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´╗┐Title: All About Johnnie Jones
Author: Verhoeff, Carolyn
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 "All About Johnnie Jones" ***

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All About Johnnie Jones



[Illustration: Johnnie Jones]



_All About_ JOHNNIE JONES

BY

Carolyn Verhoeff


ILLUSTRATED BY

Diantha W. Horne


SEVENTH EDITION


                  *       *       *       *       *

                            _Published by_
                        Milton Bradley Company
                     SPRINGFIELD :: MASSACHUSETTS


                          Copyright, 1907, by
                        MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY
                          SPRINGFIELD, MASS.



                           In Loving Memory
                                 _of_
               _The_ Beautiful Life _of One_ Little Child
                        =Meldrum Adams Hartwell=
                             (1891-1896)
                      These Stories are Dedicated
                                 _to_
                          All Little Children

                  *       *       *       *       *


    These stories have been written with but one object, to give
    pleasure to little children, while helping them to realize,
    in so far as they are able, the highest ideals of childhood.

    CAROLYN VERHOEFF

                  *       *       *       *       *



INTRODUCTION


It gives me sincere pleasure to introduce to mothers and kindergartners
a pioneer writer in the unexplored field of simple, realistic stories
for little children.

Miss Verhoeff is a trained kindergartner who has brought to her
profession a college training as well as a true devotion to children.

It was in one of the free kindergartens situated in the less fortunate
localities of Louisville that the stories of Johnnie Jones came into
being, and grew in response to the demand of the little ones for
stories about real children.

In the beautiful world of fairy-lore we have a rich and splendidly
exploited field of immortal literature. The old, old stories of
fairies and elves, of giants and dwarfs, of genii, princes, and knights
with their wonder-working wands, rings and swords, will never grow
threadbare; while the spiritual, artistic and literary value of these
stories in the life of child-imagination can never be overestimated.
Enchanting and valuable as they are, however, they should not blind us
to the need for standard realistic stories of equal literary and poetic
merit.

A child needs not only the touch of the wonder-working wand which
transports him to a land of fascinating unrealities, but also the
artistic story which reflects the every-day experiences of real life;
artistic in that it touches these daily experiences with an idealism
revealing the significance and beauty of that which the jaded taste of
the adult designates as "commonplace." That all children crave the story
which is, or might be, true is evidenced by the expression of their
faces when their inevitable question, "is it really true?" or "did it
really happen?" is answered in the affirmative.

Perhaps some of us can recall the pleasure derived from old-fashioned
school readers of an earlier day. With all their faults they at least
did not overlook the value of standard realistic stories. In these
readers was found the very moral story of the boy who won the day
because of his forethought in providing an extra piece of whipcord.
There was also "Meddlesome Matty," and the honest office-boy, the heroic
lad of Holland, and the story of the newly liberated prisoner who bought
a cage full of captive birds and set them free. These and many others
still persist in memory, and point with unerring aim to standards of
human behavior under conditions which are both possible and probable.
In spite of their imperfections and stern morality these stories were
valuable because they recited the fundamental events of human and animal
existence, in relations which revealed the inevitable law of cause and
effect, and the ethical and poetic significance of man's relation to
all life.

As soon as children begin to realize the distinction between the
world of make-believe and the world of actuality, or, as one small boy
expressed it, "what I can see with my eyes shut, and what I can see when
I open them," they are fascinated with stories of real life, of "when
Father was a little boy," or "when Mother was a little girl," or "when
you were a tiny baby." This demand of the child for realistic stories
is the expression of a real want which should be satisfied with good
literature.

Before children are enabled by their experience to discriminate between
the imaginary and the actual world, they make no distinction between the
story of real life and the fairy tale. During this early period a story
relating the most ordinary events of every-day life is accepted in the
same spirit, and may provoke as much or as little wonder, as the story
dealing with the most marvelous happenings of the supernatural world.
For to the child at this stage of development it is no more wonderful
that trees and animals should converse in the language of men than that
a little boy should do so. Until children learn that, as a matter of
fact, plants and animals do not participate in all of the human
activities, they regard as perfectly natural stories in which such
participation is taken for granted. On the other hand a realistic story
representing some of the most universal aspects of human existence may
provoke surprise as the child discovers that his own experiences are
common to many other lives and homes. This was evidenced by the remark
of a small boy who, at the end of a story relating the necessary
sequence of activities common to the countless thousands of heroic
mothers, washing and ironing the family linen, waggishly shook his
finger at the narrator, and with a beaming smile, said: "Now you know
that it is _my_ Ma and Tootsie you are telling about!" John had not
discovered the fact that the story which reflected the daily service of
his beloved mother reflected equally well the service of thousands of
other mothers. He saw only the personal experience in the common reality
and recognized it with joy. When through similar stories of daily life a
child learns to know that his experiences constitute the common lot, his
first feeling of surprise gives place to a greater joy, and sympathy is
born.

The stories of Johnnie Jones were not premeditated but grew in response
to daily requests for "more about Johnnie Jones." They are the record of
a most ordinary little boy, good as can be to-day, forgetting to obey
to-morrow; a life history in which many other little lives are reflected
in the old, old process of helping the child to adapt himself to the
standards of society.

The ideal has been to deal with the ordinary events of daily life in a
manner which will reveal their normal values to the child. There is the
friendly policeman who finds the lost boy; the heroic fireman who comes
to the rescue of the burning home; the little neighbor who would not
play "fair;" the little boy who had to learn to roll his hoop, and to
care for the typical baby brother who pulled his hair; there are the
animals who entered into the joys and sorrows of the Jones
family,--altogether, very real animals, children, and "grown-ups,"
learning in common the lessons of social life.

The moral throughout is very pointed, and may be considered too obvious
by many kindergartners, who do not feel the need of such insistence in
their work. Mothers, however, with normal four-year-old boys who are
likely to follow the music down the street and get lost, or who are
equally liable to fall in the pond because they forget to obey Father,
will find a strange necessity for pointing the moral in no uncertain
tone.

The stories are so arranged that they may be read singly or as a serial.

I am sure the author will feel more than repaid if this little
collection paves the way for more and better standard stories of
reality, that our little children may not only revel in the events of a
delightfully impossible world, but may also feel the thrill of heroism
and poetry bound up in the common service of mother and father, of
servants and neighbors, and find the threads of gold which may be woven
into the warp and woof of daily intercourse with other little children
who possess a common stock of privileges and duties, joys and sorrows.

PATTY SMITH HILL.

Louisville, Kentucky.

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS

                                                           Page

  Johnnie Jones and the Cookie                               21

  When Johnnie Jones Was Lost                                26

  Mother's Story of the Princess and Her Pigeon              33

  Johnnie Jones and the Squirrel                             43

  Johnnie Jones and the Peach Preserves                      49

  How the Children Helped Tom and Sarah                      56

  Johnnie Jones's Story of the Stars                         63

  Johnnie Jones and Jack                                     67

  Stiggins                                                   82

  When Johnnie Jones Was a Santa Claus                       87

  An Original Valentine                                      97

  When Johnnie Jones Was a Cry-Baby                         105

  Johnnie Jones and the Man Who Cried "Wolf" Too Often      113

  Johnnie Jones's Birthday Party                            119

  Mother's Story of the Spring: The Sleeping Beauty         127

  Johnnie Jones and the Butterfly                           134

  Mr. and Mrs. Bird and the Baby Birds                      142

  The Coming of Little Brother                              151

  Little Brother and Johnnie Jones                          156

  Elizabeth With the Children                               161

  Johnnie Jones and the Hoop-Rolling Club                   168

  The Fire at Johnnie Jones's House                         175

  Johnnie Jones and Fanny                                   182

  Fanny and Little Brother                                  188

  When Johnnie Jones Learned to Swim                        193

       *       *       *       *       *



INDEX OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  Johnnie Jones

  Max wagged his tail and began to trot home--

  Such a merry time as the children had!

  Each child came up and shook Jack's paw--

  When he spread his wings and flew away--

  Then Johnnie Jones was the proudest, happiest little boy--

  The little brown pony would eat out of their hands

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Cookie


One day, when Johnnie Jones was a wee little boy, only three years old,
Mother came home from down town. Johnnie Jones ran to meet her. "Mother
dear, didn't you bring me something?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed," answered Mother, and she gave him something tied up in a
paper bag. "Be careful," she told him, "or it will break."

So Johnnie Jones was careful as he untied the string and opened the bag.
When he saw what was inside he was glad he had not broken it, for it was
a round yellow cookie with a hole in the centre.

"Thank you, Mother," said Johnnie Jones, and he rolled on his back and
kicked up his heels, which meant that he was happy. Then he sat up and
began to eat his cookie. It was very good, and tasted as if it had
molasses in it, Johnnie Jones said. But by and by, after he had been
taking a great many bites, there wasn't any of the cookie left in his
hand, because he had eaten it, every bit. Johnnie Jones looked at his
hand where the cookie had been, and then he began to cry.

"Oh, dear me," exclaimed Mother, "what is troubling my little boy?"

"I want my cookie," cried Johnnie Jones.

"Where is your cookie?" asked Mother.

"I ate it," said Johnnie Jones.

"If you have eaten it, then it is all gone," Mother told him.

"But I want it! I want my cookie!" wailed Johnnie Jones.

"To-morrow I'll buy you another just like it," Mother promised.

"I don't want another just like it, I want my own cookie with a hole in
the middle," and the tears came faster and faster.

"But, little boy," Mother said, "nobody in all the world, nor Father nor
Mother nor Johnnie Jones, can eat a cookie and yet have it."

Johnnie Jones continued to cry, so Mother brought him some brown paper,
a pair of scissors, and a pencil.

"See here, dear," she said, "I can't give you the cookie you ate, but
you may make a picture that will look very much like it."

Then Johnnie Jones ceased crying, and Mother showed him how to fold and
cut the paper until it was like the cookie, with a hole in the centre.
They pasted it on cardboard and placed it upon the mantel.

"Thank you, Mother," said Johnnie Jones, "but I don't like it so well as
my real cookie because I can't eat it."

"If you could eat it," Mother answered, "it would soon be gone, so the
picture is better unless you are hungry."

And Johnnie Jones thought so too.

After that day he never again cried for a cookie when he had eaten it,
nor for a toy when he had destroyed it, because he had discovered that
crying could never bring back what was gone.

       *       *       *       *       *



When Johnnie Jones Was Lost


Johnnie Jones was lost, completely lost. He looked up the street, he
looked down the street, and then he looked across the street, but not
one of the houses was his home. Johnnie Jones did not like being lost.
He had not seen his mother for a very long time, not since she had left
him in the yard at play after they had returned from market. He had been
swinging on the front gate, when, suddenly, he heard the sound of music,
and saw several people running down the street.

"Everyone must have forgotten to tell me that there was a circus," he
said to himself. "I think I had better go see."

Now Johnnie Jones was never allowed to leave the yard unless an older
person was with him, but he did not think of that, as he opened the gate
and ran out on the street to follow the gathering crowd.

When he reached the first corner everyone was hurrying on to the next,
and Johnnie Jones hurried on, too. Of course, however, he could not run
as fast as older people, and very soon he was passed by the crowd. Then,
when he could no longer hear the music, he looked about him and knew
that he was lost.

He was sorry that he had gone away from home. He thought it must be
about lunch time and he was very hungry. Then he remembered that this
was the day Mother had promised to take him to the park. He would have
cried, had he not been a brave little lad, and had he not known that a
boy almost four is too old to cry, unless he is actually hurt.

He sat down on the curbstone, and wished and wished that some one would
come to find him.

After a while he saw a policeman coming towards him from across the
street. He was a very tall policeman, but Johnnie Jones decided to speak
to him. His mother had often told him that policemen always take care of
people, and help them whenever they can. So he tipped his hat politely,
and said, "Please, Mr. Policeman, will you find me? Because I'm lost."

The policeman smiled down at Johnnie Jones until Johnnie Jones smiled up
at the policeman and forgot what a little boy he was. Then the officer
lifted him up in his strong arms, and asked him his name. Johnnie Jones
could tell him his name, but he could not tell him which way he had come
from home, so they decided to go to the nearest drug-store and find the
number of the house.

The policeman began to tell him stories about his own little boy whose
name was Johnnie Green, and Johnnie Jones was so interested that he
forgot to be tired. Just before they reached the drug-store Johnnie
Jones heard a dog barking. He looked around, and there was the very
dog that lived next door to him and played with him every day.

"Oh!" he said, "I know that dog! He is Max, and he can find the way
home." "You'll take me home, won't you, Max?" he asked the dog, who was
so glad to see his little neighbor that he was trying his best to kiss
him on the face.

"All right," the big policeman said, "but I'll come too, so I shall know
where you live if you are ever lost again."

[Illustration: Max wagged his tail and began to trot home--]

Max wagged his tail and began to trot home. Johnnie Jones trotted after
Max, and the policeman after Johnnie Jones. It was not very long before
they could see the house, and there was Mother standing at the gate,
looking up the street, and down the street, and across the street, for
her little boy. When she saw him she ran to meet him and clasped him in
her arms.

"Mother dear," said Johnnie Jones, "I was lost, and the policeman found
me, and then Max found us both, and I shall never again go to see a
circus by myself."

Mother told him that the band of music he had heard did not belong to
a circus, but was the Citizen's Band on its way to the park, and that,
since so much time had passed while Johnnie Jones was lost, it was too
late for him to go to the park that day. Of course the little boy was
sorry to miss the treat, but he was very glad to be at home once more.

Mother shook hands with the policeman, and thanked him for being kind
to her boy. As soon as he had gone, she and Johnnie Jones went into
the house for their lunch, and, afterwards, the little fellow was so
tired that he fell asleep in Mother's lap and dreamed that he was a
tall policeman finding lost boys.

       *       *       *       *       *



Mother's Story of the Princess and Her Pigeon


"Mother," asked Johnnie Jones, "what is a carrier pigeon?"

"A pigeon which is trained to carry messages from one place to another,"
Mother answered. "In the olden times, as there were no trains, or
steamboats, or postmen, or telegraph offices, people would very often
take pigeons with them when they started off on a long journey. As soon
as they reached their journey's end they would write a letter to the
family so far away, tie it to a pigeon, and release him. Then the pigeon
would fly away home with the message."

"Once, in that olden time, there lived a beautiful princess whom her
father and mother, the king and queen, decided to send away on a visit
to her grandmother. They gave her a milk-white pony to ride, and sent
many servants to take care of her. Now this princess had a pet pigeon
which she loved very dearly, and which she insisted upon taking with
her, though the queen was afraid it might prove troublesome on so long
a journey. The princess knew it would be a comfort to her, however, so
she was allowed to tie it to her saddle before she bade her parents
good-by, and started off.

"The princess had never been away from home before, and was very much
interested in everything she saw. She and her companions had to travel
through a great forest, and only the guides knew the way. One night
everyone was lying fast asleep on the ground in the thick woods, except
the princess, who was wide awake in her tent. At last she wearied of
lying there alone, so she rose, dressed herself, and went out into the
woods, carrying the pigeon in her arms.

"The moon was shining as bright as day, and the little girl went for
a walk. She was thinking of the father and mother at home, and did not
notice very carefully the direction in which she was wandering. After
a while she grew tired and turned back. Then she became frightened
because she could not see her tent, and could not remember which way
she had come. She called for her servants, but could make no one hear
her. She ran this way and that in the forest, but seemed only to go
further and further away from the camp. At last, very tired, she lay
down on the ground and cried herself to sleep.

"Next morning when the servants awoke they were very much alarmed to
discover that the princess had left her tent. They spent several days
seeking her in the forest, but not a trace of her could they find. Then
they went back to inform the king and queen, who were sad indeed to
hear such news. The king himself rode off to search in the forest, but
even he could not find the little maid.

"Meanwhile the princess had been wandering further and further away into
the great forest, with the pigeon tied to her arm. Fortunately, she had
brought with her a small basket full of lunch, which had been left by
her bed in case she should be hungry during the night. That was soon
gone, however, and then she had a hard time finding enough to eat. But
here and there she discovered wild berries, she drank water from the
clear, cold springs, and at night she found a comfortable, fragrant bed
under the pine trees, or in places where the grass was long and soft.
Sometimes wild animals came out, and looked at the little girl, but they
did not harm her.

"At last, the third day, she came to a large palace in the woods. Oh!
how happy she was. A prince met her at the door, invited her in, and
gave her delicious food and beautiful clothes. When she was rested after
her long journey, she told the prince who she was, and the reason for
her being alone in the forest, and begged him to send her home. The
prince was sorry for the little princess, but he was lonely in such a
large palace, so he asked her to live there with him. He was very kind
to her, but the princess wanted only to go home to be with her father
and mother.

"'Your palace is larger and more beautiful than my father's house,' she
told him, 'but I love my own home best, and I want to go back this very
day.'

"The prince was sorrowful when he heard what the little girl said; but,
hoping she might learn to care for his palace after a while, he gave her
a beautiful room filled with lovely things, and did everything he could
think of to make her happy.

"The little princess did try to be happy, but it was not possible. Every
evening she watched the birds fly back to their nests and she wished
that she, too, had wings and could fly away home. The pigeon was as
homesick as she. He would not eat, and pulled at the cord all the time,
trying to free himself. Finally the little princess decided to let him
fly away. 'Perhaps he can find his way home,' she thought; 'anyway I
shall let him try.'

"She wrote a letter to her father and mother, telling them where she
was, tied it under the pigeon's wing, and set him free. He flapped his
wings joyfully and flew out of the window high up in the air. Round and
round he circled, until in his own way he learned that the west was to
the right of him, the east to the left, the north was back of him, and
the south straight ahead. Then he started off like an arrow shot from a
bow, for home was there in the south.

"The little princess was more homesick than ever, left all alone.

"Meantime the pigeon flew very swiftly, sometimes as fast as a train can
go. No one can tell you how he knew the way, but he flew straight back
through the woods, and after a while reached the pigeon house just
outside the palace gate. Some of the servants who saw him fly in with
the note, caught him and carried him to the king. The king and queen
read the letter with great joy when they saw it had been written by
their little daughter, and all the people in the palace were happy to
know that the princess was safe and well.

"The pigeon flew back to the pigeon house. 'Coo, coo, coo,' he said to
all the other pigeons, 'home is the best place in the world.'

"The king ordered the fastest horses in the land, and he and the queen
rode off at once to find their little daughter. One day she saw them
coming. She clapped her hands with joy and ran to meet them. The king
and queen were as happy as she, and after they had greeted her, and bade
the prince good-by, they all three rode away home. The princess sat in
front of her father on his horse, because he could not bear to have her
out of his arms. After travelling back through the forest they reached
the palace at last.

"'Home is the best place in the world,' said the happy little princess.

"'Home is the best place in the world,' cooed the happy little pigeon."

Johnnie Jones lay back in Mother's arms. "I think so too," he said,
"I like Grandma's house and Auntie's house, but home is best of all."

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Squirrel


"Come," said Mother, "leave your toys now, and bathe your face and
hands, for it is time to go down town to buy your winter coat."

"Oh! Mother, I don't want to go down town," answered Johnnie Jones,
"because I think Sammy Smith is coming over to play with my new engine
this afternoon."

"But what will you do when the weather grows cold and you have no warm
coat to wear? I shall be too busy to go with you to-morrow."

"It's so warm to-day, Mother, I don't think it will grow cold very soon,
and anyway, I don't want to go down town."

Mother answered: "I know it will be cold soon, perhaps to-morrow, for
the wind is beginning to blow from the north. Come as soon as you can,
I have much to do and can't wait for you very long."

Then Johnnie Jones behaved like a silly little boy, although he was four
years old, quite old enough to know better. He fussed and fumed until
Mother said: "I am sorry, but I can't wait any longer." She went on down
town and left Johnnie Jones.

Sammy Smith did not come over to play after all, because he had gone
shopping with his mother. Johnnie Jones soon grew tired of playing alone
and wished he had not been so foolish.

That night the north wind blew and blew, so that, next morning, it
was very cold when Johnnie Jones awoke. Of course he could not go to
kindergarten nor out to play, because he had no heavy coat to wear. He
begged his mother to wrap him in a shawl, and take him down town in the
carriage, but she was too busy. So poor little Johnnie Jones had to stay
in the house all day.

That evening when it was time for his story, Mother said: "I shall have
to tell you the story of the foolish squirrel, because you reminded me
of him to-day."

This is the story.

Once upon a time, there lived in the woods a little squirrel whose name
was Silver. All summer long he played about with the other squirrels and
had a very good time indeed. Then, by and by, the days began to grow
shorter and cooler. The trees began to drop their brightly colored
leaves and their nuts, and the soft green grass turned brown. The wise
old mother squirrels knew what these things meant, and they said to all
the young ones:

  "Winter is coming, so hurry away,
  You have no longer time to play.
  Gather the nuts with all your might
  Before the ground with snow is white.
  When winter comes there's naught to eat
  Except the roots and nuts so sweet,
  Which you must gather in the fall.
  So frisk away and store them all."


The squirrels, large and small, went to work. They found holes in the
trees and old logs in which to hide their winter provisions, and they
scampered away to find their favorite food.

All except little Silver. He said to himself: "Humph! I don't believe
winter is coming so very soon, and besides, I'd rather just play, and
eat the nuts, than work as these other squirrels are doing."

So he played as he had all summer long, and he kept so warm frisking
about in the sunshine that he did not realize how short and cold the
days were growing.

At last winter really came. Oh! how cold it was then. Silver said:
"Perhaps I had better begin gathering some nuts for winter." But very
few nuts could he find, not nearly enough to store away. The other
squirrels, and the people who lived near the woods, had been working
while he was playing, and had gathered in the harvest.

Poor little Silver did not know what to do. Winter was here and he had
no provisions. He went to all the other squirrels and begged for some of
their nuts. They only said: "You were playing while we were working, now
you must work while we rest and eat."

Then Silver was sorry he had not obeyed the wise old squirrels and he
told himself that, next year, he would surely begin early to prepare for
winter. But there might not have been a "next year" for Silver, if a
little boy had not found him in the woods and taken him home to keep and
feed until the spring-time.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Peach Preserves


Everyone knows that people prepare for winter during the summer and
fall. (Bees and squirrels and caterpillars do, too.) Almost everybody
lays in the coal and kindling wood for the winter fires while the
weather is still warm, and buys warm clothing before it is time to
wear it.

In the summer, farmers cut the long grass, and after it has been dried
by the sun, store it in the barns for the cows and horses to eat in the
winter. In the summer and the autumn, people do not eat all the berries,
and grapes, and pears and peaches; some they make into preserves and
jelly for the winter.

Mrs. Jones could make delicious preserves. She enjoyed making it and
Johnnie Jones liked to help her. He could really help a great deal
because he was a careful little boy. Every member of the Jones family
liked peach preserves better than any other kind, therefore Mother
usually made enough of it to fill many jars. This year, however, she had
been so busy that she did not start her preserving very early, and when
she was ready to begin, she found it was too late to buy many good
peaches. She bought a few, though, and preserved them with Johnnie
Jones's help.

When the preserves was made. Mother had enough to fill four glass jars.
"Not very much," she told Johnnie Jones, "but there is one jar for
Father, one for you and one for me, and then one more for company." She
left the jars on the kitchen table while she went upstairs to change her
dress.

Johnnie Jones ran out into the yard to play. He saw Sammy Smith,
Elizabeth, and Ned across the street, and called them. "I want to show
you something," he said.

When they came, he led them to the kitchen and showed them the
preserves.

"I should like to have some of it," said Ned,--"may I?"

"We made it to use in the winter," Johnnie Jones explained, "when there
isn't any fresh fruit."

"I'd like some now on a piece of bread." Ned insisted.

"You said one jar of preserves was yours; give us each a taste," begged
Sammy Smith.

"I don't think Mother meant that I might eat it whenever I wanted it,"
Johnnie Jones answered. "But perhaps she wouldn't care if we should each
take a taste," he added.

Now Johnnie Jones knew he was not allowed to eat between meals, but the
preserves did have an attractive appearance, and he thought that just
one taste would not matter.

The top of the jar had not yet been sealed, so it came off very easily.
Johnnie Jones gave a piece of bread, with a very little of the
preserves, to each child, and took some for himself.

"It is good!" Ned exclaimed. "Give us some more, Johnnie Jones, your
mother won't care."

Johnnie Jones was afraid Mother would care, but he liked the preserves
very much, and besides, he enjoyed giving it to the children, so he gave
them each a little more and again took some for himself. It was curious
that the more they had the more they wanted, and after each one had been
given "just a little more," several times, the large jar was nearly
empty.

"We may as well finish it," said Ned, So they did. Then the children
went home and left Johnnie Jones alone in the kitchen with the empty
jar.

Johnnie Jones was unable to eat his supper that evening. Mother asked
him what was the matter, and he told her. She was very sorry.

"Oh! little son," she said, "all your life I have been able to trust
you, and I did not think you would touch the preserves, when I left the
jars on the table. Say you are sorry, dear, and that such a thing shall
never happen again. For wouldn't it be dreadful if I should be obliged
to lock up everything I can't let you have?"

Johnnie Jones was very sorry indeed, but he answered: "You said that one
jar was mine."

"So I did," Mother answered; "but I had no idea that you would want to
use it all at one time, or between meals, or before the winter-time.
Since you have had all your share to-day, you will, of course, expect no
more next winter, when Father and I have ours."

Just then, Johnnie Jones thought he would never wish for peach preserves
again, for he had eaten too much and felt uncomfortable; but probably he
changed his mind in the winter, and regretted that his share was all
gone.

Sammy Smith, Elizabeth and Ned came to see Mrs. Jones next day, told her
they were sorry they had begged for the preserves, and asked her to
excuse them, which of course she did.

Mother was glad to find that it would be unnecessary to lock up
forbidden things after all, for Johnnie Jones liked to have her trust
him, and showed her that she could.

       *       *       *       *       *



How the Children Helped Tom and Sarah


Most of the houses on Park street, where the Jones family lived, were
large and pretty, but there was one house that was very small and ugly.
It had been unoccupied for a long time, when one day, Sarah and Tom
Watson, with their father and mother, moved in. The little brother and
sister were such agreeable children, that they were soon known and loved
by all their small neighbors.

One morning, when Johnnie Jones was passing the ugly little house, he
saw Sarah and Tom standing at the gate with an unhappy expression on
their faces, usually so bright. Johnnie Jones stopped and asked them
what was the trouble.

"We don't know what to do," answered Tom. "A friend of Father's promised
to send him a load of coal to-day. It may come any minute and Father
is too busy to put it into the coal-house. Mother can't attend to it
because she must finish some sewing for a lady, so there is no one but
Sarah and me. We are afraid we can't put it all away before night, and
if it isn't locked up in the coal-house this evening, something may
happen to it while we are asleep, and then we shouldn't have any coal
to keep us warm in the winter."

"Why don't you hire a man to put it away for you?" asked Johnnie Jones.

"We haven't money enough," Tom answered.

"I'd better go home and ask my mother what to do. She'll know," said
Johnnie Jones.

"Well," Mother said, when she had heard of the children's difficulty,
"Sarah and Tom need friends to help them, so why don't you, in your
overalls, and Ned, Susie, and the other children in theirs, take your
wagons and wheelbarrows, and spend the afternoon helping with the coal?
A dozen pairs of hands, even if they are small, can accomplish a great
deal of work."

Mother sent her hired man to see that the coal-house was ready for the
coal, while Johnnie Jones hurried off to collect the children.

The boys and girls dressed in their overalls hastened to the small brown
house. There they found Sarah and Tom as busy as bees, and very happy to
welcome the children gathered to help them. Such a merry time as they
had! Some of the children played that they were strong horses, and drew
the wagons, which the others loaded at the gate and unloaded at the
coal-house door. Very soon the play drivers looked like real drivers
of coal-carts for they were covered with coal-soot from their heads to
their feet. All of the children, too, worked quite as hard as any real
horses, or any real men, and after a while, before dark, the load of
coal was safe in the coal-house. Then the children ran home for a
much-needed bath.

Meantime Mrs. Watson had been sewing all the day long, and in the
evening, when it was time to go home, she felt very tired. All day she
had worried about the coal, wondering how she could attend to it that
night. She knew that her children would try to help, but she did not
expect very much from them because their hands were so small. As she
walked home she thought, and thought, trying to decide what was best
to do.

At last she came near the ugly little house, and then she was greatly
surprised, for Sarah and Tom, neat and clean, were swinging on the gate,
the pavement was nicely swept, and there was no sign of any coal.

[Illustration: Such a merry time as the children had!]

"Didn't the coal come?" she asked the children.

"Yes," they answered joyfully, "and it is in the coal-house."

She could scarcely believe them, but they said: "Come and see."

When she saw that the coal was really there, locked away for the winter
in the shed, she was almost too surprised and pleased to speak.

At last she asked the delighted children whether the fairies had come to
their aid. "No," they answered, "but all the children in the
neighborhood did, and we had such a good time that it was almost the
same as giving a party."

"The children were very kind," Mrs. Watson said, when she had heard all
about the happy afternoon. "We could not have managed the coal without
their assistance, and some day we must try to help them."

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones's Story of the Stars


The stars were just beginning to show themselves in the dark blue sky,
when Mother and Johnnie Jones sat down by the window to watch for
Father. Mother and Johnnie Jones loved the stars. Almost every evening
they sat and looked up at them. Sometimes they tried to count them, but
they never could, because there were so very many. Often, too, they
could see the bright, round moon. Johnnie Jones said that a queer, fat
little man lived in the moon, who winked and bowed whenever little boys
looked at him. To be polite, Johnnie Jones always returned the winks and
bows. But this night there was no moon, just the little stars were
appearing, and twinkling as fast as they could.

"Mother," said Johnnie Jones, "I'll tell you a story all my own, about
the shining stars."

"I'd like very much to hear it," Mother answered.

"Once upon a time, oh! such a very long time ago that it must have been
before you were born, Mother dear, all the stars fell down from the sky.
I think it was the wind that blew and blew until they became loose. They
fell down whirling and twirling just like the snow flakes, except that
they weren't cold and white, but all bright and shining. They were so
beautiful that the people looked out of their windows and wished the
stars would never stop raining down from the sky."

"Is that all the story?" asked Mother, much interested.

"No, there is another part," said Johnnie Jones. "When all the stars had
fallen down to the ground, what do you suppose they really were?"

"I can't imagine," Mother answered.

"Why, Mother, they were beautiful little flowers all different colors.
Some were red, some were yellow, and some were purple violets. They
began to grow, and nobody gathered any, for they were so pretty there on
the ground."

"But," asked Mother, "when it was night time again, what did the poor
people do without any stars to shine in the sky?"

"Don't you see," Johnnie Jones explained, "when the stars fell down they
left little holes in the sky, and the light behind shone through and
seemed just like the stars."

"I think that is a beautiful story," and Mother thanked him with a kiss,
before they ran down-stairs to meet Father coming home.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and Jack


One day, when Johnnie Jones was playing in his front yard, he heard the
yelping of a dog. He ran to the gate, and saw, lying in the street, a
poor little puppy which had been hurt by a wagon, or perhaps, an
automobile.

"You may come home with me, you poor little thing," Johnnie Jones told
the dog. "My mother will rub salve on you and make you well. Come on."

But the poor little puppy couldn't walk. Johnnie Jones picked him up,
and attempted to carry him to the house. The puppy was so heavy,
however, that Johnnie Jones was obliged to put him down and take him up
again, three times, before he reached the side door. He called to Mother
to come down.

"But, little son," she said, "we can't keep a strange dog. We shall have
to let him run away."

"Oh, Mother, he's hurt, and I am sure he's hungry, so don't you think we
shall have to keep him?"

Of course, as soon as Mother understood that the puppy was hurt, she
knew that it would be necessary to keep him, at least until he was well
again. She examined the little fellow and found that he was not badly
injured, but was merely bruised and frightened. She and Johnnie Jones
bathed and bandaged the poor little body, and when the puppy seemed to
feel more comfortable, gave him a bowl of milk. He could not say "Thank
you," but he wagged his tail, and kissed their hands, which meant "Thank
you," so they agreed that he was a polite little dog,

"But where shall we keep him?" asked Mother. "I can't allow him in the
house, he would gnaw the legs of the chairs and tables; all puppies do
when they are cutting their teeth."

"Perhaps Father and I can build a doghouse," Johnnie Jones answered, and
when Father came home they talked it over.

"Well," Father decided, "If the grocery man will give us a large box, we
can line it, fill it with straw, and I'll cut a door in one end. That
should make an excellent house for Mr. Doggie."

Johnnie Jones ran to the grocery-store as fast as he could run, and
asked the grocery man to send down a large box. As soon as it came,
Father cut the door, Johnnie Jones arranged the straw, and there was the
house all ready for the dog.

Johnnie Jones named him Jack. Jack soon became well and strong, and
because he was such a good dog, and because his owner could not be
found, he was allowed to remain at Johnnie Jones's house. He wasn't a
puppy very long. He grew and grew, until he was too large for his box,
and had to sleep in the front hall of the Jones's house. He and Johnnie
Jones loved each other dearly, and were almost always together. Mother
used to say that they reminded her of Mary and her lamb, except that
Jack was as black as coal.

You remember how Mary's lamb followed her to school one day, which was
against the rule? Well, it was necessary to keep Jack in the closet
every morning, until after Johnnie Jones had gone to kindergarten,
because he always wanted to go with him. One morning the door was not
fastened securely, and Jack was able to push it open. Then, before any
one saw him, he ran out the gate, and followed Johnnie Jones. The little
boy did not see him and did not know that Jack was just behind him as he
entered the kindergarten room, until the children began to laugh and he
turned around to see what was the matter. There stood Jack, wagging his
tail with all his might.

The children begged Miss Page, the teacher, to let Jack spend the
morning in kindergarten, and she said that she would try him. She was
afraid, however, that he would not know how to behave. Johnnie Jones was
a trifle late that morning, and the children were all ready to march to
the circle. Jack followed his master as he marched to his place, and
then sat down on the floor beside the little boy's chair.

Miss Page asked the children which one of them would like to stand in
the centre of the circle and shake hands with the others, in turn, as
they sang the good-morning song.

"Let Jack," said Johnnie Jones, "he can shake hands as well as anybody,
and he is a visitor to-day."

Miss Page consented, and Johnnie Jones called Jack to the circle and
offered him his hand. Jack at once gave him his paw. One by one the
children came and shook Jack's paw. Everyone considered it great fun,
and Jack enjoyed it also, though he could not laugh as the children did.

[Illustration: Each child came up and shook Jack's paw--]

As soon as all the good-mornings had been sung, Miss Page started a
game of ball. Now there was nothing that Jack liked better than playing
with a ball, so he ran out on the circle barking, and jumped up on
the boy who had the ball in his hand. The boy became frightened, not
understanding what Jack wanted, and let the ball fall and roll away.
Jack rushed after it, knocking down chairs and tables, spilling the
blocks out of their boxes, and tearing paper chains to bits. At last he
caught the ball in his mouth, brought it to Johnnie Jones, and began to
jump and bark, begging the little boy to throw it.

Miss Page said that she was sorry, but Jack would have to go home.
"He is a very good dog," she said, "but he does not behave well in
kindergarten."

At that moment Sam, the hired man, came into the room. Mrs. Jones had
missed Jack and sent Sam to find him. Jack was having a pleasant time
and did not want to go home, but he knew how to obey, and, when Johnnie
Jones commanded him to "go home," he turned slowly and walked out of
the room.

So you see, Jack was turned out by the teacher, just as was Mary's lamb.

One bright day, when the ground was covered with snow, Father took
Johnnie Jones for a ride on his sled. They had been around the block
only twice when the clock struck two, and then it was time for Father
to go to his office.

"Oh! dear," said Johnnie Jones, "now I'll have no one to pull my sled.
I wish Jack could."

"Perhaps he can," Father answered. "When I come home to-night I'll make
some sort of a harness for him, and then to-morrow we shall see what he
can do."

That evening, with rope, straps, and Johnnie Jones's reins Father made
a very good harness, and the next day he hitched Jack to the sled. At
first Jack could not imagine what Father and Johnnie Jones wished him to
do. He allowed himself to be hitched to the sled, but every time Johnnie
Jones sat upon it, and said "Get up," Jack would jump about, and off
would roll Johnnie Jones into the snow. Then Jack would bark as much
as to say, "What are you trying to do, anyway?"

At last, after many trials, Father managed to hold Jack quiet until
Johnnie Jones was seated firmly on the sled, clasping a side with each
hand. Then Father, still keeping a tight hold of Jack, ran with him to
the corner and back several times. At last Jack began to understand what
was expected of him. The next day they tried again, and it was not long
before Johnnie Jones could drive the big dog without Father's help.
After a while Jack would even pull Johnnie Jones's sled to kindergarten
each morning, and then draw the empty sled home, after Johnnie Jones had
gone into the house. He certainly was a clever dog. It was no wonder
Johnnie Jones loved him.

In the winter-time there was an excellent place for coasting in the park
very near Johnnie Jones's house. There was a long, straight hill, and
at the foot of it a long, straight pond, so that, with a good start, a
child could coast from the top of the hill to the end of the pond. That
is, of course, when there was snow and the pond was frozen over at the
same time.

One afternoon Johnnie Jones started out with his sled and Jack ran along
beside him.

"Don't try to coast across the pond to-day," called Father. "When I was
passing I noticed that the ice was broken in several places."

"Then I'll coast on the other side of the hill," Johnnie Jones answered.

When he reached the park, however, he found two of the children coasting
across the pond as usual. One of them, whose name was Ned, asked Johnnie
Jones: "What's the matter with everybody to-day? Where are the other
children?"

"I suppose their fathers wouldn't let them come," answered Johnnie
Jones; "and you shouldn't coast across the pond. My father just told me
that it isn't safe, because the ice is beginning to break."

"Oh! it is perfectly safe," Ned replied, "because we have been over it
several times. The coasting is better fun to-day than ever before, and
there are no children to block the way. Come and try it."

"I wish I might," Johnnie Jones answered. He sat on his sled and watched
the older boys coast safely across, and run gaily back, waving their
hands to him.

"Perhaps my father was mistaken." he said after a while. "I think I'll
try it just once."

"There is one tolerably large hole," Ned warned him, "but it is on one
side, and if you are careful you won't fall in."

"I'll be careful," answered Johnnie Jones; "you sit here and watch me."

He placed himself flat on his sled, and Ned gave him a push. Johnnie
Jones was not quite five years old then, two years younger than Ned, and
he could not guide his sled very well. When it went near the big hole,
he could not turn it away. Then splash! Both Johnnie Jones and the sled
plunged into the icy cold water.

The water was not very deep, but as Johnnie Jones struck it head
foremost, and as the sled was on top of him, he might have found some
trouble in forcing his way out, had it not been for Jack. That faithful
friend was close beside his little master, and in just a few seconds had
drawn him out of the water.

As soon as Ned and Sammy Smith saw what had happened, they hurried to
the house and told Mr. Jones. He ran all the way to the pond, picked up
the little wet, cold boy, and carried him home as quickly as possible.

Jack was wet and cold too, but he ran around so fast that he soon grew
warm, then he crawled under the kitchen stove, where he stopped until he
was dry. But Johnnie Jones had to go to bed, for several days, with a
very bad cold.

He was sorry he had been disobedient, and asked Father please to excuse
him that time. Father said he would not punish him, but that he was
sorry to think his little boy did not trust his father.

"I do, Father," Johnnie Jones answered, "and after this I'll obey you,
instead of minding little boys."

"Grown people generally know best," Father said.

After that, of course, Mother, Father and Johnnie Jones loved good old
Jack more than ever, and were glad they had kept him when he first came
to them a puppy, hurt and hungry.

       *       *       *       *       *



Stiggins


Johnnie Jones's Aunt Jean owned a dog. His name was Stiggins, just
Stiggins, for dogs need only one name, instead of the two or three that
people have. Aunt Jean was accustomed to go to Lake Chautauqua every
summer, far away from home. Stiggins liked to go with her, and was
always afraid that he might be left behind, as had happened, once or
twice. So, as soon as he saw Aunt Jean begin to make her preparations,
he would spend all his time either following her about, or lying on her
trunk.

Each time she started to pack she would first have to drive Stiggins
into the yard. If she turned away, just for a few minutes, there he
would be again, lying in a tray upon her best dresses, or her prettiest
hats. Aunt Jean would scold and scold, but scolding was of no use.

At last, when the day came on which they were to begin their journey,
and the trunks had been locked and sent away, Stiggins would run to the
stable, jump into the carriage, and there he would stay until he and the
family had reached the station.

But when it was time to board the train, Stiggins was most unhappy. He
was forced to ride in the baggage car, all alone, and Stiggins liked
company. He wished to ride in the sleeping car with Aunt Jean. Of course
he could not, because he was only a dog, which was something that
Stiggins had never quite understood. He would whimper, and run away,
when the coachman attempted to lead him to his proper place, so usually,
Aunt Jean had to take him, and to tie him, herself.

Stiggins disliked the long ride on the train and boat, but he was just
the happiest dog in the world when at last he reached Chautauqua. When
once he was there he had many fine times, bathing in the Lake, going off
on long walks and drives with the family, and playing with the dogs.

The house in which Aunt Jean lived was very near the lake, and Stiggins
liked to lie on the front porch and watch the children at play by the
water's edge. One day, Harry and Sally were there with a small sail-boat
attached to a string, which Harry held, as the boat sailed out on the
water. Suddenly the string broke, and then there was nothing with which
to draw the boat to land.

The children were quite small and did not know what to do. They asked a
big boy to wade out and return the boat to them, but he was a lazy boy
and told them to throw stones beyond the boat to make it come back of
itself. They tried his plan, but were not strong enough to throw the
stones very far, and the boat only floated further away.

All this time Stiggins had been lying on the porch watching the
children. I am not sure whether he thought they were throwing stones
for him to swim after, or whether he saw they were in trouble and wished
to help them, but this is what he did. Without a word from anyone, he
jumped up, trotted down to the water and waded in. The children and the
big boy wondered what he meant to do. Stiggins himself seemed to know
very well. He swam straight to the boat, caught it in his mouth, brought
it to land, and dropped it at the children's feet. Then he trotted back
to the porch.

Harry and Sally thought that Stiggins was the kindest and most polite
dog they had ever seen, and the big boy was ashamed, because he thought
that a dog had been kinder and more polite than he.

This story is as true as true can be. I know, because Aunt Jean saw the
whole affair and she told me about it herself.

       *       *       *       *       *



When Johnnie Jones was a Santa Claus


"I should think it would be exciting to be Santa Claus," said Johnnie
Jones, "and fill children's stockings when they are asleep in bed. I
should like very well to be his helper some time."

"You may be," Mother answered; "anyone who really wishes to be Santa's
assistant, may be."

Johnnie Jones was surprised. "Well, I didn't know that," he said.
"Please tell me how."

"Whenever people give Christmas presents to those they love, they are a
sort of Santa Claus," Mother told him. "But this year you may be a real
Santa Claus, if you like, with a real pack of toys, and you may fill
some real stockings belonging to some real children, this coming
Christmas Eve."

"Oh! Mother dear, tell me all about it, quick as a wink," begged Johnnie
Jones, clapping his hands with delight.

"I thought you would be pleased," Mother answered. "Father knows of a
large house in which ever so many children live who have never hung up
their stockings. I suppose no one has thought to tell Santa Claus about
them, and their fathers and mothers are very poor. Father and I want
to make them have a bright, happy Christmas this year, and he has told
them, each one, to be sure to hang up stockings on Christmas Eve for a
Santa Claus to fill. If you like, you may be that Santa, and Father and
I will be your assistants, and we'll go, all three of us, to the house
at night when the children are fast asleep."

Johnnie Jones skipped joyfully about the room. "Shall we go in a sleigh
with bells and reindeer?" he asked.

"We'll go in a sleigh if there is snow," Mother promised, "but I am
afraid we shall have to use horses, and pretend they are reindeer."

Johnnie Jones was greatly excited. He asked Mother every question he
could think of, and wished it were Christmas Eve that very minute.
Mother told him be should be glad they still had several days before
Christmas in which to make their preparations.

That same afternoon they went shopping. Johnnie Jones was allowed to
select the toys for the children, and he chose enough drums and horses,
wagons and cars, dolls and play-houses, dishes and tables, to fill four
very large boxes. Next, they ordered the candy, pounds and pounds of it,
and a big tree with ever so many candles for it. Last of all, they
bought warm coats and shoes.

The next three days was a busy time for Johnnie Jones. After he had
finished his gifts for the family, he went to work on the decorations
for the tree. He made yards and yards of brightly colored paper chains,
and many cornucopias. Every evening before his bed-time Mother and
Father helped him.

At last the day before Christmas came. When Johnnie Jones awoke in the
morning he was very much pleased to find the ground covered with snow.
It was hard to wait until night, but he was busy all day, and the time
passes quickly when one is busy.

After a very early supper Father, Mother and Johnnie Jones dressed
themselves in their warmest clothing and heaviest wraps. By the time
they were ready, there was the sleigh, drawn by two strong horses
wearing many bells, standing before the house. It was quite a while
before the toys, and candy, and ornaments, were safely packed in the
sleigh, but at last all was in readiness, and away they went.

After a long, beautiful ride over the hard snow, with the moon and stars
shining up in the sky, they reached the big house.

"Are all the children asleep?" Father asked two men who were waiting for
them at the door.

The men answered yes, and Father whispered to Johnnie Jones: "We must be
very quiet, Santa Claus, that we may not waken anybody."

They tiptoed carefully into the first room where several children were
asleep in their beds.

"I see the stockings," whispered Johnnie Jones eagerly. "Give me my
sack."

Father placed the heavy sack on the floor, and the little Santa and
Mother filled the stockings with candy and nuts, oranges and tiny toys.
As soon as Father had set up the tree in an empty room, he came back to
help. It was the best kind of fun, but they had to be very quiet in
order not to waken the children. Once Johnnie Jones couldn't help
laughing aloud when a ridiculous old Jack popped out of the box in his
hand. The laugh awoke a little boy, who sat up in bed and called out,
"Hello! Is that you, Santa Claus?" They had to leave the room until he
fell asleep again.

When all the stockings had been filled, the tree decorated, and the
presents arranged under it, Father locked the door of that room so that
no one should peep in before it was time. Little Santa Claus was so
tired that he went to sleep in Father's arms on the way home, and when
he was being carried to bed awoke only long enough to hang his own
stocking by the fire-place.

The next morning he opened his eyes very early, as is the custom of
children on Christmas Day. He looked for his stocking, first of all,
wondering if Santa had filled it. Of course he had, with all the things
that little boys like best.

Johnnie Jones was so happy over his presents, that he could scarcely
take time to dress. At last Mother reminded him of those other children
waiting so anxiously for their first Christmas tree. Johnnie Jones
laid down his new toys immediately, and dressed himself as quickly as
possible. Directly after breakfast they returned to the big house, this
time on the street car.

Before they turned the corner on their way to the house, they heard the
voices of the children, who were full of joy over the presents found in
their stockings. Father went at once to the room he had locked up the
night before, and lighted the candles on the tree. When all was ready he
opened the door, and Johnnie Jones invited the children to enter.

They stood very quietly about the tree, not saying a word at first. It
was so beautiful, and so different from anything they had ever seen,
that it made them feel shy. But when Father called the children in turn,
and Johnnie Jones gave to every one a warm coat, a new pair of shoes,
and a splendid toy, they found their tongues, and made such a noise as
you never heard.

They had to dress themselves in the coats and shoes, and they had to
show each other their toys. Some of them had to turn somersaults, and
all of them had to make a great noise just to express their joy.

But happiest of all those happy children was little Johnnie Jones.

All too soon, Father, Mother and Johnnie Jones had to leave, so that
they might reach Grandmother's house in time for dinner. When they were
again on the car, the little boy began to talk of the good time they had
had.

"I'd like to be a Santa Claus every year," he said.

"Then save your pennies," Mother answered, "until next Christmas comes."

       *       *       *       *       *



An Original Valentine


Tom and Sarah were the little boy and girl who lived in the small brown
house near the home of Johnnie Jones. It was the evening before St.
Valentine's day and the brother and sister were sitting by the fire,
talking together.

"I do wish we had some valentines to send," said Tom. "If we only had
some gilt or colored paper and some pictures, we could make them, but we
haven't anything at all."

"I am sorry," their mother told them. "The children have been so kind to
you this winter. You remember how they helped you with the coal? I wish
we could send them each a very beautiful valentine to thank them, but I
am afraid I can't spare the money to buy even one."

Sarah had been as quiet as a little mouse while Tom and Mother were
speaking. Then suddenly she said: "I know what we can do!"

"What?" asked Tom.

Sarah began to dance about the room. "It will be such fun!" she said.

"Please tell me," begged Tom.

"Don't you see," Sarah explained; "we can't buy valentines, and we can't
make valentines, so we shall just have to be valentines!"

"Now how in the world can we be valentines?" Tom asked her.

"We'll dress in our Sunday clothes," she answered. "We'll cut hearts out
of paper and pin them all over us. Then we'll ask Mother to pin a paper
envelope on each of us, and address it to one of the children. When we
are ready we'll ring the door bell of that child's house, and when he
opens the door, we'll speak mottoes, and all sorts of rhymes. Won't the
children laugh?"

"All right!" said Tom. "Only, I would rather not be a valentine myself.
You be one and I will send you. We'll pretend you are the doll valentine
we saw down town the other day, the one that danced when the man wound
her up, and spoke the verse."

"Well!" Sarah assented, "and you must wind me up and I'll dance little
Sally Waters."

They spent the rest of the evening thinking of rhymes. Their mother
taught them all she could remember, and Sarah repeated them over and
over again so that she should not forget.

The next morning they went to school, but as soon as they had reached
home and eaten their lunch they began their preparations. No one in the
whole world ever saw a sweeter valentine than Sarah, when she was ready
in her bright red dress and short snow-white coat, decorated with paper
hearts. Then her mother cut and folded some wrapping paper into a big
envelope, and placed it about Sarah's little body. Of course her feet
had to be left free so that she could walk, and her head, so that she
could breathe.

"Let's go to Johnnie Jones's house first," Tom said.

So his mother addressed the envelope to Master Johnnie Jones, and the
children started off.

Johnnie Jones was at home that afternoon, feeling very sad. He had
fallen into the pond several days before, and the icy bath had given him
such a cold that he had to stay indoors. He could see the other children
running about from house to house sending their valentines, and he
wanted to run about and send some too. To be sure he had received ever
so many, but he was tired of looking at them and hearing the mottoes
read, and he wished very much that some one would come in to play with
him.

Mother had just said: "I am afraid no one will come to-day, dear,
because all the children are busy with their valentines," when the door
bell rang.

As soon as Maggie had opened the door she called up to Johnnie Jones:
"There's a beautiful valentine down here for you. I'll bring it up. Tom
sent it. I caught him at the door, so I'll bring him up, too."

Johnnie Jones ran to the head of the staircase as fast as he could run.
How he did laugh when Maggie placed Sarah before him, and showed him the
address on the envelope.

"It's a doll valentine," Tom explained, "and it has a phonograph in it.
I'll wind it up."

He knelt down and pretended to turn a crank. Then Sarah, who had not
smiled or spoken a word before, said:

  "If you love me as I love you,
  No knife can cut our love in two."


Tom turned the crank again, and this time she danced.

"Let me wind it," begged Johnnie Jones, who was very much pleased. He
did, and the valentine said:

  "Roses red and violets blue,
  Sugar is sweet and so are you."


Mother joined the children in the hall, and was delighted with the
valentine, which each one wound up until it had said all the rhymes that
Sarah knew, and had danced until she was tired. Then the doll changed
into a little girl for a while, and she had some milk and cookies with
the other children.

"We shall have to go now," Tom said at last, looking out of the window.
"The other children have gone into their houses and I must send them
each a valentine."

So Mother made a new envelope and addressed it to Miss Elizabeth Elkins.

"Thank you for my valentine," said Johnnie Jones. "It's the loveliest
one I have had all day, only I wish I could keep it as I can the
others."

All the children who received the little Valentine in turn, made exactly
the same remark, so Tom and Sarah were very happy over the success of
their plan.

       *       *       *       *       *



When Johnnie Jones was a Cry-Baby


All his life Johnnie Jones had been a bright, happy little fellow who
seldom cried even when he was hurt. Therefore, everyone who knew him was
surprised when suddenly, just before he was five years old, he became a
cry-baby.

The trouble began with some of the older boys in the neighborhood.
There were three of them who were several years older than Johnnie
Jones, and a year older than the other children. Lately these big boys
had commenced to tease the smaller ones, and especially Johnnie Jones.
They did not intend to be unkind, but would often make him cry by
rolling him off his sled, pelting him with snowballs, or calling him
nicknames.

Of course, there was no reason for crying, since, although the boys were
rather rough, they never really hurt Johnnie Jones. Indeed, they loved
him, and were only in fun when they teased him. If Johnnie Jones had
been brave enough to laugh at them he would soon have been left in
peace; but as he always cried instead, the boys began to call him
"crybaby."

Johnnie Jones soon formed the bad habit of crying about every little
thing that did not please him, until at last it was difficult to live
with him. His father and mother were greatly distressed, and tried in
every way to help Johnnie Jones. They told him that they were ashamed to
have a cry-baby for a son, but that only made him cry more than ever.

Finally Mother said that something must be done, for Johnnie Jones had
reached the point where he was almost always crying. He would come home
crying from kindergarten, he would come in from play with tears in his
eyes, and worst of all, every few minutes, he would find some excuse for
crying at home.

"I think he must be ill," Mother said to Father, one day, "and I am so
worried that I shall take him to the doctor."

Father agreed, so in the afternoon, Mother and Johnnie Jones paid Dr.
Smith a visit in his office.

Dr. Smith was a great friend of Johnnie Jones's and was sorry to hear of
the crying spells. He examined the little boy very carefully, but could
find nothing wrong with him. Then he said that he was sure Johnnie Jones
was not ill, and that he cried so often just because he had formed a bad
habit.

"It is a very disagreeable habit," he continued, "and I know you want to
overcome it, so I'll write you a prescription for some medicine. Doctors
usually do not prescribe for people unless they are ill, but I think if
you take a spoonful of this medicine every time you cry, you will soon
be cured of the habit. You try it, anyway."

He gave the prescription to Mother, who, after thanking him, left the
office with Johnnie Jones. On the way home they stopped at the
drug-store and bought the medicine, which mother took into the house
with her, while Johnnie Jones ran out to play.

There wasn't a child in that neighborhood who was not fond of Johnnie
Jones, but since he had become a cry-baby none of them cared to play
with him, because he would often spoil the best game by stopping to cry.
No one enjoys playing with a tearful boy or girl.

All the children were playing in the snow when Johnnie Jones joined
them. They had built a snow fort, which half of the children were trying
to destroy with snowballs, and which half were defending. They were
having the merriest sort of a time. Occasionally some one would be
struck by a ball, but he would just laugh and send back another, for it
was all in fun.

Johnnie Jones began to play, too, and was enjoying himself very much,
when unfortunately a stray ball struck his cheek. It did hurt, but not
nearly enough to cry about, for all the balls were soft. Johnnie Jones,
however, began to cry, called the children "unkind," which was foolish,
and ran away home.

As soon as he entered the house, Mother gave him some of the medicine.
Never was anyone more surprised than Johnnie Jones, when he tasted it!
The only other medicine he had ever taken had been sweet, but this was
dreadfully bitter. He had no sooner swallowed it than he began to cry
again. Mother immediately poured more of it from the bottle.

"I won't take any more," Johnnie Jones, said between his sobs, "it is
bad medicine."

"Yes, indeed," Mother told him, "you must take it every time you cry,
just as the doctor said, because we can't continue to have a cry-baby in
the house. You must take another dose now unless you can stop crying
without it."

"I'll stop," said Johnnie Jones, and he did.

Mother poured some of the medicine into another bottle to send to Miss
Page at kindergarten, and then placed the rest on the mantel where
Johnnie Jones could see it.

It was remarkable how quickly the little boy was cured of his bad habit.
After he had taken but three doses of the bitter medicine he learned
to stop and think when anything failed to please him. Then, instead of
allowing himself to cry, he would often manage to laugh, which was much
more sensible, and much pleasanter for the people near him. Soon he
began to realize what a foolish little boy he had been, and at last he
made up his mind to be, instead of a cry-baby, a big, brave boy. And
that is what he was, all the rest of his life, bright and sweet and
brave, so that everyone loved to be with him, grown folks as well as
the children.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Man Who Cried "Wolf" too Often


Some time passed by before people began to realize that Johnnie Jones
was no longer a cry-baby. On that account he had a very unpleasant
experience one day.

The children were playing horse on the sidewalk, and Johnnie Jones as
one of the horses, was being driven by Sammy Smith. All went well until
they reached a rough place in the pavement. Here Johnnie Jones tripped
and fell, scraping his leg against a sharp stone, and straining and
bruising his arm quite badly. It happened so quickly that none of the
children saw that he was hurt, and so did not pity him when he began to
cry. They were so accustomed to hear him cry over every little trouble,
that they thought nothing of his crying then. If they had known he was
really hurt, they would have been kind and helped him up. As it was,
they merely told him not to be such a cry-baby and ran off and left him.

Just then Father came by on his way home, and when he saw Johnnie Jones
leaning against the fence, crying, he thought, too, that the little boy
had become a cry-baby again. If he had seen Johnnie Jones fall, he would
have picked him up and carried him home in his arms; but not knowing
that the little boy was really hurt, he took hold of his hand, and
walked home with him. Johnnie Jones was trying his best not to cry, but
I think the bravest boy in the world might not have been able to keep
back the tears, with such a sore leg and arm.

As they entered the house, Mother said: "Oh little son! crying again?"

When she had heard of the accident, she told Johnnie Jones that she
was sorry, and would try to help him after lunch. But as soon as she
saw that he could eat nothing at all, she asked Father to carry him
upstairs, where she examined the injured leg and arm. When she found
them so badly scraped and bruised, she was greatly distressed.

"You poor little boy!" she exclaimed, "No one realized that you were
really in pain."

After she had bathed and bandaged the leg and arm, and made Johnnie
Jones comfortable, she brought his lunch up to him, and while he was
eating, told him this story:

Once, a long, long time ago, there lived a man whose name has been
forgotten. He lived with other men and their families out in the pasture
lands, and there he tended the sheep. Now a great many wolves lived near
by, which often tried to steal into the fold and carry off the sheep.
Everyone kept a close watch for these wolves, and when any person saw
one he would cry out, "wolf! wolf!" so that all the others might come
to help him destroy it, and save the sheep. But this first man of whom
I told you, liked to call "wolf!" when there was no wolf there, just
to frighten or disturb the others. Sometimes he would waken the men at
night by his foolish cry, and they would come running out only to find
he had given a false alarm. At last these men grew weary of answering
his calls. Besides, as there had been no wolves about for some little
time, they were feeling quite safe.

One night, when the foolish man was keeping watch over his sheep, he saw
in the distance an entire pack of wolves coming steadily toward the
fold. Instantly he raised a loud cry, "WOLF! WOLF!" and waited for help.

But no help came.

The men heard his cry. but as they did not believe the wolves were
really there, they remained in their beds. One man alone could not
defend himself and his sheep against a pack of hungry wolves. So, next
morning, he was found badly injured, and the sheep were gone. Everyone
was sorry for the man, but all knew he could blame only himself. He had
cried "wolf!" too often, when there was no wolf there, and so he was not
believed when the wolf came at last.

"Johnnie Jones," said Mother, when she had finished the story, "you have
cried so often when there was no reason for crying, that this one time
when you cried because you were really hurt, no one believed you. I am
very sorry for you, little son, but don't you see that it was no one's
fault but your own?"

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones's Birthday Party


A few days before Johnnie Jones's fifth birthday, Mother asked him what
he would like to have for a birthday present.

"A party," he answered immediately, "and I want to invite all the
children who live on this street."

"Very well," Mother said, "we'll write the invitations now, on your own
note paper."

Johnnie Jones gave her a joyful hug, and ran to his desk for the paper.
Mother wrote upon every sheet: "Johnnie Jones will be very glad to have
you come to his birthday party, Saturday afternoon, from three until
five o'clock." She addressed an envelope to each one of his playmates,
and Johnnie Jones stamped, sealed and mailed the invitations as soon as
they were written.

Next day the postman brought the answers. The children accepted with a
great deal of pleasure.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday seemed very long days to impatient
Johnnie Jones.

"I sometimes think," he said to Mother, "that Saturday isn't coming this
week."

But, when he awoke one morning, Saturday had come at last, and the party
was to be that very day.

While Mother was helping him to dress in his party clothes, she said:
"Remember to make everyone glad that he came to your party, and to play
whatever the children wish, even if they do not choose your favorite
games."

He promised to remember, and as soon as he was dressed, ran to the
window to watch for his guests. He did not have long to wait before they
began to arrive.

As soon as the children had removed their hats and coats, Johnnie Jones
led them to a long kindergarten table, which Mother had borrowed. Each
child sat down in a small red chair, and made a necklace of colored
beads, which was soon finished and tied about his neck.

When all the children had arrived and all the necklaces were finished,
the boys and girls gathered in the long hall, where Johnnie Jones's
roller coaster was ready for them. Each child had three rides, and
enjoyed them all, for the hall was unusually long, and with a good
start, one could go to the end of it, almost as fast as the lightning
flashes.

Of course, Johnnie Jones had his three rides after the others, because
he was the host, and the children his guests.

"Now we may go to the parlor for our games," he said as he led the
children down the front stairway.

The parlor was large, so there was room enough for the children to run
freely about. They played "Drop the Handkerchief," and "Blind-Man's
Buff," and "Going to Jerusalem," until they were tired and ready for a
more quiet game. Johnnie Jones let the others choose the games, and he
watched that every child had a chance to play.

After the children had rested a moment, Mother invited them to march
up-stairs again, for the "real" party. Johnnie Jones's auntie played the
piano for them, and the children formed in line and marched to the room
in which they had made the necklaces.

The same kindergarten table was there, and in the same place, but no one
would ever have known it, for it had been covered with a white table
cloth, and on it were vases of lovely pink roses, and dishes full of
pink and white peppermint candy. Exactly in the centre was a large
birthday cake with five pink candles, and every one of them lighted.
At each place was a dish of ice cream in the form of a pink and white
flower, though no flower ever had so sweet a taste.

At each place there was something else. There was a tiny automobile
delivery wagon, with a queer little doll chauffeur, and inside it were
bundles of candy. These were to be taken home, Mother said, and no one
was to open the bundles at the party. Of course no one did. Besides all
of these things, there were two paper bon-bons for each child, one to
open at the party, and one to take home.

The children were hungry after their games, and for a while they were
very quiet. When they had finished their ice cream, however, and had
eaten a piece of the birthday cake, with good wishes for Johnnie Jones,
they began to pull the bon-bons apart. Then there was noise enough, for
the bon-bons cracked and popped, and that made the children laugh.

All, that is, except one small girl who was afraid. She was sitting next
to Johnnie Jones, and she asked him to open his bon-bon without pulling
it apart. Johnnie Jones liked to hear the popping sound, and he could
not help thinking that Susie was foolish to object to it, but he
remembered that he must make everyone happy at his party, so he did as
his little neighbor asked.

Five o'clock came all too soon, and then it was time for the children
to return to their homes. When they were ready in their coats and hats,
they bade Mother and Johnnie Jones good-by. "Thank you for the good time
we have had," they said, as they turned their happy faces homeward,
wearing the necklaces and carrying the bon-bons and automobiles.

When everyone had gone, Mother held tired, happy little Johnnie Jones on
her lap.

"Did you enjoy your party?" she asked him.

"Yes, Mother dear," he answered. "I had a good time, and all the
children had a good time, and it was a beautiful party."

"It was a beautiful party," Mother agreed, "and I'll tell you why. It
was because both you and I did all in our power to make our company
happy. I am very glad," she added, "that Johnnie Jones is my little boy
and that he has enjoyed his birthday."

       *       *       *       *       *



The Sleeping Beauty


In the early spring Mother would always tell this story to Johnnie
Jones.

Once upon a time there lived the most beautiful princess in the whole
world. She was so sweet that everyone loved her,--all the grown people,
all the children, and even all the animals. She wore such lovely dresses
that everyone who was permitted to see their beauty was filled with joy,
and she had a new one every day.

She lived in the most beautiful home in the whole world. The ceiling was
made of blue sky, the carpet of soft green grass, and the walls were
formed by lofty trees with their branches interlaced. Everywhere were
flowers of different colors, red and yellow and purple. I can't tell you
how lovely it was, or how happy the king, the queen and the beautiful
princess were who lived there.

One day the princess decided to make for herself a dress as white as
snow, trimmed with shining pearls and sparkling diamonds. If the queen
had known her intention, she would have forbidden the princess to touch
a needle. I will tell you why.

When the princess was a tiny baby, the king and queen had forgotten to
ask one old fairy lady to the christening. As it happened, she wasn't a
good old fairy lady. Perhaps that is why she was forgotten. She came to
the christening without an invitation, which was very rude, and made
herself most disagreeable while she was there. She told the king and
queen that because they had forgotten her, the princess should one day
prick herself with a needle and immediately go to sleep, and that she
should never awake unless the splendid prince should chance to find her.

Now the princess did not know of this, and she forgot to tell her mother
that she intended to make the dress. That was the cause of all the
trouble.

The princess cut and sewed, and sewed and cut, until the dress was
finished. Then she laid aside her old gown, of red and brown, and
dressed herself in the new one. She was just about to replace the needle
in the workbasket, before showing herself to her mother, when, suddenly,
she pricked her finger.

Immediately she sank back on her bed fast asleep. At that very instant
the king and queen fell asleep, too. So did the animals, but the birds
flew away. Even the little flies, who had been buzzing on the walls,
went fast asleep. Then it was very still everywhere, because no one was
stirring to make a noise. Even the trees were quiet, for their leaves
had all dropped off, and they seemed to be sleeping too.

They slept a long, long time.

Then, the most splendid prince in all the world approached the palace
gate. This prince had wonderful golden hair, and he was clothed entirely
in shining gold. He rode in a chariot so bright that it could be seen
for many miles. His horses were swift and he travelled fast, on his
journey throughout the world.

When at last he reached the princess's house, he regarded it with
wonder.

"How very quiet," he murmured. "Can it be that anyone lives in this
gloomy place?"

He stepped out of his chariot and tiptoed in, through the open door. He
stepped so softly that no one could have heard him, but he shone so
brightly that he made the whole house light.

The splendid prince saw that everybody and everything was fast asleep.

In their rooms he found the king and queen.

At last he came to the room where lying upon her bed was the princess.

Very lovely she was, in her dress as white as snow trimmed with pearls
and diamonds. The prince leaned over to see her better, and he made the
diamonds sparkle so brilliantly that if you had been there you would
have needed to close your eyes.

"This is the most beautiful princess in all the world," said the prince.
"I wish she would waken."

Then he kissed her.

Immediately the beautiful princess opened her eyes and looked at the
prince. At that same moment the king and queen awoke from their sleep.
So did the animals, and all the flowers, and the little buds on the
trees. The flies began to buzz about on the walls, and the birds came
flying back, singing their sweetest songs.

The princess was very happy to be awake again. She attired herself in a
lovely dress, indeed the loveliest one that she possessed. It was bright
green, with jewels as clear as the rain drops. Then the king and queen
ordered a marriage feast, and the beautiful princess married the
splendid prince.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Butterfly


"Be careful! Don't step on that caterpillar," said Mother.

"Why not?" asked Johnnie Jones. "It's such an ugly caterpillar."

"It can't help being ugly," Mother answered, "and besides some day it
will be a beautiful butterfly."

"Really?" Johnnie Jones asked, much surprised. Then Mother told him a
story about a caterpillar and a butterfly.

Once upon a time, a little caterpillar was crawling slowly up a tree.
"Oh! dear," he said to himself, "I wish I had wings like the birds, and
could fly away to the top of a tree, instead of having to crawl slowly
about."

A beautiful butterfly was resting a moment near by and heard what the
little caterpillar said, "How would you like to be a beautiful butterfly
such as I am," she asked him, "and go flying about all day, sipping
honey from the flowers?"

"I should like it very much indeed," he answered, "but you see I am only
an ugly little caterpillar who can do nothing but crawl, and I have to
be very careful to avoid being stepped upon."

  "I'll tell you a lovely secret,"
    Whispered the butterfly.
  "Next summer you will surely be
    As beautiful as I,

  "Because my gauzy wings you see,
    Are very, very new.
  A caterpillar once was I
    And crawled about like you."


The ugly little caterpillar did not believe the beautiful butterfly. He
just laughed.

  "Oh!" said the lovely butterfly,
    "All that I say is true.
  But you can't stay there very long,
    There's work for you to do.

  "To the very top of this big tree
    You must begin to go,
  Because all little crawling things,
    They are so very slow.

  "There you must even change your skin
    Till it becomes dark brown.
  And you must spin a rope of silk
    To tie you tightly down.

  "You will sleep through the long cold winter,
    When the icy winds do blow.
  You will sleep through the long cold winter,
    When everywhere there's snow.

  "But by and by, in the spring-time,
    How happy you will be!
  For you will wake and find yourself
    A butterfly like me!

  "Then work on, crawling little thing,"
    Whispered the butterfly,
  "For winter's coming very fast,
    And so good-by, good-by."


The little caterpillar thought: "How could I possibly turn into a
butterfly? I have seen other caterpillars tie themselves to twigs, but
they always seemed very foolish to me."

However, that little caterpillar wanted more than anything else in the
world to become a butterfly, so he decided to try. He crawled slowly
up the tree until he found a branch that suited him exactly. Then he
selected a twig and spun about it a soft resting place of silk. He spun
a soft silken loop, too, with which he tied himself to the twig.

Very soon he lost all his bright color, and became as brown as the twig
itself. If you had seen him, you would probably have thought he was
nothing but a small brown leaf. When the cold, snowy days came, the
little caterpillar knew nothing whatever about them, for he was fast
asleep.

At last, after a long, long winter, there began to be signs of spring.
Soon, soft warm little rain drops began to fall on the chrysalis (for
that is what we call the sleeping caterpillar), whispering: "Spring is
coming and it's time to awake!" Soon, soft warm little sunbeams began to
dance on the chrysalis, whispering: "Spring is almost here, it is time
to awake!" Soon soft, warm little breezes began to blow the chrysalis
about, whispering: "Spring is here, and it is time to awake!"

Then, at last, the little caterpillar did awake. He slowly broke away
his old dried skin and the silk fastenings which he had spun so many
months before, and he crawled out in the sunshine, wet and still drowsy
after his long sleep. After a while he became warm and dry, and wide
awake in the bright sunlight, and then, suddenly, he felt that he had
wings! He looked in a rain-drop mirror, and there he saw himself a
beautiful butterfly.

Don't you think he must have been very proud and happy, as he spread his
wings and flew away to sip the honey from the flowers, and to play with
all the other butterflies, knowing that he would never again have to
crawl about on the ground?

"Oh! Mother dear," said Johnnie Jones, "let's take this caterpillar
home, so I can watch it turn into a butterfly."

Mother considered his idea a good one, so they carried the caterpillar
home on a twig, with many leaves from the tree towards which it had been
crawling. When they reached the house they placed twigs, leaves and
caterpillar in a glass jar, with netting over the top.

"We shall have to give it fresh leaves every day," Mother said, "until
it has eaten enough and goes to sleep. We can watch it carefully through
this glass jar."

Johnnie Jones knelt down beside the jar and whispered: "Ugly little
caterpillar, if you will tie yourself to that branch, and change your
skin, and go to sleep, next spring you will wake a beautiful butterfly."

[Illustration: When he spread his wings and flew away--]

Johnnie Jones was sure the caterpillar heard what he said, because
it went to sleep just as it was told. All winter long the little boy
watched it, and one day, in the early spring, really saw it come out
a gorgeous butterfly. When it spread its bright wings and flew away,
I wonder which was happier, the butterfly or Johnnie Jones.

       *       *       *       *       *



Mr. and Mrs. Bird and the Baby Birds


"Listen to that bird!" exclaimed Johnnie Jones.

"That is Mr. Bird," Mother answered. "I shall have to tell you a story
about him and Mrs. Bird and their children."

Once upon a time Mr. Bird felt so happy and gay that he could scarcely
be quiet a single moment. It was spring-time again and he sang beautiful
songs to Mrs. Bird, about the sunshine and soft, sweet air, and about
the little home they would make in the old elm tree. Mrs. Bird would
listen for a while to his song and then they would both fly away to find
the twigs and straws with which to build the nest. Very hard indeed the
little birds worked, for each straw had to be carefully woven, in and
out and out and in, so that the nest should be quite firm and round.

As soon as the nest was ready, pretty little Mrs. Bird laid four lovely
blue eggs in it. She knew, and Mr. Bird knew, that there were four baby
birds asleep in the eggs, and so they were happier than ever before.

But now Mrs. Bird had to sit on the nest all the day long, to keep the
eggs warm. Of course, Mr. Bird had to feed her. He would fly all over
the park, finding good things to eat, and carry them back to drop into
Mrs. Bird's mouth. When she was no longer hungry, Mr. Bird would hop to
a branch near by, and sing to her.

You may think that Mrs. Bird grew tired of sitting there on the nest day
after day. You may think Mr. Bird became tired of feeding Mrs. Bird, and
of singing to her, day after day. But neither one seemed to grow tired
at all. They just watched and waited, as the days went by.

After a while the little baby birds began to wake up, and one day Mrs.
Bird heard a queer scratching sound that made her very glad. The babies
were beginning to break open the shell! Peck! Peck! Peck! Soon a little
head came out of the shell. Crack! Crack! Crack! and there was a little
bird in the nest for Mr. and Mrs. Bird to love and take care of.

By the time the first pieces of shell had been thrown from the nest,
another little bird had broken through. Then came another, and still one
more, until there were four baby birds in the nest, all crying as loud
as they could, "Peep! Peep! Peep! please give us something to eat."

Then both Mr. and Mrs. Bird had to fly away to seek their own breakfast,
and to bring some to the children. You never saw such hungry babies!
They kept their parents busy all the day long, bringing them food. They
weren't very polite to each other, either, those baby birds. They would
crowd and push, and almost send each other out of the nest, trying to
get every morsel, instead of each waiting his own turn to be fed. But
then, they were only birds and did not know any better.

Day after day, they were fed by their parents. Night after night, they
were kept warm under Mrs. Bird's wings. No wonder those baby birds soon
grew big and strong. They were ever so much prettier when they grew big
enough to wear feathers.

Soon, one little bird felt so strong, that he said he wanted to fly
away, too, and see what the ground and other trees were like.

"Not to-day," Mrs. Bird told him. "Wait until your wings are a wee bit
stronger, and then I'll teach you to fly."

When both Mr. and Mrs. Bird had flown away, this same little bird said
to his brothers: "It seems quite easy to fly; all you need to do is to
flap your wings. I think I'll try it alone."

"You had better not!" the others told him.

"Yes, I will," the little bird said.

He hopped to the edge of the nest, and began to flap his wings. He did
not quite dare to raise his feet, though, for he felt rather timid when
he looked down and saw how far away the ground seemed to be. But he
flapped his wings so vigorously, pretending to fly, that he lost his
balance and fell. He was not hurt, for the grass was tall and soft, but
he was greatly frightened, and cried out for his mother.

Mrs. Bird was too far away to hear him, but a little girl did. She
picked him up very gently, and ran to show him to her father.

"Look at this cunning little bird which I have found! May I keep it for
mine?" she asked him.

"No," said her father. "See, it is only a baby bird, which has fallen
from its nest, and is crying for its mother. Show me where you found it;
perhaps I can reach the nest if we can discover it among the leaves."

The little girl pointed out the tree to her father. He placed a ladder
against it, and, climbing up, was able to drop the little bird into its
home.

In a few days Mr. and Mrs. Bird were ready to teach all their babies
to fly.

"Come on," they said, "spread your wings, jump into the air, and fly
just a little way, to that other limb of the tree."

Three of the little birds obeyed at once, and reached the resting place
in safety. But the fourth little bird was afraid to try, because he had
fallen before.

"Don't be a coward," urged his father and mother. "You fell before
because your wings were not strong enough to bear you up, but now you
will have no trouble."

The little bird wouldn't budge.

The parent birds knew it was time for him to learn, so they pushed the
foolish little fellow out of the nest, and watched him spread his wings,
and flutter to the ground. There he found more courage, and after a
while he flew up to join his brothers on the tree.

"I was sitting at my window," Mother told Johnnie Jones, "and saw it all
happen. Of course I can't understand the language of birds, and I am not
sure I have repeated exactly what the parent birds said to the babies,
or what the babies said to each other, but only what they seemed to say.
Anyway, everything happened as I have told you."

"Soon the babies could fly nearly as well and as far as the old birds,
and after that the little nest was left quite empty, rocked by the wind
in the old tree top."

       *       *       *       *       *



The Coming of Little Brother


Almost all of the children who attended the kindergarten where Johnnie
Jones spent his mornings, had a baby brother or sister at home. They
spoke of "their babies" so often and enjoyed so much making presents to
take them, that Johnnie Jones wished for a baby at his house, and talked
to Mother about it.

One night, Mother said she had a secret to tell him. He was glad, for he
liked to have secrets with Mother, who told him a great many, because he
could keep them so well.

"It is the most beautiful secret in all the world," Mother said.
"Spring-time is coming very fast, and next month, when the trees and the
flowers wake up because winter is over and gone, a dear little baby is
coming to live with us."

"Oh! Mother dear, I am so glad!" said Johnnie Jones. "But why does the
baby wait so long? I want him this very day."

"Dear," Mother answered, "the baby is still fast asleep, just as the
little flower buds are, and we must watch and wait until he comes. It
will not be very long, little son, and then how happy we'll be, you and
Father and I!"

"At first the baby will be too small and helpless to play, and will need
his big brother to take care of him so that he may grow tall and strong.
Then, by and by, he will be able to run about and talk, and play with
you. But always, always, he will need you to help him, and teach him,
and care for him."

After that evening, when Mother had whispered the beautiful secret to
him, Johnnie Jones would ask her each day: "Will our baby wake up and
come tomorrow?" But Mother could not tell him, so they just waited, and
made ready, day after day.

At last one bright, warm morning when Johnnie Jones awoke, he saw Father
bending down over his bed with such a happy face that he asked at once:
"Has our baby waked up and come?"

"Yes," Father answered, "there is a Little Brother in Mother's room, and
she says she can't wait any longer to show him to you."

Johnnie Jones was very much excited and, as soon as possible, he tiptoed
into Mother's room. Father had asked him to be very quiet.

"Come here, dear," Mother said, "I have been waiting such a long time
for you." She drew him down beside her, and showed him a tiny baby boy
no larger than a doll.

As Johnnie Jones leaned down to see, the Little Brother opened his eyes
wide, and looked at him. Johnnie Jones was too happy to say a word. He
sat down close to the bed, and Father placed the baby in his arms.
Johnnie Jones held him very carefully, so that he might not hurt him or
let him fall.

"He is your Little Brother," Mother said softly, "your Little Brother to
love and take care of all your life. You will always remember that,
won't you?"

And Johnnie Jones always did.

       *       *       *       *       *



Little Brother and Johnnie Jones


Little brother was a merry baby with a smile for everyone. Soon he was
old enough to be on the floor with Johnnie Jones, and to build houses of
blocks, and play with the toys. He learned to walk very early, when he
was less than a year old. Then indeed, he kept the family busy, guarding
him from harm.

One day he found the sharp scissors, which Johnnie Jones had to take
away very quickly before he could cut himself. Another day he tried to
eat a paper of pins, and Johnnie Jones had to run very fast to reach him
in time. That one baby kept Father and Mother, Johnnie Jones and Maggie,
all busy, because he was too young to know that some things are
dangerous for babies to have.

Sometimes, because he was too little to know any better, he objected to
having the scissors, or knives, or cookies, taken away. Then what do you
suppose he would do? He would run straight to Johnnie Jones and pull his
hair! He always seemed to feel happier after that.

It hurts to have one's hair pulled, but Johnnie Jones seldom cried or
was cross with the baby. He would just laugh and run away when he saw
him coming for his hair. Besides, that bad habit did not last long, and
you may be sure that Johnnie Jones was glad when it was broken!

The first word the baby learned to say after "Mama" was "Buddy," and he
meant Johnnie Jones. He knew when it was time for the big boy to come
home from kindergarten, and he would stand at the window watching for
him. As soon as he saw him coming he would wave his hand, and run to the
steps to meet him. Then they would have a romp. Their favorite game was
"I Spy."

One day they were playing "I Spy," and Little Brother was hiding.
Usually it was very easy to find him, because his favorite hiding place
was the nearest corner. But this time he wasn't there when Johnnie Jones
looked, nor anywhere in the room or hall.

"Where can he be?" Johnnie Jones asked Mother.

She came to help him. They called the baby but heard no answer. Then
they began to be worried and looked in every room. Suddenly they heard a
great splash in the bath-tub. They ran into the bathroom, and there they
found the baby.

Little Brother had forgotten he was playing "I Spy." He had wandered
into the bath-room, and climbing on a chair dropped the soap into the
tub which was full of water. Then, very soon, he dropped himself in,
too! That was the splash the others had heard.

Mother and Johnnie Jones lifted him out, wet as he could be, and very
much frightened.

"You dear little rascal!" exclaimed Johnnie Jones. "Didn't you know you
couldn't swim?"

"It certainly is a good thing," Mother said, "that he has a big brother
to take care of him."

       *       *       *       *       *



Elizabeth with the Children


One day Elizabeth came over to spend the afternoon with Johnnie Jones,
who was very glad to see her.

"Let's play horse," suggested Johnnie Jones. "I have a new pair of reins
with bells on them."

"No, I don't want to play horse," Elizabeth said. "I want to play "I
Spy," and I want to hide. You must find me."

"All right!" answered Johnnie Jones.

But as soon as it was Johnnie Jones's turn to hide, and Elizabeth's to
find him, she decided that she would rather play fire-engine. "I'll be
the fireman and put out the fire with your real little hose, and you be
the horse and engine," she said.

"All right," Johnnie Jones answered again.

After they had extinguished several fires, Elizabeth said: "Now we'll
play grocery-store, and I'll be the man who keeps it. We'll borrow some
apples and potatoes from the cook, and you come to buy them."

"No," said Johnnie Jones this time, "I'll be the grocery man, and you
the lady who comes to buy."

"I won't play if I mayn't be the storekeeper," threatened Elizabeth.

"But that's not fair," said Johnnie Jones. "You have chosen every game,
and have taken the best part in each one for yourself. Now it is my turn
to choose."

"I'll go home if you won't let me be the grocery man," Elizabeth told
him.

"No," he answered, "because that's not a fair way to play."

Then Elizabeth left him. She did not go home, however, but just next
door to Katherine's house. She found Katherine and Mary at home, playing
with their dolls.

As soon as the little girls saw Elizabeth, they said: "You can't play
with us unless you play the right way. You can't be Mother all the
time."

"Well, if you won't let me play my way, I won't play at all," said
Elizabeth, and ran on until she came to Sarah's house.

Sarah, Tom and Ned were jumping rope, and they called out to Elizabeth:
"You can't play with us unless you will turn the rope part of the time."

"I don't like to turn, I like to jump," Elizabeth complained. But when
she realized that she would not be allowed to jump until she first
turned the rope for the others, she left these children too, and went
next door to visit Sammy Smith.

That little boy and Susie were playing with a big wagon. They asked
Elizabeth to play with them, and because they were courteous little
children, and she was their visitor, they permitted her to take the
first ride, and pretended that they were two strong horses hitched to
her carriage. When they were tired, they told Elizabeth that it was
time for her to become a horse and let one of them ride.

"No," said Elizabeth, "I like to ride better than to pull the wagon."

"We won't let you ride any longer," they answered, "because it's your
turn to play that you are a horse."

"Then I'll go home," she said, and this time she did.

"What is the matter?" asked her mother.

"The children won't play the way I want them to, and I don't like them
any more because I think they are unkind," she answered. "I wish I could
go to fairy-land and be a princess, or else that I were a grown-up
lady."

"Even grown-up ladies and princesses cannot always have their own way,"
her mother said.

Elizabeth stood at the window and looked out across the street. Most of
the children had gathered there in front of Johnnie Jones's house, and
were jumping rope. Elizabeth could hear them counting, and laughing, and
talking. She began to feel very lonely. At last she put on her hat again
and ran back to join the children.

"If you will let me play with you," she said, "I'll play anything you
like."

"All right!" they answered, "and sometimes we'll play what you like."

"And I won't always ask for the best part any more," she said.

"You may have the part you like when it is your turn to choose," they
told her.

"I'll turn the rope now," Elizabeth added.

"You turn until some one trips," the others answered.

Elizabeth spent the remainder of the afternoon with the children, who
were glad to have her because she played fair. Elizabeth herself was
very happy. She was even glad that she wasn't a princess or a grown-up
lady; glad that she was just a little girl who had learned to play with
other children.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and the Hoop-Rolling Club


One day, all the children of the neighborhood decided to form a
hoop-rolling club. Each child was to buy a hoop and decorate it with
bells and ribbons. Then, every Saturday morning, all of them were to go
to the park and have a procession. They were to try their best to turn
square corners, to roll their hoops in a straight line, and to keep them
from falling down. No matter where they rolled them, up hill or down
hill, over smooth ground or rough, they were not to let the hoops fall.

The one who could do all these things the best was to be the captain and
lead the procession wherever he wished. He could go swiftly or slowly,
just as he liked, and all the rest were to follow in the same manner.
The captain was to remain captain only so long as he could roll his hoop
better than anyone else in the club.

The children were delighted with their plan, and ran to the shop to buy
the hoops.

All except poor little Johnnie Jones! He was not quite as old as the
others, and he could not manage a hoop. He had tried to roll one
belonging to Sammy Smith, one day, but he had been unable to prevent its
falling down every time he struck it. Of course he wanted to join the
club, and he asked Mother what she thought he had better do.

Mother went with him to the grocery-store, and bought a small hoop, much
smaller than Sammy Smith's. Then she told Johnnie Jones that no one
could teach him to roll it. "You must just try and try until you
succeed, little boy," she said.

Johnnie Jones tried, all the way home, but he was as unsuccessful with
the new hoop as he had been with Sammy Smith's old one. The other
children watched him, but they did not know how to help him, much as
they wished to do so. One big boy was rude enough to laugh at him,
which hurt his feelings so much that he went out into his back yard to
practise. There he tried, and tried again, until he was very tired.

Every day while the other children were decorating their hoops or were
playing together, Johnnie Jones would practise all alone in the back
yard, where no one could see him. He tried so hard that at last he
succeeded in rolling his hoop from the porch to the gate without letting
it fall a single time. He was greatly encouraged then, but he had to
continue practising, because he could not even yet guide the hoop very
well, and he could not turn corners at all.

When Saturday came, he went to the park to watch the first procession.
It was a very pretty sight, for the hoops had been decorated with bright
ribbons, and with bells which made a merry tinkling sound. Ned was the
captain, as he was the oldest and could manage his hoop most skilfully.
He led the children through the park, stopping now and then for breath.
Whenever anyone dropped his hoop, he had to go to the end of the line,
for that was the rule of the club.

All the next week Johnnie Jones worked very hard, learning to guide his
hoop in a straight line, and to turn corners. He went to the park to
practise now, so that he might have more room.

Mother watched him every day, and after a while she told him that he had
become quite skilful enough to join the club. Then he was very happy,
and began to decorate his hoop with the bright pink ribbon and shining
brass bells which Mother had bought for him.

The next Saturday morning, Johnnie Jones took his hoop with him when he
went to the park with the other children, all of whom were glad to hear
that he had learned to roll it.

"But you had better be last in the procession," they told him, "because,
most likely, you can't manage it very well yet."

They did not know how hard he had worked.

When the procession started off, Johnnie Jones kept up with the other
children. Not once did he let his hoop fall, and he made it go so
straight, and turned such square corners, that, presently, the children
noticed how well he was doing.

"Well, look at little Johnnie Jones!" they said. "He can roll his hoop
better than anyone here, even better than Ned!"

After they had watched him for a while, they decided he must be their
captain, until Ned, or one of the other children had learned to do
better than he.

Then Johnnie Jones was the proudest, happiest little boy in the whole
world, as he led the procession through the park.

[Illustration: Then Johnnie Jones was the proudest, happiest little
boy--]

       *       *       *       *       *



The Fire at Johnnie Jones's House


One night, while Father was away from home on a business trip, Mother
and Johnnie Jones and Little Brother were fast asleep in their beds.
Jack had been asleep too, down-stairs in the front hall, but now he was
wide awake. He stood up, put back his ears, and sniffed the air. Then he
ran quickly up the stairs to Johnnie Jones's room, stood outside his
door, and whined, That did not waken anyone, so he barked.

Johnnie Jones woke up and heard him. So did mother, who was in the next
room. "Please lie still, Mother," said Johnnie Jones. "I'll see what is
the matter." He was trying to help Mother all he could while Father was
away.

He opened the door, and cried out: "Oh, Mother, the hall is full of
smoke!"

Mother came to the door. She saw that smoke was pouring out from the
hall below. "I am afraid the house is on fire," she said. "You must be
very brave and help me. Put on your wrapper and slippers and run up to
Maggie's room, and tell her and Kathie to come down here."

Johnnie Jones was a bit frightened, but without another word he ran up
those long, dark steps, and aroused the two girls. It was brave of the
little boy.

Meanwhile Mother had given the fire alarm through the telephone, slipped
on her wrapper, and bundled the baby in a blanket. When the others had
come down to her room, she closed the door into the hall.

"It would be dangerous to go downstairs," she said; "we must just wait
here at the window until the firemen bring us a ladder."

"Oh, Mother!" Johnnie Jones said, "do you think they'll come soon?"

"Listen!" Mother answered.

Then Johnnie Jones heard a sound that made him clap his hands with joy.
CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! Galloping down the street came the splendid big
fire-horses drawing the hook-and-ladder. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! Down the
street came the fire-engine, the hose carriage, and the salvage corps
wagon.

Quick as a flash the firemen saw Mother and the children at the window!
Quicker than you can think, they had two long ladders placed against the
two window sills. Then two strong firemen climbed up. One of them helped
Mother and the baby to reach the ground, the other looked after Johnnie
Jones.

Maggie and Kathie did not wait to be helped, they stepped down the
ladder faster than one would have thought possible, and reached the
ground first of all.

Jack did not know how to use a ladder, so he was thrown out of the
window by one fireman, and caught in a blanket by two others. He wasn't
hurt in the least, though Johnnie Jones had been worried for fear he
might be, but ran straight to his little master.

"If it had not been for Jack's telling us there was a fire, we might
not have been able to leave the house so quickly," said Mother, as she
caressed the dog.

Elizabeth's mother, who lived across the street, asked Mrs. Jones and
the children to come into her house. They went, and stood at the window
watching the fire until it was out.

It was a beautiful sight, for the flames flashed out of the thick smoke
and made the whole neighborhood bright. Poor Mother felt too sad at
seeing her home burn to enjoy the beauty of the fire, but as it was the
very first fire he had ever seen, Johnnie Jones did enjoy it, although
he was sorry, too.

"Never mind, Mother dear," he said, trying to comfort her. "Father will
build us a new house if this one burns down."

All this time the brave firemen were working to extinguish the fire.
They had unhitched the horses, and tied them, at a safe distance from
the house. Some of them had fixed the hose to the engine and were
pumping great streams of water onto the flames. Others were inside the
house fighting the fire; and the salvage men were trying to save the
furniture and pictures and curtains.

Soon the flames became lower, and lower, until at last they died away,
and the fire was out. Then the horses were hitched again to the engine,
and hose carriage, and the other wagons. The whistle in the engine was
blown, and all went back to the engine houses where they belonged. Not
as they had come, in a swift gallop, but slowly, for now men and horses
were tired.

Soon the neighborhood was quiet again, and everyone returned to bed. The
Jones's passed the rest of the night in Elizabeth's house.

Next morning, they drove to Grandmother's home to visit her until they
could go into the country to spend the summer.

When Father came home he was very much grieved to find his home so badly
burned, but he felt very grateful to Jack for arousing the family, and
he was very thankful to the brave firemen and good horses, for coming so
quickly and doing their work so well. He was distressed that he had not
been at home, to save Mother from worry and care, but he was glad to
hear that Johnnie Jones had been a help and comfort to her, and had
behaved as a manly boy should.

       *       *       *       *       *



Johnnie Jones and Fanny


Johnnie Jones enjoyed the country because he could be out of doors all
the day long, and because there were so many interesting things to do.
This summer he liked it even better than ever before, for Little Brother
was old enough to run about and play with him, in the soft grass under
the trees.

Then there was Fanny.

Fanny was a small brown pony which lived in the country all the year
round, and which had belonged to Johnnie Jones ever since he was a tiny
boy only two years old. The little pony and the little boy loved each
other, and spent a great deal of their time together. Each morning,
directly after breakfast, Johnnie Jones and Little Brother would go down
to the field where Fanny and the horses lived, taking with them an apple
or some sugar.

"Here, Fanny! Here, Fanny!" they would call.

As soon as she heard their voices, the little brown pony would come
running to them and eat out of their hands, always being very careful
not to nip their fingers. Then she would poke her nose into Johnnie
Jones's pockets to see if there were anything hidden away, that was good
to eat. She was so sweet tempered and gentle that she would let the
children do anything with her that pleased them, and often romped with
Johnnie Jones like a big dog.

About nine o'clock, Sam, the hired man, would hitch Fanny to a small
cart, and Johnnie Jones would take Mother, or Maggie, and Little
Brother, for a drive. Johnnie Jones could both drive and ride so very
well that he was often allowed to go out with Fanny quite alone.

One morning, after he had taken the others home, he started to the
village shop to buy some butter. On the road he met a boy named Charley,
who asked to go with him.

"All right! Jump in," Johnnie Jones told him, glad to have company.

"Let me drive?" Charley asked. So Johnnie Jones changed places with him,
and gave him the reins.

[Illustration: The little brown pony would eat out of their hands]

Charley was older than Johnnie Jones and considered himself a much
better driver, but he did not know and love horses in the same way that
Johnnie Jones did, though he had always lived in the country.

"Watch me!" he said. "I'll show you how to make a pony run."

Before Johnnie Jones could stop him, he seized the whip and with it gave
Fanny a sharp cut. The little pony had never before been whipped, and
was so surprised and hurt, that she began to run as fast as ever she
could. Bump! Bump! She dragged the cart over rocks and stones so fast
that the little boys were almost thrown out on the road.

Johnnie Jones was just as surprised as Fanny.

"Give me that whip," he said to Charley. "I don't allow anyone to use it
on my pony. You've hurt her and made her run away. Give me the reins. I
will never again let you drive."

"Leave me alone," Charley answered. "I'll teach her a good lesson."

He struck Fanny once more, and then began pulling on the reins with all
his might, hurting the pony's tender mouth, and making her toss her head
and even kick.

Johnnie Jones was very angry and commanded Charley to give him the
reins. Charley was beginning to be frightened, so he obeyed.

"Whoa! Fanny, don't be afraid," Johnnie Jones said to the little pony,
as he took the reins and held them loosely in his hands.

As soon as Fanny heard the voice of her little master, she stopped
running, and soon stood still. Then Johnnie Jones jumped out of the cart
and began to pat her. Fanny was very much ashamed of herself, and rubbed
her nose against his sleeve, as if to say: "I am sorry, Johnnie Jones,
but that boy surprised me. I'll never act so again."

Johnnie Jones drove on to the shop and then back home, but he was so
angry with Charley that he would not let him ride any further.

"I don't like you any more," he told him.

And I do not blame Johnnie Jones, do you? For I could not like a boy who
would be so cowardly and unkind as to hurt an animal.

       *       *       *       *       *



Fanny and Little Brother


One day, Elizabeth came with her mother to spend the day in the country
with Mrs. Jones and the little boys. The children had enjoyed themselves
very much, playing all the morning. Just before lunch they ran down to
the field where Fanny and Tim, the carriage horse, were, to pick some
wild flowers for the table. Little Brother was with them, and while the
others were gathering the flowers, he toddled away, and lay down in the
tall grass.

The two mothers were sitting under the trees near the house. From where
they sat they could see the children in the field.

"Aren't you afraid to let the children play there where the horses are?"
Elizabeth's mother asked Mrs. Jones.

"No indeed," she answered. "Tim and Fanny love them too well to hurt
them."

But just then Tim and Fanny began to play "Tag," as they often did, for
they were great friends. Fanny pretended to bite Tim, and came galloping
up the field as fast as ever she could. She did not see Little Brother,
lying directly in front of her, hidden by the tall grass. On she came,
galloping rapidly towards him.

Mother saw her, and was so frightened she could hardly stand, for she
thought the baby would be trampled down by the pony. She started to run,
but of course she could not run as fast as Fanny, and besides, she was
much further away.

Fanny rushed on until she was within a few feet of the baby. Then she
saw him! She tried to stop, but was moving too rapidly. Being a wise
little pony, she saw there was but one thing to do, and she did it. She
jumped and landed on the other side of the baby without touching him,
though her foot just did miss his head.

Mother caught Little Brother up in her arms, and examined him carefully.
She could scarcely believe he had escaped without any injury, and was
very happy indeed, when she found that such was the case.

"I don't believe any other pony would have had so much sense," she said.

That evening, when Father had heard of Little Brother's narrow escape,
he told Mother and Johnnie Jones about an experience he had had when a
baby.

His father had owned a wise old horse whose name was Charley. One day
Charley was eating the grass in the yard, and Johnnie Jones's father,
who was then only a baby three years old, was lying on the ground,
playing with the leaves After a while old Charley had eaten all the
grass near by, except the very long delicious blades underneath the
baby. He couldn't ask the little boy to move away, because he couldn't
talk. So, very carefully, he took hold of the baby's dress with his
teeth, lifted him up, and set him down on the other side of the yard.
He did not even frighten him, but the mother, who was looking out of the
window, was very much frightened, until she saw that the baby had not
been harmed.

Mother and Johnnie Jones agreed that Charley had shown almost as much
sense as Fanny, but that it wasn't very safe to leave little children
alone when there were horses and ponies about.

       *       *       *       *       *



When Johnnie Jones Learned to Swim


One summer, when Johnnie Jones was six, he and the other members of the
family spent a month in the woods. They lived in a small log house which
was close to a beautiful lake, and almost completely surrounded by
trees. Johnnie Jones enjoyed the life there immensely. He learned to
row a light boat on the water, and every day he went for a long walk
through the woods, meeting many birds and small wild animals on the
way. Sometimes, in the distance, he caught a glimpse of the beautiful,
graceful deer, which were too timid to permit him to come very near
them.

Just in front of the house was a wooden dock where Johnnie Jones liked
to play, but where he was never allowed to go alone as the water about
it was very deep. "Teach me to swim," he said to his father. "Then I
shall be able to play wherever I please."

Father had been intending to give Johnnie Jones lessons in swimming and
was only waiting for a warm, sunshiny day. Such a day came very soon,
and, about twelve o'clock, he and Johnnie Jones, dressed in their
bathing suits, went in the water. The little boy considered bathing
great fun as long as he remained close to shore where the water was
shallow but he did not like it so well when Father carried him out to
the raft, where the water was so deep that it reached the shoulders of
the grown people standing in it.

"Now, son," Mr. Jones said, "I want you to stand on the raft, and jump
when I count three. I will catch you in my arms, let you go down under
the water, and bring you up again. Remember to hold your breath, so that
you will not take any of the water into your nose or mouth. Perhaps you
had better keep one hand over your face for fear you might forget and
try to breathe before you reach the surface. Now jump, I am quite ready
to catch you."

Johnnie Jones stood on the raft and looked down at the water. He did not
want to jump into it, but neither did he want to disappoint his father.
Besides he wished very much to learn to swim.

"Will you be certain to catch me?" he asked Father.

"I promise you I will," he answered.

Johnnie Jones knew that Father always kept his promise, so, after a
moment or two, he said he was ready.

"One, two, three, jump!" said Father. And Johnnie Jones obeyed.

As soon as he touched the water he felt Father's strong arms about
him, and then he did not mind going down, down, into it. In a second
he came to the surface again, of course dripping wet, but without
having swallowed any water, as he had remembered to hold his breath.

After the first plunge, he enjoyed taking others, and jumped into the
water as many times as Father would catch him. Next day they went in
bathing again, and Father carried Johnnie Jones out to the raft as
before. But when the little boy was ready to jump, Father said: "To-day,
I shall not catch you when you first touch the water; I shall wait until
you come to the surface by yourself, and then I shall hold you up."

After he had jumped into the water, Johnnie Jones was surprised to find
that he came up again just as quickly as when Father's arms had been
under him. Then while Father held him he lay flat on the water and
paddled himself about with his hands and feet.

In a few days the little boy learned to swim a short distance, quite
alone, although he was not allowed to go into the water unless an older
person were with him.

One day, before Johnnie Jones had learned to swim very well, he had an
exciting experience. He was on the dock with his uncle, and a very high
wind was blowing the water into waves, which dashed against the dock
with a roaring sound. Indeed the waves were so noisy, that when Johnnie
Jones suddenly slipped and fell off the dock, his uncle, whose back was
turned, did not hear the splash.

However, a boatman at the boat-house saw Johnnie Jones fall, and he ran
as fast as possible, towards the dock.

Meantime Johnnie Jones sank down into the water, and came up to the
surface again. The brave little fellow remembered what to do. He closed
his mouth, and holding one hand over his nose, he paddled with the
other, until he was able to grasp the dock, against which the wind was
blowing him. He held on bravely, never opening his mouth to cry, nor
taking his hand from his face.

In less than a minute, though it seemed much longer to Johnnie Jones,
his uncle and the boatman had drawn him from the water. He was not in
the least harmed by his unexpected bath because he had remembered, even
while he was falling, the proper thing to do.

Mother stripped off his wet clothing, and after she had rubbed him until
he was all in a glow, she wrapped him in blankets so that he should not
take cold.

Johnnie Jones went to sleep. When he awoke he felt very well, and was
glad when he heard Father say: "You were a brave boy and I am proud of
you."

Johnnie Jones's uncle was sorry he had been so careless as to turn his
back when the wind was blowing such a gale, and promised that it should
never happen again.

Johnnie Jones was more careful, too, and had no further trouble in the
water. Every day, Father gave him a swimming lesson, and before the time
came to return to the city, Johnnie Jones felt very much at home in the
water. He could swim very well, and could float, lying flat on his back,
but another summer passed before he had quite learned to dive.





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