I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see,
He is very, very like me from the heels to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow -
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think its a shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
By ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
STORY OF JOHNNY HEAD-IN-AIR
As he trudged along to school,
It was always Johnny's rule
To be looking at the sky
And the clouds that floated by;
But what just before him lay,
In this way,
Johnny never thought about;
So that everyone cried out;
'Look at little Johnny there,
Little Johnny Head-in-Air!'
Running just in Johnny's way,
Came a little dog one day;
Johnny's eyes were still astray
Up on high;
In the sky;
And he never heard them cry:
'Johnny, mind, the dog is nigh!'
Down they fell with such a thump,
Dog and Johnny in a lump!
Once, with head as high as ever,
Johnny walked beside the river,
Johnny watched the swallows trying
Which was the cleverest at flying.
Oh! What fun!
Johnny watched the bright round sun
Going in and coming out;
This was all he thought about.
So he strode on, only think!
To the river's very brink,
Where the bank was high and steep,
And the water very deep;
And the fishes, in a row,
Stared to see him coming so.
One-step more! Oh! Sad to tell!
Headlong in poor Johnny fell.
And the fishes, in dismay,
Waged their tails and swam away.
There lay Johnny on his face,
With his nice red writing-case;
But, as they were passing by,
Two strong men had heard him cry;
And, with sticks, these two strong men
Hooked poor Johnny out again.
Oh! You should have seen him shiver
When they pulled him from the river.
He was in a sorry plight!
Dripping wet, and such a fright!
Wet all over, everywhere,
Clothes, and arms, and face, and hair:
Johnny never will forget
What it is to be so wet.
And the fishes one, two, three,
Are come back again, you see;
Up they came the moment after,
To enjoy the fun and laughter.
Each popped out his little head,
And to tease poor Johnny, said:
'Silly little Johnny, look,
You have lost your writing-book!'