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THE IMPROVED

ILLUSTRATED READER.

THIRD BOOK.

1.—THE CORAL CASTLE.

blown laughed an-nounced' for-tress com-mo-tion build ledge cas-tle

pol-yps

de-mol-ished bumpel reef

cor-al

por-poise em-er-ald calmed shoals dis-turbed' stur-geon ex-haust-ed crowds skate e-lec-tric sword-fish per-plex-ity eel

whale floun-der wrig-gle ter-rif-ic 1. Once upon a time, long, long ago, some tiny creatures named polyps began to build a castle

down deep beneath the waves of the ocean.

They worked away silently day and night, unseen by the crowds that

dived about the rocks. One day, however, a skate bumped his nose against something hard.

“My!” said he, “ If the rock isn't growing bigger!”

2. A passing flounder stopped to inquire what was the matter. He and the skate put their heads together, and after finding out that the

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polyps were at the root of it, they resolved to report it to their armed friends.

3. The news soon spread, and when the big and little fishes heard that the polyps were building a castle under their very noses they grew angry.

“I'll soon settle this !” said the shark.

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“ Just give me a chance ! said the sword-fish.

4. They gathered in great shoals from all parts of the deep around the castle. The shark was chosen to make the first attack. He opened his mouth and showed his teeth, and the small fishes flew back a bit, trembling.

5. The shark fastened his teeth in the side

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of the castle, and pulled with all his might, The wall stood firm. 'He tugged and tugged, and then retired in baffled rage.

6. Then the sword-fish began. He made a fearful thrust at the fortress, and caused a great splashing and noise. The little fishes thought that it was levelled with the ocean-bed, but when the waters calmed down there it stood unharmed. 7. “My friend,” said the porpoise,

“I am convinced that this castle can only be destroyed by being blown up. I will bring down a large enough quantity of air to ensure this.”

“Of course the porpoise is right," said the listeners. “Of course it should be blown up.”

8. “My plan,” said the electric eel, with wriggle, “is to send a shock from my battery, which, I am sure, will shiver the whole thing!

9. The fishes looked sideways at the eel, for they never fully understood him.

Why hesitate, my beloved friends,” he added, to avail yourselves of this new method ? Give me, at least, a fair chance."

“Go at it, then!” said the shark.

10. The eel approached the castle, and tapped it with his tail,-once, twice, thrice. The lookerson blinked hard, expecting to see it shivered into small bits. But no change was visible.

“Ha! ha!” laughed the conger eel, “Don't believe a word he tells you. He is the falsest fish in the water!”

11. By this time the porpoise had returned quite full of air. Putting himself in proper

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place, he gave three terrific blasts to the castle, and then-his wind gave out.

But he made such a commotion that the fishes thought it must have been demolished. It was there still, though, and the polyps did not seem to be in the least disturbed by all this battering.

12 What was to be done? In the midst of their perplexity a flying fish announced the arrival of the whale. This was received with great delight, for his advice was of much value. " One swing of his tail will brush away the work of these paltry millions," remarked a sturgeon.

13. Presently the whale arrived. He welcomed with a respectful cheer, and then told of the cause of the trouble. He smiled when he heard their complaints.

14. “My friends," said he, “this is folly. Nay, shark, do not grind your teeth in use

Keep your weapon for other purposes, sword-fish; and, dear cousin porpoise, you seem exhausted. Your efforts are vain. Yonder wall will rise higher and higher. Although built by the smallest creatures in the ocean, it will stand when all your bones are lying bare upon the sands.

The work will creep steadily up towards the surface and defy all the forces set against it.

Who knows but some day your own bones may find a place on the coral reef! And now, excuse me—I must renew my supply of air. Farewell !

15. So saying, he departed. There was much murmuring amongst the fishes, but it was of no

less rage.

use. In time, the words of the whale came true. The walls rose slowly until the tops appeared above the waters. Then a subsoil was formed by seaweed, bits of wood, and bones. Seed was carried by birds and winds, and in time the coral ledge grew to be a beautiful little island, shining like an emerald in the lap of the ocean.

SUMMARY.--Long ago a tiny race of creatures, called the polyps, began to build a castle down deep beneath the sea. They worked silently by day and night. At last the fish began to find out the change which was going on. The skate, the flounder, the shark, the swordfish, the porpoise, the electric and the conger eels, all had something to say and some plan to destroy the walls of the new castle. The whale was wiser, and said that the work would grow larger. The coral ledge, indeed, became a beautiful little island in the lap of the ocean. Ap-proached', came near.

In-quire', ask about. Baf-fled, beaten.

Meth-od, plan. Con-vinced', quite sure.

Re-tired', went back.

QUESTIONS. What were the polyps doing? | the castle? What did the whale What did the skate say? The say?

What were carried by flounder ? The shark ? The birds and winds ? What became sword-fish? Who tried to hurt of the coral ledge at last ?

II.-STEAM AND SMOKE.

cooled boil-ing fan-cied par lour won-der smoke break-fast great-ly tea-spoon dif-fer-ence soot chimoney heat-ed tea-urn ex-act-ly steam dirt-ied light-er weath-er par-tic-les

1. One morning that Willie was in the parlour at breakfast time, he asked why all that smoke came out of the tea-urn.

2. “It is not smoke," said his mama; "it is steam.”

"It looks just like smoke,” cried Willie.

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