Caleb in the Country by Jacob Abbott

Caleb in the Country by Jacob Abbott 2346

Caleb in the Country by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879 PREFATORY NOTICE. The object of this little work, and of others of its family, which may perhaps follow, is, like that of the "Rollo Books," to furnish useful and instructive reading to young children. The aim is not so directly to communicate knowledge, as it is to develop the moral and intellectual powers,- -to cultivate habits of discrimination and correct reasoning, and to establish sound principles of moral conduct. The "Rollo Books" embrace principally intellectual and moral discipline; "Caleb," and the others of its family, will include also _religious_ training, according to the evangelical views of Christian truth which the author has been accustomed to entertain, and which he has inculcated in his more serious writings. J. A. CALEB IN THE COUNTRY CONTENTS CHAPTER I Caleb's Discovery CHAPTER II Trouble CHAPTER III Building the Mole CHAPTER IV A Discussion CHAPTER V The Story of Blind Samuel CHAPTER VI Engineering CHAPTER VII The Sofa CHAPTER VIII The Cart Ride CHAPTER IX The Fire CHAPTER X The Captive CHAPTER XI Mary Anna CHAPTER XII The Walk CHAPTER XIII The Junk POETRY CHAPTER I. CALEB'S DISCOVERY. Caleb was a bright-looking, blue-eyed boy, with auburn hair and happy countenance. And yet he was rather pale and slender. He had been sick. His father and mother lived in Boston, but now he was spending the summer at Sandy River country, with his grandmother. His father thought that if he could run about a few months in the open air, and play among the rocks and under the trees, he would grow more strong and healthy, and that his cheeks would not look so pale. His grandmother made him a blue jacket with bright buttons. _She_ liked metal buttons, because they would wear longer than covered ones, but _he_ liked them because they were more beautiful. "Besides," said he, "I can see my face in them, grandmother." Little Caleb then went to the window, so as to see his face plainer. He stood with his back to the window, and held the button so that the light from the window could shine directly upon it. "Why grandmother," said Caleb, "I cannot see now so well as I could before." "That is because your face is turned away from the light," said she. "And the button is turned _towards_ the light," said Caleb. "But when you want to see any thing reflected in a glass, you must have the light shine upon the thing you want to see reflected, not upon the glass itself; and I suppose it is so with a bright button." Then Caleb turned around, so as to have his _face_ towards the light; and he found that he could then see it reflected very distinctly. His grandmother went on with her work, and Caleb sat for some time in silence. The house that Caleb lived in was in a narrow rocky valley. A stream of water ran over a sandy bed, in front of the house, and a rugged mountain towered behind it. Across the stream, too, there was a high, rocky hill, which was in full view from the parlour window. This hill was covered with wild evergreens, which clung to their sides, and to the interstices of the rocks; and mosses, green and brown, in long festoons, hung from their limbs. Here and there crags and precipices peeped out from among the foliage, and a grey old cliff towered above, at the summit. Caleb turned his button round again towards the window, and of course turned his face _from_ the window. The reflection of his face was now dim, as before, but in a moment his eye caught the reflection of the crags and trees across the little valley. "O, grandmother," said he again, "I can see the rocks in my buttons, and the trees. And there is an old stump," he continued, his voice falling to a low tone, as if he was talking to himself,- -"and there is a tree,- -and,- -why- -why, what is that? It is a bear, grandmama,"- -calling aloud to her,- -"I see a bear upon the mountain." "Nonsense, Caleb," said the grandmother. "I do certainly," said Caleb, and he dropped the corner of his jacket, which had the button attached to it, and looked out of the window directly at the mountain. Presently Caleb turned away from the window, and ran to the door. There was a little green yard in front of the house, with a large, smooth, flat stone for a door-step. Caleb stood on this step, and looked intently at the mountain. In a moment he ran back to his grandmother, and said, "Grandmother, _do_ come and see this black bear." "Why, child," said she, smiling, "it is nothing but some old black stump or log." "But it moves, grandmother. It certainly moves." So his grandmother smiled, and said, "Well, I suppose I must come and see." So she laid down her work, and took off her spectacles, and Caleb took hold of her hand, and trotted along before her to the step of the door. It was a beautiful sunny morning in June. "There," said Caleb, triumphantly pointing to a spot among the rocks and bushes half-way up the mountain,- -"there, what do you call that?" His grandmother looked a moment intently in silence, and then said, "I do see something there under the bushes." "And isn't it moving?" said Caleb. "Why, yes," said she. "And isn't it black?" "Yes," said she. "Then it is a bear," said Caleb, half-delighted, and half afraid, "Isn't it, grandmother? I'll go and get the gun." There was an old gun behind the high desk, in the back sitting-room; but it had not been loaded for twenty years, and had no back upon it. Still Caleb always supposed that some how or other it would shoot. "Shall I, grandmother?" said he eagerly, "No," said she. "I don't think it is a bear." "What then?" said Caleb. "I think it is Cherry." "Cherry!" said Caleb. "Yes, Cherry," said she. "Run and see if you can find the boys." Cherry was the cow. She had strayed from the pasture the day before, and they could not find her. She was called Cherry from her colour; for although she had looked almost black, as Caleb had seen her in the bushes, she was really a Cherry colour. Caleb saw at once, as soon as his grandmother said that it was Cherry, that she was correct. In fact, he could see her head and horns, as she was holding her head up to eat the leaves from the bushes. However he did not stop to talk about it, but, obeying his grandmother immediately, he ran off after the boys. He went out to the back door, where the boys had been at play, and shouted out, "_David_! DA- -VID! DWI- -GHT! DA- -VID!" But there was no reply, except a distant echo of "_David_" and "_Dwight_" from the rocks and mountains. So Caleb came back, and said that he could not find the boys, and that he supposed that they had gone to school. "Then we must call Raymond," said she. "And may I ring for him, grandmother?" said Caleb. Grandmother said he might: and so Caleb ran off to the porch at the back door, and took down quite a large bell, which was hanging there. Caleb stood upon the steps of the porch, and grasping the great handle of the bell with both hands, he rang it with all his might. In a minute or two he stopped; and then he heard a faint and distant "Aye-aye" coming, from a field. Caleb put the bell back into its place, and then went again to his grandmother. In a few minutes Raymond came in. He was a thick-set and rather tall young man, broad-shouldered and strong,- -slow in his motions, and of a very sober countenance. Caleb heard his heavy step in the entry, though he came slowly and carefully, as if he tried to walk without making a noise. This ebook is in PDF format and is viewable on most computers. All you need is Adobe Reader w

Caleb in the Country by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879 PREFATORY NOTICE. The object of this little work, and of others of its family, which may perhaps follow, is, like that of the "Rollo Books," to furnish useful and instructive reading to young ch
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