Original Christmas stories and poems


Material Information

Original Christmas stories and poems
Physical Description:
48 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Elliot, Madge, b. 1833
Baldwin the Clothier (Firm) ( Publisher )
Lees, B. M ( Printer )
Baldwin the Clothier
Place of Publication:
New York
B. M. Lees
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1878   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1878   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1878
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York


Statement of Responsibility:
Madge Elliot.
General Note:
Text in an elaborate border.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy lacks cover.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002250621
notis - ALK2368
oclc - 51252364
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text






Oew ':o h




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878,lby 0. S. BALDWIN, in the office of the
Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.


THE stories and poems in this Holiday
Gift-Book are all written by the favorite
author, Madge Elliot. So many parents have
requested us to reproduce some of the origi-
nal Christmas Stories which have hitherto
been published. in our Holiday Books, and
in BALDWIN'S MONTHLY, that we have done so,
and we feel certain that we shall gratify
numberless households whose patronage we
We thank our customers everywhere for
liberal favors, and wish them a prosperous
and happy New-Year.



HE FRUIT QUEEN determined to give a grand Ball
II Some fine moonlight night, so she sent to ask all
Her relations to come, and with them to bring
The friends they liked best. Tied under the wing
Of a brisk little Sparrow were the notes of "invite,"
Who cheerfully promised to leave them all right.
The dear cunning bird was as good as his word,
And soon in the orchards naught else could be heard
But talk of the Ball, and how fine it would be,
And the Fruits who were asked to the gay company,
And whether Pineapple, the Duke, would be there,
And who he would dance with; but what she should wear
Not one of them all seemed a moment to care,
For kind Mother Nature had given each Fruit
A nice-fitting, fashionable, new Summer suit.
* At last came the night, and the moon shone out bright,
And each Fire-fly carried a dear "wee-wee" light,

Original Christmas Stories.

And the Crickets sang gayly, and the Katydids too,
And a funny old Owl said Tu-whit!" and Tu-whoo!"
No one knew what she meant, but for that very reason,
All thought her the cleverest bird of the season!
The Cherries came first-some in black, some in red,-
Each with a green leaf on the top of her head;
They smiled upon all, and favored no one,
And the whisper went round that "their hearts were like stone."
The Berries and Currants all came in a crowd,
And tiny Miss Strawberry, every one vowed,
Was belle of the party; but one crusty fellow,
Old Gooseberry (half of him green and half yellow,)
Said: "She's pretty, I know, but she's not very wise-
Might make a nice cake, but knows nothing of pies."
The apples flocked in, some sweet and some sour,
All scented with "Bouquet de Pineapple Flower;"
This perfume in honor of His Highness they carried
(A distinguished young foreigner, rich and unmarried!)
Pretty Queen Peach, with a blush on her cheek,
Walked in with Banana, so handsome and sleek;
And Prince Apricot followed with young Nectarine-
Two handsomer Princes never were seen!

6... ....

The Ball of the Fruits.

..<... -.




7 ~"

Original Christmas Stories.

Sweet Musk-melon came with jolly old Water;
Some called her his niece, and others his daughter;
Her dress was embroidered, a la Japanese,
With strange hieroglyphics-the queer "A B C's"
Of the copper-hued people who send us our tea,
And have pig-tails the longest you ever did see!
About the Tomatoes at first there was doubt-
Queen Peach had some thought of leaving them out;
But big "Trophy" declared they belonged to her set,
And no one of sense had disputed it yet;
And he proved it so well, that they all were invited,
And came in bright red, looking very delighted.
The Oranges spoke with a lisp and a drawl:
" Oh! yes, indeed, re-a-l-l-y, a very nice ball;
But the Fruits here, now, re-a-l-l-y, they haven't much manner,
Not at all like the circle we left in Havana."
Their step-brothers were dressed in coats of bright yellow,
And each seemed a rollicking sort of young fellow;
But so sharp was their wit, that wherever you'd find them,
You were sure they'd leave many wry faces behind them;
They refused all refreshment except the French drink,
"Eau sucree," which means sugar and water, I think;

The Ball of the Fruits.

I J ,--


Original Christmas Stories.

But, in spite of their tongues, were kind-hearted, all said,
And never refused to the sick, Lemon-aid !
Oh bless me, there was such a number of grapes,
With the greenest of vine-leaves about them for capes-
Isabella, Catawba, their fathers and mothers,
Iona, Diana, and a great many others.
The Pears came in pairs-the Sugars-the Sickles-
The Bartletts-and three Old Maids, sour as pickles,
With coarse mottled skins and queer knobby faces;
"Oh!" giggled an Orange, "just see the Three Graces!"
A proud little lady arrived with the Plums,
Amid a great flourish of crickets and drums,
(The drums and the drummers from Bully Frog's band;)
Pineapple, the Duke, led her in by the hand;
Her name, Lady Apple, her cheeks very red,
But never a word to her nephew she said;
He was dressed all in brown-a good country lad,-
But his coat was so "rusty" it made his aunt mad.
Some very old folks came to look at the fun,
Their faces all wrinkled and browned by the sun;
The Raisins, the Prunes, the Dates, and the Figs,
And all so good-natured they joined in the jigs!


The Ball of the Fruits.


Original Christmas Stories.

Lady Apple danced little, but consented to sing
A beautiful song about "Flowers in Spring;"
And when it was sung they gave her a cheer,
And His Highness, Duke Pineapple, drew very near,
And whispered: "Small lady, you're sweet as a rose."
She laughed, and made answer: "What very odd clothes
You wear; why, you look like a soldier in mail."
"Then I'll be your knight, lady fair, without fail."
She saucily smiled, the proud little thing !
Then fanned her sweet face with a butterfly's wing.
Miss Strawberry waltzed with the youngest Blackberry,
And even old Goose B. became rather merry;
Two Tomatoes made love to Queen Peach and Miss Pear,
And Miss Musk-melon laughed, and said: "Well, I declare!"
The Currants and Plums praised the beautiful Summer,
And the Lemons made fun of every new-comer.
Some thought it was rude, and it wasn't quite right,
But such very smart people are rarely polite.
Water-melon indulged in a temperance speech:
"I practice, my friends, whatever I preach;
I drink nothing myself but the purest of water,
And so must the Fruit who marries my daughter!"

The Ball of the Fruits.

. ............................ . . . . .... .. ....... ... ... ...... . . . . . . ..... ............ .. . .

Original Christmas Stories.

Some Grapes, standing by, said: "That's all very fine,
But we'd rather ourselves have a nice drop of wine."
Well, the Ball went on gayly till the first notes were heard
From the nest of a very industrious bird;
Then the Fire-flies put out their lamps in the dew,
And the Owl, half asleep, said: Good-night!" and "Tu-whoo!"
Queen Peach bade a friendly farewell to them all,
And promised, next Suhmmer, a still grander Ball!

Said Aunt Quince to Persimmon: "To the last let us wait,
And make faces at all as they pass out the gate;
No one asked us to dance-no one tried to amuse,
So we'll make them remember their P's and their Q's."
But nobody seemed for their "faces" to care;
Indeed, half the Fruits never knew they were there,
Till Strawberry saw them, and cried: Oh! how funny;
Pray, don't look so cross-think of sugar and honey;
Go, rest in the sun, on the south garden-wall,
And be ripe for the fun at our next jolly Ball!"

L 14

The Ball of the Fruits.


..L. m o N-a ID. | .

Original Christmas Stories.


W HAT would the birdies do,
What would the flowers,
What the. bees and butterflies,
If, in cloudy hours,
They believed the sun had gone
Forever from the sky ?
Birds, and bees, and butterflies,
And flowers-all would die!

But the birdies know full well,
And the flowers, too,
After clouds of black and gray
Skies of white and blue;
And the bees and butterflies,
Hidden from the rain,
Wait with folded wings until
The sun shines out again!

... 16


UESSWHERETOWN was in a state of great excitement,
[1 one afternoon last Winter-the afternoon of the day
Before Christmas. Copies of a wonderful proclamation
ScS' had been posted at the corners of the principal streets,
flung down areas, shoved under doors, and distributed in all the
public schools; and this is how they read:
"I, Santa Claus, otherwise known as St. Nicholas, and Kriss
Kringle, having on C'liri-rin.si Eve, for more years than you would
care to count, filled little stockings and shoes with goodies, and
left in all convenient places many gifts for small people, now call
upon all who remember my visits in years gone by, for some
return of the favors I have bestowed.
"From every child who loves me, I expect, to-night, a present.
I care not how small it may be or what it may be. In my wide
kingdom can be found use for anything and everything. And
knowing that my dear children will respond quickly and cheer-


Original Christmas Stories.

fully, and that the gifts will be many more than would fill both
my stockings, I request that each church of this town
receive and retain them until further orders from me.
"With much love,
"I hereby affix my hand and seal,
Such a hurrying to and fro of eager, bright-eyed children as
there was that Christmas Eve, though the streets were filled with
snow and the snow still falling! Babies toddling along with
toys-some of them sadly battered and broken, it must be con-
fessed-for "dood ole Zanty Caws;" boys with books, and balls,
and cast-off jackets, and coats, and hats, and a hundred other
things; girls with more books, and dolls, and little aprons, and
mittens, and dresses, and a hundred and fifty other things; bakers'
children with loaves of bread and cake; shoe-makers' children
with shoes; toy-merchants' children with toys; confectioners'
children with candies and fruits; grocers' children with tea, sugar,
raisins, figs, rice, and potatoes. On they all trooped, laughing
and singing, carrying "anything and everything," as the procla-
mation read.
How jolly it was to see them pressing into the different churches
with their offerings, and laying them upon the long tables, over
each of which was hung the inscription, printed in fat letters,
made of evergreen and bright red berries: "Christmas Gifts
from the Children to Santa Claus."

........ .......................... . . . . ... ......

(^ ,A Pair of Crutches. s'

But one poor little boy, in a poor little room of a poor little
house, in a poor little street of Guesswheretown, sat by the side
of a poor little widow, his poor little mother, disconsolate and
forlorn. "In yeaths gone.by," he said-he was an old-fashioned
chap, and spoke with a lisp,-" when father wath alive, Thante
Clauth wath very good to me. He didn't give me anything lath
Chrithmath, but I thuppothe it wath becauthe he didn't know
where we'd moved-tho' that wathn't hith fault. And here,"
looking wistfully at a copy of the proclamation, which lay on the
table before him, "I can't give him a thing, we're tho ex-treme-ly
Then a sudden thought struck him: "My crutcheth-they're
a nithe pair; and now that I'm all well exthept a ex-treme-ly
little limp, I can ther-tain-ly do without them. Mother, do you
think he'd laugh at them? Or ith it poth-i-ble that he hath a
little boy or girl who ith lame ?"
"It is just possible, my darling," said the poor little mother,
looking into the serious dark eyes, with a fond smile. "Anyhow,
I'm sure he wouldn't laugh at them."
"Then hurry up, mother, or we'll be late," he said, eagerly
jumping from his chair, and running quickly, in spite of his limp,
to the corner where hung his hat. It's near nine o'clock. We'll
take them to the church around the corner-not the big one, but
the little one, where poor folks can go."
Wrapping the little fellow in an old shawl-he had no overcoat,


Original Christmas Stories.

and his jacket was a Summer one,-the poor little mother took
him by the hand, and away they trudged through the cold street
with the tiny pair of crutches.

Behold! Christmas morning, another proclamation.

"Thanks for the many useful and beautiful things you have
brought me; and now, I beg you, grant me one more wish, and
then farewell for another year.
"Go, all you happy little ones who have never known want
and sorrow, into the poor streets and alleys, and, with kind words
and bright smiles, ask the thin, half-clad, half-starved children
who live there in hovels and tenement-houses, and who have
known want and sorrow all their lives, to come to-night to the
churches where my presents are displayed; then, on each one
bestow what he or she most needs or wishes for, and so will this
day prove, my darlings, to be the merriest and happiest of all
SChristmas-days. For truly it is said: 'It is more blessed
to give than to receive.'
"With much love,
"I hereby affix my hand and seal,
,It was done; and the children, rich and poor, flocked from all

_ 20

A Pair of Crutches.

quarters of the city into the brilliantly-lighted, beautifully-deco-
rated churches.
The little church around the corner was filled to overflowing.
Ladies in costly garments mingled with women in faded calico
dresses and ragged shawls. Children clad in silks, velvet, and
rich furs, sat beside pale little ones who had shivered in their thin
dresses as they came through the streets. But the blessed influ-
ence of the holy Christmas time was over them all.
A prayer from the good minister, and then a sweet-faced, sweet-
voiced lady arose, and said:
"Little strangers-but from this time, we hope, strangers no
more,-you have been invited here to-night by Santa Claus. The
children of this church, grateful for the many things he has
bestowed upon them in years gone by, have this day sent him
many gifts in return. But, he not having any boys or girls of his
very own, wishes his C(ri' presents should be given to you.
Here are candies, apples, cakes, and oranges enough for you
all [how their eyes sparkled,] and books, dolls, shoes, hats, and
many other things, to be divided among you. Come forward, a
few at a time, and whisper to me or one of my friends what most
you wish for."
Shyly they came, with wondering, half-doubting faces, but to
return to their seats with bright eyes and smiles, hands, pockets,
and aprons filled with treasures, until all had partaken of the
bounty of Santa Claus.


Original Christmas Stories.

But one beautiful little girl, with heavenly blue eyes, and golden
hair rippling to her waist, never moved, but sat upon her mother's
knee, looking wonderingly about her. The children who had to
pass her to reach their seats, threw candies, and nuts, and cakes
into her lap as they passed, and she gave them in return the
sweetest of smiles.
At last nothing remained of the presents to Santa Claus but
the little pair of crutches.
"No one wanth them," whispered the small boy, who, with a
nice warm jacket upon his arm, and an orange in one hand and
a box of figs in the other, sat beside his mother. "I'm tho
thorry-no! I'm tho ex-treme-ly glad no other poor child ith
But just then the sweet-voiced lady said, in a still softer voice:
" And here is a pair of little crutches."
The woman who was holding the pretty wee girl arose, and
carrying the child in her arms, came modestly forward.
Oh! what a lovely, lovely face the child had! Wan and thin,
but lit up by eyes large, bright, and blue, and her hair shone and
glistened in the brilliant light like a mass of purest gold.
Her mother stood her upon the floor, and taking the crutches,
placed them under her arms. "I thank Santa Claus very much,"
said the child, in a clear, musical voice. "Mamma couldn't afford
to buy me a pair, and I had to sit in my chair all day long."
"Mother, she lookth like an angel! I muth kith her," said the

L ....... .......2

A Pair of Crutches. &

small boy; and forgetful of the large crowd-of everything but
the beautiful child, he limped toward her. "Will you kith me,
dear little girl ?" he said.
"Yes," said the child, with a frank smile, "for I think," look-
ing straight into his serious dark eyes, "you are my Santa Claus."
And then a great shout went up for Santa Claus.
"We'll give him a present every Christmas," cried all the
"Three cheers for the dear old fellow!"
And didn't they cheer.
"Hurrah! Hurrah!! Hurrah ! and one for good measure-

Original Christmas Stories.

FIVE little blackbirds all in a row,
On the branch of an old apple-tree;
"Hurry up, apples, and grow, grow, grow!"
They sang in a rollicking glee.

Bright was the morning-great was the fun--
When lo! the most terrible sound!
'Twas the bang! bang!! bang!!! of a dreadful gun
Awakened the echoes around.

The branch, for a moment, trembled with fear,
And the apple-blooms shivered with fright;
And strange as my story to you may appear,
All the little blackbirds turned white!



Said the Kettle to the Tongs:
"I will sing my finest songs
If you'll dance a Highland Fling or a jig or two to-night."


Said the Tongs: "Well, go ahead,
For the Cook has gone to bed,
And we'll have the kitchen to ourselves until the morning light."


Original Christmas Stories.

Said the Dish Pan from the sink:
"You are very kind, I think;
But won't you wait a moment till we summon every one ?"
Said the portly Dinner Bell:
"I will softly ring, and tell
All our friends and our relations to come and see the fun."

So the Bell began to ring,
And the Kettle 'gan to sing,
And soon was heard a clatter of many Pots and Cans.

The Pie Dish brought her baby,
Little Patty Pan, and may be
She wasn't made a pet of by the Cake and Pudding Pans.

Said the three-legged Iron Stand:
"I nearly broke my hand;
As I slipped down from the pantry wall it struck against the door."


T The Sad Fate of Mr. Tongs.

Said the largest Iron Spoon:
"How beautiful the moon
Is shining through the window on our dear old kitchen floor !"

Said bright Miss Saucy Pan:
"Law sakes! how fast you ran
When you heard the Bell a-ringing, slender Mr. Toasting Fork.
It's nice to be so thin
When a race you wish to win;
But poor old Father Dinner Pot finds running weary work."

Said jolly, shiny Griddle:
"How I wish you had a fiddle."
"Yes, indeed," said young Gridiron, "it would help our friends
Said the Shovel: "Do be quiet,
And stop your noise and riot,
For Madam Kettle has begun to sing a Scottish song."

Then the Tongs commenced his dancing,
And such whirls around and prancing
Never had the guests assembled in that kitchen seen before;
Like little Jack Horner,
Sat the Poker in a corner,
And with his friend, the Boiler, cried: "Hurrah! Hurrah!


i Original Christmas Stories.

Then the Tongs he danced the harder,
Till the Dishes in the larder
Stood up upon their edges and looked out with wondering stares.
First one leg he nimbly threw up,
Then the other quickly flew up,
Then he jumped (you'll scarce believe me) over all the kitchen

Said Flat Iron: "Well, I never
Saw anything so clever:
He must have taken lessons, I'm very sure, in France."
Said Jelly Mould: "How funny !
But no sugar, fruit, or money
Could tempt me to fling myself about in such a Frenchy

Said the Coal Hod to the Spider,
Who sat quite close beside her:
"I think I'm quite as graceful as Mr. Tongs myself."
Laughed the Spider: "Oh! much more!"
While the Clock called loudly, "Four!"
And so frightened little Soap Dish that she tumbled off the shelf.

"I think 'tis time to break up,
Before the people wake up,"
Said Miss Saucepan, with a yawn, as she donned her shining hat.


The Sad Fate of Mr. Tongs.

And wee Patty Pan was a-sleeping,
And the Broom began a-sweeping,
And the Poker and the Shovel on the floor were lying flat;


Then to put him on his mettle,
To the Tongs said Madam Kettle:
"Before you stop, do show us some steps quite new."
So above his head at once
The conceited little dunce
Threw both legs with a flourish, and split himself in two!!


Original Christmas Stories.


R OSE dreamed she was a lily;
Lily dreamed she was a rose;
Robin dreamed he was a sparrow:
What the owl dreamed, no one knows.

But they all woke up together,
As happy as could be.
Said each one: "You're lovely, neighbor,-
But I'm very glad I'm me!"

0 -H! is as sad as sad can be;
O! is as glad as glad can be;
O-h! brings a tear, a frown, or a pout;
0! with a smile gayly dances about:
One full of mirth and one full of woe-
Isn't it funny they're both called "0 ?"

..... .... .. . ....... ... ....


H! ain't it orful jolly when their band begins ter play,
when their band begins ter play, when their band begins
ter play," sang a poor street-boy, one Christmas Eve,
S as he stood on the snowy pavement, before the window
of a bakery where plump biscuits, golden cream-cakes, and brown
crullers were heaped in profusion.
"Poor," did I say? I should think so, with last Summer's
straw hat, all tattered and torn, on his head, and last Winter's
boots, much the worse for wear, on his stockingless feet.
| Wot yer singin' that way fur? asked another boy-a news-
boy-who had just come up softly behind and skillfully knocked
the straw hat over the singer's eyes. "Blamed if a feller
hearing' yer wouldn't think yer'd bin dinin' off roast turkey and
mince pie."
"So I hev, only the roast turkey looked werry like a beef-
bone, and the mince pie might hev sot for their picture' of a hunk
of bread. And it will be orful jolly when their band begins ter
play. I don't know wot band, or when it'll play, or wot it'll
play; but it'll be orful jolly, ennyhow."
"Blessed if yer ain't jest the funniest cove I ever knowed.
Here yer ain't got a decent hat ter yer head [the speaker wore


Original Christmas Stories.

an old seal-skin cap that any seal would have blushed to own,]
and it's cold es blazes, and yer standing' here winkin' at them
pies an' things, and singin' like one-er-clock. Where do yer dine
ter-night, and wot party do yer 'tend afterwards ? Don't spile yer
dress-coat afore you git there."
"I say, old Seal Skin," said the other, throwing his straw hat
in the air and catching it again, "let's us hev a party."
"Blamed," said Seal Skin, gravely, "if I don't think yer crazy,
or yer bin drinking' too much wine with yer de-sert-that's it,
Straw Hat. Don't do it again. It's wrong-werry wrong."
"Oh! come, now, stop yer foolin'," said Straw Hat; "I mean
wot I say. Let's hev a party-a Christmas Eve party. I'll give
fifteen cents-it's all I've got,-and you'll stand twenty-five, I
know, cos yer a man of bizness. We'll invite all the werry poor
fellers-them es hasn't a cent--Small Orfun, an' Darkey, an' Old
Swipes' Boy."
"Well, I never!" said Seal Skin; "if yer don't beat ev'ry-
thin' I ever seed. Yer got some brains inter yer head, yer hev,
Straw Hat. But where's this air fash'nable affair to take place ?"
"I know the werry spot," said Straw Hat, bursting again into
song: "When their band begins ter play, when their band begins
ter play."
Blow their band," interrupted Seal Skin. "Where's the
rondavoo ? "
"It's Barley's old coal-box. It's to be split up ter-morrer, if it

F Straw Hat's Christmas Party.

don't fall to pieces ter-night; their front's fell out now. But we
kin squeedge in snug, prop up the cover, an' hev a jolly good
time. Bill of fare: Crullers, cheese, apples, an' pea-nuts."
"Not bad," said Seal Skin. "Yer buy their wittles, inwite their
guests, and I'll be there eight-er-clock sharp. Straw Hat, fare-
well! and having once more skillfully bonneted that youth, he
Eight o'clock found the party assembled, and all snugly stowed
away in the old coal-box. Poor, dirty, thin-faced boys, with not
a whole suit among them, but with keen young eyes, sparkling
with mischief and fun, and faces bright with the anticipation of
""snnthin' good to eat."
S "Our limits is contracted," said Straw Hat; "but me and my
Respected friend here, old Seal Skin, will do our best ter-ter-"
"Promote their festivities," suggested Seal Skin, who often
Sculled choice sentences from the papers he sold, and stowed them
away for future use.
"Ter promote their festivities of this air party," said Straw
Hat; an' fust we'll hand roun' their 'freshments."
"Ya, ya," burst in Darkey, rolling his big black eyes up until
They turned white; yer'ss doin' de latest de fastest. De big
wite folks don't do that-a-way."
""Well, yer see," said Straw Hat, "them folks mostly has their
Dinner afore they goes out; but we ain't, and that makes a

^E>) 3

"(e Original Christmas Stories.

"That's so," said Small Orfun, seizing his bread and cheese.
"Then," said Straw Hat, Darkey must wissel his werry best-
mockin'-bird, kernary, and all their birds wot he knows,-and
Small Orfun must sing, and last of all I'll tell a story."
"It's a orful good party," said Old Swipes' Boy gravely, speak-
ing for the first time, as he took a large bite out of his apple.
I tell you, the party weren't long getting rid of the "'fresh-
ments," and then Darkey whistled like a whole forest of birds,
and Small Orfun sang a little song he had picked up somewhere,
about a poor bird that froze to death one Winter day, all the
rest joining in the chorus:
"And the sky it was dark, and the cru-el wind did blow,
And there lay the little bird dead in the snow."
"And now for yer story, Straw Hat," said Seal Skin; "an'
wake me up soon's it's done."
"Years an' years ago," began Straw Hat,-" thousand' of years
ago, there wos a poor woman a-settin' in a stable, with a baby on
her lap. He wos their beautifullest baby ever wos seed. I guess
he must hev had blue eyes and shiny hair like your'n, Small
Orfun, only ever so much beautifuller, and he had a light shinin'
all roun' his head."
"Oh! my," said Small Orfun.
"This is a orful nice party," said Old Swipes' Boy.
"Well, their folks wot owned this stable, they didn't know
nothing' about this baby; they only thought es his mother had

L. 34

Straw Hat's Christmas Party.

stopped there to rest herself, when along cum three old fellers wot
knowed everything, an' they bro't lots of nice things for the poor
woman an' her little boy; and them wise old coves told their folks
es how this baby wos sent," and here Straw Hat lowered his voice
to almost a whisper, "by God, Him es lives up there," pointing
to the star-gemmed sky, "to grow up an' go about tellin' folks
how to be good, so es they might be happy forever'n'ever-and
his name was Jesus Christ. Well, that baby growed an' growed
till he was a man, and went about talking' kind to poor uns like
us, an' tellin' 'em how beautiful heaven wos an' wot they must do
to git there. But at last some werry wicked men got to hatin'
him cos he wos so good, an' they told lies about him an' got him
took up an' put in prison, an' then they killed him-I can't tell
you how, fur it makes me feel too bad."
"Oh! dear," said Small Orfun, while the tears streamed from
his blue eyes.
"It's a orful nice party," sobbed Old Swipes' Boy.
"So lie died; but he went straight ter heaven, an' he's there
now, an' he's allus takin' our part an' a-standin' up fur us, an',"
in a whisper again, God called him His well-beloved son'-
them's their werry words--I studied them over an' over, ter make
sure. An' now, fellers, ter-morrer's their werry day, years and
years ago, that that baby cum to their world, an' that's their reason
people air so much better on that day than enny other. It's
Merry Christmas!"


Original Christmas Stories.

"Yer ort ter be a preacher, Straw Hat," said Seal Skin-
"that's wot yer ort ter be. An' now I must go; my ole woman'll
be looking' out fur me. Good night, young uns, and don't none
of yer go ter forgittin' wot a good feller Straw Hat is, an' wot a
beautiful story he told yer-every word of it true, too. Good
night. Merry Christmas!"
"'Twas a orful nice party," said Old Swipes' Boy, as the
midnight bells welcomed the Christmas morn, and he curled
himself up. to sleep, poor little waif, in one corner of the old

I i . ....&l A ,.



ST was the day before Christmas-snowy, blowy, and cold.
Peggy and her two little sisters, Polly and Rose-such a
white wee Rose,-were huddled together on a heap of
rags, their three curly heads almost touching each other,
in one corner of the miserable garret-room they called their home.
An old woolen shawl was wrapped about them, and an old
wooden table drawn up in front of them, to keep off the snow-
flakes that every now and then came flying that way through a
hole in the roof.
There was a pile of snow upon the bare floor, in the middle of
the room, just under this hole, and Johnny, Peggy's six-year-old
brother,-dressed in a ragged coat, miles too large for him, but as
it was the only garment the poor little fellow had on perhaps its
size was in its favor,-was playing with it, making men, and boys,
and horses, and dogs, and laughing quietly over the queer-look-
ing things, although his small red hands were nearly frozen.
"Cum here, Johnny," called Peggy from the corner; "yer
han's '11 ache orful, bimeby, ef yer don't stop playing' with that
'ere snow. Cum an' scrouge under their shawl. Ain't it too


SOriginal Christmas Stories.

bad sum werry poor young uns hain't got no shawl to keep 'em
warm ?"
"Yes, hurry up," added Polly; "cum an' hear wot Peg's
a-tellin' us."
Johnny ate the last snow-man he had made-though goodness
knows why, for certainly snow can't be very refreshing when
you're shivering with cold,-and then crept in beside his sisters.
The shawl seemed to shrink a little as he did so, but no one said
a word, and with one more curly head added to the group, Peggy
went on with her story:
"An' his name is Zanty Claws-"
"Wot a funny name," interrupted Rose. "Hev he got claws ?"
"Why, no,-course not," answered Peggy; "that's just his
name-same as yourn's Rose Lyon, an' you ain't a lion, are yer ?
Mr. Zanty Claws,-an' he goes about ter-morrer night a-puttin'
all sorts of pooty things in young uns' stockin's."
"But we hain't got no stockin's," said the wee white Rose.
"No; an' I don't 'spect he'd cum here if we hed," said Peggy,
shaking her curly head sadly, "fur he must be a great genelman,
and werry orful rich, ter giv' away so many things. English
Sallie says thousand's an' thousand's of dollars' wuth-an' oh! she
sez he hes a big sled, an' two reindeers a-draggin' of it."
"Wot's them ?" asked Johnny.
"'Spect them's sum new kind a' hosses wot goes werry fast,"
answered Peggy gravely.

~:_::.:::: 85

^ Peggy's Letter to Santa Claus.

"Well, I wish we on'y hed even one stockin'-we'd hang it up
and try," said Polly, with a tear in her eye.
"Hey diddle diddle! the cat an' the fiddle!" sang Johnny,
quoting from his very slender stock of rhymes, and drawing an
old stocking, full of holes, out of the rag-heap on which they
were sitting. "Yer got yer wish that time, Poll; here's a werry
fine stockin'-a werry fine stockin', indeed," and he surveyed it
with much admiration.
"So it is," said Peggy, taking it out of his hand; "I fished
that out er ash-barl yesterday morning an' forgot all about it.
But it's no use," she continued, again shaking her head sadly.
"He couldn't come up them rickty stairs ef he wanted ter. He's
big an' fat-not like the folks wot lives here,-an' there's no
chimbly fur him to cum down, nuther."
Little Rosie's lip began to tremble. "I wish yer hadn't tole
us, Peggy," she sobbed.
"Don't cry," said Peggy, patting her cheek; "wait till I think
a minute;" and she thought a minute, and then jumped up sud-
denly, clapping her hands. "I know wot I'll do," she cried, her
whole face sparkling with hope; "I'll wash this ere stockin' at
the hydran' in the yard, ef it ain't froze, an' I'll dry it; an' ter-
night, ez soon's it's dark, I'll take it roun' to them big houses
roun' the corner-he's sure to go there,-an' I'll write a letter.
Ain't I glad English Sallie learnt me how to read an' write-"
"It's on'y printin'-writin'," interrupted Johnny.


( Original Christmas Stories.

"It'll do," returned Peggy, with dignity, "ez long ez Mr.
Zanty Claws kin read it-and I aspectt he kin read all kines o'
writin',-an' I'll ask him ter giv' us sumthin' good to eat, ennyhow,
an' I'll pin it to their stockin', an' I'll hang it on a door-knob, an'
p'raps ef he can't cum here hisself he'll send one o' his boys."
Peggy stopped, all out of breath with her long speech.
"That's fust-rate," said Johnny, and the two little sisters
laughed aloud in their delight.
So away went Peggy, her old shoes clattering on every step as
she descended the stairs to the wretched yard, where she washed
the stocking, though I can't say it looked much better after it
was washed than it did before.
Then she knocked at the door of the front room on the second
floor, where English Sallie lived,-an old woman who took care
of poor children when their mothers were out at work, for a few
cents a day.
Besides taking care of them, she also-when they were old
enough to learn-taught them to spell, read, and write, as far as
she was able, which, between you and me, wasn't very far.
Peggy-in Peggy's more prosperous days-had been her favor-
ite scholar, and the old woman often declared "she never did see
anything like her for picking up larnin'."
"Oh, please," said Peggy, as Sallie opened the door, "will yer
len' me yer penanink ? An' oh! a piece of letter paper; I want
to write a letter."


Peggy's Letter to Santa Claus.


,-- .... i ,;
,/ _


IiI~i1. 'dlll"


S .... .............................. 1.........................

Original Christmas Stories.

"Bless your poor little heart," said Sallie; "whoever are you
goin' to write to ?"
But Peggy pursed up her mouth, and shook her head, and said
she couldn't tell. It was a secret.
So Sallie gave her the "penanink," and back to the miserable
garret she went, where, drawing up the only chair to the wooden
table, she made ready to prepare the important document.
Johnny, Polly, and Rose crowded around her, forgetting their
hunger and cold, in their intense admiration of the sister who
could write, even though it was only "printin'-writin'."
"Go away. I can't do nothing' if yer scrouge me," said Peggy,
squaring her elbows and lolling out her tongue.
The other children retreated to the rag-heap, wrapped the old
shawl again about them, and sat in perfect silence, while Peggy
toiled bravely through her letter; and here it is, just as she wrote
it,-but for fear some of my little readers may be unable to make
it out, I shall translate it.


1 Peggy's Letter to Santa Claus.

A1| T Zirk/Y N CL VS Iz M
AN' JP/T 6 AA P rr A IV Rd S13
A/V W AAiOr, /iY ST-CJ Vs
i /Y T7W/S VVOrr i/SD orT/ A 5
Co # -S Ls A h fiiA VTHR VVA
SHS HiYAs cLFF 8T WE 2 2
St/M P YVR E /uD rJA/ls y I
C 7A-T C n Hc e co? is
1i rU 7 u /rT ASr s
iC^ I C IV Vr Y e R Co sE
I rTPorAu /9 6u T t E KA WVn&
f.' A : 07 rH -Do'E 4 f ir WARE-
SJ\ gFo V Q HA C T'HER S7Tok
t A M A/ PEC ey L yON

And now for the translation. I shall not correct the grammar-
Syou must do that yourselves; but I must confess, the spelling of
the original is so very peculiar, that it would take older heads
than yours to guess at the meaning of the words:

Original Christmas Stories.

I am eight, and Johnny six, and Polly
five, and Rosie three, and we ain't got no stockings, only this
what I fished out of a ash-barrel.
We ain't got no father, 'cause he's dead, and mother washes
herself, but we are too little, we can't.
Please give us some of your good things. You can't come to
our house, 'cause it's too dirty, and has rickety stairs.
Please send one of your boys.
It's No. 1 Tin-Pot Alley, round the corner from this door-
knob, where I'm going to hang the stocking.
"There, that'll do," said Peggy, drawing in her tongue, and
sucking the ink off her forefinger, after an hour's very hard work.
And then she read it aloud, and Johnny and Polly approved of
it highly, and little white Rose said: "I fink 'Amen's' real
"Now I'll fetch it roun' soon's it's night," said Peggy, "and
we won't say ennythin' to mother, 'cause yer know I mightn't
git no answer!" a supposition that caused the tears to spring to
Polly's eyes again.
With twilight the poor mother came back, bringing a few
sticks for the old grateless stove, a mite of tea, and a loaf of


Peggy's Letter to Santa Claus.

"I on'y got a little job," she said, "scrubbin' out a store; but
here's enough to keep us from starvin' to-night."
So Peggy made the fire and put on the tea-kettle-it was an
old tomato-can, but they called it the tea-kettle because it sounded
so much better,-and when supper was ready the children drank
their weak tea, and ate their share of bread, with such bright
faces, that their tired mother looked at them in wonder.
You see she knew nothing about the letter to Santa Claus.
Nine o'clock struck. Little Rose and her mother were sleeping
soundly when Peggy whispered to Johnny and Polly: "I'm
a-goin'," and she stole down the "rikti" stairs, and out into the
Poor little thing, how she shivered with the cold; but in a few
minutes she reached the big brown-stone houses, ran quickly up
the stoop of the corner one, tied the stocking, with the note
pinned to it, to the door-knob, and then ran as quickly back to
the garret again.
"What in the world was that ragged little girl doing on our
stoop?" said a fine-looking gentleman who was coming up the
street, with a lady on one arm and a heavily-laden basket on the
other, as Peggy tied the stocking-the light of the street lamps
in front of the door falling full on her trembling, ill-clad figure.
"I can't imagine; poor little thing, how wretched she looked,"
said the lady, in a low, sweet voice; and then they both went up
the steps, and saw the stocking hanging there.

"Original Christmas Stories.

The gentleman jerked off the string, and took it, with the note
pinned to it, into the bright, handsomely-furnished parlor, where
a group of happy children were gathered before a glowing grate
fire, laughing and chatting merrily together.
"Why, Papa, what are you doing with that old stocking?"
asked Alice, the eldest daughter, as she ran to kiss her father;
but Papa never answered. He was reading Peggy's letter.
As he finished it he handed it to the lady, about whom the
children were now fondly hanging.
The tears came into her beautiful gray eyes, and rolled down
her cheeks.
"Oh! my dear," said she, "isn't this pitiful ?"
"Do tell us, Mamma, what is it ?" cried the children; "what can
there be on that dirty piece of paper to make you cry ?"
Then the lady told them about the poor little girl she had seen
tying the stocking to the door-knob, and she read them Peggy's
letter, and then handed it to them, that they might see the queer
spelling and "printin'-writin'."
"Poorlittle thing! What a shame!" burst from the group.
" What a funny place to live in; Tin-Pot Alley."
"What are you going to do about it, Mamma ?" asked Alice.
"'Zanty Claws' must surely answer the letter."
Yes, such implicit faith should be rewarded; but what do my
girls and boys propose to do ?" said her Mamma.
"Take half-no, take all you were going to give me, dear


P Peggy's Letter to Santa Claus.

Mamma; I have had a merry Christmas so many times," said
Alice, her big blue eyes beaming with charity.
Give Johnny all my goodies-every one," said Willie.
"And Rosie the pretty doll Santa Claus promised me," said
little Effie, with a catch in her breath.
"And Polly my book and box of bonbons," said Jessie.
The lady's face was bright with pleasure. "God bless you,
my own darlings," she said; "and Mamma will add shoes and
stockings for the whole family."
"And oh! Mamma!" burst in Alice again, "some of our
clothes-we have so many. And what will you give, you miserly
old Papa!"
"Well," said the miser, with an unmiserly smile, "I think
some food and coal might be very acceptable. And now, off to
bed, all of you, so that you may get up early in the morning and
help load one or more of Santa Claus' boys for Tin-Pot Alley."
"But the yetter !" lisped wee Effie, with anxious face. Santa
Claus must get Peggy's yetter. He'll want to give something
too. You'd better pin it to my stocking, Papa, then he'll see it
for very certain."
"It shall be done, my birdie," said Papa, catching her in his
arms and giving her a good-night kiss.
So, sure enough, Santa Claus got the note, and on Christmas
morning he, or some of his boys, stopped the hole in the roof,
built a good fire in the old stove, covered the floor with a bright


C Original Christmas Stories.

piece of carpet, knocked up a shelf in one corner of the room
and heaped it with all sorts of good things from the grocer's, put
shoes and stockings on eight cold little feet and warm clothing
on four little shivering bodies (not forgetting a nice woolen dress
for the "MUTHR who WASHS HURSELFE,") gave Polly
her book, Rosie her doll, and all of them wonderful dogs, cats, and
chickens made of barley sugar, took away the heap of rags, and
Sput a nice mattress and two soft pillows in its place, and told the
Happy little ones the sweet story of the Christ-child born that day
in a manger.
S Wasn't that a splendid answer to Peggy's letter to Santa Claus ?

-: z '_ _. .
__ ---" '"