In fact he was lovesome all over and no one ever denied it. But when he played about and he never stopped playing the wind blew his curly mop into tangles, and when he stood on his head on his bed or the grass or the nursery floor, that rubbed it into tangles; and when he was asleep and cuddled down into his pillows and dreamed delightful things, that ruffled it into tangles.
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So after he was dressed in the morning his mamma was obliged to brush them all out and comb out all the knots and make him look soft and fluffy and lovesome for the rest of. Now of course this might have been very horrid for both of them. He might have wriggled and cried and she might have pulled hard and scolded. But nothing of the sort happened because they were both nice people.
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He was a nice people and she was a nice people. So she used to sit down on a chair by a window which looked right into a big maple tree where birds lived, and Tim used to turn his back and stand leaning his fat little warm body against her knee and then she would comb and brush, and while she did she. Once there was another little boy and his name was Bartholomew Herbert Hubert Ellecompane but of course he was not called all that at once.
When people wanted him they only said Barty and he was quite satisfied, because you see that if every time anyone wanted to make you a present of a beautiful train or a box of caramels, he had to call out "Bartholomew Herbert Hubert Ellecompane" before. Well, Barty was a nice people. If he had not been you would probably have heard crying and seen wriggling in his nursery every morning. He lived in the time when boys wore quite long, curly hair and if your hair is short you don't know how much combing and brushing that takes.
But Barty was so cheerful that he did not mind it one bit and even used to laugh and chuckle and sing songs his hair was being brushed. When the story of the Good Wolf was. Indeed Barty was a great blessing and a privilege. He lived on the edge of a deep forest, and he was very fond of that forest because there were such wonderful things in it things that grew and things that built nests and things that burrowed under the earth and made long passages and little warm caves to live in delightful things. He was not a rich little boy, in fact he was quite poor. He had no toys at all because his father and mother had no money.
When he went to bed. He used to lie and think of all the things he would like to have, and when he went to sleep he sometimes dreamed he had them, which was very nice, but when he wakened they were not there. One morning in the winter he wished very much for a sled because when he looked out of the window all the ground was covered with. If he had not been a blessing and a privilege he would have cried, but he actually didn't. He scrambled down and asked his mother to put on his thick scarlet cap and coat and his rubber boots, and he went striding out into the snow like a stout little robin red breast.
He stamped across the road and stamped across the field to the edge of his beloved deep forest, because he wanted to see what things were doing, the things that build nests and the things that burrow and make little warm caves to live in. And when he reached the very edge where the thick trees began— there he saw sitting up on its haunches and looking straight at him an Immense Wolf. He gave a little jump and turned pale and was going to run away as fast as his rubber boots would carry him, when he suddenly stopped. Usually wolves don't talk, but this one did, and there were such peculiar things about him that Barty actually forgot to be frightened.
But—" and his nice voice became quite fierce and growly and he showed all his white teeth, "when I meet a boy who is a little pig and a torment and who makes life a burden when the tangles are taken out—I tear him from limb to limb! He had thought them very queer at first because they were so very big and tall and pointed, and one was pink and one was blue. But they had been growing queerer and queerer every minute because they had been growing bigger and bigger and bigger right before Barty's eyes.
He shook the pink ear. Once he shook it—twice he shook it—three times he shook it. And out of it fell a beautiful red sled—exactly the kind Barty had dreamed about. He shook the blue ear. And he shook out a splendid train with ever so many cars, and a key to wind it up and make it go—exactly the kind Barty had dreamed about. Then the Good Wolf shook the pink ear and pennies flew out—pennies and pennies and pennies—just like a shower of rain; and while Barty was scrambling about shouting for joy and picking them up, the blue ear was shaken and a purse flew out, so that there was a place to put the pennies in, and Barty picked up enough to stuff it full to the brim.
When Tim's mother came to this part of the story he used to jump up and down and laugh for joy until his face was full of dimples. The Good Wolf was enjoying himself as much as Barty was. He was smiling and smiling and wagging his tail. Then the Good Wolf shook the pink ear. Once he shook it—twice he shook it—three times he shook it and there flew out a beautiful set of harness made of red leather studded with gold ornaments and hung with tiny sleigh bells.
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Barty clapped his hands and jumped up and down more than ever. He had always wanted to be a coachman and once he dreamed that he had a cart and horse. If your mother were to see a wolf galloping off into the forest with her boy she would not know he was a Good Wolf and she would be frightened, and if we met a.
So I must change myself into something else. Once he shook himself—twice he shook himself—three times he shook himself—and then something very funny happened. While he was shaking himself he shook so fast that he looked as if he were standing in a white mist.
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Then he stopped quite suddenly and. And actually instead of being a wolf he had changed into a great big dog the kind of big dog that drags sleds over the snow for the Esquimau people—but he was as white as the snow was. He was so furry and handsome that Barty ran to him and hung round his neck hugging him. He had so wanted a dog and this was exactly the kind he had dreamed about. And Barty did take the reins and jump on, and the Good Wolf began to trot, and the scarlet harness shone, and the bells jingled and jingled, and off they went gliding over the sparkling snow.
IF you never drove over the sparkling snow in a red sled drawn by a big, furry, white dog who is really a Good Wolf in disguise you don't know how delightful it was to Barty and how he laughed with joy to hear the gold bells jingle, jingle, jingling on the harness. When they trotted and jingled and slid into the forest the ground.
The branches of the trees were piled with white softness and the tiny pines and cedars, which were only just big enough to stick their heads above the deep snow, wore crowns and garlands and icicle diamonds. And everything seemed so still so still that you could hear a whisper a mile off. You see it is so white that when they come out to hop or run about on it, men with guns and dogs can see them and that is very dangerous.
But I am going to take you to a place where you will see plenty of them. You are going to see a Snow Feast. I am taking you now. Not one person in all the world has seen it. It is the greatest secret there ever was. If I were not a Good Wolf I could not see it. Only the very nicest people are allowed. It's the way you behave when knots are combed out of your hair, that lets you in.
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Barty was so joyful that he wriggled on his sled and the bells on the reins jingled and jingled. So he trotted faster and faster and faster and faster, and the sled whizzed over the snow and wound in and about between the tree trunks like lightning, but it never struck against anything, or upset or even joggled. It was simply wonderful. And the forest was wonderful. It was so much bigger than Barty had ever dreamed of its being. They went on and on and on and on, past strange trees,. At that very minute they stopped. They were in a big circle with trees growing thick and tall all round it.
The snow looked as if there were a great many tiny hillocks under its whiteness.
I'm always invited. Take my harness off. They went to the largest hillock and stood by it. There was a hole in it, and Barty saw that it was an opening into a burrow. Once Barty shook himself, twice Barty shook himself, three times Barty shook himself, and he did see what happened. He was as small as a rabbit, and as he stood in the snow in his red coat and cap and his tiny rubber boots, he was too pretty for anything.
Barty did follow him, and in a minute he found himself in a place like a wonderful little town under the earth. There were hundreds of long narrow passages like corridors, which crossed each other and ran this way and that, and seemed to have no end at all. The walls and roofs were smooth and brown, and were lighted by thousands and thousands of glow-worms that had fastened themselves.
follow It was like the most lovely illumination. That is their way of enjoying themselves. They polish their lamps up for months before the Feast time. They were so beautiful to look at that Barty could not have taken his eyes from them if the Good Wolf had not been in such a hurry. We must. So they trotted and trotted round corners into other passages, and round other corners into other passages, in and out and farther and farther in the most wonderful and amusing way.
The festoons and garlands of glow-worms lighted everything brilliantly, and presently they began to see all sorts of interesting little animals trotting along too as if they were all going to the same place. The delightful thing was that no animal was bigger than a small rabbit and there seemed to be every kind of animal Barty had ever. There were little elephants and little rhinoceroses, and little lions and tigers and leopards and giraffes, and wolves and foxes and bears, and tiny horses and sheep and cows, and they were all trotting along as if they were as happy as possible.
Look at that tiny elephant trotting by the lion! Why don't they fight? Every one is quite tame.
Related The Good Wolf, by Frances Hodgson Burnett : (full image Illustrated)
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