A Happy Boy HTML version

The goat was tethered near the house, but Oyvind wandered off, with his eyes
fixed on the cliff. The mother came and sat down beside him; he asked her to tell
him stories about things that were far away, for now the goat was no longer
enough to content him. So his mother told him how once everything could talk:
the mountain talked to the brook, and the brook to the river, and the river to the
sea, and the sea to the sky; he asked if the sky did not talk to any one, and was
told that it talked to the clouds, and the clouds to the trees, the trees to the grass,
the grass to the flies, the flies to the beasts, and the beasts to the children, but
the children to grown people; and thus it continued until it had gone round in a
circle, and neither knew where it had begun. Oyvind gazed at the cliff, the trees,
the sea, and the sky, and he had never truly seen them before. The cat came out
just then, and stretched itself out on the door-step, in the sunshine.
"What does the cat say?" asked Oyvind, and pointed.
The mother sang,--
"Evening sunshine softly is dying,
On the door-step lazy puss is lying.
'Two small mice,
Cream so thick and nice;
Four small bits of fish
Stole I from a dish;
Well-filled am I and sleek,
Am very languid and meek,'
Says the pussie."[1]
[Footnote 1: Auber Forestier's translation.]
Then the cock came strutting up with all the hens.
"What does the cock say?" asked Oyvind, clapping his hands.
The mother sang,--
"Mother-hen her wings now are sinking,
Chanticleer on one leg stands thinking:
'High, indeed,
You gray goose can speed;
Never, surely though, she
Clever as a cock can be.
Seek your shelter, hens, I pray,