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I liked too well thy roguish eye-
And then we talked of many a heap
Now laughing in his merry wit,
A CHAPTER OF ANECDOTES.
BY MARY HOWITT.
OF A RAVEN THAT WENT TO A FAIR.
THERE was, some fifty years ago, a very cunning
and mischievous raven named Ralph, kept at a lonesome farm-house in Derbyshire. He was a great favorite with all the family, though he often created much annoyance and trouble by his thievish tricks. Whatever came in his way which was not too heavy for him to lift he carried off; yet, though everybody knew who was the thief, he seldom came in for punishment, the servants and different members of the family being blamed for leaving anything in his way. Notwithstanding the care, however, which everybody took to put things in their places, Ralph found many
a little article of which he made prize, and many a one which was never missed at the time.
After Ralph had practised his thieving, and indulged his love of secretion for some years, all his hoard came one day suddenly to light. He had buried it in, as he thought, a cunning hole that he had made in the thatched roof of a barn. His treasures grew and grew, and the hole had been deepened and deepened till it was as deep as the thatch itself; and then all his accumulation fell through on to the barn floor. What an endless variety of articles there were !—thimbles, small pieces of money, balls of cotton, knitting-needles, curtain-rings, one or two gold rings, a brooch, sleeve-buttons, two salt-spoons, a mustard-pot lid, combs, little old housewives, pincushions, hair-pins, buckles, and all the multitude of small things that abound in the houses of tolerably wealthy people. There was a world of amusement in the owning of the various articles of Ralph's treasury, and many an old forgotten friend was brought to light; and many another was found of which nobody could give any account at all.