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Child Life In Town And Country

written by "France, Anatole, 1844-1924"
...ean and Jeanne consented to share amicably what neither could appropriate by force. They agreed that the rod should pass alternately from the brother's hands to the sister's after each fish they caught. Jean begins. But there's no knowing when he will end. He does not break the treaty openly, but he shirks its consequences by a mean trick. Rather than have to hand over the tackle to his sister, he refuses to catch the fish that come, when they nibble the bait and set his float bobbing. Jean is artful; Jeanne is patient. She has been waiting six hours. But at last she seems tired of doing nothing. She yawns, stretches, lies down in the shade of the willow, and shuts her eyes. Jean spies her out of one corner of his, and he thinks she is asleep. The float dives. He whips out the line, at the end of which gleams a flash of silver. A gudgeon has taken the pin. "Ah! it's my turn now," cries a voice behind him. And Jeanne snatches the rod. THE PENALTIES OF GREATNESS IT was to go and see their friend Jean that Roger, Marcel, Bernard, Jacques, and Etienne set out along the broad highroad that winds like a handsome yellow riband through the fields and meadows. Now they are off. They start all abreast; it is the best way. Only there is one defect in the arrangement this time; Etienne is too little to keep up. He tries hard and puts his best foot foremost. His short legs stretch their widest. He swings his arms into the bargain. But he is too little; he cannot go as fast as his companions. He falls behind because he is too small; it is no use. The big boys, who are older, should surely wait for him, you say, and suit their pace to his. So they should, but they don't. Forward! cry the strong ones of this world, and they leave the weaklings in the lurch. But hear the end of the story. All of a sudden our four tall, strong, sturdy friends see something jumping on the ground. It jumps because it ...

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