Page:St. Nicholas - Volume 41, Part 1.djvu/75

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

THE BROWNIES BUILD A BRIDGE

St Nicholas-V41-P1-075.jpg

Will we erect from side to side
A structure which will bridge the tide.”
Another said: “A year or two
Ago a scheme like this fell through;
But workmen left their things about
To carry on the plan laid out.
We ’ll take the stuff from where it lies,
And build a bridge for a surprise;
When in the morning people flock
To cross the stream, they ’ll have a shock.
’T will be a joy to leave the log,
The stone, and water to the frog,
And cross upon our airy way
Without a cent of toll to pay.”
Material was near hand,
Which was good fortune for the band,
And soon a stream of Brownies flowed
Both to and fro—some with a load,
And more in haste to heed the cry
Of those whose arms were piled too high.
But willing hands are never slow,
And soon the bridge began to grow.
Some in mid-air the birds surprised,
Swinging on ropes with hooks devised,
To make things safe, if that could be.
’T was an exciting thing to see!
Indeed, a Brownie, without guy
Or safety hitch or fixture nigh,
Swinging and turning, is, I say,
A sight to take the breath away.
At times, a hammer, bolt, or bar
Would slip and spread a panic far.
Perhaps a wrench would rattle down
And light upon a Brownie’s crown
While bending at some labor there
That called for all his time and care,
Then skip half-way the span across,
To splash into the stream, a loss.
But work in air at risk of neck

61