Blanche was climbing on her father's knee, begging for one of his Sunday stories.
The narration, in his low tones, roused [Ethel] from her mood of vexation. It was the story of David, which he told in language scriptural and poetical, so pretty and tender in its simplicity, that she could not choose but attend. Ever and anon there was a glance towards Harry, as if he were secretly likening his own "yellow haired laddied" to the "shepherd boy, ruddy, and of a fair countenance."
"So Tom and Blanche," he concluded, "can you tell me how we may be like the shepherd-boy, David?"
"There aren't giants now," said Tom.
"Wrong is a giant," said his little sister.
"Right, my white May-flower, and what then?"
"We are to fight," said Tom.
"Yes, and mind, the giant with all his armour may be some great thing we have to do: but what did David begin with when he was younger?"
"The lion and the bear."
"Aye, and minding his sheep. Perhaps little things, now you are little children, maybe be like the lion and the bear--so kill them them off--get rid of them--cure yourself of whining or dawdling, or whatever it be, and mind your sheep well," said he, smiling sweetly in answer to the children's earnest looks as they caught his meaning, "and if you do, you will not find it near so hard to deal with your great giant struggle when it comes."
Ah! thought Ethel, it suits me as well as the children. I have a great giant... and here I am, not allowed to attack him, because, perhaps, I am not minding my sheep, and letting my lion and my bear run loose about the house." (pp. 83-84)
[Ethel's] lion and bear . . . were the greatest hindrances to her doing anything good and great." (p. 87)
from "The Daisy Chain" by Mary Charlotte Yonge