The Godheads most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face:
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds
And fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.
Wordsworth, Ode to Duty.
What became of little Tom?
He slipped away off the rocks into the water, as I said before. But he could not help thinking of little Ellie. He did not remember who she was; but he knew that she was a little girl, though she was a hundred times as big as he. That is not surprising: size has nothing to do with kindred. A tiny weed may be first cousin to a great tree; and a little dog like Vick knows that Lioness is a dog too, though she is twenty times larger than herself. So Tom knew that Ellie was a little girl, and thought about her all that day, and longed to have had her to play with; but he had very soon to think of something else. And here is the account of what happened to him, as it was published next morning, in the Water-proof Gazette, on the finest watered paper, for the use of the great fairy, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, who reads the news very carefully every morning, and especially the police cases, as you will hear very soon.
He was going along the rocks in three-fathom water, watching the pollock catch prawns, and the wrasses nibble barnacles off the rocks, shells and all, when he saw a round cage of green withes; and inside it, looking very much ashamed of himself, sat his friend the lobster, twiddling his horns, instead of thumbs.
What, have you been naughty, and have they put you in the lock- up? asked Tom.
The lobster felt a little indignant at such a notion, but he was too much depressed in spirits to argue; so he only said, I cant get out.
Why did you get in?
After that nasty piece of dead fish. He had thought it looked and smelt very nice when he was outside, and so it did, for a lobster: but now he turned round and abused it because he was angry with himself.
Where did you get in?
Through that round hole at the top.
Then why dont you get out through it?
Because I cant: and the lobster twiddled his horns more fiercely than ever, but he was forced to confess.
I have jumped upwards, downwards, backwards, and sideways, at least four thousand times; and I cant get out: I always get up underneath there, and cant find the hole.
Tom looked at the trap, and having more wit than the lobster, he saw plainly enough what was the matter; as you may if you will look at a lobster-pot.
Stop a bit, said Tom. Turn your tail up to me, and Ill pull you through hindforemost, and then you wont stick in the spikes.
But the lobster was so stupid and clumsy that he couldnt hit the hole. Like a great many fox-hunters, he was very sharp as long as he was in his own country; but as soon as they get out of it they lose their heads; and so the lobster, so to speak, lost his tail.
Tom reached and clawed down the hole after him, till he caught hold of him; and then, as was to be expected, the clumsy lobster pulled him in head foremost.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|