In the "Beacon Second Reader" the author has chosen for his stories only those of recognized literary merit; and while it has been necessary to rearrange and sometimes rewrite them for the purpose of simplification, yet he has endeavored to retain the spirit which has served to endear these ancient tales to the children of all ages. The fairy story appeals particularly to children who are in the second school year. It has been proved by our ablest psychologists that at about this period of development, children are especially susceptible to the stimulus of the old folklore. They are in fact passing through the stage which corresponds to the dawn of the human race, when demons, dragons, fairies, and hobgoblins were as firmly believed in as rivers and mountains.
eaned over the edge of the bowl to see how it was made.
He slipped, and in he went, head first.
His mother did not see him fall, and kept stirring and stirring the pudding.
Tom could not see nor hear, but he kicked and kicked inside the pudding.
The pudding moved and tossed about.
His mother was afraid.
She did not know what to think.
"There must be witches in it," she said.
She went to the window to throw the pudding out.
Just then a poor beggar was passing by the house.
"Here is a pudding you may have, if you like," said Tom's mother.
The beggar thanked her and put it into his basket.
He had not gone very far, when Tom got his head out of the pudding and shouted in a shrill voice:
"Take me out! take me out!"
The poor beggar was so frightened that he dropped his basket, pudding and all, and ran off as fast as he could.
Tom crawled out of the pudding, climbed out of the basket, and ran home.
His mother washed him and put him to bed.