Tales told







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of


Press of J.J. Little & Co.,

Astor Place, New York.


Minnie Slack,

with all fresh young hearts and loving souls akin to her's, this

little book is dedicated,


My little friends, who read the first volume of the "Kettle Club" last

Christmas, will remember an allusion to the introduction of new members

this year. Their history will here be presented.












The Club were all curiosity for some time to see the new members who

were to be introduced into the select circle.

"I am afraid of spiders," remarked the Teapot, with a lady-like shiver.

"If a caterpillar touched me, I should run a mile," exclaimed the


"None of them can reach me," laughed the Kettle with a gurgle of


At last the Cricket marched the strangers in one night, and gave them

places about the hearth.

"Allow me," said he, flourishing his right feeler in the air, "to

introduce to you, friends, some very distinguished additions to our

number,--the travelled Spider, the disappointed Caterpillar, and the

ambitious Wasp."

"How do you all do?" inquired the Kettle very politely, for the Saucepan

and Teapot seemed rather stiff in their manners.

"Very well, thank you," growled the Spider.

"Quite so," croaked the Caterpillar.

"In excellent spirits," echoed the Wasp, folding his gauzy wings in a

satisfied way.

"If it is agreeable to the rest, I propose your all joining the Club,"

continued the Cricket briskly.

"Certainly," assented the Kettle; "the more the merrier, you know."

"I think we should be extremely careful about admitting strangers to our

circle, unless they bring letters of introduction," said the Teapot


As for the Saucepan, she contented herself with looking sideways at the

Caterpillar, and coughing contemptuously. This was not very pleasant; so

the Cricket trotted up to the two rebellious members, and gave them a

pretty sharp lecture upon the laws of courtesy and good breeding, which

served effectually to make them ashamed of themselves. The visitors now

became angry, and began to talk together of leaving without delay,

which naturally distressed the good-hearted president, who was so much

affected by a desire to do something pleasant, that he swung himself

wildly upon the hook, and thereby sprinkled those below with a stream of

scalding water.

"Mercy!" shrieked the Wasp, dancing on one foot in an agony.

"Oh, my back!" groaned the Caterpillar, rolling himself about in a ball.

"What ails you, Kettle?" cried the poor Cricket, running about with his

eye almost put out from receiving a whole drop in it. "Do keep your hot

water to yourself."

The Spider alone was unhurt; so he merely shook himself, and sat

chuckling at the discomfiture of the others.

After doing all this mischief, the Kettle subsided, with many meek


"We can give you references enough, if that is all you want," said the

Wasp snappishly; "but we had better leave, I think, comrades, before we

have another hot bath. My hind leg is completely disabled."

"Do not go," urged the Cricket. "We should enjoy your society so much, I

am sure, when we become better acquainted."

The three visitors looked at each other in silence for a time; then the

Spider said,--

"I have just returned home, and, as it is so near, I do not mind running

in to spend the evening; so I will join the Club."

"I will also," said the Caterpillar in a dismal tone of voice, "only I

am not very good company for any one now."

"Dear me," said the Wasp, airily, "I shall not promise to remain any

longer than I am amused."

The Teapot and Saucepan became more amiable in their behavior as the

evening advanced, and the Cricket hastened to assure the new-comers that

references, other than their evident respectability of appearance, were

entirely unnecessary. They insisted upon producing testimony, however.

The Caterpillar took from his throat, about which it was twisted like a

cravat, a bit of green rose-leaf, and handed it to the Cricket, who read


"I can certify that my esteemed friend, the Caterpillar, will prove

a charmingaddition to any circle.


The Wasp then passed a lump of wax to the chairman, with these words

pecked upon it:--

"I cordiallyrecommend our neighbor Wasp to the society of all

intelligent people, as a most refined and agreeable companion.


The Spider alone of the three gave no letter, but said coolly,--

"I have seen plenty of the world, yet I have never troubled myself with

such nonsense as cards."

"You will not find ceremonies of the kind necessary here," remarked the

Cricket, with a severe glance at the Teapot. "Perhaps you will tell us

something of your adventures, however.

"I do not mind doing so at all," returned the Spider, gathering up his

long legs into a more comfortable position.


I was born in the cellar of this very house, and, for a delightful,

spidery residence, I know of no place to equal the dark, dust-stained

window ledge where I first drew breath. After a long period of absence,

I find my early home has lost none of its charms. This is the case with

men as well as spiders, I am told. The American thinks there is no river

in the world so grand as the great Mississippi; the Frenchman none so

beautiful as the Seine; the Englishman none so famous as the Thames; the

German as the Rhine; and the Egyptian as the sacred Nile,--because home

is represented by each.

"So, too, with me the cellar window has rare attractions: there one can

spin a dainty web to snare the silly flies and gnats, when they come

dancing along, for supper. Never believe the life of a spider is an

easy one, though: that is an altogether false idea. We work hard enough,

although we wear such good armor, and have such sharp, strong claws; for

we live by our wits, and a dull, stupidspider has but a poor chance of

it. First, one has to be on the watch for stray morsels of food, to be

ready for a pounce; then one's net may become torn in some way so as to

require mending; or a wandering spider comes prowling along to try and

conquer a home without the trouble of making it: so between all these

cares there is little leisure time to spare. The class to which I belong

does not have the constant labor that falls to the share of some of our

cousins, who spin their webs from trees, or festoon them about verandas

and other exposed localities, where the wind often blows them about so

roughly, that they are obliged to suspend bits of wood and stone to the

corners to maintain an equilibrium. I have some other relatives, to

think of whom alone is enough to warm any spider's heart with pride.

"Foremost of these ranks the scorpion of warmer climates, where it

creeps into sheltered crannies under every stone or sandy bank, even

inhabiting boots and gloves. When disturbed, out it pounces, with an

angry snap of the claws and a savage whisk of the tail, ready for some

mischief, you may be sure.

"Ah, I wish I was a scorpion, instead of a mere ordinary spider! But

then every one cannot be great, after all.

"Well, even the scorpion is foolish sometimes, as I will presently tell

you. It lives in burrows, which it digs in the ground, the entrance

being formed to the exact size of the insect. By the shape of the hole

people discover the residence, and, when they wish to destroy the

inmate, they pour some water down, to see if the scorpion is at home.

The scorpion detests water; and it no sooner feels the stream trickling

through the opening, than out it rushes, to see what is the matter. To

drive a spade into the hole and kill the scorpion is then an easy task.

"There is still another mode of destroying these princes of our race. A

circle of smouldering ashes is made around the burrow, and the scorpion,

after running for some minutes about the space inclosed, and seeing no

means of escape from the ring of fire, invariably bends its tail up over

the back, and inserting the point between two segments of the body,

stings itself to death.

"I have another powerful relative, to be found in South America. This is

a large hairy spider, two inches long in body, and seven inches with

expanded legs. Only fancy such a size! I should be a mere pigmy in

comparison. This spider is so powerful that it can kill small birds, by

entangling them in a strong web. Think of that!" cried the Spider,

hugging himself with satisfaction.

"You need not turn up your broken nose, Madame Teapot: we are all

murderers; still we do any amount of good, after all, in destroying

insects that would otherwise cause much trouble."

"I don't believe a word of what you say," interrupted the Saucepan. "A

spider kill a bird, indeed! Nobody ever heard of such a thing."

"My dear," interposed the Teapot scornfully, feeling very much angered

at the allusion to her nose made by the ill-bred stranger, "great

travellers always tell fine stories."

"While you stay at home, and, seeing nothing, doubt what we say,"

retorted the Spider half angrily.

"Oh, dear me!" exclaimed the Cricket impatiently, "shall we never have

peace? I was so much interested in your recital, friend, that an

interruption seems very annoying indeed."

"I am glad to find you a Cricket of such large views," replied the

Spider politely; "so I will proceed, if it affords you any pleasure. My

mother had much more experience of the outside world than any of her

neighbors, and, when I was still young, she talked with my father one

night about my future prospects in life. I remember that we children

were in the nursery--a silken tube, very soft and warm for our tender

bodies--when I overheard her remarks.

"'I cannot consent that my eldest son should settle down here at home,

when there is so much to be seen that will improve his mind,' she said.

"'That is foolish,' returned my father wisely. 'He will only fall into

all manner of mischief, and he cannot make himself any thing but a house

spider after all.'

"I never slept a wink afterward, that night; and soon after I gained the

consent of my parents to start on my travels.

"I had an easier time than most insects would enjoy, in leaving the

shelter of their homes. When I was in danger I could generally trust

that my long legs would carry me out of harm's way; and, if I was not

able to escape, I just hid under a stone, or rolled myself up into a

snug ball among the loose soil.

"I cannot begin to tell you all the curious adventures I had, or the

strange things I heard; for I have been away such a long while, I have

forgotten more than half. Still I remember a few particulars of


"I was trotting about one day through a field of dry stubble, when I saw

a pleasant river winding along in the sunlight, and sought the bank. The

first object I noticed was a Kingfisher, seated motionless upon an

overhanging branch, and peering eagerly down into the water in search

of food. A very handsome bird is the Kingfisher, I assure you, with his

blue coat of shining feathers, and scarlet shirt front; but so still is

he when watching for prey, you would not notice him, sometimes, among

the bushes.

"'How are you to-day, sir?' I cried, while still at a distance. 'Are the

fish lively, may I inquire?'

"'Keep quiet, will you?' said the Kingfisher, turning his head

impatiently towards me.

"'There, I have lost a splendid chance through your speaking,' he added

angrily, as a fish darted past.

"'I am very sorry to have disturbed you,' I replied, crawling out upon a

twig, the better to observe his proceedings.

"'I have carried every thing home to my family, and I am now as empty as

a drum,' said the Kingfisher in an aggrieved tone, and then he resumed

his watch.

"Suddenly down he dropped into the water, with a rush that fairly took

my breath away, and, after splashing about furiously for a few seconds,

returned to land, having a small fish in his beak.

"'Ha, ha!' laughed the Kingfisher, 'I've got you at last. Yes, and there

is plenty of room left for some of your plump brothers and sisters


"So saying, he tossed the poor fish up in the air; then, opening wide

his beak, caught and swallowed it with great apparent relish. I was very

much amused by all this; so I said, as he settled upon the perch once


"'Well, well, we spiders are considered terrible butchers by most

people, but we are rather more dainty than to gulp down our meals in

that fashion. I hope you may not suffer from an indigestion, Mr.


"'Do not worry over that,' returned he, cocking his bright eye at me.

Then he flew away, and I scrambled after him as fast as I could, for I

was curious to see how Madame Kingfisher and the babies fared.

"I followed the flight of the bird until he disappeared on the ground

somewhere, and I arrived just in time to see him pop into a hole on the

water side of the bank. I crept into the tunnel, which was originally

made by a tiny animal, the water-shrew, and which had been enlarged by

the Kingfisher to suit the size of the nest. This nest, my dear friends,

I found to be composed of dried fish-bones,--mostly those of

minnows,--and arranged in a nearly flat form, save a slight hollow

pressed by the bird's shape while laying eggs."

"Oh, oh!" spurted the incredulous Saucepan, "that is a worse fib than

the account of the bird spider."

  • volume [´vɔlju:m, ´vɑljəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷;书籍;体积;容量   (初中英语单词)
  • introduction [,intrə´dʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.介绍;引言;引导   (初中英语单词)
  • spider [´spaidə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.蜘蛛;三角架   (初中英语单词)
  • ambitious [æm´biʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有雄心的;热望的   (初中英语单词)
  • curiosity [,kjuəri´ɔsiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.好奇;奇事;珍品   (初中英语单词)
  • kettle [´ketl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.水壶   (初中英语单词)
  • agreeable [ə´gri:əbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.适合的;符合的   (初中英语单词)
  • extremely [ik´stri:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.极端地;非常地   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • thereby [´ðeəbai] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,由此   (初中英语单词)
  • stream [stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河 vi.流出;飘扬   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • mischief [´mistʃif] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伤害;故障;调皮   (初中英语单词)
  • advanced [əd´vɑ:nst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先进的;高级的   (初中英语单词)
  • evident [´evidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的,明白的   (初中英语单词)
  • throat [θrəut] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.咽喉;嗓子;出入口   (初中英语单词)
  • charming [´tʃɑ:miŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可爱的;极好的   (初中英语单词)
  • addition [ə´diʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.加;加法;附加物   (初中英语单词)
  • recommend [,rekə´mend] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.推荐;使受欢迎   (初中英语单词)
  • severe [si´viə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严厉的;苛刻的   (初中英语单词)
  • cellar [´selə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地窑,地下室   (初中英语单词)
  • residence [´rezidəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.居住(期间);住宅   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • mississippi [,misi´sipi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.密西西比(河)   (初中英语单词)
  • frenchman [´frentʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.法国人   (初中英语单词)
  • egyptian [i´dʒipʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.埃及人a.埃及的   (初中英语单词)
  • sacred [´seikrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神圣的;庄严的   (初中英语单词)
  • altogether [,ɔ:ltə´geðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全;总而言之   (初中英语单词)
  • stupid [´stju:pid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愚蠢的;糊涂的   (初中英语单词)
  • constant [´kɔnstənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.坚定的;坚贞的   (初中英语单词)
  • suspend [sə´spend] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.吊,挂;中止;暂停   (初中英语单词)
  • maintain [mein´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.维持;保持;继续   (初中英语单词)
  • savage [´sævidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.野蛮的 n.蛮人   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • insect [´insekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.昆虫   (初中英语单词)
  • opening [´əupəniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开放;开端 a.开始的   (初中英语单词)
  • relative [´relətiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有关系的 n.亲属   (初中英语单词)
  • amount [ə´maunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总数;数量 v.合计   (初中英语单词)
  • otherwise [´ʌðəwaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.另外 conj.否则   (初中英语单词)
  • sunlight [´sʌnlait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光   (初中英语单词)
  • eagerly [´i:gəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.渴望地,急切地   (初中英语单词)
  • scarlet [´skɑ:lit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猩红色 a.猩红的   (初中英语单词)
  • lively [´laivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活泼的;热烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • flight [flait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.逃走;飞行;班机   (初中英语单词)
  • tunnel [´tʌnl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.隧道 v.挖隧道   (初中英语单词)
  • account [ə´kaunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.说明 vt.认为 n.帐目   (初中英语单词)
  • cricket [´krikit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.蟋蟀;板球   (高中英语单词)
  • loving [´lʌviŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.爱的,有爱情的   (高中英语单词)
  • caterpillar [´kætə,pilə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.毛虫;履带   (高中英语单词)
  • umbrella [ʌm´brelə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伞   (高中英语单词)
  • distinguished [di´stiŋgwiʃt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.卓越的,著名的   (高中英语单词)
  • politely [pə´laitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.温和地;文雅地   (高中英语单词)
  • contented [kən´tentid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.满足的;心满意足的   (高中英语单词)
  • courtesy [´kə:tisi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.礼貌;殷勤;好意   (高中英语单词)
  • dismal [´dizməl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灰暗的;阴郁的   (高中英语单词)
  • behavior [bi´heiviə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止,行为   (高中英语单词)
  • testimony [´testiməni] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.证明;证据;表明   (高中英语单词)
  • nonsense [´nɔnsəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.胡说 int.胡说!废话   (高中英语单词)
  • dainty [´deinti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.秀丽的 n.美味   (高中英语单词)
  • leisure [´leʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.空闲;悠闲;安定   (高中英语单词)
  • burrow [´bʌrəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.洞穴 v.(打)洞;查阅   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • invariably [in´veəriəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不变地;永恒地   (高中英语单词)
  • silken [´silkən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.丝制的;柔软光滑的   (高中英语单词)
  • eldest [´eldist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.最年长的   (高中英语单词)
  • wisely [´waizli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明智地,聪明地   (高中英语单词)
  • notable [´nəutəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显著的 n.名人   (高中英语单词)
  • motionless [´məuʃənləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.静止的;固定的   (高中英语单词)
  • furiously [´fjuəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.狂怒地;有力地   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • relish [´reliʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.滋味;风味 v.品尝   (高中英语单词)
  • allusion [ə´lu:ʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.暗指;提及;引喻   (英语四级单词)
  • saucepan [´sɔ:spən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.长柄有盖的深平底锅   (英语四级单词)
  • breeding [´bri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.饲养,教养   (英语四级单词)
  • amiable [´eimiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲切的,温和的   (英语四级单词)
  • cordially [´kɔ:djəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.热诚地;亲切地   (英语四级单词)
  • refined [ri´faind] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精制的;文雅的   (英语四级单词)
  • gathering [´gæðəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.集会,聚集   (英语四级单词)
  • impatiently [im´peiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不耐烦地,急躁地   (英语四级单词)
  • composed [kəm´pəuzd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.镇静自若的   (英语四级单词)
  • gurgle [´gə:gl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&vi.潺潺而流   (英语六级单词)
  • contemptuously [kən´temptjuəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.蔑视地;傲慢地   (英语六级单词)
  • rebellious [ri´beljəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.造反的;反叛的   (英语六级单词)
  • effectually [i´fektjuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.有效地   (英语六级单词)
  • thames [temz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.泰晤士河   (英语六级单词)
  • pounce [pauns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.突然袭击;攻击   (英语六级单词)
  • equilibrium [,i:kwi´libriəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.平衡;均势   (英语六级单词)
  • recital [ri´saitl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.背诵;叙述;音乐会   (英语六级单词)
  • annoying [ə´nɔiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.使人气恼的;讨厌的   (英语六级单词)
  • stubble [´stʌbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.麦茬;短须   (英语六级单词)
  • incredulous [in´kredjuləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不(轻易)相信的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:27:07
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