there was once a big, white hen that had twelve little chickens. they were very small, and the old hen took good care of them. She found food for them in the daytime, and at night kept them under her wings.
One day, this old hen took her chickens down to a small brook. She thought the air from the water would do them good.
When they got to the brook, they walked on the bank a little while. It was very pretty on the other side of the brook, and the old hen thought she would take her children over there.
there was a large stone in the brook: she thought it would be easy for them to jump to that stone, and from it to the other side.
So she jumped to the stone, and told the children to come after her. For the first time, she found that they would not obey her.
She flapped her wings, and cried, "Come here, all of you! Jump upon this stone, as I did. We can then jump to the other side. Come now!"
"O mother! we can't, we can't, we can't!" said all the little chickens.
"Yes you can, if you try," said the old hen. "Just flap your wings, as I did, and you can jump over."
"I am flapping my wings," said Chippy, who stood by himself; "but I can't jump any better than I could before."
"I never saw such children," said the old hen. "You don't try at all."
"We can't jump so far, mother. Indeed we can't, we can't!" chirped the little chickens.
"Well," said the old hen, "I must give it up." So she jumped back to the bank, and walked slowly home with her brood.
"I think mother asked too much of us," said one little chicken to the others.
"Well, I tried," said Chippy.
"We didn't," said the others; "it was of no usexx to try."
When they got home, the old hen began to look about for something to eat.
She soon found, near the back door, a piece of bread.
So she called the chickens, and they all ran up to her, each one trying to get a bite at the piece of bread.
"No, no!" said the old hen. "this bread is for Chippy. He is the only one of my children that really tried to jump to the stone."
We have come to the last lesson in this book. We have finished the First
You can now readyy all the lessons in it, and can write them on your slates.
Have you taken good care of your book? Children should always keep their books neat and clean.
Are you not glad to be ready for a new book?
Your parents are very kind to send you to school. If you are good, and if you try to learn, your teacher will love you, and you will please your parents.
Be kind to all, and do not waste your time in school. When you go home, you may ask your parents to get you a Second Reader.
End of Mcguffey's First Eclectic Reader, Revised Edition, by William Holmes Mcguffey