All are not fairy tales. Other chapters set forth things to see, thing to do, things to go to, things to know, things to remember. These, sanctified in the blue outdoors, spell “Woodcraft”, the one pursuit of man that never dies or palls, the thing that in the bygone ages gifted him and yet again will gift him with the seeing eye, the thinking hand, the body that fails not, the winged soul that stores up precious memories.
It is hoped that these chapters will show how easy and alluring, and how good a thing it is.
While they are meant for the children six years of age and upward, it is assumed that Mother (or Father) will be active as a leader; therefore it is addressed, first of all, to the parent, whom throughout we shall call the “Guide”.
Some of these stories date back to my schooldays, although the first actually published was “Why the Chicadee Goes Crazy Twice a Year”. This in its original form appeared in “Our Animal Friends” in September, 1893. Others, as “The Fingerboard Goldenrod”, “Brook-Brownie”, “The Bluebird”, “Diablo and the Dogwood”, “How the Violets Came”, “How the Indian Summer Came”, “The Twin Stars”, “The Fairy Lamps”, “How the Littlest Owl Came”, “How the Shad Came”, appeared in slightly different form in the Century Magazine, 1903 and 1904.
My thanks are due to the Authorities of the American Museum who have helped me with specimens and criticism; to the published writings of Dr. W. J. Holland and Clarence M. Weed for guidance in insect problems; to Britton and Browne’s “Illustrated Flora, U.S. and Canada”; and to the Nature Library of Doubleday, Page & Co., for light in matters botanic; to Mrs. Daphne Drake and Mrs. Mary S. Dominick for many valuable suggestions, and to my wife, ..text continues