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THE BITTERN.

A STORY ABOUT THE IBEX.

HE Bittern is a solitary GR

GRETA, Greta, come here !

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Father bird belonging to the

is coming over the mountain, and crane tribe. Standing

he is carrying something in his arms,-- not erect, it measures nearly

slung over his back, but right before him; four feet in height! It

and I do believe he has caught the kid has a smooth, black which he promised me, oh! so long ago.' head, and a white throat

Franz and his sister strained their eyes, streaked with red and

but the figure of the hunter was soon lost black. It is found in

in the dips of the mountain ; and while many parts of Europe, Asia, and America.

Greta went in to tell their mother to get Now it is seldom seen in England.

the supper, for father was at hand, Franz The bittern lies hidden during the day,

ran to meet him. and at night feeds upon frogs and fish, small

He was quite right. Jean Marfil was birds, and even quadrupeds. It frequently bearing in his arms a small frightened crearises spirally to a great height in the air,

ture, and over his back was hanging the and makes a loud, screaming noise.

dead mother. It is

But she had not fallen by terribly fierce, and when attacked by birds

Jean's hand, for the body was mangled, of prey it erects its sharp bill and receives

and the little one had not escaped the traces

of blood. the shock on the point; thus compelling

His aim was too true for such the enemy to retreat.

work as this; and as Franz began to wipe Almighty God, in foretelling, by the

the ruffled fur of the kid he eagerly asked mouth of Isaiah, the destruction of Babylon

how it had happened. as a punishment for sin, spake these words,

• Why did you hurt the little one, father? 'I will make it a possession for the bittern,

he asked. and pools of water.'* The meaning of the

I hurt neither of them, my son. I threat was this, that as the Babylonians

would have saved the mother if I could, held the Jews, God's peculiar people, in

but that was not possible. I was on the cruel bondage to serve their own ends, so

heights watching for the chamois, when an they should, in their turn, become the prey

eagle swooped past me. I knew by his of heathen armies; and their beautiful city

cry..that he was after some prey, and I

watched him. should be so utterly laid waste that its ruins

Presently I saw him go should become the haunt of ferocious birds.

suddenly down on the other side of the This prophecy was fulfilled when Babylon

rock on which I stood. I could not shoot was taken and desolated by the Medes and

bim, for he was protected by it. But then Persians.

I saw what a mother's love can do. This The bittern was also mentioned in the

poor thing,' and here Jean tenderly stroked prophecies of vengeance on the Idumæans,

the wild goat's head, so timid generally

, or Edomites,t and the Assyrians; which

did not think of herself when her child was prophecies came true in a very striking

in danger. She defended it while the way.

E. L. eagle was mangling her and tearing her to

pieces. I had to go round to the other * Isa, xiy. 23. + Isa. xxxiv, 11. Zeph. ü. 14.

side before I could get at them, and when

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at last I shot the eagle the poor goat was • How can he,' she replied, scornfully, dying.'

when he is always kept tied up?' Ah! but she saved her kid,' said Franz. I don't tie him up, as you call it, Just as mother saved you by going all

because I am afraid of his getting away ; through the snow for the medicine,' whis- I'm not at all afraid.' pered Greta.

Well, take off the collar then,' said • And now, Franz, what are you going Greta, laughing. to do with the kid ? It will need a great * All right, I will; and you'll see that deal of care, you know. You will have to Romah knows when he is well off.' keep it warm, and feed it with warm milk Greta was older, and she too was fond of from a bottle. I expect you will soon get the little creature; so it was not without a tired of all that.'

certain misgiving that she saw him set 'I will never get tired,' said Franz. free. Romah shook himself, and gave a 'I will keep it with me always

. It will litt
.

little stamp with his foot, and then came not remember the mountains and its own and rubbed his nose as usual against his home. It will be my very very own.' master's hand.

“Ah, Franz!' said his mother, “you will There, now !' said Franz, triumphantly. soon tire of it. See how many things you But, alas! at that moment Jean Marfil, bave put aside : the carpenter's tools, the coming over the mountains, discharged his gardening-everything, when it gave you gun, and Romah fled at the sound. Not a little trouble.'

far, but still too swiftly for Franz; and just Not this, mother. You will sce'

as the boy reached him be gave another And this time the boy was true to his bound, and now he realised his freedom. promise. After many family discussions From hillock to hillock he sprang, and the kid was named Romah. It followed then from rock to rock, Franz following, Franz about the house; and though he calling, entreating Romah to return. Now led it out of doors by a leather thong, it and then a little face peered over a jutting was only because he was so afraid of its rock, as if to mock him; but no persuasions being worried by the big dog Hilda, who were of any use. Far away up the slopes was already veryjealous of the new favourite. and crags, and then into the mountains. Franz watched with increasing delight the The boy was in despair. growth of his darling, and when the little • It is all your fault, Greta,' he said, as horns began to show themselves, they were he rushed up to his room, and throwing examined and measured every day.

himself on the bed burst into tears. ByI don't think he misses his mother one and-bye when he came down his mother bit,' said Franz; "he loves me quite as tried to comfort him, by showing him that well. And he must be much happier down what had happened was perfectly natural. here than up in the mountains, where he The Bible itself speaks of the high hills would have to find his own food !

being a refuge for the wild goats; and the “I believe he would like the mountains other pame for them, the Ibex, means, 'to best,' said Greta, more from a spirit of con- ascend, to mount up. But Franz never tradiction than anything else.

became a hunter,---for might he not hap“I am sure he wouldn't, or why doesn't pen to shoot Romah, mistaking him for a he go ?' '

chamois ?

F. E. H.

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AMONG LIONS.

Sunday after Trinity, which he read aloud,

the children joining in :(Continued from page 104.)

*Lord, we beseech Thee, grant Thy people, CHAPTER IV.

grace to withstand the temptations of the HE Lion of Ignorance world, the flesh, and the devil, and with thinks he will devour

pure hearts and minds to follow Thee the that poor little girl,' only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. said Mr. Swayne aloud, Amen.' as the echo of her foot

After that the children trooped out. steps vanished; but,

When Mr. Swayne reached the porch be please God, we will try

found one waiting for him, however—a and fight liim for her.

heavy-looking lad with the lightest of I fear she is with people who think but hair, and wide-open blue eyes.

He was little of such things. But now, to turn to standing uneasily, and looking as if he had ourselves, I want you children to feel each

something on his mind. So Mr. Swayne for himself, or herself, the subject I have asked, been speaking on to-day. Think seriously

Well, Roger, what is it?' for five minutes what special lions assail • I've been thinking,' said Roger, 'what's your souls: you need not tell me unless

wrong with me, but I don't know what you you like, but tell it to yourselves, and then call it: it's along of Johnny, my little let us all pray to be guarded against our brother; he's a deal cleverer than me, and besetting sins, for such these lions are.'

it cuts me when mother praises him, and I Five very quiet minutes passed, and then

feel bad against him.' little Dora crept up to her father.

“That feeling is Envy, my boy,' said Mr. Father, does my lion mean Carelessness,

Swayne, gravely; "a very troublesome lion forgetting to do things?' she asked.

in your path. But how is this? I always I think it is, Dora,' said he; 'and now thought you were such a good brother to you have found him out, keep watch against Johnny.' him.”

I minded him when he was little,' said Dora went back to her place with a very the boy, looking down, and he thought a set face; she was going with God's help to

deal of me; but of late he's got on in the conquer this lion.

Unfinished tasks, un- school, and he thinks a lot of learning, and punctual habits, the desire for play when I'm no scholar.' work had to be done, all rose up before * And so he rather looks down upon you, her, accusing her, but still her heart never Roger—the little goose! Well, never mind: failed. If she was watchful, God helping your broad shoulders can bear that, I should her, the lion could not devour her.

think. Only don't give way to envy; if The village children, if they wished it, God had thought it well for you He would were less able to express their feelings, and have given you the gift of learning too, Mr. Swayne did not care to urge them to but I think He meant that you were to do so; he waited a little longer, hoping that gain your living by your hands and not they were taking his counsel to beart, and

your head, Roger. then he bade them all open their Prayer- * I should make a poor job of it with my books at the Collect for the Eighteenth head, sir,' said Roger, a smile lightening

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