The Fairy School of Castle FrankGrant Balfour
Produced by Al Haines
[Frontispiece: ROBIN OF CASTLE FRANK.]
THE FAIRY SCHOOL OF CASTLE FRANK.
AUTHOR OF "THE MOTHER OF ST. NICHOLAS."
THE POOLE PRINTING COMPANY, LIMITED,
Entered, according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year onethousand eight hundred and ninety-nine by A. BALFOUR GRANT, in theoffice of the Minister of Agriculture.
Hon. G. W. Ross, LL.D., Premier of Ontario, says:--"I have read thislittle story by Grant Balfour, which I can cheerfully recommend to thechildren of Ontario. It is both interesting and instructive, andcontains a useful moral lesson."
I. Romantic Robin II. Fairyland III. The Strange School Class IV. The Advice of Hug-grippy, the Affectionate V. The Advice of the Subtle Snake VI. The Modest Medallist VII. The Fight in the Ravine VIII. Robin's Book
The Snow-White Fox
List of Illustrations
Robin of Castle Frank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Frontispiece_
"How many walnuts are 2 and 4 and 6?"
Crafticus: "I have a cunning plan."
King Muffler: "It is no new thing," remarked the king, "for craftycreatures to get the simple to begin a foolish quarrel."
THE FAIRY SCHOOL OF CASTLE FRANK.
I've found at last the hiding place Where the fairy people dwell, And to win the secrets of their race I hold the long-sought spell. _Havergal._
One hundred years ago, in the great land of Canada, there lived a boywhose name was Robin. His home was in the grand old woods, withwapitis, wolves and bears. It was near the edge of a deep ravine thatopened out on the east by a slow winding river flowing into one of thegreat blue lakes. And the name of his home, though built of wood, wasCastle Frank.
The castle was well-furnished, for Robin's father was a great man. Thebest rooms had comfortable carpets and carved oak furniture, while onthe walls were interesting pictures, representing people of high rank,and battles on sea and land. In one room there was a fine arrangementof muskets, pistols and swords, together with Indian spears and bowsand arrows. In another room there was a library, containing books ofreligion and science, histories and tales of adventure, and story-booksfor children. With the weapons and stories the boy beguiled away manya pleasant hour.
But there was something more pleasant than guns and spears and stories.Outside the castle, in little houses built of wood, with doors andwindows of netted wire, were a number of pets, as foxes, rabbits andsquirrels. To these Robin was greatly devoted, he fed them regularlywith his own hand, and kept their dwellings sweet and clean. In agrassy enclosure where their little cotes stood, he let them haveliberty every day, watching over them carefully, that no harm shouldcome from savage beasts or birds of prey. He had also other pets--awhite pony, big dogs and little ones, and beautiful birds--which heloved much and tended faithfully. So that among all these companionsRobin passed much of his time very happily, even more so than whenaccompanying friendly Indians shooting game in the wild woods milesaway, or fishing from a canoe in Lake Ontario.
A boy that is truly kind to animals will love men and, of course, boys.This quality and what was brave and honest shone plainly in his clear,blue eyes, as they shine in all kinds of eyes that have them.Unspoiled by city dainties, and clad in the grey shooting suit which heusually wore, he looked strong, active and healthy. Yet Robin had attimes a dreamy, meditative look. Away from the stir and hum andengagement of city life, he dwelt in a kind of fairy-land, whereflowers and trees and solitary paths called forth quiet questioningsand aroused reflection, gilded by mystery and imagination. The talesof Indian life, and the stories of mighty giants and magic-workingfairies, told and read in the quaint castle in the evenings, cultivatedthe growth of his imaginative mind. So that, mingled with his naturalbrightness and activity, there were moods that occasionally carried himunder the shade of some elm or maple tree, to sit and see pictures ofwonderful creatures in the beauty and melancholy of nature all around.For this reason his loving mother called him _Inabandang_, a dreamer ofdreams.