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Title: Five Minute Stories
Author: Richards, Laura Elizabeth Howe
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Transcriber's Note: Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and
italic text is surrounded by _underscores_.]

Books by Laura E. Richards


    This charming autobiography by the daughter of Julia
    Ward Howe and Samuel Gridley Howe is replete with
    amusing anecdotes and portraits, especially of famous
    literary figures of Boston. It epitomizes a long and
    useful life. Illustrated. $3.00


    The absorbing story of “The Angel of the Crimea” told
    by the daughter of the person most responsible for
    encouraging Miss Nightingale to become a nurse.     $1.75


    The stirring life and pathetic death of Domremy’s
    girlish heroine, who once saved France and today
    inspires it.                                        $2.00


    The true story of Elizabeth Fry, the famous Quakeress,
    who through extraordinary zeal revolutionized the
    English prison system and was known as the “Angel of
    the Prisons.”                                       $1.75


    A biography of the interesting and active wife of
    John Adams, based upon her own diaries and letters
    and contemporary records, and told in Mrs. Richard’s
    delightful style.                                   $2.00


    The famous American woman who though stricken blind and
    deaf led such a wonderfully rich and helpful life is
    the subject of this biography.                      $2.00


    Mrs. Richards is especially qualified to write the
    biography of her distinguished father. Woven into the
    biography is the account of the many friendships Dr.
    Howe formed through his amazing personality and his
    work. As a picture of a great man and his times, her
    book is warm, glowing and human. Illustrated.       $2.50


    A charmingly told story for girls of impetuous, lovable
    Sue and steady Mary.                                $1.50


    A delightful collection of rhymes, jingles, nonsense
    poems, and light and amusing narrative bits by the
    supreme American exponent in this field of verse for
    children. Illustrated,                              $1.50

=HARRY IN ENGLAND: Being the Partly-True Adventures of H. R. in the
Year 1857.=

    A charming tale of a little American boy’s adventures
    during a visit to England. Delightfully illustrated by
    Reginald Birch.                                     $1.50

  =New York=   =D. Appleton-Century Company=    =London=

_Books by Laura E. Richards._

“Mrs. Richards has made for herself a little niche apart in the
literary world, from her delicate treatment of New England village
life.”—_Boston Post._


    “=SOME SAY=,” and a companion story, “=NEIGHBOURS IN
      CYRUS=.” 16mo, 50 cents.

    =JIM OF HELLAS=; or, =IN DURANCE VILE=, and a companion
      story, =BETHESDA POOL=. 16mo, 50 cents.

    =MARIE.= 16mo, 50 cents.

“Seldom has Mrs. Richards drawn a more irresistible picture, or framed
one with more artistic literary adjustment.”—_Boston Herald._

“A perfect literary gem.”—_Boston Transcript._

    =NARCISSA=, and a companion story, =IN VERONA=. 16mo,
      cloth, 50 cents.

“Each is a simple, touching, sweet little story of rustic New England
life, full of vivid pictures of interesting character, and refreshing
for its unaffected genuineness and human feeling.”—_Congregationalist._

“They are the most charming stories ever written of American country
life.”—_New York World._

    =MELODY.= The story of a Child. 16mo, 50 cents.

“Had there never been a ‘Captain January,’ ‘Melody’ would easily take
first place.”—_Boston Times._

“The quaintly pretty, touching, old-fashioned story is told with
perfect grace; the few persons who belong to it are touched in with
distinctness and with sympathy.”—_Milwaukee Sentinel._

    =SAME.= _Illustrated Holiday Edition._ With thirty
      half-tone pictures from drawings by Frank T. Merrill.
      4to, cloth, $1.25.

    =CAPTAIN JANUARY.= 16mo, cloth, 50 cents.

A charming idyl of New England coast life, whose success has been very
remarkable. One reads it, is thoroughly charmed by it, tells others,
and so its fame has been heralded by its readers, until to-day it
is selling by the thousands, constantly enlarging the circle of its
delighted admirers.

    =SAME.= _Illustrated Holiday Edition._ With thirty
      half-tone pictures from drawings by Frank T. Merrill.
      4to, cloth, $1.25.

    =WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE.= 4to, cloth, gilt top, $1.25.

The title most happily introduces the reader to the charming home-life
of Dr. Howe and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe during the childhood of the author.

    =GLIMPSES OF THE FRENCH COURT.= Sketches from French
      History. Illustrated with a series of portraits in
      etching and photogravure. Square 12mo, cloth, $1.50.

With true literary touch, she gives us the story of some of the salient
figures of this remarkable period.

    =ISLA HERON.= A charming prose idyl of quaint New
      England life. Small quarto, cloth, 75 cents.

    =NAUTILUS.= A very interesting story, with
      illustrations; uniquely bound, small quarto, cloth,
      75 cents.

    =FIVE MINUTE STORIES.= A charming collection of short
      stories and clever poems for children.

    _Estes & Lauriat, Publishers, Boston._






    _Copyright, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895_,
    _Copyright, 1895._

    Colonial Press:
    C. H. Simonds & Co. Boston, Mass., U.S.A.



    Dedication                                        vii
    Betty                                              15
    Two Calls                                          16
    A New Year Song                                    19
    New Year                                           20
    A Lesson Song                                      24
    The Rubber Baby                                    26
    The Red, White and Blue                            28
    Totty’s Christmas                                  29
    A Certain Boy                                      32
    The New Sister                                     33
    Buttercup Gold                                     35
    One Afternoon                                      42
    The Stove                                          43
    John’s Sister                                      44
    New Year Song                                      45
    What Was Her Name                                  46
    A Lesson Song                                      49
    The Patient Cat                                    52
    Mathematics                                        53
    By the Fading Light                                55
    Tobogganing Song                                   58
    Song of the Tilt                                   59
    The Lazy Robin                                     60
    The Boy’s Manners                                  62
    Merry Christmas                                    66
    Rinktum                                            67
    In the Tunnel                                      69
    Practising Song                                    71
    Queen Elizabeth’s Dance                            72
    A Storming Party                                   74
    At the Little Boy’s Home                           75
    Then and Now                                       76
    Pleasant Walk                                      78
    A Great Day                                        80
    A Pastoral                                         82
    Riches                                             84
    Poverty                                            85
    The Best of All                                    87
    A Study Hour                                       89
    The Young Ladies                                   90
    The Weathercock                                    92
    Ichthyology                                        93
    A Happy Morning                                    98
    Lilies and Cat-Tails                               99
    The Metals                                        104
    The Howlery Growlery Room                         109
    The Speckled Hen                                  113
    The Money Shop                                    116
    A Long Afternoon                                  121
    The Jacket                                        122
    The Fireworks                                     124
    Jingle                                            126
    See-Saw                                           127
    Nancy’s Nightmare                                 129
    Amy’s Valentine                                   131
    Once Upon a Time                                  133
    The Pathetic Ballad of Clarinthia Jane Louisa     134
    A Day in the Country                              135
    Goosey Lucy                                       136
    Goosey Lucy’s New Year’s Calls                    139
    Three Little Birds                                142
    The Quacky Duck                                   143
    New Year Thoughts                                 144
    Nonsense                                          145
    The Singular Chicken                              147
    The Clever Parson                                 148
    The Purple Fish                                   155
    Mr. Somebody                                      157
    A Christmas Ride                                  159
    A Funny Fellow                                    161
    Woffsky-Poffsky                                   162
    April and the Children                            163
    The Snowball                                      165
    A Great Fight                                     168
    Hallelujah!                                       171
    Lullaby                                           172
    Merry Christmas                                   173
    The Little Dog with the Green Tail                175
    Naughty                                           180
    Hard Times                                        180
    On the Steeple                                    183
    Naughty Billy                                     184
    A Lad                                             184
    Saint Valentine’s House                           185
    The Gentleman                                     187
    A Leap Year Boy                                   190
    King Pippin                                       193
    The Story of the Crimson Crab                     194
    Mother’s Riddle                                   196
    King John                                         197
    The Spotty Cow                                    198
    The Button Pie                                    199
    The Inquisitive Ducks                             200
    Queen Matilda                                     202
    The Two-Shoes Chair                               203
    Ethelred the Unready                              205
    Poor Bonny                                        205
    The Husking of the Corn                           209
    The Clever Cheese-Maker                           211
    The Spelling Lesson                               214
    The Person who Did Not Like Cats                  216




    WHEN I sit and hold her little hand,
        My Betty,
    Then all the little troubles seem to shrink,
        Grow small and petty.
    It does not matter any more
    That ink is spilt on parlor floor,
    That gown is caught upon the latch,
    And not the smallest bit to match,
    That cook is going, housemaid gone,
    And coming guests to meet alone;
    It matters not at all, you see,
    For I have Betty, and Betty has me.

    When I sit and hold her little hand,
        My Betty,
    Then all the simple, foolish baby talk
        Grows wise and witty.
    I’m glad to know that Pussy Mow
    Was frightened at the wooden cow,
    I weep for Dolly’s broken head,
    And for the sawdust she has shed;
    I take with joy the cups of tea
    From wooden teapot poured for me,
    And all goes well, because, you see,
    I play with Betty, and Betty with me.

    When I walk and hold her little hand,
        My Betty,
    Then every humble weed beside the way
        Grows proud and pretty.
    The clover never was so red,
    Their purest white the daisies spread,
    The buttercups begin to dance,
    The reeds salute with lifted lance,
    The very tallest trees we pass
    Bend down to greet my little lass;
    And these things make my joy, you see,
    For I love Betty, and Betty loves me!


BEAU PHILIP and Beau Bobby stood side by side on the doorstep of their
father’s house. They were brothers, though you would hardly have
thought it, for one was very big and one was very little.

Beau Philip was tall and slender, with handsome dark eyes, and a silky
brown moustache which he was fond of curling at the ends. He wore a
well-fitting overcoat, and a tall hat and pearl-gray kid gloves.

Beau Bobby was short and chubby, and ten years old, with blue eyes and
yellow curls (not long ones, but funny little croppy locks that _would_
curl, no matter how short he kept them). He wore a pea-jacket, and red
leggings and red mittens.

There was one thing, however, about the two brothers that was just the
same. Each carried in his hand a great red rose, lovely and fragrant,
with crimson leaves and a golden heart.

“Where are you going with your rose, Beau Bobby?” asked Beau Philip.

“I am going to make a New Year’s call,” replied Beau Bobby.

“So am I,” said Beau Philip, laughing. “We may meet again. Good-by,
little Beau!”

“Good-by, big Beau!” said Bobby, seriously, and they walked off in
different directions.

Beau Philip went to call on a beautiful young lady, to whom he wished
to give his rose; but so many other people were calling on her at the
same time that he could only say “good-morning!” to her, and then stand
in a corner, pulling his moustache and wishing that the others would
go. There were so many roses in the room, bowls and vases and jars of
them, that he thought she would not care for his single blossom, so he
put it in his buttonhole; but it gave him no pleasure whatever.

Beau Bobby trotted away on his short legs till he came to a poor
street, full of tumble-down cottages.

He stopped before one of them and knocked at the door. It was opened by
a motherly looking Irish woman, who looked as if she had just left the
washtub, as, indeed, she had.

“Save us!” she cried, “is it yersilf, Master Bobby? Come in, me jewel,
and warm yersilf by the fire! It’s mortal cowld the day.”

“Oh, I’m not cold, thank you!” said Bobby. “But I will come in. Would
you—would you like a rose, Mrs. Flanagan? I have brought this rose for
you. And I wish you a Happy New Year. And thank you for washing my
shirts so nicely.”

This was a long speech for Beau Bobby, who was apt to be rather silent;
but it had a wonderful effect on Mrs. Flanagan. She grew very red as
she took the rose, and the tears came into her eyes.

“Ye little angil!” she said, wiping her eyes with her apron. “Look at
the lovely rose! For me, is it? And who sint ye wid it, honey?”

“Nobody!” said Bobby. “I brought it myself. It was my rose. You see,”
he said, drawing his stool up to the little stove, “I heard you say,
yesterday, Mrs. Flanagan, when you brought my shirts home, that you had
never had a New Year’s call in your life; so I thought I would make you
one to-day, you see. Happy New Year!”

“Happy New Year to yersilf, me sweet jewel!” cried good Mrs. Flanagan.
“And blessings go wid every day of it, for your kind heart and your
sweet face. I had a sore spot in my heart this day, Master Bobby, bein’
so far from my own people; but it’s you have taken it away this minute,
wid yer sweet rose and yer bright smile. See now, till I put it in my
best chiny taypot. Ain’t that lovely, now?”

“Isn’t it!” cried Beau Bobby. “And it makes the whole room sweet. I am
enjoying my call _very_ much, Mrs. Flanagan; aren’t you?”

“That I am!” said Mrs. Flanagan. “With all my heart!”


    When the year is new, my dear,
    When the year is new,
    Let us make a promise here,
    Little I and you,
    Not to fall a-quarrelling
    Over every tiny thing,
    But sing and smile, smile and sing,
    All the glad year through.

    As the year goes by, my dear,
    As the year goes by,
    Let us keep our sky swept clear,
    Little you and I.
    Sweep up every cloudy scowl,
    Every little thunder-growl,
    And live and laugh, laugh and live,
    ’Neath a cloudless sky.

    When the year is old, my dear,
    When the year is old,
    Let us never doubt or fear,
    Though the days grow cold.
    Loving thoughts are always warm;
    Merry hearts know ne’er a storm.
    Come ice and snow, so love’s dear glow
    Turn all our gray to gold.


THE little sweet Child tied on her hood, and put on her warm cloak and
mittens. “I am going to the wood,” she said, “to tell the creatures all
about it. They cannot understand about Christmas, mamma says, and of
course she knows, but I do think they ought to know about New Year!”

Out in the wood the snow lay light and powdery on the branches, but
under foot it made a firm, smooth floor, over which the Child could
walk lightly without sinking in. She saw other footprints beside her
own, tiny bird-tracks, little hopping marks, which showed where a
rabbit had taken his way, traces of mice and squirrels and other little
wild-wood beasts.

The Child stood under a great hemlock-tree, and looked up toward the
clear blue sky, which shone far away beyond the dark tree-tops. She
spread her hands abroad and called, “Happy New Year! Happy New Year to
everybody in the wood, and all over the world!”

A rustling was heard in the hemlock branches, and a striped squirrel
peeped down at her. “What do you mean by that, little Child?” he asked.
And then from all around came other squirrels, came little field-mice,
and hares swiftly leaping, and all the winter birds, titmouse and
snow-bird, and many another; and they all wanted to know what the Child
meant by her greeting, for they had never heard the words before.

“It means that God is giving us another year!” said the Child. “Four
more seasons, each lovelier than the last, just as it was last year.
Flowers will bud, and then they will blossom, and then the fruit will
hang all red and golden on the branches, for birds and men and
little children to eat.” “And squirrels, too!” cried the chipmunk,


“Of course!” said the Child. “Squirrels, too, and every creature that
lives in the good green wood. And this is not all! We can do over again
the things that we tried to do last year, and perhaps failed in doing.
We have another chance to be good and kind, to do little loving things
that help, and to cure ourselves of doing naughty things. Our hearts
can have lovely new seasons, like the flowers and trees and all the
sweet things that grow and bear leaves and fruit. I thought I would
come and tell you all this, because sometimes one does not think of
things till one hears them from another’s lips. Are you glad I came? If
you are glad, say Happy New Year! each in his own way! I say it to you
all now in my way. Happy New Year! Happy New Year!”

Such a noise as broke out then had never been heard in the wood since
the oldest hemlock was a baby, and that was a long time ago. Chirping,
twittering, squeaking, chattering! The wood-doves lit on the Child’s
shoulder and cooed in her ear, and she knew just what they said. The
squirrels made a long speech, and meant every word of it, which is more
than people always do; the field-mouse said that she was going to turn
over a new leaf, the very biggest cabbage-leaf she could find; while
the titmouse invited the whole company to dine with him, a thing he had
never done in his life before.

When the Child turned to leave the wood, the joyful chorus followed
her, and she went, smiling, home and told her mother all about it.
“And, mother,” she said, “I should not be surprised if they had got a
little bit of Christmas, after all, along with their New Year!”



    ORANGES and apples,
      And baby’s ball, are round;
    And my pretty picture-book,
      That is square, I’ve found;
    And an egg is oval,
      And the corners all,
    When you take them by themselves,
      Triangles they call.


    I am perpendicular
      When I stand up straight,
    I am horizontal
      When in bed I wait;
    And from sitting quite erect,
      If I chance to swerve,
    Then my rounded shoulders make
      What is called a curve.


    See! a sheet of paper
      I roll together neat,
    Straight and smooth, and then I have
      A cylinder complete;
    But if thus I widen out
      Either end alone,
    Look! it makes a different thing,—
      That is called a cone.


    Points there are, a many,
      On my pencil one,
    Two on mother’s scissors,
      Five a star has on;
    And our doggie has one
      Right upon his nose,
    And my dancing-master says,
      “Children, point your toes!”


    Oh! the world of wonders
      Is so very full,
    How can little children learn
      Half enough in school?
    I must look about me
      Everywhere I go,
    Keep my eyes awake and wise,
      There’s such a lot to know.


THE ascent of the Rubber Baby took place in the back yard on the
afternoon of last Fourth of July. It was an occasion of great interest.

We were all in the yard,—Mamma, Papa, Tubby, Toots, Posy, Bunny, Bay
and Mr. Bagabave. (This boy has another name, but he prefers Mr.
Bagabave because he made it himself.)

There was also the best cousin, who is nine feet tall, more or less,
and a kind gentleman who was a friend of the best cousin, and came to
see that he did not hurt himself with the firecrackers.

Well, there we all were, and we fired crackers and torpedoes the whole
afternoon without stopping. The best cousin and the kind gentleman did
it to amuse the children, and the rest of us did it to amuse ourselves.

We had cannon-crackers a foot long; we had double-headers, which papa
threw up in the air, oh, ever so far, so that they exploded long before
they reached the ground. Then there were dear little crackers, very
small and slender, just made for Bay, though it is quite strange that
the Chinese people should have known about her, when she is so very

Now we fired off single crackers, great and small, with a bang and a
bang and a bang-bang; then we put a whole bunch under a barrel, and
they went snap, crack, crickety, crackety. Yes, it was delightful.

But Papa, who has lived long and fired many crackers, began to pine for
something new, and he said, “Let us have an ascension!”

Then we took counsel, and Mr. Bagabave said, “We will send up the
Rubber Baby.” Now the Rubber Baby belonged to Bay, and she loved him;
but when Bunny and Mr. Bagabave told her what a fine thing it was to
get up in the world, and how many people would like to go up farther
than the Rubber Baby would go, Bay consented, and went and brought the
Rubber Baby, who smiled and thought little of the matter.

Then Papa brought the biggest cannon-cracker of all, and made a long
fuse for it, and set it up in the ground; and over it he put a tomato
can, and on the tomato can he set the Rubber Baby.

Now all was ready, and we all stood waiting for the final moment. I do
not know what were the thoughts of the Rubber Baby at this moment, but
we were all in a state of great excitement.

“Get out of the way, children!” cried Papa. “Run away, Bay! Get behind
the maple-tree, Mr. Bagabave! She’s going. Now, then! One, two, three,
and away!” and Papa touched off the fuse.

A moment of great suspense, a tremendous report, a dense cloud of
smoke. Up soared the Rubber Baby, higher than the top of the big
maple-tree, almost to the very clouds (or so Bay thought).

We watched in silent rapture; then, as the intrepid air-traveller came
down, still smiling, a loud cheer broke from the whole crowd.

No, not from the whole crowd; there was one exception. The kind
gentleman who came to keep the best cousin from hurting himself gave a
howl so loud and clear that we all started, and ran to see what was the

The poor gentleman had been holding a cannon-cracker, which he was
going to fire just when Papa gave the signal for sending off the Rubber
Baby. In the excitement of the moment he forgot the cannon-cracker,
and it went off in his hand, and burnt him quite badly.

We were all very sorry, not only for the poor gentleman’s own sake, but
because now there was no one to see that the best cousin did not hurt

A pretty young lady came, and tied up the poor gentleman’s hand so
nicely with her soft handkerchief that he said he was glad the cracker
had gone off in it.

The Rubber Baby said nothing, but sat still in the middle of the gravel
walk. Perhaps it was waiting to see if some lovely young lady would
come to cheer and comfort it; but no one came till little Bay took it
up, wiped off the dust and powder, kissed it, and put it to bed.


DOROTHY was all dressed to see the Fourth of July procession. She had
on her white dress, her blue sash, and her red shoes. Her cheeks were
red, too, and her eyes were blue, and when she pushed up her full
muslin sleeves, she saw how white her fat little arms were as soon as
you got past the sunburn. “I’se red, white and blue mine-self!” said

She went and stood on the top doorstep, which was very near the street.
Pretty soon the trumpets began to sound and the drums to beat, first
far away, then nearer and nearer. At last the procession came round the
corner. First the drum-major, with his huge bearskin cap, tossing his
great gilded stick about; then came the musicians, puffing away with
might and main at their great brass horns and trumpets, and banging
away at their drums and kettle-drums. It was a splendid noise; but
they were really playing a tune, the “Red, White and Blue.”

The standard-bearer dipped his flag as he passed Dorothy’s house, for
there was a great flag draped over the doorway, and red, white and blue
streamers running up to the windows, and Dorothy waved a little flag
as she stood on the top doorstep. “Three cheers for the red, white and
blue!” sang the soldiers as they marched by.

“Sank you!” said Dorothy, spreading out her frock and patting her sash.
“_I’se_ the red, white and blue! See mine sash!”

The soldiers laughed and cheered.

Then came a soldier who looked straight up at Dorothy, and held out his
arms, though without stopping. And it was Dorothy’s own Papa!

In less than half a minute Dorothy was in his arms, and he had caught
her up, and put her on his shoulder.

Dorothy waved her flag, and jumped up and down on Papa’s shoulder, and
cried, “Three cheers for the red, white and blue! three cheers for me!”
and all the soldiers shouted and cheered and laughed, and so Dorothy
and the procession went on their way all through the village.


THEY call me Totty, because I am small. I had a funny Christmas, and
Mamma said I might tell about it.

I have the scarlet fever, and I live all alone with my Mamma in her
room. Nobody comes in ’cept the doctor, and he says he sha’n’t come any
more to see a girl who feels as well as I do.

Mamma wears a cap and an apron, and we have our own dishes, just like
play, and she washes them in a bright tin pan, and then I have the pan
for a drum, and beat on it till she says she shall fly.

I always stop then, for I do think I should be frightened to see Mamma
fly. Besides, she might fly away.

Well, yesterday was Christmas, and I could get out of bed and sit up in
a chair; it was the first time.

So I sat up to dinner, and it was a partridge, but we played it was a
turkey. There was jelly and macaroni, and for desert we had grapes and
oranges. Mamma made it all look pretty, and Papa gave her roses through
the door, and she put them all over the table.

When she had washed the dishes, she turned the big chair round so that
I could look out of the window, and Hal and John came out on the lawn
and made a snow-man for me to look at.

It was a fine man, with two legs and two arms, and they kept playing he
was the British, and knocking his head off.

Mamma told me I mustn’t turn round till she said I might, but I didn’t
want to, anyhow, the man was so funny.

I heard Papa whispering at the door, and I _did_ want to see him, but I
knew I couldn’t, ’cause the other children haven’t had the fever: and
then I heard things rustle, paper and something soft, like brushing

They went on rustling, oh, a long time! and there was jingling, too,
and I began to want to turn round _very_ much _indeed_; but I didn’t,
of course, ’cause I said I wouldn’t.

_At last_ Mamma came up softly and tied something over my eyes, and
told me to wait just a minute; and it really did not seem as if I could.

Then she turned the chair round, and took the thing off my eyes,
and—_what_ do you think was there?

A Christmas tree! A dear little ducky tree, just about as big as I am,
and all lighted with red and blue candles, and silver stuff hanging
like fringe from the branches, and real icicles. (No! Mamma says they
are glass, but they look real. They are in a box now, and I can play
with them.)

And everything on the tree was for me. That makes a rhyme. I often make

There was a lovely doll, all china, with clothes to take off and
put on, and buttons and buttonholes in everything. I have named her
Christine, because that is the most like Christmas of any name I know.

And a tin horse and cart, and a box of blocks, and a _lovely_ white
china slate to draw on, and a box of beasts, not painted, all carved,
just like real beasts, and a magnet-box, with three ducks and two
swans and four goldfish and a little boat, all made of tin, and lots
of oranges and a lovely china box full of cream candy (the doctor said
I might have it if Aunt May made it, and she did), and a box of guava
jelly, and a little angel at the top, flying, all of white china.

And _everything_ will wash except the things to eat, ’cause everything
I play with has to be burned up, unless it can be washed, so they all
gave me washing things.

Even Christine has china hair, and all her clothes are white, so they
can be boiled, and so can she, and Mamma says it won’t hurt her at all.

So I never had a nicer Christmas, though, of course, I wanted the other
children; but then, _I_ had Mamma, and of course _they_ wanted _her_,
poor dears!

And nobody need be afraid to read this story, ’cause it is going to be
_baked in the oven_ before it is printed.


    I KNOW a little bright-eyed boy
      Who lives not far away,
    And though he is his mother’s joy,
      He plagues her, too, they say.
    For when his task he’s bid to do,
    He sits him down and cries, “Boo-hoo!
    I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!”

    Yes! whether he’s to practise well,
      Or do his horrid sums,
    Or “Hippopotamus” to spell,
      Or clean to wash his thumbs:
    It matters not, for with a frown
    The corners of his mouth go down,—
    “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!”

    Oh! what a joyful day ’twill be
      For mother and for son,
    When smiling looks they both shall see
      Beneath the smiling sun.
    For in his heart he knows ’tis stuff,
    And knows that if he tries enough,
    He can! he can! he can! he can! he can!


“LOOK carefully!” said the kind Nurse, turning down a corner of the
flannel blanket. “Don’t touch her, dears, but just look.”

The children stood on tiptoe and peeped into the tiny red face. They
were frightened at first, the baby was so very small, but Johnny took
courage in a moment.

“Hasn’t she got any eyes?” he asked. “Or is she like kittens?”

“Yes; she has eyes, and very bright ones, but she is fast asleep now.”

“Look at her little hands!” whispered Lily. “Aren’t they lovely? Oh, I
do wish I could give her a hug!”

“Not yet,” said Nurse. “She is too tender to be hugged. But Mamma sends
word that you may give her something,—a name. She wants you and Johnny
to choose the baby’s name, only it must not be either Jemima, Keziah or

The Nurse went back into Mamma’s room, and left Johnny and Lily staring
at each other, too proud and happy to speak at first.

“Let’s sit right down on the floor and think!” said John. So down they

“I think Claribel is a lovely name!” said Lily, after a pause. “Don’t

“No!” replied Johnny, “it’s too girly.”

“But baby _is_ a girl!”

“I don’t care. She needn’t have such a _very_ girly name. How do you
like Ellen?”

“Oh, Johnny! why, _everybody’s_ named Ellen. We don’t want her to be
just like everybody. Now Seraphina is not common.”

“I should hope not. I should need a mouth a yard wide to say it. What
do you think of Bessie?”

“Oh, Bessie is very well, only—well, I should be always thinking of
Bessie Jones, and you know she isn’t very nice. I’ll tell you what,
Johnny! suppose we call her Vesta Geneva, after the girl Papa told us
about yesterday.”

“Lily, you are a perfect silly! Why, I wouldn’t be seen with a sister
called that! I think Polly is a nice, jolly kind of name.”

“Well, I don’t.”

“You needn’t get mad if you don’t. Cross-patch!”

“You’re perfectly horrid, John Brown; I sha’n’t play with you any more.”

“Much I care, silly Lily!”

“Well!” said Nurse, coming in again, “what is the name to be, dears?
Mamma is anxious to know.”

Two heads hung very low, and two pairs of eyes sought the floor and
stayed there. “Shall I tell you,” the good Nurse went on, taking no
notice, “what I thought would be a very good name for baby?”

“Oh yes! yes! do tell us, ’cause we can’t get the right one.”

“Well, I thought your mother’s name, Mary, would be the very best name
in the world. What do you think?”

“Why, of course it would! We never thought of that. Oh, thank you,
Nurse!” cried both voices, joyously. “Dear Nurse! will you tell Mamma,

Nurse nodded, and went away smiling, and Lily and John looked
sheepishly at each other.

“I—I will play with you, if you like, Johnny, dear.”

“All right, Lil.”


OH! the cupperty-buts! and oh! the cupperty-buts! out in the meadow,
shining under the trees, and sparkling over the lawn, millions and
millions of them, each one a bit of purest gold from Mother Nature’s
mint. Jessy stood at the window, looking out at them, and thinking, as
she often had thought before, that there were no flowers so beautiful.
“Cupperty-buts,” she had been used to call them, when she was a wee
baby-girl and could not speak without tumbling over her words and
mixing them up in the queerest fashion; and now that she was a very
great girl, actually six years old, they were still cupperty-buts to
her, and would never be anything else, she said. There was nothing she
liked better than to watch the lovely golden things, and nod to them
as they nodded to her; but this morning her little face looked anxious
and troubled, and she gazed at the flowers with an intent and inquiring
look, as if she had expected them to reply to her unspoken thoughts.
What these thoughts were I am going to tell you.

Half an hour before, she had called to her mother, who was just going
out, and begged her to come and look at the cupperty-buts.

“They are brighter than ever, Mamma! Do just come and look at them!
golden, golden, golden! There must be fifteen thousand million dollars’
worth of gold just on the lawn, I should think.”

And her mother, pausing to look out, said, very sadly,—

“Ah, my darling! if I only had this day a little of that gold, what a
happy woman I should be!”

And then the good mother went out, and there little Jessy stood, gazing
at the flowers, and repeating the words to herself, over and over

“If I only had a little of that gold!”

She knew that her mother was very, very poor, and had to go out to work
every day to earn food and clothes for herself and her little daughter;
and the child’s tender heart ached to think of the sadness in the
dear mother’s look and tone. Suddenly Jessy started, and the sunshine
flashed into her face.

“Why!” she exclaimed, “why shouldn’t I get some of the gold from
the cupperty-buts? I believe I could get some, perfectly well. When
Mamma wants to get the juice out of anything, meat, or fruit, or
anything of that sort, she just boils it. And so, if I should boil the
cupperty-buts, wouldn’t all the gold come out? Of course it would! Oh,
joy! how pleased Mamma will be!”

Jessy’s actions always followed her thoughts with great rapidity. In
five minutes she was out on the lawn, with a huge basket beside her,
pulling away at the buttercups with might and main. Oh! how small they
were, and how long it took even to cover the bottom of the basket. But
Jessy worked with a will, and at the end of an hour she had picked
enough to make at least a thousand dollars, as she calculated. That
would do for one day, she thought; and now for the grand experiment!
Before going out she had with much labor filled the great kettle with
water, so now the water was boiling, and she had only to put the
buttercups in and put the cover on. When this was done, she sat as
patiently as she could, trying to pay attention to her knitting, and
not to look at the clock oftener than every two minutes.

“They must boil for an hour,” she said; “and by that time all the gold
will have come out.”


Well, the hour did pass, somehow or other, though it was a very long
one; and at eleven o’clock, Jessy, with a mighty effort, lifted the
kettle from the stove and carried it to the open door, that the fresh
air might cool the boiling water. At first, when she lifted the cover,
such a cloud of steam came out that she could see nothing; but in a
moment the wind blew the steam aside, and then she saw,—oh, poor little
Jessy!—she saw a mass of weeds floating about in a quantity of dirty,
greenish water, and that was all. Not the smallest trace of gold, even
in the buttercups themselves, was to be seen. Poor little Jessy! she
tried hard not to cry, but it was a bitter disappointment; the tears
came rolling down her cheeks faster and faster, till at length she sat
down by the kettle, and, burying her face in her apron, sobbed as if
her heart would break.

Presently, through her sobs, she heard a kind voice saying, “What
is the matter, little one? Why do you cry so bitterly?” She looked
up and saw an old gentleman with white hair and a bright, cheery
face, standing by her. At first, Jessy could say nothing but “Oh!
the cupperty-buts! oh! the cupperty-buts!” but, of course, the old
gentleman didn’t know what she meant by that, so, as he urged her
to tell him about her trouble, she dried her eyes, and told him the
melancholy little story: how her mother was very poor, and said she
wished she had some gold; and how she herself had tried to get the gold
out of the buttercups by boiling them. “I was so sure I could get it
out,” she said, “and I thought Mamma would be so pleased! And now—”

Here she was very near breaking down again; but the gentleman patted
her head and said, cheerfully, “Wait a bit, little woman! Don’t give
up the ship yet. You know that gold is heavy, very heavy indeed, and
if there were any it would be at the very bottom of the kettle, all
covered with the weeds, so that you could not see it. I should not be
at all surprised if you found some, after all. Run into the house and
bring me a spoon with a long handle, and we will fish in the kettle,
and see what we can find.”

Jessy’s face brightened, and she ran into the house. If any one had
been standing near just at that moment, I think it is possible that he
might have seen the old gentleman’s hand go into his pocket and out
again very quickly, and might have heard a little splash in the kettle;
but nobody was near, so, of course, I cannot say anything about it. At
any rate, when Jessy came out with the spoon, he was standing with both
hands in his pockets, looking in the opposite direction. He took the
great iron spoon and fished about in the kettle for some time. At last
there was a little clinking noise, and the old gentleman lifted the
spoon. Oh, wonder and delight! In it lay three great, broad, shining
pieces of gold! Jessy could hardly believe her eyes. She stared and
stared; and when the old gentleman put the gold into her hand, she
still stood as if in a happy dream, gazing at it. Suddenly she started,
and remembered that she had not thanked her kindly helper. She looked
up, and began, “Thank you, sir;” but the old gentleman was gone.

Well, the next question was, How could Jessy possibly wait till twelve
o’clock for her mother to come home? Knitting was out of the question.
She could do nothing but dance and look out of window, and look out
of window and dance, holding the precious coins tight in her hand. At
last, a well-known footstep was heard outside the door, and Mrs. Gray
came in, looking very tired and worn. She smiled, however, when she saw
Jessy, and said,—

“Well, my darling, I am glad to see you looking so bright. How has the
morning gone with my little housekeeper?”

“Oh, mother!” cried Jessy, hopping about on one foot, “it has gone very
well! oh, very, _very_, _very_ well! Oh, my mother dear, what do you
think I have got in my hand? _What_ do you think? oh, what _do_ you
think?” and she went dancing round and round, till poor Mrs. Gray was
quite dizzy with watching her. At last she stopped, and holding out her
hand, opened it and showed her mother what was in it. Mrs. Gray was
really frightened.

“Jessy, my child!” she cried, “where did you get all that money?”

“Out of the cupperty-buts, Mamma!” said Jessy, “out of the
cupperty-buts! and it’s all for you, every bit of it! Dear Mamma, now
you will be happy, will you not?”

“Jessy,” said Mrs. Gray, “have you lost your senses, or are you playing
some trick on me? Tell me all about this at once, dear child, and don’t
talk nonsense.”

“But it isn’t nonsense, Mamma!” cried Jessy, “and it did come out of
the cupperty-buts!”

And then she told her mother the whole story. The tears came into Mrs.
Gray’s eyes, but they were tears of joy and gratitude.

“Jessy dear,” she said, “when we say our prayers at night, let us never
forget to pray for that good gentleman. May Heaven bless him and reward
him! for if it had not been for him, Jessy dear, I fear you would never
have found the ‘Buttercup Gold.’”


    PAPA and Mamma went out to row,
    And left us alone at home, you know,—
        Roderick, James and me.
    “My dears,” they said, “now play with your toys
    Like dear little, good little, sweet little boys,
        And we will come home to tea.”

    We played with our toys the _longest_ while!
    We built up the blocks for nearly a mile,—
        Roderick, James and I.
    But when they came tumbling down, alas!
    They fell right against the looking-glass,—
        Oh! _how_ the pieces did fly!

    Then we played the stairs were an Alpine peak,
    And down we slid with shout and with shriek,—
        Roderick, I and James.
    But Jim caught his jacket upon a tack,
    And I burst the buttons all off my back,
        And Roderick called us names.

    Then we found a pillow that had a rip,
    And all the feathers we out did slip,—
        Roderick, James and I.
    And we made a snowstorm, a glorious one,
    All over the room. Oh! wasn’t it fun,
        As the feathery flakes did fly!

    But just as the storm was raging around,
    Papa and Mamma came in, and found
        Roderick, James and me.
    Oh! terrible, terrible things they said!
    And they put us all three right straight to bed,
    With the empty pillow-case under our head,
        And none of us had any tea!


BETTY has a real stove, just as real as the one in the kitchen, if it
is not quite so big. It has pots and kettles and a frying-pan, and a
soup-pot, and the oven bakes beautifully, and it is just lovely! I
went to spend the afternoon with her yesterday, and we cooked all the
time, except when we were eating. First, we made soup in the soup-pot,
with some pieces of cold goose, and we took some to Auntie (she is
Betty’s mother), and she said it was de-licious, and took two cups of
it. (They were doll’s cups; Betty says I ought to put that in, but I
don’t see any need.) Then we made scrambled egg and porridge, and baked
some custard in the oven, and it was just exactly like a big custard
in the big cups at home. The cake was queer, so I won’t stop to tell
about that, though Rover ate most of it, and the rest we crumbled up
for the pigeons, so it wasn’t wasted; but the best of all was the
griddle-cakes. Oh, they were splendid! The griddle is just the right
size for one, so they were as round as pennies, and about the same
size; and we had maple syrup on them, and Maggie the cook said she
was so jealous (she called it “jellies”) that she should go straight
back to Ireland; but I don’t believe she will. I don’t feel very well
to-day, and Betty wasn’t at school, either. But I don’t think it had
anything to do with the griddle-cakes, and I am going to play with
Betty again to-morrow,—if Mamma will let me.


    WHAT! no elder sister?
      I wouldn’t be you!
    Who buttons your jacket?
      Who ties up your shoe?

    Who gives you a boost
      When you climb a tree?
    Who bathes your bumps,
      As kind as can be?

    Who guided your oar
      The first time you paddled?
    Who blows your bird’s eggs,
      E’en when they’re addled?

    Who sets your moths,
      Your butterflies, too?
    Who mops up the floor
      When you spill the glue?

    Who makes you taffy?
      (I tell you it’s fine!)
    Who baits your hook,
      Untangles your line?

    Who takes out your splinters,
      All in a minute?
    Who tells you stories,
      And sings like a linnet?

    No sister! I pity you,
      Truly I do.
    And oh! for a whole farm
      I wouldn’t be you.


    “NEW YEAR, true year,
     What now are you bringing?
     May-day skies and butterflies,
     And merry birds a-singing?
     Frolic, play, all the day,
     Not an hour of school?”
       But the merry echo,
     The laughing New Year echo,
       Only answered, “School!”

    “New Year, true year,
     What now are you bringing?
     Summer roses springing gay,
     Summer vines a-swinging?
     Jest and sport, the merriest sort,
     Never a thought of work?”
       But the merry echo,
     The laughing New Year echo,
       Only answered, “Work!”

    “New year, true year,
      What now are you bringing?
     Autumn fruits all fire-ripe,
     Autumn horns a-ringing?
     Keen delight o’ moonlight nights,
     When dull folks are abed?”
       But the merry echo,
     The laughing New-Year echo,
       Only answered, “Bed!”


“WAKE up!” said an old gentleman, dressed in brown and white, as he
gently shook the shoulder of a young lady in green, who was lying sound
asleep under the trees. “Wake up, ma’am! it is your watch now, and time
for me to take myself off.”

The young lady stirred a very little, and opened one of her eyes the
least little bit. “Who are you?” she said, drowsily. “What is your

“My name is Winter,” replied the old man. “What is yours?”

“I have not the faintest idea,” said the lady, closing her eyes again.

“Humph!” growled the old man, “a pretty person you are to take my
place! Well, good-day, Madam Sleepyhead, and good luck to you!”

And off he stumped over the dead leaves, which crackled and rustled
beneath his feet.

As soon as he was gone, the young lady in green opened her eyes in good
earnest and looked about her.

“Madam Sleepyhead, indeed!” she re-echoed, indignantly. “I am sure
_that_ is not my name, anyhow. The question is, What _is_ it?”

She looked about her again, but nothing was to be seen save the
bare branches of the trees, and the dead, brown leaves and dry moss

“Trees, do you happen to know what my name is?” she asked.

The trees shook their heads. “No, ma’am,” they said, “we do not know;
but perhaps when the Wind comes, he will be able to give you some

The girl shivered a little, and drew her green mantle about her and

By and by the Wind came blustering along. He caught the trees by their
branches, and shook them in rough, though friendly greeting.

“Well, boys!” he shouted, “Old Winter is gone, is he? I wish you joy of
his departure! But where is the lady who was coming to take his place?”

“She is here,” answered the trees, “sitting on the ground; but she does
not know her own name, which seems to trouble her.”

“Ho! ho!” roared the Wind. “Not know her own name? That is news,
indeed! And here she has been sleeping, while all the world has been
looking for her, and calling her, and wondering where upon earth she
was. Come, young lady,” he added, addressing the girl with rough
courtesy, “I will show you the way to your dressing-room, which has
been ready and waiting for you for a fortnight and more.”

So he led the way through the forest, and the girl followed, rubbing
her pretty, sleepy eyes, and dragging her mantle behind her.

Now it was a very singular thing that whatever the green mantle
touched, instantly turned green itself. The brown moss put out little
tufts of emerald velvet, fresh shoots came pushing up from the dead,
dry grass, and even the shrubs and twigs against which the edges of the
garment brushed broke out with tiny swelling buds, all ready to open
into leaves.

By and by the Wind paused and pushed aside the branches, which made a
close screen before him.

“Here is your dressing-room, young madam,” he said, with a low bow; “be
pleased to enter it, and you will find all things in readiness. But
let me entreat you to make your toilet speedily, for all the world is
waiting for you.”

Greatly wondering, the young girl passed through the screen of
branches, and found herself in a most marvellous place.

The ground was carpeted with pine-needles, soft and thick and brown.
The pine-trees made a dense green wall around, and as the wind
passed softly through the boughs, the air was sweet with their spicy
fragrance. On the ground were piled great heaps of buds, all ready to
blossom; violets, anemones, hepaticas, blood-root, while from under a
huge pile of brown leaves peeped the pale pink buds of the Mayflower.

The young girl in the green mantle looked wonderingly at all these
things. “How strange!” she said. “They are all asleep, and waiting for
some one to waken them. Perhaps if I do it, they will tell me in return
what my name is.”

She shook the buds lightly, and lo! every blossom opened its eyes and
raised its head, and said, “Welcome, gracious lady! welcome! We have
looked for you long, long!”

The young girl, in delight, took the lovely blossoms, rosy and purple,
golden and white, and twined them in her fair locks, and hung them
in garlands round her white neck; and still they were opening by
thousands, till the pine-tree hollow was filled with them.

Presently the girl spied a beautiful carved casket, which had been
hidden under a pile of spicy leaves, and from inside of it came a
rustling sound, the softest sound that was ever heard.

She lifted the lid, and out flew a cloud of butterflies.

Rainbow-tinted, softly, glitteringly, gayly fluttering, out they flew
by thousands and thousands, and hovered about the maiden’s head; and
the soft sound of their wings, which mortal ears are too dull to hear,
seemed to say, “Welcome! welcome!”

At the same moment a great flock of beautiful birds came, flying, and
lighted on the branches all around, and they, too, sang, “Welcome!

The maiden clasped her hands and cried, “Why are you all so glad to see
me? I feel—I know—that you are all mine, and I am yours; but how is it?
Who am I? What is my name?”

And birds and flowers and rainbow-hued butterflies and sombre
pine-trees all answered in joyous chorus, “Spring! the beautiful, the
long-expected! Hail to the maiden Spring!”


    BOW down, green Forest, so fair and good,
    Bow down, green Forest, and give us wood!
          The forest gives us tables,
          The forest gives us chairs,
          The bureau and the sideboard,
          The flooring and the stairs;
          The ships that skim the ocean,
          The cars in which we ride,
          The crib in which the baby sleeps,
          Drawn close to mother’s side.
    Bow down, green Forest, so fair and good,
    Bow down, green Forest, and give us wood!

    Give up, ye Mines, so dark and deep,
    Give up the treasure that close ye keep!
          The mines are dug
          In the earth so deep,
          ’Tis there that silver
          And gold do sleep.
          Copper and iron,
          And diamonds fine,
          Coal, tin and rubies,
          All come from the mine,
    Give up, ye Mines, so dark and deep,
    Give up the treasure that close ye keep!

    O Sea, with billows so bright, so blue!
    Full many a gift we ask of you:
          Corals, yes, and sponges,
          Clams and oysters, too,
          And the radiant pearl-drop
          The oyster hides from view.
          The fish we eat for dinner,
          The shells upon the shore,
          The whalebone for our mother’s gown,
          All these and many more.
    O Sea, with billows so bright, so blue!
    Full many a gift we ask of you.

    Ye broad, green Meadows, so fresh and fair,
    Oh, ye have many a treasure rare!
          Flowers the loveliest,
          Barley and corn,
          Oats, wheat and clover tops,
          Berry and thorn;
          Grass for the flocks and herds,
          Herbs for the sick;
          Rice, too, and cotton,
          The darkies do pick.
    Ye broad, green Meadows, so fresh and fair,
    Oh, ye have many a treasure rare!

    So earth and air, so land and sea
    Give kindly gifts to you and me.
          Should we not be merry,
          Gentle, too, and mild?
          Then the whole wide earth doth wait
          On each little child.
          Should we not, in quiet,
          At our mother’s knee,
          Praise our Heavenly Father,
          Thank Him lovingly,—
    Since earth and air, and land and sea
    Give kindly gifts to you and me?
    Since earth and air, and sea and land,
    Come from our Heavenly Father’s hand?


WHEN the spotted cat first found the nest, there was nothing in it, for
it was only just finished. So she said, “I will wait!” for she was a
patient cat, and the summer was before her. She waited a week, and then
she climbed up again to the top of the tree, and peeped into the nest.
There lay two lovely blue eggs, smooth and shining.

The spotted cat said, “Eggs may be good, but young birds are better. I
will wait.” So she waited; and while she was waiting, she caught mice
and rats, and washed herself and slept, and did all that a spotted cat
should do to pass the time away.

When another week had passed, she climbed the tree again and peeped
into the nest. This time there were five eggs. But the spotted cat said
again, “Eggs may be good, but young birds are better. I will wait a
little longer!”

So she waited a little longer and then went up again to look. Ah! there
were five tiny birds, with big eyes and long necks, and yellow beaks
wide open. Then the spotted cat sat down on the branch, and licked
her nose and purred, for she was very happy. “It is worth while to be
patient!” she said.

But when she looked again at the young birds, to see which one she
should take first, she saw that they were very thin,—oh, very, very
thin they were! The spotted cat had never seen anything so thin in her

“Now,” she said to herself, “if I were to wait only a few days longer,
they would grow fat. Thin birds may be good, but fat birds are much
better. I will wait!”

So she waited; and she watched the father-bird bringing worms all day
long to the nest, and said, “Aha! they must be fattening fast! they
will soon be as fat as I wish them to be. Aha! what a good thing it is
to be patient.”

At last, one day she thought, “Surely, now they must be fat enough! I
will not wait another day. Aha! how good they will be!”

So she climbed up the tree, licking her chops all the way and thinking
of the fat young birds. And when she reached the top and looked into
the nest, it was empty!!

Then the spotted cat sat down on the branch and spoke thus, “Well, of
all the horrid, mean, ungrateful creatures I ever saw, those birds are
the horridest, and the meanest, and the most ungrateful! Mi-a-u-ow!!!!”


    I STUDIED my arithmetic,
      And then I went to bed,
    And on my little pillow white
      Laid down my little head.

    I hoped for dreams of dear delight,
      Of sugar-candy bliss;
    But oh! my sleep, the livelong night,
      Was filled with things like this.


    Add forty jars of damson jam
      To fifty loaves of cake,
    Subtract a cow, and tell me how
      Much butter it will make.

    Then add the butter to the jam,
      And give it to a boy,
    How long will ’t take ere grievous ache
      Shall dash his childish joy?

    If twenty men stole thirty sheep
      And sold them to the Pope,
    What would they get if he should let
      Them have the price in soap?

    And if he slew each guileless beast,
      And in pontific glee
    Sold leg and loin for Roman coin,
      What would his earnings be?


    Next, if a Tiger climbed a tree
      To get a cocoanut,
    And if by hap the feline chap
      Should find the shop was shut;

    And if ten crabs with clawing dabs
      Should pinch his Bengal toes,
    What would remain when he should gain
      The ground, do you suppose?


    Divide a stick of licorice
      By twenty infant jaws,
    How long must each lose power of speech
      In masticating pause?

    And if these things are asked of you,
      While you’re a-chewing of it,
    What sum of birch, rod, pole or perch
      Will be your smarting profit?

    I woke upon my little bed
      In anguish and in pain.
    I’d sooner lose my brand-new shoes
      Than dream those dreams again.

    Oh! girls and boys, who crave the joys
      Of slumber calm and deep,
    Away then kick your ’rithmetic
      Before you go to sleep!


THERE was only one chapter more to finish the book. Bell did want very
much indeed to finish it, and to make sure that the princess got out
of the enchanted wood all right, and that the golden prince met her,
riding on a jet-black charger and leading a snow-white palfrey with a
silver saddle for her, as the fairy had promised he would.

She _did_ want to finish it, and it seemed very hard that she should be
interrupted every minute.

First it was dear Mamma calling for a glass of water from her sofa in
the next room, and of course Bell sprang with alacrity to answer _that_

But then baby came, with a scratched finger to be tied up, and then
Willy boy wanted some more tail for his kite, and he could not find
any paper, and his string had got all tangled up.

Then came little Carrie, and she had no buttons small enough for her
dolly’s frock, and did sister think she had any in her work-basket?

So sister looked, and Carrie looked, too, and between them they upset
the basket, and the spools rolled over the floor and under the chairs,
as if they were playing a game; and the gray kitten caught her best
spool of gold-colored floss, and had a delightful time with it, and got
it all mixed up with her claws so that she couldn’t help herself, and
Bell had to cut off yards and yards of the silk.

At last it was settled, and the little girl supplied with buttons, and
Bell sank back again on the window-seat, _so_ glad that she hadn’t been
impatient, and had seen how funny the kitten looked, so that she could
laugh instead of scold about the silk.

“And when the golden prince saw the Princess Merveille, he took her
hand and kissed it, for it was like the purest ivory and delicately
shaped. And he said—”

Tinkle! tinkle! went the door-bell, and Bell, with a long sigh, laid
down the book and went to the door, for Mary was out. It was old Mr.

“Good-day, miss!” he said, with old-fashioned courtesy, “I have come
to borrow the third volume of ‘Paley’s Evidences.’ I met your worthy
father, and he was good enough to say that you would find the book for
me. I am of the opinion that he mentioned the right-hand corner of the
third shelf in some bookcase; I do not rightly remember in which room.”

Bell showed the old gentleman into the study and brought him a chair,
and looked in the right-hand corners of all the shelves; then she
looked in the left-hand corners; then she looked in the middle; then
she looked on Papa’s desk, and in it and under it.

Then she looked on the mantel-piece, and in the cupboard, and in
the chairs, for there was no knowing _where_ dear Papa would put a
book down when his thinking-cap was on. All the time Mr. Grimshaw
was delivering a lecture on Paley, and telling her on what points he
disagreed with him, and why; and Bell felt as if a teetotum were going
round and round inside her head.

At last, in lifting Papa’s dressing-gown, which hung on the back of
a chair, she felt something square and heavy in one of the pockets;
and—_there_ was the third volume of “Paley’s Evidences.”

She handed it to Mr. Grimshaw with her prettiest smile, and he went
away thinking she was a very nice, well-mannered little girl.

And so she was; but—oh dear! when she got back to the window-seat the
daylight was nearly gone.

Still, the west was very bright, and perhaps she could just find out.

“And he said, ‘Princess, my heart is yours! Therefore, I pray you,
accept my hand, also, and with it my kingdom of Grendalma, which
stretches from sea to sea. Ivory palaces shall be yours, and thrones
of gold; mantles of peacock feathers, with many chests of precious
stones.’ So the princess—”

“Bell!” called Mamma from the next room. “It is too late to read, dear!
Blindman’s Holiday, you know, is the most dangerous time for the eyes.
So shut the book, like a dear daughter!”

Bell shut the book, of course; but a cloud came over her pleasant face,
and two little cross sticks began beating a tattoo on her heart.

Just at that moment came voices under the window,—Carrie and Willy boy,
talking earnestly. “Would a princess be very pretty, do you suppose,
Willy? prettier than Bell?”

“Ho!” said Willy, “who cares for ‘pretty?’ She wouldn’t be half so nice
as Bell. Why, none of the other fellows’ sisters—”

They passed out of hearing; and even so the cloud passed away from
Bell’s brow, and she jumped up and shook her head at herself, and ran
to give Mamma a kiss, and ask if she would like her tea.


    WHEN the field lies clear in the moon, boy,
      And the wood hangs dark on the hill,
    When the long white way shows never a sleigh,
      And the sound of the bells is still,

    Then hurry, hurry, hurry!
      And bring the toboggans along;
    Tell mother she need not worry,
      Then off with a shout and a song.

    A-tilt on the billowy slope, boy,
      Like a boat that bends to the sea,
    With the heart a-tilt in your breast, boy,
      And your chin well down on your knee,

    Then over, over, over,
      As the boat skims over the main,
    A plunge and a swoop, a gasp and a whoop,
      And away o’er the glittering plain!

    The boat, and the bird, and the breeze, boy,
      Which the poet is apt to sing,
    Are old and slow and clumsy, I know,
      By us that have never a wing.

    Still onward, onward, onward!
      Till the brook joins the meadow below,
    And then with a shout, see us tumbling out,
      To plunge in the soft, deep snow.

    Back now by the side of the hedge, boy,
      Where the roses in summer blow,
    Where the snow lies deep o’er their winter sleep,
      Up, up the big hill we go.

    And stumbling, tumbling, stumbling,
      Hurrah! ’tis the top we gain!
    Draw breath for a minute before you begin it—
      Now, over, and over again!


    UP and down and up we go!
    I am an eagle and you are a crow:
    Flap your wings, and away we fly,
    Over the tree-top, up to the sky.

    Up and down and up we go!
    I am an albatross white as snow,
    You are a sea-gull, winging free
    Out and away to the open sea.

    Up and down and up we go!
    I am a wild duck sinking low,
    You are a wild goose soaring high,
    The hunter is after us! fly! oh, fly!

    Tumble and bump! and down we go!
    My leg is broken! oh! oh! OH!!
    Your nose bleeding? poor little Tot!
    Well, never mind! let’s play we are shot!


THE mother robin woke up in the early morning and roused her three

“Breakfast time, my dears!” she said; “and a good time for a flying
lesson, besides. You did well enough yesterday, but to-day you must do
better. You must fly down to the ground, and then I will show you how
to get worms for yourselves. You will soon be too old to be fed, and I
cannot have you more backward than the other broods.”

The young robins were rather frightened, for they had only had two
short flying lessons, taking little flapping flutters among the
branches. The ground seemed a long, long way off!

However, two of them scrambled on to the edge of the nest, and after
balancing themselves for a moment, launched bravely out, and were soon
standing beside their mother on the lawn, trembling, but very proud.

The third robin was lazy, and did not want to fly. He thought that if
he stayed behind and said he was sick, his mother would bring some
worms up to him, as she had always done before. So he sat still in the
nest, and drooped his head.

“Come along!” cried the mother robin. “Come, Pecky! Why are you sitting
there alone?”

“I—don’t feel very well,” said Pecky. “I don’t feel strong enough to

“Oh!” said his mother, “then you had better not eat any breakfast, and
I will send for Doctor Woodpecker.”

“Oh no, please don’t!” cried Pecky, and down he fluttered to the lawn.

“That’s right!” said the mother robin, approvingly. “I thought there
was not much the matter with you. Now bustle about, my dear! See how
well your brother and sister are doing! I declare, Toppy has got hold
of a worm as long as himself. It will get away from him—no, it won’t!
There! he has it now! Ah! that was a good mouthful, Toppy. You will be
a fine eater!”

Pecky sat still, with his head on one side. He felt quite sure that if
he waited and did nothing, his mother would take compassion on him and
bring him some worms. There were Toppy and Flappy, working themselves
to death in the hot sun. He had always been his mother’s favourite (so
he thought, but it was not really so), and he was quite sure that she
would not let him go hungry.

So he gave a little squeak, as if quite tired out, and put his head
still more on one side, and shut his eyes, and sat still. Now his
mother did not see him at all, for her back was turned, and she was
eating a fine caterpillar, having no idea of waiting on lazy birds who
were old enough to feed themselves.

But some one else did see Master Pecky! Richard Whittington, the great
gray cat, had come out to get his breakfast, too, and he saw the lazy
robin sitting still in the middle of the lawn with his eyes shut.

Richard could not have caught one of the others, for they all had their
wits about them, and their sharp black eyes glanced here and there, and
they were ready to take flight at a moment’s notice.

But Richard Whittington crept nearer and nearer to the lazy robin.
Suddenly—pounce! he went. There was a shrill, horrified squeak, and
that was the last of poor Pecky Robin.

The mother robin and her two other children flew up into the tree and
grieved bitterly for their lost Pecky, and the mother did not taste a
single worm for several hours.

But Richard Whittington enjoyed his breakfast exceedingly; and he was
as good-natured as possible all day, and did not scratch the baby once.


THE Boy was going out to Roxbury. He was going alone, though he was
only five years old. His Aunt Mary had put him in the horse car, and
the car went directly past his house; and the Boy “hoped he _did_ know
enough to ask somebody big to ask the conductor to stop the car.”

So there the Boy was, all alone and very proud, with his legs sticking
straight out, because they were not long enough to hang over,—but he
did not mind that, because it showed his trousers all the better,—and
his five cents clutched tight in his little warm hand.

Proud as he was, the Boy had a slight feeling of uneasiness somewhere
down in the bottom of his heart. His Aunt Mary had just been reading
“Jack and the Bean-stalk” to him, and he was not quite sure that the
man opposite him was not an ogre. He was a very, very large man, about
twelve feet tall, the boy thought, and at least nine feet round. He had
a wide mouth, full of sharp-looking teeth, and he rolled his eyes as he
read the newspaper. He was not dressed like an ogre, and he carried no
knife in sight; but it might be in one of the pockets of his big gray

Altogether, the Boy did not like the looks of this man at all, but
nobody else seemed to mind him. A pretty girl sat down close beside
him,—a plump, tender-looking young girl,—but the big man took no notice
of her or anybody else, and kept on reading his newspaper and rolling
his eyes.

So the Boy sat still, only keeping a good lookout, so that if this
formidable person _should_ pull out a knife, or begin to grind his
teeth and roar, “Fee! fi! fo! fum!” he could slip off the seat and out
at the door before his huge enemy could get upon his feet.

The car began to fill up rapidly. Soon every seat was occupied, and
several men were standing up. One of them trod, by accident, on the
ogre’s toe,—the Boy could not help calling him the ogre, though he
felt it might not be right,—and he gave a kind of growl, which made
the Boy quiver and prepare to jump; but his eyes never moved from his
newspaper, so the Boy sat still.

By and by a poor woman got in, with a heavy baby in her arms. She
looked very tired, but though there were several other men sitting down
beside the big gray one, no one moved to give the woman a seat.

The boy remembered his manners, and knew that he ought to get up; but
then came the thought, “If I get up, I shall be close to the ogre, for
there is no standing-room anywhere else. I am wedged so close between
these two ladies that I can hardly get out: and if I do, there cannot
possibly be room for that large woman.”

The Boy gave heed to this thought, though he knew in his heart that it
did not make any difference. Just then the tired woman gave a sigh and
shifted the heavy baby to the other arm.

The Boy did not wait any longer, but slipped at once down from his
seat. “Here is a little room, ma’am!” he said, in his clear, childish
voice. “There isn’t enough for you, but you might put the baby down,
and rest your arms.”

At that moment the car gave a lurch, and the Boy lost his balance and
fell forward,—right against the knees of the ogre.

“Hi! hi!” said the big man, putting aside his newspaper, “what’s all
this? Hey?”

The Boy could not speak for fright; but the poor woman answered, “It’s
the dear little gentleman offering me his seat for the baby, sir! The
Lord bless him for a little jewel that he is!”

“Hi! hi!” growled the big man, getting heavily up from his seat and
still holding the boy’s arm, which he had grasped as the child fell,
“this won’t do! One gentleman in the car, eh? And an old fellow reading
his newspaper! Here, sit down here, my friend!” and he helped the woman
to his seat, and bowed to her as if she were a duchess. “And as for
you, Hop-o’-my-thumb—” Then he stooped and took the Boy up, and set him
on his left arm, which was as big as a table. “There, sir!” he said,
“sit you there and be comfortable, as you deserve.”

The Boy sat very still; indeed, he was too frightened to move. Since
the man had called him Hop-o’-my-thumb, he was quite sure that he
must be an ogre; perhaps the very ogre from whom Hop and his brothers
escaped. The book said he died, but books do not always tell the truth;
Papa said so.

When the big man began to feel in the right-hand pockets of his gray
coat, the child trembled so excessively that he shook the great arm on
which he sat.

The man looked quickly at him. “What is the matter, my lad?” he asked;
and his voice, though gruff, did not sound unkind. “You are not afraid
of a big man, are you? Do you think I am an ogre?”

“Yes!” said the boy; and he gave one sob, and then stopped himself.

The gray man burst into a great roar of laughter, which made every one
in the car jump in his seat.

Still laughing, he drew his hand from his pocket, and in it was—not
a knife, but a beautiful, shining, golden pear. “Take that, young
Hop-o’-my-thumb,” he said, putting it in the Boy’s hands. “If you will
eat that, I promise not to eat you,—not even to take a single bite. Are
you satisfied?”

The boy ventured to raise his eyes to the man’s face; and there he
saw such a kind, funny, laughing look that before he knew it he was
laughing, too.

“I don’t believe you are an ogre, after all!” he said.

“Don’t you?” said the big man. “Well, neither do I! But you may as well
eat the pear, just the same.”

And the Boy did.


(_Air: “Es Regnet.”_)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! Merry Christmas! we sing and we say.
    We usher in joyful the joyfullest day.
    Bring cedar and hemlock,
    Bring holly and yew,
    To crown Father Christmas with majesty due.
    _Chorus._—To crown Father Christmas with majesty due.

    Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! the snow-field lies white.
    The river’s a crystal to mirror delight.
    On skates and on snowshoes,
    In sledge and in sleigh,
    We’ll meet Father Christmas, and lead him our way.
    _Cho._—We’ll meet Father Christmas, and lead him our way.

    Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! the hearth is piled high.
    The yellow tongues flicker, the fleet sparkles fly.
    Bring apples and chestnuts,
    And corn-popper here!
    We’ll pledge Father Christmas, and make him good cheer!
    _Cho._— We’ll pledge Father Christmas, and make him good cheer!

    Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! we say and we sing.
    All honor and life to the winter’s glad king!
    Ring, bells in the steeple!
    Shout, maidens and men!
    To greet Father Christmas, and greet him again.
    _Cho._—To greet Father Christmas, and greet him again.

[Illustration: RINKTUM]

    IN the Land of Rinktum,
    (Riddle, riddle, rink,)
    All the happy people-weople
    Never stop to think.
    Through the streets they laughing go,
    Courtesying to high and low,
    With a nod, and a wink,
    With a jig, and a jink,
    Happy land of Rinktum Rink!
    I will go there too, I think.

    In the land of Rinktum,
    (Riddle, riddle, rink!)
    Every little noisy-boysy
    Lemonade may drink.
    In the street, all a-row,
    Lemon fountains fall and flow
    With a splash, and a dash,
    With a gold and silver flash.
    Happy land of Rinktum Rink!
    I will go there too, I think.


    In the Land of Rinktum,
    (Riddle, riddle, rink,)
    Every bud’s a rosy-posy,
    Every weed’s a pink.
    Candy shops, lollipops,
    Barking dogs and humming-tops,
    Happy land of Rinktum Rink!
    I will go there, too, I think.


WILL was digging a tunnel in the long drift. It was the longest drift
that Will had ever seen, and he had meant to have Harry help him, but
now they had quarrelled, and were never going to speak to each other as
long as they lived, so Will had to begin alone.

He dug and dug, taking up great solid blocks of snow on his shovel, and
tossing them over his shoulder in a workman-like manner. As he dug,
he kept saying to himself that Harry was the hatefullest boy he ever
saw in his life, and that he was glad he shouldn’t see anything more
of him. It would seem queer, to be sure, not to play with him every
day, for they had always played together ever since they put on short
clothes; but Will didn’t care. He wasn’t going to be “put upon,” and
Master Harry would find that out.

It was a very long drift. Will had never made such a fine tunnel; it
did seem a pity that there should be no one to play with him in it,
when it was done. But there was not a soul; for that Weaver boy was so
rude, he did not want to have anything to do with him, and there was no
one else of his age except Harry, and he should never see Harry again,
at least not to speak to.

Dig! dig! dig! How pleasant it would be if somebody were digging from
the other end, so that they could meet in the middle, and then play
robbers in a cave, or miners, or travellers lost in the snow. That
would be the best, because Spot could be the faithful hound, and drag
them out by the hair, and have a bottle of milk round his neck for
them to drink. Spot was pretty small, but they could wriggle along
themselves, and make believe he was dragging them. It would be fun! but
he didn’t suppose he should have any fun now, since Harry had been so
hateful, and they were never—no, never going to speak again, if it was
ever so—

What was that noise? Could it be possible that he was getting to the
end of the drift? It was as dark as ever,—the soft, white darkness of a
snowdrift; but he certainly heard a noise close by, as if some one were
digging very near him. What if—

Willy redoubled his efforts, and the noise grew louder and louder;
presently a dog barked, and Will started, for he knew the sound of the
bark. Just then the shovel sank into the snow and through it, and in
the opening appeared Harry’s head, and the end of Spot’s nose. “Hullo,
Will!” said Harry.

“Hullo, Harry!” said Will.

“Let’s play travellers in the snow!” said Harry. “This is just the
middle of the drift, and we can be jolly and lost.”

“All right!” said Will, “let’s!”

They had a glorious play, and took turns in being the traveller and the
pious monk of Saint Bernard; and they both felt so warm inside, they
had no idea that the thermometer was at zero outside.


    _Ri-tum tiddy-iddy, ri-tum-tum!_
    Here I must sit for an hour and strum:
    Practising is good for a good little girl,
    It makes her nose straight, and it makes her hair curl.

    _Ri-tum tiddy-iddy, ri-tum-ti!_
    Bang on the low notes and twiddle on the high.
    Whether it’s a jig or the Dead March in Saul,
    I sometimes often feel as if I didn’t care at all.

    _Ri-tum tiddy-iddy, ri-tum-tee!_
    I don’t mind the whole or the half-note, you see!
    It’s the sixteenth and the quarter that confuse my mother’s daughter,
    And the thirty-second, really, is too dreadful to be taught her.

    _Ri-tum tiddy-iddy, ri-tum-to!_
    I shall never, never, never learn the minor scale, I know.
    It’s gloomier and doomier than puppy dogs a-howling,
    And what’s the use of practising such melancholy yowling?

    But—_ri-tum tiddy-iddy, ri-tum-tum_!
    Still I work away with my drum, drum, drum.
    For practising is good for a good little girl:
    It makes her nose straight and it makes her hair curl.[A]

[Footnote A: This last line is not true, little girls; but it is hard,
you know, to find good reasons for practising.]


    THE Spanish ambassador came to see
      Queen Bess, the great and glorious;
    He was an hidalgo of high degree,
      And she was a maid victorious.


    He bowed till he touched her gilded shoe,
      And he kissed the royal hand of her,
    And said if she’d marry King Philip the Two,
      He’d take charge of the troublesome land of her.

    _Chorus._—Oh! she danced, she danced, she danced,
    And she pranced, she pranced, she pranced.
    Oh! high and disposedly,
    Royal Elizabeth danced.

    The Queen replied with a courtesy low,
      “King Philip is courtly and kind, too!
    But my kingdom is smaller than his, you know,
      And rule it myself I’ve a mind to.
    Supreme is the honor, of him to be sought;
      Oblige him I’m sorry I can’t, oh!
    But lest you should think you’d come hither for nought,
      You shall see how I dance a coranto!”

    _Cho._—Oh! she danced, she danced, she danced, etc.


    The Spanish ambassador hied him home,
      And told how he had been tried of her;
    And His Majesty swore by the Pope of Rome,
      He’d break the insular pride of her.
    But vain was his hope! He never could ope,
      In the land of that marvellous lass, a door;
    For she danced in the face of the King and the Pope,
      As she danced for the Spanish ambassador.

    _Cho._—Oh! she danced, she danced, she danced, etc.


IT was at Stirling Castle. People who did not know might have called
it the shed, but that would show their ignorance. On the ramparts was
mustered a gallant band, the flower of Scotland, armed with mangonels,
catapults, and bows and arrows; below were the English, with their
battering-rams and culverins and things. Ned was the English general,
and led the storming party, and I was his staff, and Billy was the
drummer, and drummed for the king. The Scottish general was Tom, and
he had on Susie’s plaid skirt for a kilt, and his sporran was the
rocking-horse’s tail that had come off.

Well, there was lots of snow on the roof,—I mean the ramparts, and they
hurled it down on our heads, and we played ours was Greek fire, and
hit them back like fun, I tell you. There was quite a mountain down
below, where Andrew, the chore-man, had shovelled off the deep snow;
and we stood on this, and it was up to my waist, and I played it was
gore, because in Scott they are always wading knee-deep in gore, and I
thought I would get ahead of them and go in up to my waist.

I hit General Montrose (that was Tom) with a splendid ball of Greek
fire, and it was quite soft, and a lot of it got down his neck, and
you ought to have seen him dance. He called me a dastardly Sassenach,
and I thought at first he said “sausage,” and was as mad as hops, but
afterward I didn’t care.

Then Ned called for volunteers to storm the castle, and we all ran
to the ladder; but Ned climbed up the spout, ’cause he can shin like
sixty, and he got up before we did. He took the warder by the throat,
just like the Bold Buccleugh in “Kinmont Willie,” and chucked him
right off the roo—ramparts into the gore. That made Montrose mad as a
hornet, and he rushed on Ned, and they got each other round the waist,
and went all over the roof, till at last they got too near the edge,
and over they both went. Billy was scared at that and stopped drumming,
but I drew my mangonel (Susie says that isn’t the right name, but I
don’t believe she knows) and rushed on the Scottish troops, which were
only Jimmy Weaver, now that Montrose and the warder were gone. I got
Jimmy down, and put my knee on his chest and shouted, “Victory! the day
is ours! Saint George for England!”

But then I heard somebody else yelling, and I looked over the ramparts,
and there was Montrose with his knee on Ned’s chest, waving his
culverin and shouting, “Victory! the day is ours! Saint Andrew for

I was perfectly sure that our side had beaten, and Tom was absolutely
certain that he had won a great victory; but just then mother called
us in to tea, so we could not fight it over again to decide. Anyhow,
Montrose got so much Greek fire down his neck that he had to change
everything he had on, and I didn’t have to change a thing except my


IT was a very hot day, and the little boy was lying on his stomach
under the big linden tree, reading the “Scottish Chiefs.”

“Little Boy,” said his mother, “will you please go out in the garden
and bring me a head of lettuce?”

“Oh, I—can’t!” said the little boy. “I’m—too—_hot_!”

The little boy’s father happened to be close by, weeding the geranium
bed; and when he heard this, he lifted the little boy gently by his
waistband, and dipped him in the great tub of water that stood ready
for watering the plants.

“There, my son!” said the father. “Now you are cool enough to go and
get the lettuce; but remember next time that it will be easier to go
at once when you are told as then you will not have to change your

The little boy went drip, drip, dripping out into the garden and
brought the lettuce; then he went drip, drip, dripping into the house
and changed his clothes; but he said never a word, for he knew there
was nothing to say.

That is the way they do things where the little boy lives. Would you
like to live there? Perhaps not; yet he is a happy little boy, and he
is learning the truth of the old saying,—

    “Come when you’re called, do as you’re bid.
     Shut the door after you, and you’ll never be chid.”


(_A disquisition on the use of gunpowder, by Master Jack._)

    WHEN they first invented gunpowder,
      They did most dreadful things with it;
    They blew up popes and parliaments,
      And emperors and kings with it.

    They put on funny hats and boots,
      And skulked about in cellars, oh!
    With shaking shoes they laid a fuse,
      And blew it with the bellows, oh!

    They wore great ruffs, the stupid muffs,
      (At least that’s my opinion) then;
    And said “What ho!” and “Sooth, ’tis so!”
      And called each other “minion!” then.

    But now, the world has turned about
      Five hundred years and more, you see;
    And folks have learned a thing or two
      They did not know before, you see.

    So nowadays the powder serves
      To give the boys a jolly day
    And try their Aunt Louisa’s nerves,
      And make a general holiday.

    In open day we blaze away
      With popguns and with crackers, oh!
    With rockets bright we crown the night,
      (And some of them are whackers, oh!)

    And “pop!” and “fizz!” and “bang!” and “whizz!”
      Sounds louder still and louder, oh!
    And that’s the way we use, to-day,
      The funny gunny-powder, oh!


“WHERE are you going, Miss Sophia?” asked Letty, looking over the gate.

“I am going to walk,” answered Miss Sophia. “Would you like to come
with me, Letty?”

“Oh yes!” cried Letty, “I should like to go very much indeed! Only
wait, please, while I get my bonnet!”

And Letty danced into the house, and danced out again with her brown
poke bonnet over her sunny hair.

“Here I am, Miss Sophia!” she cried. “Now, where shall we go?”

“Down the lane!” said Miss Sophia, “and through the orchard into the
fields. Perhaps we may find some strawberries.”

So away they went, the young lady walking demurely along, while the
little girl frolicked and skipped about, now in front, now behind. It
was pretty in the green lane. The ferns were soft and plumy, and the
moss firm and springy under their feet. The trees bent down and talked
to the ferns, and told them stories about the birds that were building
in their branches; and the ferns had stories, too, about the black
velvet mole who lived under their roots, and who had a star on the end
of his nose.

But Letty and Miss Sophia did not hear all this; they only heard a soft
whispering, and never thought what it meant.

Presently they came out of the lane, and passed through the orchard,
and then came out into the broad, sunny meadow.

“Now, Letty,” said Miss Sophia, “use your bright eyes, and see if you
can find any strawberries! I will sit under a tree and rest a little.”

Away danced Letty, and soon she was peeping and peering under every
leaf and grass blade; but no gleam of scarlet, no pretty clusters of
red and white could she see. Evidently it was not a strawberry meadow.
She came back to the tree, and said,—

“There are no strawberries, at all, Miss Sophia, not even one. But I
have found something else. Wouldn’t you like to see it? Something very

“What is it, dear?” asked Miss Sophia. “A flower? I should like to see
it, certainly.”

“No, it is not a flower,” said Letty; “it’s a cow.”

“What?” cried Miss Sophia, springing to her feet.

“A cow,” said Letty, “a pretty, spotted cow. She’s coming after me, I

Miss Sophia looked in the direction which Letty pointed, and there, to
be sure, was a cow, moving slowly toward them. She gave a shriek of
terror; then, controlling herself, she threw her arms around Letty.

“Be calm, my child!” she said, “I will save you! Be calm!”

“Why, what is the matter, Miss Sophia?” cried Letty in alarm.

Miss Sophia’s face was very pale, and she trembled; but she seized
Letty’s arm, and bade her walk as fast as she could.

“If we should run,” she said, in a quivering voice, “it would run after
us, and then we could not possibly escape. Walk fast, my child! Don’t
scream! Try to keep calm!”

“Why, Miss Sophia!” cried the astonished child, “you don’t think I’m
afraid of that cow, do you? Why, it’s—”

“Hush! hush!” whispered Miss Sophia, dragging her along, “you will
only enrage the creature by speaking aloud. I will save you, dear, if
I can! See! we are getting near the fence. Can’t you walk a little

“Moo-oo-ooo!” said the cow, which was now following them at a quicker

“Oh! oh!” cried Miss Sophia. “I shall faint, I know I shall! Letty,
don’t faint too, dear. Let one of us escape. Courage, child! Be calm!
Oh! there is the fence. Run, now, _run_ for your life!”

The next minute they were both over the fence. Letty stood panting,
with eyes and wide mouth open; but Miss Sophia clasped her in her arms
and burst into tears.

“Safe!” she sobbed. “My dear, dear child, we are safe!”

“Yes, I suppose we are safe,” said the bewildered Letty. “But what was
the matter? It was Uncle George’s cow, and she was coming home to be

“Moo-oo-oo!” said Uncle George’s cow, looking over the fence.


“CHILDREN,” asked Miss Mary, the teacher, “do you know what day this

“Yes, ma’am!” cried Bobby Wilkins, looking up with sparkling eyes.

“Does any one else know?” asked Miss Mary.

No one spoke. The boy John knew very well what day it was, but he was
off in the clouds, thinking of William the Conqueror, and did not hear
a word Miss Mary said. Billy Green knew, too, but he had been reproved
for chewing gum in class, and was in the sulks, and would not speak.
Of course Joe did not know, for he never knew anything of that kind;
and none of the girls were going to answer when the boys were reciting.
So Bobby Wilkins was the only one who spoke.

“It is a day,” said Miss Mary, looking round rather severely, “which
ought to waken joy in the heart of every American, young or old.”

Bobby felt his cheeks glow, and his heart swell. He thought Miss Mary
was very kind.

“It is a day,” she went on, “to be celebrated with feelings of pride
and delight.”

Bobby felt of the bright new half-dollar in his pocket, and thought of
the splendid kite at home, and of the cake that mother was making when
he came away. He had not wanted to come to school to-day, but now he
was glad he had come. He had no idea that Miss Mary would feel this way
about it. He looked round to see how the others took it, but they all
looked blank, except the boy John, who was standing on the field of
Hastings, and whose countenance was illumined with the joy of victory.

“It is a day,” said Miss Mary, with kindling eyes (for the children
were really very trying to-day), “which will be remembered in America
as long as freedom and patriotism shall endure.”

Bobby felt as if he were growing taller. He saw himself in the
President’s chair, or mounted on a great horse, like the statues of
Washington, holding out a truncheon.

“One hundred and eighteen years ago to-day,” cried Miss Mary—

“Oh! oh my, it ain’t!” cried Bobby Wilkins, springing up. “It’s only

“Bobby, what do you mean?” asked Miss Mary, looking at him severely.
“You are very rude to interrupt me. What do you mean by ‘seven?’”

“My birthday,” faltered Bobby. “I ain’t a hundred anything, I’m only

“Come here, dear!” said Miss Mary, holding out her hand very kindly.
“Come here, my little boy. I wish you very many happy returns, Bobby
dear! but—but I was speaking of the battle of Bunker Hill.”

Poor Bobby! Miss Mary shook her head at the children over his shoulder,
as he sat in her lap, as a sign not to laugh, but I suppose they could
not help it. They did laugh a good deal,—all except the boy John, who
was watching Harold die, and feeling rather sober in consequence.



    THE sun was shining calm and bright,
      The meadow grass was deep;
    The daisies and the buttercups
      Were nodding, half-asleep.
    And overhead the sparrows sat
      And crooned upon the bough,
    And all the world was sleepy then,
      When Johnny drove the cow.

    The sun was like a flaming beast,
      The field was like the sea;
    The grass like angry snakes did hiss
      And wriggle at his knee.
    The sparrows turned to goblin imps
      That yelled, and fluttered on,
    As through a world, gone raving mad,
      The cow was driving John!



“MAMMA,” said Mabel, “I am _very_ glad we are rich!”

Mamma looked up with a little smile; she was patching Freddy’s
trousers, and had just been wondering whether they would last till
spring, and if not, how she was to get him another pair.

“Yes, Mabel dear,” she said. “We are very rich in some things. What
were you thinking about when you spoke?”

“I was thinking how dreadful it would be to be hungry,” replied Mabel,
thoughtfully. “I mean terribly hungry, like people in a shipwreck. Why,
just to be a little hungry, the way Freddy and I get sometimes, makes
me feel all queer inside; and besides, it makes me cross and horrid. So
then I wondered how it would feel to be really hungry, and not to be
sure that you were going to have good bread and milk for supper; and
that made me feel so glad that we were rich.”

Mamma was silent for a few minutes. She was thinking of a house to
which she took some work the day before. She had passed through the
dining-room, and there, at the carved table, sat a little girl with her
supper before her,—delicate rolls, and cold chicken, and raspberry jam,
and hot cocoa in a china cup all covered with roses, and creamy milk in
a great silver mug.

The child was about Mabel’s age, but her face wore a very different
expression. She had pushed her chair back, and was crying out that she
would not eat cold chicken. She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, she _wouldn’t_!
so there now! The nurse might just as well take it away, and she was a
horrid cross old thing! Mamma was going to have partridge for dinner,
and she wanted some of that, and she would have it.

Then, when the nurse shook her white-capped head and said, “No miss!
your Mamma said you were to have the chicken; so now eat it, like a
good girl, and you shall have some jam,” the child flew at her like a
little fury, and slapped and pinched her. That was all that Mabel’s
Mamma saw, but as she thought of it, and then looked at her little
maiden, with a sweet face smiling over her blue pinafore, she smiled
again, very tenderly, and said,—

“Yes, dear, it is a very good thing to be rich, if it is the right kind
of riches. Go now, darling, and get the bread and milk; set the table,
and then call Freddy in to supper.”


IT was a lovely day in June, and the poor little girl was going out.
She was so poor that she had to go in a great big carriage, with two
fat, slow horses and a sleepy driver, who got very angry if you asked
him to drive a little faster. She was dressed in a white frock, frilled
and flounced, and she had a fashionable little hat on her head, which
stuck up in front, so that the wind was always catching it and blowing
it off. She had tight kid gloves on her little hands, and beautiful
little bronze kid boots on her feet; so you see she was very poor

The carriage rolled slowly along through the park, and the little girl
saw many other poor children, also sitting in carriages, with tight
kid gloves and kid boots; she nodded to them, and they to her, but
it was not very interesting. By and by they left the park, and drove
out into the country, where there were green fields, with no signs to
keep people off the grass. The grass was full of buttercups, and in one
field were two little girls, running about, with their hands full of
the lovely golden blossoms, laughing and shouting to each other. One
had a pink calico dress on, and the other a brown gingham, and they
were barefooted, and their sunbonnets were lying on the grass. The poor
little girl looked at them with sparkling eyes.

“Oh, Mademoiselle!” she cried, “may I get out and run about a little?
See what a good time those children are having! Do let me jump out,

“_Fi donc_, Claire!” said the lady who sat beside her. She was a thin,
dark lady, with sharp, eager black eyes, and not a pleasant face. “_Fi
donc!_ What would madame, your mother, say, if she heard you desiring
to run in the fields like the beggar children? Those children—dirty
little wretches!—are barefooted, and it is evident that their hair
has never known the brush. Do not look at them, child! Look at the

“I don’t care about the prospect!” said the poor child. “I want some
buttercups. We never have buttercups at our house, Mademoiselle. I wish
I might pick just a few!”

“Assuredly not!” cried Mademoiselle, her eyes growing blacker and
sharper. “Let you leave the carriage and run about in the mire, for the
sake of a few common, vulgar flowers? Look at your dress, Claire! Look
at your delicate shoes, and your new pearl-colored gloves! Are these
the things to run in the dirt with? I will not be responsible for such
conduct. Sit still, and when we reach home the gardener shall pick you
some roses.”

“I don’t want roses!” said the poor little girl, sighing wearily. “I am
tired of roses. I want buttercups!”

She sighed again, and leaned back on the velvet cushions; the carriage
rolled on. The barefoot children gazed after it with wondering eyes.

“My!” said one, “wasn’t she dressed fine, though!”

“Yes,” said the other; “but she looked as if she was having a horrid
time, poor thing.”

“Poor thing!” echoed the first child.


“I MEAN to have the best time this Fourth of July that I ever had in my
life,” said the Big Boy. Then all the other big boys clustered round
him to hear what the good time was to be, and the little boy sighed
and wished he were big, too. The big boys did not tell him what they
were going to do, but I know all about it, so I can tell. They made a
camp in the Big Boy’s room, which is out in the barn. One boy brought
a comforter, and another brought a pair of blankets; and there was an
old spring mattress up in the loft, so that with the Big Boy’s own bed,
which could hold two (if you kept very still and didn’t kick the other
fellow out), they did very well indeed. The Big Boy’s mother, knowing
something of boys, had set out a lunch for them, crackers and cheese,
and gingerbread and milk, so there was no danger of starvation.

Of course they were busy in the early part of the evening, buying
their firecrackers and torpedoes, their fish-horns and all their noisy
horrors (for you must understand that this was the night before the
Glorious Fourth); but by nine o’clock they were all assembled in the
barn, ready to have the very best time in the world. First they ate
some lunch, and that was good; then they thought they would take a
nap, just for an hour or so, that they might not be sleepy when the
time came. Two of them lay down on the Big Boy’s bed, and two on the
old spring mattress, and two on the floor; but it did not make much
difference where they began their nap, for when the boys’ mother took a
peep at them about ten o’clock, she found them all lying in a heap on
the floor, sound asleep, though the Thin Boy was groaning in his sleep
because the Fat Boy was lying across his neck.

Suddenly the Big Boy awoke with a start, and looking at his watch,
found that it was half past eleven. Hastily he roused the sleepers, and
there was a hurrying and scurrying, a hunting for caps, a snatching
up of horns and slow-match. Then softly they stole down the barn
stairs, and away they went to the old church, and up they climbed into
the belfry. The sexton had left the door unlocked, having been a boy
himself once; so there they waited till twelve o’clock came. Ah! what
a grand time they had then, “ringing the bells till they rocked the
steeple;” but it only lasted an hour, and then there was all the rest
of the night. They went here and they went there, and when they grew
hungry they went back to the barn and finished the lunch; and then they
tried to go to sleep again, but they kept falling about so, it was no
use, so they waited till they thought their own houses would be open,
and then they went home, and the Big Boy crept into his bed and slept
till noon.

But the Little Boy woke up at six o’clock, and jumped up like a lark,
and got his torpedoes and firecrackers, and was very cheerful, though
he did sigh just once when he thought of the big boys. He turned the
gravel-sweep into a battle-field, and made forts and mines for the
firecrackers, and then he cracked and snapped and fizzed and blazed—at
least the firecrackers did—all the morning. He only burned his fingers
twice and his trousers five times, and that was doing very well. He
had a glorious day; and his mother thought—but neither the Little Boy
nor the Big Boy agreed with her—that the best part of all was the good
night’s sleep beforehand.


    OH! what a mystery
    The study is of history!
    How the kings go ravaging
    And savaging about!
    Plantagenet or Tudor,
    I can’t tell which was ruder;
    But Richard Third,
    Upon my word,
    Was worst of all the rout.

    Alfred was a hero,
    Knew no guile nor fear, oh!
    Beat the Danes and checked the Thanes,
    And ruled the country well.
    Edward First, the Hammer,
    Was a slaughterer and slammer,
    And Bruce alone
    Saved Scotland’s throne,
    When ’neath his blows it fell.

    Edward Third was great, too,
    Early fought and late, too;
    Drove the French
    From Cressy’s trench
    Like leaves before the blast.
    But Harry Fifth, the glorious,
    He the all-victorious,
    He’s the one
    I’d serve alone,
    From first unto the last.

    Oh! what a mystery
    The study is of history!
    Queens and kings,
    And wars and things,
    All done in black and white.
    Though sometimes a trifle bloody,
    ’Tis my best beloved study,
    For only so
    One learns, you know,
    To govern and to fight!


THE young ladies had a reception this afternoon, and a charming
occasion it was. The guests were invited for four o’clock, and when I
came in at five the party was in full swing.

Clare was the hostess,—lovely Clare, with her innocent blue eyes and
gentle, unchanging smile. The nursery was transformed into a bower of
beauty, and Clare was standing by a chair, holding out her hand with a
gracious gesture of welcome. Alida received with her, and she looked
charming, too, only she was so much smaller that she had to be stood
up on a box to bring her to a level with Clare’s shoulder. Alida is a
remarkable doll, because she can open and shut her eyes without lying
down or getting up; and Betty sat on the floor behind her and pulled
the strings, so that she waved her long eyelashes up and down in the
most enchanting manner.

All the dolls were in their best clothes, except Jack the sailor, who
cannot change his suit, because it is against his principles; and I
must say they made a pretty party. The tea-things were set out on the
little round table, all the best cups and saucers, and the pewter
teapot that came from Holland, and the gold spoons; and there was _real
cocoa_, and jam, and oyster crackers, and thin bread and butter.

Rosalie Urania presided at the tea-table, and poured the cocoa with
such grace that no one would have suspected her of being helped a
little by Juliet (Juliet is not a doll), who was hidden behind the

“Will you have a cup of cocoa?” asked Rosalie, sweetly, as Mr.
Punchinello approached her with his most elegant bow.

“With pleasure, lovely maiden!” was the courtly reply. “From your hands
what would not your devoted Punchinello take?”

He bowed and smiled again (indeed, he was always smiling), while
Rosalie, blushing (it was a way she had), lifted the pewter teapot, and
deftly filled one of the pretty cups.

“He’ll take a licking from my hands if he doesn’t look out!” growled
Jack, the sailor, who is jealous of Punchinello, and loves Rosalie

“Hush, you rude creature!” whispered Alida, giving Jack a little push.
Clare is quite sure that Alida only meant the push as a gentle rebuke
to Jack, and a warning to keep quiet, and not let his angry passions
rise; but Clare always stands up for Alida. However it was, Jack
tottered, staggered forward, and fell against Mr. Punchinello, knocking
that smiling gentleman over on the table, and upsetting the teapot all
over Rosalie Urania’s pink silk gown. Such a confusion as arose then!
Rosalie fainted, of course. Jack picked himself up, and looked black as
thunder. Alida shut her eyes, and kept them shut (she said it was from
horror, but it may have been because Betty forgot to pull the opening
string), but Clare and Mr. Punchinello did nothing but smile, which was
a proof of their exquisite breeding.


    THE weathercock stands on the steeple,
    And there the weathercock stands;
    He flaps his wings and he claps his wings,
    Because he has no hands;
    He turns him round when the wind blows,
    He turns again and again;
    But Baby has hands and can clap them,
    Flip them and flop them and flap them,
    Swing them and wring them and slap them,
    Far better than cock or hen.

[Illustration: ICHTHYOLOGY.


    I, JOHN DORY, tell the story of the night
      When the Pinna gave a dinner to the Trout.
    It was surely (yet not purely) a delight,
      Though attended,— ay, and ended, with a rout.

    Every fish ’un of condition sure was there,
      From the Cuttle down to little Tommy Spratt;
    From the Urchin who was perchin’ on the stair,
      To the Tunny in his funny beaver hat.


    The Sword-fish, like the lord-fish that he is,
      Brought the Pilot, saying “My lot shall be yours!”
    The Guffer tried to huff her with a quiz,
      But the Gurnet looked so stern, it made him pause.

    The Grayling was a-sailing through the dance,
      And the Oyster from her cloister had come out;
    And the Minnow with her fin, oh! did advance,
      And the Flounder capered round her with the Pout.

    When the Winkle, with a twinkle in his eye,
      Led the Cod-fish (such an odd fish!) to the feast,
    Cried the Mullet, “Oh! my gullet is so dry,
      I could swallow half the hollow sea at least.”

    The Frog-fish and the Dog-fish followed next,
      And the Sturgeon was emergeon from his lair;
    And the Herring by his bearing was perplexed,
      But the Tinker, as a thinker, did not care.

    The Cobbler,—such a gobbler as he was!
      Why, the Blenny had not anything to eat!
    And the Trunk-fish grew a drunk fish, just because
      The Plaice there said the Dace there was so sweet.

    The Torpedo said, “To feed, oh! is my joy;
      Let me wallow, let me swallow at my will!”
    Cried the Shark, then, “Here’s a lark, then! come, my boy,
      Give a rouse, now! we’ll carouse now to our fill.”

    The Dolphin was engulfin’ lager beer,
      Though the Porgy said “How logy he will be.”
    And the Scallop gave a wallop as they handed him a collop
      And the Sculpin was a-gulpin’ of his tea,—deary me!
      How that Sculpin _was_ a-gulpin’ of his tea!

    I, John Dory, to my glory be it said,
      Took no part in such cavortin’ as above.
    With the Sun-fish (ah! the one fish!) calm I fed,
      And, grown bolder, softly told her of my love.

    But the Conger cried “No longer shall this be!”
      And the Trout now said “No doubt now it must end.”
    Said the Tench, then, from his bench, then, “Count on me!”
      And the Salmon cried “I am on hand, my friend.”


    Then we cut on to each glutton as he swam,
      And we hit them, and we bit them in the tail,
    And the Lamprey struck the damp prey with a clam,
      And the Goby made the foe be very pale.

    The Gudgeon, not begrudgeon of his force,
      Hit the Cunner quite a stunner on the head;
    And the Mussel had a tussle with the Horse,
      And the Whiting kept a-fighting till he bled.

    The Carp, too, bold and sharp, too, joined our band,
      On the Weaver, gay deceiver, did he spring,
    And the Mack’rel laid the Pick’rel on the sand,
      And the Stickle-back did tickle back the Ling.


    We drove them, and we clove them to the gill,
      We raced them and we chased them through the sea;
    And the Scallop gave a wallop when we took away his collop,
      But the Sculpin still was gulpin’ of his tea,—deary me!
      _How_ that Sculpin _was_ a-gulpin’ of his tea!



THIS is the receipt for a happy morning:

Two small children, boys or girls; be sure that they are good ones!

Two wooden pails.

Two shovels, of wood or metal.

One sea.

One sandy beach, with not too many pebbles.

One dozen clam-shells (more or less).

One sun.

Two sunbonnets, or broad-brimmed hats.

One mother, or nurse, within calling distance.

Starfish and sea-urchins to taste.

Mix the shovels with the sandy beach, and season well with starfish.
Add the sunbonnets to the children, and, when thoroughly united, add
the wooden pails. Spread the sun and the sea on the beach, and sprinkle
thoroughly with sea-urchins and clam-shells. Add the children, mix
thoroughly, and bake as long as advisable.

N. B. Do not add the mother at all, except in case of necessity.


“MOTHER,” said Roger, swinging in at the door and catching up the baby
for a toss, “I am going to begin Physical Geography! And teacher says
I must have a book, please, as soon as I can get it. It costs two
dollars, and it’s just _full_ of pictures, oh, _so_ interesting! And
may I get it to-day, please, mother?”

“Mother” looked up with a sad little loving smile. “Dear heart,” she
said, “I have not two dollars in the world just now, unless I take them
from the money I am saving for your new suit, and I hardly ought to do
that, my poor Roger!”

Roger looked down with a rueful whistle at his clothes, which, though
clean, were patched and darned to the utmost limit.

“I’m afraid the Patent Mosaic Suit _is_ rather past the bloom of
youth,” he said, cheerily. “Never mind, mammy! Perhaps Will Almy will
lend me his book, sometimes, or I can study in recess out of Miss
Black’s. Don’t worry, anyhow, but catch Miss Dumpling here, while I go
and bring in some water.”

Mrs. Rayne sighed deeply, as Roger set the baby on her lap and darted
out of the house. She knew it was to hide his face of disappointment
that the boy had gone off so hurriedly.

Poor Roger! so bright, so eager to learn, he ought to have a first-rate
education! But how could she, a widow with four children on a tiny
farm, give it to him? Bread and butter and decent clothing must come
first, and these were hard enough to win, even though she worked all
day and half the night for them. Education must be picked up as it

The little woman shook her head and sighed again, as she put Miss
Dumpling on the floor with a button-string to play with, and took up
the pile of mending.

But Roger, though he was disappointed, had no idea of giving up the
Physical Geography. Not a bit of it!

“Mother cannot get it for me,” he said, as he turned away at the
windlass of the old well. “Very well, then, I must get it myself. The
only question is, how?”

Up came the brimming bucket, and, as he stooped to lift it, he saw
in the clear water the reflection of a bright, anxious face, with
inquiring eyes and a resolute mouth. “Don’t be afraid, old fellow!” he
said, with a reassuring nod. “‘How?’ is a short question, and I am sure
to find the answer before the day is out,” and, whistling merrily, he
went off to water the garden.

That evening, just as the sun was sinking, all golden and glorious
beneath the horizon, a boat pushed out from among the reeds that
fringed Pleasant Pond. It was a rough little dory of no particular
model, painted a dingy green, but its crew was apparently well
satisfied with it. One boy sat in the stern and paddled sturdily:
another crouched in the bow, scanning the reeds with a critical air,
while between them sat a little fair-haired maiden, leaning over the
side and singing, as she dipped her hands in the clear, dark water.

“Here’s a fine bunch of cat-tails!” cried Roger. “Shove her in here,

Joe obeyed, and Roger’s knife was soon at work cutting the stately
reeds, with their sceptre-tips of firm, brown velvet.

“Oh, and here are the lilies!” cried little Annet. “See, Roger! see!
all white and gold, the lovely things! Oh, let me pull them!”

In another moment, the boat seemed to be resting on a living carpet of
snow and gold. The lilies grew so thick that one could hardly see the
water between them. Roger and Annet drew them in by handfuls, laying
them in glistening piles in the bottom of the boat, and soon Joe laid
down his paddle, and joined in the picking.

“Some pooty, be n’t they?” he said. “What d’ye cal’late ter sell ’em
for, Roger?”

“For whatever I can get,” replied Roger, cheerfully. “I’ve never tried
it before, but I know that plenty of boys do take them to the city from
other ponds and streams. We are a little farther off, but I never saw
any lilies so large as ours.”

“Nor so sweet!” cried Annet, burying her rosy face in the golden heart
of a snowy cup. “Oh, how I love them!”

How the lilies must have wondered at the adventures that befell them
after this! All night they lay in a great tub of water, which was well
enough, though there was no mud in it. Then, at daybreak next morning
they were taken out and laid on a bed of wet moss and covered with wet
burdock leaves. Then came a long period of jolting, when the world went
bumping up and down with a noise of creaking and rumbling, broken by
the sound of human voices.

Finally, and suddenly, they emerged into the full glare of the sun,
and found themselves in a new world altogether,—a street corner in a
great city; tall buildings, glittering windows, crowds of men and women
hurrying to and fro like ants about an ant-hill. Only the cool, wet
moss beneath them, and the sight of their old friends, the cat-tails,
standing like sentinels beside them, kept the lilies from fainting away

Roger looked eagerly about him, scanning the faces of the passers-by.
Would this one buy? or that one? that pretty lady, who looked like a
lily herself? He held out a bunch timidly, and the lady smiled and

“How lovely and fresh! Thank you!” and the first piece of silver
dropped into Roger’s pocket, and chinked merrily against his
jackknife. Then another young lady carried off a huge bunch of
cat-tails, and a second piece of silver jingled against the first.

Soon another followed it, and another, and another, and Roger’s eyes
danced, and his hopes rose higher and higher.

At this rate, the Physical Geography would be his, beyond a doubt. He
saw it already,—the smooth green covers, the delightful maps within,
the pictures of tropical countries, of monkeys and cocoanuts, elephants
and—THUMP! His dream was rudely broken in upon by a gentleman running
against him and nearly knocking him over,—an old gentleman, with
fierce, twinkling eyes and a bushy gray beard.

“What! what!” sputtered the old gentleman, pettishly. “Get out of my
way, boy! My fault! beg your pardon!” Roger moved aside, bewildered by
the sudden shock.

“Will you buy some Physical Geographies, sir?” he asked. “See how fresh
they are? They are the loveliest—”

“This boy is a lunatic!” said the old gentleman, fiercely, “and ought
to be shut up. How dare you talk to me about Physical Geography, sir?”

Roger stared at him blankly, and then grew crimson with shame and
confusion. “I—I beg your pardon, sir!” he faltered, “I _meant_ to say
‘lilies.’ I was thinking so hard about the geography that it slipped
out without my knowing it. I suppose. I—”

“What! what!” cried the old gentleman, catching him by his arm.
“Thinking about Physical Geography, hey? What d’ye mean? This is a
remarkable boy. Come here, sir! come here!”

He dragged Roger to one side, and made him sit down beside him on
a convenient doorstep. “What d’ye mean?” he repeated, fixing his
piercing gray eyes upon the boy in a manner which made him feel very
uncomfortable. “What do you know about Physical Geography?”

“Nothing yet, sir,” replied Roger, modestly. “But I am very anxious to
study it, and I am selling these lilies and cat-tails to try and get
money enough to buy the book.”

“This is a _most_ remarkable boy!” cried the old gentleman. “What
geography is it you want, hey? Merton’s, I’ll warrant. Trash, sir!
unspeakable trash!”

“No, sir; Willison’s,” replied the boy, thinking that the old gentleman
was certainly crazy.

But on hearing this, his strange companion seized him by the hand, and
shook it warmly. “I am Willison!” he exclaimed. “It is my Geography!
You are a singularly intelligent boy. I am glad to meet you.”

Roger stared in blank wonderment. “Did—did you write the Physical
Geography, sir?” he stammered, finally.

“To be sure I did!” said the old gentleman, “and a good job it was!
While that ass Merton,—here! here!” he cried, fumbling in his pockets,
“give me the lilies, and take that!” and he thrust a shining silver
dollar into Roger’s hand. “And here!” he scribbled something on a card,
“take that, and go to Cooper, the publisher, and see what he says to
you. You are an astonishing boy! Good-by! God bless you! You have done
me good. I was suffering from dyspepsia when I met you,—atrocious
tortures! All gone now! Bless you!”

He was gone, and Roger Rayne was sitting alone on the steps, with the
dollar in one hand, and the card in the other, as bewildered a boy as
any in Boston town.

When he recovered his senses a little, he looked at the card and read,
in breezy, straggling letters, “Give to the astonishing boy who brings
this, a copy of my Physical Geography. Best binding. William Willison.”


    IN the earth’s dark bosom
      Long I slumbered deep,
    Till the hardy miners
      Woke me from my sleep.
    Now I flash and glitter,
      Now I’m bought and sold,
    Everyone for me doth run,
     For my name is Gold.

    In jewels and money
      I shine, I shine.
    The great world of riches
      Is mine, is mine.
    Yet he who would live
      For my sake alone,
    Is poorer, more wretched
      Than he who has none.

    I, your sister, Silver,
      Pure and fair and white,
    I was made, like you, to give
      Pleasure and delight.
    Mines in Colorado,
      And in far Peru,
    Yield my shining whiteness up
      To be a mate for you.

    The forks and spoons,
      And the baby’s cup,
    The plates that are set
      Where the Queen doth sup,
    The coffee and teapots,
      The cream pitcher, too,
    The money to buy them,
      All show my hue.

    I am Father Iron!
      I am not a beauty,
    But when called upon, you’ll find
      I will do my duty.
    Melted in the furnace,
      I am wrought and cast,
    Making now a tiny tack,
      Now an engine vast.

    The horseshoes, the boilers,
      The stoves, the sinks,
    The cable that holds
      The good ship with its links,
    The tongs and the poker,
      The wire so fine,
    The pickaxe and shovel,
      Are mine, are mine.

    Hail, my Father Iron!
      I, your son, am Steel.
    Heating and then cooling
      Men did me anneal.
    With the silver’s brightness,
      With the strength of iron,
    Here I stand, a metal
      All men may rely on.

    I flash in the sword,
      In the dagger keen;
    In rails and in engines
      My glint is seen.
    The scissors, the needle,
      The knife and the pen,
    And many more things
      I have given to men.

          _All together._
    So, ever and ever, hand in hand,
    We circle the earth with a four-fold band.
    The servants of man so leal and true,
    By day and by night his work we do.

[Illustration: THE Howlery Growlery ROOM]


        IT doesn’t pay to be cross,—
        It’s not worth while to try it;
        For Mammy’s eyes so sharp
        Are very sure to spy it:
        A pinch on Billy’s arm,
        A snarl or a sullen gloom,
        No longer we stay, but must up and away
        To the Howlery Growlery room.

    _Chorus._—Hi! the Howlery! ho! the Growlery!
              Ha! the Sniffery, Snarlery, Scowlery!
              There we may stay,
              If we choose, all day;
              But it’s only a smile that can bring us away.

        If Mammy catches me
        A-pitching into Billy;
        If Billy breaks my whip,
        Or scares my rabbit silly,
        It’s “Make it up, boys, quick!
        Or else you know your doom!”
        We must kiss and be friends, or the squabble ends
        In the Howlery Growlery room.

    _Chorus._—Hi! the Howlery! ho! the Growlery!
              Ha! the Sniffery, Snarlery, Scowlery!
              There we may stay,
              If we choose, all day;
              But it’s only a smile that can bring us away.

        So it doesn’t pay to be bad,—
        There’s nothing to be won in it;
        And when you come to think,
        There’s really not much fun in it.
        So, come! the sun is out,
        The lilacs are all a-bloom;
        Come out and play, and we’ll keep away
        From the Howlery Growlery room.

    _Chorus._—Hi! the Howlery! ho! the Growlery!
              Ha! the Sniffery, Snarlery, Scowlery!
              There we may stay,
              If we choose, all day;
              But it’s only a smile that can bring us away.



THERE was once a hen with brown speckled wings and a short black tail.
She stood in a shop window, on a bit of wood covered with green baize,
and kept watch over the eggs with which the window was filled.

“I may be stuffed,” said the hen, “but I hope I know my duty for all

There were many eggs, and some of them were very different from the
eggs to which she had been accustomed; but she did not see what she
could do about that.

“Their mothers must be people of very vulgar tastes,” she said, “or
else fashions have changed sadly. In my day a hen who laid red or blue
or green eggs would have been chased out of the barnyard; but the world
has gone steadily backward since then, I have reason to think.”

She was silent, and fixed her eyes on a large white egg which had been
recently placed in the window.

There was something strange about that egg. She had never seen one like
it. No hen that ever lived could lay such a monstrous thing; even a
turkey could not produce one of half the size.

Whence could it have come? She remembered stories that she had
heard, when a pullet, of huge birds as tall as the hen-house, called
ostriches. Could this be an ostrich egg? If it was, she could not
possibly be expected to take care of the chick.

“The idea!” she said. “Why, it will be as big as I am!”

At this moment a hand appeared in the window. It was the shopkeeper’s
hand, and it set down before the hen an object which filled her with
amazement and consternation.

It _looked_ like an egg: that is, it was shaped and coloured like
an egg; but from the top, which was broken, protruded a head which
certainly was not that of a chicken.

The head wore a black hat; it had a round, rosy face, something like
the shopkeeper’s, and what could be seen of the shoulders was clad in a
bottle-green coat, with a bright-red cravat tied under the pink chin.

The little black eyes met the hen’s troubled glance with a bright and
cheerful look.

“Good-morning!” said the creature. “It’s a fine day!”

“What are you?” asked the hen, rather sternly. “I don’t approve of your
appearance at all. Do you call yourself a chicken, pray?”

“Why, no,” said the thing, looking down at itself. “I—I am a man, I
think. Eh? I have a hat, you see.”

“No, you are not!” cried the hen, in some excitement. “Men don’t come
out of eggs. You _ought_ to be a chicken, but there is some mistake
somewhere. Can’t you get back into your shell, and—a—change your
clothes, or do _something_?”

“I’m afraid not,” said the little man (for he _was_ a man). “I don’t
seem to be able to move much; and besides, I don’t think I was meant
for a chicken. I don’t _feel_ like a chicken.”

“Oh, but look at your shell!” cried the poor hen. “Consider the example
you are setting to all these eggs! There’s no knowing _what_ they will
hatch into if they see this sort of thing going on. I will lend you
some feathers,” she added, coaxingly, “and perhaps I can scratch round
and find you a worm, though my legs are pretty stiff. Come, be a good
chicken, and get back into your shell!”

“I don’t like worms,” said the little man, decidedly. “And I am _not_
a chicken, I tell you. Did you ever see a chicken with a hat on?”

“N—no,” replied the hen, doubtfully, “I don’t think I ever did.”

“Well, then!” said the little man, triumphantly.

And the hen was silent, for one cannot argue well when one is stuffed.

The little man now looked about him in a leisurely way, and presently
his eyes fell on the great white egg.

“Is that _your_ egg?” he asked, politely.

The hen appreciated the compliment, but replied, rather sadly, “No,
it is not. I do not even know whose egg it is. I expect to watch over
the eggs in a general way, and I hope I know my duty; but I really do
not feel as if I _could_ manage a chicken of that size. Besides,” she
added, with a glance at the black hat and the bottle-green coat, “how
do I know that it will be a chicken? It may hatch out a—a—sea-serpent,
for aught I know.”

“Would you like to make sure?” asked the little man, who really had a
kind heart, and would have been a chicken if he could. “There seems to
be a crack where this ribbon is tied on. Shall I peep through and see
what is inside?”

“I shall be truly grateful if you will!” cried the hen. “I assure you
it weighs upon my mind.”

The little man leaned over against the great white egg, and took a long
look through the crack.

“Compose yourself!” he said, at last, looking at the hen with an
anxious expression. “I fear this will be a blow to you. There are five
white rabbits inside this egg!”

The speckled hen rolled her glass eyes wildly about and tried to
cackle, but in vain.

“This is too much!” she said. “This is more than I can bear. Tell
the shopkeeper that he must get some one else to mind his eggs, for a
barnyard where the eggs hatch into rabbits is no place for me.”

And with one despairing cluck, the hen fell off the bit of wood and lay
at full length on the shelf.

“It is a pity for people to be sensitive,” said the little man to
himself, as he surveyed her lifeless body. “Why are not five rabbits as
good as one chicken, I should like to know? After all, it is only a man
who can understand these matters.”

And he cocked his black hat, and settled his red necktie, and thought
very well of himself.


JACK RUSSELL was five years old and ten days over; therefore, it
is plain that he was now a big boy. He had left off kilts, and his
trousers had as many buttons as it is possible for trousers to have,
and his boots had a noble squeak in them. What would you have more?

This being the case, of course Jack could go down town with his Mamma
when she went shopping, a thing that little boys cannot do, as a rule.

One day in Christmas week, when all the shops were full of pretty
things, Jack and his Mamma found themselves in the gay street, with
crowds of people hurrying to and fro, all carrying parcels of every
imaginable shape.

The air was crisp and tingling, the sleigh-bells made a merry din, and
everybody looked cheerful and smiling, as if they knew that Christmas
was only five days off.

_Almost_ everybody, for as Jack stopped to look in at a shop window, he
saw some one who did not look cheerful. It was a poor woman, thinly and
miserably clad, and holding a little boy by the hand.

The boy was _little_, because he wore petticoats (oh, such poor, ragged
petticoats)! but he was taller than Jack. He was looking longingly at
the toys in the window.

“Oh, mother!” he cried, “see that little horse! Oh, I wish I had a
little horse!”

“My dear,” said the poor woman, sighing, “if I can give you an apple to
eat with your bread on Christmas Day, you must be thankful, for I can
do no more. Poor people can’t have pretty things like those.”

“Come, Jack!” said Mrs. Russell, drawing him on hastily. “What are you
stopping for, child?”

“Mamma,” asked Jack, trudging along stoutly, but looking grave and
perplexed, “why can’t poor people have nice things?”

“Why? Oh!” said Mrs. Russell, who had not noticed the poor woman and
her boy, “because they have no money to buy them. Pretty things cost
money, you know.”

Jack thought this over a little in his own way; then, “But, Mamma,” he
said, “why don’t they buy some money at the money shop?”

Mrs. Russell only laughed at this, and patted Jack’s head and called
him a “little goose,” and then they went into a large shop and bought a
beautiful wax doll for Sissy.

But Jack’s mind was still at work, and while they were waiting for the
flaxen-haired beauty to be wrapped in white tissue paper and put in a
box, he pursued his inquiries.

“Where do you get your money, Mamma dear?”

“Why, your dear Papa gives me my money, Jacky boy. Didn’t you see him
give me all those nice crisp bills this morning?”

“And where does my Papa get _his_ money?”

“Oh, child, how you _do_ ask questions! He gets it at the bank.”

“Then is the bank the money shop, Mamma?”

Mrs. Russell laughed absent-mindedly, for, in truth, her thoughts were
on other things, and she was only half-listening to the child, which
was a pity. “Yes, dear,” she said, “it is the only money shop I know
of. Now you must not ask me any more questions, Jack. You distract me!”

But Jack had no more questions to ask.

The next day, as the cashier at the National Bank was busily adding up
an endless column of figures, he was startled by hearing a voice which
apparently came from nowhere.

No face appeared at the little window in the gilded grating, and yet a
sweet, silvery voice was certainly saying, with great distinctness, “If
you please, I should like to buy some money.”

He looked through the window and saw a small boy, carrying a bundle
almost as big as himself.

“What can I do for you, my little man?” asked the cashier kindly.

“I should like to buy some money, please,” repeated Jack, very politely.

“Oh, indeed!” said the cashier, with a twinkle in his eye. “And how
much money would you like, sir?”

“About a fousand dollars, I fink,” said Jack, promptly. (It does
sometimes happen that big boys cannot pronounce “th” distinctly, but
they are none the less big for that.)

“A thousand dollars!” repeated the cashier. “That’s a good deal of
money, young gentleman!”

“I know it,” said Jack. “I wants a good deal. I have brought some
fings to pay for it,” he added, confidentially; and opening the big
bundle with great pride, he displayed to the astonished official a
hobby-horse, a drum (nearly new), a set of building blocks and a

“It’s a _very_ good hobby-horse,” he said, proudly. “It has real hair,
and he will go _just_ as fast as—as you can _make_ him go.”

Here the cashier turned red in the face, coughed and disappeared.
“Perhaps he is having a fit, like the yellow kitten,” said Jack to
himself, calmly; and he waited with cheerful patience till he should
get his money.

In a few moments the cashier returned, and taking him by the hand, led
him kindly into a back room, where three gentlemen were sitting.

They all had gray hair, and two of them wore gold-bowed spectacles; but
they looked kind, and one of them beckoned Jack to come to him.

“What is all this, my little lad?” he asked. “Did any one send you here
to get money?”

Jack shook his head stoutly. “No,” he said, “I comed myself; but I am
not little. I stopped being little when I had trousers.”

“I see!” said the gentleman. “Of course. But what made you think you
could get money here?”

The blue eyes opened wide.

“Mamma said that Papa got his money here; and I asked her if this was a
money shop, and she said it was the only money shop she knowed of. So I

“Just so,” said the kind gentleman, stroking the curly head before him.
“And you brought these things to pay for the money?”

“Yes,” said Jack, cheerfully. “’Cause you buy fings with money, you
see, so I s’pose you buy money with fings.”

“And what did you mean to do with a thousand dollars?” asked the
gentleman. “Buy candy, eh?”

Then Jack looked up into the gentle gray eyes and told his little story
about the poor woman whom he had seen the day before. “She was so
poor,” he said, “her little boy could not have any Christmas _at all_,
only an apple and some bread, and I’m sure _that_ isn’t Christmas. And
she hadn’t _any_ money, not any at all. So I fought I would buy her
some, and then she could get _everything_ she wanted.”

By this time the two other gentlemen had their hands in their pockets;
but the first one motioned them to wait, and taking the little boy on
his knee, he told him in a few simple words what a bank really was, and
why one could not buy money there.

“But you see, dear,” he added, seeing the disappointment in the child’s
face, “you have here in your hands the very things that poor woman
would like to buy for her little boy. Give her the fine hobby-horse and
the drum and the paint-box, too, if you like, and she can give him the
finest Christmas that ever a poor boy had.”

Jack’s face lighted up again, and a smile flashed through the tears
that stood in his sweet blue eyes. “I never fought of that!” he cried,

“And,” continued the old gentleman, drawing a gold piece from his
pocket and putting it in the little chubby hand, “you may give that to
the poor woman to buy a turkey with.”

“And that,” cried the second old gentleman, putting another gold piece
on top of it, “to buy mince-pies with.”

“And that,” cried the third old gentleman, while a third gold piece
clinked on the other two, “to buy a plum-pudding with.”

“And God bless you, my dear little boy!” said the first gentleman, “and
may you always keep your loving heart, and never want a piece of money
to make Christmas for the poor.”

Little Jack looked from one to the other with radiant eyes. “You are
_very_ good shopkeepers,” he said. “I love you all _very_ much. I
should like to kiss you all, please.”

And none of those three old gentlemen had ever had so sweet a kiss in
his life.


“WHAT _shall_ I do all this long afternoon?” cried Will, yawning and
stretching himself. “What—shall—I—do? A whole long afternoon, and the
rain pouring and nothing to do. It will seem like a whole week till
supper time. I know it will. Oh—_dear_—me!”

“It _is_ too bad!” said Aunt Harriet, sympathetically. “Poor lad! What
will you do, indeed? While you are waiting, suppose you just hold this
yarn for me.”

Will held six skeins of yarn, one after another; and Aunt Harriet told
him six stories, one after the other, each better than the last.

He was sorry when the yarn was all wound, and he began to wonder again
what he should do all the long, long afternoon.

“Will,” said his mother, calling him over the balusters, “I wish you
would stay with baby just a few minutes while I run down to the kitchen
to see about something.”

Will ran up, and his mother ran down. She was gone an hour, but he did
not think it was more than ten minutes, for he and baby were having a
great time, playing that the big woolly ball was a tiger, and that they
were elephants chasing it through the jungle.

Will blew a horn, because it spoke in the “Swiss Family Robinson” of
the elephants’ trumpeting; and baby blew a tin whistle, which was a
rattle, too; and the tiger blew nothing at all, because tigers do not

It was a glorious game; but when Mamma came back, Will’s face fell, and
he stopped trumpeting, because he knew it would tire Mamma’s head.

“Dear Mamma!” he said, “what _shall_ I do this long, long afternoon,
with the rain pouring and nothing to do?”

His mother took him by the shoulders, gave him a shake and then a kiss,
and turned him round toward the window.

“Look there, goosey!” she cried, laughing. “It stopped raining half an
hour ago, and now the sun is setting bright and clear. It is nearly six
o’clock, and you have just precisely time enough to run and post this
letter before tea-time.”


    “TAILOR, tailor, tell me true,
    Where did you get my jacket of blue?”

    “I bought the cloth, little Master mine,
    From the merchant who sells it, coarse and fine.
    I cut it out with my shears so bright,
    And with needle and thread I sewed it tight.”

    “Merchant, merchant, tell me true,
    Where did you get the cloth so blue?”

    “The cloth was made, little Master mine,
    Of woollen threads so soft and fine.
    The weaver wove them together for me;
    With loom and shuttle his trade plies he.”

    “Weaver, weaver, speak me, sooth,
    Where got you the threads so soft and smooth?”

    “From wool they’re spun, little Master mine.
    The spinner carded the wool so fine.
    She spun it in threads, and brought it to me,
    Where my sounding loom whirrs cheerily.”

    “Spinner, spinner, tell me true,
    Where got you the wool such things to do?”

    “From the old sheep’s back, little Master dear!
    The farmer he cut it and washed it clear;
    The dyer dyed it so bright and blue,
    And brought it to me to spin for you.”

    “Now tailor and merchant, and weaver, too,
    And spinner and farmer, my thanks to you!
    But the best of my thanks I still will keep
    For you, my good old woolly-backed sheep.”


ONCE upon a time a little girl went to see the fireworks on Boston
Common. She was a very small girl, but she wanted to go just as much
as if she had been big, so her mother said she might go with Mary, the
nurse. She put on her best bonnet, and her pink frock, and off they

The Common was crowded with people, and in one part there was a dense
throng, all standing together, and all looking in one direction. “We
must stand there, too,” said Mary; “there’s where the fireworks are
going to be.” So they went and stood in the dense crowd; and the little
girl saw the back of a fat woman in a red plaid shawl, but she could
not see anything else. Oh, yes! she saw the legs of the tall man who
stood next to the fat woman, but they were not very interesting, being
clad in a common sort of dark plaid: the shawl, at least, was bright,
and she could tell the different colours by the lamplight.

Now there was a movement in the crowd, and people cried, “Oh! oh!
look at that! Isn’t that a beauty?” And they clapped their hands
and shouted; but the little girl saw only the plaid shawl and the
uninteresting legs of the tall man. The people pressed closer and
closer, so that she could hardly breathe. She held tight to Mary’s
hand, and Mary thought she was squeezing it for pleasure, and said,
“Yes, dear! ain’t they lovely?” The little girl tried to say, “I can’t
see anything but the plaid shawl!” but just then the tall man turned
round, and looked down on her and said, “Bless me! here’s a little girl
right under my feet. Can you see anything, my dear?”

“Nothing but the red shawl and the back of your legs,” said the little
girl, sadly.

“Hi, then!” said the tall man; “up with you!” And before the child
could say a word, he had taken her two hands and lifted her lightly to
his shoulder.

“Put your arm round my neck,” said the tall man. “I had a little girl
once, just like you, and I know how to hold you. So, now you are all

“Thank the kind gentleman, dear!” said Mary. “I’m sure it’s very good
of him.”

The little girl was too shy to speak, but she patted the tall man’s
neck, and he understood as well as if she had spoken. Now she saw
wonderful sights indeed! Fiery serpents went up into the sky,
wriggling and hissing, dragging long tails of yellow flame behind
them. Coloured stars, red, blue and green, shot up in the air, hung
for an instant, and then burst into showers of rainbow light. There
were golden pigeons, and golden flower-pots, and splendid wheels, that
went whirling round so fast it made the little girl dizzy to look at
them. The child gazed and gazed, breathless with delight. Sometimes
she forgot where she was, and thought this was fairy-land, all full
of golden dragons, and fluttering elves, as the story books described
it; but if she chanced to look down, there was Mary, and the kind face
of the tall man, and the red shawl of the fat woman. By and by came a
great burst of light, and in the midst of crimson flames she saw the
Goddess of Liberty, standing on a golden ball, waving the starry flag
in her hand: thousands of stars shot up, blazed and burst; loud noises
were heard, like cannon-shots; then, suddenly, darkness fell, and all
was over.

The crowd began to disperse.

“Now, little one,” said the tall man, “you have seen all there is to
see.” And he made a motion to put her down; but the little girl clung
tight to his neck.

“Did your little girl ever kiss you?” she whispered in his ear.

“Bless your little heart!” said the man, “she did, indeed; but it’s
long since I’ve had a little girl to kiss me.”

The child bent down and kissed him heartily on the cheek. “If it hadn’t
been for you,” she cried, “I should have seen nothing at all except the
plaid shawl. I think you are the kindest man that ever lived, and I
love you very much.” And then she slipped down, and taking her nurse’s
hand, ran away home as fast as she could.


    THE sugar dog lay in the toe of the stocking,
                        And rocking,
    As if in a cradle, he called to the drum
                        To come.
    But the ball and the gray flannel pig were too cunning,
                        And running,
    With Noah’s Ark, filled the stocking quite up
                        To the top.

    The jumping-jack could not get into the stocking.
                        How shocking!
    He had to climb up on the foot of the bed
    But the rag doll was wise, and while baby was sleeping,
                        Came creeping,
    And nestling under the sweet baby arm,
                        Lay warm.


PUNKYDOODLE was at one end of the see-saw, and Jollapin at the other.
(Those are not the boys’ real names, but they will do just as well, and
they look better on paper than Joe, and,—oh! well, no matter!) It was a
very high see-saw, and they meant to have a fine time on it.

“I am an eagle!” cried Jollapin, as his end went up, up, till his
breath was almost gone, and he had to hold on with all his might to
keep from slipping. “I—am—an eagle, I say. Ho! see me fly up among the
clouds! I am sailing—Oh, I say! don’t shake her like that, Punk, or
you’ll have me off!”

“Well, you’ve been up long enough!” cried Punkydoodle. “It’s my turn
now. Look at me! I am a flying dragon! Observe my fiery eyes, and my
long wiggling tail! Hoish! I am going to descend on the fields and
dwellings of men, and lay them waste; and I’ll never stop till they
give me the king’s daughter for my bride. I may eat her up, but I am
not sure. Depends upon how pretty she is! Hoish! I descend upon the—”
Here he descended with such swiftness that speech became impossible,
and Jollapin soared aloft again.

“I am a balloon this time!” he cried.

“You look like one!” said Punkydoodle, who had not relished his sudden
descent on the fields and dwellings of men.

“I’m not an old Skinny, anyhow!” retorted Jollapin. “I am a splendid
balloon, and my name is the Air King. Proudly I ascend, rising
triumphant through the ambient air.” (Jollapin had been reading the
papers, and his speech was inflated, like the balloon he represented.)
“I pass through the clouds; I pierce them; I rise above them. The
earth lies beneath me like a—like a—”

“Like a pancake!” suggested Punkydoodle, who had little imagination.

“I wish you wouldn’t interrupt me, Punk! But what do I see? Yes, I know
it’s your turn now, but just wait a minute! What do I see? Another
majestic air-ship, sailing gloriously toward me! That’s you, Punky! Now
we’ll see-saw together, tiddledies up and down, and play the balloons
are meeting. Ha! we meet! we salute in mid-air. I wave my gilded

Here one balloon lost his balance and tumbled off, and the other
tumbled on top of him, and there they both lay in a heap on the lawn.

“Anybody killed?” asked the elder brother, looking up from his hoeing.

“I—guess—not!” said Punkydoodle, rising slowly and feeling himself all
over. “Jollapin is all right, ’cause he has plenty of fat to fall on,
but I got a pretty good thump, I can tell you.”

“Too bad!” said the elder brother. “You need a change, dear boys;
suppose you go and weed the pansy-bed, to take your minds off your

[Illustration: NANCY’S NIGHTMARE]

    I AM the doll that Nancy broke!
      Hadn’t been hers a week.
    Punch me behind, and I sweetly spoke;
      Rosy and fair was my cheek.
    Now my head is rolled in a corner far,
      My body lies here in another;
    And if this is what human children are,
      I never will live with another.



    I am the book that Nancy read
      For twenty minutes together.
    Now I am standing here on my head,
      While she’s gone to look at the weather.
    My leaves are crushed in the cruellest way,
      There’s jam on my opening page,
    And I would not live with Miss Nancy Gay,
      Though I should not be read for an age.

    I am the frock that Nancy wore
      Last night at her birthday feast.
    I am the frock that Nancy tore
      In seventeen places, at least.
    My buttons are scattering far and near,
      My trimming is torn to rags;
    And if I were Miss Nancy’s mother dear,
      I’d dress her in calico bags!


    We are the words that Nancy said
      When these things were called to her view.
    All of us ought to be painted red,
      And some of us are not true.
    We splutter and mutter and snarl and snap,
      We smoulder and smoke and blaze.
    And if she’d not meet with some sad mishap,
      Miss Nancy must mend her ways.


“JOHN,” said little Amy, “did you ever send a valentine to anybody?”

John, the gardener, looked rather sheepish, and dug his spade into the
geranium bed. “Well, miss,” he said, “I _have_ done such things when I
were a lad. Most lads do, I suppose, miss.”

Oh, that sly old John! He knew perfectly well that he had a valentine
in his pocket at that moment, a great crimson heart, in a lace-trimmed
envelope, directed to Susan, the pretty housemaid. But there was no
need of saying anything about that to little miss, he thought.

“If you were not so _very_ old, John,” continued Amy, looking seriously
at him, “I should ask you to send me one, because my Papa is away, and
I have no brothers, and I don’t know any lads, as you call them. But I
suppose you are altogether _too_ old, aren’t you, John?”

John straightened his broad shoulders and looked down rather comically
at the tiny mite at his feet. “Why, Miss Amy,” he said, “whatever does
make you think I be so _very_ old? Your Papa is a good bit older than I
be, miss.”

“My Papa!” cried Amy, opening her eyes very wide. “Why, John! you told
me yourself that you were a hundred years old. And I _know_ my Papa
isn’t _nearly_ so old as that!”

The gardener laughed. “More shame to me, miss,” he said, “for telling
you what wasn’t true. Sure it’s only in fun I was, Miss Amy, dear,
for I’m not forty years old yet, let alone a hundred. But I hear Mary
calling you to your dinner; so run up to the house now, missy, and
don’t think too much of what old John says to you.”

Away ran little Amy, and John, left alone with his geraniums, indulged
in a quiet but hearty laugh.

“To think of that!” he said to himself. “A hundred years old! Sure I
must take care what I say to that young one. But the pretty lass shall
have her valentine, that she shall, and as pretty a one as I can make!”
and John dug his spade into the ground with right good-will.

(It occurs to me that you children who live in the North may say
here, “What was he doing to the geranium-bed in February?” but when I
tell you that little Amy lives in Virginia, you will not think it so

Saint Valentine’s Day was bright and sunny, and Amy was up early,
flying about the house like a bird, and running every five minutes to
the front door “’Cause there _might_ be a valentine, Mamma!”

Presently she spied the postman coming up the gravel walk, and out she
danced to meet him. Oh! such a pile of letters as he took out of his
leather bag.

“Miss Amy Russell?” said the postman.

“Oh!” cried Amy, “she’s me! I mean me’s her! I mean—oh! oh! one, two,
three, four, five! Oh, thank you, Mr. Postman! You’re the best postman
in the whole world!” And in she danced again, to show her treasures to
Mamma. Gold lace, silver arrows, flaming hearts! oh, how beautiful they
were! But suddenly—ting! tingle! _ding!_ a tremendous peal at the front

Down went the valentines in Mamma’s lap, and off flew the excited child
again. But this time, when she opened the door, no sound escaped her
lips. Her feelings were too deep for utterance.

There on the doorstep lay a valentine, but _such_ a valentine! A large
flat basket entirely filled with white carnations, with a border
of scarlet geraniums, and in the middle a huge heart of deep red
carnations, with the words “My Valentine” written under it in violets.

Amy sat down on the doorstep, with clasped hands and wide-open eyes
and mouth. She rocked herself backwards and forwards, uttering little
inarticulate shrieks of delight.

And John the gardener, peeping round the corner of the house, chuckled
silently, and squeezed the hand of Susan, the pretty housemaid, who
happened, curiously enough, to be standing very near him.

“Humph!” said John the gardener, “I haven’t forgotten how to make
valentines, if I _be_ a hundred years old!”


ONCE upon a time there was a little girl, just like you, who couldn’t
count two. And she had a dreadful time about it! She did not know she
had two feet, so she sometimes forgot to put on both her shoes; she did
not know she had two eyes, so she would sometimes go to sleep with one
eye, and stay awake with the other; she did not know she had two ears,
so she would sometimes hear half of what Mamma said, and not hear the

One day Mamma called to her and said, “Pet, I want you to take this
syrup and put it in my closet!”

Now Pet was only listening with one ear, and so she only heard the
first half of what Mamma said: “I want you to take this syrup.” That
was what she heard.

She liked the syrup very much, for she had ten drops in a teaspoon
whenever she had a sore throat, and she had always wished Mamma would
give her more.

And now she was just to “take it.” That must mean to take the whole
bottle, if she liked. She put the bottle to her lips and took a good
long draught. It was more than half-empty when she stopped to take
breath, and then,—the syrup did not seem to taste good any longer. She
put the bottle down.

Oh—dear—me! In about ten minutes Pet was the very sickest little girl
you ever saw in your life. Mamma put her to bed, and sent for the
doctor, and she had to take four different kinds of medicine before she
got well, not one of which tasted good at all.

So now, you see, it is a very good plan for little wee girls to learn
to count two.


(_To be sung to the tune of “The Monkey married the Baboon’s Sister.”_)

    THIS is Clarinthia Jane Louisa,
    Holding her brother Ebenezer:
    Here he sits on the post to please her,—
            Happy little two!

    Dog came by with a growl and a grumble,
    Made Clarinthia start and stumble;
    Poor Ebenezer got a tumble,


    WE’RE spending the day,
    In the pleasantest way,
    With Uncle Eliphalet Brown:
    We may run at our ease,
    And do just what we please,
    And we never can do that in town.

[Illustration: The BARNYARD.]

    For “Quack!” says the duck,
    And the hen says “Cluck!”
    And the chickens say, “Peepity-wee!”
    And John milks the cow,
    Though he doesn’t know how,
    And we’re happy as happy can be.


IT chanced one day that Lucy came into the kitchen just as Fido, her
Aunt Mary’s little dog, was eating his dinner.

He had a good dinner, and he was making a great fuss over it, growling
with pleasure, shaking his ears and wagging his tail.

His tail was a very funny one, with a little black bunch at the end of
it, and it wiggled and waggled this way and that way.

“Fido,” said Lucy, “I don’t think you ought to wag your tail when you
are eating. Mamma says we must sit very still at the table. To be sure,
you are not sitting, and you are not at the table, but, all the same, I
think you had better not wag your tail.”

Fido paid no attention to these sensible remarks, but continued briskly
to wag the offending tail.

“Do you hear me Fido?” said Lucy. “I say, _don’t wag_ it!”

Fido gave a short bark of protest, but took no further notice.

“Then I must hold it for you!” Lucy continued, severely. “Mamma held my
hands once when I would not stop cutting holes in my pinafore; but I
was young then, and I thought the spots ought to be taken out. But you
are not young, Fido, and I wonder at you, that I do!”

Then Lucy took hold of the tail, and tried to hold it; but Fido danced
about, and pulled it away, and then wagged it all the harder, thinking
she meant to play with him.

“Indeed!” said Lucy, “I am not playing, Master Fido. Now you shall see!”

So she got a piece of stout twine, and tied Fido’s tail to the leg of a

“There!” she said, “now finish your dinner, like a good little dog, and
don’t give me any more trouble.”

But Fido would not eat his dinner with his tail tied up. He threw back
his head, and gave a piteous little howl. Lucy sat down on a stool
beside him, and folding her hands, as she had seen her mother do,
prepared to give the naughty pet “a good talking to,” as nurse used to

At that moment, however, her mother’s voice was heard, calling “Lucy!
Lucy! Where are you?”

“Here, Mamma!” cried Lucy. “I am coming! I meant to pick them up before
dinner, anyhow! yes I did!” And she flew up stairs, for she knew quite
well that she had set out all her doll’s dishes, tea-set and dinner-set
and kitchen things, on the nursery floor, and left them there.

And now nurse had come in with baby in her arms, and had walked right
over the pretty French dinner-set, and there was very little of it left
to tell the tale.

Dear! dear! it was not at all nice to pick up the pieces, even if nurse
had not been scolding all the time, and Mamma standing by with that
grave look, waiting to see that it was properly done.

But how about Fido? Oh, Lucy had quite forgotten about Fido. But Fido
had not forgotten himself, and a very hard time the poor little fellow
was having.

He ran round the chair several times, till he brought himself up close
against it; then he tried to unwind himself again, but only became
more and more entangled. He pushed the hateful chair backwards till it
struck a little table on which was a tray full of dishes. Over went the
table, down went the tray, crash went the dishes!

“Yow! yow! yo-o-o-_ow_!” howled Fido.

“Oh! oh! oh!” shrieked Bridget, the cook, who came in at that moment;
and then—whack! whack! whack! went the broomstick over the poor
doggie’s back.

The noise was so great that Mamma came flying down, and nurse and Lucy,
too, with the broken soup tureen in her hand.

“Oh, don’t beat him!” cried Lucy, “don’t beat him, Bridget! It was my
fault, for I tied him to the chair, and then forgot about him.”

“And why, for the pity’s sake, miss, did ye tie the baste to the
chair?” said Bridget, still angry. “Look at every dish I have in the
kitchen all broken in smithereens!”

“He _would_ wag his tail while he ate his dinner,” faltered Lucy, “and
I wanted to teach him better manners; and so—and so—” But here poor
Goosey Lucy broke down completely, and sat down among the shattered
dishes, and hugged Fido and wept over him.

And Fido, who had the sweetest temper in the world, wagged the poor
abused tail (which had been quickly released by nurse), and forgave her
at once.

And Bridget and nurse laughed; and Mamma kissed her little foolish
daughter, and bade her not cry any more.

But Lucy had to go to bed, all the same, for Mamma said it was the only
proper place for a child who had broken (or caused to be broken, which
amounted to the same thing), _seventy-two_ dishes, large and small, in
less than half an hour. And I suppose Mamma was right, don’t you?


“WHERE are you going, Uncle Fred?” asked Lucy.

“I am going to make New Year’s calls, little girl,” replied Uncle Fred.

“And how do you make them? What are they made of?” inquired Lucy.

“Oh—ah—my dear child!” said Uncle Fred, who was looking for his
umbrella in a great hurry, “they are not _made of_ anything. You—ah—you
just _call_, you know, on all the people you know. Oh, here it is!
Good-by, little girl! I must be off.”

And off he hurried, leaving Lucy, mystified, in the hall.

“You just call!” she repeated. “Just call all the people you know. Why,
that is easy enough, but what a funny thing to do!”

She pondered a few minutes and then continued, “I think _I_ will go and
make New Year’s calls. It must be great fun! Perhaps I shall meet Uncle
Fred, and then we can call together, and that will be just twice as

Away ran the little girl to her room. Blue coat, blue leggings, blue
mittens, swan’s-down hood, all were on in three minutes’ time; and
without a thought of Mamma or nurse or anybody else, Lucy slipped out
of the door, and ran merrily down the street.

Oh, how fresh and clear the air was! How the snow sparkled in the
sunlight! What a fine thing it was to make New Year’s calls!

And now the question was, where she should call first. Why, at
Grandma’s, of course! her house was in the square, just round the
corner. And then she would go to Aunt Maria’s, and then,—well, she
would think about the next place as she went along, but here was
Grandmamma’s house now.

Lucy looked up at all the windows, but no one was in sight.

So much the better! She planted herself squarely on the curbstone,
and opening her mouth to its fullest extent, shouted, “Grandmamma!
Grandmamma! Grandmamma!! GrandMAMMA!!!”

Her grandmother, who was sitting quietly by the fire, reading, heard
the piercing screams, and running to the window as fast as her dear old
feet could carry her, saw Lucy, panting and crimson, with her mouth
just opening for another shout.

Something had happened at home,—an accident, probably! No time must be
lost. Grandmamma threw up the sash.

“Run and call the doctor!” she cried. “Quick, dear! Don’t stop to tell
me about it, but run! I will be there in three minutes!” And she shut
the window, and trembling with anxiety, hastened to put on her shawl
and bonnet, and almost ran through the snow to her daughter’s house.

Meanwhile, Lucy ran on in high glee. “I hadn’t thought of the doctor!”
she said, “but of course I will go there, as Grandmamma wishes it. What
fun it is!”

The doctor’s house was soon reached, and Lucy’s shouts brought the good
man quickly to the door.

“Bless me!” he said, “Mrs. Graham’s little girl! Baby ill again,
I suppose? All right, my dear!” he cried to Lucy. “I’ll be there
instantly. Run and tell them I’m coming!” and he shut the door and
called for his boots.

Lucy danced along, enchanted with her new play, and soon reached Aunt
Maria’s house, where she called again, with might and main. Now, Aunt
Maria was slightly deaf, and when she heard her own name resounding in
a clear, shrill scream, “Aunt Mari-i-i-i-_ia_!!” she thought it was a
cry of _fire_!

Throwing up the window (she was a very nervous and excitable person),
she shrieked, “Fire! fire! Police! watchman! Help! help! _Fire!!_
FIRE!!!” till everyone within a dozen blocks heard her, and came
rushing to the rescue with buckets and fire extinguishers.

Lucy was rather frightened at all this, and thought, on the whole, she
would not make any more calls that day.

So she went home. And there were Grandmamma and the doctor and Mamma,
all waiting for her, with very grave faces.

The two first had arrived, breathless and agitated, inquiring what had
happened, and who was ill.

Much perplexity followed. And now that the author of all the mischief
had arrived, what should be done to her?

Lucy’s finger went into her mouth, and her head went down.

But she told her story truthfully; and it was such a funny one that the
doctor burst into a roar of laughter, and Grandmamma laughed heartily,
and even Mamma could not look grave.

So Goosey Lucy had a lecture, and a New Year’s cookie, and went to tell
her dolls all about it, while Mamma and Grandmamma and the doctor went
to see how Aunt Maria was.


    THREE little birds
    Sat upon a tree.
    The first said “Chirrup!”
    The second said “Chee!”
    The third said nothing,
    (The middle one was he,)
    But sat there a-blinking,
    Because he was a-thinking.
    “Pee-wit! pee-wit! Yes, that is it!
    Pee-wip, pee-wop, pee-wee!”

    Three little birds
    Sat upon a bough.
    The first said, “When is dinner-time?”
    The second said, “Now!”
    The third said nothing,
    (The middle one was he,)
    But sat there a-blinking,
    Because he was a-thinking.
    “Pee-wit! pee-wit! Yes, that is it!
    Pee-wip! pee-wop! pee-wee!”

    Three little birds
    Flew down to the ground,
    And soon, by working very hard,
    A fine fat worm they found.
    The third flew down between them,
    (The middle one was he,)
    And ate it up like winking
    Because he had been thinking.
    “Pee-wit! pee-wit! Yes, that is it!
    Pee-wip! pee-wop! pee-wee!”


    THE Quacky Duck stood on the bank of the stream. And the
    frogs came and sat on stones and insulted him. Now the words
    which the frogs used were these,—

    “Ya! ha! he hasn’t any hind-legs!
     Ya! ha! he hasn’t any fore-legs!
     Oh! what horrid luck
     To be a Quacky Duck!”

These were not pleasant words. And when the Quacky Duck heard them, he
considered within himself whether it would not be best for him to eat
the frogs.

“Two good things would come of it,” he said. “I should have a savoury
meal, and their remarks would no longer be audible.”

So he fell upon the frogs, and they fled before him. And one jumped
into the water, and one jumped on the land, and another jumped into the
reeds; for such is their manner. But one of them, being in fear, saw
not clearly the way he should go, and jumped even upon the back of the
Quacky Duck. Now, this displeased the Quacky Duck, and he said, “If you
will remove yourself from my person, we will speak further of this.”

So the frog, being also willing, strove to remove himself, and the
result was that they two, being on the edge of the bank, fell into the
water. Then the frog departed swiftly, saying, “Solitude is best for

But the Quacky Duck, having hit his head against a stone, sank to the
bottom of the pond, where he found himself in the frogs’ kitchen. And
there he spied a fish, which the frogs had caught for their dinner,
intending to share it in a brotherly manner, for it was a savoury fish.
When the Quacky Duck saw it, he was glad; and he said, “Fish is better
than frog” (for he was an English duck)! And, taking the fish, he swam
with speed to the shore.

Now the frogs lamented when they saw him go, for they said, “He has our
savoury fish!” And they wept, and reviled the Quacky Duck.

But he said, “Be comforted! for if I had not found the fish, I should
assuredly have eaten you. Therefore, say now, which is the better for
you?” And he ate the fish, and departed joyful.


          WHEN the new year’s come,
          When the new year’s come,
          Then I will be a soldier,
          A-beating on a drum.
          A-beating on a drum,
          And a-tooting on a fife:
          And the new year, the new year
          Oh, that’s the best in life.

          When the new year comes,
          When the new year comes,
          I sha’n’t have any joggraphy,
          I sha’n’t have any sums.
          I sha’n’t have any sums,
          Nor any rule of three,
          And the new year, the new year
          Oh, that’s the time for me.

    P.S.—When the new year came,
          When the new year came,
          I had to go to school
          Just _exacketly_ the same!
          Exacketly the same!
          Do you think ’twas kind of mother?
          And the new year, the new year
          Is just like any other!


    She lighted a faggot,
    To cook a repast for her cat.
    But instead of a bone,
    She made soup of a stone,
    And gave the poor animal that.

    Barney O’Groggan,
    He bought a toboggan,
    And went out to coast on the hill.
    But he soon tumbled off,
    And came home with a cough,
    And his grandmother gave him a pill.

    Triptolemus Tupper,
    Came home to his supper,
    And called for a pelican pie.
    But ’twas covered with fat,
    And when he saw that,
    Poor Trippy was ready to die.

    Peter Polacko
    Was fond of tobacco,
    And purchased a pipe for to smoke.
    But against his desire
    His whiskers caught fire,
    And Peter was made into coke.

    Prudence Pedantic,
    She nearly went frantic
    Because her small nephew said, “’Taint!”
    But when her big brother
    Said “Hain’t got none, nuther!”
    She fell on the floor in a faint.


HAL woke up very early on Christmas morning, so early that it was still
quite dark.

He crept out of bed and ran to the chimney, got his stocking, which had
been hung there the night before, and carried it back to bed with him.

Oh, what a delightful fat, lumpy stocking it was! Why did not the
daylight come, so that he might see what was in it?

This was an orange on top; he could tell that without seeing it. And
this long, soft thing, which jingled as he pulled it out? Oh, a pair of
reins! How nice! But what was this that came next?

Ah! little Hal must wait till daylight for that, for his tiny fingers
refused to tell him what it was.

Wait he did, very impatiently, consoling himself with his orange.

But at last a little gray light came stealing in at the window, and two
little bare feet went trotting across the floor, and two little hands
held up a mysterious object to the light.

It was a chicken! a most beautiful yellow chicken, with bright black
eyes and a little sharp beak, and,—oh! what was this? Why! why! the
chicken’s head came off, and the chicken’s body was all full of

“Oh! oh! oh!” cried little Hal. “Mammy! Mammy! come and look at dis
chicken! _He can spit his head out!_”



    MY children, come tell me now if you have ever
    Heard of the parson who was so clever.
    So clever, so clever, so clever was he,
    That never a cleverer parson could be.

    The parson loved children; he also loved walking,
    And off to the woods he was constantly stalking.
    To hear the sweet birds, and to see the green trees,
    And to do just exactly whate’er he might please.


    The children they followed him once to the wood,—
    (They loved the good parson, because he was good!)
    They followed him on for many a mile
    To list to his voice, and to look at his smile.

    At length the children cried “Oh,—_dear me_!
    We’re tired! as tired as tired can be!
    ’Tis supper time, too, while afar we thus roam;
      Now please, dear parson, to carry us home!”


    The children were six, and the parson was one.
      Now, goodness gracious! what was to be done?
    He sat himself down in the shade of a tree,
      And pondered the matter most thoughtfully.


    At length he exclaimed, “My dear little chicks,
    I might carry one, but I can’t carry six!
    Yet courage! Your parson’s good care will provide
    That each of you home on his own horse shall ride!”

    He drew out his jackknife so broad and so bright,
    And fell to work slashing with main and with might;
    Till ready there, one, two, three, four, five and six,
      Lay smooth and well polished, some excellent sticks.

    “Now mount your good horses, my children!” he cried.
      “Now mount your good horses and merrily ride!
    A pace, and a trot, and a gallop, away!
      And we shall be there ere the close of the day!”

    The children forgot they were “_dreadfully_ tired!”
      They seized on the hobbies, with ardour inspired.
    “Gee, Dobbin! whoa, Dobbin! come up, Dobbin, do!
      Oh! Parson, dear Parson, won’t you gallop, too?”

    Away went the children, in frolicsome glee:
      Away went the parson, as pleased as could be.
    And when they arrived at the village, they cried,
      “Oh, dear! and oh, dear! what a _very_ short ride!”




SHALL I tell you what happened to Elsie one day? She was sitting on the
beach in her green cart, which had lost both wheels, so that it was not
of much use as a cart, though very nice to sit in. And presently, a
purple fish, with a yellow tail, came and looked at her. And he said,—

    “Little maiden fair to see,
     Will you take a trip with me?”

Elsie smiled and answered,—

    “Yes, I will, without a doubt,
     If you will not tip me out.”

Then the purple fish took the string of the cart in his mouth and swam
away. The cart bobbed up and down on the waves, and behaved quite like
a boat, and Elsie clapped her hands, and laughed and sang. The fish
swam on and on, till at length he came to a little island, all covered
with purple hyacinths and yellow violets. Here he stopped and bade
Elsie get out, saying,—

    “Now, if you will marry me,
     Here we’ll live and happy be.”

But Elsie did not like this at all, though the island was very
beautiful. She shook her head resolutely, and replied,—

    “If you please, I do not wish
     For to marry any fish!”

Then the purple fish was angry, and his yellow tail quivered with
vexation. He said, sternly,—

    “If you will not be my wife,
     You shall stay here all your life!”

And off he swam, taking the green cart with him. Poor Elsie was very
unhappy, for she could not bear to think of spending her whole life on
the island, and yet she did not want to marry a fish, even if her Mamma
were willing, which she was quite sure she would not be. But, as she
was sitting there, making a wreath of the yellow violets, two sea-gulls
came flying by. They stopped when they saw Elsie, and one of them said,—

    “Here, upon this purple island,
     What do I see but a human chisland!”

“There isn’t any such word as ‘chisland!’” said Elsie. “It is ‘child,’
don’t you know?”

“I am not very familiar with English,” replied the sea-gull. “The other
word rhymes better; but I am not prejudiced. What are you doing here,

“Nothing!” replied Elsie. “If you please, did you ever marry a fish?”

Both the sea-gulls showed strong signs of disgust at this, and said,—

“We eat fish, but never marry them. Why do you ask?”

“Because the purple fish with the yellow tail said I must stay here all
my life unless I would marry him. And he has taken away my green cart,
so that I cannot get home.”

“As to that,” said the sea-gulls, “we can easily manage to get you
home. Put your arms around our necks and hold on tight!”

So the sea-gulls flew away with Elsie, and brought her safely home. She
kissed them and thanked them.

“What can I give you, dear sea-gulls,” she asked, “in return for your
saving me from that horrid fish?”

“Could you give us your golden curls?” asked the sea-gulls. “We think
they would become us, and they are a thing not often seen in our

No, Elsie could not do that.

“But,” she said, “I can give you each a necklace of glass beads,
fastened with a rosette of peach-coloured ribbon. I made them yesterday
for my dolls, but you are welcome to them.”

“Just the thing!” said the sea-gulls.

So Elsie put the necklaces round their necks, and they thanked her, and
flew away. I have been told that they flew straight to the island, and
spent the whole afternoon in making rude remarks to the purple fish
with the yellow tail, but one need not believe all one hears.


               MY little one came to me weeping, weeping,
               Over her cheeks the bright tears creeping:
              “Oh, Mammy! ’tis raining and pouring away;
               We cannot go to the picnic to-day!”

               I took the darling up in my lap,
               And tried to make light of the great mishap.
              “Be patient, child, with the rain, for oh,
               It makes Mr. Somebody’s garden grow!”

    _Chorus._—Garden grow, garden grow!
               It makes Mr. Somebody’s garden grow!

               My little one came to me sighing, sighing,
               Almost ready again for crying.
              “Oh, Mammy! the sun is so blazing hot,
               The flowers I planted are dead on the spot!”

               I took the darling up on my knee,
               And kissed, and spoke to her cheerily.
              “Be glad, my child, of the sun to-day!
               It helps Mr. Somebody make his hay.”

    _Cho._—Make his hay! make his hay!
               It helps Mr. Somebody make his hay.

               My little one came to me panting, panting,
               Hair a-flutter, and bonnet a-wanting.
              “Oh, Mammy! the wind came roaring at me,
               And blew my bonnet right up in a tree!”

               I took the darling up on my arm,
               And soon the poor bonnet was out of harm.
              “Be glad, my child, of the wind, for you know,
               It makes Mr. Somebody’s windmill go!”

    _Cho._—Windmill go! windmill go!
               It makes Mr. Somebody’s windmill go.

               There’s many a thing that seems “just too bad!”
               To this little lass or that little lad;
               But, dears, that which hardest to you may be,
               May fill Mr. Somebody’s heart with glee.

    _Cho._—Heart with glee! heart with glee!
               May fill Mr. Somebody’s heart with glee.


THE sleigh had just driven from the door, with a great jingling and
shouting, and the little boy was left at home, with his foot up on the
sofa, for he had a sprained ankle. “I wish I could have gone!” said the
little boy.

“You shall go!” said Sister Sunshine. “We will go together, you and I!”

She brought a great book, with bright pictures in it, and sat down by
the little boy’s side.

“First, we must choose our carriage!” she said. There was a whole page
of carriage pictures, all very splendid, and after some thought they
chose a gilded shell, with the front turning over into a swan’s neck.
An Empress of Russia had driven in this, the book said, and so they
thought it was good enough for them. The horses were coal-black, and
there were six of them, four more than Papa and the other children had.
Sister Sunshine tucked the little boy well up, and it appeared that the
robes were all of ermine and sable, whereas, he had been thinking that
they were only a striped afghan. One does not always know things till
one is told.

“Here we go!” cried Sister Sunshine. “How the horses dash along! It
takes my breath away! We are going to St. Petersburg to see the ice
palace on the Neva. The Empress has sent her own private sleigh to take
the little boy, and I can go, too, because I belong to him.”

She turned the page, and there, sure enough, was the ice palace. The
sun shone splendidly on it, and it looked as if the fairies had built

“There is the Empress waiting for us!” said Sister Sunshine. “I suppose
it would be polite to go in, wouldn’t it?” The little boy thought it
would, decidedly, so they took the Empress’s hand and went in, through
one grand room after another. The Empress gave them each a lovely
little porcelain stove to carry under their arm, for the ice halls were

“I am used to it,” she said, “and do not mind it.” She showed them
all her jewels, which shone and sparkled like living flames; and then
she brought them long sticks of candy, striped red and white, and
cream walnuts, and barley sugar lions, just the things the little boy
liked best; and they both said, how funny it was that she should know
all about it, when the people at home so often forgot and gave him
horehound, which he could not abide, and then said it was good for his

After that they drove a long way over the ice, and the little boy
thought he would like to go to Egypt and see if they knew their lessons
about Moses there, because he sometimes forgot his. And there was
Egypt, just a few pages off, with lots of pyramids, and the Sphinx, and
all the right Egypty things. They got on camels and went to find some
children, and there, to be sure, were plenty of them, all looking just
exactly like the pictures in the Bible; but not a single one of them
knew anything about Moses, which made the little boy feel more puffed
up than he had any reason to be.

They left the carriage and got into a Nile boat, because they wanted to
go over the Cataracts, and Sister Sunshine thought the horses might not
like it; but before they got to the very first one the little boy was
sound asleep, and he never woke up till the others came home from their
sleigh ride. He was quite sure that they could not possibly have had so
good a time as he had; and, anyhow, nobody had given them so much as a
single bite of candy; they said that themselves.


A GREAT many queer things happen in this world, and this morning I
saw one of them. We have a little aquarium,—just a long glass box,
with some stones arranged in it to form a pretty little rock-work, and
plenty of bladder-wort for the fish to feed on.

We have a good many fish,—three stickle-backs, and a lot of dace, the
pretty silver dace, and some minnows and a crayfish; but the pride
of the aquarium is the newt. Did you ever see a newt? He is a little
creature, like a lizard, about two inches long; in color, light brown,
with black spots. He is quite tame, and not in the least afraid of
us. Well, yesterday morning I was watching the fish, and seeing that
the greedy ones did not get more than their share of breakfast, when
Master Newt came up out of the water and seated himself on the top
of the rock-work, which projects an inch or two above the surface.
He sat quite still for a few minutes, and I made no motion, thinking
he had come to take a look at the upper world, and would prefer to
be left to himself. Presently he began to move his little paws about
(they are just like tiny hands, with long, thin fingers), and to rub
himself, and wriggle about in a very queer way. I had watched him
for some minutes before I realized what he was doing, but suddenly
it flashed upon me that he was going to change his skin. I knew that
newts often changed their skin, but I never expected to see one do
it. Presently it was loose enough, and my little friend began to draw
it off, slowly, beginning with the paws. The skin came off in perfect
shape, and in a moment there was a pair of fairy gloves floating in
the water, the prettiest things that ever were seen. Next, Master Newt
began to unbutton his waistcoat, so to speak, and then to take off
coat, waistcoat, breeches and all. He did look very fine in his new
coat, which shone with lovely colours, and was as soft and smooth as
gossamer. I thought I should like to have a new dress every day if I
could manage it with no more trouble than this. But what was he going
to do with his old clothes? There were no closets in the aquarium, no
clothes-bags, no obliging old-clothes-fish who would take it off his
hands and give him a trifle for it. What would he do with the old suit?

I was soon to see. Master Newt sat still for a few minutes after his
great feat, seeming to enjoy the change, waving his delicate crest with
evident satisfaction; then he took up the old suit of skin, which lay
on the rock beside him. And then,—who can guess what he did next? Mind,
I saw this with my own two eyes, the very ones that are looking down on
this paper as I write. Why, he rolled it up carefully, made a ball of
it, and then ate it up!


    WOFFSKY-POFFSKY, Woffsky-Poffsky,
    Once he was a Cossack hetman:
    But he fell into the Dnieper,
    And became a Cossack wet-man.


    BRING your basket, Molly Miller,
      Tie your kerchief, Susan Gray!
    Come, while still the dewdrops twinkle,
      O’er the hill with us away.
    Every field is sunning, sunning
      Broad its breast in morning’s blue;
    Every brook is running, running,
      Shall not we be running, too?

    April calls from hill and valley,
      Clad in fairy gold and green;
    Bring your posies, Kate and Sally!
      Gather round our maiden Queen!
    Hark! the woods are ringing, ringing,
      Thrushes trill and wood-doves coo;
    All the birds are singing, singing,
      Shall not we be singing, too?

    Columbine, the airy lady,
      Nods a greeting, light and free;
    Where the leaves are cool and shady,
      Violets spring for you and me;
    Clover-top his red is showing,
      Daisies peep in white and gold,
    Tulips in the garden glowing,
      Flaunt their scarlet brave and bold.

    Look! the orchard’s all in flower,
      And the white and rosy bloom
    Turns it to a royal bower,
      Fairy April’s tiring-room.
    Peach and apple, plum and cherry,
      All the air with fragrance woo;
    Since the world is making merry,
      Shall not we be merry, too?

    Leave your book now, Peter Ponder;
      Leave your lambkin, Betty Brown!
    Jack and Willy, Maud and Milly,
      Tie the cap and kilt the gown!
    When the sunbeams gay and glancing
      Throw their golden smiles to you,
    When the leaves are dancing, dancing,
      Shall not we be dancing, too?

      Hands across and back again!
    Drop your courtesy, Jess and Josie;
      Swing your partner, Mary Jane!
    Trip and skip, and down the middle,
      Till the Echo cries, “Halloo!
    Since ’tis April plays the fiddle,
      I will come and dance with you!”


IT was a perfect snowball day! There had been a heavy snowstorm, and
then the sky had cleared and the weather turned soft and warm. What
could be more delightful?

Rita was too little to go to school, but she was not too little to make

So Mammy put on the little girl’s coat and hood, and leggings and
overshoes and mittens, and turned her out of doors in the sunshine.

Oh, how bright it was! How the world sparkled and twinkled and laughed!
Rita laughed, too, and at first could only jump up and down for pure
joy, and sing,—

    “Ho! ho! ho!
     Pretty white snow!”

A song of her own composition, of which she was justly proud.

But presently she said to herself, “snowballs!” and from that moment
she had no time for singing or jumping.

First she made some dumplings, and set them in a row on the piazza to
bake in the sun; then she saw three little birds in a tree, and threw
the dumplings at them, in case they might be hungry.

Then she made a pudding, and stirred it with a large icicle, which made
the best possible pudding stick; then she made some eggs, and pelted
Rover with them till that good dog fairly yelled with excitement.

At last she said, “_I_ know what I will do! I’ll make a Great Snowball,
like the Great Sausage in my German picture book.”

So the little girl set to work, and rolled and patted and pressed
till she had a well-shaped ball to begin with. Then she laid it on
the smooth snow table-cloth of the lawn, and began to roll it in good
earnest, here and there, over and over and over.

The snow was in perfect condition, soft and moist; every particle clung
to the ball, which grew bigger and _bigger_ and BIGGER and BIGGER!

At last Rita’s arms were tired, and she stopped to rest and to look
about her. She was at the end of the lawn, where the bank sloped up
to the stone wall. How nice it would be if she could roll the Great
Snowball up the bank, and push it to the top of the wall!


Then Papa would see it when he came home to dinner, and he would be
_so_ ’stonished! he would say, “Who—upon—_yerth_—put that great,
hugeous snowball _there_?” And Rita would say, “_I_ did, Pappy! just
’cisely all my own pitickiler self.”

And then Papa would say, “Why-ee! what a great, big girl my Rita is! I
must take her to town to-morrow-day, and buy her a muff, and a doll
with wink eyes, and a squeaky dog, and a prayer-book, and a nalbum, and
big boots, and a gold watch and a stick of striped candy! and then—”
But by this time Rita was quite ready to go to work again.

The snowball was very big by this time, quite as big as she was; and
the bank, though not high, was very steep. But Rita’s short arms were
sturdy, and her courage knew no measure; so at it she went, pushing
the great ball up, inch by inch; puffing, panting, her cheeks growing
redder and redder, but with no thought of giving up.

Now, by this time the snowball began to have its own ideas. Just at
what point of bigness a snowball begins to have a mind of its own
I cannot tell you, so you must ask some one wiser than I; but this
snowball had reached the point.

At this moment it was saying to itself, “What fun this child is having!
but I do not enjoy it at all. It is the pushing that is the fun,
apparently. Why should not I push the child? I am bigger than she; it
would be very pleasant to roll down the bank, and push her before me. I
might try! I think I will! There!”

Down went the snowball! Down went little Rita! roly-poly,
rumble-tumble, ruffle-puffle, _flop_!

When Papa drove into the yard, two minutes later, he saw a great mound
of soft snow, with two little black legs sticking out of it.

“Never mind!” said Rita, shortly, when Papa had pulled her out, and she
stood shaking the snow from her wet, rosy face, “the old thing didn’t
hurt me a bit, and it broke its old self all—to pieces!”


THE first I heard of it was when Fred came rushing into the house after

“The enemy!” he cried. “The enemy is upon us!”

“Where?” cried the rest of us, jumping up.

“In the battle-field, of course!” he said; and he seized his flag and
rushed out again.

We followed as quickly as we could. I put on the helmet, and Max took
the drum, and we let Toddles have the bugle this time, because he had
just tumbled down; and he had the hearth-broom, too, so he was all
right. We ran into the field, and found that the enemy had taken up a
strong position behind the old cannon. (Ours is a _real_ battle-field,
you know, and has been there ever since the war.) We formed in line,
and Fred made a flank movement, meaning to take the enemy in the rear;
but when he heard Fred coming, he charged on our line, and Toddles ran
away, but Max and I retreated in good order, and formed again behind a
rock, and began to shell him with green apples. He stopped to eat the
apples, and meanwhile Fred completed his flank movement, and falling on
the enemy’s rear, whacked it violently with a stick, waving his flag
all the time, and shouting, “Yield, caitiff! Yield, craven hound!” (I
tell him that nowadays people don’t _say_ those things in war, but he
says that Roland and Bayard did, and that what suited them will suit


Well, the enemy turned suddenly on Fred, and drove him back against the
cannon: but by that time we had advanced again, and Toddles was blowing
the bugle as hard as he could, which seemed to disconcert the foe.
Fred took a flying leap from the cannon right over his back, and
putting himself at our head, rallied us for a grand charge. We rushed
forward, driving the enemy before us. A panic seized him, and he fled
in disorder; we pursued him as far as the fence, and he got through a
hole and escaped, but not before we each had a good whack at him. It
was a glorious victory! Fred made us a speech afterward from the top of
the cannon, and we all waved everything we had to wave, and vowed to
slay the invader if ever he dared to show his nose on our side of the
fence again.

So that was all!

“Who was the enemy?” Why, didn’t I say? Farmer Thurston’s pig, of


THE trees were still bare, and the grass brown and sere in the Northern
city; but the sky was blue and cloudless, and the air warm and soft.
On a bench under one of the leafless trees in the park sat an old man,
gray-haired and poorly clad. His eyes were fixed on the ground, and he
was thinking of many sorrowful things. Suddenly he heard a little clear
voice saying, “Didn’t they give you any flowers?”

He looked up and saw a little wee girl standing before him, with her
hands full of flowers. She had a round, rosy face and round blue eyes,
and a little round rosebud of a mouth; and she was looking at him very
seriously indeed. “Didn’t they give you any flowers?” she repeated.

“No, dear,” said the old man, gently; “nobody gave me any flowers.
Where did you get your pretty posies?”

“In church, of course,” said the child. “The minister gives us all
flowers. You shall have some of mine,” and she took some sprays of lily
of the valley and a red rose and laid them in the old man’s withered
hand. “Does that make you glad?” she asked, anxiously. “The minister
says everybody _must_ be glad to-day.”

“Why must everybody be glad, my little angel?” asked the old man, sadly.

“Because Christ the Lord is risen,” said the child. “Didn’t you know
that? Don’t you know that this is Easter Day?”

The old man smiled, and raised the flowers to his lips and kissed
them. “I have been ill, my little angel,” he said, “but you have made
me almost well again, and I _will_ be glad! Christ the Lord is risen

“Hallelujah!” cried the child, eagerly.

“Hallelujah!” echoed the old man, reverently.

“Hallelujah!” sang the bluebird in the leafless tree.

“Hallelujah!” said the whole wide world.


    LULLABY, little lad!
    Shut thine eyes gay and glad;
    Make thy mouth a folded rose,
    Tilt not up thy tiny nose!
    Little heart must beat, beat,
    Little head must slumber sweet.
    Lullaby, little boy,
    Mother’s love, Mother’s joy!


“I AM going to be merry all day long!” announced Wilfrid over his baked
potato. “It is Merry Christmas and I’m going to show you how to be

“How?” queried Ben and Kitty.

“Why, it’s just—just to _be_ merry!” replied Wilfrid, loftily. “No
matter what happens, all day long, we must laugh. If you fall down
stairs, Ben, as you did yesterday, instead of howling, just laugh!
You’ll see—ow! this potato is awfully hot. I’ve burned my finger like

“Ha! ha! ha!” shouted Ben and Kitty, as loud as they could.

“What are you laughing at, I should like to know?” cried their brother,
looking up rather savagely from the finger he was nursing. “I don’t see
the joke! Guess if it was _your_ finger—”

“Merry Christmas!” cried Ben.

“We are laughing ’cause you told us to, Willy!” said Kitty. “Oh, isn’t
it funny, brother burned his finger! Why don’t you laugh, too, Willy?”

Wilfrid was silent a moment; then he gave a forced laugh. “Of course!”
he said, glancing rather sheepishly in the direction of Papa, who sat
quiet behind his newspaper, and appeared to be taking no notice. (“But
you never can tell whether he really is or not,” he reflected.) “Of
course! I didn’t say I should laugh if _you_ hurt yourselves, children,
but it’s all right. You see I laugh, though I really hurt myself _very
much indeed_” (with another glance at Papa)! “Come, now! what shall we
play till it’s time to get ready for church? I vote for ‘Old Man I’m
on your Castle!’ We can play right on the hearth-rug here, and I’ll be
‘Old Man.’”

“I want to be ‘Old Man!’” protested little Kitty. “You’s always ‘Old
Man,’ Willy!”

“’Cause I’m the oldest!” responded her brother, promptly. “Come on,
Kitty, and laugh, you know! Don’t look as if I had trodden on your toes
just because you want to be ‘Old Man.’ We must laugh all the more when
we don’t get the things we want, don’t you see?”

The game went on merrily, and all three were laughing with right
good-will, when Wilfred caught his foot in a corner of the rug and
fell, striking his head pretty sharply against the table. He was dazed
for a moment, but as the children’s laughter rang out, he started to
his feet with looks of fury.

“You hateful little things!” he began, crimson with rage.

But at this moment another laugh was heard. Papa put down his newspaper
and began, “Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! this is Merry Christmas, indeed!
Why don’t you laugh, Wilfrid, my boy? Ho! ho! this is remarkably funny.
Why don’t you laugh? Why, this is the best joke I have heard to-day. Go
to your mother, dear, and ask her to put some arnica on your head, but
don’t forget to laugh all the way.”

“That is the worst of Papa,” said Wilfrid to himself, as he went slowly
up stairs, rubbing his head, and casting baleful glances at the two
little laughing children.

“He always makes you do things—when you say you are going to—even if
they don’t turn out a bit the way you thought they would.”



ONCE upon a time there came to the town where all the little dogs live
a strange little dog, whose tail was of a most beautiful bright green
color,—so bright that it shone like an emerald. Now, when all the other
little dogs saw this, they were filled with admiration and envy, and
they ran to the strange little dog and said,—

“Oh, little dog! what makes your tail so beautifully green? Pray tell
us, that we may make ours green too, for we never saw anything so
lovely in all our lives.”

But the strange little dog laughed and said, “There are many things
greener than my tail. There is the grass down in the meadow; go and ask
that what makes it green, and perhaps it will tell you.”

So all the little dogs ran down into the meadow where the grass was
growing, and they said, “Oh, grass, grass! what makes you so green?
Pray tell us, that we may all get green tails, like the tail of the
strange little dog.”

But all the little blades of grass shook their heads, and said, “We can
tell you nothing about that. All we know is that we were down under the
ground last winter, and that when we came up this spring, we were all
green. You might try that, and perhaps it would make you green, too.”

So all the little dogs went to work as fast as they could, and dug
holes in the ground; and then they got into them and covered themselves
up with earth. But they very soon found they could not breathe; so
they were all obliged to come up again. And when they looked at each
other, they saw to their sorrow that they were not green at all, but
just the same colours that they were before,—some black, some brown,
and some spotted. Then they all went again to the little dog, and said,—

“Oh, little dog, little dog! we have been to the grass, and it has
not helped us at all. Now, do please tell us what makes your tail so
beautifully green, for we never can be happy till ours are like it.”

But the strange little dog only laughed again and answered, “My tail
is not the only green thing in the world. There are the leaves on the
great oak-tree; they are very green indeed. Go ask them what makes them
so, and perhaps they will tell you.”

So all the little dogs ran as fast as they could to the great oak-tree,
and called out to the little leaves, “Oh, little leaves! what makes you
so beautifully green? Do tell us, that we may all get green tails, like
the tail of the strange little dog.”

But the leaves all shook their heads, and said, “We know nothing about
that. We came out of our buds last spring, and then we were very pale.
But we danced about, and the more we danced the greener we grew.
Perhaps if you come up here and dance, you will grow green, too.”

So all the little dogs climbed up the tree as fast as they could, and
tried to dance about on the branches. But they were not fastened on
like the little leaves, so they fell down and hurt themselves very
much; and when they got up and looked at each other, they were not any
greener than before. So then they all cried bitterly, and they ran once
more to the strange little dog, and said, “Oh, little dog, little dog!
we have tried the way that the leaves told us, and we have only hurt
ourselves dreadfully, and have not got green at all. And now, if you
do not tell us, we shall die of grief, for we never can rest again
till our tails are green.”


But the strange little dog only laughed more than ever, and said, “What
stupid creatures you are, to think that there is nothing green in the
world except my tail. There is the Sea; he is twenty times as green as
my tail. Go and ask him, and he will surely tell you all about it, for
he is very wise and knows everything.”

So all the little dogs ran as fast as they could down to the shore;
and there was the great hungry Sea, prowling up and down, twirling his
white moustaches and tossing his white hair, and looking very green and
very fierce. The little dogs were very much frightened, but they took
courage when they thought of the beautiful green tail, and they said,

“Oh, great Sea! the strange little dog told us that you were wise and
knew everything, and that you would tell us how to make our tails green
like his.”

The great Sea smiled, wickedly, and answered, “Oh, yes, my children,
I can tell you! I am green myself, and I make everything green that
touches me. So let me take you in my arms a moment, and you will become
beautifully green, just like me.”

So the great hungry Sea held out his long, green arms, and beckoned to
them with his white hands; and the poor little dogs all shut their eyes
and jumped in, and in less than a minute the Sea gobbled them all up,
so that not one was left. And there was an end of all the little dogs.

And the strange little dog went back to the place he came from, with
his green tail curled up behind him; and he was never seen or heard of


    I TOOK the sugar-tongs, and tried
      To curl my doggie’s hair;
    I heated them until they burned,
      Which filled him with despair.

    The sugar-tongs were spoiled,
      And the hair would not curl,
    And now I’m sent to bed,
      An unhappy little girl.


“NO CHRISTMAS for us this year!” said Fred, coming out of his father’s
study with his hands in his empty pockets, and a blank look on his face.

“No Christmas?” cried Edith. “What do you mean, Fred?”

“Hard times!” said her brother. “Father says he shall have all he can
do to get through the winter, and that we mustn’t expect presents, or
anything of that kind. Of course it’s all right, only,—it will seem
queer, won’t it?”

“Oh, no _money_ Christmas!” said Edith, looking relieved. “Yes, I knew
that before. But we can have a _merry_ Christmas, Fred, without money.
I mean to have a particularly merry one, and you must help me.”

“I should like to know what you can do without any money!”

“Wait and see! and come out into the woods with me this afternoon,
that’s a good boy!”

It was about a month before Christmas when this conversation took
place; and all through December there were no busier young people
in Woodville than Fred and Edith Brown. They slighted none of their
lessons; but Fred spent a good part of his home time in the barn, with
a hammer in his hand and a Latin grammar at his elbow; while Edith’s
knitting needles flew as she bent over her history lesson. The day
before Christmas, Papa and Mamma were summoned to dine and spend the
day with Grandmamma. Mamma rather wondered that the children were not
invited, and did not want to go without them; but their faces grew so
direfully long at this suggestion that she saw through the little plot,
though Papa did not, and she cheerfully took her shawl and departed,
charging Edith to keep up the fire, and Fred to take care of the house.

When the parents returned in the evening the house was a bower of
green. “Here is one thing that costs nothing!” Edith had said, “and
it is half of a merry Christmas.” So she and Fred had brought great
armfuls of fragrant cedar and hemlock, and tall fir saplings, which
were set up in every corner, while wreaths hung in the windows, and
long garlands festooned fireplace and picture frames. Papa looked very
much pleased. “Why, it is Christmas already!” he said. “And I thought
we should not have any celebration at all this year. You were too
bright for me, children.”

“It’s all Edith, Papa!” said honest Fred.

“All but about two-thirds, Papa!” said Edith. “I could have done
nothing without Fred’s strong arms.”

Next morning the sun was out, and the snow sparkled like diamonds in
the golden light. “Here is something else that costs nothing, Edie!”
cried Fred, who had entered heart and soul into his sister’s idea.
“Sunshine is a pretty good present, isn’t it? And we have the very best
article to-day.”

“Hurrah!” cried Edith, “this is glorious. Merry Christmas, boy! Smiles
are another thing, Fred. Let’s be sure not to look gloomy for a single
minute all day.”

“All right!” said Fred. “I’ll grin like the Cheshire cat from morning
till night. Now, here’s mother’s work-table, all ready. It has taken a
good polish, hasn’t it?”

“Splendid!” cried Edith. “And here’s father’s portfolio. Do you
recognize the cover, Fred?”

“Looks like that pretty dress you had ever so long ago, when you were a
little shaver,—I mean shaveress!”

“Just what it is! The pieces were folded away all this time, of no
use to anybody. And there was enough to make this pretty work-bag for
mother, and another like it for Aunt May. And,—look here, Fred! Merry
Christmas, dear old fellow!”

Fred looked at the blue and gray toboggan cap with astonishment and
delight. “Oh, Sis, that is a stunner! But, I say! you have broken the
rule. This wool must have cost you something, and a good deal.”

“Not a penny!” rejoined his sister, triumphantly. “Do you remember that
huge old comforter that Aunt Eliza sent me three years ago? I never
could wear it out, though it was just as dear and kind of her to make
it for me. That gave me the wool for the cap, and for several other
things beside.”

“Well, it is a beauty!” said Fred. “Here’s all the present I have for
you, and I wish it was a better one.” He produced a birchbark basket,
filled with chestnuts and hickories, and was rewarded by a good
old-fashioned hug.

“As if you could have found anything I should have liked better!”
cried Edith. “Such beauties, too! Why, you must have picked out every
single nut, Fred Brown!”

“Something like it!” admitted Fred.

“How about those partridges for dinner?”

“They are all ready to put in the oven!” Edith said. “Mother knows
nothing about them yet, but is sighing a little because she has no
chicken for us. And you know Mrs. Spicer gave me a jar of mince-meat
for the cranberries I brought her. I am a little proud of my pie, Fred!”

“Hurrah for you!” said Fred.

Somehow or other the Browns had never had a merrier Christmas than this
one of the hard winter. Edith said it was all the sunshine and the
green boughs; Fred said it was all Edith; but Mr. and Mrs. Brown, as
they sat by the cheerful hearth, and watched the chestnuts roasting,
and listened to the merry young voices, gave reverent thanks for their
treasure of love, and felt that they were rich in spite of the hard


    WEATHERCOCK, up on the steeple,
      Flap your wings and crow!
    Weathercock, plenty of people
      Say that you can’t, you know.

    But I know better! I hear you,
      And Johnny Boy hears you, too,
    When you think that there’s no one near you,
      Cry “Cock-a-doo-doodle-do!”


    BILLY put the puppy-dog
      In the water-pail;
    Billy tied the toasting-fork
      To the kitten’s tail.

    Puppy bit his naughty legs,
      Kitty scratched his nose.
    Somebody is screaming now,
      Who, do you suppose?


    THERE was a lad,
    Whose name was Chad.
    He had a brother
    Whose name was Bother.
    He had a sister
    Whose name was Twister.
    He had an uncle
    Whose name was Buncle.
    He had an aunt,—
    Tell her name I sha’n’t!


DO you know, children, how and where all the valentines are made that
you see in the shops nowadays?

Well, suppose I tell you all about it.

When you go to fairy-land, turn to the left after you enter the gate,
and the first house you come to will be Saint Valentine’s.

This is what I did when I went there, and you shall hear what I saw.

On entering the house, I found myself in a large hall hung with gold
and silver paper, and glittering with an incomparable brightness. Here
were hundreds of little cupids with tiny wings, who were running and
flying about, as busy as bees.

One was carrying a roll of gold paper as big as himself; another was
painting beautiful flowers on white paper; others were making paper
lace. But all seemed to be helping and waiting on a person who sat by a
huge table at the farther end of the hall, and this person I soon found
to be Saint Valentine himself.

He was a young man, and very handsome. He was dressed in sky-blue
velvet, embroidered with gold, and had great fat pearls for buttons. He
seemed as busy as the rest, and merely nodded and smiled when he saw
me, and called out,—

    “Number Three Shears,
     Approach, my dears!”

I heard a queer, sharp voice at my elbow, saying, “Now, then, by your
leave!” and turning, saw at my elbow an enormous pair of shears,
walking about on two legs, and looking as proud as you please.

    “Dear Number Threes,
     A million sevens, if you please!”

said Saint Valentine.

Snip-snap! snip-snap! went the shears, and there lay a million little
sheets of white paper.

Then the Saint cried,—

    “Bring me some hearts,
     And flaming darts!”

and a dozen cupids came up, dragging a great basket full of hearts, and
carrying bundles of darts under their arms. Quick as lightning, Saint
Valentine took a couple of hearts out of the basket, clapped them on a
sheet of paper, stuck a dart into them, flung a wreath of flowers round
them, then, thump! a great stamp came down on the paper, and out of it
came a lovely valentine.

That was quick work! in five minutes, I should think, five hundred
valentines were turned out. I stood looking on in delight.

Suddenly the Saint called out,—

    “A big one let us now begin,
     And let us put the lady in!”

At first I did not know what he meant: but he took an enormous sheet,
and after showering hearts and roses and cupids upon it, turned to me,
and said, sweetly,—

    “Now if you will venture in it,
     I’ll stamp you out in half a minute.”

This was too much, and making him a low bow, I awoke!


     THERE once was an elderly gentleman,
       Whose manners were soft and mild:
     He doffed his hat to each woman he met,
       He kissed his hand to each child.
     He smiled and he bowed to meek and proud,
       And thus to himself said he:
    “A gentleman I, as none can deny,
       So gentle I still must be!”


     A-walking he went in a lane one day,—
       A lane that was long and narrow;
     And there in the path a rustic lay,
       Beside his plough and harrow.
     A ruffian and a gruffian he,
       A horrid rustic for to see:
     And all in the way he sprawling lay,
       And never a foot budged he.

    “I pray you, worthy friend, to rise!”
       The gentleman mildly said;
     But the ruffian glared with his ugly eyes,
       And shook his ugly head.
    “The ditch is wide on either side,
       And dry enough,” quoth he;
    “There’s room to pass, old Timothy-grass,
       Without disturbing me.”


     The gentleman smiled a charming smile,
       And bowed a gracious bow;
     And looking around with his glass the while,
       He spied a grazing cow.
    “As sure as I live, a lesson I’ll give,”
       Thought he, “to my rustic friend.
     I’ll warrant me yet he’ll not forget
       This day to his life’s long end.”

     The rustic lay in the path and snored;
       The cow ate grass and lowed;
     The gentleman took her and gently shook her,
       And led her along the road.
     Then he took a string, and an iron ring,
       And the end of the cow’s loose tether,
     And harrow and plough and ruffian and cow,
       He fastened them all together.


    “And now, my friend,” he sweetly said,
       “Since you have not the strength to rise,
     The means for a ride I am glad to provide,
       And I trust that the same you’ll prize!”
     He pulled a switch from the wayside ditch,
       Gave Moolly a sounding blow,
     And off with a wallop she set at a gallop,
       As fast as her legs could go.

     The rustic, the plough and the harrow went, too,
       A-bumping along the stones;
     The rustic did yell, oh! and Moolly did bellow,
       You’d think they were breaking their bones.
     But the gentleman smiled, and pensive and mild,
       On his peaceful way went he:
    “A gentleman I, as none can deny,
       So gentle I still must be!”


“TO-MORROW is my birthday!” said Robby to Bobby.

“What is your birfday?” said Bobby to Robby.

“Why, to-morrow, Silly!” said Robby.

Now Robby was nearly six years old, and a person of great importance.

“I don’t mean _that_!” said little Bobby, who was not yet four. “I
mean, what is our birfday? Is it good to eat?”

“Why! why-ee! Bobby Bell! Don’t you have birthdays?” cried Robby,
opening his eyes.

“No!” said Bobby, opening his mouth. “I neber saw one.”

“You don’t _see_ them!” said Robby, in a patronizing tone, “you _have_
them! It is the day you were born, and you have a party and presents,
and a birthday cake with frosting, and your name on it in pink letters,
and candy and oranges, and a gold dollar with Grandmamma’s love to her
dear little boy. Do you _really mean_ that you never had one, Bobby

Little Bobby looked very grave. “Perhaps I wasn’t born!” he said. “I’s
going to ask Mamma.” So he trotted in to his mother.

“Mamma,” he said, “was I born?”

Mamma looked at him a moment in mute surprise. “Were you born, dear?”
she repeated. “Yes, certainly you were born. Why do you ask me that,
little boy?”

Bobby’s lip began to quiver, and his blue eyes filled with tears. “Den
why,—why don’t I have birfdays?” he asked.

Mamma looked very sorry. “Dear! dear!” she said. “Now who has been
telling my leap year boy about birthdays? Come and sit in Mamma’s lap
and tell me all about it, and then I will tell _you_ all about it.”

So Bobby climbed up into Mamma’s lap and hid his face in her dress,
and sobbed out his little story about frosted cake and pink letters,
and gold dollars with Grandmamma’s love to her dear little boy. “And I
neber—I neber had _any_!” he said, piteously.

Then Mamma told Bobby a funny little story. It was about the years, and
it told how they came along, one after another, and how each year had
just the same number of days in it.

    “Three—hundred—and sixty-five!
     So many days I’ve been alive.
     Storm and shine, and sorrow and cheer,
     Really, there never _was_ such a year!”

That is what each one says before it puts on its nightcap and goes to

But every _fourth_ year there comes one who is bigger than the rest. He
has one day more, and he is very proud of it, and holds his head very
high, and says,—

    “Three—hundred—and sixty-_six_!
     One _more day_ for frolicsome tricks.
     One day more for work and for play.
     Look at me! look at me! _One_ MORE DAY!!!”

“And so four years ago,” said Mamma, “there came one of these extra
days, and it was the very best day that any year ever brought, for on
that day my Bobby was born! Think of that!”

Bobby laughed and clapped his little fat hands.

“And so,” continued Mamma, “of course my Bobby couldn’t have another
birthday till another long year came round, with another extra day. And
now,—whisper, Bobby! now the long year _has_ come, and next Friday is
your birthday, dear, and you are going to have—oh! but I mustn’t tell!”

Mamma laughed and shook her head, and didn’t tell any more, but her
eyes told a great deal; and that was all Bobby wanted, for he was very
fond of surprises and secrets.

He hugged Mamma, and then he hugged himself, and then he went and
hugged the kitten, and told her all about it, and what he _thought_ he
was going to have.

Well, and it all came true, and a great deal more; for Bobby had the
finest birthday that ever any little boy had, or any little girl,
either. In fact, it was so _very_ fine that I couldn’t possibly write
about it in common black ink on white paper. I should have to take
silver paper and gold ink; and I cannot do that, so I shall have to
stop now. Isn’t that too bad?


            LITTLE King Pippin he had a long nose,
            Little King Pippin wore doublet and hose;
            Doublet and hose, and shoes for to trip in,
            This was the person of little King Pippin.

    _Cho._—This was the person of little King Pippin.

            Little King Pippin, his soldiers were three;
            They drew out their swords and said “Fiddle-de-dee!
            Where is the foe, that his blood we may dip in?”
            These were the soldiers of little King Pippin.

    _Cho._—These were the soldiers of little King Pippin.

            Little King Pippin, his sailors were five;
            They thanked their dear stars that they yet were alive.
            “Sure we should be drowned if the sea we should slip in!”
            These were the sailors of little King Pippin.

    _Cho._—These were the sailors of little King Pippin.

            Little King Pippin, his story is done;
            Little King Pippin, his battles are won.
            Never a fight that he did not whip in!
            What do you think of little King Pippin?

    _Cho._—What do you think of little King Pippin?


THE Crimson Crab was to be married to the Eldest Frog. The wedding
guests were assembled on the great water-lily leaf, in their best
dresses and best spirits. There were lizards and water-beetles,
dragon-flies and butterflies,—in fact, all the best people of the
neighbourhood. The musicians, young frogs of remarkable talent, were
stationed with their instruments in the pink buds of the lily; in the
largest blossom the bride was completing her toilet. But she wept as
she polished her shining claws, and her feelers shook with grief; for
she did not wish to marry the Eldest Frog. He was gray and grizzly, had
no voice save a dismal croak, and was known to have an odious temper.
The Crimson Crab thought of the gallant young Green Frog, whom she
had met at the Pollywogs’ Ball. How handsome he was! She had danced
nearly every dance with him, and he had pressed her claw tenderly,
and whispered sweet words in her ear. Then, the next evening, he came
and sang beneath her window; ah, how he sang! When the song was over
he leaped lightly upon the window-sill, poured out his tale of love,
and gained her promise to be his bride. Ah, moment of rapture! She
thrilled even now with the recollection of it. But he vanished, and—she
had never seen him since. She was told that he had disappeared, had
probably gone to the Muskrat War, and been killed in battle.

Alone she sat and wept, till her stern father came and told her that
she was to be the bride of the Eldest Frog. Vain were her tears, vain
her entreaties. Preparations for the wedding were at once begun, the
fine clothes were ordered, and now the fatal day was come.

“Alas!” cried the Crimson Crab, “why am I beautiful? Why does this
lovely carmine mantle in my shining shell? If I were a plain green crab
the Eldest Frog would not have sought me out, and I might still sit in
my lonely bower and weep for my lost love.”

At this moment her father’s summons came, and she was forced to dry her

“Console yourself, noble Lady!” cried her faithful Attendant Lizard.
“See the beautiful gifts your bridegroom has sent you. A girdle of
pearls! a mantle of glittering fish-scales! webs of gossamer, the
finest that ever were seen! Never was bride so richly decked. So
generous a bridegroom as the Eldest Frog is sure to make a kind

But the bride only sighed the more, and sadly took her way toward the
great leaf, whereon the wedding guests were assembled.

The Eldest Frog was dressed in his best. His speckled coat was new, and
his yellow breeches fitted to perfection; but for all that he was old
and ugly. He leered at the bride with his goggle-eyes, and grinned till
the two ends of his mouth nearly met behind.

“Croak! croak!” he said, laying his hand on his heart. “Ah! the fair
bride! Ah! the lovely Crimson! What happiness to win the love of such
an exquisite creature!” He held out his withered hand, and advanced
a step or two; but at the same instant a voice was heard, crying,
“Villain! do not dare to touch her!” and leaping across the lily-leaf,
his eyes flashing fire, his bulrush spear in his hand, came the Green

With one thrust he sent the Eldest Frog sprawling on the floor. Then,
while all the company looked on aghast, he caught the Crimson Crab in
his arms, and hailed her as his bride. “This villain lay in wait for
me,” he cried, “and captured me unawares the very night when last I
saw thee, my own. For weeks I have lain fast bound, hand and foot,
in a dungeon deep under the mud. To-day I was set free by a faithful
Horned Pout, whom I had formerly befriended. Fly with me, my bright,
my beautiful! My home among the reeds is lowly, but love will make it
rich. Away! away!” He seized the slender claw of the Crimson Crab; and
before her father could prevent it, the two had leaped from the leaf,
and were scuttling swiftly through the clear water.

All the guests followed,—that is, all who could swim,—to see what would
become of the venturous young couple. The old Crab went into his hole
and sulked; while as for the Eldest Frog, he just lay on his back where
his rival had thrown him, gasping and gurgling, and nobody took any
notice of him, till at last a fat brown duck came along, and—gobbled
him up!


    MOTHER has a kitten,
    Mother has a mouse,
    Mother has a bird that sings
    All about the house.
    Mother has a lammie,
    Mother has a chick:
    All together have but two feet;
    Guess my riddle, quick!


    I’M learning a lesson upon
        King John:
    A very great rascal was he.
    He murdered Prince Arthur,
    ’Cause England would rather
    The Prince should her sovereign be.

    I’m learning a lesson upon
        King John:
    A coward and craven was he.
    Up rose every baron
    And said, “We’ll make war on
    This king as our worst enemee!”

    They beat him in many a field;
        “Now yield!”
    Cried they, “or Your Grace we must slay!
    Or else, let us barter!
    You’ll sign Magna Charta,
    And we’ll take the soldiers away.”

    He signed in a terrible hurry,
        And flurry;
    But soon as the soldiers were gone,
    This pitiful fellow
    Did shriek, howl and bellow,
    To think of the thing he had done.

    He bit, and he scratched, and he kicked,
        And licked
    Every person that came in his way;
    He murdered their spouses
    And burned up their houses,
    Behaved in an odious way.

    One night he took tea with some monks,
        (Old hunks!
    Just to save his own supper at home!)
    But he put on such airs
    That they poisoned his pears,
    Which concludes both his life and my pome.


    MY Spotty Cow, my Spotty Cow,
      I love you very dearly!
    You are, I think, the fairest beast
      In all the wide world, nearly!

    My Kitty-cat is also sweet,
      But then, she has no spots:
    While you, my pleasant Spotty Cow,
      Have lots and lots and LOTS!

    The King of Spain he may be grand,
      The Queen of England, too.
    They cannot have my Spotty Cow,
      Whatever they may do.

    But if they both should bring to me
      Their gold and gems and silk,
    I might—_perhaps_ I might—give them
      A very—little—milk!


    A BUTTON pie! a button pie!
      It was our fondest wish.
    We took the nursery buttons
      And put them in a dish.

    We mixed them well with sawdust
      Squeezed out of Dolly’s arm,
    And some of Nursie’s hair-oil,
      Not thinking any harm.

    And then we set the pie to bake,
      Beneath the sewing table;
    And went to play a little while
      With Johnny’s horse and stable.

    But Nursie came, and whisked her gown,
      And over went the pie.
    I think I will not tell the rest,
      For fear—that—I should—cry!


ONCE upon a time there were some children, and once upon a time there
were some ducks. It was upon the same time, too, and they all lived
together in one house. That was funny, wasn’t it?

And there were two reasons for it. In the first place, it was so cold
where they lived that the ducks could not stay out of doors, except
in summer; and in the second place, the good man of the house, the
children’s father, was so poor that he could not afford to have a
separate house for the ducks.

Indeed, there were only three rooms in the house. One was the kitchen,
which was parlor and dining-room and sitting-room as well, and one was
the children’s room, and the third was the parents’ room. So there
they all lived together, and they were very sociable. The names of the
children were Greta, Minna, Lisa, Carl and Baby Fritz. The names of
the ducks were Red-top, Waggle-tail, Gobbler and Spottle-toe; and the
children were all good, but the ducks were all naughty, as you shall

The father had made a nice wooden box for the ducks, and this was
always filled with hay and kept beside the great porcelain stove in
winter, so that the pets might be warm. But were they grateful for
this kindness? Not a bit of it. They were always getting out of their
box and poking their bills into all sorts of places where they had
no business to be. You might find Waggle-tail inside the mother’s
Sunday cap, and Gobbler tasting the soup on the table, and Red-top and
Spottle-toe pulling the baby’s doll to pieces. These were things that
happened every day. And, indeed, what else can be expected, when one
keeps one’s ducks in the kitchen? But one day something very much worse
than all this came.

The mother was ill, so ill that she was obliged to stay in bed and send
for the doctor, and that was something very unusual. The doctor came
and gave her a box of pills, telling her to take one every day until
she was better. He told her to put her feet in a hot mustard-bath,
as that would draw the pain down from her head; then he patted the
children, and mounting his old gray pony, rode away again.

Well, the mother took her pill, and then closed her eyes for a short
nap, laying the pill-box down on the low stool beside the bed.
Presently Greta, the eldest daughter, came in with the hot foot-bath,
and seeing her mother asleep, set it down softly and went out again to
get the warm shawl that the good woman would need when she sat up.

Now, it happened that she left the door open, and as this was what the
four ducks had been waiting for all day, they immediately waddled into
the mother’s room. Poking about in their usual way, they soon found the
box of pills, and supposing them to be something particularly nice,
they gobbled them all up in the twinkling of an eye. Now, you know that
pills are not apt to be nice, and these pills were very particularly
nasty, as the ducks soon found out.

“What’s this?” said Gobbler.

“Ugh! quack! ugh! What is it?” exclaimed Red-top.

Waggle-tail had swallowed four pills, and his feelings were too deep
for words. His one thought was “something to drink!” and seeing the
foot-bath, he plunged his bill in and took a good draught of the hot
mustard and water.

Oh, then, what a clamour arose! The other ducks had hastened to follow
his example, and now they were all screaming and sputtering and
flapping their wings in a way that was dreadful to hear. The poor
mother woke up in a fright; Greta and all the children came rushing
in, followed by the dog; finally the father came, armed with a heavy
stick, and the terrified ducks were driven out of doors, where they
sat, shivering, on the doorstep, declaring that they would never eat or
drink anything again.


    OH! Queen Matilda baked,
      And Queen Matilda brewed;
    And Queen Matilda taught her boys
      They never should be rude.
    “Take off your hat!
    Wipe your shoes upon the mat!
    When you help yourself to butter,
    Only take a single pat!”

    Oh! Queen Matilda sewed,
      And Queen Matilda span,
    And Queen Matilda taught her boys
      The duties of a man.
    “Keep your mouth shut,
    Don’t give way to ‘if’ or ‘but;’
    Don’t employ your little toofsies
    When you wish to crack a nut!”



        WHEN the baby eyes are heavy,
          When the baby feet are sore,
        When she cannot go a-singing
          And a-springing any more,
        Then the Baby and her mother,
          Oh! the happy, happy pair!
        They turn to seek the shelter
          Of the Two-shoes Chair.

    _Chorus._—Oh! the Two-shoes Chair!
              Oh! the Two-shoes Chair!
              ’Tis there we seek for pleasure,
              And ’tis there we hide from care.
              And all the little troubles,
              They float away like bubbles,
              As we sit and rock together
              In the Two-shoes Chair.

        Has the dolly’s head been broken?
          Has the dolly’s frock been torn?
        Has Johnny gone to play with boys,
          And left her all forlorn?
        Still her little heart is cheery,
          And she yields not to despair;
        She can always have her mother,
          And the Two-shoes Chair.

    _Cho._—Oh! the Two-shoes Chair! etc.

        When a bump is on her forehead,
          Or a bruise is on her knee;
        When the kitten has been horrid,
          “Just as horrid as can be!”
        Then she climbs her coign of vantage,
          And is sure of comfort there,
        For her mother’s arms are round her
          In the Two-shoes Chair.

    _Cho._—Oh! the Two-shoes Chair! etc.

        But best of all, when twilight
          Comes softly down the sky,
        When birds are crooning on the bough
          Their “Lulla-lullaby!”
        When all the stars are ready
          To light her to her beddy,
        ’Tis then she loves to linger
          In the Two-shoes Chair.

    _Cho._—Oh! the Two-shoes Chair! etc.



    He would not go to beddy.
    Sat up all night,
    Till his nurse died of fright,
    With a nightcap over his heady.




BONNY was only six years old when it happened. He went to the mill, one
day, with his uncle, riding in front of him on the old gray mare, while
the bags of corn hung over on each side.

While Uncle Allen talked with the miller, Bonny ran about, peeping here
and there; and at last he strayed off into the pasture to see the red
calf with the three spots on its nose. He was gone so long that Uncle
Allen thought he had run away home, so he rode off with two bags of
flour instead of the corn.

Bonny was rather frightened when he found he must go home alone through
the woods, a distance of three miles, but he was a sturdy little
fellow, and would not let the miller know that he was afraid.

Off he trudged, with his hands in his pockets, whistling the merriest
tune he knew, to keep his courage up,—“Tra la lira la!” Very gayly it
sounded through the bare woods, for it was early spring, and the leaves
were only just beginning to break out of their woolly coverings. The
red squirrels came out of their holes to look at him, and the little
wood-mice sat and chattered at the doors of their houses. Bonny was
used to these little creatures, and only whistled louder when he saw
them; but presently he came to something that made him stop whistling
and open his mouth very wide indeed with surprise.

On the stump of a fallen tree sat a great bird with mottled feathers,
which spread around and over the stump. It was a wild turkey, Bonny
knew, for Uncle Allen had told him just what they looked like, though
he had never seen one.

When the turkey saw him, she rose up for a moment, and he saw that she
was sitting on a nest full of brown eggs. Then she settled down again,
folded her wings over her treasure, and glared fiercely at the intruder.

Bonny stood quite still for some time, wondering what he should do. He
wanted the eggs,—not all, but just a few, to show Uncle Allen. But the
turkey was very large and very fierce-looking, with her glaring, yellow
eyes and her sharp beak; and Bonny was only six years old.

On the whole, he thought the wisest plan would be to go straight home
and tell Uncle Allen about it; and then they would come together and
drive the turkey away, and get a few of the beautiful mottled egg.

Full of his new idea, the little fellow ran on, and finally reached
home before dark. But here a sad disappointment awaited him, for Uncle
Allen—Bonny had no father or mother, and lived with his uncle—would not
believe that he had seen a wild turkey at all.

“Pooh! pooh!” he said. “Nonsense, my lad! you saw a partridge; or it
might be a hen that had stolen a nest, as the saying is. There are no
wild turkeys about here that ever I heard of. Get your supper now, and
go to bed, like a good little lad. We have had a fine worry about you,
thinking you were lost.”

Bonny _knew_ it was a wild turkey that he had seen, and he was very
unhappy because his story was only half believed.

“If I could only have got an egg!” he said to himself, over and over.
“If I had only one egg to show, they would know that I am right. But I
know it! I do! I do!” He ate his supper, and went to bed with his head
full of the wild turkey, but he was so tired that he fell asleep in
spite of himself.

It seemed as if Bonny had only been asleep five minutes when something
struck him very hard on the head, and woke him up. He cried out, and
opened his eyes in a great fright. Where was he? Why was he so cold?
Why were his feet wet?

At first the child was bewildered with fright and amazement; but when
he came to himself, he found that he was standing in the midst of a
wood, alone, barefooted, clad only in his little flannel nightgown, in
the dead of night.

Poor Bonny! poor little lad! And what was he holding up in his
nightgown, holding tight with both hands? He let go his hold, and down
fell—the wild turkey’s eggs!

The child had walked there in his sleep, and had found the bird gone,
or else driven her away, he never could know which. As he raised his
head after gathering up the eggs, a branch must have struck him on the
head and waked him.

But oh, to get home! It was so cold, so wet! He shivered with fear,
as well as with the chill; but this time he would not go back
empty-handed. Surely, the eggs could not be _all_ broken?

No, here was one whole one! Clasp it tight, little Bonny, and run!
Follow your own little footprints, pit-pat, pit-pat, back through the
dark woods,—the moon shining through the trees, and making just enough
light for you to see your way,—across the meadow, up the lane and
then,—oh! then scamper, run! rush over the home-field, home! home at

Pit-pat, softly, up the back stairs, after closing the door, which he
found swinging wide open, and the little shivering figure crept into
its little bed, cuddled down under the bedclothes and lay as still as a

Great was the outcry in the morning when Bonny told his story.

“Pooh! pooh! nonsense!” cried Uncle Allen.

But there was the turkey’s egg, and there were the little muddy
footprints at the back door and up the stairs.

Then Uncle Allen followed the tracks, and went himself across the field
and down the lane and over the meadow and through the wood. And when he
came to the nest on the stump and the broken eggs, with the print of
the little bare feet close by, he said, “Well, well! I declare! now, I

And he went home and gave Bonny a big orange and ten cents and his old
jackknife. But Aunt Lucy kept him in bed till noon, and made him drink
hot lemonade every hour to take out the cold; and he had the kitten to
play with, and Grandma’s spectacles, and he didn’t catch cold, after


    WHEN the autumn winds are merry,
      And come piping o’er the lea,
    Kiss the lassies’ cheeks to cherry,
      Toss their curls in frolic glee,

    Then the neighbour children gather
      At the sound of Robin’s horn,
    Trooping to the barn together
      For the husking of the corn.

    There the floor is swept so trimly,
      Ready for the pleasant play,
    There the light falls soft and dimly
      Down the hills of fragrant hay;

    There the pumpkins and the squashes,
      In a circle ranged complete,
    For the laddies and the lassies,
      Make for each a royal seat.

    On our golden stools a-sitting,
      Each beside a pile of corn,
    Lightly goes the laughter, flitting,
      While the rustling husks are torn.

    And the yellow ears and gleaming
      Pile we high before us there,
    Till a wondrous castle, seeming
      All of gold, we’ve builded fair.

    Then, when all is finished, Robin
      Brings the apples, glowing red,
    Chestnuts in their satin jackets,
      Cookies crisp, and gingerbread.

    And we feast, with song and laughter,
      And we make the echoes ring,
    Till each ancient cobwebbed rafter
      Shakes to hear our revelling.

    Till the rising moon is jealous,
      Envying our merry play;
    Through the window peeps to tell us,
      “Hence, to bed! away! away!”

    So, with parting jest and greeting,
      Troop the neighbour children home,
    Looking to another meeting
      When a holiday shall come.

    City children, you who wonder
      How the “country bumpkins” live,
    Know, we would not join you yonder
      For all joys that you could give.

    Keep your shops, your smoky weather,
      Keep your looks of pitying scorn!
    You can never troop together
      To the husking of the corn!


ONCE upon a time there lived, in a little straw hut, a poor
cheese-maker and his wife. They made good cheeses, and sold them
whenever they could; but they lived in a lonely spot, and few people
passed by that way, so that they made but a slender living. Now it
chanced one day that when the good wife came to count the cheeses she
found that there were six missing, although she had not sold any or
given them away.

So she said to her husband,—

“Some thief has stolen six cheeses in the night.”

“Good!” said the husband.

“Bad!” said the wife.

“Good, I tell you!” cried the husband. “We will watch to-night and
catch the thief, and to-morrow we will take him before the judge and
ask that he be forced to pay us twice the value of the cheeses.”

“Good!” said the wife. “What a clever fellow you are!”

“Oh! I have not a pumpkin on my shoulders!” said the husband, chuckling.

Accordingly, the husband and wife concealed themselves under the bed
the next night, and watched to see what would happen. About midnight
the door opened softly, and in came a large brown monkey. He looked all
about, and seeing no one, he went to the cheese cupboard, took three of
the finest cheeses, and made off. The wife was for following him, but
the husband said, “No! let us wait and see if he comes again.”

So they waited, and sure enough the monkey returned in a few minutes,
and taking three more cheeses went off again. This time the man
followed him. Holding the cheeses carefully in his arms, the monkey
took his way through the woods till he came to the mouth of a cave,
into which he ran. The cheese-maker slipped noiselessly after him. They
went through a dark, winding passage, which led to a vaulted chamber
hollowed in the solid rock. Here the monkey entered, while the man
concealed himself behind a point of rock and peeped after him. The
room was full of monkeys; and at the farther end sat the Monkey King,
on a throne made of a huge mass of gold. The cheese-maker stared at
that, for he had never seen such a sight. When the Monkey King saw the
cheese, he howled with delight, seized the largest one, and gobbled it

When the cheese-maker saw that, he turned about and went home again,
for he needed to see no more, having a head on his shoulders, and not a

“How now?” asked his wife. “You come back without the cheeses?”

“Hold your tongue, good wife!” he said. “Knowledge is better than

“Truly!” said the wife, scornfully. “It must be a fine knowledge to be
worth six of my best cheeses.”

The next night the man hid himself behind the door of the hut, and when
the monkey-thief appeared, he sprang out and caught him by his long

“Here, wife!” he cried, “bring me your shears, that I may cut off this
fellow’s tail for a rope to beat him with.”

“Ai, ai!” screamed the monkey. “Do not cut off my handsome tail! Spare
me, and I will give you whatever you wish.”

“Do you mean it?” asked the cheese-maker, giving the tail a twist.

“Ai, ai!” said the monkey, “I swear it, upon my honour!”

“Then,” said the cheese-maker, “go and bring me a lump of gold from
the king’s throne as big as my fist, and you shall have your freedom
and a cheese besides.”

The monkey, glad to escape so easily, hastened away, and soon returned
with the lump of gold.

“What do you want of this yellow stuff?” he asked. “It is only fit to
make chairs of.”

“Well, I may want to make a chair some day,” replied the cheese-maker.
“The door will be locked after this,” he added; “but whenever your
master wants cheese, you know how to get it.”

It happened, in this way, that the cheese-maker and his wife grew very
rich; for the monkeys constantly came to buy cheese, and they always
paid for it with heavy lumps of gold. Soon the straw hut disappeared,
and in its stead rose a stately house of stone, with gardens and
terraces about it. The cheese-maker wore a velvet coat, and his wife
flaunted about in a satin gown; but still they never failed to make
their cheeses twice a week.

“Why do you still make cheese?” asked the fine visitors who came to
see them, rolling in gilded coaches. But the cheese-maker had one
answer for them all: “Because I have a head on my shoulders, and not a


    THE teacher sat in her high-backed chair,
    Her chair so straight and tall;
    Her eyes went flashing to and fro
    Among the children small.
    At last she spoke, and “Billy boy!
    Now answer, Billy Bolee,
    And tell me quickly, what does C-
    O-W spell?” quoth she.

    Then up went Patty’s hand,
    Up went Matty’s hand,
    Up went Freddy’s hand, too;
    But poor little Billy,
    He _was_ so silly,
    He didn’t know what to do.

    The teacher smiled her pleasant smile,
    And shook her small, wise head.
    “Be quiet, all! for I am sure
    That Billy knows!” she said.
    “Put on your thinking-cap, my child,
    And tie it very tight;
    Then C-O-W will not trouble you,
    And you will say it right.”

    But up went Patty’s hand,
    Up went Matty’s hand,
    Up went Freddy’s hand, too,
    And poor little Billy
    He _was_ so silly,
    He didn’t know what to do.

    But when the children ’gan to laugh,
    And fun at him ’gan poke,
    Poor Billy thought it might not be
    So _much_ worse if he spoke.
    So, lifting up his fearful eyes
    All sad and timorously,
    “Sure, C-O-W, must spell, _Sobble-you_!”
    Thus spoke Billy Bolee.

    Then out laughed Matty,
    And out laughed Patty,
    And out laughed Frederick, too;
    But _poor_ little Billy,
    He felt so silly,
    He didn’t know, _what_—TO—DO!!!


ONCE upon a time there was a Person who did not like cats. She did not
like dogs, either, but she never said anything about that, because the
Big Master and the two Little Masters and the four Little Mistresses
were all very fond of dogs, and liked to have them lie round under
everybody’s feet and get white hairs all over everybody’s clothes, and
take up the whole hearth-rug and run away with the roast beef, and bark
to be let out and then howl to be let in, and shake themselves when
they were wet, and do all the things that dogs do,—they liked all these
things, so the Person who did not like cats never dared to say a word.

But nobody cared very much about cats—except when they were little
downy kittens, and they _will_ not stay kittens!—save Maggie, the cook;
so the Person felt free to speak her mind, and said she would not
have any cats in the house. And after she had said that, these things

One day a kitten belonging to the neighbour’s little boy came into the
kitchen, and refused to go out again. The little boy was sent for, and
he came and took the kitten home.

Next day it came again, and was taken home again. And so it went on for
a week, till every one in the house was tired out with carrying that
kitten home, and the kitten’s little boy cried and thought it was too
bad. It was.

But the kitten was very happy, and Maggie, the cook, said she “couldn’t
let the crathur starve,” so it stayed; and pretty soon it was not a
kitten any more, but a cat, and it had kittens of its own, one of which
was given to the little boy.

Now the Person who did not like cats said the other kittens must be
taken away in a bag; but all the Little Masters and Mistresses cried
out, and said,—

“Oh, Mamma!” “Please, Mamma, the dear, sweet little things!” “See their
little paws!” “See their dear little noses!” “Hear them squeal!” “We
must keep this one, Mamma!” “We can’t possibly part with that one,
Mamma!” “Oh, Mamma!” “Dear Mamma!” “Feel this one’s little back!” and
so on, and so on.

So the Person said that they might keep the one which they all thought
the prettiest, and that the others must go away in a bag; but while
they were deciding, the kittens grew up and became cats. So then the
bag was not big enough to hold them, and they stayed, partly for that
reason, and partly because they were all so ugly that no one could tell
which was the least ugly.

Now, one day, the man at the livery stable, where the Master kept his
horse, said that he wanted a cat, because the rats were giving him a
great deal of trouble in his hay-loft. So the Master took the ugliest
cat of all, which was really ugly enough to frighten the crows, and he
put her in a basket, and took her away to the stable, and everybody was

But three days after, as the Person was weeding the flowerbed, she
heard a loud squeal of joy, and felt something rubbing against her
back; she turned round, and there was the Ugliest Cat, purring and
squeaking, and seeming just as glad to get back as if she were
perfectly beautiful, and as if everybody loved her to distraction. She
was sent to the stable again, but this time she came back the very next
day, because she had found out the way. So she stayed.

But after that, things went worse than ever. The Person went out to
walk, and a cat followed her home, and would not go away, and would
come in! and Maggie, the cook, said she “couldn’t see the crathur
starve,” so she fed it and it stayed. And on Thanksgiving Day a
miserable hungry kitten came to the door and begged to be let in, and
nobody could refuse to give it a Thanksgiving dinner, so _it_ came in,
and _it_ stayed.

And now the Person who does not like eats has nothing but cats about
her all the time. They lie on the stairs and trip her up in the dark.
If she takes up a clothes-basket, out rolls a kitten. If she gets the
little sleigh to take the Littlest Mistress to ride, out jumps a cat.
Wherever she goes, whatever she does, she sees a dirty white cat, or
a rusty black cat, or a faded yellow cat, or a dingy tabby cat, or a
hideous tortoise-shell beast, which is the Ugliest Cat of all. And the
Person would like the children to tell her _what_ is to be done about


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Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 28, “of” changed to “off” (wiped off the dust)

Page 80, “Conquerer” changed to “Conqueror” (of William the Conqueror)

Page 101, “sudddenly” changed to “suddenly” (and suddenly, they emerged)

Page 116, “butttons” changed “buttons” (as many buttons as it)

Page 124, “but” changed to “put” (put on her best bonnet)

Page 161, “lizzard” changed to “lizard” (creature, like a lizard)

Page 208, repeated word “the” removed from text. Original read (up the
the back stairs)

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