For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey is part of HackerNoon’s Book Blog Post series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here: [LINK TO TABLE OF LINK]. The Prince’s Visit
It was a holiday in the city, for the Prince was to arrive. As soon as the cannon should sound, the people might know that the Prince had landed from the steamer, and when they should hear the bells ring that was as much as being told that the Prince, dressed splendidly, and wearing a feather in his cap, was actually on his way up the main street of the city, seated in a carriage drawn by four coal-black horses, and with the soldiers and music going on before.
It was holiday in the workshops, too, and little Job was listening for the cannon and the bells. He was only a poor, foolish little lad, and he did nothing all day long but turn the crank that worked a great washing machine; but when he heard the boom of the guns, he shuffled out and made his way home.
Ever since he had heard of the Prince’s coming, Job had dreamed of nothing else. He bought a picture of the Prince and pinned it up on the wall over his bed; and when he came home at night, tired and hungry, he would sit down by his mother, who mended holes in the laundry clothes, and talk about the Prince until he could keep his eyes open no longer; and then his mother would kiss him and send him to bed.
To-day he hurried so fast that he was quite out of breath when he reached the old house where he lived.
“The cannon went off, mother!” he cried. “The Prince is come!”
“Everything is ready, Job,” said his mother. “You will find all your things in a row on the bed.” And Job tumbled into his room to dress for the holiday. Everything was there as his mother had said; all the old things renewed, and all the new things pieced together that she had worked on so long, and every stitch of which Job had overlooked and almost directed.
“Isn’t it splendid?” he said as he looked at himself in a mirror. Round his throat was a white satin scarf that shone in contrast to his dingy coat, and it was pinned with an old brooch which Job treasured as the apple of his eye.
“If you’d only let me wear the feather, mother,” he said.
“You look splendidly, Job, and don’t need it,” said she cheerfully; “and, besides, the Prince wears one, and what would he think if he saw you with one, too?”
“Sure enough,” said Job, and then he kissed her and started off.
“I don’t believe,” he said as he went up the court, “that the Prince would mind my wearing a feather; but mother didn’t want me to. Hark, there are the bells! He must have started!”
It was a long way from Job’s house to the main street, and he would have to hurry if he were going to see the grand procession. On he shambled, knocking against the flag-stones, and nearly falling down at every step. He was now in a cross street, which would bring him before long to the main street, and he even thought he heard the distant music and the cheers of the crowd.
But just then he stumbled upon something which tripped him. He would have hurried on, but he heard a cry, and a groan of pain. He looked back, and he saw what he had stumbled over. It was a poor beggar boy, without home or friends, dirty and unsightly enough, and clad in ragged clothing, and he was lying on the sidewalk, too ill to move. As Job turned, the boy looked up at him and stretched out his hands, but he was too weak to speak.
“He is sick!” said Job. “Hilloa!” but every one was intent upon the procession, and no one heard him.
“The Prince is coming,” he said; and he turned as if to run. But the beggar would not away from his eyes.
“He is sick,” said Job again, bending down, “I will take him home to mother.”
“Hurrah! Hurrah! There he is! The Prince! The Prince!”
In the carriage drawn by four coal-black horses rode the Prince; and he was dressed in splendid clothes and he wore a feather in his cap.
Job wiped the tears from his eyes as he heard the music and the cheering so far away, but he lifted the little beggar boy in his arms—and started for home.
And as he passed along the street with his burden, he heard a sound of beautiful music as if all the angels were singing together, and he looked up into the blue sky above the chimneys and roofs of the city, and he saw the angels with the Prince in the midst of them moving by, and they were all smiling on him, poor, simple Job.
So Job saw the Prince pass, too.
Horace E. Scudder.
From “Dream Children.” Used by special permission of Houghton, Mifflin Company.
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Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin. 2018. For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/58107/58107-h/58107-h.htm#Page_52
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