The Water Babies

Illustrated Online Children's Book by Charles Kingsley

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“Dear me! This is even more important! Here is a cognate species to that which Macgilliwaukie Brown insists is confined to the Buddhist temples of Little Thibet; and now when I look at it, it may be only a variety produced by difference of climate!”
And having bagged his bat, up he got, and on he went; while all the people ran, being in none the better humour for having their temple smashed for the sake of three obscure species of Podurella, and a Buddhist bat.
“Well,” thought Tom, “this is a very pretty quarrel, with a good deal to be said on both sides. But it is no business of mine.”
And no more it was, because he was a water-baby, and had the original sow by the right ear; which you will never have, unless you be a baby, whether of the water, the land, or the air, matters not, provided you can only keep on continually being a baby.
So the giant ran round after the people, and the people ran round after the giant, and they are running, unto this day for aught I know, or do not know; and will run till either he, or they, or both, turn into little children. And then, as Shakespeare says (and therefore it must be true) -
“Jack shall have Gill Nought shall go ill The man shall have his mare again, and all go well.”
Then Tom came to a very famous island, which was called, in the days of the great traveller Captain Gulliver, the Isle of Laputa. But Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid has named it over again the Isle of Tomtoddies, all heads and no bodies.
And when Tom came near it, he heard such a grumbling and grunting and growling and wailing and weeping and whining that he thought people must be ringing little pigs, or cropping puppies’ ears, or drowning kittens: but when he came nearer still, he began to hear words among the noise; which was the Tomtoddies’ song which they sing morning and evening, and all night too, to their great idol Examination -
“I can’t learn my lesson: the examiner’s coming!”
And that was the only song which they knew.
And when Tom got on shore the first thing he saw was a great pillar, on one side of which was inscribed, “Playthings not allowed here;” at which he was so shocked that he would not stay to see what was written on the other side. Then he looked round for the people of the island: but instead of men, women, and children, he found nothing but turnips and radishes, beet and mangold wurzel,