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´╗┐Title: The Sandman: His Farm Stories
Author: Hopkins, William J.
Language: English
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  THE SANDMAN.
  HIS FARM STORIES



Sandman Stories

Each, one vol., 12mo, illustrated, $1.75


By William J. Hopkins

  The Sandman: His Farm Stories
  The Sandman: More Farm Stories
  The Sandman: His Ship Stories
  The Sandman: His Sea Stories


By Harry W. Frees

  The Sandman: His Animal Stories
  The Sandman: His Kittycat Stories
  The Sandman: His Bunny Stories
  The Sandman: His Puppy Stories


By Jenny Wallis

The Sandman: His Songs and Rhymes


By W. S. Phillips
(El Comancho)

The Sandman: His Indian Stories


By Helen I. Castella

The Sandman: His Fairy Stories


By Mae V. LeBert

The Sandman: His Japanese Stories


  L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
  53 Beacon Street Boston, Mass.



[Illustration - Little John]



  The Sandman:
  His Farm
  Stories

  By
  William J. Hopkins

  With Fifty Illustrations by
  Ada Clendenin Williamson

[Illustration]

  Boston
  The Page Company
  Publishers



_Copyright, 1902_
BY THE PAGE COMPANY

_All rights reserved_


Made in U.S.A.

PRINTED BY THE COLONIAL PRESS INC.
CLINTON, MASS., U.S.A.



  To
  that
  Little John
  of to-day
  who has inspired these stories
  of that other
  Little John
  of long ago
  this volume is
  most affectionately
  dedicated



PREFACE


Whatever may be thought of these stories by older people, they have
served, with some others, to induce a certain little boy to go to sleep,
and for nearly three years my one listener has heard them repeated many
times, and his interest has never flagged. As the farm stories slowly
grew in number, they entirely displaced the other stories, and that farm
has become as real in the mind of my audience as it was in fact when
little John was driving the cows, or planting the corn, seventy-five
years ago.



The detail, which may seem excessive to an older critic, was in every
case, until I had learned to put it in at the start, the result of a
searching cross-examination. If the bars were not put up again, the cows
might get out; and if the oxen did not pass, on their return, all the
familiar objects, how did they get back to the barn? It is the young
critics that I hope to please, those whose years count no more than six.
If they like these farm stories half as well as my own young critic
likes them, I shall be satisfied.

WILLIAM J. HOPKINS.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                        PAGE

    I. THE OXEN STORY                            13

   II. THE FINE-HOMINY STORY                     21

  III. THE APPLE STORY                           36

   IV. THE WHOLE WHEAT STORY                     47

    V. THE STUMP STORY                           59

   VI. THE HORSIE STORY                          64

  VII. THE LOG STORY                             71

 VIII. THE UNCLE SAM STORY                       80

   IX. THE MARKET STORY                          84

    X. THE MAPLE-SUGAR STORY                     96

   XI. THE RAIL FENCE STORY                     110

  XII. THE COW STORY                            120

 XIII. THE HAY STORY                            135

  XIV. THE FIREPLACE STORY                      146

   XV. THE BAKING STORY                         156

  XVI. THE SWIMMING STORY                       165

 XVII. THE CHICKEN STORY                        175

XVIII. THE SHAWL STORY                          184

  XIX. THE BUYING-FARM STORY                    198

   XX. THE BUTTER STORY                         203

  XXI. THE BEAN-POLE STORY                      210



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                  PAGE

    LITTLE JOHN                           _Frontispiece_

    "AND TO WASH THEIR FACES AND HANDS"              14

    "RAN DOWN THE SPOUT TO THE HOGSHEAD"             15

    "UNCLE JOHN TOOK THE BARS DOWN"                  17

    "HE PUT ONE GRAIN OF CORN IN EACH HOLE"          25

    "IT WAS TIME TO GATHER THE CORN"                 27

    "ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING WAS A GREAT
        ENORMOUS WHEEL"                              31

    "LITTLE JOHN GOT DOWN"                           32

    "UNCLE JOHN GATHERED ALL THE APPLES"             38

    "THE JUICE RAN OUT BELOW INTO THE KEG"           43

    "THE CIDER RAN INTO THE PITCHER"                 45

    "SO THEY WENT ALL AROUND THE FIELD"              49

    "PUT THE BAG OVER HIS SHOULDER"                  50

    "THEY MADE A GREAT NOISE"                        56

    "THE PLACES WHERE THE FIELDS WOULD BE WERE ALL
        COVERED WITH TREES"                          60

    "THEY DUG A TRENCH"                              62

    "HE BEGAN TO CLIMB OVER THE WALL"                66

    "RAN ALONG THE ROAD CRYING"                      69

    "THEY ROLLED THE GREAT LOG UP THE LITTLE LOGS
        ON TO THE SLEDS"                             74

    "THE END OF THE LOG CAME AGAINST THE SAW"        77

    "HE TIPPED UNCLE SAM RIGHT OUT"                  82

    "HE JUST GOT UP AND RAN AROUND THE WALL"         83

    "THE OLD ROOSTER CROWED"                         85

    "AUNT DEBORAH CAME OUT OF THE HOUSE"             87

    "THE MARKET-MAN TOOK SOME MONEY FROM HIS
        POCKET"                                      92

    "PUT A BUCKET UNDER EACH SPOUT"                 100

    "DROPPED IT IN THE SNOW"                        104

    "THEY CUT DOWN ENOUGH OF THESE TREES"           112

    "PUT THE POSTS IN THE HOLES"                    117

    "FIXING THE FIRE"                               121

    "LITTLE JOHN ... OPENED THE GATE"               128

    "THEY PUT IT DOWN BY THE STONE WALL"            137

    "ONE OF THE OTHER MEN BEGAN AT THE NEXT
        PLACE"                                      138

    "THEY PILED THE HAY UP IN THE CART"             143

    "THERE WAS A GREAT ENORMOUS FIREPLACE"          147

    "FILLED IT WITH WATER AT THE WELL"              150

    "THOSE WERE APPLE PIES"                         160

    "SO SHE DID UNTIL ALL THE PIES WERE BAKED"      162

    "THEY RAN ALONG IN THE WATER WHERE IT WASN'T
        VERY DEEP"                                  167

    "THERE WAS AUNT DEBORAH WITH FOUR PIECES OF
        GINGERBREAD"                                173

    "THE OLD ROOSTER ... CROWED VERY LOUD"          178

    "EACH OF THESE HENS LAID ONE EGG"               180

    "LITTLE JOHN FOUND THAT NEST"                   181

    "THEY WENT TO THE ISLAND"                       188

    "THEY THOUGHT THE CLOTH AND THE SHAWLS WERE
        VERY BEAUTIFUL"                             195

    "ALL THE THINGS HAD TO BE DRAGGED IN THE
        WAGONS"                                     201

    "PUT IT IN FLAT PANS"                           206

    "AUNT PHYLLIS TOOK HOLD OF THE LONG HANDLE"     207

    "HE CUT DOWN EACH TREE WITH ONE WHACK OF THE
        AXE"                                        213

    "THE BEAN VINES KEPT ON GROWING"                216



THE SANDMAN:
HIS FARM STORIES



I.

THE OXEN STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds, and it stood not far from the road. And in the fence
was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons,
going through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.


[Illustration]


Not far from the kitchen door was a well, with a bucket tied by a rope
to the end of a great long pole. And when they wanted water, they let
the bucket down into the well and pulled it up full of water. They used
this water to drink, and to wash their faces and hands, and to wash the
dishes: but it wasn't good to wash clothes, because it wouldn't make
good soap-suds. To get water to wash the clothes, they had a great
enormous hogshead at the corner of the house. And when it rained, the
rain fell on the roof, and ran down the roof to the gutter, and ran down
the gutter to the spout, and ran down the spout to the hogshead. And
when they wanted water to wash the clothes, they took some of the water
out of the hogshead.


[Illustration]


But when it had not rained for a long time, there was no water in the
hogshead. Then they got out the drag and put a barrel on it, and the old
oxen came out from the barn, and put their heads down low; and Uncle
John put the yoke over their necks, and put the bows under and fastened
them, and hooked the chain of the drag to the yoke. There wasn't any
harness, and there weren't any reins. Then he said "Gee up there, Buck;
gee up there, Star." And the old oxen started walking slowly along,
dragging the drag, with the barrel on it, along the ground. And Uncle
John walked along beside them, carrying a long whip or a long stick with
a sharp end; and little John walked along by the drag.


[Illustration]


And they walked slowly out of the yard into the road and along the road
until they came to a big field with a stone wall around it, and a big
gate in the stone wall. It wasn't a regular gate, but at each side of
the open place in the wall there was a post with holes in it. And long
bars went across and rested in the holes. And the old oxen stopped, and
Uncle John took the bars down and laid them on the ground. Then the oxen
started and walked through the gate and across the field until they came
to the river. And when they came to the river, they stopped.

The little river and the field are not there now, because the people put
a great enormous heap of dirt across, and the river couldn't get
through. The water ran in and couldn't get out, and spread out all over
the field and made a big pond. And they had some great pipes under the
ground, all the way to Boston. And the water runs through the pipes to
Boston, and the people use it there to drink, and wash faces and hands,
and wash dishes, and wash clothes.

Well, when the old oxen stopped at the river, Uncle John took his bucket
and dipped it in the river, and poured the water into the barrel until
the barrel was full. Then he said "Gee up there," and the old oxen
started slowly walking across the field. And the drag tilted around on
the rough ground, and the water splashed about in the barrel, and
slopped over the top of the barrel on to the drag, and on to the ground.
And the oxen walked out of the gate into the road and stopped. And Uncle
John put the bars back into the holes, and the old oxen started again
and walked slowly along the road, until they came to the farm-house, and
in at the big gate, and up to the kitchen door, and there they stopped.
And Uncle John unhooked the chain from the yoke, and took out the bows,
and took off the yoke, and the old oxen walked into the barn and went to
sleep. And they left the drag with the barrel of water by the kitchen
door.

And the next morning, when they wanted water to wash the clothes, there
was the barrel of water, all ready.

And that's all.



II.

THE FINE-HOMINY STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds, and it stood not far from the road. And in the fence
was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons,
going through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

Not far from the house there was a field where corn grew; and when the
winter was over and the snow was gone and it was beginning to get warm,
Uncle John got the old oxen out of the barn. And the oxen put their
heads down, and Uncle John put the yoke over and the bows under, and he
put the plough on the drag and hooked the drag chain to the yoke. Then
he said: "Gee up there, Buck; gee up there, Star."

So the old oxen started walking slowly along the wagon track and out of
the gate into the road. Uncle Solomon and Uncle John walked along beside
them, and little John walked behind; and they walked along until they
came to the corn-field. Then the oxen stopped and Uncle John took the
bars down out of the holes in the posts, and the oxen geed up again
through the gate into the corn-field.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the drag and hooked it to the
plough and said "Gee up" again, and the oxen started walking along
across the field, dragging the plough. Uncle Solomon held the handles,
and the plough dug into the ground and turned up the dirt into a great
heap on one side and left a deep furrow--a kind of a long hollow--all
across the field where it had gone. And the old oxen walked across the
field, around and around, making the furrow and turning up the dirt,
until they had been all over the field.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the plough and hooked it on to
the harrow. The harrow is a big kind of a frame that has diggers like
little ploughs sticking down all over the under side of it. And the
oxen dragged the harrow over the field and the little teeth broke up the
lumps of dirt and smoothed it over and made it soft, so that the seeds
could grow.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the harrow and hooked it to the
drag and put the plough on the drag and said "Gee up," and the oxen
walked along through the gateway and along the road until they came to
the farm-house. And they went in at the wide gate and up the wagon track
until they came to the shed, and there they stopped. Then Uncle John
unhooked the chain and took off the yoke, and the old oxen went into the
barn and went to sleep; and Uncle John put the drag in the shed.


[Illustration]


The next day Uncle John took a great bag full of corn, and put it over
his shoulder and started walking along to the corn-field; and little
John walked behind. And when they got to the corn-field, Uncle John put
the great bag of corn on the ground and put some in a little bag and
gave it to little John. Then Uncle John began walking across the field
and little John walked behind. And at every step Uncle John stopped and
made five little holes in the ground; and then he took another step and
made five other little holes. And little John came after and he put one
grain of corn in each hole and brushed the dirt over. And they went all
over the field, putting the corn in the ground, and when it was all
covered over, they went away and left it.

Then the rain came and fell on the field and sank into the ground, and
the sun shone and warmed it, and the corn began to grow. And soon the
little green blades pushed through the ground like grass, and got bigger
and bigger and taller and taller until when the summer was almost over
they were great corn-stalks as high as Uncle John's head; and on each
stalk were the ears of corn, wrapped up tight in green leaves, and at
the top was the tassel that waved about. Then, when the tassel got
yellow and brown and the leaves began to dry up, Uncle John knew it was
time to gather the corn, for it was ripe.


[Illustration]


Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John came out with great heavy, sharp
knives and cut down all the corn-stalks and pulled the ears of corn off
the stalks. And little John came and helped pull off the leaves from
around the ears. Then the old oxen came out of the barn and Uncle John
put the yoke over their necks and the bows up under and hooked the
tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke. And he said "Gee up there," and the
old oxen began walking slowly along, dragging the cart; and they went
out the wide gate and along the road to the corn-field.

Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon tossed the ears of corn into the cart;
and when it was full, the old oxen started again, walking slowly along,
back to the farm-house, in through the wide gate and up the wagon track
and in at the wide door of the barn. And Uncle John put all the ears of
corn into a kind of pen in the barn and the old oxen dragged the cart
back to the corn-field to get it filled again; and so they did until all
the ears of corn were in the pen.

And then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart and put the cart in
the shed, and he took off the yoke, and the oxen went into the barn and
went to sleep.

The next morning Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and little John all went
out to the barn and sat on little stools--low stools with three legs,
that they sit on when they milk the cows--and rubbed the kernels of corn
off the cobs. Then Uncle John put all the corn into bags and put it
away; and he put the cobs in the shed, to use in making fires.

Then, one morning, Uncle John got out the oxen, and they put their heads
down, and he put the yoke over their necks and the bows up under, and he
hooked the tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke; and he said "Gee up
there," and they walked into the barn. Then Uncle John put all the bags
of corn into the cart, and he put little John up on the cart, and the
old oxen started again and walked slowly along, down the wagon track,
out the wide gate, and into the road.

Then they turned along the road, not the way to the field where they got
the water, but the other way. And they walked a long way until they came
to a place where there was a building beside a little river. And on the
outside of the building was a great enormous wheel, so big that it
reached down and dipped into the water. And when the water in the little
river flowed along, it made the great wheel turn around; and this made a
great heavy stone inside the building turn around on top of another
stone. Now the building is called a Mill, and the big wheel outside is
called a Mill-Wheel, and the stones are called Mill-Stones; and the man
that takes care of the mill is called the Miller.


[Illustration]


Now the miller was sitting in the doorway of the mill; and when he saw
Uncle John and little John and the ox-cart filled with bags, he got up
and came out, and called to Uncle John: "Good morning. What can I do for
you this morning?"

And Uncle John said: "I've got some corn to grind."


[Illustration]


So the oxen stopped, and little John got down, and the miller and Uncle
John took all the bags of corn into the mill, and the oxen lay down and
went to sleep. Then Uncle John and little John sat down on some logs in
the mill, and the miller asked Uncle John how he wanted the corn ground.
So Uncle John said he wanted some of it just cracked, and some of it
ground into fine hominy, and some of it into meal.

Then the miller fixed the stones so they would just crack the corn, and
he poured the corn in at a place where it would run down between the
stones, and he started the stone turning. When the corn was cracked, he
put it into the bags again, and tied them up.

Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn into fine hominy,
and he poured the corn in, and it came out ground into fine hominy. Then
he put the fine hominy into the bags again and tied them up.

Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn into meal, and he
poured the corn in, and it came out ground into meal. Then he put the
meal into the bags again and tied them up. And the miller kept two bags
of each kind to pay for grinding the corn; but the other bags he put
into the ox-cart.

Then the oxen got up and little John was lifted up and the old oxen
started walking slowly along home again. And they walked a long time
until they came to the wide gate, and they turned in at the gate and up
the wagon track to the kitchen door, and there they stopped. And Uncle
John took one of the bags of meal into the kitchen and gave it to Aunt
Deborah.

And he said: "Here's your meal, Deborah."

And Aunt Deborah said: "All right. I'll make some Johnny-cake for
breakfast to-morrow."

And the rest of the meal was put away in the store-room until they
wanted it; for they had enough to last them all winter and some to take
to market besides. Then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart from
the yoke and put the cart in the shed. And he took off the yoke and the
old oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



III.

THE APPLE STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds, and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that went up past the kitchen door and past
the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In the orchard grew many apple-trees. Some had yellow apples and some
had green apples and some had red apples and some had brown apples. And
the yellow apples got ripe before the summer was over; but the green
apples and the red apples and the brown apples were not ripe until the
summer was over and it was beginning to get cold.

So, one day, after the summer was over and it was beginning to get cold,
Uncle John saw that the apples on one of the trees were ready to be
picked. And they were red apples. So he got out the old oxen, and they
put their heads down and he put the yoke over and the bows under and
hooked the tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up
there, Buck; gee up there, Star." And the old oxen began walking slowly
along, past the barn to the orchard. And they turned in through the
wide gate into the orchard and went along until they came to the right
tree.


[Illustration]


Then they stopped and Uncle John took a basket and climbed up into the
tree. And he picked the apples very carefully and put them into the
basket. And when the basket was full, he climbed down from the tree and
emptied the basket carefully into the cart. Then he climbed up again and
filled the basket again; and so he did until the cart was full. Then
Uncle John said: "Gee up there;" and the old oxen started and turned
around and walked slowly back to the barn and in at the big door. Then
Uncle John took all the apples out of the cart and put them in a kind of
pen, and the old oxen started again and walked slowly back to the
orchard.

So Uncle John gathered all the apples from that tree and put them in the
pen in the barn. Then he unhooked the tongue of the cart and took off
the yoke, and the old oxen went to their places and went to sleep.

The next morning, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and little John all went
out to the barn, and they took little three-legged stools that had one
end higher than the other,--the kind they used when they milked the
cows,--and they sat on these stools and looked over all the apples, one
by one. The apples that were very nice indeed they put in some barrels
that were there; and the apples that were good, but not quite so nice
and big, they put in a pile on the floor; and the apples that had specks
on them or holes in them, or that were twisted, they put in another
pile. And this last pile they gave to the horses and cows and oxen and
pigs, and the apples in the barrels were to go to market, or for the
people to eat.

Then Uncle John got out the old oxen and they put their heads down low,
and he put the yoke over and the bows under and hooked the tongue of the
ox-cart to the yoke. And he put into the cart all the apples that were
in the first pile, those that were good but not quite big enough to put
in the barrels, and he put two empty kegs--little barrels--on the top of
the load. Then the old oxen started walking slowly along, out of the
barn and along the wagon track past the shed and past the kitchen door
and through the gate into the road. And they turned along the road, not
the way to the field where they went to get water, but the other way.
And Uncle John walked beside, and little John ran ahead, and they went
along until they came to a little house by the side of the road, and
there they stopped. Then Uncle John opened the door of the little house
and they went in. And inside there was nothing but a log against the
wall, to sit on, and in the middle of the room a kind of a thing they
called a cider-press. It had a place to put the apples in, and a flat
cover that came down on top, and a screw and a long handle above.
Besides the cider-press, there was a chopper to chop the apples into
little pieces.


[Illustration]


Then little John sat down on the log and Uncle John put the apples in
the chopper and chopped them up fine. Then he put some chopped apples,
with some straw over them, in the place that was meant for apples, and
then he took hold of the long handle, and walked around and around. That
made the screw turn and the cover squeeze down on the apples so that
the juice ran out below into the keg that was put there. And when the
juice was all squeezed out of those apples, he walked around the other
way, holding the handle, and that made the cover lift up. Then he took
out the squeezed apples and put in some other apples and squeezed them
the same way. And when all the apples in the cart had been squeezed,
both kegs were full of juice. And they call the juice cider.

So Uncle John put the great stoppers that they call bungs into the
bung-holes in the kegs, so that the cider would not run out. Then he put
the kegs in the cart, and little John came out of the little house and
Uncle John shut the door, and the old oxen turned around and walked
slowly along until they came to the gate, and they walked up the track
to the kitchen door, and there they stopped. Then Uncle John and Uncle
Solomon took the kegs down into the cellar, and they took out a little
bung near the bottom of one of the kegs, and put in a wooden spigot--a
kind of a faucet. Then they set that keg on a shelf, so that a pitcher
or a mug could go under the spigot.

Then Uncle John took the yoke off the oxen and they went into the barn
and went to sleep.

After supper that evening, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John were sitting in
the sitting-room and Uncle John spoke to little John, and said: "John, I
think I would like a drink of cider."


[Illustration]


So little John took a pitcher and went down into the cellar, and his
mother held a light while he put the pitcher under the spigot and turned
the spigot; and the cider ran into the pitcher, and when enough had run
in he turned the spigot the other way and the cider stopped running.
Then he carried the cider up to his father, and his father drank it.

And when Uncle John had drunk the cider, he said to Uncle Solomon:
"Father, that's pretty good cider; you'd better have some."

And Uncle Solomon said: "Don't care if I do." So little John had to go
down cellar again and get another pitcher of cider.

Those two kegs of cider lasted for a while and then more apples were
ripe and they made enough cider to last all winter and some to send to
market besides.

And that's all.



IV.

THE WHOLE WHEAT STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds, and it stood not far from the road. And in the fence
was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons,
going through, had made a little track that went up past the kitchen
door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to a gate
in a stone wall, where the bars were across; and through that field and
another gate where the bars were across, into the maple-sugar woods.
And in that field wheat grew.

When the summer was nearly over and the corn and most of the other
things had got ripe and had been gathered, Uncle John got out the old
oxen and put the yoke over their necks and the bows up under; and he
hooked the drag chain to the yoke and put the plough on the drag and
said: "Gee up there, Buck; gee up there, Star." And the old oxen started
slowly along past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

Then Uncle John took the plough off the drag and unhooked the chain from
the drag and hooked it to the plough. Uncle Solomon held the handles of
the plough and the old oxen started walking slowly across the field
dragging the plough; and the plough dug into the ground and turned the
earth up at one side and made a deep furrow where it had gone. So they
went all around the field and around until it was all ploughed.


[Illustration]


Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the plough and hooked it to the
harrow; and the old oxen started and walked slowly back and forth across
the field, and the teeth of the harrow broke up the lumps of dirt and
made it all soft. And when the field was all harrowed, Uncle John
unhooked the chain from the harrow and hooked it to the drag and put the
plough on the drag, and the old oxen walked slowly back to the barn. And
Uncle John unhooked the chain and took off the yoke; and the oxen went
to their places in the barn and went to sleep, and the drag was in the
shed.


[Illustration]


The next morning, Uncle John put some whole wheat in a big bag and put
the bag over his shoulder and walked along past the orchard to the
wheat-field. And when he got to the wheat-field, he put the bag down on
the ground and put some of the wheat in a little bag that he had hanging
from his shoulder. And then he began walking across the field, and as he
walked along he took up a handful of wheat and threw it far out so that
it scattered over the ground. And that way he scattered all the wheat so
that it lay in the soft ground, and then he went away and left it.

And the rain fell and the sun shone on the field and the wheat began to
grow. And soon the little green blades pushed up through the ground like
grass; and the wheat grew higher and higher until it was as high as
little John's knees. And then the summer was all over and it was
beginning to get cold; so the wheat stopped growing and stayed just as
high as that all winter and the snow covered it.

And when the winter was over and it began to get warm, the snow melted
away and the wheat began to grow again; and it got taller and taller
until it was as tall as Uncle John's waist. And then the little tassels
at the top of each stem got yellow and brown and the wheat was ripe.
This was in the beginning of the summer.

Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon got their scythes and their whetstones
and started very early in the morning to the wheat-field. And they
sharpened their scythes with the whetstones and swung the scythes back
and forth and began to cut down the wheat. Every time the scythe swung,
it cut through the stalks of wheat and they fell down on the ground. And
they walked along over the field, swinging the scythes and cutting down
the wheat, until all the wheat was cut. Then they went home and left it
lying there in the sun.

The next morning Uncle John got out the oxen and they put their heads
down low, and he put the yoke over and the bows under and hooked the
tongue of the cart to the yoke and said "Gee up there." And the old oxen
walked slowly along, past the barn and past the orchard to the
wheat-field.

And the sun had dried the stalks of wheat and the tassels. The tassels
are a lot of little cases, on a fine stem; and in each little case is a
grain of whole wheat. When the tassels are dry, the little cases are all
ready to break open.

Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John took their long forks and put the
wheat in the cart, and when the cart was full the old oxen walked slowly
back to the barn and in at the great doors.

There were great enormous doors in the side of the barn, big enough for
a wagon to go through when it was piled up high with a load of hay or of
wheat. And in the other side of the barn were other great enormous
doors, so that the wagon could go right through the barn; and between
the doors was only the great open floor with nothing on it. On one side
of this open place were the cows, and on the other side were the horses
and the oxen, and the cart went in between, with the wheat in it.

Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John took the wheat out of the cart and put
it on the floor of the barn; and the old oxen started again and walked
out the other door and back to the wheat-field. Then Uncle Solomon and
Uncle John filled the cart again and the oxen dragged that wheat to the
barn; and they did the same way until all the wheat was on the barn
floor. Then Uncle John took off the yoke and the old oxen went to their
places and went to sleep.

The next morning Uncle Solomon and Uncle John went to the barn, and each
took down from a nail a long smooth stick that had another smooth stick
fastened to its end by a piece of leather so that it flapped about.
This was to beat the wheat with, and they called it a flail.


[Illustration]


And so Uncle Solomon and Uncle John stood in amidst the wheat on the
barn floor and whacked it with the flails so that they made a great
noise--whack! whack!--on the floor. And the little cases broke open and
the grains of whole wheat fell out and dropped between the stalks to the
barn floor. And the pieces of the broken cases blew out from the great
barn doors; for the doors were open at both sides and the wind blew
through. These broken pieces that blow away, they call chaff.

Then when Uncle Solomon and Uncle John had whacked for a long time, and
they thought that all the whole wheat had come out of the cases, they
hung up the flails and took their long forks and lifted up the stalks of
the wheat and shook them so that all the grains of wheat might drop
through; and they put the dried stalks of the wheat in a corner of the
hay-loft above where the cows slept. These dried stalks they call
straw, and they put it for the horses and the cows and the oxen to sleep
on.

And when the straw was all put away, there was all the wheat on the
floor; and they gathered it up and put it into bags. And they had enough
to make whole wheat flour to last all winter, and to feed the chickens
and every kind of a thing that they wanted to use wheat for, and there
was enough to take some to market besides.

And that's all.



V.

THE STUMP STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds. And when this farm-house was just built, before it was
Uncle Solomon's, the man that lived there wanted some fields where he
could plant his corn and his potatoes and his wheat. But the places
where the fields would be were all covered with trees.

So in the winter when the snow was on the ground, he went out and cut
down the trees with his axe. And the great big trees he carried to the
mill, and they were sawed up into boards; that is another story. And the
branches and the small trees he chopped up with his axe to burn in the
fireplaces. Then the field was all covered with the stumps of the trees
and with great rocks.


[Illustration]


Then, when it began to get warm, after the winter was over, the man got
out the old oxen. There were two pairs of oxen, and they came out of the
barn and put down their heads, and the man put the yokes over their
necks and the bows up under, and he hooked great chains to the yokes.
And he hooked one chain to the drag, and took his whip and said: "Gee up
there, Buck; gee up there, Star." And the old oxen began walking slowly
along to the field.

Then the man unhooked the drag, and fastened one of the chains to a
stump, and hooked the other chain to that chain, and said: "Gee up
there." And all the oxen began to pull as hard as they could, and all of
a sudden out came the stump with a lot of dirt. And he pulled out all
the stumps the same way, and stood them up at the back of the field,
where they made a kind of a fence with the roots sticking slanting up
into the air.


[Illustration]


Then there were the big rocks all over the field. And the man fastened
the chains to a rock and the old oxen pulled as hard as they could, and
out came the rock and they put it on the drag. And then the man saw
where he wanted his fence; and they dug a trench and put flat rocks on
the bottom and then the biggest rocks they had on the flat rocks. And
they pulled all the rocks out of the ground with the chains, and put
them on the drag, and the old oxen pulled them over to the trench, and
the man piled them up and built a wall.

Building the wall took a long time--a good many days. And when the oxen
had pulled all the rocks out of the ground and dragged them over to the
wall, the field was all soft and ready to be ploughed. So the oxen
started walking along, out of the field, along the road, dragging the
drag. And they went in at the big gate and up past the kitchen door to
the barn. Then the man unhooked the chains and took off the yokes and
the oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



VI.

THE HORSIE STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a little track that went up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.
Not very far from that farm-house there was a field where the horses and
cows used to go to eat the grass. That was the same field where they
went to get water from the river; and in the wall that was between that
field and the next, there was a wide gateway. At each side of the
gateway there was a post with holes in it, and long bars went across and
rested in the holes. And when the bars were across, the horses and cows
couldn't go through to the other field. But when the bars were taken out
of the holes, then the horses and cows could go through as much as they
wanted to and eat the grass in either field.

One day little John was going across the field because it was the short
way; and there was a horse in the field, eating the grass, and the bars
were down. It was a kind, pleasant horse, but he liked to have fun. And
when he saw the little boy going across the field, he thought he would
have fun, so he ran after him.


[Illustration]


Little John saw the horse coming and he was frightened. He was near the
wall that was between the two fields, and he ran as hard as he could and
got to the wall before the horse caught him. Then he began to climb over
the wall into the next field.

And the horse saw what he was doing and ran down the field, beside the
wall, and through the gate and back on the other side; and he got there
just as the little boy was getting down. And little John heard the
horse's feet on the ground--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump; and
he looked around and he saw the horse galloping up by the wall. Then he
was frightened and he began to climb back again over the wall as fast as
he could.

And the horse saw what he was doing and ran down the field, beside the
wall, and through the gate and back on the other side; and he got there
just as the little boy was getting down. And little John heard the
horse's feet on the ground--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump; and
he looked around and he saw the horse galloping up by the wall. Then he
was frightened and he began to climb back again over the wall as fast
as he could.

And the horse saw what he was doing and ran down the field, beside the
wall, and through the gate and back on the other side; and he got there
just as the little boy was getting down. And little John heard the
horse's feet on the ground--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump; and
he looked around and saw the horse galloping up by the wall. Then he was
frightened and he began to climb back again over the wall as fast as he
could.

And the horse saw what he was doing and ran down the field, beside the
wall, and through the gate and back on the other side; and he got there
just as the little boy was getting down. And little John heard the
horse's feet on the ground--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump--ca-tha-lump; and
he looked around and saw the horse galloping up by the wall. Then he was
frightened and he began to climb over the wall again. But every time he
had climbed over the wall between the fields, he had gone a little
nearer to the road, until he was near enough to the wall between the
field and the road to reach that. And this time, instead of climbing
back into the other field, he climbed over into the road.


[Illustration]


And poor little John was very much frightened and ran along the road
crying, and got home, and his father saw him and asked him: "What's the
matter, John?" And then little John told his father about the horse. And
his father laughed and said that the horse was a kind horse but he liked
to have fun; and little John better not go there any more. And so the
little boy did not go through that field again, but went around by the
road.

And that's all.



VII.

THE LOG STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a little track that went up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.
But when this farm-house was just built, there wasn't any wheat-field
or any other field, and the places where the fields would be were all
covered with trees. And that was a long time before Uncle Solomon had
the farm.

So the man that built the farm-house took his axe, one day, when the
snow was on the ground, and he went to the place where he wanted the
fields and he began to cut down the trees. There were big trees and
little trees, and it took him a long time to cut down all the trees on
the place where the field would be. He cut off all the branches, and the
branches and the little trees he cut up with his axe to burn in the
fireplaces; and he piled all that wood near the kitchen door. But the
big logs--the trunks of the big trees after the branches were cut
off--he was going to take to the mill, to have them sawed into boards.

So, one morning, after that was all done, the man got out the oxen.
There were two yoke of oxen--two oxen they call a "yoke" of oxen,
because two are yoked together--and they came out of the barn and put
their heads down and he put the yokes over and the bows under and he
hooked the tongue of a great sled to each yoke. And on each sled was a
great chain.

Then he said: "Gee up there," and the oxen all started walking slowly
along, and they walked out of the wide gate and along the road until
they came to the place where the trees were all cut down, and there they
stopped. And the sleds were beside one of the big logs, one sled at each
end.


[Illustration]


Then they unhooked the tongues of the sleds from the yokes and led the
oxen out of the way. And the man and two other men that were helping him
put some little logs sloping from the ground up to the sleds, and with
poles that had hooks on the ends they rolled the great log up the
little logs on to the sleds, so that it rested on them. And there was
one sled under each end, but under the middle there was nothing. Then
they fastened that log to the sleds, so that it couldn't roll off, and
they rolled another log up on the other side and fastened that; and they
rolled another log up on top of the first two. Then they fastened the
tongue of each sled to the logs, and the logs were held on with the
great chains, so they couldn't roll off. Then they hooked a chain to the
first sled and to one of the yokes, and another chain from that yoke to
the other yoke. And the man said: "Gee up there," and all the oxen
pulled as hard as they could, and the sleds started sliding along the
ground on the snow and into the road. And the oxen walked slowly along
the road, pulling the sleds with the logs on them, for a long way.

When they had gone along the road for a long way, they came to a place
where there was a building beside a little river. And on the side of the
building was a wheel so large that it reached down into the water. And
when the water ran along, it made the wheel turn around and that made a
big saw go, inside the building.

And the oxen pulled the sleds with the logs up beside the building and
there was a strong carriage that ran on wheels on a track. And the men
unfastened the chains and rolled a log off on to the carriage and
fastened it there. Then they pushed on the carriage and it rolled along
toward the saw, and the saw was going And the end of the log came
against the saw and the saw made a great screeching noise and began to
cut into the log, and it kept on cutting and the men pushed, and the saw
cut all the way through the log, to the other end, and that piece fell
off. That piece was round on one side and flat on the other.


[Illustration]


Then they rolled the carriage back and fastened the log farther over
and pushed it up against the saw again, and the saw cut off another
piece that was flat on both sides. That piece was a board. And that way
they cut the log all up into boards, and then they cut up the other logs
the same way.

When the logs were all cut into boards, the men put the boards on the
sleds and fastened them on just the same way the logs had been fastened,
and the oxen started and turned around and walked along the road until
they came to the farm-house; and they turned in at the gate and went up
past the kitchen door to the place where the shed was going to be, and
there they stopped. And the men took the boards off and put them on the
ground in a pile, so that the man would have them there to build the
shed. For the shed wasn't built then. The barn was built first and then
the house.

And the other big logs they took to the saw-mill on other days and sawed
them up into boards, so that the man had all the boards he needed to
build the shed and the chicken house and all the other things and some
to give to the men for helping him.

And when that was done, the man took off the yokes and the old oxen went
into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



VIII.

THE UNCLE SAM STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In that farm-house lived Uncle Solomon and Uncle John; and little
Charles and little John and their mother Aunt Deborah; and little Sam
and his mother Aunt Phyllis. Uncle Solomon was Uncle John's father and
Uncle John was little John's father, so that Uncle Solomon was little
John's grandfather. And little Sam was Uncle Solomon's little boy, so
that little Sam was little John's uncle. But little Sam was a littler
boy than little John.

Little John and Uncle Sam used to play together; and one day when little
John was wheeling Uncle Sam in the wheelbarrow, he thought it would be
fun to tip him out. So he tipped Uncle Sam right out into some bushes,
and Uncle Sam scratched his face and began to cry. And Uncle Solomon
heard his little boy crying, and he came running out of the house. Then
he saw little John and the wheelbarrow, and little Sam in the bushes,
crying, and he knew that little John had tipped little Sam out of the
wheelbarrow.


[Illustration]


So Uncle Solomon was angry, and he grabbed little John by the back of
his collar and the back of his trousers, and he lifted him up and gave
him a great swing, and he tossed little John right over the wall. And
little John came down in some bushes and got his face scratched a
little, but he didn't cry. He just got up and ran around the wall and
went into the house another way, and kept out of Uncle Solomon's way.
But he didn't tip Uncle Sam into the bushes any more.

[Illustration]


And that's all.



IX.

THE MARKET STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

One morning, after the summer was over and all the different things had
got ripe and had been gathered, Uncle John woke up when the old rooster
crowed, very early, long before it was light. And he got up and put on
his clothes, and Aunt Deborah got up too, and they went down-stairs.


[Illustration]


Then, while Aunt Deborah fixed the fire and got breakfast ready, Uncle
John went out to the barn. He gave the horses their breakfast, and when
they had eaten it he took them out of their stalls and put the harness
on and led them out to the shed. Then he hitched them to the big wagon
and he made them back the wagon up to the place where all the things
were put that were to go to market.

Then Uncle Solomon came out and helped, and they put into the wagon all
the barrels of apples that they could get in, and they put in a lot of
squashes and turnips and some kegs of cider and some bags of meal and
fine hominy and some butter that Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis had made
and some other things. And when these things were all in the wagon,
breakfast was ready, and Uncle John fastened the horses to a post and
went in to breakfast. And all this they had to do by the light of a
lantern, because it wasn't daylight yet.


[Illustration]


Then, when Uncle John and little John had had their breakfast, they came
out of the house, and Uncle John put little John up on the high seat and
he unhitched the horses and climbed up on the high seat beside him. And
then Aunt Deborah came out of the house and handed Uncle John a little
bundle, and he put the bundle under the seat. In the bundle was some
luncheon for Uncle John and little John; and for the horses there was
some luncheon too, oats in a pail that hung under the wagon, one pail
for each horse. And a lantern hung beside the seat, for it wasn't
daylight yet.

When they were all ready, Uncle John said: "Get up," and the horses
started walking down the little track into the road and along the road.
The horses wanted to trot, but Uncle John wouldn't let them because it
isn't good for horses to trot when they have just had their breakfast;
and he held on to the reins tight and they had to walk. So they walked
along for awhile and it was very dark; and pretty soon Uncle John let
the horses trot. And they trotted along the road for a long time and at
last it began to get light, and little John was very glad, for he was
cold. Then Uncle John blew out the lantern and after awhile the sun came
up and shone on them and made them warm. And the horses trotted along
for a long time and at last they began to come to the city, and it was
very early.

So the horses dragged the wagon through the city streets, and there were
not many people in the streets, for they had not had their breakfasts.
And by and by they came to the shops and little John saw the boys
opening the doors of the shops and sweeping the shops and the sidewalks;
and so they went along until they came to a great open place. And in the
middle of the open place was a big building, and all about it were
wagons, some standing in the middle of the street and some backed up to
the curbstone. All these wagons had come in from the country, bringing
the things to eat; and the building was a market, and the men in the
market bought the things from the men that drove the wagons, and the
people that lived in the houses came down afterward and bought the
things from the market-men.

Then Uncle John drove the horses up to the sidewalk and he got out and
hitched the horses to a post and told little John not to get off the
seat; and Uncle John went into the market. When he had been gone some
time, he came back and a market-man came with him. The market-man had a
long white apron on and no coat; and he looked at the barrels of apples
and the squashes and the turnips and the kegs of cider and the bags of
meal and the butter and the other things, and he thought about it for a
few minutes and then he said: "Well, I'll give you twenty dollars for
the lot."

And Uncle John thought for a few minutes and then he said: "Well, I
ought to get more for all that. It's all first-class. But I suppose I'd
better let it go and get back."

So Uncle John unhitched the horses and backed the wagon up to the
sidewalk. Then he took the bridles off the horses' heads and took the
buckets of oats from under the wagon; and he put the pails on boxes at
the horses' heads, one for each horse, and the horses began to eat the
oats.


[Illustration]


Then a man came out of the market, wheeling a truck--a kind of a little
cart with iron wheels--and he helped the market-man take the barrels out
of the wagon, and the squashes and turnips and the kegs of cider and
the bags of meal and the butter and the other things. And they put them
on the truck, a part at a time, and he wheeled them into the market.
Then, when that was all done, the market-man took some money from his
pocket and counted twenty dollars and handed it to Uncle John. And then
the horses had finished eating the oats, and Uncle John took the pails
and hung them under the wagon again and put the bridles on the horses'
heads.

Then Uncle John climbed up on the high seat beside little John and took
the reins in his hands and said "Get up"; and the horses started and
went across the open place to a great stone that was hollowed out and
was full of water. And the horses each took a great drink of water and
then they lifted up their heads and started along the streets.

And pretty soon Uncle John stopped them at a shop, and he went in and
bought some things that Aunt Deborah wanted, and he paid the shop-man
some of the money the market-man had given him. Then they went to
another shop and Uncle John bought some more things. And after that they
didn't stop at any shops, but the horses trotted along through the
streets until they were out of the city and going along the road in the
country that led to the farm-house.

By and by they came to a steep hill and the horses stopped trotting and
walked, for they were tired. And Uncle John fastened the reins and took
the bundle from under the seat and undid it, and in it were bread and
butter and hard eggs and gingerbread and a bottle of nice milk. And
Uncle John and little John ate the nice things and liked them, for they
were both very hungry.

Then they got to the top of the hill and Uncle John took up the reins
again and said "Get up," and the horses trotted along for a long time
until they came to the farm-house; and they turned in at the wide gate
and went up to the kitchen door and there they stopped. And Uncle John
got down and took little John down. Little John was glad to get off the
high seat, for he had been there a long time and he was very tired.

So he went into the house and Uncle John unhitched the horses from the
wagon and put the wagon in the shed. And he took the horses to the barn
and took off their harness and put them in their stalls, and they went
to sleep.

And that's all.



X.

THE MAPLE-SUGAR STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field; and
through the wheat-field to the maple-sugar woods.

One day, when the winter was almost over and it was beginning to get
warmer, Uncle John got out the old oxen. And they came out and put their
heads down and he put the yoke over and the bows under, and he hooked
the tongue of the sled to the yoke; for the snow was not all melted, and
enough was on the ground for the sled to go on.

Then he put on the sled his axe and Uncle Solomon's, and a lot of
buckets and a lot of wooden spouts he had made, and the big saw. Then he
put little John on the sled and said "Gee up there," and Uncle Solomon
came too, and they walked along beside the sled. And the old oxen walked
slowly along the track past the barn and past the orchard to the wide
gate that led into the wheat-field, and there they stopped. And Uncle
John took down the bars and the oxen went through the gate and across
the wheat-field, and stopped at the wide gate on the other side of the
field. Then Uncle John took down those bars and the old oxen started and
walked through and along the little road in the maple-sugar woods until
they came to a little house beside the road, and there they stopped.

Then Uncle John opened the door of the little house; and inside, it was
about as big as a little room that a little boy sleeps in. And in one
corner was a chimney, and in front of the chimney was a great enormous
iron kettle, set up on a little low brick wall that was just like a part
of the chimney turned along the ground. In the front was a hole in the
low wall, so that wood could be put in, and at the back, under the
kettle, there was a hole into the chimney, so that the smoke would go up
the chimney and out at the top. And in one corner of the little house
were some square iron pans.

Then Uncle John put two of the buckets down in the house, and the big
saw; and he shut the door and the oxen started and walked along until
they came where were some maple-sugar trees, and there they stopped.
Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took their axes and went to the trees
and they made little notches in the trees, low down, so that there was
room to put a bucket under. And they drove a spout in each notch and put
a bucket under each spout. And then they went to other trees and made a
notch in each tree and drove in a spout and put a bucket under and so
they did until they had used up all their buckets.


[Illustration]


Then the old oxen walked along until they came to a pile of wood that
was cut up all ready to burn; and there they stopped and Uncle Solomon
and Uncle John put the wood on the sled. Then they said: "Gee up," and
the oxen walked back to the little house, and they took the wood off
the sled. And the wood was in great long sticks, too long to put in the
place under the kettle. So Uncle John got the big saw from the little
house and he and Uncle Solomon sawed the wood into small sticks and
piled it up nicely.

Then they put the saw on the sled and shut the door of the little house
and the old oxen started walking back along the little road, dragging
the sled, with the saw and the axes and little John. And they went
through the gate into the wheat-field and Uncle John put the bars back;
and they went across the wheat-field and through the gate at the other
side, and Uncle John put those bars back. And they walked along past the
orchard and past the barn to the shed.

And Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the sled and took off the yoke,
and the old oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

The next morning, Uncle John and little John started along the little
road, past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard; and they
climbed over the bars into the wheat-field, and went through the
wheat-field and climbed over the bars into the maple-sugar woods. Then
they walked along until they came to the little house, and Uncle John
opened the door of the house and took out the two buckets he had left
there.

Then they went to some of the maple-sugar trees where they had put
buckets the day before, and the sap was dripping slowly into the
buckets--drip--drop--drip--drop--and the buckets were nearly half full.
So Uncle John poured the sap from those buckets into the empty buckets
and went along to some other trees and poured the sap from those buckets
in with the other, and the buckets he carried were full. So he took them
back to the little house and emptied them into the big kettle.

Then he went to other trees and filled the two buckets again with the
sap that had dripped, and emptied that into the kettle. And so he did
until he had taken all the sap that had dripped.


[Illustration]


Then he put wood under the big kettle and lighted it, and the fire
burned and the sap got hot and after a while it began to boil. And while
it was boiling, Uncle John stirred the sap once in a while with a
wooden stirring thing he had made. And when it had boiled a long time,
he dipped out a little with the stirrer and went to the door and dropped
it in the snow, so that when it got cool he could see whether it was
boiled enough. But it wasn't done enough, and he let it boil longer,
and then he dropped some more in the snow; and this time he thought it
was about right for maple-syrup.

So he dipped sap out of the kettle into a keg that was in the little
house, until the keg was full. And then he put the bung into the
bung-hole and set the keg in the corner.

Then Uncle John put more wood on the fire and the sap boiled a long
time. And at last he thought it was done enough for maple-sugar; and he
dipped some out with the stirrer and went to the door and dropped it in
the snow. And when it got cold, he saw that it was hard, and was just
right for maple-sugar. So he took the little square pans that were in
the corner of the house and he dipped the boiled sap from the kettle
into the pans and set them in the snow outside. Then he let the fire go
out, and when the sugar in the pans was hard, he brought it into the
house, and shut the door and started along the little road, and little
John after. They walked along through the maple-sugar woods and climbed
the bars into the wheat-field, and walked across the wheat-field and
climbed the bars at the other side, and walked along past the orchard
and past the barn and past the shed to the kitchen door, and there they
went in.

The next morning, Uncle John and little John went to the maple-sugar
woods again, and Uncle John got some more sap and boiled it and made
maple-syrup and maple-sugar. And so they did every day until they had
taken all the sap that the trees ought to give.

Then Uncle John got out the old oxen and they put their heads down and
he put the yoke over and the bows under, and he hooked the tongue of the
sled to the yoke. Then he said "Gee up there," and the oxen started
walking along past the barn and past the orchard, and Uncle John took
down the bars at the wheat-field and they went through and across the
field, and he took down the bars at the other side and they walked
through and along the road in the maple-sugar woods until they came to
the little house.

There they stopped, and Uncle John opened the door and put the kegs on
the sled, and all the little squares of maple-sugar and all the buckets
and all the spouts that he had pulled out of the trees. And he shut the
door of the little house, and the oxen started and walked back along
the road through the maple-sugar woods into the wheat-field, and Uncle
John put up the bars. And they walked across the wheat-field and through
the gate at the other side, and Uncle John put up those bars; and they
walked along past the orchard and past the barn, and little John came
after.

Then the old oxen dragged the sled to the place where they kept the
things that were to go to market, and Uncle John took off the
maple-syrup and the maple-sugar and put them in that place. But some of
the maple-syrup and some of the maple-sugar he put in the cellar for
themselves to use; for little Charles and little John and little Sam
liked maple-sugar and they liked maple-syrup on bread. And there was
enough maple-syrup and maple-sugar to last them a long time and a lot to
go to market besides.

Then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the sled from the yoke and put
the sled in the shed; and he took off the yoke and the old oxen went
into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



XI.

THE RAIL FENCE STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field; and
through the wheat-field to the maple-sugar woods.

All about were other fields; and one of them was a great enormous field
where Uncle John used to let the horses and cows go to eat the grass,
after he had got the hay in. This field was so big that Uncle John
thought it would be better if it was made into two fields. He couldn't
put a stone wall across it, because all the stones in the field had been
made into the wall that went around the outside. So he thought an easy
way would be to put a rail fence across.

So, one day, when it was winter and snow was on the ground, Uncle John
and Uncle Solomon took their axes and walked along the little track,
past the barn and past the orchard, and climbed over the bars into the
wheat-field. Then they walked across the wheat-field and climbed over
the bars into the maple-sugar woods; and they walked along the road in
the woods until they came to a place where were some trees that were
just the right size to make rails and posts. They were not maple-sugar
trees, but a different kind.


[Illustration]


Then they cut down enough of these trees to make all the rails and all
the posts they wanted; and they cut off all the branches and they cut
some of the trees into logs that were just long enough for rails, and
they cut the other trees into logs that were just long enough for posts.
Then they took the rail logs and with their axes they split each one all
along from one end to the other, until it was in six pieces. Each piece
was a rail. But the post logs they didn't split.

Then they left the logs and the rails lying there and walked back, and
climbed over into the wheat-field, and went across the wheat-field and
climbed over at the other side, and walked past the orchard and past the
barn and past the shed and went in at the kitchen door.

The next morning, Uncle John got out the old oxen, and they put their
heads down low, and he put the yoke over and the bows under, and hooked
the tongue of the sled to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up there," and
they started walking slowly along, past the barn and past the orchard to
the wheat-field; and Uncle John took down the bars and they walked
across the wheat-field, and he took down the bars at the other side.
Then the old oxen walked through the gate and along the road to the
place where the post logs and the rails were; and Uncle Solomon had come
too, and little John. But they didn't let little John come when they cut
the trees down, because they were afraid he might get hurt.

Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John piled the rails on the sled, and the
post logs on top, and the old oxen started and walked along the road and
through into the wheat-field and across the field, and Uncle John put
the bars up after the oxen had gone through the gates. Then they
dragged the sled along past the orchard and past the barn to the shed.
There they stopped and Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took off the logs
and the rails. The rails were piled up under the shed, to dry; but the
logs they had to make square, and holes had to be bored in them before
they would be posts. Then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the sled
from the yoke and took off the yoke, and the old oxen went into the
barn.

The next day, Uncle John took an axe that was a queer shape, and he made
the post logs square. Then he bored the holes in the logs for the rails
to go in, and piled the posts up under the shed. They were all ready to
set into the ground, but the ground was frozen hard, and they couldn't
be set until the winter was over and the ground was soft.

After the winter was over and it was getting warm, the ground melted out
and got soft. Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took a crowbar--a great,
heavy iron bar with a sharp end--and a shovel, and they went to the
great enormous field. Then they saw where they wanted the fence to be,
and they dug a lot of holes in the ground, all in a row, to put the
posts in.


[Illustration]


Then they went back and Uncle John got out the oxen and put the yoke
over and the bows under and hooked the tongue of the cart to the yoke.
On the cart they piled the posts, and there were so many they had to
come back for another load. Then the oxen started and walked down the
little track and out through the wide gate into the road, and along the
road to the great enormous field where the holes were all dug for the
posts. Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John put the posts in the holes and
pounded the dirt down hard.

Then the oxen walked back along the road to the farm-house and in at the
gate and up to the shed. And Uncle John put the rails on the cart and
the oxen walked back to the field again and in beside the row of posts.
And Uncle John took the rails off the cart and put them in the holes in
the posts, so that they went across from one post to the next. And in
each post were four holes, and four rails went across.

Then the oxen went a little farther and the rails were put in between
the next posts, and so on until the rails reached all the way across the
field, and the fence was done. And when Uncle John wanted the cows or
the horses to go through, he could take down the rails at any part of
the fence.

Then the old oxen started walking back out of the field into the road
and along the road to the farm-house. And they went in at the wide gate
and up the track past the kitchen door to the shed, and there they
stopped.

And Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart from the yoke and put the
cart in the shed. And he took off the yoke and the old oxen went into
the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



XII.

THE COW STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.


[Illustration]


One morning, the old rooster crowed very early, as soon as it began to
be light. And that waked Uncle John and Aunt Deborah, and Uncle Solomon
and Aunt Phyllis. And they all got up and put on their clothes and came
down-stairs. Then Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis went about their work in
the kitchen, getting things for breakfast and fixing the fire; and
Uncle Solomon and Uncle John went out to the barn. Uncle Solomon looked
after the horses and gave them their breakfast, and Uncle John looked
after the cows.

Between the two great doors of the barn there was a great open place so
that the wagons could go right through; and that was where they threshed
the wheat. And on one side were the stalls for the horses and the places
for the oxen, and on the other side were the places for the cows. In the
corner of the barn next to the horses was the harness-room, and in the
corner next to the cows was the milk-room.

There were two big horses and two big oxen and six cows. The horses were
in stalls, but the cows didn't have stalls. They stood in a row on a
kind of a low platform, with their heads toward the open place in the
middle of the barn. Each cow had her head through a kind of frame made
of two boards that went up from the floor, so that when the boards were
fastened at the top she couldn't get her head out, but she could move it
up and down all she wanted to. And when they wanted to let the cows out,
they unfastened one of the boards and let it down. But Uncle John didn't
like the frames for the cows, so he never fastened the boards at all,
but he put a chain around the neck of each cow and hooked the other end
to a post.

In front of each cow was a little low wall, about as high as her neck,
and just behind the wall was a trough that they call a manger, where
they could put hay or meal or other things for the cow to eat, so that
she could reach it. Just over the manger of each cow was a hole in the
floor of the loft where the hay was, so that they could put hay through
and it would fall right into the manger, in front of the cow. In winter
the cows had hay, but in summer they didn't have hay, because they could
eat the grass, and that was better.

So, when Uncle John went to look after the cows, he didn't climb up to
the loft and pitch some hay down through the holes, as he would do in
winter, but he took a wooden measure and went to a big box that they
call a bin. It stood in the corner next to the milk-room, and it was
full of meal that was ground up from corn at the mill. And he gave each
cow a measureful of meal and put it in the manger so that she could eat
it.

Then he went to the milk-room and got the big milk pails and his
milking-stool. The milking-stool was a little stool that had three legs,
and one of the legs was shorter than the other two, so that it sloped.

Then Uncle John put the milking-stool down by a cow, and the pail was
between his knees, resting on the end of the stool. And he milked the
cow and the milk spurted into the pail. And when she had given all the
milk she had, the pail was about half full.

Then Uncle John went to the next cow and milked her, and when that pail
was full, he took the other pail. And so he milked all the cows, one
after the other, and when both the pails were full, he took them to the
milk-room and poured the milk through a strainer into a big can. And the
cows were eating their meal all the time they were being milked.

At the side of the barn, behind the cows, was a door that opened into
the cow-yard. A sloping place led down from the barn to the ground, so
that the cows could walk down into the yard. In the winter, the cows
stayed in the cow-yard while they were out of the barn, because it was
sunny and warm, and there was no grass in the field for them to eat. A
high fence was all around the yard, and in one corner was a tub made of
a hogshead cut in two, and a pump was beside it. And the tub was always
full of water, so that the cows could drink whenever they were thirsty.
So, when Uncle John had milked all the cows, he opened the door into the
cow-yard, and he unhooked the chains from the necks of the cows, one
after another. And the cows turned around and walked through the door
and down the sloping place into the cow-yard, the leader first, and
every cow took a drink from the tub in the corner of the yard. Then they
stood by the gate, waiting for little John to come.

When a lot of cows are together, one of the cows is always the leader,
and she always goes first, wherever they go. If any other cow tries to
go first, the leader butts that one and makes her go behind. Or if the
other cow doesn't want to go behind, they put their horns together and
push, and the one that pushes harder is the leader.


[Illustration]


So the cows waited at the gate, and little John had come down-stairs and
Aunt Deborah had given him a piece of johnny-cake, because breakfast
wasn't ready and little boys are always hungry. Then little John came to
the gate to the cow-yard, and opened the gate, and the cows hurried to
go through the gate, the leader first, and the others following after.
And they went along the little track and through the gate into the road,
and along the road to the great enormous field. And there they stopped,
for the bars were up and they had to wait for little John to come along
and let them down, so that they could go through.

And little John came running along, eating his piece of johnny-cake, and
kicking up the dirt with his bare feet, for in the summer-time he didn't
wear any shoes or stockings. And he came to the gate and he let the bars
down at one end, and the cows stepped over the bars carefully, the
leader first, and went into the field. And little John put the bars up
again, so that the cows couldn't get out, and he turned around and ran
back to the farm-house to get his breakfast.

When the cows were all in the field, they began to eat the grass; and
they walked slowly about, eating the grass, until they had had all they
wanted. Then they went over to the corner of the field, where there was
a stream of water running along, and each cow took a drink of water. In
the middle of the field was a big tree with long branches and a great
many leaves, so that under the tree it was shady and cool. By the time
the cows had eaten all the grass they wanted, it was hot out in the sun,
and they all walked over to the big tree and got in the cool shade.

Some of them lay down and some of them stood still, and they switched
their tails about to keep the flies off, and they chewed their cuds. For
a cow has two kinds of stomach. When she bites off the grass, she
swallows it down quickly, and it goes into the first stomach; and after
awhile, when she has eaten all the grass she wants, she goes and lies
down, or stands still and some of the grass comes back into her mouth in
a bunch and she chews it all up fine and swallows it again, so that it
goes down into her real stomach. Then another bunch comes up and she
chews that and swallows it, and so she does until all the grass is
chewed up fine. That is what they call chewing the cud.

So the cows stayed in the shade of the big tree until they were hungry
again, and then they walked about and ate some more of the grass and
drank some more water out of the little stream. And by that time it was
in the afternoon and almost time for little John to come to drive them
home.

So they all stood looking at the gate and waiting for little John. And
by and by little John came running along, and he let down the bars at
one end, and he called "Co-o-ow! Co-o-ow!" and the cows all started
hurrying along to the gate. And they stepped over the bars carefully,
the leader first, and walked along the road, for they knew the way to
go. And little John came running after.

When the cows came to the farm-house, they turned in at the gate and
went up the little track to the cow-yard. And they went in at the gate
of the cow-yard, and up the sloping place into the barn. And each cow
knew where she ought to go, and she went there, and Uncle John fastened
the chains around their necks; and little John shut the gate of the
cow-yard and went into the house.

Then Uncle John put a measureful of meal in the manger in front of each
cow, and he got his milking-stool and the milk pails and he milked all
the cows. And while the cows were being milked, they ate the meal and
chewed their cuds.

When the cows were all milked, Uncle John poured the milk through the
strainer into the big cans and took it out to the spring-house to set
it, so that the cream would come on it. But some of the milk he took
into the house for their supper.

Then he shut the big doors of the barn and fastened them, and the cows
lay down and went to sleep.

And that's all.



XIII.

THE HAY STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a little track that led up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

All about were other fields. One of them was a great enormous field,
and in this field was growing grass that would be made into hay.

One day, when the summer was nearly half over, Uncle John saw that the
little tassels at the tops of the stems of the grass were getting
yellow, and he knew that the grass was ripe enough to cut for hay; and
the grass was as high as little John's head. So, very early the next
morning, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John took their scythes and their
whetstones and went over to the great enormous field, and two other men
came to help. When the grass that these other men had was ready to cut,
then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John would go and help them cut it.

And they had a jug, and in it was water, with some molasses and a
little vinegar mixed with it. This was for them to drink when they got
very hot and thirsty, mowing, and they put it down by the stone wall,
where it was cool.


[Illustration]


Then the men all took their whetstones and sharpened their scythes, and
Uncle Solomon started first, at the corner of the field, and he swung
his scythe back and forth, and every time he swung the scythe it cut
down some grass and made a noise, "Swish." And then he took a little
step ahead and swung the scythe again, and he walked very slowly along,
cutting the grass. And when Uncle Solomon had got a little way along,
so that the next scythe wouldn't cut him, Uncle John began next to the
place where Uncle Solomon had begun, and he swung his scythe and walked
slowly along, cutting the grass. Then one of the other men began at the
next place, when Uncle John had got a little way along, and then the
last man. So all the men were walking slowly along, swinging their
scythes together, and cutting the grass, and the grass fell down in
four long rows. And they mowed this way all the morning, and cut down
all the grass in the field.


[Illustration]


And just when they had finished, and all the grass was cut down, they
heard the horn that Aunt Deborah was blowing. That meant that dinner was
ready. They had a horn to blow for dinner because the men had to work in
fields that were far from the house, where they couldn't hear a
dinner-bell. But they could hear the horn. So the horn hung on a hook
beside the kitchen door; and when dinner was ready, Aunt Deborah took
the horn from the hook and blew it.

When the men heard the horn, they took their coats and their scythes and
their whetstones and the jug, and they went back along the road to the
farm-house and left the grass lying there, just as it fell down. And
the sun shone on the grass and dried it, so that it was changing to hay.

Then, the next morning, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John took their
pitchforks and went over to the field and spread the grass out evenly,
so that it would dry better; and they left it until the afternoon.

In the afternoon, Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took two great wide
wooden rakes, and little John took a little rake, and they went to the
field. Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John each held one of the great wide
rakes so that it trailed behind, and they walked along and the rakes
rolled the grass up into long rows. Then they walked along the other
way, trailing the rakes, and the grass rolled up into piles, and little
John raked after. They call the piles of hay haycocks, and they were as
high as little John's head. Then they went away and left the hay there
all night.

In the morning, when the sun had shone on the haycocks long enough to
dry off the dew, Uncle John got out the old oxen. And they put their
heads down, and he put the yoke over and the bows under, and he hooked
the tongue of the hay-cart to the yoke. Then he put little John up in
the cart and took the pitchforks, and gave little John his little rake.
And the old oxen started walking slowly along, out into the road and
along the road to the great enormous field, and in at the gate. And they
walked along beside one of the haycocks, and there they stopped.

Then Uncle John lifted little John out of the cart, and Uncle Solomon
and Uncle John both stuck their pitchforks into the haycock and lifted
it right up and pitched it over the side of the cart, so that it fell
into the cart. Then they went along to the next haycock and pitched that
in the same way, and little John raked after, raking up the hay that had
dropped from the pitchforks. So they went along to the other haycocks
and pitched them into the cart, and when the hay was nearly up to the
top of the side of the cart, Uncle John climbed in, and he made the hay
even in the cart, with his fork. Uncle Solomon pitched the hay up into
the cart, and Uncle John made it even in the cart, so it couldn't fall
out, and they piled the hay up in the cart until it was a great
enormous load, higher than the room. And little John raked after.


[Illustration]


When they had made the load as high as they could, the old oxen started
and turned around, and walked back through the gate and along the road
to the farm house, and in at the gate and up the track past the kitchen
door and past the shed, and in at the big door of the barn. And they
went along in the open place in the barn and stopped in the middle, so
that the load of hay was beside the floor of the loft where the hay was
kept, and the top of the load was higher than the floor of the loft.

Then Uncle Solomon climbed up the ladder to the loft, and Uncle John
pitched the hay from the cart to the loft. And Uncle Solomon took his
fork and pitched the hay back against the wall and packed it tight, so
that they could get more in when they brought it, and fill the loft as
full as it would hold.

When all the hay was out of the cart, Uncle Solomon came down from the
loft, and the oxen started walking along, out of the other big door and
around the barn and back to the hay-field. Then they filled the cart
again, the same way that they did the first time, and put that hay in
the barn. And they had to go back three times after the first time
before they had all the hay that was in the field. And when it was all
in the barn, there was hay enough for the horses and the oxen and the
cows to eat all winter.

Then the old oxen walked out through the other door of the barn, and
around the barn to the shed. And Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the
cart and put the cart in the shed, and he took off the yoke and the oxen
went into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.



XIV.

THE FIREPLACE STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In the kitchen there wasn't any stove, because they didn't have stoves
then, but there was a great enormous fireplace, so big that great long
sticks of wood could be put in it to burn. And Uncle John or Uncle
Solomon had to cut the wood that was to be burned in the fireplace, and
pile it up in a great pile near the kitchen door.


[Illustration]


In the fireplace was a long iron stick that went along near the top, and
at the side of the fireplace it bent down like an elbow and went into
some hinges that were in the wall of the fireplace. And at the end of
this long iron stick was a hook, so that a kettle would hang on it over
the fire. This iron stick they call a crane; and it would swing out on
the hinges, away from the fire, so that they could hang something on
without burning their hands, and then they could swing it back again.

And every night, before she went to bed, Aunt Deborah took the shovel
and put ashes all over the fire, so that it wouldn't blaze and burn the
wood all up, but wouldn't go out, either. For there wasn't any furnace,
and if the fire went out, the house would get very cold, and there
weren't any matches then, so that it was hard to light the fire.

At that farm-house were a great many chickens, and in the summer-time
they liked to fly up into the trees, and sit on the branches to sleep.
And in the morning, as soon as it began to get light, the old rooster
would wake up and flap his wings and crow very loud. So, one morning,
the old rooster crowed very early and waked Uncle John and Aunt Deborah,
and Uncle Solomon and Aunt Phyllis.

And they all got up and put on their clothes and went down-stairs. Uncle
Solomon and Uncle John went to the barn to look after the horses and the
cows and the oxen, and Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis began to fix the
fire and get breakfast ready.

Aunt Phyllis went to the spring-house for the milk and the butter, and
to the buttery for some other things. Then she went to the hen-house to
find some eggs.


[Illustration]


Aunt Deborah raked all the ashes off the fire and put on some sticks of
wood that Uncle John had brought in, and then she took the blower and
blew the fire with it until it began to blaze. Then she took the iron
kettle and filled it with water at the well, and she pulled the crane
out away from the fire, with an iron hook, and hung the kettle on the
hook of the crane, and swung it back over the fire. And the fire blazed,
and the water in the kettle got hot, and after a while it began to
boil.

While the water in the kettle was getting hot, Aunt Deborah took some
corn-meal and some flour and some salt and some sugar, and mixed them
together in a big yellow bowl, and she mixed in some soda and some
cream-o'-tartar. They are fine white powders that would make the
johnny-cake light and nice when it was baked; for she was making
johnny-cake. Then she took the milk that Aunt Phyllis had brought from
the spring-house, and she poured some of it into the bowl and stirred it
all in. And when she had poured in all the milk that she wanted, she
took some of the eggs that Aunt Phyllis had brought, and she broke the
shells and let the inside of the eggs drop into a littler bowl, and
then she beat them all up together until they were all foamy. Then she
poured them into the big yellow bowl and stirred them all in. When all
the things were stirred up together, Aunt Deborah took a pan that had a
cover, and she put butter all over the pan, and poured in the things
from the yellow bowl. Then she put on the cover, and she took a kind of
rake and she raked some of the blazing fire away, and with a long iron
fork she put the pan down on the hot coals. Then she raked the fire on
top of the pan again and left it.

When the johnny-cake was in the fire, getting baked, Aunt Deborah got
some tea out of the jar that they called a caddy, and she put it in the
teapot. Then she pulled the crane away from the fire, with the hook,
and she poured some boiling water in on the tea and set the teapot down
in front of the fire. Then she put some eggs in the kettle and swung it
back over the fire.

While Aunt Deborah was making the johnny-cake and the tea, Aunt Phyllis
had put the plates on the table, and the mugs, and the cups and saucers,
and the knives and forks, and all the other things, and she had put some
butter on the table, on a plate, and some milk in a white pitcher. Then
she went to the buttery and took down a ham that hung on a hook, and she
cut some thin slices and put them on a plate and put that plate on the
table. And by that time the johnny-cake was done and the eggs, and the
tea. And Aunt Deborah swung the crane off the fire and took the eggs
out with a ladle that had little holes in it for the water to go
through. Then she poured cold water on the eggs, so that they wouldn't
cook any more, and she put them in a bowl and put them on the table.
Then she raked the fire off the top of the pan, and took the pan out
with the long iron fork. And she took the cover off, and the johnny-cake
was nice and brown, and just right and smoking hot. And she cut it into
little squares and put it in a dish, and Aunt Phyllis put all the rest
of the things on the table while Aunt Deborah went to the door and took
down the horn and blew it.

Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John came in from the barn, and little
Charles and little John came in from driving the cows, and little Sam
came down-stairs. And they all sat down at the table and ate their
breakfast, and it was very nice.

And that's all.



XV.

THE BAKING STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a little track that led up past the kitchen door and
past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

One morning the old rooster had crowed very early, and Uncle Solomon and
Uncle John and Aunt Phyllis and Aunt Deborah had come down-stairs and
done their work. It was Saturday morning, and that was baking day; so,
when they had all finished breakfast, and Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis
had cleared up the things and washed the dishes, they got ready for the
baking.

The chimney was a great enormous chimney that went all across the end of
the kitchen. And beside the big fireplace was an iron door that opened
into the oven. For the oven was a big hole in the chimney, beside the
fireplace; and right in the middle of the chimney, behind the fireplace,
was a great big hole, as big as a closet, and at the back was a little
door that was just big enough for people to go in. In this closet in the
chimney they used to build a fire sometimes, and hang hams and fish
over it in the smoke.

When they were ready to begin, Aunt Deborah opened the door to the oven,
and she took some wood that Uncle John had brought in, and she built a
fire right in the oven. Then she took up some coals from the fireplace
and lighted the fire in the oven and shut the door. And the fire burned
and the oven got hot. And once in awhile Aunt Deborah opened the door
and put in some more wood.

Then, while the fire was burning in the oven and getting the oven hot,
Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis took flour and butter and lard and water,
and they mixed them together just the right way, and made some dough.
And they rolled the dough out thin, with a long wooden roller, and they
folded it over and rolled it out again, and did that over and over until
they thought it was right. Then they spread the thin dough out on the
bottom of some plates that were middle-sized deep.

And Aunt Deborah had some apples all ready, with the skin cut off and
the cores cut out, and the nice part of the apples cut up into slices.
And some of the apples she had stewed in water until they were all soft,
and some she hadn't.

First she put some of the stewed apples in the plates on top of the thin
dough, and put in a little sugar and some cinnamon and some nutmeg on
top of some; and on some she didn't put any cinnamon or any nutmeg. Then
she laid another thin piece of dough over the top of the apples, and
she made little marks with a fork all around the edge, and she cut holes
in the top with a knife.

Then, in other plates she put the apples that were not stewed, and a lot
of sugar, and thin dough on top, the same way. Those were apple pies,
and they were three kinds.


[Illustration]


Then Aunt Deborah made some squash pies, and put in on the dough that
was on the bottom of the plates some of the inside of squashes that she
had cooked over the fire. The very inside of squashes is soft and full
of seeds, and that part isn't good to eat; but just next to the seeds is
the part that is good. And spices and a lot of things were mixed with
the squash to make it taste better. There wasn't any thin dough put
over the top of the squash pies, but just a thin strip around the edge.
And there were other kinds of pies besides the apple and the squash, and
when they were made, there were so many that they covered the tops of
both the tables, for Uncle Solomon and Uncle John liked pies.

Then Aunt Deborah thought the oven was hot enough, and she opened the
door of the oven, and with a long rake she pulled the fire out into a
big pan and put it into the fireplace. Then she put into the oven all
the pies it would hold, and she shut the door; and the pies were baking
in the oven, it was so hot, though there wasn't any fire in it. And when
those pies had been in the oven for awhile, they were all done, and
Aunt Deborah pulled them out with a kind of shovel and set them down in
front of the fire, and she put other pies in; and so she did until all
the pies were baked.


[Illustration]


Then she put coals in the oven again, and a little wood, to get the oven
hotter, for it had cooled, baking so many pies.

When she first came down that morning, Aunt Deborah had mixed some
bread, and had set it in a big pan near the fire, to rise; and now it
had risen enough, and she took it out of the big pan. And while the oven
was getting hot again, she put the bread on a smooth board and rolled
it around and pushed it with her hands. That is what they call kneading.

Then she took some square pans that were deep, and she put some of the
bread in each pan and set them down by the fire again. And pretty soon
the oven was hot enough, and the fire was raked out, and the bread was
put in. By that time it was time to get dinner ready, and Aunt Deborah
left the bread in the oven while she got dinner. For the oven was
getting cooler all the time, and the bread would not get burned.

So, when the bread was done, Aunt Deborah took it out and wrapped it in
a cloth until it was cool. And Aunt Phyllis put all the pies in the
buttery. Then they had enough pies and enough bread to last them all a
whole week, and they would not bake any more until the next Saturday.

And that's all.



XVI.

THE SWIMMING STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In that farm-house lived Uncle Solomon and Uncle John, and little John
and little Charles and their mother, Aunt Deborah, and little Sam and
his mother, Aunt Phyllis.

One day in summer it was very hot. Little Charles was about nine years
old, and little John was about seven, and little Charles said to little
John: "John, let's go in swimming."

And little John said: "All right."

So they went very quietly away from the kitchen door, where they were
playing, and went toward the barn, as though they were going to look for
eggs. But they sneaked around the barn and down close to the house on
the other side, where Aunt Deborah wouldn't see them, and over the fence
into the road. And they went along the road until they came to the field
that they used to go through to get water from the river. Then they
turned into that field and went down to the river, and along the bank of
the river until they came to a great big tree that grew close by the
edge of the river, at the end of a stone wall.


[Illustration]


When they came to that big tree, they stopped and took off all their
clothes and went into the water. And they stayed in the water a long
time and swam around and chased each other, and they ran along in the
water where it wasn't very deep, and splashed and had a fine time. And
when they had been in long enough and were all cool, they went back to
the place where they had left their clothes, and they took their shirts
and got themselves dry with their shirts as well as they could. Then
they spread their shirts out in the sunshine to dry, and they ran about
on the bank. And when their shirts were dry, they put their clothes on.
Then they went back along the road and over the fence and around the
barn, the way they had come, and began to play near the shed as though
they hadn't been away at all.

Pretty soon Aunt Deborah came to the kitchen door and she called to
little Charles. "Charles, I want you to get me some eggs."

And when Charles turned around to go, Aunt Deborah looked at him very
hard, and she called: "Charles, come here to me." But Charles didn't
want to come very near, so he came only a little way.

And Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, I want you to come right here to me."

So Charles came slowly beside his mother, and she took off his hat and
looked at his hair. His hair was a little wet, for he couldn't get it
quite dry with his shirt.

And Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, you've been in swimming."

And Charles dug up the dirt with his bare feet and said, "Yes'm." For
little Charles and little John never said things that were not true,
although they sometimes did things they ought not to do.

Then Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, if you do that again I'll tell your
father."

And Charles said, "Yes'm." Then he ran away quickly to find the eggs.

Then Aunt Deborah said: "John, come here to me."

So little John came beside his mother, and she took off his hat and saw
that his hair was wet.

And she said: "John, you've been swimming, too." And little John looked
at his mother and grinned and said, "Yes'm."

And Aunt Deborah said, "You mustn't do that, John. You're too little.
Don't do it again, and I'll ask Uncle Solomon to take you and Charles
in his boat." So little John ran off after little Charles.

The next morning Uncle Solomon called to all the little boys: "Who wants
to go out in the boat with me?"

And little Charles and little John and little Sam all said at the same
time, "I do."

So Uncle Solomon said, "Come on, boys."

Then he walked along the track and into the road and along the road, and
the little boys ran ahead; for they knew where he was going. And by and
by they came to the pond. It was a great big pond, and Uncle Solomon's
boat was on the bank under some trees. Uncle Solomon had built that boat
himself, for he had been a sailor, and knew all about boats. So he
pushed the boat off into the water, and the little boys all got in and
sat still. For Uncle Solomon wouldn't let them jump around in the boat
because that might tip it over.

So Uncle Solomon rowed the little boys over to a nice place where it was
shady, and where the water was not very deep; and he rowed cross-handed,
because he thought that was easier. When they had got to the place, the
little boys all took off their clothes, and Uncle Solomon took up each
boy and threw him over into the water. They were not afraid, because he
had taught them how to swim, and he was right there, to see that nothing
happened to harm them. And they swam around and had a fine time.


[Illustration]


And when Uncle Solomon thought they had been in the water long enough,
he made them swim near the boat, and he reached over and pulled them
into the boat, one at a time. Then they dried themselves with a towel he
had brought, and they put on their clothes, and Uncle Solomon rowed the
boat back to the place where he kept it.

Then the little boys got out and he pulled the boat up on the shore, and
they all went back along the road to the farm-house. And they went in at
the wide gate and up to the kitchen door. And there was Aunt Deborah,
with four pieces of gingerbread. One piece she gave to little Charles
and one to little John and one to little Sam, and the biggest piece of
all she gave to Uncle Solomon.

And they all ate their gingerbread, and thought it was very good indeed.

And that's all.



XVII.

THE CHICKEN STORY

Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

Behind the barn was the hen-house, and inside the hen-house there were
long poles that went all the way across, for the hens to sit on to
sleep. Those poles they call roosts. In winter the hens all sleep on the
roosts in the hen-house, because it is warmer there; but in the summer
they like to get up in the trees and sleep out-of-doors.

Along the side of the hen-house were some boxes with hay in them, and a
board along the top. These were the nests, and in each nest was a
pretend egg, made of china. The hens would see the pretend egg and think
it was real, and they would lay the real eggs in the nests. For they
like to lay eggs in places where eggs are already.

There was a little door, low down, for the hens to go through, and
outside was a yard, with a fence around made of strips of wood. In this
fence was a door that was kept shut in winter, but was open in summer so
that the hens and chickens could go out and eat the bugs and worms. Bugs
and worms sometimes eat the growing things that the farmers have
planted, so the farmers like to have the chickens eat the bugs and
worms. And in the side of the hen-house was a big door for people to go
through.

When the summer was beginning, there were a good many hens and some
chickens that were half grown up, and a very old rooster, and some that
were not so old. Sometimes the roosters would fight, but they didn't
fight very hard, for they were not the kind that fight hard.

All the roosters and the hens and the chickens that were half grown up
flew up into the trees when it was beginning to be dark, and they sat
on the branches in long rows, and put their heads under their wings and
went to sleep. The very old rooster and most of the hens roosted in the
apple-trees in the orchard, but some of the hens roosted in other trees.


[Illustration]


And in the middle of the night the old rooster waked a little and
crowed, but it wasn't a very loud crow. But when it began to be light in
the morning, the old rooster waked and flapped his wings and crowed very
loud. And that waked the other roosters and they flapped their wings and
crowed, and the hens waked, and all the roosters and the hens flapped
their wings and flew down to the ground, and began to look about for
their breakfast.

Some of the hens stayed in the orchard and looked about on the ground
and scratched up the dirt and picked up the bugs and worms that they
found. Some of them went over to the cow-yard and flew over the fence
and scratched around there, and they drank water out of the big tub in
the corner. And some of the hens went to the kitchen door to see what
things Aunt Deborah had thrown down there for them to eat. The chickens
that were half grown up went over to the fields where the potatoes and
the beans and the peas were growing, and they ran about among the vines
and picked the bugs and worms off the vines.

After awhile, when all the hens and chickens had finished their
breakfasts, some of the hens went into the hen-house to lay eggs. Each
of these hens laid one egg in one of the nests, and when she had laid
the egg, she came out of the hen-house and cackled and made a great
noise. For that is the way hens do. But there were two of the hens that
did not like to lay eggs in the hen-house.


[Illustration]


One of these hens walked along the little road and across the
wheat-field into the maple-sugar woods. She had made a nest there, out
of dried grass and leaves, and it was hidden away under some bushes,
where nobody could find it. That hen laid an egg in that nest every day,
until she had laid nine. Then she sat on the eggs and kept them warm,
and she came over to the farm-house every day to get something to eat
and then she went back to her nest again. And when she had sat on those
eggs for three weeks, the little chickens came out of the shells and ran
about. And then she walked over to the farm-house and the little
chickens ran along with her.


[Illustration]


The other hen that wouldn't lay eggs in the hen-house made a nest in the
wheat-field; but little John found that nest and took the eggs away, so
she didn't have any chickens.

When the hens had laid their eggs, they went out into the road and sat
down in the dust and scratched the dust up all over themselves, for they
liked the warm dust in among their feathers. And they stayed there until
they were hungry again. Then they scratched around in the dirt, and ate
some more bugs and worms, and the things that Aunt Deborah threw out for
them to eat. And so they did until it began to get dark.

Then they all walked along to the orchard or to some other trees, and
they stood under the trees, and looked up and gave queer little jumps
and flapped their wings, and they flew up into the trees and sat on the
branches. And they went along the branches sideways until they had
found the places they liked. Then they squatted down and put their heads
under their wings and went to sleep.

And that's all.



XVIII.

THE SHAWL STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. This farm was
Uncle Solomon's. But before he had the farm, he was a sailor, and he
sailed in great ships, over the great enormous ocean. A great many ships
used to sail from Boston, over the big ocean, carrying different things
to far countries, and one of these ships was the brig _Industry_. Uncle
Solomon was the captain of the brig _Industry_, but that was when he
was a young man, and a long time before he had the farm.

One day the brig _Industry_ was lying beside the wharf at Boston, and
she was tied to the wharf with great ropes. And all the things had been
put in the ship, the things they were to sell in the far country where
they were going, and the things to eat, and the water they would drink.
For the ocean water is salt and bitter, so that people can't drink it,
and they had to carry all the water that they would need to drink and
almost all the things they would need to eat. The water was in big
hogsheads, down near the bottom of the ship. The sailors were all on the
ship, and everything was all ready to start. Then Captain Solomon walked
down the wharf, and he got on the ship, and the great ropes were
untied, and the sailors hoisted the sails, and the ship sailed away from
the wharf. She sailed down the harbour and past the islands and out into
the great ocean.

So the wind kept blowing, and the _Industry_ kept sailing along over the
ocean for a great many days. She sailed along, through parts of the
ocean where it is always hot and where it rains a great deal, and past
the country where the monkeys live, and around the end of that country.
And after awhile Captain Solomon saw some land, and he knew it was an
island where no people lived, but where beautiful clear water ran out of
a crack in the rock. So he made the ship go near that island, and then
the sailors fixed the sails so that the ship wouldn't go ahead. And the
sailors let down one of the rowboats into the water. For every big ship
has some rowboats that are hung up over the deck. And they took all the
hogsheads of water and emptied out what water was left. Then they put in
the bungs and tied all the hogsheads together with ropes that went
between them, and they threw them over the side of the ship into the
water. Then the sailors in the rowboat caught the end of the rope and
rowed, and they went to the island, dragging the hogsheads that floated
on the top of the water. And they filled the hogsheads with nice fresh
water that came out of the rock, and then they rowed back to the ship,
dragging the hogsheads. And they were hoisted up into the ship, and the
rowboat was hoisted up, and the sailors fixed the sails again so that
the ship would sail ahead.


[Illustration]


So they sailed along for a great many days, and at last they came to the
far country. That country is called India. And the _Industry_ sailed
into a wide river, and the sailors took down the sails and let down the
great anchor to the bottom of the river. For the water by the shore was
not deep enough for the ship to go there, so they had to keep the ship
in the middle of the river. On the shore was a city, and a lot of men
came out from the shore in little rowboats and took the things out of
the _Industry_ and carried them to the city. And the boats were so
little, and there were so many things, they had to go back and forth a
great many times.

When the things were all taken out of the ship, Captain Solomon had his
rowboat let down into the water, and he got in, and two sailors rowed
him to the land. Then he went to the man who had bought all the things
he had brought, and the man paid Captain Solomon the money for the
things. Then Captain Solomon started to look about to see what he could
buy to take back to Boston.

First he bought a lot of tea, and a lot of spices, like cinnamon and
cloves and nutmegs, and a lot of china dishes that had houses and trees
and birds painted on them in blue. Then he bought a lot of pretty tables
and such things that were made of teak-wood and ebony and ivory. And he
bought a lot of little images that were carved out of ivory, and some
trays that were shiny black, with birds and flowers painted on them in
red and silver and gold. Then he bought a great many logs of teak-wood
to carry back to Boston, to make into chairs and mantels and doors for
the inside of houses. And when all these things were carried to the
ship and put in, Captain Solomon had some money left, and he looked
about to see what he could buy that was very nice.

In India they have cloth that is made of the hair of goats, and shawls
that are made of the hair of camels. The people made these things and
brought them to the city to sell. The cloth was very nice and the shawls
were very fine and beautiful.

So Captain Solomon went to the place where they had the cloth of goat's
hair and the camel's-hair shawls, and he bought a great many shawls and
some of the cloth. Some of the shawls were white, with a pattern of
curly shapes in the middle, in red and blue and yellow, and some had a
border of the same kind all around the edge. Some were red, with a
pattern all over them of blue and brown and yellow and white. And
besides the shawls, there were narrow pieces made of camel's hair, that
were meant to be worn around ladies' necks. And they were all very
beautiful.

So Captain Solomon had all the shawls and the pieces of cloth put in two
great chests made of cedar, and he had the chests carried on the ship
and put in his cabin. His cabin was the room where he did all his work,
looking at the charts and maps, to see where the ship was, and writing
down in a book what happened every day. The beautiful shawls would be
taken care of in his cabin better than in the bottom of the ship, with
the teak-wood and the other things.

When Captain Solomon had bought the shawls and got them put on the ship,
he bought a lot of things for the sailors to eat while the ship was
sailing back to Boston. There were flour and meal and very hard crackers
and salt and sugar and fine hominy and peas and beans and a lot of other
things, and great hogsheads of meat that was in salt water. And there
was a cow that they kept in a kind of pen on the deck of the ship, and
four sheep and a lot of chickens. So they could have milk and eggs, and
sometimes roast chicken for dinner, or roast mutton. Then they filled
all the water barrels with fresh water, and the sailors pulled up the
great anchor and hoisted the sails.

So the _Industry_ sailed out of the river and into the big ocean, and
they sailed away for a great many days. And when they came to the island
where the nice water ran out of the rock, Captain Solomon had all the
water barrels filled with fresh water again. Then they sailed along,
around the end of the country where the monkeys lived, and over another
big ocean. And after a long time they came to Boston, and the _Industry_
sailed in past the islands and into the harbour, and up to the wharf.
And the sailors took down the sails and fastened the ship to the wharf
with great ropes.

Then Captain Solomon went on shore and got a big wagon. The horses
dragged the wagon down on the wharf, and the men took the two chests out
of the cabin and put them on the wagon. Then Captain Solomon got on the
wagon with the men, and they drove the horses through the streets until
they came to the place where the men stayed that owned the _Industry_.
That place they call an office.

[Illustration]

So Captain Solomon got down from the wagon, and the men took the chests
and carried them into the office. In the office were Captain Jonathan
and Captain Jacob. They had been sailors, too, and they owned the
_Industry_. And Captain Solomon opened the chests and showed the cloth
and the shawls to Captain Jonathan and Captain Jacob, and they thought
the cloth and the shawls were very beautiful. And while Captain Jonathan
was looking at the shawls he found one that was white, with a pattern
in the middle of red and yellow and brown and blue. He thought that
shawl was the prettiest shawl he had ever seen. So he said: "Jacob, I am
going to give this shawl to my daughter Lois."

And Captain Jacob said, "All right." For Captain Jonathan's daughter
Lois was Captain Jacob's wife.

So Captain Jonathan gave the shawl to his daughter Lois. And after a
great many years she gave the shawl to her daughter Lois. And after a
great many years more, when that Lois was an old lady, she gave the
shawl to her niece, who was named Lois. And when that Lois was an old
lady she used to wear the shawl almost all the time. But one day she
forgot and hung the shawl over the balusters near the door just when the
cook was going away. And the cook saw the shawl and took it away and
never brought it back.

And that's all.



XIX.

THE BUYING-FARM STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. And in the fence
was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. The farm wasn't
Uncle Solomon's then, but it belonged to the man that had built the
farm-house, and that man had built the barn first and then the house.
And he had cut down the trees and made the fields smooth and nice where
the different things were to grow. And when he had lived there a good
many years, he was tired of being there, and he wanted to go somewhere
else.

Captain Solomon had sailed on the great ocean a great many years, and he
was tired of being a sailor, and thought he would like to have a farm;
and besides, he was afraid that if he kept on being a sailor, his little
boys would want to be sailors, too, and he didn't want them to be. There
were three boys, Uncle John and his two brothers; and when they got big
enough, Uncle John's brothers ran away and were sailors. For they didn't
like to be on a farm. But Uncle John stayed on the farm after Uncle
Solomon bought it.

So one day Captain Solomon came to the farm and he found the man that
had got it all ready and had built the house. And the man showed Captain
Solomon all the fields where the things were growing, and the orchard
and the maple-sugar woods and the barn and the house. And Captain
Solomon liked the farm. So he paid the man some money, and the man gave
the farm to Uncle Solomon. For after he had bought the farm, the people
all called Captain Solomon Uncle Solomon. Then the man took all his beds
and chairs and tables and the other things from the house, and he moved
them away to another place.


[Illustration]


Then Uncle Solomon put all his things in great wagons, and it took a
long time to move them to the farm, for Uncle Solomon had lived in
Wellfleet, a town that is on the shore of the great ocean, and the farm
was a long way from that town, and it was not on the shore of the ocean.
They didn't have railroads then, and all the things had to be dragged in
the wagons. But at last the wagons came to the farm, and Uncle Solomon
took all the things out of the wagons and put them in the house. He put
the wagons in the shed and the horses in the barn. That was a very long
time ago, more than one hundred years.

When all the things were put in the house, Uncle Solomon bought some
cows and the things he needed to do farm work with. Then he began to do
all the things that have to be done on a farm, the things that the other
stories tell about.

And that's all.



XX.

THE BUTTER STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In the morning, when Uncle John had milked all the cows, he took all
the milk, in the big pails, to the milk-room that was in the corner of
the barn, and he poured it through a cloth into some cans. Then he
carried the pails to the kitchen door, and Aunt Deborah washed them out
with cold water. Then she poured some very hot water into them and
rinsed them out, and set them in the sunshine. And Uncle John went back
to the milk-room and took the cans of milk and carried them out to the
spring-house.

The spring-house was a little low house that was in the orchard, and a
stream of water ran right through the middle of it. It was the same
stream of water that ran on through the big field where the cows went to
eat the grass, and then it ran on, under the road and through another
field and into the river. They didn't have ice then, in the summer
time, but the water of the little stream was cool, and they used that to
keep the milk and the butter from getting too hot. They had made a
trench for the water to run through, and in the bottom of the trench
they had put great flat stones, so that the water ran over the stones.
And on top of the stones the water wasn't deep at all.

So Uncle John took the milk to the spring-house and poured it into big
flat pans, and set the pans in the water on the flat stones, so that the
water would keep the milk cool while the cream came to the top. The
cream is the yellow, fat part of milk, and when the milk stands still,
the cream comes to the top.

Every time Uncle John had finished milking the cows, he took the milk
to the spring-house and put it in flat pans and left the pans in the
cool water. And when the milk had stood so for as long as all day or all
night, Aunt Deborah went out to the spring-house and took a kind of big
spoon and skimmed the cream off the top of the milk, and put the cream
into a stone jar. And she left the cream in the jar for two or three
days until it was just right to make into butter.


[Illustration]


When the cream in the jar was just right, Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis
took it to the buttery and put it in the churn, a kind of box that had a
long handle. And on the end of the handle was a big piece of wood with
holes all through it. Then Aunt Phyllis took hold of the long handle and
made it go up and down, and Aunt Deborah held on to the churn, so that
it wouldn't tip over. And when Aunt Phyllis was tired, Aunt Deborah made
the handle go up and down, and Aunt Phyllis held on to the churn. And
the cream splashed all about, and at last it began to turn into butter,
in little lumps.


[Illustration]


When it was done enough, Aunt Deborah poured off the watery stuff that
they called buttermilk, and she washed the butter with water, and she
put in a lot of salt. The buttermilk she saved, because sometimes people
like to drink it. Then she took the butter that was all in little lumps,
and she worked it together, so that the water came out of it, and it was
all in big lumps. And she worked that all together until it was worked
enough, and was in one big lump.

Then she got a little mould, a kind of cup with a cover. And in the
inside of the cover was a picture, cut into the wood, of an ear of corn
and some marks all about. Then Aunt Deborah put some of the butter into
the mould, and she put the cover over, and pushed hard, and the butter
was squeezed into a little round cake, with the picture of the ear of
corn on the top. Then she took out that piece and put in some more, and
she made a little cake of that. And so she did with all the butter,
until it was all in little cakes; and those cakes of butter they call
pats.

When all the butter was made into pats, Aunt Deborah put the pats into a
great round wooden box and carried the box out to the spring-house to
get cold, and keep until it was wanted. Every week she made enough
butter to fill the big round box. That was enough for them to eat, and
some to take to market besides.

And that's all.



XXI.

THE BEAN-POLE STORY


Once upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and
had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going
through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the
shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

All about were other fields where different things grew. There were
squashes and turnips and melons and corn and oats and potatoes and
cabbages and onions and peas and beans. Some of the bean plants grew
like little short trees, but the others wanted to climb on something. So
Uncle John had to get some bean-poles for the bean plants to climb up.
So, one morning, when summer was just beginning, the bean plants had
come up through the ground, and were tall enough to begin to climb.

Uncle John took his axe and a big sharp knife and he got out the old
oxen. They put their heads down and he put the yoke over and the bows
under, and hooked the tongue of the cart to the yoke. Then he said "Gee
up there;" and the old oxen started walking slowly along, past the barn
and past the orchard to the wheat-field, and little John came after.

And Uncle John took down the bars, and the oxen went through the
wheat-field, and he took down the bars at the other side of the field,
and they walked through into the maple-sugar woods. Then they went along
the road in the woods past the little maple-sugar house, and they kept
on until they came to a place where there weren't any big trees, but
there were a great many little slim trees very close together. The
little slim trees were about as big as little John's wrist at the
bottom, and they were about twice as tall as Uncle John.


[Illustration]


Then Uncle John stopped the oxen, and he took his axe and cut down a
great many of the little slim trees. They were so little that he cut
down each tree with one whack of the axe. And when the trees were cut
down, as many as he wanted, he took the big sharp knife and he cut off
all the branches of each tree. The trees grew so close together that
there weren't many branches, and what there were, were very small. Then
Uncle John put all the branches in a pile away from the trees, and he
piled the trees all on the cart. The trees, after the branches were cut
off, were straight and almost smooth. At the bottom they were about as
big as little John's wrist, and at the top they were only as big as his
thumb. These smooth trees without any branches they called poles.

Then Uncle John said, "Gee up there," and the oxen started and turned
around, and walked slowly along, through the maple-sugar woods, and
through the wheat-field, and Uncle John put up the bars after they had
gone through. Then they walked along past the orchard and past the barn
and past the shed and past the kitchen door, and through the wide gate
into the road. And they went along the road until they came to the field
where the beans were growing; and they turned in at the gate into that
field, and went along to the bean plants, and there they stopped.

Then Uncle John took the poles out of the cart, one at a time, and he
stuck a pole into the ground near each bean plant, so that the vine,
when it was feeling around for something to climb on, would find the
pole. The poles, after they were stuck into the ground, went up in the
air just a little higher than Uncle John's head. And Uncle John said,
"Gee up" again, and the old oxen turned around and went back along the
road and in at the wide gate and up past the kitchen door to the shed.
And Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart and took off the yoke,
and the oxen went into the barn.


[Illustration]


Then the bean vines kept on growing, and they got higher and higher, and
they twisted around and found the poles, and they held on to the poles
and kept on twisting and climbing until they had reached the tops of the
poles. Then the flowers came on the vines, and afterward the pods with
beans in them grew where the flowers had been. For the beans are only
the seeds that the flowers change into after they wither away. And at
the end of the summer, when the beans had stopped growing and were
ripe, Uncle John gathered them and took them in to Aunt Deborah.

And that's all.



THE END.





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