The very best way to understand the life and customs of a foreign country is to visit it. If that is impossible one may still learn much by reading a story of the people who live there. As this is true of grown people, so is it true of children. They can become acquainted with the children of other lands by reading stories of their simple, daily life, and by living it for a little while within the pages of the story-book.
caro mio?" asked his mother, with a laugh.
"I shall earn some money," replied Rafael. "My boat has shown me how."
RAFAEL'S TRAINED TOPS
It was early in the afternoon of the next day. The tide was low in the canals of Venice. Hundreds of green crabs could be seen clinging lazily to the stone walls of the houses, wherever there was a place still cool and wet from the salt sea-water.
At the base of the two great columns in the Piazzetta, groups of Venetian beggars were soundly sleeping. The gondoliers call these beggars "crab-catchers," because they cling about the mooring-steps of the canals to beg centimes from the passengers in the gondolas.
The Venetian pigeons were also sleeping. Their way of begging is more pleasing t