xt7hhm52g412 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7hhm52g412/data/mets.xml Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows), 1863-1931. 1911  books b92-247-31689419 English L.C. Page, : Boston : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Giant scissors  / Annie F. Johnston ; illustrated by Etheldred B. Barry. text Giant scissors  / Annie F. Johnston ; illustrated by Etheldred B. Barry. 1911 2002 true xt7hhm52g412 section xt7hhm52g412 











THE GIANT



SCISSORS

 



                        Works of
          ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON

               The Little Colonel Series
            (Trade M1ark, Reg. U. .. Pat. Of.)
        Each one vol., large l2mo, cloth, illustrated
The Little Colonel Stories       .                  1.50
  (Containing in one volume the three stories, "The
    Little Colonel," ''[he Giant Scis-or.," and "Two
    Little Knights of Kentucky.")
The Little Colonel's House Party                     1.50
The Little Colonel's Holiuays                        1.50
The Little Colonel's Hern   .                        1 .50
The Little Colonel at Boarding-School                1 .50
The Little Colonel in Arizona    -                   1.50
The Little Colonel's Clhristmnas Vacation            I.50
The Little Colonel: Mfaid of Honor                   I.50
The Little Colonel's Knight Comes Riding             1.50
Mlary Ware: The Little Colonel's Chum .              1.50
Mary Ware in Texas.                    .     .       1.50
T'he above ix vols., bored with The Little Colonel Good
    Times Book, as a Sci of j2 volS                 1.  .  18.00

Trhe Little Colonel Good Times Book.             ,      so
The Little Colonel D))ll hook .1.50
              Illustrated Holiday Editions
Each one vol., small quarto, cloth, illustrated, and printed in
                          colour
The Little Colonel.    .    .    .    .    .    .   1 25
The Giant Scissors                                     2..  .    .    .    1 .
Two Little Knights of Kentucky   .    .    .    .    1.25
Big Brother                                             5.  .         . .              2;
                   Cosy Corner Series
         Each one vol., thin l2mo, cloth, illustrated
The Little Colonel                                   ;50
The Giant Scissors          .                         .50
Two Little Knights of Kentucky                         .50
Big Brother              .    .     .                  .50
Ole Mammy's Torment .                                  .50
The Story of Dago                          ..                .50
Cicely              .    .                 ..                .50
Aunt 'Liza's 11cro                         ..                .50
The Quilt that Jack Built                              .50
Flip' "Islands of Providence"                         .50
,Mildred's Inheritance .                               . 50
                      Other Books
Joel: A Boy of Galilee.    .   .    .    .    .     1.50
In the Desert of Waiting    .    .    .     .    .     .n
The Three Weavers                   .                  .50
Keeping Tryst               .    .                  .  50
The Legend of the Bleeding 1eart                     .50
The Rescue of the P'rinccss Winsome                   . 50
The Jester's Sword                              .      .50
Asa Holmes .      .    .                             1.00



             L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
53 Beacon Street                           Boston,



Mass.



I

 This page in the original text is blank.

 


























































JULES.

 




THE GIANT



SCISSORS



            BY
ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON
AUTHOR OF " THE LITTLE COLONEL,"
  " BIG BROTHER." " OLE MAMMY'S
       TORMENT," ETC.



       Ellustrattb br
     ETHELDRED B. BARRY



       BOSTON
L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
     (INCORPORATED)
   PUBLIS HER S

 


















         CopyrAght, /595
  By L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
          (INCORPORATED)
        All rigAts reserved








Fourteenth Impression, June, rgo8
Fifteenth Impression, September, 1909
Sixteenth Impression, January, 19ii

 




















CHAPTEr.                                PAGE
   1. IN THE PEAR-TREE    .   .   .   .   11

   I I. A NEW FAIRY TALE   .   .   .   .  26

 IIl. BEHIND THE GREAT GATE   .   .   .  47

 IV. A LETTER AND A MEETING .     .   .65

 V. A THANKSGIVING BARBECUE.     .   .  8o

 VI. JOYCE PLAYS GHOST       .    .   . 100

 VII. OLD "NUMBER THIRTY-ONE"     .    . 120

 VIII. CHRISTMAS PLANS AND AN ACCIDENT . 139

 I X. A GREAT DISCOVERY  .    .   .   . I55

 X. CHRISTMAS          .           .   174

 This page in the original text is blank.

 















JULES

WHERE JOYCE LIVED 
"'1 HE IS STOPPING AT THE GATE'
THE KING'S SONS

"HE CUT IT LOOSE AND CARRIED IT HOME"
THE PRINCESS

" HE LAID HIS HEAD ON TIlE SILL"
"IT FELL TO THE FLOOR WITHI A CRASH"
OUT WITH MARIE

"HE CAME TOWARDS HER WITH A DAZED I
     SION ON HIS FACE
INITIAL LETTER
A LESSON IN PATRIOTISM
TRYING TO READ .
"'OH, IF JACK COULD ONLY SEE IT!'"

                        ix



       PAGE
 Erow. Ispiece

     .  1 7
     2 1

       27

   39
       41
       56
       6 I

       67
EXPRES-

       75
       8o

       89

       95
     .  0o8

 


X              ILLUSTRATIONS.

"'B PROSSARD, BEWARE! BEWARE!'"   .      . '"I5
"THE CHILD CREPT CLOSE TO THE CHEERFUL FIRE" 121
JOYCE AND SISTER DENISA                     127
NUMBER THIRTY-ONE                           134
"JULES CA.ME OVER, AWKWARD AND SHY"       141
"SIlTING UP IN BED WITH THE QUILTS WRAPPED
     AROUND HIM"                            149
"'THAT's NUMBER THIRTY-ONE"'                i61
"WALKING UP AND DOWN THE PATHS"             i66
"e KEEPING TIME TO THE MUSIC"               180
" HE -TOOK THE LITTLE FELLOW'S HAND IN HIS". 185

 

  THE GATE OF THE GIANT

              SCISSORS.



              CHAPTER 1.

            iN THE PEAR - TREE.

  JOYCE was crying, up in old Monsieur Gr6-
ville's tallest pear-tree. She had gone down
to the farthest corner of the garden, out of
sight of the house, for she did not want any
one to know that she was miserable enough
to cry.
  She was tired of the garden with the high
stone wall around it, that made her feel like a
prisoner; she was tired of French verbs and
foreign faces ; she was tired of France, and so
homesick for her mother and Jack and Holland
and the baby, that she couldn't help crying.
                    II

 

1 2 THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



No wonder, for she was only twelve years old,
and she had never been out of the little West-
ern village where she was born, until the day
she started abroad with her Cousin Kate.
  Now she sat perched up on a limb in a dis-
mal bunch, her chin in her hands and her
elbows on her knees. It was a gray afternoon
in November; the air was frosty, although the
laurel-bushes in the garden were all in bloom.
  -I s'pect there is snow on the ground at
home," thought Joyce, "and there's a big,
cheerful fire in the sitting-room grate.
  " Holland and the baby are shelling corn, and
Mary is popping it.  Dear me! I can smell it
just as plain! Jack will be coming in from the
post-office pretty soon, and maybe he'll have
one of my letters.  Mother will read it out
loud, and there they'll all be, thinking that I
am having such a fine time; that it is such a
grand thing for me to be abroad studying, and
having dinner served at night in so many
courses, and all that sort of thing.  They
don't know that I am sitting up here in this
pear-tree, lonesome enough to die.  Oh, if I
could only go back home and see them for
even five minutes," she sobbed, "but I can't I

 

IN THE PEAR-TREE.



I can't! There's a whole wide ocean between
us! "
  She shut her eyes, and leaned back against
the tree as that desolate feeling of homesick-
ness settled over her like a great miserable
ache. Then she found that shutting her eyes,
and thinking very hard about the little brown
house at home, seemed to bring it into plain
sight. It was like opening a book, and seeing
picture after picture as she turned the pages.
  There they were in the kitchen, washing
dishes, she and Mary; and Mary was stand.
ing on a soap-box to make. her tall enough to
handle the dishes easily. How her funny little
braid of yellow hair bobbed up and down as she
worked, and how her dear little freckled face
beamed, as they told stories to each other to
make the work seem easier.
  Mary's stories all began the same way: " If
I had a witch with a wand, this is what we
would do." The witch with a wand had come
to Joyce in the shape of Cousin Kate Ware,
and that coming was one of the pictures that
Joyce could see now, as she thought about it
with her eyes closed.
  There was Holland swinging on the gate,



I 3

 
4  THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



waiting for her to come home from school, and
trying to tell her by excited gestures, long
before she was within speaking distance, that
some one was in the parlor. The baby had on
his best plaid kilt and new tie, and the tired
little mother was sitting talking in the parlor,
an unusual thing for her. Joyce could see her-
self going up the path, swinging her sun-bonnet
by the strings and taking hurried little bites of
a big June apple in order to finish it before
going into the house. Now she was sitting on
the sofa beside Cousin Kate, feeling very awk-
ward and shy with her little brown fingers
clasped in this stranger's soft white hand.
She had heard that Cousin Kate was a very
rich old maid, who had spent years abroad,
studying music and languages, and she had
expected to see a stout, homely woman with
bushy eyebrows, like Miss Teckla Schaum,
who played the church organ, and taught
German in the High School.
  But Cousin Kate was altogether unlike Miss
Teckla.  She was tall and slender, she was
young-looking and pretty, and there was a
stylish air about her, from the waves of her
soft golden brown hair to the bottom of her

 
IN THE PEAR - TREE.



tailor-made gown, that was not often seen in
this little Western village.
  Joyce saw herself glancing admiringly at
Cousin Kate, and then pulling down her dress
as far as possible, painfully conscious that her
shoes wvere untied, and white with dust. The
next picture was several days later. She and
Jack were playing mumble-peg outside under
the window by the lilac-bushes, and the little
mother was just inside the door, bending over
a pile of photographs that Cousin Kate had
dropped in her lap. Cousin Kate was saying,
"This beautiful old French villa is where I
expect to spend the winter, Aunt Emily.
These are views of Tours, the town that lies
across the river Loire from it, and these are
some of the chateaux near by that I intend to
visit. They say the purest French in the
world is spoken there.  I have prevailed on
one of the dearest old ladies that ever lived to
give me rooms with her. She and her husband
live all alone in this big country place, so I
shall have to provide against loneliness by tak-
ing my company with me.    Will you let me
have Joyce for a year  "
  Jack and she stopped playing in sheer aston



1 5

 

I6   THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



ishment, while Cousin Kate went on to explain
how many advantages she could give the little
girl to whom she had taken such a strong fancy.
  Looking through the lilac-bushes, Joyce
could see her mother wipe her eyes and say,
"It seems like pure providence, Kate, and I
can t stand in the child's way. She'll have to
support herself soon, and ought to be prepared
for it; but she's the oldest of the five, you
know, and she has been like my right hand
ever since her father died. There'll not be a
minute while she is gone, that I shall not miss
her and wish her back. She's the life and sun-
shine of the whole home."
  Then Joyce could see the little brown house
turned all topsy-turvy in the whirl of prepa-
ration that followed, and the next thing, she
was standing on the platform at the station,
with her new steamer trunk beside her. Half
the town was there to bid her good-by.  In
the excitement of finding herself a person of
such importance she forgot how much she was
leaving behind her, until looking up, she saw a
tender, wistful smile on her mother's face, sad-
der than any tears.
  Luckily the locomotive whistled just then,

 























WHERE JOYCE LIVED.



q I J
v



-

 This page in the original text is blank.

 

IN THE PEAR - TREE.



and the novelty of getting aboard a train for
the first time, helped her to be brave at the
parting.  She stood on the rear platform of
the last car, waving her handkerchief to the
group at the station as long as it was in sight,
so that the last glimpse her mother should
have of her, was with her bright little face all
ashine.
  All these pictures passed so rapidly through
Joyce's mind, that she had retraced the experi-
ences of the last three months in as many min-
utes. Then, somehow, she felt better.  The
tears had washed away the ache in her throat.
She wiped her eyes and climbed liked a squirrel
to the highest limb that could bear her weight.
  This was not the first time that the old pear-
tree had been shaken by Joyce's grief, and it
knew that her spells of homesickness always
ended in this way. There she sat, swinging her
plump legs back and forth, her long light hair
blowing over the shoulders of her blue jacket,
and her saucy little mouth puckered into a soft
whistle. She could see over the high wall now.
The sun was going down behind the tall Lorn-
bardy poplars that lined the road, and in a dis-
tant field two peasants still at work reminded



19

 

20   THEF GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



her of the picture of "d The Angelus." They
seemed like acquaintances on account of the re-
semblance, for there was a copy of the picture
in her little bedroom at home.
  All around her stretched quiet fields, sloping
down to the ancient village of St. Symphorien
and the river Loire. Just across the river, so
near that she could hear the ringing of the
cathedral bell, lay the famous old town of Tours.
There was something in these country sights
and sounds that soothed her with their homely
cheerfulness. The crowing of a rooster and the
barking of a dog fell on her ear like familiar
music.
  "It's a comfort to hear something speak
English," she sighed, "even if it's nothing but
a chicken.   I do wish that Cousin Kate
wouldn't be so particular about my using
French all day long.  The one little half-
hour at bedtime when she allows me to speak
English isn't a drop in the bucket.  It's a
mercy that I had studied French some before
I came, or I would have a lonesome time. I
wouldn't be able to ever talk at all."
  It was getting cold up in the pear-tree.
Joyce shivered and stepped down to the limb

 
IN THE PEAR-TREE.



below, but paused in her descent to watch a
peddler going down the road  ith a pack on
his back.
  " Oh, he is stopping
at the gate with the
big  scissors ! " she
cried, so interested
that she spoke aloud.
"I must wait to see
if it opens."  
  There was some-
thing mysterious
about that gate across
the road. Like Mon-
sieur  Gre'ville's, it
was plain and solid,
reaching as high as
the wall. Only the  -,
lime-trees and the
second story win-
dows of the house could be seen above it.
On the top it bore an iron medallion, on which
was fastened a huge pair of scissors. There
was a smaller pair on each gable of the house,
also.



During the three months that Joyce had



21

 

22   THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



been in Monsieur Grexville's home, she had
watched every day to see it open; but if any
one ever entered or left the place, it was cer-
tainly by some other way than this queer gate.
  What lay beyond it, no one could tell. She
had questioned Gabriel the coachman, and
Berthe the maid, in vain.  Madame Greville
said that she remembered having heard, when
a child, that the man who built it was named
ciseaitx, and that was why thL symbol of this
name was hung over the gate and on the gables.
He had been regarded as half crazy by his neigh-
bors. The place was still owned by a descend-
ant of his, who had gone to Algiers, and left it
in charge of two servants.
  The peddler rang the bell of the gate several
times, but failing to arouse any one, shouldered
his pack and went off grumbling. Then Joyce
climbed down and walked slowly up the grav-
elled path to the house.  Cousin Kate had
just come back from Tours in the pony cart,
and was waiting in the door to see if Gabriel
had all the bundles that she had brought out
with her.
  Joyce followed her admiringly into the house.
She wished that she could grow up to look

 

IN THE PEAR - TREE.



exactly like Cousin Kate, and wondered if she
would ever wear such stylish silk-lined skirts,
and catch them up in such an airy, graceful
way when she ran up-stairs; and if she would
ever have a Paris hat with long black feathers,
and always wear a bunch of sweet violets on
her coat.
  She looked at herself in Cousin Kate's mir-
ror as she passed it, and sighed. "Well, I am
better-looking than when I left home," she
thought. "That's one comfort. My face isn't
freckled now, and my hair is more becoming
this way than in tight little pigtails, the way
I used to wear it."
  Cousin Kate, coming up behind her, looked
over her head and smiled at the attractive re-
flection of Joyce's rosy cheeks and straightfor-
ward gray eyes.  Then she stopped suddenly
and put her arms around her, saying, "What's
the matter, dear  You have been crying.".
  "Nothing," answered Joyce, but there was
a quaver in her voice, and she turned her head
aside.  Cousin Kate put her hand under the
resolute little chin, and tilted it until she could
look into the eyes that dropped under her gaze.
"You have been crying," she said again, this



2 3

 


24   THE GATE OF THlE GIANT SCISSORS.



time in English, "d crying because you are home-
sick. I wonder if it would not be a good occu-
pation for you to open all the bundles that I
got this afternoon. There is a saucepan in one,
and a big spoon in the other, and all sorts of
good things in the others, so that we can make
some molasses candy here in my room, over the
open fire. While it cooks you can curl up in
the big armchair and listen to a fairy tale in
the firelight. Would you like that, little one "
  "Oh, yes!" cried Joyce, ecstatically. "That's
what they are doing at home this minute, I am
sure. We always make candy every afternoon
in the winter time."
  Presently the saucepan was sitting on the
coals, and Joyce's little pug nose was raptur-
ously sniffing the odor of bubbling molasses.
Ad I know what I'd like the story to be about,"
she said, as she stirred the delicious mixture
with the new spoon.   "Make up something
about the big gate across the road, with the
scissors on it."
  Cousin Kate crossed the room, and sat down
by the window, where she could look out and
see the top of it.
  ", Let me think for a few minutes," she said

 

             IN THE PEAR- TREE.            25

"I have been very much interested in that old
gate myself."
  She thought so long that the candy was done
before she was ready to tell the story; but
while it cooled in plates outside on the win-
dow-sill, she drew Joyce to a seat beside
her in the chimney-corner.  With her feet on
the fender, and the child's head on her shoulder,
she began this story, and the firelight dancing
on the walls, showed a smile on Joyce's con.
tented little face.

 

CHAPTER II.



            A NEW FAIRY TALE.

  ONCE upon a time, on a far island of the sea,
there lived a King with seven sons. The three
eldest were tall and dark, with eyes like eagles,
and hair like a crow's wing for blackness, and
no princes in all the land were so strong and
fearless as they.  The three youngest sons
were tall and fair, with eyes as blue as corn-
flowers, and locks like the summer sun for
brightness, and no princes in all the land were
so brave and beautiful as they.
  But the middle son was little and lorn; he
was neither dark nor fair; he was neither hand-
some nor strong. So when the King saw that
he never won in the tournaments nor led in
the boar hunts, nor sang to his lute among
the ladies of the court, he drew his royal
robes around him, and henceforth frowned on
Ethelried.
                     26

 

IL NEW FAIRY TALE.



  To each of his other sons he gave a portiol
of his kingdom, armor and plumes, a prancing
charger, and a trusty sword; but to Ethelried he
gave nothing. When
the poor Prince saw
his brothers ridingT
out into the world to
win their fortunes, he
fain would have fol-
lowed.  Throwing
him self on his
knees before the b
King, he cried, "Oh,
royal Sire, bestow
upon me also a-sword/  
and a steed, that I
mnay up and away to/  
follow my brethren."

laughed him to scorn.
"1Thou asword! ' he
quoth. "Thou who hast never done a deed of
valor in all thy life! In sooth thou shalt have
one, but it shall be one befitting thy maiden
size and courage, if so small a weapon can be
found in all my kingdom! "



27

 

28  THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



  Now just at that moment it happened that
the Court Tailor came into the room to measure
the King for a new mantle of ermine. Forth-
with the grinning Jester began shrieking with
laughter, so that the bells upon his motley cap
were all set a-jangling.
  "What now, Fool  " demanded the King.
  "I did but laugh to think the sword of Ethel-
ried had been so quickly found," responded the
Jester, and he pointed to the scissors hanging
from the Tailor's girdle.
  " By my troth," exclaimed the King, "it
shall be even as thou sayest " and he com-
manded that the scissors be taken from the
Tailor, and buckled to the belt of Ethelried.
  " Not until thou hast proved thyself a prince
with these, shalt thou come into thy kingdom,"
he swore with a mighty oath. " Until that far
day, now get thee gone! "
  So Ethelried left the palace, and wandered
away over mountain and moor with a heavy
heart.  No one knew that he was a prince;
no fireside offered him welcome; no lips gave
him a friendly greeting.  The scissors hung
useless and rusting by his side.
  One night as he lay in a deep forest, too

 

A NEW FAIRY TALE.



unhappy to sleep, he heard a noise near at
hand in the bushes.    By the light of the
moon he saw that a ferocious wild beast had
been caught in a hunter's snare, and was
struggling to free itself from the heavy net.
His first thought was to slay the animal, for
he had had no meat for many days. Then he
bethought himself that he had no weapon large
enough.
  While he stood gazing at the struggling
beast, it turned to him with such a beseeching
look in its wild eyes, that he was moved to pity.
  " Thou shalt have thy liberty," he cried,
"even though thou shouldst rend     me in
pieces the moment thou art free.     Better
dead than this craven life to which my father
hath doomed me!"
  So he set to work with the little scissors to
cut the great ropes of the net in twain. At
first each strand seemed as hard as steel, and
the blades of the scissors were so rusty and
dull that he could scarcely move them. Great
beads of sweat stood out on his brow as he
bent himself to the task.
  Presently, as he worked, the blades began to
grow sharper and sharper, and brighter and



20

 

30  THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



brighter, and longer and longer. By the time
that the last rope was cut the scissors were as
sharp as a broadsword, and half as long as his
body.
  At last he raised the net to let the beast go
free. Then he sank on his knees in astonish
ment. It had suddenly disappeared, and in its
place stood a beautiful Fairy with filmy wings,
which shone like rainbows in the moonlight.
  "Prince Ethelried," she said in a voice that
was like a crystal bell's for sweetness, "'dost
thou not know that thou art in the domain of a
frightful Ogre   It was he who changed me
into the form of a wild beast, and set the snare
to capture me. But for thy fearlessness and
faithful perseverance in the task which thou
didst in pity undertake, I must have perished
at dawn."
  At this moment there was a distant rum-
bling as of thunder. "'Tis the Ogre!" cried
the Fairy. "We must hasten." Seizing the
scissors that lay on the ground where Ethelried
had dropped them, she opened and shut them
several times, exclaiming:
       Scissors, grow a giant's height
       And save us from the Ogre's might !"

 

A NEW FAIRY TALE.



  Immediately they grew to an enormous size,
and, with blades extended, shot through the
tangled thicket ahead of them, cutting down
everything that stood in their way, - bushes,
stumps, trees, vines ; nothing could stand before
the fierce onslaught of those mighty blades.
  The Fairy darted down the path thus opened
up, and Ethelried followed as fast as he could,
for the horrible roaring was rapidly coming
nearer. At last they reached a wide chasm
that bounded   the  Ogre's domain.    Once
across that, they would be out of his power,
but it seemed impossible to cross. Again the
Fairy touched the scissors, saying:

      " Giant scissors, bridge the path,
      And save us from the Ogre's wrath."

  Again the scissors grew longer and longer,
until they lay across the chasm like a shining
bridge.  Ethelried hurried across after the
Fairy, trembling and dizzy, for the Ogre was
now almost upon them. As soon as they were
safe on the other side, the Fairy blew upon the
scissors, and, presto, they became shorter and
shorter until they were only the length of an
ordinary sword.



3 1

 

32  THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



  "Here," she said, giving them into his hands;
"because thou wast persevering and fearless in
setting me free, these shall win for thee thy
heart's desire. But remember that thou canst
not keep them sharp and shining, unless they
are used at least once each day in some unself-
ish service."
  Before he could thank her she had vanished,
and he was left in the forest alone. Ile could
see the Ogre standing powerless to hurt him,
on the other side of the chasm, and gnashing
his teeth, each one of which was as big as a
millstone.
  The sight was so terrible, that he turned on
his heel, and fled away as fast as his feet could
carry him. By the time he reached the edge
of the forest he was very tired, and ready to
faint from hunger.  His heart's greatest desire
being for food, he wondered if the scissors
could obtain it for him as the Fairy had
promised. He had spent his last coin and
knew not where to go for another.
  Just then he spied a tree, hanging full of
great, yellow apples.  By standing on tiptoe
he could barely reach the lowest one with his
scissors.  He cut off an apple, and was about

 

A NEW FAIRY TALE.



to take a bite, when an old Witch sprang out
of a hollow tree across the road.
  ",So you are the thief who has been steal-
ing my gold apples all this last fortnight! " she
exclaimed. "d Well, you shall never steal again,
that I promise you. Ho, Frog-eye Fearsome,
seize on him and drag him into your darkest
dungeon!"
  At that, a hideous-looking fellow, with eyes
like a frog's, green hair, and horrid clammy
webbed fingers, clutched him before he could
turn to defend himself. He was thrust into
the dungeon and left there all day.
  At sunset, Frog-eye Fearsome opened the
door to slide in a crust and a cup of water,
saying in a croaking voice, "You shall be
hanged in the morning, hanged by the neck
until you are quite dead."  Then he stopped
to run his webbed fingers through his damp
green hair, and grin at the poor captive Prince,
as if he enjoyed his suffering. But the next
morning no one came to take him to the
gallows, and he sat all day in total darkness.
At sunset Frog-eye Fearsome opened the door
again to thrust in another crust and some water
and say, " In the morning you shall be drowned;



33

 

34  THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



drowned in the Witch's mill-pond with a great
stone tied to your heels."
  Again the croaking creature stood and
gloated over his victim, then left him to the
silence of another long day in the dungeon.
The third day he opened the door and hopped
in, rubbing his webbed hands together with
fiendish pleasure, saying, "You are to have
no food and drink to-night, for the Witch has
thought of a far more horrible punishment for
you.   In the morning I shall surely come
again, and then -beware! "
  Now as he stopped to grin once more at the
poor Prince, a Fly darted in, and, blinded by the
darkness of the dungeon, flew straight into a
spider's web, above the head of Ethelried.
  "Poor creature!" thought Ethelried. "Thou
shalt not be left a prisoner in this dismal spot
while I have the power to help thee." He lifted
the scissors and with one stroke destroyed the
web, and gave the Fly its freedom.
  As soon as the dungeon had ceased to echo
with the noise that Frog-eye Fearsome made in
banging shut the heavy door, Ethelried heard a
low buzzing near his ear. It was the Fly, which
had alighted on his shoulder.

 

A NEW FAIRY TALE.



  "d Let an insect in its gratitude teach you
this," buzzed the Fly.  "Tlo-morrow, if you
remain here, you must certainly meet your
doom, for the Witch never keeps a prisoner
past the third night.  But escape is pos-
sible. Your prison door is of iron, but the
shutter which bars the window is only of
wood.   Cut your way out at midnight, and I
will have a friend in waiting to guide you to a
place of safety. A faint glimmer of light on
the opposite wall shows me the keyhole.  I
shall make my escape thereat and go to repay
thy unselfish service to me. But know that
the scissors move only when bidden in rhyme.
Farewell."
  The Prince spent all the following time until
midnight, trying to think of a suitable verse to
say to the scissors. The art of rhyming had
been neglected in his early education, and it
was not until the first cock-crowing began that
he succeeded in making this one:

      "Giant scissors, serve me well,
      And save me from the Witch's spell 1

  As he uttered the words the scissors leaped
out of his hand, and began to cut through the



3 5

 

36   THE GATE OF THE GIANT SCISSORS.



wooden shutters as easily as through a cheese
In a very short time the Prince had crawled
through the opening. There he stood, outside
the dungeon, but it was a dark night and he
knew not which way to turn.
  He could hear Frog-eye Fearsome snoring
like a tempest up in the watch-tower, and the
old Witch was talking in her sleep in seven
languages.  While he stood looking around
him in bewilderment, a Firefly alighted on
his arm.  Flashing its little lantern in the
Prince's face, it cried, "This way! My friend,
the Fly, sent me to guide you to a place of
safety.  Follow me and trust entirely to my
guidance."
  The Prince flung his mantle over his shoul-
der, and followed on with all possible speed.
They stopped first in the Witch's orchard, and
the Firefly held its lantern up while the Prince
filled his pockets with the fruit.  The apples
were gold with emerald leaves, and the cherries
were rubies, and the grapes were great bunches
of amethyst.  When the Prince had filled his
pockets he had enough wealth to provide for all
his wants for at least a twe]vemonth.
  The Firefly led him on until they came to a

 

A NEW FAIRY TALE.



town where was a fine inn.   There he left
him, and flew off to report the Prince's safety
to the Fly and receive the promised reward.
  Here Ethelried stayed for many weeks, living
like a king on the money that the fruit jewels
brought him. All this time the scissors were
becoming little and rusty, because he never
once used them, as the Fairy bade him, in
unselfish service for others. But one day he
bethought himself of her command, and started
out to seek some opportunity to help some-
body.
  Soon he came to a tiny hut where a sick man
lay moaning, while his wife and children wept
beside him.  "What is to become of me  "
cried the poor peasant. " My grain must fall
and rot in the field from overripeness because
I have not the strength to rise and harvest it;
then indeed must we all starve."
  Ethelried heard him, and that night, when the
moon rose, he stole into the field to cut it down
with the giant scissors. They were so rusty
from long idleness that he could scarcely move
them. He tried to think of some rhyme with
which to command them; but it had been so
long since he had d