1. Margaret Norris Chapman: What Jocko Did
2. George Cooper: The Independent
3. Elizabeth Paschall Cox: On reading an account of a Wild Man . . .
Wee George was only three years old when he was taken suddenly very ill. For two weeks the dreadful lung trouble called pneumonia held him in its grasp. The anxious physician called many times a day and came late in the evening to see that all was well, and one night he stayed all night long, because the disease was nearing what he called the crisis, or turning point.
What Jocko Did
When morning came there was no change, and, as other sick people needed him, he went away for a few hours, but the breakfast was scarcely over when the keen eye of the trained nurse noted a change. Even the tired mother saw the deeper pallor on the little face on the pillow. Quickly the word was sent to the doctor, and in a few moments he was at the bedside. He saw the danger, and soon the tiny needle in the nurse's hypodermic syringe was ready and the heart was stirred to action by the medicine the needle carried under the skin. Then, as wee George seemed frightened, the doctor said: "You may hold him in your arms -- low, this way -- so he will not have his head high, and keep him quiet. If he can go to sleep now I think he will live, but it all depends on keeping him absolutely quiet."
Did you over try to keep quiet for hours? Even a half hour is a long lime, but when a life depends on the quiet, O, how long one can keep still! For two hours there was no noise. The slowly rocking chair gave no sound as the mother rocked in silence, for it was her arms that were bringing back to life the little one. Only mother knows how to still, to rest, the fevered brain or restless body. But after the long, long sleep George opened his eyes and said, "I love you, mother." O, then there was joy in that homo, for all knew that the sleep had been the boon desired.
With returning health there was laughter and mirth in the house, and before many weeks George was creeping slowly about the room, for he was still very weak. The warm spring rains had hurried the flowers out, and the windows were opened wide on the sunny, bright mornings. One day the organ grinder, who had won a warm place in the hearts of the children in the neighborhood, was playing in the street, and George heard the music, though he had only wakened from his nap. Mother had planned a surprise, for she had asked the man to play on the terrace back of the house, so George could see from his sunny window. The kindly Italian said, "Moa knowa seek boy," and then, as he put his hand over his heart, he added,"Mea feela so bad; now me glad -- Zip!" and with that he threw his hat up in the air with a shout.
No wonder there were tears in the happy eyes of the mother as she turned to go upstairs to tell George that the man was coming to play. Almost before she had reached tho room the squeaky old hand organ was grinding out the favorite tune of the boys in the block, "O, Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that's going around?" etc.
The strangest thing of all happened when George went to the window. Quick as Jocko saw his little friend at the window he gave a jerk on the leading string, and before the Italian could call him back that little monkey had clambered up the slender vine that grow by the window and sprang to the window ledge, where he pocketed the coin that was waiting for him. Then, instead of running back to give tho money to his master on the terrace, Jocko jumped up on George's shoulder and cuddled his head down in the boy's neck and rested there, as if trying to tell how glad he was to see his little playfellow again. Even the Italian seemed to understand, for, instead of calling Jocko back to tho ground, he only smiled, and then waved his hat in glee.
From that day until George moved away from the little mountain village you may be sure there was always a royal welcome for Jocko and his master whenever he came on that block to play.
A true story, my darlings?
I think of none but this;
So gather round my knee, and then --
One more sweet good-night kiss.
Not only we, my children,
When forced afar to roam,
But others of God's creatures here
Pine for their native home.
'Twas off the isle of Java,
And homeward bound we were;
Our gallnt ship, as if it knew,
Bowled on right merrily.
With hope and joy each heart beat high,
To think that once again
Our homes, our loved ones we should see,
Far, far across the main.
For though the sailor roams the world,
One port shines like a star;
The little haven of his heart,
Where wife and children are.
"Loose Jocko," cried the captain,
"And fetch him from below!"
A little monkey came on deck,
With timid steps and slow.
He leaped upon the taffrail,
And gazed with longing eyes
Upon the dim and fading shore
Beneath the sunset skies;
Then looked around beseechingly
In all our faces there,
And uttered little, piercing cries
That told of his despair.
In vain was all our coaxing;
With eyes fixed on the land
He climbed the shrouds, and toward it
Stretched out each tiny hand
Then, with a shriek of anguish,
He plunged into the sea,
And struck out bravely for the home
He sought so longingly.
We watched him there, a tiny speck.
Till he was out of sight;
But for the little castaway
My heart grew sad that night.
Whether he reached his far-off home,
Poor Jocko! no one knew;
But I hope he did, my little ones;
And so, I think, do you.
On reading an account of a Wild Man,
found in some part of the Spanish dominions;
supposed to be thirty years of age.
In a wild gloomy wood, o'er the mountains afar,
Which belong, I am told, to the Spanish domain;
While Venus was ruling as bright evening star,
And shepherds were driving their flocks o'er the plain:
When, lo! at a distance a form they espied!
It was tall and majestic -- the form of a man;
And coming toward them, so loudly it cried --
Then laughing, fled back to the forest again.
With dogs they pursued him, in merriest glee --
He laugh'd at their sport, while the dogs he out-ran;
At the peep of the dawn, at their cottage he'd be,
But they never, no never could catch the wild man.
He was cheerful and happy, but knew not to speak;
Content in his wild and forsaken abode;
The tear of misfortune ne'er wetted his cheek,
Nor care, cruel care, did his bosom corrode.
Amidst the wild beasts, void of terror, he'd stray,
Like our parents of old, in the garden so blessed;
With the birds he would sit, and he'd sing all the day,
And at night with the beasts he would lie down to rest.
The leaves were his couch, and the blue vault on high,
A glittering canopy o'er him was spread;
While waking all fearless he'd gaze on the sky,
And view the bright orbs that roll'd over his head.
Perhaps a fond parent had left him to roam,
By ruffians destroyed in a forest so wild;
Or wandering away from thy dear native home,
Or borne by some ruffian whom interest beguil'd; --
Perhaps the fair Red-breast, so famous of old,
For bestrewing the leaves o'er the "babes in the wood,"
While sleeping had cover'd the wild Boy from cold,
And the roots and wild berries supplied him with food.
Thus in this lorn wilderness lonely he lived,
Full thirty long years -- for no mortal he knew;
From all-bountiful Nature his food he received,
And a little suffic'd, for his wants were but few.
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