The Baldwin Library
v. 8'aemv.v:7p wr-y
"HAVING BONFIRES IN THE BACK YARD OF THE PALACE."
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY
AND OTHER STORIES
TOLD FOR CHILDREN
By W. D. HOWELLS
IIARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
Copyright, 1892, by W. D. HOWELLS.
All rights reserved.
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY . . 3
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. . 25
THE PONY ENGINE AND THE PACIFIC EXPRESS. 51
THE PUMPKIN-GLORY . . ... .71
-BUTTERFLYFLUTTERBY AND FLUTTERBYBUTTER-
FLY .......... ........ 111
" Having Bonfires in the Back Yard of the Palace". Frontispiece
" The Old Gobbler First Premium' said They were Going to
Turn the Tables Now . . . 35
Two Little Pumpkin Seeds . . .75
Took the First Premium at the County Fair ..... 83
"'Here's that little fool pumpkin,' said the farmer" .. 85
" Caught His Trousers on a Shingle-nail, and Suc'' 93
"'My salksl it's comi' to life ". . .. 103
Tail-piece .. ..... . . .107
" 'Fix dusters! Make ready Aim! Dust!"" . 121
"The General-in-Chief used to go behind the Church and
Cry" ........ ......... 125
"The Young Khan and Khant entered the Kingdom with a
Magnificent Retinue . . .131
" She was Going to Take the Case into Her own Hands ". 135
" The Imam put His Head to the Floor .... 139
" They began to scream, Oh, the cowl the cow I'" 143
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
THE little girl came into her papa's
study, as she always did Saturday morn-
ing before breakfast, and asked for a
story. He tried to beg off that morning,
for he was very busy, but she would not
let him. So he began:
"Well, once there was a little pig-"
She put her hand over his mouth and
stopped him at the word. She said she
had heard little pig-stories till she was
perfectly sick of them.
Well, what kind of story shall I tell,
"About Christmas. It's getting to be
the season. It's past Thanksgiving al-
4 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
It seems to me," her papa argued,
that I've told as often about Christmas
as I have about little pigs."
"No difference! Christmas is more
"Well!" Her papa roused himself from
his writing by a great effort. "Well,
then, I'll tell you about the little girl
that wanted it Christmas every day in
the year. How would you like that ?"
First-rate!" said the little girl; and
she nestled into comfortable shape in
his lap, ready for listening.
Very well, then, this little pig- Oh,
what are you pounding me for ?"
Because you said little pig instead
of little girl."
"I should like to know what's the
difference between a little pig and a
little girl that wanted it Christmas ev-
ery day !"
"Papa," said the little girl, warning-
ly, "if you don't go on, I'll give it to
you!" And at this her papa darted off
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
like lightning, and began to tell the
story as fast as he could.
Well, once there was a little girl who
liked Christmas so much that she want-
ed it to be Christmas every day in the
year; and as soon as Thanksgiving was
over she began to send postal-cards to
the old Christmas Fairy to. ask if she
mightn't -have it. But the old fairy
never answered any of the postals; and
after a while the little girl found out
that the Fairy was pretty particular, and
wouldn't notice anything but letters-
not even correspondence cards in envel-
opes; but real letters on sheets of paper,
and sealed outside with a monogram-
or your initial, anyway. So, then, she
began to send her letters; and in about
three weeks or just the day before
Christmas, it was-she got a letter from
the Fairy, saying she might have it
Christmas every day for a year, and then
they would see about having it longer.
6 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
The little girl was a good deal excited
already, preparing for the old-fashioned,
once-a-year Christmas that was coming
the next day, and perhaps the Fairy's
promise didn't make such an impression
on her as it would have made at some
other time. She just resolved to keep it
to herself, and surprise everybody with
it as it kept coming true; and then it
slipped out of her mind altogether.
She had a splendid Christmas. She
went to bed early, so as to let Santa
Claus have a chance at the stockings,
and in the morning she was up the first
of anybody and went and felt them, and
found hers all lumpy with packages of
candy, and oranges and grapes, and
pocket-books and rubber balls, and all
kinds of small presents, and her big
brother's with nothing but the tongs in
them, and her young lady sister's with
a new silk umbrella, and her papa's and
mamma's with potatoes and pieces of coal
wrapped up in tissue-paper, just as they
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
always had every Christmas. Then she
waited around till the rest of the family
were up, and she was the first to burst
into the library, when the doors were
opened, and look at the large presents
laid out on the library-table-books, and
portfolios, and boxes of stationery, and
breastpins, and dolls, and little stoves,
and dozens of handkerchiefs, and ink-
stands, and skates, and snow-shovels,
and photograph-frames, and little easels,
and boxes of water-colors, and Turkish
paste, and nougat, and candied cherries,
and dolls' houses, and waterproofs-and
the big Christmas-tree, lighted and stand-
ing in a waste-basket in the middle.
She had a splendid Christmas all day.
She ate so much candy that she did not
want any breakfast; and the whole fore-
noon the presents kept pouring in that
the expressman had not had time to de-
liver the night before; and she went
round giving the presents she had got
for other people, and came home and ate
S CICHISTMAS EVERY DAY.
turkey and cranberry for dinner, and
plum-pudding and nuts and raisins and
oranges and more candy, and then went
out and coasted, and came in with a
stomach-ache, crying; and her papa
said he would see if his house was turn-
ed into that sort of fool's paradise an-
other year; and they had a light sup-
per, and pretty early everybody went to
Here the little girl pounded her papa
in the back, again.
"Well, what now ? Did I say pigs ?"
"You made them act like pigs."
"Well, didn't they ?"
"No matter; you oughtn't to put it
into a story."
Very well, then, I'll take it all out."
Her father went on:
The little girl slept very heavily, and
she slept very late, but she was wakened
at last by the other children dancing
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
round her bed with their stockings full
of presents in their hands.
"What is it ?" said the little girl, and
she rubbed her eyes and tried to rise up
Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!"
they all shouted, and waved their stock-
Nonsense! It was Christmas yester-
Her brothers and sisters just laughed.
"We don't know about that. It's Christ-
mas to-day, anyway. You come into
the library and see."
Then all at once it flashed on the lit-
tle girl that the Fairy was keeping her
promise, and her year of Christmases
was beginning. She was dreadfully
sleepy, but she sprang up like a lark-a
lark that had overeaten itself and gone
to bed cross-and darted into the library.
There it was again! Books, and port-
folios, and boxes of stationery, and
10 OHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
"You needn't go over it all, papa; I
guess I can remember just what was
there," said the little girl.
Well, and there was the Christmas-
tree blazing away, and the family pick-
ing out their presents, but looking pretty
sleepy, and her father perfectly puzzled,
and her mother ready to cry. I'm sure
I don't see how I'm to dispose of all
these things," said her mother, and her
father said it seemed to him they had
had something just like it the day be-
fore, but he supposed he must have
dreamed it. This struck the little girl
as the best kind of a joke; and so she
ate so much candy she didn't want any
breakfast, and v-ent round carrying
presents, and had turkey and cranberry -
for dinner, and then went out and coast-
ed, and came in with a-
"Well, what now ?"
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
What did you promise, you forgetful
Oh! oh yes !"
Well, the next day, it was just the
same thing over again, but everybody
getting crosser; and at the end of a
week's time so many people had lost
their tempers that you could pick up
lost tempers anywhere; they perfectly
strewed the ground. Even when people
tried to recover their tempers they usu-
ally got somebody else's, and it made
the most dreadful mix.
The little girl began to get frightened,
keeping the secret all to herself; she
wanted to tell her mother, but she didn't
dare to; and'she was ashamed.to ask the
Fairy to take back her gift, it seemed
ungrateful and ill-bred, and she thought
she would try to stand it, but she hardly
knew how she could, for a whole year.
So it went on and on, and it was Christ-
mas on St. Valentine's Day and Wash-
12 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
ington's Birthday, just the same as any
day, and it didn't skip even the First
of April, though everything was counter-
feit that day, and that was some little
After a while coal and potatoes began
to be awfully scarce, so many had been
wrapped up in tissue-paper to fool papas
and mammas with. Turkeys got to be
about a thousand dollars apiece-
Well, what ?"
"You 're beginning to fib."
"Well, two thousand, then."
And they got to passing off almost
anything for turkeys-half-grown hum-
ming-birds, and even rocs out of the
Arabian Nights-the real turkeys were
so scarce. And cranberries-well, they
asked a diamond apiece for cranberries.
All the woods and orchards were cut
down for Christmas-trees, and where
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
the woods and orchards used to be it
looked just like a stubble-field, with the
stumps. After a while they had to
make Christmas-trees out of rags, and
stuff them with bran, like old-fashioned
dolls; but there were plenty of rags, be-
cause people got so poor, buying pres-
ents for one another, that they couldn't
get any new clothes, and they just wore
their old ones to tatters. They got so
poor that everybody had to go to the
poor-house, except the confectioners, and
the fancy-store keepers, and the picture-
book sellers, and the expressmen; and
they all got so rich and proud that they
would hardly wait upon a person when
he came to buy. It was perfectly shame-
Well, after it had gone on about three
or four months, the little girl, whenever
she came into the room in the morning
and saw those great ugly, lumpy stock-
ings dangling at the fire-place, and the
disgusting presents around everywhere,
14 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
used to just sit down and burst out cry-
ing. In six months she was perfectly
exhausted; she couldn't even cry any
more; she just lay on the lounge and
rolled her eyes and panted. About the
beginning of October she took to sitting
down on dolls wherever she found them
-French dolls, or any kind-she hated
the sight of them so; and by Thanks-
giving she was crazy, and just slammed
her presents across the room.
By that time people didn't carry pres-
ents around nicely any more. They flung
them over the fence, or through the
window, or anything; and, instead of
running their tongues out and taking
great pains to write "For dear Papa,"
or "Mamma," or" Brother," or Sister,"
or "Susie," or Sammie," or "Billie," or
"Bobbie," or "Jimmie," or "Jennie," or
whoever it was, and troubling to get the
spelling right, and then signing their
names, and "Xmas, 18--," they used
to write in the gift -books, "Take it,
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
you horrid old thing!" and then go and
bang it against the front door. Nearly
everybody had built barns to hold their
presents, but pretty soon the barns over-
flowed, and then they used to let them
lie out in the rain, or anywhere. Some-
times the police used to come and tell
them to shovel their presents off the
sidewalk, or they would arrest them.
"I thought you said everybody had
gone to the poor-house," interrupted the
They did go, at first," said her papa;
"but after a while the poor-houses got
so full that they had to send the people
back to their own houses. They tried
to cry, when they got back, but they
couldn't make the least sound."
Why couldn't they ?"
"Because they had lost their voices,
saying 'Merry Christmas' so much. Did
I tell you how it was on the Fourth of
16 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
"No; how was it ?" And the little
girl nestled closer, in expectation of
Well, the night before, the boys stayed
up to celebrate, as they always do, and
fell asleep before twelve o'clock, as usual,
expecting to be wakened by the bells
and cannon. But it was nearly eight
o'clock before the first boy in the United
States woke up, and then he found out
what the trouble was. As soon as he
could get his clothes on he ran out of
the house and smashed a big cannon-
torpedo down on the pavement; but it
didn't make any more noise than a damp
wad of paper; and after he tried about
twenty or thirty more, he began to pick
themup and look at them. Every single
torpedo was a big raisin! Then he
just streaked it up-stairs, and examined
his fire-crackers and toy-pistol and two-
dollar collection of fireworks, and found
that they were nothing but sugar and
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
candy painted up to look like fireworks!
Before ten o'clock every boy in the
United States found out that his Fourth
of July things had turned into Christ-
mas things; and then they just sat down
and cried--they were so mad. There
are about twenty million boys in the
United States, and so you can imagine
what a noise they made. Some men
got together before night, with a little
powder that hadn't turned into purple
sugar yet, and they said they would fire
off one cannon, anyway. But the can-
non burst into a thousand pieces, for it
was nothing but rock-candy, and some
of the men nearly got killed. The
Fourth of July orations all turned into
Christmas carols, and when anybody
tried to read the Declaration, instead
of saying, "When in the course of
human events it becomes necessary,"
he was sure to sing, "God rest you,
merry gentlemen." It was perfectly
18 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
The little girl drew a deep sigh of
And how was if at Thanksgiving ?"
Her papa hesitated. Well, I'm al-
most afraid to tell you. I'm afraid you'll
think it's wicked."
"Well, tell, anyway," said the little
Well, before it came Thanksgiving it
had leaked out who had caused all these
Christmases. The little girl had suffer-
ed so much that she had talked about it
in her sleep; and after that hardly any-
body would play with her. People just
perfectly despised her, because if it had
not been for her greediness it wouldn't
have happened; and now, when it came
Thanksgiving, and she wanted them to
go to church, and have squash-pie and
turkey, and show their gratitude, they
said that all the turkeys had been eaten
up for her old Christmas dinners, and
if she would stop the Christmases, they
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
would see about the gratitude. Wasn't
it dreadful? And the very next day
the little girl began to send letters to
the Christmas Fairy, and then telegrams,
to stop it. But it didn't do any good;
and then she got to calling at the Fairy's
house, but the girl that came to the
door always said, "Not at home," or
"Engaged," or "At dinner," or some-
thing like that; and so it went on till it
came to the old once-a-year Christmas
Eve. The little girl fell asleep, and when
she woke up in the morning-
"She found it was all nothing but a
dream," suggested the little girl.
"No, indeed !" said her papa. "It
was all every bit true!"
"Well, what did she find out, then?"
"Why, that it wasn't Christmas at
last, and wasn't ever going to be, any
more. Now it's time for breakfast."
The little girl held her papa fast
around the neck.
20 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
"You sha'n't go if you're going to
leave it so!"
"How do you want it left ?"
"Christmas once a year."
"All right," said her papa; and he
went on again.
Well, there was the greatest rejoicing
all over the country, and it extended
clear up into Canada. The people met
together everywhere, and kissed and
cried for joy. The city carts went
around and gathered up all the candy
and raisins and nuts, and dumped them
into the river ; and it made the fish per-
fectly sick; and the whole United States,
as far out as Alaska, was one blaze of
bonfires, where the children were burn-
ing up their gift-books and presents of
all kinds. They had the greatest time!
The little girl went to thank the old
Fairy because she had stopped its being
Christmas, and she said she hoped she
would keep her promise and see that
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
Christmas never, never came again.
Then the Fairy frowned, and asked her
if she was sure she knew what she
meant; and the little girl asked her,
Why not? and the old Fairy said that
now she was behaving just as greedily
as ever, and she'd better look out. This
made the little girl think it all over care-
fully again, and she said she would be
willing to have it Christmas about once
in a thousand years; and then she said
a hundred, and then she said ten, and
at last she got down to one. Then the
Fairy said that was the good old way
that had pleased people ever since
Christmas began, and she was agreed.
Then the little girl said, What 're your
shoes made of And the Fairy said,
"Leather." And the little girl said,
" Bargain 's done forever," and skipped
off, and hippity-hopped the whole way
home, she was so glad.
"How will that do ?" asked the papa.
22 CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY.
"First-rate!" said the little girl; but
she hated to have the story stop, and
was rather sober. However, her mam-
ma put her head in at the door, and
asked her papa:
"Are you never coming to breakfast?
What have you been telling that child ?"
Oh, just a moral tale."
The little girl caught him around the
We know! Don't you tell what,
papa! Don't you tell what "
TURKEYS TURNING THE
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
"WELL, you see," the papa began,
on Christmas morning, when the little
girl had snuggled in his lap into just
the right shape for listening, "it was
the night after Thanksgiving, and you
know how everybody feels the night
"Yes; but you needn't begin that
way, papa," said the little girl; "I'm
not going to have any moral to. it this
"No, indeed! But it can be a true
story, can't it ?"
"I don't know," said the little girl;
"I like made-up ones."
"Well, this is going to be a true one,
anyway, and it's no use talking."
26 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
All the relations in the neighborhood
had come to dinner, and then gone back
to their own houses, but some of the re-
lations had come from a distance, and
these had to stay all night at the grand-
father's. But whether they went or
whether they stayed, they all told the
grandmother that they did believe it
was the best Thanksgiving dinner they
had ever eaten in their born days. They
had had cranberry sauce, and they'd had
mashed potato, and they'd had mince-
pie and pandowdy, and they'd had cel-
ery, and they'd had Hubbard squash,
and they'd had tea and coffee both, and
they'd had apple-dumpling with hard
sauce, and they'd had hot biscuit and
sweet pickle, and mangoes, and frosted
cake, and nuts, and cauliflower-
"Don't mix them all up so!" pleaded
the little girl. It's perfectly confusing.
I can't hardly tell what they had now."
"Well, they mixed them up just in
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 27
the same way, and I suppose that's one
of the reasons why it happened."
Whenever a child wanted to go back
from dumpling and frosted cake to
mashed potato and Hubbard squash-
they were old-fashioned kind of people,
and they had everything on the table at
once, because the grandmother and the
aunties cooked it, and they couldn't keep
jumping up all the time to change the
plates-and its mother said it shouldn't,
its grandmother said, Indeed it should,
then, and helped it herself; and the
child's father would say, Well, he guess-
ed he would go back, too, for a change;
and the child's mother would say, She
should think he would be ashamed;
and then they would get to going back,
till everything was perfectly higgledy-
Oh, shouldn't you like to have been
there, papa ?" sighed the little girl.
28 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
You mustn't interrupt. Where was
"Oh yes !"
Well, but the greatest thing of all
was the turkey that they had. It was
a gobbler, I tell you, that was nearly as
big as a giraffe.
It took the premium at the county
fair, and when it was dressed it weighed
fifteen pounds-well, maybe twenty-
and it was so heavy that the grand-
mothers and the aunties couldn't put it
on the table, and they had to get one of
the papas to do it. You ought to have
heard the hurrahing when the children
saw him coming in from the kitchen
with it. It seemed as if they couldn't
hardly talk of anything but that tur-
key the whole dinner-time.
TTURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 29
The grandfather hated to carve, and
so one of the papas did it; and whenev-
er he gave anybody a piece, the grand-
father would tell some new story about
the turkey, till pretty soon the aunties
got to saying, "Now, father, stop!"
and one of them said it made it seem
as if the gobbler was walking about on
the table, to hear so much about him,
and it took her appetite all away; and
that made the papas begin to ask the
grandfather more and more about the
"Yes," said the little girl, thought-
fully; "I know what papas are."
Yes, they're pretty much all alike."
And the mammas began to say they
acted like a lot of silly boys; and what
would the children think? But noth-
ing could stop it; and all through the
afternoon and evening, whenever the
papas saw any of the aunties or mam-
30 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
mas round, they would begin to ask the
grandfather more particulars about the
turkey. The grandfather was pretty
forgetful, and he told the same things
right over. Well, and so it went on till
it came bedtime, and then the mammas
and aunties began to laugh and whisper
together, and to say they did believe
they should dream about that turkey;
and when the papas kissed the grand-
mother good-night, they said, Well,
they must have his mate for Christmas;
and then they put their arms round
the mammas and went out haw-haw-
"I don't think they behaved very dig-
nified," said the little girl.
"Well, you see, they were just fun-
ning, and had got going, and it was
Well, in about half an hour every-
body was fast asleep and dreaming-
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 31
"Is it going to be a dream ?" asked
the little girl, with some reluctance.
"Didn't I say it was going to be a
true story ?"
"How can it be a dream, then ?"
"You said everybody was fast asleep
Well, but I hadn't got through. Ev-
erybody except one little girl."
"Don't you go and say her name was
the same as mine, and her eyes the same
"What an idea !"
This was a very good little girl, and
very respectful to her papa, and didn't
suspect him of tricks, but just believed
everything he said. And she was a
very pretty little girl, and had red eyes,
and blue cheeks, and straight hair, and
a curly nose-
32 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
"Now, papa, if you get to cutting
"Well, I won't, then!"
Well, she was rather a delicate little
girl, and whenever she over-ate, or any-
thing, she was apt to-
"Have bad dreams! Aha! I told
you it was going to be a dream."
You wait till I get through."
She was apt to lie awake thinking, and
some of her thinks were pretty dismal.
Well, that night, instead of thinking and
tossing and turning, and counting a thou-
sand, it seemed to this other little girl
that she began to see things as soon as-
as she had got warm in bed, and before,
even. And the first thing she saw was
a large, bronze-colored-
"NIo, ma'am. Turkey gobbler's ghost."
Foo !" said the little girl, rather un-
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 33
easily; "whoever heard of a turkey's
ghost, I should like to know ?"
"Never mind that," said the papa.
"If it hadn't been a ghost, could the
moonlight have shone through it ? No,
indeed! The stuffing wouldn't have
let it. So you see it must have been a
It had a red pasteboard placard round
its neck, with FIRST PREMIUM printed on
it, and so she knew that it was the ghost
of the very turkey they had had for din-
ner. It was perfectly awful when it put
up its tail, and dropped its wings, and
strutted just the way the grandfather
said it used to do. It seemed to be in a
wide pasture, like that back of the house,
and the children had to cross it to get
home, and they were all afraid of the
turkey that kept gobbling at them and
threatening them, because they had eat-
en him up. At last one of the boys-it
was the other little girl's brother-said
34 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
he would run across and get his papa to
come out and help them, and the first
thing she knew the turkey was after
him, gaining, gaining, gaining, and all
the grass was full of hen-turkeys and
turkey chicks, running after him, and
gaining, gaining, gaining, and just as he
was getting to the wall he tripped and
fell over a turkey-pen, and all at once
she was in one of the aunties' room, and
the aunty was in bed, and the turkeys
were walking up and down over her, and
stretching out their wings, and blaming
her. Two of them carried a platter of
chicken pie, and there was a, large pump-
kin jack-o'-lantern hanging to the bed-
post to light the room, and it looked
just like the other little girl's brother
in the face, only perfectly ridiculous.
Then the old gobbler, First Premium,
clapped his wings, and said, "Come on,
chick-chickledren !" and then they all
seemed to be in her room, and she was
standing in the middle of it in her night-
"THE OLD GOBBLER 'FIRST PREMIUM' SAID THEY WERE GOING TO TURN THE TABLES NOW."
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 37
gown, and tied round and round with
ribbons, so she couldn't move hand or
foot. The old gobbler, First Premium,
said they were going to turn the tables
now, and she knew what he meant, for
they had had that in the reader at school
just before vacation, and the teacher had
explained it. He made a long speech,
with his hat on, and kept pointing at her
with one of his wings, while he told the
other turkeys that it was her grandfa-
ther who had done it, and now it was
their turn. He said that human beings
had been eating turkeys ever since the
discovery of America, and it was time
for the turkeys to begin paying them
back, if they were ever going to. He
said she was pretty young, but she was
as big as he was, and he had no doubt
they would enjoy her.
The other little girl tried to tell him
that she was not to blame, and that she
only took a very, very little piece.
"But it was right off the breast," said
38 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
the gobbler, and he shed tears, so that
the other little girl cried, too. She
didn't have much hopes, they all seem-
ed so spiteful, especially the little tur-
key chicks; but she told them that she
was very tender-hearted, and never hurt
a single thing, and she tried to make
them understand that-there was a great
difference between eating people and
just eating turkeys.
"What difference, I should like to
know ?" says the old hen-turkey, pretty
"People have got souls, and turkeys
haven't," says the other little girl.
"I don't see how that makes it any
better," says the old hen-turkey. It
don't make it any better for the tur-
keys. If we haven't got any souls, we
can't live after we've been eaten up,
and you ctn."
The other little girl was awfully
frightened to have the hen-turkey take
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 39
"I should think she would 'a' been,"
said the little girl; and she cuddled
snugger into her papa's arms. What
could she say Ugh Go on."
Well, she didn't know what to say,
that's a fact. You see, she never thought
of it in that light before. All she could
say was, "Well, people have got reason,
anyway, and turkeys have only got in-
stinct; so there !"
"You'd better look out," says the old
hen-turkey; and all the little turkey
chicks got so mad they just hopped, and
the oldest little he-turkey, that was just
beginning to be a gobbler, he dropped
his wings and spread his tail just like
his father, and walked round the other
little girl till it was perfectly frightful.
"I should think they would 'a' been
Well, perhaps old First Premium was
40 TURKEYS TURNING, THE TABLES.
a little; because he stopped them. My
dear," he says to the old hen-turkey,
and chick-chickledren, you forget your-
selves; you should have a little consider-
ation. Perhaps you wouldn't behave
much better yourselves if you were just
going to be eaten."
And they all began to scream and to
cry, We've been eaten, and we're noth-
ing but turkey ghosts."
There, now, papa," says the little
girl, sitting up straight, so as to argue
better, I knew it wasn't true, all along.
How could turkeys have ghosts if they
don't have souls, I should like to know ?"
"Oh, easily," said the papa.
"Tell how," said the little girl.
Now look here," said the papa, are
you telling this story, or am I "
"You are," said the little girl, and
she cuddled down again. Go on."
"Well, then, don't you interrupt.
Where was I? Oh yes."
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 41
Well, he couldn't do anything with
them, old First Premium couldn't. They
acted perfectly ridiculous, and one little
brat of a spiteful little chick piped out,
"I speak for a drumstick, ma!" and then
they all began: "I want a wing, ma !"
and "I'm going to have the wish-bone!"
and "I shall have just as much stuffing
as ever I please, shan't I, ma ?" till the
other little girl was perfectly disgusted
with them; she thought they oughtn't
to say it before her, anyway; but she
had hardly thought this before they all
screamed out, "They used to say it be-
fore us," and then she didn't know what
to say, because she knew how people
talked before animals.
"I don't believe I ever did," said the
little girl. "Go on."
Well, old First Premium tried to quiet
them again, and when he couldn't he
apologized to the other little girl so
nicely that she began to like him. He
42 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
said they didn't mean any harm by it;
they were just excited, and chickledren
would be chickledren.
Yes," said the other little girl, but
I think you might take some older per-
son to begin with. It's a perfect shame
to begin with a little girl."
"Begin!" says old First Premium.
"Do you think we're just 7,.. ,'- ?
Why, when do you think it is ?"
The night after Thanksgiving."
They all gave a perfect screech.
"Why, it's Christmas Eve, 1900, and
every one of your friends has been eaten
up long ago," says old First Premium,
and he began to cry over her, and the
old hen-turkey and the little turkey
chicks began to wipe their eyes on the
backs of their wings.
"I don't think they were very neat,"
said the little girl.
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 43
Well, they were kind-hearted, any-
way, and they felt sorry for the other
little girl. And she began to think she
had made some little impression on
them, when she noticed the old hen-
turkey beginning to untie her bonnet
strings, and the turkey chicks began to
spread round her in a circle, with the
points of their wings touching, so that
she couldn't get out, and they com-
menced dancing and singing, and after a
while that little he-turkey says, Who's
it?" and the other little girl, she didn't
know why, says, "i'm it," and old First
Premium says, Do you promise ?" and
the other little girl says, Yes, I prom-
ise," and she knew she was promising,
if they would let her go, that people
should never eat turkeys any more.
And the moon began to shine brighter
and brighter through the turkeys, and
pretty soon it was the sun, and then it
was not the turkeys, but the window-
curtains-it was one of those old farm-
44 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
houses where they don't have blinds-
and the other little girl-
"Woke up !" shouted the little girl.
"There now, papa, what did I tell you?
I knew it was a dream all along."
No, she didn't," said the papa; "and
it wasn't a dream."
"What was it, then ?"
"It was a-trance."
The little girl turned round, and knelt
in her papa's lap, so as to take him by
the shoulders and give him a good shak-
ing. That made him promise to be good,
pretty quick, and, "Very well, then,"
says the little girl; if it wasn't a dream,
you've got to prove it."
But how can I prove it ?" says the
"By going on with the story," says the
little girl, and she cuddled down again.
"Oh, well, that's easy enough."
As soon as it was light in the room,
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 45
the other little girl could see that the
place was full of people, crammed and
jammed, and they were all awfully ex-
cited, and kept yelling, Down with the
traitress !" Away with the renegade !"
"Shame on the little sneak !" till it was
worse than the turkeys, ten times.
She knew that they meant her, and
she tried to explain that she just had to
promise, and that if they had been in her
place they would have promised too; and
of course they could do as they pleased
about keeping her word, but she was
going to keep it, anyway, and never,
never, never eat another piece of turkey
either at Thanksgiving or at Christmas.
"Very well, then," says an old lady,
who looked like her grandmother, and
then began to have a crown on, and to
turn into Queen Victoria, "what can
"Well," says the other little girl,
" you can have oyster soup."
What else 2"
46 TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES.
"And you can have cranberry sauce."
"You can have mashed potatoes, and
Hubbard squash, and celery, and turnip,
You can have mince-pie, and pan-
dowdy, and plum-pudding."
"And not a thing on the list," says
the Queen," that doesn't go with turkey!
Now you see."
The papa stopped.
"Go on," said the little girl.
"There isn't any more."
The little girl turned round, got up
on her knees, took him by the shoulders,
and shook him fearfully. "Now, then,"
she said, while the papa let his head
wag, after the shaking, like a Chinese
mandarin's, and it was a good thing he
did not let his tongue stick out. "Now,
will you go on? What did the people
eat in place of turkey ?"
TURKEYS TURNING THE TABLES. 47
"I don't know."
You don't know, you awful papa!
Well, then, what did the little girl eat ?"
"She?" The papa freed himself, and
made his preparation to escape. Why,
she-oh, she ate goose. Goose is ten-
derer than turkey, anyway, and more
digestible; and there isn't so much of.
it; and you can't overeat yourself, and
"Dreams!" cried the little girl.
"Trances," said the papa, and she be-
gan to chase him all round the room.
THE PONY ENGINE AND THE
THE PONY ENGINE AND THE
CHRISTIAS EVE, after the children had
hung up their stockings and got all
ready for St. Nic, they climbed up on
the papa's lap to kiss him good-night,
and when they both got their arms
round his neck, they said they were not
going to bed till he told them a Christ-
mas story.. Then he saw that he would
have to mind, for they were awfully se-
vere with him, and always made him do
exactly what they told him; it was the
way they had brought him up. He
tried his best to get out of it for a
while; but after they had shaken him
first this side, and then that side, and
52 THE PONY ENGINE AND
pulled him backward and forward till
he did not know where he was, he be-
gan to think perhaps he had better be-
gin. The first thing he said, after he
opened his eyes, and made believe he
had been asleep, or something, was,
"Well, what did I leave off at ?" and
that made them just perfectly boiling,
for they understood his tricks, and they
knew he was trying to pretend that he
had told part of the story already; and
they said he had not left off anywhere
because he had not commenced, and he
saw it. was no use. So he commenced.
"Once there was a little Pony En-
gine that used to play round the Fitch-
burg Depot on the side tracks, and
sleep in among the big locomotives in
The little girl lifted her head from the
papa's shoulder, where she had dropped
it. Is it a sad story, papa ?"
How is it going to end ?" asked the
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
"Well, it's got a moral," said the papa.
"Oh, all right, if it's got a moral," said
the children; they had a good deal of
fun with the morals the papa put to his
stories. The boy added, Go on," and
the little girl prompted, Car-house."
The papa said, Now every time you
stop me I shall have to begin all over
again." But he saw that this was not
going to spite them any, so he went on:
" One of the locomotives was its mother,
and she had got hurt once in a big
smash-up, so that she couldn't run long
trips any more. She was so weak in
the chest you could hear her wheeze as
far as you could see her. But she could
work round the depot, and pull empty
cars in and out, and shunt them off on
the side tracks; and she was so anxious
to be useful that all the other engines
respected her, and they were very kind
to the little Pony Engine on her ac-
count, though it was always getting in
the way, and under their wheels, and
54 THE PONY ENGINE AND
everything. They all knew it was an
orphan, for before its mother got hurt
its father went through a bridge one
dark night into an arm of the sea, and
was never heard of again; he was sup-
posed to have been drowned. The old
mother locomotive used to say that it
would never have happened if she had
been there; but poor dear No. 236 was
always so venturesome, and she had
warned him against that very bridge
time and again. Then she would whistle
so dolefully, and sigh with her air-brakes
enough to make anybody cry. You see
they used to be a very happy family
when they were all together, before the
papa locomotive got drowned. He was
very fond of the little Pony Engine, and
told it stories at night after they got
into the car-house, at the end of some
of his long runs. It would get up on
his cow-catcher, and lean its chimney up
against his, and listen till it fell asleep.
Then he would put it softly down, and
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
be off again in the morning before it
was awake. I tell you, those were hap-
py days for poor No. 236. The little
Pony Engine could just remember him;
it was awfully proud of its papa."
The boy lifted his head and looked at
the little girl, who suddenly hid her face
in the papa's other shoulder. "Well, I
declare, papa, she was putting up her
I wasn't, any such thing!" said the
little girl. "And I don't care Sb!"and
then she sobbed.
Now, never you mind," said the papa
to the boy. You'll be putting up your
lip before I'm through. Well, and then
she used to caution the little Pony-En-
gine against getting in the way of the
big locomotives, and told it to keep close
round after her, and try to do all it
could to learn about shifting empty
cars. You see, she knew how ambitious
the little Pony Engine was, and how it
wasn't contented a bit just to grow up
56 THE PONY ENGINE AND
in the pony-engine business, and be tied
down to the depot all its days. Once
she happened to tell it that if it was
good and always did what it was bid,
perhaps a cow-catcher would grow on it
some day, and then it could be a pas-
senger locomotive. Mammas have to
promise all sorts of things, and she was
almost distracted when she said that."
"I don't think she ought to have de-
ceived it, papa," said the boy. "But it
ought to have known that if it was a
Pony Engine to begin with, it never
could have a cow-catcher."
"Couldn't it?" asked the little girl,
"No; they're kind of mooley."
The little girl asked the papa, What
makes Pony Engines mooley ?" for she
did not choose to be told by her broth-
er; he was only two years older than
she was, anyway.
"Well, it's pretty hard to say. You see,
when a locomotive is first hatched-"
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
"Oh, are they hatched, papa ?" asked
"Well, we'll call it hatched," said the
papa; but they knew he was just fun-
ning. They're about the size of tea-
kettles at first; and it's a chance
whether they will have cow -catchers
or not. If they keep their spouts, they
will; and if their spouts drop off, they
"What makes the spout ever drop
"Oh, sometimes the pip, or the
The children both began to shake the
papa, and he was glad enough to go on
sensibly. "Well, anyway, the mother
locomotive certainly oughtn't to have
deceived it. Still she had to say some-
thing, and perhaps the little Pony En-
gine was better employed watching its
buffers with its head-light, to see wheth-
er its cow-catcher had begun to grow,
than it would have been in listening to
58 THE PONY ENGINE AND
the stories of the old locomotives, and
sometimes their swearing."
"Do they swear, papa?" asked the
little girl, somewhat shocked, and yet
"Well, I never heard them, near by.
But it sounds a good deal like swearing
when you hear them on the up-grade
on our hill in the night. Where was I ?"
"S wearing," said the boy. "And
please don't go back, now, papa."
"Well, I won't. It'll be as much as
I can do to get through this story, with-
out going over any of it again. Well,
the thing that the little Pony Engine
wanted to be, the most in this world,
was the locomotive of the Pacific Ex-
press, that starts out every afternoon at
three, you know. It intended to apply
for the place as soon as its cow-catcher
was grown, and it was always trying to
attract the locomotive's attention, back-
ing and filling on the track alongside of
the train; and once it raced it a little
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
piece, and beat it, before the Express lo-
comotive was under way, and almost got
in front of it on a switch. My, but its
mother was scared She just yelled to
it with her whistle; and that night she
sent it to sleep without a particle of coal
or water in its tender.
"But the little Pony Engine didn't
care. It had beaten the Pacific Ex-
press in a hundred yards, and what was
to hinder it from beating it as long as
it chose? The little Pony Engine could
not get it out of its head. It was just
like a boy who thinks he can whip a
The boy lifted his head. "Well, a
boy can, papa, if he goes to do it the
right way. Just stoop down before the
man knows it, and catch him by the
legs and tip him right over."
"Ho! I guess you see yourself !" said
the little girl, scornfully.
Well, I could!" said the boy; "and
some day I'll just show you."
60 THE PONY ENGINE AND
"Now, little cock-sparrow, now !" said
the papa; and he laughed. "Well, the
little Pony Engine thought he could beat
the Pacific Express, anyway; and so one
dark, snowy, blowy afternoon, when his
mother was off pushing some empty coal
cars up past the Know-Nothing crossing
beyond Charlestown, he got on the track
in front of the Express, and when he
heard the conductor say 'All aboard,'
and the starting gong struck, and the
brakemen leaned out and waved to the
engineer, he darted off like lightning.
He had his steam up, and he just scut-
"Well, he was so excited for a while
that he couldn't tell whether the Ex-
press was gaining on him or not; but
after twenty or thirty miles, he thought
he heard it pretty near. Of course the
Express locomotive was drawing a heavy
train of cars, and it had to make a stop
or two-at Charlestown, and at Con-
cord Junction, and at Ayer-so the
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
Pony Engine did really gain on it a
little; and when it began to be scared
it gained a good deal. But the first
place where it began to feel sorry, and
to want its mother, was in Hoosac Tun-
nel. It never was in a tunnel before,
and it seemed as if it would never get
out. It kept thinking, What if the Pa-
cific Express was to run over it there in
the dark, and its mother off there at the
Fitchburg Depot, in Boston, looking for
it among the side-tracks? It gave a per-
feet shriek; and just then it shot out of
the tunnel. There were a lot of loco-
motives loafing around there at North
Adams, and one of them shouted out
to it as it flew by,' What's your hurry,
little one?' and it just screamed back,
'Pacific Express !' and never stopped to
explain. They talked in locomotive lan-
"Oh, what did it sound like ?" the boy
"Well, pretty queer; I'll tell you some
62 THE PONY ENGINE AND
day. It knew it had no time to fool
away, and all through the long, dark
night, whenever a locomotive hailed it,
it just screamed,' Pacific Express !' and
kept on. And the Express kept gain-
ing on it. Some of the locomotives
wanted to stop it, but they decided they
had better not get in its way, and so it
whizzed along across New York State
and Ohio and Indiana, till it got to
Chicago. And the Express kept gain-
ing on it. By that time it was so hoarse
it could hardly whisper, but it kept say-
ing, 'Pacific Express! Pacific Express!'
and it kept right on till it reached the
Mississippi River. There it found a
long train of freight cars before it on
the bridge. It couldn't wait, and so it
slipped down from the track to the
edge of the river and jumped across,
and then scrambled up the embankment
to the track again."
"Papa!" said the little girl, warningly.
"Truly it did," said the papa.
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
Ho! that's nothing," said the boy.
"A whole train of cars did it in that
Jules Verne book."
Well," the papa went on," after that
it had a little rest, for the Express had
to wait for the freight train to get off
the bridge, and the Pony Engine stopped
at the first station for a drink of water
and a mouthful of coal, and then it flew
ahead. There was a kind old locomo-
tive at Omaha that tried to find out
where it belonged, and what its mother's
name was, but the Pony Engine was so
bewildered it couldn't tell. And the
Express kept gaining on it. On the
plains it was chased by a pack of prairie
wolves, but it left them far behind; and
the antelopes were scared half to death.
But the worst of it was when the night-
mare got after it."
"The nightmare Goodness!" said
"I've had the nightmare," said the
64 THE PONY ENGINE AND
Oh yes, a mere human nightmare,"
said the papa. "But a locomotive
nightmare is a very different thing."
Why, what's it like ?" asked the boy.
The little girl was almost afraid to ask.
"Well, it has only one leg, to begin
"Wheel, I mean. And it has four
cow-catchers, and four head-lights, and
two boilers, and eight whistles, and it
just goes whirling and screeching along.
Of course it wobbles awfully; and as
it's only got one wheel, it has to keep
skipping from one track to the other."
"I should think it would run on the
cross-ties," said the boy.
Oh, very well, then !" said the papa.
"If you know so much more about it
than I do! Who's telling this story,
anyway? Now I shall have to go back
to the beginning. Once there was a
little Pony En-"
They both put their hands over his
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
mouth, and just fairly begged him to
go on, and at last he did. Well, it got
away from the nightmare about morn-
ing, but not till the nightmare had bit-
ten a large piece out of its tender, and
then it braced up for the home-stretch.
It thought that if it could once beat the
Express to the Sierras, it could keep the
start the rest of the way, for it could
get over the mountains quicker than the
Express could, and it might be in San
Francisco before the Express got to
Sacramento. The Express kept gain-
ing on it. But it just zipped along the
upper edge of Kansas and the lower
edge of Nebraska, and on through Colo-
rado and Utah and Nevada, and when
it got to the Sierras it just stooped a
little, and went over them like a goat;
it did, truly; just doubled up its fore
wheels under it, and jumped. And the
Express kept gaining on it. By this
time it couldn't say 'Pacific Express'
any more, and it didn't try. It just said
66 THE PONY ENGINE AND
' Express Express!' and then 'Press!
'Press!' and then 'Ess! 'Ess!' and pret-
ty soon only "Ss! 'Ss!' And the Ex-
press kept gaining on it. Before they
reached San Francisco, the Express
locomotive's cow-catcher was almost
touching the Pony Engine's tender;
it gave one howl of anguish as it felt
the Express locomotive's hot breath on
the place where the nightmare had bit-
ten the piece out, and tore through the
end of the San Francisco depot, and
plunged into the Pacific Ocean, and was
never seen again. There, now," said the
papa, trying to make the children get
down, "that's all. Go to bed." The
little girl was crying, and so he tried to
comfort her by keeping her in his lap.
The boy cleared his throat. What
is the moral, papa ?" he asked, huskily.
Children, obey your parents," said
"And what became of the mother lo-
comotive ?" pursued the boy.
THE PACIFIC EXPRESS.
"She had a brain -fever, and never
quite recovered the use of her mind
The boy thought awhile. "Well, I
don't see what it had to do with Christ-
Why, it was Christmas Eve when
the Pony Engine started from Boston,
and Christmas afternoon when it reached
Ho!" said the boy. No locomotive
could get across the continent in a day
and a night, let alone a little Pony En-
"But this Pony Engine chad to. Did
you never hear of the beaver that clomb
the tree ?"
"Yes, some other time."
"But how could it get across so quick?
Just one day!"
"Well, perhaps it was a year. May-
be it was the next Christmas after that
when it got to San Francisco."
68 THE PONY ENGINE.
The papa set the little girl down, and
started to run out of the room, and both
of the children ran after him, to pound
When they were in bed the boy called
down-stairs to the papa, "Well, anyway,
I didn't put up my lip."
THE papa had told the story so often
that the children knew just exactly
what to expect the moment he began.
They all knew it as well as he knew it
himself, and they could keep him from
making mistakes, or forgetting. Some-
times he would go wrong on purpose, or
would pretend to forget, and then they
had a perfect right to pound him till he
quit it. He usually quit pretty soon.
The children liked it because it was
very exciting, and at the same time it
had no moral, so that when it wag all
over, they could feel that they had not
been. excited just for the moral. The
first time the little girl heard it she be-
72 THE PUMPKlIN-GLORY.
gan to cry, when it came to the worst
part; but the boy had heard it so much
by that time that he did not mind it in
the least, and just laughed.
The story was in season any time be-
tween Thanksgiving and New Years;
but the papa usually began to tell it
in the early part of October, when the
farmers were getting in their pumpkins,
and the children were asking when they
were going to have any squash pies, and
the boy had made his first jack-o'-lan-
"Well," the papa said, "once there
were two little pumpkin seeds, and one
was a good little pumpkin seed, and the
other was bad-very proud, and vain,
The papa had told them what ambi-
tious was, and so the children did not
stop him when he came to that word;
but sometimes he would stop of his own
accord, and then if they could not tell
what it meant, he would pretend that
THE PUMPKIN- GLORY.
he was not going on; but he always did
Well, the farmer took both the seeds
out to plant them in the home-patch,
because they were a very extra kind of
seeds, and he was not going to risk them
in the cornfield, among the corn. So
before he put them in the ground, he
asked each one of them what he wanted
to be when he came up, and the good lit-
tle pumpkin seed said he wanted to come
up a pumpkin, and be made into a pie,
and be eaten at Thanksgiving dinner;
and the bad little pumpkin seed said he
wanted to come up a morning-glory.
"' Morning-glory !' says the farmer.
I guess you'll come up a pumpkin-glory,
first thing you know,' and then he haw-
hawed, and told his son, who was help-
ing him to plant the garden, to keep
watch of that particular hill of pump-
kins, and see whether that little seed
came up a morning-glory or not; and
the boy stuck a stick into the hill so
74 THE PUMPKIN GLORY.
he could tell it. But one night the
cow got in, and the farmer was so mad,
having to get up about one o'clock in
the morning to drive the cow out, that
he pulled up the stick, without noticing,
to whack her over the back with it, and
so they lost the place.
"But the two little pumpkin seeds,
they knew where they were well enough,
and they lay low, and let the rain and
the sun soak in and swell them up; and
then they both began to push, and by-
and-by they got their heads out of the
ground, with their shells down over
their eyes like caps, and as soon as they
could shake them off and look round,
the bad little pumpkin vine said to his
"'Well, what are you going to do
"The good little pumpkin vine said,
'Oh, I'm just going to stay here, and
grow and grow, and put out all the blos-
soms I can, and let them all drop off
THE PUMPKIN GLORY.
but one, and then grow that into the
biggest and fattest and sweetest pump-
kin that ever was for Thanksgiving
"'Well, that's what I am going to
do, too,' said the bad little pumpkin
vine,' all but the pies; but I'm not go-
TWO LITTLE PUMPKIN SEEDS.
ing to stay here to do it. I'm going to
that fence over there, where the morn-
ing-glories were last summer, and I'm
going to show them what a pumpkin-
glory is like. I'm just going to cover
myself with blossoms; and blossoms
76 THE PUMPKIN-GLORY.
that won't shut up, either, when the
sun comes out, but 'I stay open, as if
they hadn't anything to be ashamed of,
and that won't drop off the first day,
either. I noticed those morning-glories
all last summer, when I was nothing
but one of the blossoms myself, and I
just made up my mind that as soon as
ever I got to be a vine, I would show
them a thing or two. Maybe I can't be
a morning-glory, but I can be a pump-
kin glory, and I guess that's glory
"It made the cold chills run over the
good little vine to hear its brother talk
like that, and it begged him not to do
it; and it began to cry-
"What's that ?" The papa stopped
short, and the boy stopped whispering
in his sister's ear, and she answered:
"He said he bet it was a girl!" The
tears stood in her eyes, and the boy
"Well, anyway, it was like a girl."
"Very well, sir l" said the papa..
And supposing it was ? Which is bet-
ter: to stay quietly at home, and do your
duty, and grow up, and be eaten in a
pie at Thanksgiving, or go gadding all
over the garden, and climbing fences,
and everything? The good little pump-
kin vine was perfectly right, and the
bad little pumpkin would have been
saved a good deal if it had minded its
"The farmer was pretty busy that
summer, and after the first two or three
hoeings he had to leave the two pump-
kin vines to the boy that had helped
him to plant the seed, and the boy had
to go fishing so much, and then in
swimming, that he perfectly neglected
them, and let them run wild, if they
wanted to; and if the good little pump-
kin vine had not been the best little
pumpkin vine that ever was, it would
have run wild. But it just stayed where
it was, and thickened up, and covered
78 THE PUMPKIN -GLORY.
itself with blossoms, till it was like one
mass of gold. It was very fond of all
its blossoms, and it couldn't bear hardly
to think of losing any of them; but it
knew they couldn't every one grow up
to be a very large pumpkin, and so it
let them gradually drop off till it only
had one left, and then it just gave all
its attention to that one, and did every-
thing it could to make it grow into the
kind of pumpkin it said it would.
"All this time the bad little pumpkin
vine was carrying out its plan of being
a pumpkin-glory. In the first place it
found out that if it expected to get
through by fall it couldn't fool much
putting out a lot of blossoms and wait-
ing for them to drop off, before it began
to devote itself to business. The fence
was a good piece off, and it had to reach
the fence in the first place, for there
wouldn't be any fun in being a pumpkin-
glory down where nobody could see you, -
or anything. So the bad little pumpkin
vine began to pull and stretch towards
the fence, and sometimes it thought it
would surely snap in two, it pulled and
stretched so hard. But besides the
pulling and stretching, it had to hide,
and go round, because if it had been
seen it wouldn't have been allowed to
go to the fence. It was a good thing
there were so many weeds, that the boy
was too lazy to pull up, and the bad little
pumpkin vine could hide among. But
then they were a good deal of a hinder-
ance, too, because they were so thick it
could hardly get through them. It had
to pass some rows of pease that were
perfectly awful; they tied themselves
to it and tried to keep it back; and
there was one hill of cucumbers that
acted ridiculously; they said it was a
cucumber vine running away from home,
and they would have kept it from going
any farther, if it hadn't tugged with
all its might and main, and got away
one night when the cucumbers were
80 THE PUMPlIEIK-G'LORY.
sleeping; it was pretty strong, anyway.
When-it: got to :the fence at last, it
thought it was going to die... It was all
pulled out so thin .that it wasn't any
thicker than a piece :of twine in some
places, and its leaves'just:.hung in tat-
ters. It hadn't.had time to put out more
than one blossom, and that was such:a
poor little sickly thing that it could hard-
ly hang on. The question was, How can
a pumpkin vine climb a fence, anyway:?
"Its knees and elbows were all worn
to strings getting there, or that's .what
the pumpkin thought, till it wound one
of those tendrils round.a splinter of the
fence, without- thinking, and happened
to pull, and. then it. was perfectly sur-
prised to find that it seemed to lift itself
off the ground a little. It:said to. itself,
' Let's try a few more,' and it twisted
some more of the tendrils round some
more splinters, and. this time it fairly
lifted itself off"the ground. It said,
' Ah, I see!' as if it had somehow ex-
THE PU~P IN -GOY.. 81
pected- to do something of.the:.kind all
along; but it had to be pretty careful
get t ing up, the fence not ,to- knock its
blossom off, for that would -have, been
the-end_ of it; and when:it did get up
among the morning- glories it almost
killed' the poor thing, keeping it. open
night and day, and slihowning it off in the
hottest sun, and not giving it a bit of
shade, but just holding it-.out wrhe-re it,
could be seen:the whole time. It xisu't,
very much of a blossom compared with
the blossoms on the.good little pumpkin
vine, but. it was bi ger.-than:any of the
morning- glories, and. that was some
satisfaction, and:the bad little.pumpkin
vine was as proud as if it was thelargest
blossom in: the world..
"When the blossom's leaves dropped
off, and a little pumpkin began to grow
on in its place, the vine did everything
it could for it; just gave itself up to it,
and put all its strength into it. After
all, it was a pretty queer-looking pump-
82 THE PUMPKIN-GLORY.
kin, though. It had to grow hanging
down, and not resting on anything, and
after it started with a round head, like
other pumpkins, its neck began to pull
out, and pull out, till it looked like a
gourd or a big pear. That's the way it
looked in the fall, hanging from the vine
on the fence, when the first light frost
came and killed the vine. It was the
day when the farmer was gathering his
pumpkins in the cornfield, and he just
happened to remember the seeds he had
planted in the home-patch, and he got
out of his wagon to see what had be-
come of them. He was perfectly aston-
ished to see the size of the good little
pumpkin; you could hardly get it into a
bushel basket, and he gathered it, and
sent it to the county fair, and took the
first premium with it."
How much was the premium ?" asked
the boy. He yawned; he had heard all
these facts so often before.
"It was fifty cents; but you see the
farmer had to pay two dollars to get a
chance to try for the premium at the
fair; and so it was some satisfaction.
Anyway, he took the premium, and he
tried to sell the pumpkin, and when he
TOOK THE FIRST PREMIUM AT THE COUNTY FAIR.
couldn't, he brought it home and told
his wife they must have it for Thanks-
giving. The boy had gathered the bad
little pumpkin, and kept it from being
fed to the cow, it was so funny-look-
ing; and the day before Thanksgiving
84 THE PUMPKIN-GLORY.
the farmer found it in the barn, and
"' Hollo! Here's that little fool pump-
kin. Wonder if it thinks it's a morning-
glory yet '
"And the boy said, 'Oh, father,
mayn't I have it ?'
"And the father said, 'Guess so.
What are you going to do with it '
But the boy didn't tell, because he
was going to keep it for a surprise; but
as soon as his father went out of the
barn, he picked up the bad little pump-
kin by its long neck, and he kind of
balanced it before him, and he said,
' Well, now, I'm going to make a pump-
kin-glory out of you /'
"And when the bad little pumpkin
heard that, all its seeds fairly rattled in
it for joy. The boy took out his knife,
and the first thing the pumpkin knew
he was cutting a kind of lid off the top
of it; it was like getting scalped, but
the pumpkin didn't mind it, because it
" HERE'S THAT LITTLE FOOL PUMPKIN,' SAID THE FARMER."
THE PUMPKIN GLORY.
was just the same as war. And when
the boy got the top off he poured the
seeds out, and began to scrape the inside
as thin as he could without breaking
through. It hurt awfully, and noth-
ing but the hope of being a pumpkin-
glory could have kept the little pump-
kin quiet; but it didn't say a word, even
after the boy had made a mouth for it,
with two rows of splendid teeth, and it
didn't cry with either of the eyes he
made for it; just winked at him with
one of them, and twisted its mouth to
one side, so as to let him know it was
in the joke; and the first thing it did
when it got one was to turn up its nose
at the good little pumpkin, which the
boy's mother came into the barn to get."
Show how it looked," said the boy.
And the papa twisted his mouth, and
winked with one eye, and wrinkled his
nose till the little girl begged him to
stop. Then he went on:
"The boy hid the bad pumpkin be-
88 .THE PUMPKIN GLORY.
hind him till his mother was gone,be-
cause he didn't want her in the secret;
and then he slipped into the house, and
put it under his bed. It was pretty
lonesome up there in the boy's room-
he slept in the garret, and there was
nothing but broken furniture besides his
bed; but all day long it could smell the
good little pumpkin, boiling and boiling
for pies; and late at night, after the boy
had gone to sleep, it could smell the hot
pies when they came out of the oven.
They smelt splendid, but the bad little
pumpkin didn't envy them a bit; it just
said,'Pooh! What's twenty pumpkin
pies to one pumpkin-glory ?'"
"It ought to have said 'what are,'
oughtn't it, papa ?" asked the little girl.
"It certainly ought," said the papa.
"But if nothing but it's grammar had
been bad, there wouldn't have been
much to complain of about it."
"I don't suppose it had ever heard
much good grammar from the farmer's
THE PUMPKIN-GLORY. 89
family," suggested the boy. Farmers
always say cowcumbers instead of cu-
Oh, do tell us about the.Cowcumber,
and the Bulloumber, and the little Calf-
cumbers, papa!" the little girl entreated,
and she clasped her hands, to show how
anxious she was.
"What! And leave off at the most
exciting part of the pumpkin-glory ?"
The little girl saw what a mistake she
had made; the boy just gave her one
look, and she cowered down into the
papa's lap, and the papa went on.
Well, they had an extra big Thanks-
giving at the farmer's that day. Lots
of the relations came from out West;
the grandmother, who was living with
the farmer, was getting pretty old, and
every year or two she thought she wasn't
going to live very much longer, and she
wrote to the relations in Wisconsin, and
everywhere, that if they expected to see
her alive again, they had better come
90 THE PUMPKIN GLORY.
this time, and bring all their families.
She kept doing it till she was about
ninety, and then she just concluded to
live along and not mind how old she
was. But this was just before her
eighty ninth birthday, and she had
drummed up so many sons and sons-in-
law, and daughters and daughters-in-
law, and grandsons and great-grandsons,
and granddaughters and great grand-
daughters, that the house was perfectly
packed with them. They had to sleep
on the floor, a good many of them, and
you could hardly step for them; the
boys slept in the barn, and they laughed
and cut up so the whole night that the
roosters thought it was morning, and
kept crowing till they made their throats
sore, and had to wear wet compresses
round them every night for a week
When the papa said anything like
this the children had a right to pound
him, but they were so anxious not to
have him stop, that this time they did
not do it. They said, Go on, go on!"
and the little girl said, "And then the
"Tables ? Well, I should think so!
They got all the tables there were in
the house, up stairs and down, for din-
ner Thanksgiving Day, and they took
the grandmother's work-stand and put
it at the head, and she sat down there;
only she was so used to knitting by that
table that she kept looking for her
knitting-needles all through dinner, and
couldn't seem to remember what it was
she was missing. The other end of the
table was the carpenter's bench that
they brought in out of the barn, and
they put the youngest and funniest papa
at that. The tables stretched from the
kitchen into the dining-room, and clear
through that out into the hall, and
across into the parlor. They hadn't
table-cloths enough to go the whole
length, and the end of the carpenter's
92 THE PUMPKIN-GLORY.
bench, where the funniest papa sat, was
bare, and all through dinner-time he
kept making fun. The vise was right
at the corner, and when he got his help
of turkey, he pretended that it was so
tough he had to fasten the bone in the
vise, and cut the meat off with his knife
like a draw-shave."
"It was the -drumstick, I suppose,
papa ?" said the boy.. A turkey's drum-
stick is all full of little wooden splinters,
"And what did the mamma say?"
asked the little girl.
"Oh, she kept saying,' Now you be-
have !' and,' Well, I should think you'd
be ashamed!' but the funniest papa didn't
mind her a bit; and everybody laughed
till they could hardly stand it. All this
time the boys were out in the barn,
waiting for the second table, and play-
ing round. The farmer's boy went up
to his room over the wood-shed, and got
in at the garret window, and brought