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´╗┐Title: Adventure of a Kite
Author: Myrtle, Harriet, 1811?-1876
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Adventure of a Kite" ***

(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The University of Florida, The Internet
Archive/Children's Library)



                         ROSE BUD STORIES

                       Mrs. Harriet Myrtle

                             NEW YORK

                        SHELDON & COMPANY

       *       *       *       *       *

                      The Rose-Bud Stories,

                       FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.


       *       *       *       *       *

                       Adventure of a Kite.


                       MRS. HARRIET MYRTLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            New York:

                       SHELDON AND COMPANY.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
SHELDON AND COMPANY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of the Southern District of New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Adventure of a Kite.

One evening, when Mary, her mamma, and Willie had all taken their
seats near the window, and the story was about to begin, Mary
reminded her mamma of a merry adventure that she had mentioned as
having happened when she and her brother and Master White went
out to fly their "new Kite."

"Do, mamma, tell us about that," said Mary.

Her mamma said she would, and after thinking for a few minutes,
to recollect all about it, she began.

One fine, breezy morning in October, Master White came suddenly
to our house, with his eyes looking so bright, and his cheeks so
red from running in the fresh air, and quite out of breath

"What is the matter, James?" we all cried out. "What a red face
you've got!"

"Have I?" said he; "my nose is so cold! I ran here as fast as I
could, there is such a beautiful breeze for a Kite. Come, both
of you, and let us fly the Kite high up in the blue sky; come as
many of you as can, and this day you shall see what a Kite can

Up we all jumped, the Kite was brought down, and away we all
started into the meadows, running nearly all the way, and James
White never ceasing to talk of the wonderful things he intended
the Kite should this day perform.

We arrived in a large, grassy meadow, sloping down to a low
hedge. Beyond the hedge was a very large field, and beyond that
field another large field, which had some high trees at the
farthest end. In the tops of these trees was a rookery; we knew
these trees very well, because we often used to walk that way,
partly because it was a nice walk, and partly because an old
woman, whom we were all very fond of, kept an apple and
gingerbread-nut stall under the largest tree. However, as I said
before, these trees were a long way off--two whole fields
off--more, two whole fields and all the meadow. At the top of the
meadow, near where we stood, there was also a high tree, and at
the foot of this we laid down the Kite.

"O, James," said my brother, "do you think we shall be able to
make the Kite fly as high as the tree we are under?"

"As high!" said James White, "six times as high, at the very

He now carefully unfolded the tail from the body of the Kite,
being very particular to undo all the tangles near the tassel,
which made quite a bunch; but he brought it out perfectly. One
end of the ball of twine was now attached to the body of the
Kite. He then raised it up with the right hand, holding out the
tail in three great festoons with the left, and in this way
walked to and fro very uprightly and with a stately air, and
turning his head in various quarters, to observe the direction of
the wind. Suddenly he dropped the tail upon the ground, and
lifting up the Kite with his right hand in the air, as high as he
possibly could, off he ran down the meadow slope as fast as his
legs could carry him, shouting all the way, "Up, up, up! rise,
rise, rise! fly, Kite, in the air!" He finished by throwing the
Kite up, continuing to run with the string in his hand, allowing
it to slip through his fingers as the Kite rose. The breeze
caught the Kite, and up it went in fine style. It continued to
rise rapidly, and we ran to and fro underneath, shouting all the
time, "O, well done, James White, and well done, Kite!"

By the excellent management of James, the Kite rose and rose,
till we all said, "O, how high! how wonderful!" And then James
White said he was satisfied.

Now you are all to recollect that this Kite was very large. In
the story I told you in summer, where the making of this Kite was
described, you remember that it was said to be as tall as James
White himself, and of course very much broader. The consequence
was, that this Kite was extremely strong. So we all sat down on
the grass to hold the string, which James White said was
necessary, as the Kite struggled and pulled so hard. It was now
up quite as high as the string would allow it to go. But the wind
seemed to be increasing, and James White said he began to be
rather afraid that he must draw the Kite downwards, for fear it
should have a quarrel with the wind up in the clouds, and then
some accident might happen. We accordingly began to draw down the
Kite slowly, winding the string upon the stick as it gradually
descended. But notwithstanding all this care, an accident did
happen after all.

Before the Kite was half-way down, a strong wind suddenly caught
it sideways, and the Kite made a long sweep downwards, like a
swallow, rising up again at some distance, swinging its tail
about in a most alarming manner. "Bless my heart!" said James

Up we all jumped from the grass. "Help me to hold her!" cried James
White; "how she struggles!" Again came the wind, again the Kite
made a sweep down and rose up again, as if indignant--then shook
her tail and wings as if threatening to do some mischief--then made
a quick motion to the right and a dance to the left--then made a
very graceful courtesy deep down, as though she was very politely
saluting the wind, but suddenly rose up with a sharp jerk, as
though she had spitefully altered her mind--and the next moment
made a dart first to the right and then to the left, and continued
to do this till James White said he was sure something must happen.

We all held the string as fast as we could, and tried to pull
down the Kite; but it was impossible, for instead of bringing
her down, we were all three dragged along down the meadow slope,
crying out, "Somebody come and help us! somebody come and help
us!" But nobody else was near. In this manner the Kite was
pulling us along, the string cutting our hands, and running
through our fingers like fire, till at last I was obliged to let
go, and being unable to get out of the way, was knocked down, and
being also unable to roll myself out of the way, my brother fell
over me. James White was thus left alone with the Kite, and was
dragged struggling and hallooing down the meadow slope.

He was determined, however, not to let go; nothing could make him
loose the string; he was determined not to be conquered; but
before he had got to the bottom of the slope, the string of the
Kite broke about half-way down, and up sprang the Kite again
towards the sky, taking its course over the meadow towards the
great field beyond. We all three followed of course, as fast as
we could, staring up, and panting, and not knowing what to do.
The Kite continued to fly in rather an irregular manner over the
first great field. It then made a pitch downwards, and several
tosses upwards, and flew straight over the second great field, in
the direction of the high trees. "O, those trees!" cried James
White, "it is flying towards the trees!"

He was right, the Kite did fly directly towards the trees, as James
White said it would. Just as it arrived nearly over those trees, it
made a great pitch downwards, right into the top of the largest
tree, and completely knocked over one of the rooks' nests that was
built there. We came running up as soon as we could, and then we
saw that it was the very tree, at the foot of which was the stall
of our dear old woman, who sold apples and gingerbread-nuts.

"Make haste!" cried she;--"the Kite is safe among the boughs; I
can see its long tail hanging down. But do look here! the Kite
has made us a present of five young rooks; two are fluttering
among the golden pippins, and three are hopping and gaping among
the gingerbread-nuts."

James White scarcely looked at the rooks; he said he had more
important business to attend to. He took off his jacket, and
immediately began to climb up the tree. In less than twenty
minutes he succeeded in bringing down the Kite, with only two
small rents in its left shoulder, and the loss of one wing, all
of which he said he could easily repair.

We took the five young rooks home with us, and had great
amusement in rearing and feeding them, and as soon as they were
old enough, we took them out into their native fields, and let
them fly directly under the tree where they were born.

An Autumn Flood.

"I am going," said Mary's mamma, on another evening, to tell you
a story about Scotland, and about some children who went there by
sea, in a large steam-ship.

Their names were Charlotte, Helen, and Robert, and they went with
their papa and mamma to visit their uncle and aunt. They went in
August, when the weather is fine, and the days are long. They
left home in the evening, for the steamer was to start at ten
o'clock at night. There was a great bustle when they came to the
place where the ships lie in the river Thames. Many people were
getting their trunks and boxes in, and hurrying about. They liked
to see all this bustle, and to see their own trunks and boxes put
in. Then they stepped on board, across a wide, firm plank, and
jumped for joy to find themselves really in the ship, and going
to Scotland.

It was such a large steamer! They were surprised to see what a
length it was. Then they went into a handsome cabin, called the
saloon, beautifully lighted, with a great many people in it; and
after being there a little while they grew very tired, and their
mamma took them to the cabin where they were to sleep. When they
saw their beds, they all began to laugh. They looked just like
beds made on shelves, one above another. Two were on one side and
two on the other, of a kind of closet. But they soon crept in,
Charlotte and Helen one above another, and little Robert
opposite. The fourth bed was for their nurse, who was going with
them. They were all soon asleep. They never knew when the
steamer began to go fast down the river towards the sea.

In the morning when they awoke, first one and then another heard
a constant "thump, thump! bump, bump!" going on. This noise was
made by the great engine that turned the paddle-wheels, and moved
the ship on. And they felt the ship shaking, and trembling, and
rocking, and then they were surprised to hear that they were
already out of the river Thames, and had got into the salt sea.
They were in a great hurry to be dressed, and when they ran up
on the deck they saw the land on one side of them, and numbers of
ships all round them, with their white sails shining in the sun,
for it was a very fine morning. They tried to count them, but it
was very difficult; Charlotte counted a hundred, and Helen a
hundred and ten. As to little Robert, he was too delighted to
keep steady enough to count, and after trying once or twice,
declared that there must be a thousand.

Very soon they were called to breakfast in the saloon, and sat by
their papa and mamma very happily; but they ran away before they
had finished, to see a town called Yarmouth, by which they
passed so closely that they could see the houses, and bathing
machines, and people. All the morning they had plenty to look at.
They met other steamers, and fishing-boats, and ships, and saw
different places on the coast. But before dinner-time they had
lost sight of land, and saw nothing all round them but sea, and
did not meet so many ships and boats. Their papa then took them
to see the engine, and the great fires down in the engine-room,
and made them look at the paddle-wheels, that go foaming round
and round. Then came dinner-time, and they were very hungry; and
afterwards they amused themselves with running about on the deck
and reading story books. Soon after tea they went to bed and fell
fast asleep.

Next morning they were glad to see the coast again. They were
passing high cliffs and dark rocks, and they saw many sea-birds;
gulls, with large flapping wings, that gave a strange, wild cry;
and divers--pretty little creatures, that swam, riding along on
the waves, and every now and then dipped down quite under, and
then came up again at a little distance. On went the great
steam-ship, and soon their papa told them that the land they now
saw was Scotland.

Presently they came to some very fine rocks, higher than any they
had seen, and then they passed some rocky islands. Now they began
to see a great many large white birds flying about, stretching
out their long necks, and their papa told them that these were
called Solan geese, and that they had their nests on a great
rock, standing out in the sea, called the Bass Rock. They soon
came in sight of it, and when they passed near it they could see
that its sides were all white with hundreds of these geese that
were sitting there, and great numbers were flying in the air over
it and round it. When they were able to leave off looking at all
this, they saw on the top of the high cliff opposite to the Bass
Rock a large ruined castle, called Tantallon Castle, which they
thought very beautiful.

"Do you remember reading about the Black Douglas in 'Tales of a
Grandfather'?" asked their papa.

"O, yes," said first one, and then another.

"Well, that was his castle," he replied.


They looked at Tantallon Castle for a long time, as long as it
was in sight. Charlotte said it was a great pity it was so
ruined, and Robert wished he could see where the drawbridge used
to be.

Now there began to be a great bustle in the ship, for they were
getting near Edinburgh, where they were to land. At last
Edinburgh was in sight. It is the capital city of Scotland, just
as London is of England, and it is very beautiful. They saw it
quite plain from the sea, with hills behind it and on each side
of it, of many forms; some bare and rocky, others clothed with
trees. When they came quite opposite to it, a gun was fired in
the ship. It made such a noise that everybody started, and some
of the ladies screamed. Charlotte and Helen did not like it; but
Robert did very much indeed. Very soon afterwards they came up to
a fine pier, stretching out into the sea, and there they all

"So now they were in Scotland," said Willie.

They found their uncle's carriage waiting for them, and it took
them to his house in the country, about fifteen miles off.

Well, at this place they were very happy. There was plenty of
green grass to play about upon, and there were large, spreading
trees, and sheep, and cows, and horses, and ponies; and there was
a nice garden, with plenty of fruit and flowers. But what I am
going to tell you most about is a little river that ran along
just outside the garden wall; because this little river was the
cause of a curious adventure, that happened in the month of
September, after they had been several weeks in this pleasant

This river was narrow, and rather deep in some places; but in
others it was broader, and very shallow. It was so shallow in
dry weather that you could cross it without wetting your feet,
by choosing some part where there were large stones standing up,
and where there was not much water. But then you must go
steadily. Charlotte could do it very easily; Helen generally
stopped short, after she had placed her foot on the second stone,
and turned back; but as to Robert, he jumped from stone to stone,
and a day hardly ever passed that he did not go souse into the
water, and get quite wet half up his legs. The proper way to
cross was by a long plank, laid from one bank to the other, or
by a little wooden bridge not far off.

You would hardly think that such a little gentle river as this
could suddenly swell into a foaming flood, and do all manner of
mischief. But so it was.

This river rose, or began to flow, among a range of hills at some
miles distance; and when you are older, you will understand how
it is that rivers that rise among hills or mountains are apt to
overflow when there is much rain. It happened one day, when all
the family, except the children, had gone out on a visit, that it
rained from morning till night, and when night came it still
rained heavily. In the morning, when nurse went to dress the
children, she told them to look out of the window. Their surprise
was great to see the little stream, that they were used to step
across, changed into a wide, rapid, foaming river. It made such a
sound that they could hear it quite plain in their bed-room. It
no longer looked clear and blue, but was thick, muddy, and of the
color of red clay. They did not like to see it so; and what was
worse it still rained, and the water rose more and more. The
plank across it had been carried away in the night by the water,
and had gone swimming down the stream. Before they had done
breakfast, they heard that the wooden bridge was broken down; and
now, when they looked out, they saw that the water had spread
half over the meadow on the opposite side. The trees were
standing in it, and looked as if they grew in a lake. The cows
were all collected on a high bank, among some trees, and were
lowing and appearing quite angry and offended at this strange
conduct in the river. The sheep had gone as far as they could out
to the very hedge, to keep on dry ground. The ponies had found a
high part of the field, that had water all round it, so that it
looked like a green island, and were feeding quite contentedly.
Now and then they looked up, and shook their manes, as much as to
say, "You can't get at us. It's of no use to want a ride."

At last it stopped raining, and the children were well wrapped
up, and put on good thick shoes, and went out to look at all this
nearer. On their way they met the gardener running down to try to
save his stack of pea-sticks; but he was too late, it was already
swimming away; all his fine stack, that he had piled up ready
for spring; and he had had so many more important things to take
care of that he had not had time to remove it sooner.

Many things now came floating down on the water. Young trees,
branches, parts of railings and fences, broken bridges and
planks, all went hurrying along, and the water foamed, and
roared, and surged, and looked quite fearful.

While they all stood looking on, the gardener still lamenting
over his pea-sticks, they saw something that looked like a large
covered basket come floating along. It chanced that it passed
very near the bank on which they stood, and little Robert cried
out, "Stop it!" and began to try to reach it with a long pole he
had in his hands, with which he had been pretending to be a ship,
and holding this up for the mast. He could not reach it; but the
gardener took the pole, and after failing once or twice, managed
to push and poke at the basket till he got it so near that the
dairy-maid and nurse reached it with their hands, and pulled it
to the bank. It was only covered with a few arched sticks, over
which a white cloth was fastened.

They all crowded round it to see what it contained. They lifted
up the white cloth. O, wonder and surprise! What did they see?

"What was it? _What_ did they see?" cried Mary and Willie both at

They saw a pretty little baby fast asleep, and at its feet a cat
coiled up comfortably.

"And was the baby not hurt, mamma?"

No, it was quite safe, and did not awake directly. Puss awoke and
jumped out, and ran off before any one could stop her.

The gardener said, that the basket, which they now saw to be a
cradle, must have floated away from some cottage in the village
just above. "Some poor woman is perhaps now in great grief about
her child," said he.


"But we've got it safe," said Charlotte. "We'll take great care
of it, and give it back to her. Let us take it into a warm room."

As she said this the baby opened its eyes and began to cry. Nurse
lifted it up and tried to quiet it, and they all went in with it,
the children kissing its poor little red arms, and saying all
sorts of soothing things to it. When they got into the house,
nurse asked for some warm whey with a little sugar in it. She
said that was the best thing for such a little baby; and it
sucked it in, and seemed to like it, and soon began to smile, and
crow, and kick about its feet, and throw about its arms. The
children were quite delighted at this; and now being happy about
the baby they began to think of poor puss; and Robert and Helen
went out to look for her. They found her just outside the house
door, mewing and making a great fuss. Helen ran away and got a
saucer full of milk, and put it down in the lobby. At this, puss
began to walk slowly in, and then ran up to it and lapped it all
up; and then she let Helen take her up, and carry her into the
room where the baby was.

While they were all engaged in this way, they heard sounds of
voices shouting and calling out near the river, and ran to the
window to see what it was. They saw far out, on the other side of
the water, near the edge of the meadow, five or six men and a
woman, and the gardener was making signs and calling out to them.

"O!" said nurse, "you may be sure that is the poor mother of the

"Let us run out and hold up the baby, to show her it is safe!"
cried Charlotte. "Come quick! O, how happy she will be!"

Nurse wrapped up the baby in a warm shawl, and out they went.
Helen carried the cat, and little Robert came bustling after them
with the cradle, shouting as loud as he could, "They're all safe!
here they are! look here!"

When the gardener saw them coming, he ran and caught up little
Charlotte in his arms, and nurse gave her the baby, and she held it
up as high as she could. The poor woman, who was indeed the mother,
saw it directly, and seemed hardly able to bear so much joy, for
her husband who was by her, threw his arm round her as if to
prevent her falling down. She clasped her hands together--then held
them out towards her child--then raised them upwards.

Mary and Willie could not sit still any longer, they both jumped
up, and began to clap their hands and dance for joy.

"Did she come to the house to bring away her baby?" asked Mary.

Yes; she walked about two miles off, to a part of the river where
there was a stone bridge; it was impossible to get across
nearer, so she came in about an hour.

"But did she see that puss was there?" said Willie.

O, yes; I forgot to tell you that after she had a little
recovered of the first joy of seeing her child safe, nurse held
up Helen with puss in her arms, and Robert climbed up on the
stump of a tree, and held up the cradle as high as he could.

"And then what did they do when the mother came?" said Mary.

She kissed her baby, and cried over it, and held it a long time
in her arms; and her husband, who came also, told them that the
flood had risen so suddenly that it had carried away part of the
wall of their cottage, and swept away everything they had, while
he and his wife were trying to save their stack of wood; and that
when they turned round, at the sound of the rushing water, they
found that the cradle was gone; and then they forgot every thing
else, and ran with several of their neighbors by the side of the
river; but never hoped to find their child alive.

"But it _was_ alive, and safe, and well," said Mary, "with these
kind little girls and little Robert."

And when their uncle and aunt came home they were very kind to
the father and mother. They had their cottage built up again and
furnished, and gave them help in putting their garden in order,
and there always continued to be kind feeling between them. As to
the baby, it grew up to be a fine strong boy, and its parents
named it Robert, in memory of the little boy who had helped to
save it from the water.

The Little Milk-maid.

There was once a little Milk-maid, who lived at a farm-house. Her
name was Sally. On the summer mornings she used to be up and
dressed at five o'clock. Then she took her bright milk-pail on
her head, and her three-legged stool in her hand, and called her
little dog Trusty, and tripped over the dewy grass to the stile
that led to the field where the cows fed. The wild thyme gave out
a sweet scent as she walked along; and the green leaves glistened
in the sun, for the dew was still on them; and the lark flew up
high, and his song came pouring down over her head. When she got
to the stile, she saw all the four cows quite at the other side
of the field. One was called Dapple, one Brindle, one Frisky, and
one Maggie. They saw her get over the stile, but never stirred a
step towards her. Dapple looked up for a moment, and then began
eating again; Brindle did not seem to mind her; Maggie was lying
down, and did not move; and Frisky lashed her tail and shook her
head, and went on eating.

"O, this will never do!" said Sally. "Trusty, Trusty! go and
bring me Dapple."

Dapple was brown all over, except a white face and tail. Trusty
ran behind Dapple, and barked two or three times, just to tell
her to move on. And she began to walk slowly and gravely towards
Sally. Then Sally put down her little three-legged stool, and sat
down by Dapple and milked her. When she had done, she gave her a
pat, and said, "Now you may go." Then Dapple began to eat again.

"Now, Trusty," said Sally, "go and bring me Brindle." Brindle was
all white. Trusty ran up to her, and she began to walk on; but
when she had got to the middle of the field, she stopped to eat,
and Trusty was obliged to bark pretty sharply, and tell her it
was shameful of her. Then she went on and was milked.

Sally next sent Trusty to bring Frisky. She was brown and white,
prettily spotted; but she was sometimes quite naughty when she
was milked, and this time she seemed to mean to be so; for, as
soon as Trusty got up to her, she set off and galloped up to
Sally. Then, just as Sally began to milk her, she walked on, and
left her and her stool behind, and very nearly knocked the pail
over besides. So Sally had to get up, and move stool and pail
onwards, and then she said, "Stand still, Frisky," and stroked
and patted her. So she stood still, and was very good.

"Now, Trusty, bring pretty Maggie," said Sally. Maggie was black
and white, and very gentle and pretty. She came directly, and
stood quite still, and was milked. Then they were all done.

Sally now lifted the pail, which was quite full, on her head, and
carried it so firmly and steadily, that she had not to put her
hand up to it, not even when she got over the stile, and in this
way she walked along back to the farm.

Then she went into the cool, fresh dairy, and Trusty lay down at
the door. The dairy had a stone shelf all round it, with shallow
round pans ranged along it, all filled with sweet, rich milk,
covered with thick, yellow cream. Here she took down her pail;
and first she filled a large jug with the new milk for breakfast.
She then poured all the rest into two or three pans, like the
others on the shelf. Next, she took a flat wooden spoon, and
skimmed the cream off several of the others, and poured it all
into a square wooden machine, called a churn. It had a handle
which turned round. She threw in some salt, and then began to
turn the handle round and round, and it turned a wheel inside,
and the wheel beat and splashed the cream round and round in the
churn. Presently she looked in, and said, "It's not come yet."
Then she turned the handle round again for some time. At last,
when she looked in, there was a large lump of fine fresh butter,
and all about it a thin white liquid, called butter-milk, and all
the cream was gone. She took out the butter, and put it into a
bowl of cold spring water, and made it up into three large rolls
with two flat wooden knives. Next she cut off three or four
slices, made them up into nice little rounds, and pressed them
with a wooden stamp, with a rose-bud and leaves cut out upon it,
and when she took it off, there were the rose-bud and leaves
marked on the butter.

Then Sally poured all the butter-milk, and all the milk from
which she had skimmed the cream, into a clean wooden pail, and
stirred in some barley meal, and carried it off to the pig-sty.
She stood outside the paling of the pigs' little yard, and
called, "Pig--pig--pig!" and out came the pigs from their sty,
little and big, grunting and squeaking and scrambling, and
tumbling over one another. Then she poured all her pailful into
the pigs' trough, and then they began squeaking and grunting and
scrambling more than ever, and put their long noses in, some of
them up to their eyes, and some got their feet in, and all of
them gobbled it up as fast as they possibly could.

After Sally had fed the pigs, she took out some corn, and went to
the poultry yard, and called, "Chuck--chuck--chuck!" and then the
cocks and hens, and ducks and geese, came running round her,
crowing and clucking, and quacking, and cackling, and the pigeons
flew down and helped to eat, and all of them pecked up the corn,
as fast as they could. In the afternoon they had boiled potatoes
and sopped bread and vegetables, and curd, too, if Sally had been
making whey.

When Sally had done all this, she went back into her room, and
opened the bed curtains; and there was lying a little rosy-cheeked
girl with light curly hair. And when Sally looked at her, she
opened two large blue eyes, and held out her arms, and Sally kissed
her, and said, "Are you ready to get up, little Annie?" And she
said, "Yes." This was Sally's little sister, that her kind
mistress let her have with her to love and take care of.

Then Sally took up little Annie, and got a large brown pan for
her bath, and stood her in it, and brought a jug of fresh cold
water to pour over her.

Little Annie stood very still, but when the water was coming, she
held up her hands and said, "Will it be cold?"

"O, no!" said Sally; "it's a beautiful warm morning." Then she
washed and dressed little Annie, and afterwards they had their
breakfast together in a nice comfortable kitchen. Sally had a
good appetite after having been so busy, and little Annie had a
large basin of boiled bread and milk, and she always gave some to
Trusty. This was the end of the little Milk-maid's morning

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