pot of gold at trysting-places of Fairyland, telling all the the end of the rainbow, another will be a residents that on the first of April there would wishing-cap, and the third will be—"

be a Great Spelling-Match at the Grotto “Shoes of in visibility,” suggested the Will- of the Green Goblin, admission free, with o'-the-Wisp.

prizes for the three best spellers. "No," the Green Goblin objected. "If When the day came, the grotto was filled you won those, you 'd disappear, and then with an excited throng. There was the King where would you be?"

and the Queen, the Princess, and the Lord “But that would make no difference," an- High Chancellor. There was the old Witch, swered the Will-o'-the-Wisp; "for no one can the Wizard, the Enchanter, and the youngest find me when they see me; and so if they son of the Woodcutter. There were the can't see me, they can't find me any better Knight, the Squire, the Giant, the Dwarf, than if they could see me could they?” the Sultan, the Genie, the Pirate, the Bandit,

“Now you 're mixing me up,” said the the Schoolmaster, and the Teacher of DancGreen Goblin, “and I want to go on with my ing. spelling-match. The third prize will be a The Will-o'-the-Wisp was not there, bewishing-ring. And the fourth prize I don't cause the match was held at ten o'clock A.M., think I 'll have more than three prizes. and the Will-o'-the-Wisp is out only at night.


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But the Green Goblin was so much interested in his other guests that he forgot the Will-o'the-Wisp entirely.

When all were gathered, the refreshments were served by some small elves dressed in the Green Goblin's green livery. Everything was most delicious. There were syllabubs, pistachio nuts, greengages, philopænas, nougatines, nectar and ambrosia, vitamines, doughnuts, and a lot of things with French and Italian names that were most delightful and melted in the mouth before you had time to taste them—together with bonbons and frozen sweets.

But since the Giant went early to the refreshment room, there was not much left for the other guests, and all were glad when the Green Goblin declared it was time for the spelling-match.

So next they all counted out with “Eena, mena, mona, mi," until their places in the spelling-line were fixed, and then they were arranged in the following order:

First came the Giant, then came the Dwarf and the Enchanter, the King, the Chancellor, the Woodcutter's Son, the Wiz

The Princess began to ard, the Knight, the Princess. After her was the Squire, then the Queen, the Pirate, the Genie, the Schoolmaster, the Teacher of Dancing, the Bandit, and last came the Sultan and the old Witch.

Before the line stood the Green Goblin, “The first word,” announced the Green holding in his paw the list of hard words, Goblin, "is for you, Mr. Giant. So you may ready to give them out as soon as the signal spell jackstraws." was given. Then an elf blew three blasts on The Giant looked puzzled, and blushed so a trumpet-flower, and the match began. red that a soft pink glow filled the grotto.

"I never heard of such a word as that," he mumbled, “and I 'll sit down. I can spell mastodon, and mammoth, and pyramid, and glacier, and sierra—but jackstraws I never heard of!” And he sat down.

"Next," said the Green Goblin.

"Jackstraws is easy," said the Dwarf, with a chuckle; and he spelled it correctly, turned a somersault, and waited for the next.

"Diminutive," said the Green Goblin.

"That," said the Dwarf, uneasily, "is a word no one ever used in my presence. What does it mean?

“It means very little,” said the Green Goblin.

“No matter how little," the Dwarf replied;

“let me know what it means." is

Here the Bandit burst out laughing, and the Dwarf lost his temper.

“I'm not here to be laughed at,” he cried; The crown was very heavy and leaving his place in the line, he went out in hot weather

from the grotto without saying good-by.



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“Next!” said the Green Goblin.

The Chancellor spelled commutation, but “D-i, di; m-i-n, min; di-min; u-u; diminu; said that when he used the word it meant t-i-v-e: diminutive!” said the Enchanter. letting a man out of prison earlier than he

“Wrong!” cried the King, waving his ought to come out because he had behaved scepter.

better than was expected when he was put in. "No, it's right," said the Green Goblin. "Very well," said the Green Goblin, "I'll

"How dare you contradict me?" demanded give you another word. Try this one: ichor. the King. "Are you not my subject?"

It means— “Not on this subject," answered the Green "You need n't tell me," said the ChancelGoblin.

lor. “I see you are “Don't be foolish, my dear," broke in the "Wrong!" the Green Goblin cried. Queen, “or I 'll take you home. You prom- “Not at all,” the Chancellor insisted. “I ised me you 'd behave if I took you—" only said, 'I see you are'

"So I did," the King admitted, and he “But it is n't spelled i-c-u-r," the Green begged pardon very handsomely, for the Goblin insisted, “and so you have missed Queen was very severe with him on certain

your turn!" subjects.

"You don't understand me," the Chancel“It 's lucky for you that the Enchanter lor persisted. “I was only about to remark, was right," said the Green Goblin; "and now 'I see you are familiar with mythology.'” I'll give you an easy one.

You can spell “That may be," spoke up the Woodcutter's commutation."

Son, “but this is a spelling-match, not a de“There 's no such word,” said the King. bating club. You said 'i-c-u-r,' and the

"It 's the name of a railway ticket," said Green Goblin says that is n't right. The the Green Goblin, very politely.

word is 'ichor.'” "I know nothing of railway tickets," the “Well, spell it," the Green Goblin went on, King réplied. “I travel by special train. for it was getting late, and he did n't like to The Chancellor arranges all that for me. No have the match last too long, for he was going doubt he can spell it. Try him. I think to the movies later in the afternoon. I 'll resign,” and he went out of the line and I can't spell it," the Woodcutter's Son sat down in a corner, taking off his crown to answered cheerfully; "and I don't believe the rest his head, for the crown was very heavy in Green Goblin can spell it either, unless he hot weather.

has it written down before him.”

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" is for you, Mr.

Mv. Giant. So you may spell jackstraws" “Certainly I can," replied the Green Gob- But duty is duty, and the Green Goblin gave lin, and putting the list behind his back he the word in its proper order: spelled it out: "I-c-h-0-r."

"Your Royal Highness will now condescend “But you could n't have spelled it if you to spell for us the word, psychical.had n't seen it,” the Woodcutter's Son per- "Will you kindly repeat the word?” the sisted.

Princess asked. "I will admit cheerfully," the Green Gob- "Psychical," the Green Goblin repeated it. lin rejoined with a smile, “that I can't spell a “Mother, will you hand me my pocket dicword that I never heard of. So let 's go on

tionary?" said the Princess to the Queen. with the match. Who 's next?”

“Certainly,” that Royal Lady replied, and "I come next,” remarked the Wizard handed over a daintily bound copy with boldly.

mother-of-pearl covers inlaid with gold fili"The next word is, misspelled," the Green gree. Goblin announced.

“Thank you,” the Princess responded, and "Then it does n't count,” the Wizard ob- began to run her taper fingers through the jected. “You can't expect me to spell a

vellum pages. word that is misspelled. If I spell it right, "Here, here!" exclaimed the Schoolmaster, then I 'm wrong. If I misspell it, then I'm "that is n't allowed!" not right. So it is n't fair. I think this “What 's the trouble?” asked the Green match is a swindle, and I'm going home!” Goblin.

“Next!” was the only comment made by "Why, she 's looking up the word in the the Green Goblin, and the very courteous dictionary!” Knight raised the visor of his helm and "And why not?" inquired the Pirate. rightly spelled misspelled, and then observed “Is n't that what a dictionary is for? That that he thought Wizards were more familiar is what they tell me." with spells than this Wizard had shown him- “But it 's against the rules!" objected the self.

Schoolmaster. It was the Princess's turn next. The “What rules?”the Green Goblin remarked. Green Goblin greatly admired this beautiful "I am running this spelling-match-not you. and noble young lady, and so did most of the And if her Royal Highness prefers to use a guests. Consequently, he was sorry to see dictionary, I say she is heartily welcome to that the next word was rather hard to spell. it! Long live the Princess!"


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