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JACK AND HIS GOLDEN BOX
from Child-Story Readers: Wonder Stories 3, by Frank N. Freeman, Grace E. Storm, Eleanor M. Johnson, & W.C. French. Illustrated by Vera Stone Norman. New York: Lyons and Carnahan, 1927-29-36. pp. 43-64
JACK GOES AWAY FROM HOME
Long ago in a great forest, an
old man and an old woman lived all alone with their one son.
Now the son Jack had never seen any other people in all his life. But he knew that there were some more in the world besides his own father and mother because he had lots of books and he used to read every day about them.
One day, when his father was out cutting wood, Jack told his mother that he wished to go out and see the world, and see some other people. He said, "I see nothing at all here but great trees all around me. If I stay here, maybe I shall go mad before I shall see anything."
"Well, well, my boy," said the old woman, "if you will go, here is a big cake for you. You may get hungry on the road."
So Jack took the cake and started off down the road. Soon he met his father and the old man said:
"Where are you going, my son?"
Then said Jack, "I am going out to see the world, father."
"Well," said his father, "I am sorry to see you go. But if you want to, it is better for you to go."
JACK PROMISES TO DO ANYTHING
Jack, the silly fellow, said
that he could do anything. He meant that he could do any bit of work that
would be wanted about the house.
"Well," said the gentleman to him, "if you can do anything, at eight o'clock in the morning I must have a great lake and some of the largest man-of-war vessels sailing before my house. One of the largest vessels must fire a royal salute, and the last round must break the leg of the bed where my young daughter is sleeping. If you don't do that, you will lose your life.
"All right," said Jack. Then away he went to his bed.
He slept till it was near eight o'clock. He had hardly any time to think what he was to do. All of a sudden he remembered about the
THE HUNTING PARTY
But this is not the end of the
story. There is more to come yet.
The gentleman now made a large hunting party and invited all the gentlemen around the country to it.
Jack rode a beautiful black horse and wore a scarlet coat in the hunt.
After the gentleman and all his guests had left for the hunt, a servant was hanging up Jack's clothes. He put his hand in one of Jack's pockets and pulled out the little golden box which Jack had left behind by mistake.
The servant was curious to know what might be in the box, so he opened it. Out hopped the three little red men and asked him what he wanted with them.
"Well," said the servant to them, "I want this castle moved far across the sea."
"All right," said the little red men, "do you wish to go with it?"
"Yes," said he.
"Well, get ready," said they to him; and away they went far over the great sea.
Now when the grand hunting party came back and when the gentleman discovered that the castle upon the twelve golden pillars had disappeared, he threatened to take Jack's beautiful young wife away from him.
Jack begged the gentleman to give him twelve months and a day to look for the castle.
So poor Jack started in search of his missing castle. He traveled over hills and valleys and through deep woods and dark forests.
At last he came to the place where lived the King of all the little mice in the world. One of the little mice was on guard at the front gate going up to the palace, and he tried to stop Jack from going in.
Jack had a good supper and went
to bed. In the morning he and the King went out in the fields where the
King called all the mice together. Jack never saw so many mice. They came
from every barn, hole, field, and cellar. The King asked them whether they
had seen the great beautiful castle standing on
All the little mice said, "No." Not one of them had seen it.
Then the old King said to Jack:
"I have two other brothers. One is King of all the frogs; and my othcr brother, who is the oldest, is King of all the birds in the world. If you will go to them, perhaps they will know something about the missing castle. Leave your horse here with me till you come back, and take one of my best horses. Give this cake to my brother. He will know then whom you got it from. Tell him I am well, and should like dearly to see him. Good-bye." Then the King and Jack shook hands.
JACK HUNTS THE MISSING CASTLE
As Jack went through the gate,
the little mouse on guard asked to go along.
"No," said Jack, "I shall get myself into trouble with the King."
But the mouse said, "It will be better for you to let me go with you. Maybe I shall do some good for you sometime without you knowing it."
"Jump up, then," said Jack.
The little mouse ran up the horse's leg and made it dance. Jack put the mouse into his pocket and trudged on his way.
He traveled for many days. At last he found the castle of the king of the frogs.
There on guard at the gate with a gun on his shoulder was one of the frogs. He tried to stop Jack from going in. But when Jack told him he wanted to see the King, he allowed him to pass.
Jack went up to the castle door. The King came out and asked him his business. Jack told him all from beginning to end.
"Well, well," said the King. "Come in and spend the night with me."
Early the next morning, the King made a queer sound and called together all the frogs in the world. Then he asked them, did they know or see anything of a castle that stood upon twelve golden pillars.
But the frogs all croaked, "No."
Then Jack took another horse and a cake and set out to the King of all the fowls of the air.
As Jack was going through the gates, the little frog that was on sentry asked to go with him. Jack refused him for a bit, but at last he told him to jump up. Then Jack put him in his other coat pocket.
Away Jack went on his great long journey. He traveled three times as far this time before he found the castle of tbe oldest brother.
There at the gates was a fine bird on guard. Jack passed him without trouble and went straight to the King. He talked with the King, and told him everything about the missing castle.
"Well," said the King to him, "you shall know in the morning from my birds whether they know anything or not."
Jack put his horse in the stable; and after having something to eat went to bed.
The next morning he went out with the King into the fields. The King made a funny noise. Soon the sky was black with birds. There came all the fowls that were in all the world. Then the King asked them:
"Did any of you see the fine castle standing on twelve golden pillars?"
All the birds answered, "No."
Then the King said, "Where is the great bird?"
No one had seen the eagle.
THE EAGLE HELPS THEM FIND THE
The King sent two little birds
high up in the sky to whistle to him to hurry. They had to wait a long
time for the eagle to make his appearance. When at last he arrived the
King asked the great bird:
"In your travels did you see the great castle upon twelve golden pillars?"
"Yes," replied the eagle, "I came from there now."
"Well," said the King, "this young gentleman has lost it. You must go back to it with him. But stop till you get something to eat."
They killed a calf and sent the best part of it to feed the eagle on his journey over the seas. Then with Jack on his back, the eagle set out. They traveled across the sea for seven days and seven nights. On the morning of the eighth day they came in sight of the castle.
Now they had found the castle, but they did not know how to get the little golden box.
They thought and thought. At last the little mouse peeped out of Jack's pocket and said:
"Let me down and I will get the box for you."
So the eagle flew down to the great steps. The little mouse stole into the castle and got hold of the box. As he was coming down the stairs, he fell down with the box and was very near being caught. He was all out of breath as he came running out with it.
"Did you get the golden box?" cried Jack.
"Yes," replied the little mouse.
Jack seized the mouse and the golden box and put both into his pocket. Off they went again, and left the castle behind.
As they were flying over the great sea, Jack, the mouse, the frog, and the eagle all fell to quarreling about who it was that got the little box. By looking at it and passing it from one hand to the other, they dropped the golden box to the bottom of the sea.
"Well, well," said the frog, "I knew that I would have to do something. Let me down into the water."
The eagle flew low and the frog dived into the sea. He was down there for three days and three nights. At last he came up, and showed his nose and little mouth out of the water.
At once Jack, the mouse. and the eagle asked him, "Did you get it?"
"No," said he.