The Old Willow Tree, and Other Stories

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The Old Willow-Tree

and other stories by

CARL EWALD

Translated by A. Teixeira de Mattos

Drawings by Helen M. Jacobs & G. E. Lee

Thornton Butterworth Limited
15 Bedford St Strand London. W. C. 2

First published October, 1921.

Copyright U.S.A., 1907, by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

THE
ROYAL ROAD
LIBRARY

THE OLD WILLOW-TREE
and OTHER STORIES

THE CARL EWALD BOOKS

Translated by

Alexander Teixeira de Mattos

1. TWO-LEGS

2. THE OLD WILLOW TREE

and other stories

THE NETTA SYRETT BOOKS

3. TOBY & THE ODD BEASTS

4. RACHEL & THE SEVEN WONDERS

THE W. H. KOEBEL BOOKS

5. THE BUTTERFLIES’ DAY


List of Stories

CHAPTER IPage
THE OLD WILLOW-TREE13
CHAPTER II
THE MISTLETOE47
CHAPTER III
THE LILAC-BUSH59
CHAPTER IV
THE BEECH AND THE OAK69
CHAPTER V
THE WEEDS81
CHAPTER VI
THE ANEMONES89
CHAPTER VII
THE WOOD AND THE HEATH101
CHAPTER VIII
SOMEWHERE IN THE WOOD111
CHAPTER IX
THE COUSINS123


List of Pictures

‘You have disturbed my afternoon nap’ (Coloured)Frontispiece.
‘I want to pick some for myself!’ (Coloured)40
The old dog stood on his hind-legs and blinked with his blind eyes50
‘You really ought not to be so wasteful with your leaves, old friend,’ said the bear, licking his paws70
‘Hide me! Save me!’ (Coloured)80
‘Fie, for shame!’ they cried to the beech-leaves. ‘It’s you that are killing us’94
‘Good-bye,’ said the maiden-pink114
There sat the mouse in the sugar-basin (Coloured)128


The Old Willow-tree

1

There are many kinds of willows and they are so unlike that you would hardly believe them to be relations.

There are some so small and wretched that they creep along the ground. They live on the heath, or high up in the mountains, or in the cold arctic regions. In the winter, they are quite hidden under the snow; in the summer, they just poke up their noses above the tops of the heather.

There are people who shrink from notice because they are so badly off. It is simply stupid to be ashamed of being poor; and the little dwarf-willows are not a bit ashamed. But they know that the soil they grow in is so poor that they can never attain the height of proper trees. If they tried to shoot up and began to carry their heads like their stately cousins the poplars, they would soon learn the difference.

For the poplars are their cousins. They are the stateliest of all the willow-trees and they know it, as any one can see by looking at them with half an eye. You only have to notice the way in which they hold themselves erect to perceive it.

The beech and the oak and the birch and whatever the other trees are called stick out one polite branch on this side and one polite branch on that.

“May I beg you kindly to give me a little bit of sunshine?” says the branch up in the air.

“Can I help you to a little bit of shadow?” says the branch down by the ground.

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