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´╗┐Title: A Story Garden for Little Children
Author: Lindsay, Maud
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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Libraries.)



Transcriber Note

Text emphasis denoted as _Italics_.



                            A STORY GARDEN

                          For Little Children


  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |                            Books by                                 |
  |                                                                     |
  |                          MAUD LINDSAY                               |
  |                                                                     |
  |                                                                     |
  | A STORY GARDEN for Little Children                                  |
  |                                               _Illustrated, $1.25_  |
  |                                                                     |
  | THE STORY-TELLER for Little Children                                |
  |                                     _Illustrated in colors, $1.25_  |
  |                                                                     |
  | BOBBY AND THE BIG ROAD                                              |
  |                                     _Illustrated in colors, $1.50_  |
  |                                                                     |
  | LITTLE MISSY                                                        |
  |                                     _Illustrated in colors, $1.50_  |
  |                                                                     |
  |                                                                     |
  |                      By MAUD LINDSAY and                            |
  |                        EMILIE POULSSON                              |
  |                                                                     |
  | THE JOYOUS TRAVELERS                                                |
  |                 _Illustrated in colors and black-and-white, $2.00_  |
  |                                                                     |
  | THE JOYOUS GUESTS                                                   |
  |                                     _Illustrated in colors, $2.00_  |
  |                                                                     |
  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+

[Illustration: LITTLE SLEEPYHEAD.]



[Illustration]

                            A STORY GARDEN
                        _for_ LITTLE CHILDREN

                                  BY
                             MAUD LINDSAY

                            ILLUSTRATED BY
                         FLORENCE LILEY YOUNG.


                                BOSTON
                      LOTHROP, LEE, & SHEPARD CO.


                        Published, March, 1913


            Copyright, 1913, by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
                                 ----
                         _All Rights Reserved_
                                 ----
                            A STORY GARDEN


                            Norwood Press
                          Berwick & Smith Co.
                       Norwood, Mass., U. S. A.


                                  TO
                              Lulie Jones

            THE FOUNDER OF THE FLORENCE FREE KINDERGARTEN,
                         AND A LOVER OF LITTLE
                          CHILDREN EVERYWHERE



                             INTRODUCTION

                              ----<>----


To those who know Miss Maud Lindsay's stories for little children,[1] a
new collection needs no heralding. She has proved herself gifted with
loving insight, literary ability, and spiritual power. Her stories,
whether told in kindergarten, school, or Sunday-school, or perused by
little readers, have charmed children and touched their hearts.

[1] "Mother Stories" and "More Mother Stories."

The stories in "A Story Garden" are addressed, in the main, to the
nursery public--a public in pinafore and rompers,--to the very youngest
listeners. Any one who uses them with little children, whether
realizing or not the art required for such writing, will find the
stories wonderful in their fitness and enduring interest. Repetition
only endears them to the listening child, for, unlike many "simple"
stories, which are merely pretty little nothings, Miss Lindsay's have
point and truth that the young child can understand.

To invite little children and their retinue of loving attendants to
enter "A Story Garden" and enjoy its fair blossoms and wholesome
fruit, is a privilege of which I gladly avail myself, because I can
unqualifiedly commend Miss Lindsay's stories as the very best I know
of for little children. They are by far the best literary product
(of their kind) that can be traced to the kindergarten or to the new
understanding of childhood that marks our time. Trust them. Use them.
They will give joy, refine the taste, enrich the imagination, and
gently impel the child toward the True, the Beautiful, and the Good.

                                                       Emilie Poulsson.



                                PREFACE

                              ----<>----


Children delight in folk-tale and fairy lore, but the very little child
loves best the story which mirrors the familiar. And it is for him, and
for the mother who is striving in this age of profusion to guard the
innate simplicity of her child's nature, that I have written my little
stories.

                                                          Maud Lindsay.

Sheffield, Ala.



                       Stories in A Story Garden

                              ----<>----


                                                         PAGE

  Little Sleepy Head                                        1

  The Lovely Moon                                           4

  The Wind's Fun                                            7

  The Brown Birds                                          10

  The Stick Horse                                          17

  "Tickity-Tock"                                           20

  The Saucer Pie                                           23

  Thimble Biscuit                                          26

  The Wee Nest                                             29

  The Strawberry Shortcake                                 32

  Good News                                                35

  The Roll of Bread                                        39

  Three Guesses                                            43

  The Snowball                                             47

  Santa Claus                                              51

  Ten Pennies                                              55

  The Lost Doll                                            63

  Little Dog and Big Dog                                   68

  The Little King's Rabbits                                77

  The Snowman                                              84



                      Pictures in A Story Garden

                              ----<>----


  LITTLE SLEEPY HEAD                           _Frontispiece_

                                                  FACING PAGE

  THE LOVELY MOON                                           4

  THE WIND'S FUN                                            8

  THE BROWN BIRDS                                          12

  THE STICK HORSE                                          18

  "TICKITY-TOCK"                                           20

  THE SAUCER PIE                                           24

  THIMBLE BISCUIT                                          26

  THE WEE NEST                                             30

  THE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE                                 32

  GOOD NEWS                                                36

  THE ROLL OF BREAD                                        40

  THREE GUESSES                                            44

  THE SNOWBALL                                             48

  SANTA CLAUS                                              52

  TEN PENNIES                                              56

  THE LOST DOLL                                            64

  LITTLE DOG AND BIG DOG                                   72

  THE LITTLE KING'S RABBITS                                80

  THE SNOWMAN                                              86



                            A STORY GARDEN

                          FOR LITTLE CHILDREN

                              ----<>----



LITTLE SLEEPY HEAD


Once upon a time, early in the morning when the sun was just climbing
over the hills and all the clouds were rosy pink, a little child lay
asleep in his pretty white bed.

"Wake up, wake up," ticked the clock that stood on the mantel. "Wake
up, wake up;" but the child did not hear a word that it said.

"I'll wake him up," said a bird that lived in a tree close by the
window. "He throws me crumbs to eat every day, and I will wake him
with a song." So the bird sat in the tree and sang and sang, "Wake up,
dearie, dearie, dearie," till all the birds in the garden waked up and
sang with her; but the little child slept on in his pretty white bed.

He was still asleep when the wind from the South blew through the
garden. "I know this little child," said the wind. "I turned his
windmill for him yesterday, and I will blow through the window and wake
him with a kiss." So the wind blew through the window and kissed him on
both cheeks, and blew his curls about his face; but the child did not
stir in his pretty white bed.

"He is waiting for me to call him," said the rooster in the barnyard.
"Nobody knows him so well as I, for I belong to him, and I will wake
him." So the rooster stood on the fence and flapped his wings, and
crowed:--

    "Cock, cock a doo,
    I'm calling you.
    Wake up, wake up,
    Cock, cock a doo."

He waked the yellow chickens and the old hen, the pigeons in the
pigeon-house, and the little red calf in the barn. Even the lambs in
the meadow heard his call; but he did not wake the little child, though
he crowed till he was hoarse.

Now by this time the sun was bright in the sky. It shone over the hills
and the meadows. It shone in the barnyard where the noisy rooster
crowed and in the garden where the birds sang, and it shone through the
window right into the little child's face. _And then the little child
opened his eyes!_ "Mamma, Mamma," he called; and his mamma came in at
once to dress him. "Who waked my baby child?" asked she; but nobody
answered, for not even little Sleepy Head himself knew that it was the
sun.

[Illustration]



THE LOVELY MOON


Once upon a time there was a little child who did not want to go to bed.

"The yellow chickens are all asleep," said his mother, as she undressed
him. "I heard the old hen calling them, cluck, cluck, cluck, before you
had eaten your supper."

"But I do not want to go to sleep," said the child.

"The pigeons are all asleep," said his mother, "up in the pigeon house.
'Coo-roo, coo-roo, good-night,' they said, then tucked their heads
under their wings."

"But I do not want to go to sleep," said the child.

"The little red calf is asleep in the barn," said the mother; "and the
lambs are asleep on green clover beds;" and she put the child into his
own white bed.

[Illustration: THE LOVELY MOON.]

It was a soft downy bed close beside a window, but the child did not
want to lie there. He tossed about under the coverlet, and the tears
were beginning to run down his cheeks when, all at once, the moon
looked in at the window.

"There!" said his mother. "The moon has come to tell you good-night.
See how it is smiling."

The moon shone right into the child's eyes. "Good night, little child,
sleep well," it seemed to say.

"Good night," said he; and he lay still on his bed, and watched the
moon while his mother sang:--

[Music:             Music by Elizabeth K. Dingus

    Lovely moon, lovely moon, smiling on high,
    Like a bright angel's face up in the sky,
    Baby is watching you, Baby and I,
    Lovely moon, lovely moon, up in the sky.
]

"Can the moon see the lambs?" asked the child sleepily. His eyelids
were so heavy that he could scarcely keep them open, while the moon
looked in at the window and his mother sang:--

[Music:

    Tell us, oh, lovely moon, what do you see,
    As you shine down upon meadow and tree?
    I see the little lambs, I see the sheep,
    I see a baby child going to sleep.
]

The moon smiled at the child and his mother, and the mother smiled at
the moon; but the little child did not see them, for he was fast asleep.

[Illustration]



THE WIND'S FUN


One day the wind blew through the town, and oh, how merry it was! It
whistled down the chimneys, and scampered round the corners, and sang
in the tree tops. "Come and dance, come and dance, come and dance with
me," that is what it seemed to say.

And what could keep from dancing to such a merry tune? The clothes
danced on the clothes-line, the leaves danced on the branches of the
trees, a bit of paper danced about the street, and a little boy's hat
danced off of his head and down the sidewalk as fast as it could go.

It was a sailor hat with a blue ribbon around it; and the ends of the
ribbons flew out behind like little blue flags.

"Stop!" cried the little boy as it blew away; but the hat could not
stop. The wind whirled it and twirled it, and landed it at last right
in the middle of the street.

"Now I'll get it," said the child, and he was just reaching his hand
out for it when off it went again, rolling over and over like a hoop.

"Nobody can catch me," thought the hat proudly; "and I do not know
myself how far I shall go."

Just then the wind whisked it into an alley, and dropped it behind a
barrel there. When the little boy looked into the alley, it was nowhere
to be seen.

"Where is my new sailor hat?" he cried.

"Ho! ho! I know," laughed the wind, and it blew behind the barrel, and
fluttered the ends of the blue ribbon till the little boy spied them.

"Hurrah!" said he; and he ran to pick up the hat in a hurry.

"The wind shall not get my new hat again," he said; and he put it on
his head and held it with both hands all the way home.

[Illustration: THE WIND'S FUN.]

But as for the clothes on the clothes-line, and the leaves on the
trees, and the bit of paper in the street, they danced on and on, till
the wind blew away; and that is the end of the story.

[Illustration]



THE BROWN BIRDS


One fair spring morning two bonny brown birds sat on a lilac bush
twittering and chirping:--

"Chee, chee, cheeree. Where shall we make our little nest?"

"Make it here in my branches," said the maple tree that grew by the
garden gate. "Many a nest have I held in my arms. Make it here."

The maple tree was strong and green and beautiful. Its wide-spreading
branches reached from the garden path far over the road beyond the
gate; and they rocked like a cradle in the wind that fair spring
morning. Oh! it was the very place to make a nest, and as soon as the
brown birds had looked at it they decided to build there.

"Chee, chee, cheeree," they sang in the sunshine.

    "We'll make our nest in the maple tree,
    Oh! we are so happy, chee, chee, cheeree."

They twittered and chirped and trilled and sang till a cow, that was
eating her breakfast of hay in the barnyard near by, put her head over
the fence to ask the news. When the brown birds told her what they were
going to do she did not wonder at their singing.

"If you need any hay," said she, "fly over the fence and help
yourselves to some of mine. There is plenty here for you and me; and I
have heard my friend the speckled hen say that there is nothing better
for a nest than hay."

"Very true," said the maple tree. "Every bird must suit himself, but
I agree with the speckled hen, and I have held enough nests to know
something about them."

The brown birds looked at each other wisely.

"Chee, chee, cheeree," they sang again.

    "We'll weave _our_ little nest of hay;
    And we'll begin this very day
    To make it in the maple tree.
    Oh! we are so happy, chee, chee, cheeree,"

sang the birds as they hurried into the barnyard.

They could take only a little hay at a time in their bills, but they
chose the nicest, longest pieces they could find, and were just ready
to fly away with them when a horse came galloping up.

"This is no way to carry hay," he cried. "Tell me where you live, and I
will bring it to your barn in a wagon."

Then the two birds laughed till they dropped the hay from their bills;
the cow laughed till her bell tinkled; the maple tree laughed till its
leaves shook; and the horse laughed, too, though he did not know what
the joke was, till the cow told him.

[Illustration: THE BROWN BIRDS.]

"Well, well," he said to the birds, "if I cannot haul your hay for you,
perhaps I may give you some hairs from my mane for your nest. I am sure
I can't see what use they can be, but a bird in the pasture begged for
some, and she said she was building a nest in the hedge."

    "Chee, chee, cheeree. 'T is nice to line
    A nest of hay with horsehair fine.
    _We're_ building in the maple tree,
    And we are so happy, chee, chee, cheeree,"

chirped the birds.

By this time everybody in the barnyard knew that two brown birds were
making a nest in the maple tree by the garden gate; and everybody
wanted to help them.

"Take this with my love," called the pigeon; and she dropped a feather
from her soft white breast, as she flew from the pigeon house.

"We, too, have feathers to spare," cried the hen and the goose.

"Every nest is the better for a bit of down," said the duck. "And I can
give that."

The two birds were pleased with everything.

    "Chee, chee, chee, chee, cheeree," sang they,
    "With feathers soft, and hair, and hay,
    How fine our little nest will be
    Up in the dear old maple tree.
    Oh! we are so happy, chee, chee, cheeree."

They were busy all the fair spring morning carrying the gifts to the
maple tree; and as they flew back and forth a little girl spied them,
and called to her mother:--

"Oh, mother, come and see these little birds with feathers and hay in
their bills. What are they doing?"

"I know," said her mother. "They are building a nest in our maple tree.
Would you like to give them a piece of cloth like your new pink dress
for their nest?"

"Oh, yes, yes," said the child; and she ran and got the cloth from the
scrap bag, and hung it on the lilac bush. It had not been there longer
than a minute when down flew a brown bird to get it.

    "Chee, chee," he sang, "what do you think?
    I've found a lovely bit of pink
    To trim our nest up in the tree.
    Oh! I am so happy, chee, chee, cheeree."

"Just what we needed," said the other brown bird; and she made haste to
weave it into the nest, for there was no time to waste.

Over and under, in and out, twisting and pulling, they wove the cloth
and the hay together, with a lining of hair and downy feathers.

The nest was finished by the time the little girl's papa came home to
dinner, and he held her up in his arms to see it.

"I'm glad I gave them a piece like my new dress," she said, when she
spied the bit of pink woven into the nest.

"Chee, chee, so are we," sang the brown birds in the tree top.

    "We're glad we made our nest of hay.
    We're glad we finished it to-day.
    We're glad we built in the maple tree.
    Oh! we are so happy, chee, chee, cheeree."

[Illustration]



THE STICK HORSE


There was once a little boy who was too tired to walk; or at least
he thought he was. He and his mother and the baby were at his
grandmother's house and it was time to go home, but he sat down on the
doorstone and felt very sure that he could not go a step farther.

"Somebody will have to carry me," he said.

"Well," said his mother, who had the baby in her arms, "what shall we
do?"

And I am sure I do not know what they would have done if the little
boy's grandmother had not come out just then to see what the matter was.

"If he cannot walk he must ride," she said; and she went into the
house and got the old hearth broom, and the mop handle, and one of
Grandfather's walking-sticks and brought them all out to the little
boy.

"Now," said she, "will you ride a slow and steady gray horse, or a
sleek-as-satin bay horse, or will you ride a black horse that is
spirited and gay?"

"I like black horses best," said the little boy; "and I will ride that
one, please."

"Very well," said Grandmother; and she took Grandfather's walking-stick
and gave it to the little boy. "This is a very fast horse," she said.
"I should not be surprised if you got home before your mother and the
baby; but do be careful."

"I will," promised the little boy; and away he rode on the stick horse,
gallop, gallop, gallop!

By the time Mother and the baby came out of Grandmother's gate the
little boy was at the corner. When they reached the corner he had
passed the big elm tree that grew by the sidewalk. When he rode up the
little hill beyond the elm, trot, trot, trot, they almost caught up
with him; but when they went down on the other side he was far ahead.

[Illustration: THE STICK HORSE.]

Gallop, gallop, gallop--almost before the little boy knew it himself he
was at home; and when Mother and the baby got there the stick horse was
hitched to the red rose bush, and the little boy sat on the doorstep
laughing.

"I got home first. I got home first. I can ride fast on my black
horse," said the little boy.

[Illustration]



"TICKITY-TOCK"


Once upon a time there was a clock that stood on the mantel in a little
boy's mother's room, ticking merrily night and day, "Tickity, tickity
tock." It told the little boy's father when to go to work and his
mother when to get dinner, and sometimes it talked to the little boy
himself. "Go to bed, Sleepy Head," that is what it seemed to say at
bedtime; and in the morning it ticked out loud and clear, as if it were
calling, "Wake up! wake up! wake up!"

The little boy's mother always knew just what it meant by its tickity,
tickity tock, and late one afternoon, when he was playing with his toys
and the clock was ticking on the mantel, she said:--

"Listen, little boy, the clock has something to tell you:--

[Illustration: TICKETY TOCK.]

    "'Tickity, tickity tock,' it is saying,
    'Tickity tock, it is time to stop playing;
    Somebody's coming so loving and dear,
    You must be ready to welcome him here.'"

Then the little boy jumped up in a hurry and put his hobby-horse in the
corner and his pony lines on a hook in the closet and his tin soldiers
in a straight row on the cupboard shelf.

"Now I'm ready," he said, but:--

    "'Tickity, tickity, tickity tock!
    Time to tidy yourself,' said the clock."

"Oh!" said the little boy, when his mother told him this; but he stood
very still while she washed his hands and his rosy face and combed his
curls till they were smooth and shining.

"Now I'm ready," he cried, but Mother said:--

"Why, are you going to forget your nice little blouse that you've never
worn yet?"

    "'Tickity, tickity, tickity tock,
    Time for clean clothes, little boy,' says the clock."

Then she made haste to get the blouse out of the dresser drawer, where
it had been ever since it was finished. It had a big collar and a tie,
and when the little boy put it on he looked like a sailor man.

"Now I'm ready," he said, and--do you believe it?--the very next minute
the door opened and in walked the little boy's father.

"I knew you were coming," said the little boy, "and so did Mother. The
clock told us and I have on my new blouse."

[Illustration]



THE SAUCER PIE


Once upon a time there was a saucer pie. A saucer pie is one that is
baked in a saucer instead of a pan; and if you have never seen one, I
hope you will before you are a hundred years old.

This pie was baked in a saucer that belonged to a little girl named
Polly. Her grandmother had given her the saucer, and it was as blue as
the sky.

When her mamma took the pie out of the oven, and put it on the table to
cool, she said:--

    "Here is a nice little, brown little pie,
    Baked in a saucer as blue as the sky."

The pie belonged to Polly, as well as the saucer. Her mamma had baked
it for her because it was her birthday; and she was very proud of it.

"Tell me about it again," she said, as she stood on tiptoe by the table
to see it. Then her mamma said:--

    "Here is a pie that is dainty and sweet,
    Baked in a saucer, for Polly to eat."

But Polly did not want to eat her saucer pie by herself.

"I will have a party," she said; and away she went with dancing feet to
call her neighbors in.

There was Martha, and Margaret, and little boy John; and all of them
came to Polly's party.

When they got there the table was set with Polly's doll dishes, and in
the middle of the table was the _pie_.

[Illustration: THE SAUCER PIE.]

    "A nice little pie, in a saucer blue,
    Baked in the oven for Polly and you,"

said Mamma, as she cut the pie, once across this way, and once across
that. Each child had a slice; and then, nibble, nibble,--

    All that was left of the saucer-pie,
    Was a _crumb_ in the saucer as blue as the sky.

[Illustration]



THIMBLE BISCUIT


Once upon a time Polly's mamma was making biscuit for supper.

    She sifted the flour so fine, and white;
    And kneaded the dough till it was light,
    And rolled it out with a rolling pin;
    And cut the biscuit round and thin.

Polly watched her do everything; and when the last biscuit was in the
biscuit pan, Mamma said:--

"Here is a piece of dough left on my biscuit board. I wonder if there
is a little girl in this kitchen who would like to make some little
biscuit?"

"Yes, yes," said Polly, clapping her hands with delight, for, of
course, she knew her mamma meant her. "I'd like to make little biscuit
all by myself."

[Illustration: THIMBLE BISCUIT.]

So Mamma tied one of her big aprons around Polly's neck, and Polly
rolled up her sleeves just as Mamma did when she cooked. Then she was
ready to begin her biscuit.

"May I sift flour, too?" she asked.

"Yes, indeed," said Mamma. "You must always sift flour on your board if
you want your biscuit to be smooth and nice."

    So Polly sifted the flour so fine and white;
    And kneaded the bit of dough so light;
    And rolled it out with the rolling pin;
    And--

What do you think? Mamma's biscuit cutter was larger than Polly's piece
of dough!

"I think you will have to borrow Grandmother's thimble for a biscuit
cutter," said Mamma. A thimble biscuit cutter! Was there ever anything
so funny as that? Polly laughed about it all the way upstairs to
Grandmother's room; but when she told Grandmother what she wanted,
Grandmother did not think it was strange at all.

"I used to make thimble biscuit when I was a little girl," she said;
and she made haste to get the thimble out of her workbag for Polly.

Grandmother's thimble was made of shining gold; and oh, what a fine
biscuit cutter it made! The biscuit were as small and as round as
buttons, and Polly cut enough for Grandmother, and Papa, and Mamma, and
Brother Ned, and herself, each to have one for supper that night.

"I think it is fun to make thimble biscuit," she said as she handed
them around in her own blue saucer; and if you don't believe she was
right, make some yourself, and see.

[Illustration]



THE WEE NEST


Once upon a time two little birds built a wee little nest in a pink
rose tree.

    (And a little boy saw them; but he did not tell,
    For it was a secret, he knew very well.)

The nest was round and cozy and soft; and when it was finished the
mother-bird put eggs in it--the prettiest eggs!

    (And the little boy peeped in the nest to see,
    But he was as careful as he could be.)

The mother-bird sat on the nest almost all the time to keep the eggs
safe and warm; and when she was tired the father-bird took her place.

    (And the little boy watched them, and wondered, too,
    What would become of those eggs of blue.)

Day after day the mother-bird sat on the nest; but one morning she
flew away singing her sweetest song. The father-bird sang, too, for
something wonderful had happened. The pretty blue eggs were broken, but
in their place were--what do you think? Baby birds, cunning and weak
and wee.

    (The little boy counted them, one, two, three,
    Three baby birds in the pink rose tree.)

The father bird and the mother bird were busy all day getting their
babies something to eat.

    (And the little boy threw them some crumbs of bread:
    "Perhaps they'll like these for their dinner," he said.)

[Illustration: THE WEE NEST.]

The little birds grew very fast. It was not long before they were ready
to learn to fly. Mother bird and father bird showed them how to spread
their wings, and hold their feet; and the little birds tried to do just
as they were told.

    (And the little boy laughed to see them try;
    They were so funny, and fat and shy!)

At first they could only fly from the rose tree to the ground; but soon
their wings grew strong, and then away they went over the rose tree,
over the fence, into the world.

    (And the little boy called as he watched them fly,
    "Dear little birdies, good-by, good-by.")

[Illustration]



THE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE


Once upon a time there was a strawberry shortcake, all juicy and sweet
and pleasant to eat.

A little boy named Ben picked the berries for it. He went out to the
field where the wild strawberries grew, all by himself; and when he
came home he had a bucket full of the very ripest and reddest ones.

A little girl, Cousin Pen, who was visiting on the farm, capped the
berries, and that was not nearly so easy to do as it sounds. It took
Cousin Pen every bit of a half-hour to do it, and--do you believe
it?--she did not eat a single berry. She saved every one of them for
the strawberry shortcake.

Mamma made the shortcake. She was the best cook! If I should try to
tell you all the good things she could make, it would take me longer
than it took Cousin Pen to cap the berries; but I will tell you this,
if there was one thing she liked to make better than another it was a
strawberry shortcake.

[Illustration: THE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE.]

A big boy almost nine years old, whom every one called Brother Fred,
cut the wood, and split the kindling, and made the fire that baked the
pastry for the strawberry shortcake. He had a little axe of his own,
and the way he could make chips fly was simply astonishing. Mamma said
if he kept on as he had begun he would be as much help as his papa when
he grew up.

Papa was away at work when the shortcake was made, and when he came
home to dinner nobody said a word about it. They did not even tell
him there was a dessert. They just sat down and ate their dinner as
if there were not a strawberry shortcake in the world, much less one
in their own kitchen. It was the funniest thing! Papa did not know
anything about it; but by and by he said:--

"Wild strawberries are ripe. Who wants to go and get some for a
shortcake?"

And then how the children did laugh! They laughed and laughed until
Mamma knew they could not keep the secret another minute.

"Shut your eyes, Papa, and don't open them until we call 'ready,'"
she said, and she slipped out into the kitchen and got the strawberry
shortcake, and put it on the table right in front of him.

"Ready," called Cousin Pen and Brother Fred and little Ben. "Ready."

And if you could have seen how surprised Papa was when he opened his
eyes and spied that strawberry shortcake, you would have laughed as
much as they did.

[Illustration]



GOOD NEWS


One morning little boy Ben came home from the pasture, where he had
taken the cows, with so much to tell that he could not wait until he
got to the house to begin.

"The wild grapes are ripe, the persimmons are sweet, and the chestnuts
are falling out of the burrs. One dropped on my hat when I came through
the wood; and I saw a little gray squirrel eating nuts," he called to
Brother Fred as soon as he reached the big gate.

"Hurrah!" said Brother Fred. "We can go and get some this very
afternoon;" and when he went to take some corn to the mill for his
father, he stopped at his Cousin Pen's house to tell her about it.

"The wild grapes are ripe, the persimmons are sweet, and the chestnuts
are falling out of the burrs. We are going to get some this afternoon.
Don't you want to go, too?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed," said Cousin Pen; "and I will bring Mary Sue with me."

Mary Sue was Cousin Pen's little friend; and as soon as Brother Fred
had gone, Cousin Pen ran over to her house.

"Oh, Mary Sue!" she cried. "What do you think? The wild grapes are
ripe, the persimmons are sweet, the chestnuts are falling out of the
burrs, and my Cousin Fred wants us to go to the woods to get some this
very day."

"How nice," said Mary Sue; "let's go and tell Dan."

Dan was Mary Sue's neighbor. He lived next door to her; and he let
Cousin Pen and her ride on his pony sometimes. He was in the barn
feeding the pony when the girls went to his house; and they ran through
the yard to find him.

[Illustration: GOOD NEWS.]

"The wild grapes are ripe, and the persimmons are sweet--" cried Cousin
Pen.

"And the chestnuts are falling out of the burrs. Don't you want to go
and get some?" asked Mary Sue.

"I'll go if Larry Brown will," said Dan; and he climbed up on a ladder
and put his head out of the barn window, and called as loud as he
could:--

"Larry, Larry, don't you want to go to the woods to get some grapes and
persimmons and chestnuts? I'll go if you will."

Larry came running across the street from his house in a hurry to see
what was the matter. He was as pleased as all the rest had been to hear
the good news; and when he went home he told his little sister Nan
about it.

"The wild grapes are ripe, the persimmons are sweet, the chestnuts are
falling out of the burrs, and I am going to bring you some," he said.

But little Nan wanted to go, too. "I will carry her if she gets tired,"
said Larry; so after they had eaten their dinner, Mother gave Nan a
little basket, and she started out, holding Larry's hand.

The others were ready and waiting; and away they all went to the
pleasant wood.

    Brother Fred, and little Ben;
    Mary Sue, and Cousin Pen;
    Larry Brown, and Neighbor Dan;
    And Larry's little sister Nan.

Oh, what a good time they had! The grapes were ripe, the persimmons
were sweet as sugar, the chestnuts dropped from the open burrs, and up
in a tree, where they all might see, sat the little gray squirrel!

[Illustration]



THE ROLL OF BREAD


Once upon a time a little boy named Ted was very hungry.

    "I wish I had something to eat," he said;
    And his mother gave him a roll of bread.

She had bought the roll that very morning from the busy baker who kept
a shop at the corner.

    The baker had flour so fine and so white;
    Shakity shake, he sifted it light,
    To make the roll of nice fresh bread
    That Mother gave to little boy Ted.

The baker got the flour from the merry miller whose mill stood by the
river side.

    The miller was merry, and so was the mill;
    Clickety clack, it never was still,
    As it ground the flour so fine and white
    For the busy baker who sifted it light,
    With a shakity shake, to make the bread
    That Mother gave to little boy Ted.

The flour was made from the yellow wheat that a friendly farmer brought
to the mill.

    "Get up! get up!" said Farmer Brown;
    As clipety clap, he rode to town
    To take the wheat to the miller's mill;
    Clickety clack, it never was still
    As it ground the wheat into flour white
    For the busy baker who sifted it light,
    With a shakity shake, to make the bread
    That Mother gave to little boy Ted.

[Illustration: THE ROLL OF BREAD.]

The wheat grew in the fields that the farmer had plowed.

    He plowed the fields, and he sowed the grain;
    Then pitter patter, the gentle rain
    Came in a hurry to help it grow;
    And the sun shone down with its golden glow,
    To ripen the grain for Farmer Brown,
    Who, clipety clapety, rode to town
    To take the wheat to the miller's mill;
    Clickety clack, it never was still
    As it ground the wheat into flour white
    For the busy baker who sifted it light,
    With a shakity shake, to make the bread
    That Mother gave to little boy Ted.

Ted sat down on the kitchen doorstep to eat the roll.

    "I like a roll of nice fresh bread,
    Thank you, Mother," said little boy Ted.

  Note.--The little child's "Thank you, Mother," is the beginning
  of the universal gratitude which will come to him as we gradually
  lead him to see the interdependence of all life, and the wonderful
  goodness of God.

[Illustration]



THREE GUESSES


Once upon a time there was a grandmother who went to spend Thanksgiving
day with her children and grandchildren.

She had three grandchildren, Isabel, Jack, and Jamie, and as soon as
she had taken off her cloak and bonnet she sat down in Mamma's big
rocking-chair, and called them to her.

"I have a present for each one of you in my brown bag," she said, "but
before I give them to you, you must guess what they are."

"Oh, Grandma!" said Isabel and Jack and Jamie; and they watched her
with wondering eyes as she opened the bag, and took out a bundle.

"Jamie's present is in this bundle," said she. "It is red on the
outside, and white on the inside and in the middle there is something
brown."

"I believe I know what it is," said Jack.

"So do I," said Isabel; but Grandma would not let them guess.

"Jamie must guess it himself," she said. So Jamie guessed a ball, and a
flower and a piece of candy and everything else he could think of; but
he could not guess what was in the bundle till Grandma let him smell
it. Then he knew.

"An apple, a red apple," he cried; and when he opened the bundle,
there, sure enough, was a big, round apple. It was red on the outside,
and white on the inside; and when he had eaten it he found in the
middle, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven brown seeds.

The next bundle was for Jack. Grandma shook it up and down, and
something rattled inside.

"Marbles," guessed Jack; but Grandma shook her head.

"Listen to this," she said:--

[Illustration: THREE GUESSES.]

    "Riddle me, riddle me, what can it be,
    Hickory, dickory fell from a tree.
    Run for a hammer, and crickety crack
    Here are some goodies for little boy Jack."

"Nuts, nuts!" cried Jack. "Hickory nuts from the big hickory tree that
grows in your front yard." And he was right, too.

"Now it is my turn," said Isabel; "and I am going to try to guess my
present with my very first guess."

But when Grandma took out a little bundle wrapped in tissue paper, and
put it into Isabel's hands, she was as puzzled as the others had been.

"Be very careful," said Grandma; "for if you break your present you
will never be able to mend it, no matter how hard you try."

"May I ask questions about it?" asked Isabel.

"Yes," said Grandma, "you may ask three questions; but when I have
answered those I will close my lips, and will not answer another one."

Then Isabel asked the three questions:--

"What color is my present?"

"White," said Grandma.

"Where did it come from?"

"The haystack," said Grandma.

"Who told you it was there?"

"_The old white hen_," said Grandma; and she closed her lips just as
she had said she would; but Isabel knew what her present was without
another word.

"I knew as soon as you said it came from the haystack," she said. "It
is an egg."

And so it was, a beautiful fresh white egg. Isabel had it for her
breakfast the very next morning.

"My!" said Grandma, as the children gathered around her to kiss her and
thank her. "What good guessers my grandchildren are!"

[Illustration]



THE SNOWBALL


Once upon a time when all the ground was white with snow and all the
roofs were trimmed with icicles, a little boy went out into the world
to make snowballs.

His mother wrapped him up so nice and warm from head to toe that you
could scarcely see anything of him but the tip of his nose; and when
the snowbirds that lived in his own front yard saw him, they did not
know him.

They flew away to the top of the fence, and cocked their heads first
on one side, and then on the other, as if they were thinking, "Who can
this be?" but by and by they found out.

"Chirp, chirp," they said to each other. "It is only the little boy who
throws us crumbs from the window;" and they flew down into the yard
again to watch him make snowballs.

The little boy knew just how to make snowballs, and how to throw them,
too, for he had seen his big cousin do it. First he took a handful of
snow, and then he packed it in his hands like this; and then hurrah! he
threw it as far as he could send it.

One of his snowballs went into the corner of the yard and one against a
tree, and one all the way over the fence into the street. It was great
fun to play in the snow, and the little boy was sorry when the maid
called from the house to tell him it was time to come in.

"As soon as I make one more," he answered; and he took a great handful
of snow, and made such a big snowball that he thought he must take it
into the house to show to his mother.

Now the little boy's mother had gone to market while he was playing in
the snow; but he took the snowball into her room, and put it on the
hearth so that she might see it when she came home.

[Illustration: THE SNOWBALL.]

There was a bright fire burning in the grate, and it sounded just as if
it were laughing, with its cricklety cracklety, cricklety cracklety,
when the little boy put the snowball down in front of it.

"Oh! what a nice big fire," he said; and he climbed up into the rocking
chair close beside it to wait for his mother.

"Rockity rock, rockity rock," said the rocking chair.

"Cricklety, cracklety," laughed the fire; and the little boy was so
comfortable and so warm that he went fast asleep on the cushions.

When he waked up his mother was still away at the market; and the fire
was still laughing, louder than ever.

"Cricklety cracklety, cricklety cracklety;" but when he looked on the
hearth for his snowball it was gone! There was nothing there at all
but a little pool of water.

The little boy looked under the chair and under the bed and under
the dresser, behind the door and in all the corners; upstairs and
downstairs, high and low; but he could not find the snowball anywhere.

And what do you think had become of it? The little boy's mother guessed
as soon as she came home; and if you will ask your mother I am sure she
will tell you.

[Illustration]



SANTA CLAUS

A WONDER STORY FOR LITTLE CHILDREN

"Wonder is the basis of worship."--_Carlyle._


Every year, on the night before Christmas, Santa Claus comes.

He rides in a sleigh drawn by tiny reindeer with bells on their
harnesses.

Tinkle, tinkle, ring the bells, and trit-trot, go the little deer to
carry Santa Claus over the world.

Santa Claus dresses in fur from his head to his heels. His leggings are
fur, his coat is fur, and he wears a fur cap pulled down over his ears,
for the winds of the winter are icy cold.

O-o-o-o, sing the winds, tink, tinkle, ring the bells, and trit-trot,
go the little deer when Santa Claus rides over the world.

Santa Claus's beard is as white as the snow, and his cheeks are as red
as apples, and his eyes are as bright as the twinkling stars that look
from the sky to see him ride.

Twinkle, twinkle, shine the stars, O-o-o-o, sing the winds, tink,
tinkle, ring the bells, and trit-trot, go the little deer when Santa
Claus rides over the world.

Santa Claus is old, old as the hills, but he is strong as a giant, and
on his back he carries a pack, and the pack is full of toys. He has
dolls and drums, and balls and tops, wagons and sleds, tea sets with
blue roses painted on them, and horns with red and white stripes; and
all of them are for little children. As soon as the children are asleep
on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus comes to fill their stockings with good
things and give them beautiful gifts. He knows just what the children
want, every one of them, and he laughs for joy as he rides away.

[Illustration: SANTA CLAUS.]

Ha! ha! laughs Santa Claus, twinkle, twinkle, shine the stars, O-o-o-o,
sing the winds, tink, tinkle, ring the bells, and trit-trot, go the
little deer when Santa Claus rides over the world.

The children never see him come. No, indeed! If he hears so much as a
laugh or a whisper in the house he stays outside till all is quiet.
Why, once upon a time there was a little boy who did not want to go
to bed on the night before Christmas. "I shall sit up and see Santa
Claus," he said. He hung his stocking by the mantel, and sat in his
mother's big rocking chair and waited, and watched, and waited; but
all that he saw was a little gray mouse, though he stayed awake till
everybody but his mother was in bed, and he could not keep his eyes
open another minute. The last thing he saw as he went to sleep was the
stocking hanging just where he had put it, and there was nothing in it;
but--do you believe it?--when he waked up next morning it was full of
goodies from tip to toe; and right in front of the hearth was a wagon
with red wheels! "Oh, oh! Santa Claus has been here," said the little
boy; and he clapped his hands, for he was happy as could be.

All the world is happy when Santa Claus comes. Trit-trot, go the little
deer, tink, tinkle, ring the bells, O-o-o-o, sing the winds, twinkle,
twinkle, shine the stars, and ha! ha! laughs Santa Claus, as he rides
over the world to fill the children's stockings, and to bring beautiful
gifts.

[Illustration]



TEN PENNIES


Once upon a time there was a little boy who went to buy some nails for
his father, and while he was waiting for the storekeeper to wrap them
up, he saw in the window a little red hatchet.

"If I had a little red hatchet," thought the little boy, "I could pound
nails and split boards, and perhaps I could build myself a little
house," and he asked the storekeeper the price of the hatchet.

"Just as many pennies as you have fingers on your hands, or toes on
your feet," said the man.

"Oh!" said the little boy, and as soon as he went out of the store he
counted his fingers. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
nine, ten." He could not count his toes then, for he had on his shoes
and stockings, but he remembered to do it when he undressed that
night; and he had just as many toes as he had fingers. The little
red hatchet cost ten pennies. "If I had ten pennies," he said to his
mother, "I know what I should do. I should buy me a little red hatchet."

"How nice that would be," said his mother; "and where would you get it?"

"From the storekeeper," said he; "and I could pound nails and split
boards and build houses. I wish I had one."

"So do I," said his mother; "but now you must go to sleep, for
to-morrow is your birthday, and you will want to be up with the sun."

The sun was up before the little boy, though, and so was his mother.
She was sitting on the bed when he waked up, and on the table, close by
the bed, were--what do you think? Ten pennies, all in a row.

"Now you can buy the little red hatchet," said his mother, giving him a
birthday kiss.

[Illustration: TEN PENNIES.]

"Yes, now I can buy the little red hatchet," said the little boy; and
he could scarcely wait to dress and eat his breakfast before he started
out to the store. The ten pennies were in his pocket and they jingled
merrily as the little boy ran down the road. "Ten of us are here! Ten
of us are here!"--this is what they seemed to say, and the boy laughed
to hear them.

"Perhaps I'll cut down a tree with my little red hatchet," he thought,
as he ran.

It was early in the morning when he reached the town, but the stores
were open, and the men who sold things on the street were already
calling their wares. One was a ragman. "Rags, rags!" he called. Another
was a pieman. He had his good things in a cart that he pushed before
him. There were fresh raspberry tarts in his cart that day, and every
now and then he called:--

"Tarts, tarts, raspberry tarts! A tart for a penny and a penny for a
tart. Tarts, tarts, raspberry tarts! A tart for a penny and a penny
for a tart!" The little boy stopped to listen. "Tarts, tarts, raspberry
tarts!" Oh, how delicious they looked--those penny tarts in the
pieman's cart!

"Will you have a tart, little master?" asked the pieman.

The little boy put his hand in his pocket and drew it out; then he put
it back and drew it out again. This time a penny came with it. "Yes,
if you please," he said to the pieman. "I want a raspberry tart." A
nice, sweet, juicy three-cornered raspberry tart! The little boy had
eaten every crumb of it when he came to the store where the little red
hatchet lay in the window.

As soon as he saw the hatchet he put his hand into his pocket again and
jingled his pennies. "One of us is gone! One of us is gone!" said the
pennies as plainly as they could; but the little boy sat down on the
edge of the sidewalk and counted them. "One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine." Then he went into the store. The man who had
told him the price of the hatchet was not there, but a clerk came to
wait on him.

"Are there any nine-penny hatchets?" asked the little boy.

"No," said the clerk; "all the little hatchets are ten cents, and cheap
at that. Would you like one to-day?" But the little boy shook his head
and went out of the store. The pennies did not jingle in his pocket,
and his eyes were full of tears. He was just getting his handkerchief
out to wipe them away when he met an old woman.

"Why are you crying, little boy?" asked she; and her voice was so kind
and her smile so pleasant that the little boy told her all about it.

"Dear me," said she, when he had finished; "I should not be surprised
if you were the little boy for whom I am looking."

"Were you looking for a little boy six years old?" asked the child.

"Oh, yes, indeed," said the old woman; "and I want him to pick up a
pennyworth of chips for me."

When the little boy heard this he knew that he must be the boy she
wanted.

"I am six years old to-day," he said, "and I can pick up chips. I pick
them up for my mother, and when I get my little red hatchet I am going
to split kindling for her, too."

Then the old woman led the way to her house and gave the little boy a
basket and showed him where the woodpile was. The wood chopper had been
there with his sharp axe, and the chips were strewn about the yard. The
little boy set to work with a will, and when he had filled the basket
so full that not another chip would stay in, he took it to the old
woman.

"Is this a pennyworth of chips?" he asked.

"Yes, and good measure," answered the old woman, and she took a bright
new penny out of her bag and gave it to the little boy. "Good-by, and
good fortune," she said; and the little boy wished her the same before
he ran through the gate toward the town.

Oh, how swiftly his feet pattered down the road, and, oh, how merrily
the pennies jingled in his pocket! "Ten of us again! Ten of us again!"
This is what they seemed to say now, and the little boy laughed to hear
them as he ran past the ragman with his bag, past the pieman with his
tarts, straight to the store where the little red hatchet still lay in
the window.

"If you please, I want a little red hatchet," he said; and he counted
his pennies out on the counter, ten of them in a row.

"Just as many pennies as you have fingers on your hands, or toes on
your feet," said the man, who had come in to the store again; and he
wrapped the little red hatchet in a piece of brown paper and gave it
to the child.

It was a good little hatchet, and the little boy pounded nails and
split boards and cut his mother's kindling with it; but whether he ever
built a house or cut down a tree I cannot tell you, for I do not know
myself.

[Illustration]



THE LOST DOLL


There was once upon a time a little girl who had a china doll named
Jennie Bluebell. Jennie Bluebell had black hair, and blue eyes, and
rosy cheeks, and a smiling mouth; and on her feet were painted gilt
slippers that shone like gold.

The little girl loved her more than she had ever loved any other doll
and wherever she went she wanted Jennie Bluebell to go too. She took
her to walk in the lane, and to ride in the carriage, and one day she
carried her to a meadow where she and her little brother went to pick
golden-rod. She held her in her arms all the way just as Mother held
the baby and when she got to the meadow she laid her down to rest in
the long meadow grass while she picked the flowers. Meadow grass makes
a beautiful soft bed for a doll.

"I will come back for you by and by," she said as she left her there;
but when it was time to go home all the green grass looked alike to the
little girl and she could not tell where the dear doll lay.

"I put her right here, or at least I think I did. Oh, where can she
be?" she cried, as she hurried from place to place parting the grasses
with her hands and peeping anxiously in. Her little brother searched,
too, but though they both looked till their mother called to ask why
they were staying so long, they had to go home at last without the doll.

"Perhaps the fairies have taken her away," said the little girl, who
was almost crying.

"Or a rabbit," said the little boy; "Father saw one in the field
yesterday."

But neither fairies nor rabbits had touched Jennie Bluebell. The tall
grasses had swayed in the breezes this way and that way till she was
hidden from sight but she had not moved from the spot where the little
girl had put her. All through the sunny afternoon she lay there hoping
that some one would find her, and when it began to grow dark and nobody
had come she felt very lonely indeed.

[Illustration: THE LOST DOLL.]

"I shall not close my eyes all night," she said; and she did not. When
the rooster over in the barnyard crowed for morning, her eyes were as
wide open as they had been when the first star shone the evening before.

Almost as soon as it was light again she heard a noise in the meadow.
Swish, swash! Swish, swash! it sounded. The children's father was
cutting his grass with a sharp-bladed scythe, but the doll did not know
this and when the grass around her fell down in a heap upon her she
thought that the end of everything had come.

"What in the world has happened?" she asked a grasshopper who had been
caught in the fall.

"That is just what I should like to know myself," he answered; and he
struggled up to the sunshine and never came back.

The children did not come to look again for the doll that day, or the
next, and she gave up all hope of being found.

"They have gone to visit their grandparents," she said. "I heard them
talking about it. They have forgotten me, and I shall never see them
again."

That very afternoon, however, they came to the meadow to help their
father rake the grass, which the sun by that time had dried into
sweet-smelling hay. They had been on a visit, sure enough, and as they
worked they talked of the things they had done while they were away
from home. The doll could hear every word they said.

"I rode Grandpa's horse to water two times by myself," said the little
boy.

"I fed Grandma's chickens every day with corn," said the little girl.

"Grandpa plants corn in his fields," said the little boy. "You don't
have to rake corn."

"I like to rake hay," said the little girl; "and Mamma says that I may
find Jennie Bluebell when the field is cleared."

Oh! how the china doll's heart leaped for joy when she heard that;
and--do you believe it?--the very next minute the hay that covered her
was raked aside and there she lay right before the little girl's eyes!

"Oh, oh, oh!" the little girl cried; "here she is, my precious doll. I
was never so glad in all my life."

And Jennie Bluebell was glad too, though she did not say a word. She
only smiled.

[Illustration]



LITTLE DOG AND BIG DOG


Once upon a time there were two dogs who were great friends. One of
them was small and one was large, and they were called Little Dog and
Big Dog all the days of their lives, and had no other names.

Little Dog barked at everything he saw. He barked at the cat and he
barked at the kittens; he barked at the cow and he barked at the calf;
he barked at his own shadow; and he even barked at the moon in the sky
with a "Bow-wow-wow!" and a "Bow-wow-wow!"

Big Dog had a very loud bark, "Bow-wow! Bow-wow!" but he barked only
when he had something to say. And everybody listened to him.

Now one day as the two dogs sat together in the sunshine, Big Dog said
to Little Dog:--

"Come, let us go to see our friend, the king."

Little Dog thought this was a splendid plan, and they started at once.

Big Dog walked along the road with his tail curled over his back, and
his head held high. "There is no need of haste," he said, but Little
Dog thought there must be.

"I shall get there first," he called, as he scampered ahead, but
presently he came back as fast as he had gone.

"Oh, Big Dog, Big Dog," he said, "we cannot go to see the king."

"Why not?" asked Big Dog. "Has he gone away from home?"

"I know nothing about that," answered Little Dog, who was almost out
of breath, "but a little farther on there is a great river, and we can
never get across."

But Big Dog would not turn back. "I must see this great river," he
said, and he walked on as quietly as before. Little Dog followed him,
and when they came to the river Big Dog jumped in, splish! splash! and
began to swim.

"Wait, wait," cried Little Dog, but Big Dog only answered, "Don't be
afraid."

So in jumped Little Dog, splish! splash! too, for he did not want to be
left behind. He was terribly frightened, but he paddled himself along
with his four feet just as he saw Big Dog doing, and when he was safe
across the river, which was not half so wide as he had thought, he
barked at it as if he had never been afraid at all.

"Bow-wow-wow-wow! You cannot keep us from the king," he said, and he
was off and away before Big Dog had shaken the water from his coat. But
in less time than it takes to tell it, Big Dog spied him running back
with his tail hanging down and his ears drooping.

"Oh, Big Dog, Big Dog!" he cried. "We cannot go to see the king, for
in the wood yonder there is a bear, and she will eat us both for her
supper. I heard her say so myself."

Then Big Dog made haste to the wood, barking loudly:--

"Bow-wow! Bow-wow! I am not afraid! I am not afraid!" and when the bear
heard him she ran to her home as fast as she could.

"I can eat honey for my supper," she said; and the two dogs saw no more
of her.

Now by this time Little Dog had run so fast and barked so much that he
was tired. "I do not want to go to see the king," he said; and he lay
down in the road and put his head between his two front paws.

But Big Dog said, "I smell a bone," and Little Dog jumped up in a hurry
again. Sniff! sniff!--where could it be? The two dogs put their noses
close to the ground and followed the scent till they came to the turn
of the road; and there sat a charcoal burner eating his supper of
bread and mutton chops by his fire.

Little Dog wanted to run up and beg for something, but Big Dog would
not go with him. "It is more polite to wait," he said; and he sat down
on the other side of the road. Little Dog sat down beside him, and they
waited and waited; but at last the man finished his chops and threw the
bones to the dogs, which was just what Big Dog had hoped he would do.
Oh, how good they tasted!

"Where shall we sleep to-night?" asked Little Dog, when he had eaten
his share.

"Oh, never fear," answered Big Dog, "we will find a place;" and when
they had gone on their way they very soon came to a house in the wood.
The door was open, and Big Dog put his head inside to see if anybody
was at home. Nobody lived there, however, but a barn swallow, so the
dogs went in and lay down to rest on some hay in the corner.

[Illustration: LITTLE DOG AND BIG DOG.]

"We must be off early," said Big Dog; but when they woke up next
morning the door was fastened tight; for the wind had blown by in the
night and slammed it into its place. When Big Dog saw this he was in
great distress.

"Oh, Little Dog! Little Dog!" he cried. "I fear we can never go to see
the king, for the door is closed, and there is no one to open it."

"But we can go through the hole under the door," answered Little Dog;
and when Big Dog looked, there, sure enough, at the bottom of the
door, where a board had rotted away, was a hole just large enough for
a little dog to creep through. Little Dog put his nose through and his
head through, and then wriggle, wriggle, he was out and barking merrily.

"Come on, Big Dog," he called; but Big Dog could not go. He could not
even get his head through the hole.

"You must go on alone," he said to Little Dog, "and when you have come
to the king's palace, and have told him about me, perhaps he will send
me aid."

But Little Dog did not wait until he reached the king's palace to ask
for help. "Bow-wow-wow-wow! Listen to me," he barked, as he ran down
the road. "Big Dog, my friend, is shut up in the house in the wood, and
cannot go to see the king. Bow-wow-wow-wow!"

At first there were only birds to hear him, but presently he saw a
woodcutter with an axe on his shoulder.

"Bow-wow-wow-wow! Listen to me," barked Little Dog. "Big Dog, my
friend, is shut up in the house in the wood and cannot go to see the
king. Bow-wow-wow-wow!" But the woodcutter did not understand a word he
said.

"Whew! whew!" he whistled, which meant, "Come, little doggie, follow
me;" but Little Dog had no time to play.

He hurried on as fast as he could, and by and by he met the
woodcutter's wife going to town with a basket of eggs on her arm.
"Bow-wow-wow-wow! Listen to me. Big Dog, my friend, is shut up in the
house in the wood, and cannot go to see the king," barked Little Dog.
But the woodcutter's wife did not understand a word he said.

"You noisy little dog," she cried. "You have startled me so that it
is a wonder every egg in my basket is not broken," and she shook her
skirts to get rid of him.

"Nobody will listen to me," thought Little Dog, as he scampered on, but
just then he spied a little boy with a bundle of sticks on his back. He
was the woodcutter's little boy; and--do you believe it?--he understood
every word that Little Dog said, and followed him to the house.

When they drew near they heard Big Dog calling for help:--

"Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Come and let me out. Come and let me out."

"Bow-wow! we are coming," answered Little Dog.

"We are coming," said the woodcutter's little boy; and the very next
minute Big Dog was free.

The king's palace was not far from the wood, and the two dogs were soon
at their journey's end. The king was so pleased to see them that he
made a great feast for them, and invited the woodcutter's little boy
because he was their friend.

After the feast Big Dog and Little Dog were sent home in the king's own
carriage; and all the rest of their lives they were even better friends
than before they went traveling together.

[Illustration]



THE LITTLE KING'S RABBITS


One morning when the little king waked up, all of his pet rabbits were
gone, and nobody, not even the owl who had been awake all night, knew
anything about them. They were white rabbits with pink eyes and pink
ears, and you can just imagine how the little king felt when he heard
they were lost.

"Find my white rabbits and I will give you whatever you ask of me, even
though it should be the crown from my head," he said to everybody who
came to see him; and, of course, everybody started out at once to look
for the rabbits.

The princes and princesses, the dukes and the duchesses, the counts
and the countesses, and all the other fine ladies and gentlemen of the
king's court went in carriages to the city to look for the rabbits,
and presently they came back in great glee. They had not found the
rabbits, but they had bought some made of candy at a confectioner's
shop, and they were very much pleased with themselves.

"These are so cunning and sweet--much sweeter than real rabbits," they
said, but the little king did not think so.

"They are fit for nothing but to be eaten," he said, and he had them
carried away to the pantry.

The little king's soldiers felt very certain that the king in the next
country had taken away the rabbits, so they marched over the hill
to bring them back, beating their drums with a bum, bum, bum. Their
uniforms were as red as a cock's comb, and they were as brave as lions,
but they had to come home without the white rabbits. The king of the
next country had never so much as seen the tips of their ears.

"King indeed," said the hunters. "The foxes have carried the rabbits
away to their dens, and we will go and bring them back or know the
reason why," and they hastened to the woods with their guns. Bang,
bang--they, too, made a great noise, but it did no good. The king's
rabbits were nowhere to be found.

The servants all went to the park. "If the rabbits are anywhere they
are here," they said, and they told the park policeman about them.

"White rabbits with pink eyes and pink ears are not allowed in the
park," he said indignantly, so the servants had to go home without the
rabbits, as all the rest had done.

The king's gardener went to his garden in a hurry. "I'll not have a
leaf left," he said to himself. But when he got to the garden every
leaf was in place. The pink roses were just opening their buds in the
sunshine, and the white pinks were nodding in the breezes, but not a
sign of the white rabbits with pink eyes and pink ears did the gardener
see.

The gardener's little daughter Peggy went to the rabbit hutch first
of all. She knew that the rabbits were not there, of course, but she
had to begin her search somewhere. Nobody, not even the little king
himself, loved the white rabbits more than Peggy did. She knew their
names, and how old they were, and what they liked best to eat. Every
morning as soon as she had eaten her own breakfast she came up from the
little cottage where she lived with her mother and father, to bring
them lettuce and cabbage leaves. It made her very sad to see the empty
hutch, and two bright tears shone in her eyes.

Before they had time to roll down her cheeks Peggy saw something that
surprised her very much. It was a hole in the corner of the fence that
was built around the rabbit hutch. As soon as she saw it she dried her
eyes, and ran through the gate into the road behind the barnyard. The
rabbits were not there, but in the dust that lay thick and white along
the road were ever so many queer little marks that looked like the
prints of rabbit feet.

[Illustration: THE LITTLE KING'S RABBITS.]

"Oh, so this is the way they went," said Peggy, and she followed the
tracks as long as she could see them.

By and by she came to a cool green lane that led from one side of the
road. That was the very place for rabbits, Peggy thought.

"Bunny, bunny, bunny," she called as she peeped in. Not a rabbit or a
rabbit track was to be seen, however, and Peggy was hurrying away when
she spied by the path a bunch of green clover all tattered and torn,
just as if--just as if--

"Rabbit teeth have been nibbling these leaves," cried Peggy joyfully,
and she hastened down the lane expecting to see the rabbits at every
turn. But she did not find them, though she looked behind every tree,
and into every nook and corner from one end of the lane to the other.

There were two roads at the other end of the lane. One led over the
hill to the next country. There were many footprints upon it, but they
were only the ones the soldiers had left when they marched away to find
the white rabbits. The other road ran by the woods where the hunters
had hurried. Grass grew upon it, and flowers nodded over it, but there
was not a single nibbled leaf to show that the rabbits had been there.

"Dear me, which way shall I go?" said Peggy; but she had scarcely
spoken when a breeze blew by. It had been blowing over somebody's
garden. Peggy knew that as soon as it passed.

"I smell cabbages," she cried, and away she ran by the woods, and
through the flowers, till she came to an old woman's cabbage patch. And
there, eating cabbage leaves to their hearts' content, sat the little
king's rabbits! Peggy ran home as fast as she had come; and great was
the rejoicing in the king's palace when she had told her news.

"I will give you whatever you ask, even should it be the crown from
my head," the little king said to her; and all the fine ladies and
gentlemen crowded around to hear what she would say.

"A carriage and horses," whispered one.

"A bag of gold," said another.

"A house and land," cried a third, for they all wanted to help her
choose.

But Peggy knew what she wanted without anybody's help.

"If you please, your majesty," she said, making the king a curtsey, "I
should like a white rabbit for my own."

And--do you believe it?--the little king gave her two!

[Illustration]



THE SNOWMAN


Once upon a time there was a man who was made of snow. He had sticks
for his arms, and coals for his eyes; his nose was made of an icicle,
and his mouth was a bit of bent twig, which turned up at the ends, so
he looked as if he were smiling.

"He's the finest snowman we've ever seen," said the children who made
him; and they joined hands and danced around him till their mother
called them in to supper.

"Good-by," they called to him as they climbed the fence that divided
the field from the yard. "Good-by. We will bring you a hat to-morrow."

There were a half dozen of the children, and the youngest of them was
a little boy who had never helped to make a snowman before. He thought
of this one all the time he was eating his supper, and even after he
had gone to bed that night. He knew just how the snowman looked with
his smiling mouth and stick arms.

"I wish we had taken him a hat to-night," he thought, as his eyelids
dropped down like two little curtains over his eyes.

"Archoo! archoo! I wish that you had," said something outside the
window; and--do you believe it?--it was the snowman sneezing as hard as
he could!

"This is what comes of standing out in the cold bareheaded," he said.
"I shall sneeze my head off--I know I shall. Archoo! archoo! archoo!"

"Dear me!" said the little boy. "I will get you a hat but it will have
to be my sailor, for I wear my new hat to church and to parties, and
my everyday cap will not fit you, I am afraid,--we made your head so
large."

"The sailor will do nicely," said the snowman, "if I may have it at
once. As it is, I am catching my death of cold. Archoo! archoo! archoo!"

When the little boy heard this, he jumped out of bed and ran to the
cupboard and got the sailor hat from the top shelf and gave it to the
snowman.

"How do I look in it?" he asked as soon as he had put it on.

"Well enough," answered the moon, who had been watching all the while;
"but you will have to make haste if you want to go anywhere before
daylight."

"Don't you hear what the moon is saying?" said the snowman to the
little boy. "What are you waiting for?"

"Am I going anywhere?" asked the child.

"Of course," answered the snowman. "Why shouldn't you go?"

[Illustration: THE SNOWMAN.]

The little boy could not think of an answer to this; and the next thing
he knew he was out of the window with the snowman.

"Where are we going?" asked he.

"Why," said the snowman hurrying away into the street, "I have never
thought of that, but since you speak of it I think we had better go to
the Winter King's palace, and ask him if he cannot do something to keep
the sun from shining to-morrow."

"Oh!" said the little boy, for his mother had promised that he might
go to his grandmother's if the day was fine. He had no time to say
anything about this, however, for just then the snowman cried out:--

"I have dropped one of my eyes, and I cannot go on without it."

"Dear me, dear me!" said the little boy. "How shall we ever find it?"

But while he was talking, a little dog that he knew very well came by.
His name was Fido, and he could find anything that was lost. He had
found the little ball when it rolled under the house, and his master's
overshoes when everybody else had failed; and when he heard of the lost
eye he started back at once to look for it.

"Don't worry," said the little boy, "Fido will find it;" and sure
enough, in the twinkle of a star he was back with the coal in his
mouth! The little boy put it in its place as quickly as he could, for
the snowman seemed to be in a hurry.

"Didn't you see that we were at a baker's shop?" he said. "I know I
must have been near the oven, too, for one of my ears is almost melted
off."

"Why, you haven't any ears!" said the little boy. "We did not know how
to make them."

"No ears?" cried the snowman. "Then how do I hear what you say? But
there now, you are only a little boy, and cannot know everything.
Besides, here we are at the palace, and you must be quiet."

The little boy had thought he was passing the schoolhouse where his
big brothers and sisters went to school, but when he went inside he saw
that he was wrong, and the snowman was right, for in the place where
the teacher's desk should have been, was a throne; and on the throne
sat the Winter King with icicles in his beard.

As soon as he saw the snowman and the little boy, he began to talk very
fast:--

"What has this little boy been doing? Why isn't he in bed? Come here,
Jack Frost, and tickle his toes."

"Oh! no, no," cried the snowman. "He has done nothing wrong. He is one
of my best friends, and I have brought him here with me to ask you not
to let the sun shine to-morrow. I don't want to melt."

"Ah! hum! ha!" said the king. "I don't know about that. You will have
to melt sometime, won't you?"

"Of course," said the snowman; "but I'd like to last as long as I
can." It made the little boy very sad to hear him talk in this way. He
thought he would rather not go to his grandmother's than to risk the
snowman in the sun.

"We are very fond of him," he said to the king. "He's the finest
snowman we've ever seen, and he looks just as if he were smiling."

"So he does," said the king, looking at the snowman again; "and since
you ask it I'll tell you what I will do. I cannot keep the sun from
shining, but I will ask the North Wind to freeze the snowman, and
perhaps he will last anyhow."

When the snowman heard this he began to dance, and as the little boy
had hold of one of his stick arms he had to dance too. Together they
danced out of the Winter King's palace, down the streets, into the
field, where they found the North Wind waiting for them.

The first thing he did was to blow the hat from the snowman's head.

"Archoo! archoo!" sneezed the snowman. "I know I shall catch cold."

And "archoo!" sneezed the little boy; and he sneezed so loud that he
waked himself up, for--do you believe it?--he had been asleep and
dreaming all the time!

One part of his dream came true, though, for when he looked out of the
window, the next morning, there stood the snowman in the field frozen
hard.

[Illustration]



       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber Note

Minor typos may have been corrected. Images were moved so as to prevent
splitting paragraphs. All images were derived from materials made
available on The Internet Archive and the music files were compiled by
workers at Distributed Proofreaders. These images and audio files are
placed in the Public Domain.





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