An Esoteric Library

I used to hoard books. Now I hoard epubs. I keep them on my old kindle; I have nearly 2,000 books– and the stack never gets any heavier! Most of these come from Gutenberg, because I like the old authors, and also– free downloads. Many of these gutenberg files have been edited by me, because I like a decent-looking page to read, and also illustrations if I can get them. Here’s a catalogue of some of them, as I fix ’em up.

Read online;

A. A. Milne’s sublime not-a-children’s story Once On A Time:   Start reading here
(and download the book as well)

Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories; Start reading here

Rootabaga Pigeons,
the second book of these wonderful bedtime stories;  Start reading here


The Etext Library

Irish Storytellers; A collection of accomplished spinners of tales, including  James Stephens, Brian MacMahon and the inimitable Padraic Colum

E. Nesbit She is probably best known for her series “The Railway Children” but her output exceeded forty books for children alone.  I have a baker’s dozen that I am working my way through.

Read online; a chapter (about writing poetry) from  The Treasure Seekers

Doctor Dolittle; Seven, thus far. More, I sincerely hope, to come.

Some oddities; The King of Gee-Whiz, how’s that for a name! also a lovely half-a-story by the great Walter De la Mare,  two riffs on Peter Pan from J. M. Barrie, and adventures in baby-sitting from the Victorian humorist W. Heath Robinson.

Frank R. Stockton; The writer of the classic; “The Lady? or, The Tiger?” will charm and  beguile you with his wide range of interests and his fluid storytelling skills.

Read online; The Floating Prince

A Literary Miscellany; Herman Hesse’s  glorious Steppenwolf, with new illustrations from a Spanish artist, and The King In Yellow, a forerunner of the Lovecraftian style of horror.

This is The Con-Fusion

Concatenation, Construction, Conversation, Continuation, Fusion.

These are our blogs;

The Principle of Moments; a multi-braned, multi-brained, experiment-in-progress.

The Dancing Goddesses ; addendum and annotation for the book of that name, by author Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Ronald Smart Writes;  stories and memoirs with a mid-century touch

These are our services;

An esoteric library of epub files 

Slipfoot and How He Nearly Always

Never Gets What He Goes After

“He says to me, ‘I got a foot always slips. I used to wash windows—and my foot slips. I used to be king of the collar buttons, king of a million dollars—and my foot slips.”

How Six Pigeons

Came Back to Hatrack the Horse after Many Accidents and Six Telegrams

“Hatrack the Horse came out. On his shoulders were two pigeons, on his hands two pigeons. And he reached his hand around behind his back where his hat was hanging and he opened the hat and showed Wiffle the Chick two pigeons in the hat.”

How Six Umbrellas

Wherever Dippy the Wisp went she was always changing hats. She carried two hat boxes with big picture hats on her right arm. And she carried two hat boxes with …

How Bozo the Button Buster

One summer evening the stars in the summer sky seemed to be moving with fishes, cats and rabbits. It was that summer evening three girls came to the shanty of …

How Googler and Gaggler

Two babies came one night in snowstorm weather, came to a tar paper shack on a cinder patch next to the railroad yards on the edge of the Village of …

How Johnny the Wham

‘I heard one dirty thousand dollar bill say to another spotted with patches and thumbprints, They kiss us welcome when we come, they kiss us sweet good-by when we go.’

How Deep Red Roses

“I thank them because they took the gold they wanted. Brass feels good to my fingers the same as gold.” And he went on shining up the brass bick- erjiggers on the accordion, humming a little line of an old song, “Tomorrow will never catch up with yesterday because yesterday started sooner.”

How Pink Peony

Now there was a ballplayer named Spuds, came one night to take her riding, out to a valley where the peacocks always cry before it rains, where the frogs always gamble with the golden dice after midnight.


How Dippy the Wisp and Slip Me Liz Came in the Moonshine Where the Potato Face Blind Man Sat with His Accordion How Hot Balloons and His Pigeon Daughters Crossed …

How Dippy the Wisp and Slip Me Liz

The sky shook a rain down one Saturday night over the people, the post office, and the peanut-stand in the Village of Liver-and-Onions. And after the rain, the sky shook …


The Haystack Cricket and How Things Are Different Up in the Moon Towns Why the Big Ball Game between the Hot Grounders and the Grand Standers Was a Hot Game …

The Haystack Cricket

“Her name is Eva Evelyn Evangeline Hummadummaduffer. And her chums and the people who know her call her Sky Blue.”

Why the Big Ball Game

“Passengers in the railroad trains look out of the windows and the tall grass stands up so they can’t see the ball towns. But the ball towns are there and the tall grass is full of pitchers, catchers, basemen, fielders, short stops, sluggers, southpaws and backstops”


The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Pop Corn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back Yang Yang and Hoo Hoo, or the Song of the Left Foot of the …

Yang Yang and Hoo Hoo,

Then when the room was all quiet the shadow of the goose lifted its left foot and began singing—singing just as the shadow of a goose always sings—with the left foot—very softly with the left foot—so softly you must listen with the softest little listeners you have deep inside your ears.

The Huckabuck Family

“It means our luck is going to change, and we don’t know whether it will be good luck or bad luck,” said Mama Mama Huckabuck.


How a Skyscraper and a Railroad Train Got Picked Up and Carried Away from Pig’s Eye Valley Far in the Pickax Mountains PEOPLE Peter Potato Blossom Wishes Three Whispering Cats …

How a Skyscraper and a Railroad Train

Hoom Slimmer reached into a pocket. He took out in his hand a railroad train with an engine hooked on ahead, and a smoking car, coaches and sleeping cars hooked on behind.

“I cleaned it nice for you, Peter,” he said.

Pig Wisps

There was an oyster king far in the south who knew how to open oysters and pick out the pearls. He grew rich and all kinds of money came rolling …

Kiss Me

All night she was out in a snowstorm with a horse and a gun hunting wildcats. And the storm of the blowing snow was coming worse on the second day.

Blue Silver

Long ago when the years were dark and the black rains used to come with strong winds and blow the front porches off houses, and pick chimneys off houses, and …

Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep

Elsie Piddock lived in Glynde under Caburn, where lots of other little girls lived too. They lived mostly on bread-and-butter, because their mothers were too poor to buy cake. As …

The Mezzotint

978.—Unknown. Interesting mezzotint: View of a manor-house, early part of the century. 15 by 10 inches; black frame. £2 2s.

It was not specially exciting, and the price seemed high.

Once on a Time

ONCE ON A TIME By A.A. Milne DECORATED BY CHARLES ROBINSON   GROSSET & DUNLAP Publishers          New York By Arrangement with G. P. Putnam’s Sons     PREFACE This book was …

The King of Euralia has a Visitor to Breakfast

King Merriwig of Euralia sat at breakfast on his castle walls. He lifted the gold cover from the gold dish in front of him, selected a trout and conveyed it carefully to his gold plate. He was a man of simple tastes, but when you have an aunt with the newly acquired gift of turning anything she touches to gold, you must let her practise sometimes. In another age it might have been fretwork.

The King of Euralia Draws his Sword

No doubt you have already guessed that it was the Countess Belvane who dictated the King of Euralia’s answer. Left to himself, Merriwig would have said, “Serve you jolly well …

Belvane Indulges Her Hobby

In a glade in the forest the Countess Belvane was sitting: her throne, a fallen log, her courtiers, that imaginary audience which was always with her. For once in her …

There Are No Wizards in Barodia

Meanwhile “the King of Euralia was prosecuting the war with utmost vigour.” So says Roger in that famous chapter of his, and certainly Merriwig was very busy. On the declaration …

Prince Udo Sleeps Badly

Everybody likes to make a good impression on his first visit, but there were moments just before his arrival in Euralia when Prince Udo doubted whether the affair would go …

They Are Afraid of Udo

This is a painful chapter for me to write. Mercifully it is to be a short one. Later on I shall become used to the situation; inclined, even, to dwell …

Watercress Seems To Go With The Ears

Wiggs gave a parting pat to the tablecloth and stood looking at it with her head on one side. “Now, then,” she said, “have we got everything?” “What about sardines?” …

We Decide To Write To Udo’s Father

“Now, my dear Princess,” said Udo, as soon as they were alone. “Let me know in what way I can help you.” “Oh, Prince Udo,” said Hyacinth earnestly, “it is …

“Pink” Rhymes With “Think”

Udo awoke, slightly refreshed, and decided to take a firm line with the Countess at once. He had no difficulty about finding his way down to her. The Palace seemed …

There is a Lover Waiting For Hyacinth

So the next morning before breakfast Wiggs went up on to the castle walls and wished. She looked over the meadows, and across the peaceful stream that wandered through them, …

Belvane Enjoys Herself

The entrance of an attendant into his room that morning to bring him his early bran-mash had awakened Udo. As soon as she was gone he jumped up, shook the …

Udo Behaves Like a Gentleman

“And now,” said Coronel, “we’d better decide what to do.” “But I don’t mind what we do now,” said Hyacinth happily. “She may have the throne and Father and Udo, …

A Serpent Coming After Udo

Belvane had now had twenty-four hours in which to think it over. Whatever her faults, she had a sense of humour. She could not help smiling to herself as she …

the Seventeen Volumes Go Back Again

King Merriwig of Eastern Euralia sat at breakfast on his castle walls. He lifted the gold cover from the gold dish in front of him, selected a trout, and conveyed …

The Floating Prince

“If I want a kingdom, I must build up one for myself, and that is just what I will do. I will gather together my subjects as I go along. The first person I meet shall be my chief councilor of state, the second shall be head of the army, the third shall be admiral of the navy, the next shall be chief treasurer, and then I will collect subjects of various classes.”

from the collection of stories by Frank Stockton

The Story of Little Cacinella

Little Cacinella (ladybug) looked around and said, “Very nice.” She stretched her tiny wings, rubbed one little thin leg against the other, looked around again and said:”How very, very nice! How warm the sun! How blue the sky! How green the grass! How very, very nice! and all this is mine!”

Chapter 4. Good Hunting

‘A Princess or a poetry book,’ said Noel sleepily. He was lying on his back on the sofa, kicking his legs. ‘Only I shall look for the Princess all by myself. But I’ll let you see her when we’re married.’
‘Have you got enough poetry to make a book?’ Dicky asked that, and it was rather sensible of him, because when Noel came to look there were only seven of his poems that any of us could understand.

(an excerpt from The Treasure Seekers, by E. Nesbit.)

Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga stories

Front matter 1.Three Stories About the Finding of the Zigzag Railroad, the Pigs with Bibs On, the Circus Clown Ovens, the Village of Liver-and-Onions, the Village of Cream Puffs. How …

How Gimme the Ax Found Out About the Zigzag Railroad and Who Made It Zigzag

“Long ago,” said the Potato Face Blind Man, “long before the necktie poppies began growing in the backyard, long before there was a necktie scarf like yours with whiteface pony spots on a green frog swimming in the moonshine, back in the old days when they laid the rails for the railroad they laid the rails straight.”

Sand Flat Shadows

Fire the Goat and Flim the Goose slept out. Stub pines stood over them. And away up next over the stub pines were stars. It was a white sand flat …

How the Animals Lost Their Tails

So the Committee of Sixty Six had a meeting and a parleyhoo to decide what steps could be taken by talking to do something. For chairman they picked an old flongboo who was an umpire and used to umpire many mix-ups.