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Soap-Bubble Stories
For Children

written by "Barry, Fanny" he comes into School, we'll let them off. What an explosion there'll be! He will be frightened! No more sums and dates after that. Hurrah! Hurrah!" The scholars jumped about with delight when they heard the young Bears' idea, and eagerly agreed to join in the mischief. Their mothers were quite surprised the next morning to see with what alacrity they all started for School—half-an-hour earlier than their usual custom—and Fru Bjornson remarked to her old servant that "she really believed the[Pg 182] children were beginning to take an interest in their studies at last!" The old Badger had not yet finished breakfast in his cottage by the School-house; so his pupils were able to enter the School-room unobserved, and had soon carried out their simple arrangements. An oiled string was attached, winding up the leg of the table to the fireworks; and the end was to be lighted by Knut the moment Herr Badger had seated himself. Everything being completed, the scholars seized their books; and when their master appeared in the doorway, murmured a respectful greeting, to which he responded by a stately bow. "Your slates, pupils. We will commence as usual with a few easy sums." A subdued groan broke from the scholars; and Knut—stooping down under pretence of tying up his shoe—applied a match to the string, while his companions shuffled as loudly as possible, to hide the sound of the striking. "Silence, if you please!" shouted the Badger. "Have you come to school to dance the polka? Attend to this little problem immediately, and mind it is correctly answered. If 10,000 Bears and a Pole-cat, ran round a tree 1,500 times and a half, in an hour and ten minutes; each knocking off one leaf and three-quarters every time he ran round—how many leaves would be knocked off in a fortnight?" "They couldn't do it," muttered a hedgehog derisively.[Pg 183] "There wouldn't be room for a quarter of them!" "M...

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