THE NAUGHTY BOY
There was once an old poet—a very good old poet. One evening, as he sat at home, there was dreadfully bad weather outside. The rain streamed down: but the old poet sat comfortably by his stove, where the fire was burning and the roasting apples were hissing.
1 There won't be a dry thread left on the poor people who are out in this weather ! ' said he, for he was a good old poet.
' Oh, open to me ! I am cold and quite wet,' said a little child outside ; and it cried, and knocked at the door, while the rain streamed down, and the wind made all the casements rattle.
' You poor little creature ! ' said the poet; and he went to open the door. There stood a little boy ; he was quite naked, and the water ran in streams from his long fair curls. He was shivering with cold, and had he not been let in, he would certainly have perished in the bad weather.
' You poor little creature ! ' said the poet, and took him by the hand, ' come to me, and I will warm you. You shall have wine and an apple, for you are a pretty boy.'
And so he was. His eyes sparkled like two bright stars, and though the water ran down from his fair curls, they fell in beautiful ringlets. He looked like a little angel-child, but was white with cold and trembled all over. In his hand he carried a lovely bow, but it looked quite spoiled by the wet; all the colours in the beautiful arrows had been blurred together by the rain.
The old poet sat down by the stove, took the little boy on his knees, pressed the water out of the long curls, warmed his hands in his own, and heated sweet wine for him; then the boy recovered himself, and his cheeks grew red and he jumped to the floor and danced round the old poet. You are a merry boy,' said the old poet. ' What is your name ? '
1 My name is Cupid,' he replied ; ' don't you know me ? There lies my bow—I shoot with that, you may believe me ! See, now the weather is clearing up outside, and the moon shines.'