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'II '' 4
c/ FAMILY STORY.
IT was a mild summer night. The lamps were lighted in the house, and
the hour for the children's bedtime drew near.
They had been having a happy day. In the morning Frank had been
with his father to see the trained dogs, and was pleased to see how many
funny tricks they had learned to do.
They could walk upon a rope, jump through hoops, and turn summer-
saults forwards and backwards, like the men in the circus. They could also
ride upon the back of a pony, and could all dance to the music of the band.
His father told him that they had learned to do these things when they
were very young, and if he expected to be wise when he grew old, he must
learn while he was a boy.
When Frank got home he told his sisters of all he had seen.
Maud said, My dolly knows just as much as the dogs. She can cry
when she wants me to take her to ride, and she can sit in her carriage and
fold her hands, and can move her eyes, and can shut them when I put her
Mary said she would rather have a dog or a kitty than a dolly.
"So would I," said Frank. "We will ask papa to give us one next
In the afternoon the children had all been to ride with their father.
They drove a long distance into the country and enjoyed many pleasing sights.
They stopped at a river for their horse to drink, and while there a boy
with a covered basket on his arm came along and stood behind the carriage,
,A F.4MILY STOWY.
and then followed it as the horse walked slowly up the hill. The children
wondered what the basket contained.
At a farmhouse they stopped for a drink of milk, which the housewife
brought sweet and cool from the cellar.
They waited awhile and watched the old duck and her fluffy goslings
gliding over the silver surface of a pool. The old duck seemed very proud of
them. They floated as lightly as masses of golden down. They seemed
happy, but there was a large black cat roaming about the garden among the
shrubbery crying piteously.
On their way home the children were talking about the dogs which Frank
had seen, and they wondered whether
they could teach a dog or cat to do
similar things. -
Just then the carriage jolted over a
stone in the road and they heard the cry -
of a kitten. It startled them. They 'y f
thought one must have been crushed
by the wheels. Yet none was to be ...
seen and they again drove on. They .- )
had not gone far when they again heard S,
the cry. They were more surprised than
before, and their father made a thorough search.
How strange In the back of the carriage, under the wraps, was a very
small black kitten, not many weeks old. How he came there was a great
wonder; but they were all much pleased with him, and their father said they
could have him for a playmate.
When they got home they made him a nice soft bed in their mother's
work-basket, and then played with him till bedtime.
When supper was over the three gathered around to see him eat. Maud
held for him a dish of warm milk, and Frank and Mary stood and watched
him with pleasure, and thought how many tricks they could teach him to do.
Then they placed a dish of milk and a few pieces of bread near the
window, over which hung a beautiful branch of the running rose that grew by
the piazza, for they thought kitty would be hungry during the night; this
having been done they all went to bed.
For a long time they lay awake. They thought over the events of the
A FAMILY STORY.
past day. They could not forget their ride in the country, and the strange
way in which they found their new playmate.
When morning came they were all three awake early. They could
scarcely wait to be dressed they were so anxious to see their playmate.
To their great grief, when they went to his little bed in the basket he was
gone. Though search was made throughout the whole house he was nowhere
to be found. Three children were never more unhappy. Their bright dreams
of sport were over, and everybody wondered where the kitten could have gone.
The next day the children were in the garden with their father. The
gardener said to them, -
I must jest tell ye, children, what I beheld with my own eyes this blessed
morning. I am an early bird, always up with the lark. The rising sun niver
catches me sleeping ; and when I came out here this morning down under the
rosebush I beheld a big black cat. She was a stranger here, and was kind o'
smelling around like, hunting among the vines.
"' Scat!' said I.
"'Meow!' said she, and sprang over
the flower-pots and into your bedroom
window like a tiger. Well, now I must
tell ye I felt kind o' frighten like
to see a black cat act so strange. While
.. I stood wondering she sprang out from
S' the window with a big rat in her mouth.
S" "'Scat! Scat!' said I again; and
l''' away she went over the garden wall into
S. '. the road. The last I saw of her she
siv' .-'." ". was going over yonder hill; it was
.- very strange, and I keep asking myself
where did she get that big black rat?
The likes of it I niver before beheld! "
The children wondered at the gar-
dener's story; and their father gave a knowing smile, and said, -
"Well, children, we will ride again this afternoon, and perhaps we shall
get a sight of that strange rat-catcher."
When the afternoon came, they again rode into the country, and stopped at
the river where the day before they had seen the boy with a basket. Then
A FAMILY STORFY.
they drove to the farmhouse where they had seen the ducks swimming in the
pool. Upon the steps of the house lay the same cat which they saw moaning
in the yard the day before. She now seemed very happy, for with her was a
little black kitten, jumping over her and playing with her tail.
That looks just like our lost kitty," said Frank.
Let's get out and go and see him," said Mary.
I know 'tis our kitty," said Maud. He has one white foot and a few
white hairs over his left eye."
The housewife, seeing their interest in her cats, came out and told them
Yesterday a boy took that kitten to the river to drown him ; but seeing
a gentleman and his family riding along, he threw him into the carriage
instead of the river. The old cat felt very bad, and cried about the house and
grounds. This morning she came home bringing him in her mouth. Where
she had been during the night no one can tell, but she seems very happy to
have him restored to her."
Soon the whole mystery was explained.
The old cat had followed the road and found where the little kitten was
sleeping in his basket. It was the kitten instead of the rat which the gardener
saw her carrying away in her mouth.
When this had been told the children were more interested in the kitten
than ever; and their father bought him of the housewife, but left him with
the old mother till he was older; then they took him home and he grew very
large and handsome, and learned to do many wonderful tricks.
This happened many years ago. Frank grew to manhood and was killed
Maud and Mary are now old ladies ; but they remember and tell of their
He lived with them till he became old, and blind, and helpless. One day
he fell asleep in a cushioned rocking-chair. They tried to wake him but could
not he was dead.
IMATTIE AN'D OBO.
M R. GRUFF was a very wicked man. He had two boys, and they were
very much like their father. They were all very cruel to animals, and,
in fact, were unkind to everybody.
There is an old Scotch proverb, worth remembering: One who is guid to
a beast is guid to a body."
When one is unkind to animals they are generally unkind to all whom they
Mr. Gruff and his boys once did a very wicked thing.
Little Mattie Mayo lived in
the house next to Mr. Gruff.
She had a little dog which was
very cunning and play-
ful. She took great car.:
of him, and fed him
often with warm
sweet milk. As
he grew he be-
came very full
of fun, and
learned to do
m a n y curious
tricks, and thus
he gave Mattie
a great deal of
One morn- .
ing when she
came down to
breakfast her .e rI
mother told her
that Obo (that
was his name)
could not be found: they had searched all over the house and grounds, and
had inquired of the neighbors; no one had seen him, and he was nowhere to be
XMATTIE AND OBO.
found. There was his basket where he had slept, but he was gone. Mattie
felt very badly, and could eat no breakfast, and the whole family were in
trouble. Her father offered a reward to any one who would return him. It
was believed that he had fallen into the river, and, as it was winter, he had
been carried under the ice, for he was known to be very venturesome, and
would sometimes go into dangerous places.
One winter day, when out playing with Mattie, he came very near being
drowned. They were playing near the lake. The water was but partially
frozen, and had not become strong enough to hold him except near the shore.
That day he was very full of mischief, and would not obey his little mistress.
He ran upon the thin ice:
she tried to call him back,
but he kept on till it broke
beneath his weight. He
S- gave a spring, and had the
'good luck to reach the land
in safety, though he and
Mattie were both very much
After Obo had been
Sh. missing about two weeks,
-and they were long, sad
weeks to Mattie,- she was
returning from school, think-
ing how he used to come to meet dher. She almost cried when she thought
that he would never come again.
As she was passing a damp, dirty alley, she saw two boys having sport with
something in the gutter, half buried in the melting snow and mud. She
knew they were Mr. Gruff's boys, and her parents had told her never to go
near them lest they might do her some injury. She started to run away;
but when she heard the cry of an animal in pain, she forgot her danger,
and turned her steps towards the boys to see what caused those piteous
The boys were making sport of a poor little dog, which they had thrown
into the water and dirt : he had been there so long that it was hard to tell his
shape or color. They had tied an old tin saucepan to his tail, and were mak-
e I- e I-t u rc,,, c) n e
MIATTIE AN'D OBO.
ing him drag it through the water and mud. This he had not strength to do,
for he was weak from hunger!
When he saw Mattie he uttered a loud cry for help, and tried to spring
towards her. He knew her, and when he gave his well-known bark of welcome,
"It is my darling Obo; and though he was covered with dirt and water
she caught him in her arms and cried for joy.
The boys jeered her, and tried to pull him from her, but she would not let
him go. Just then a policeman came in sight, and the boys tried to run away.
In doing so they were captured by a policeman coming in the other direction,
and were hastened off to prison.
The policeman was very kind to Mattie, and helped her to carry Obo home.
And there was great rejoicing in the family.
The poor little dog seemed very thankful to be at home again, but he was
tired and hungry and sick. They tried to give him every care that would
make him well again, but he had been treated so cruelly by those bad boys
that he could never be bright and playful again; he grew sicker, and died in a
few days; and Mattie was again in sorrow.
It was found that Mr. Gruff stole Obo from his bed in the basket, thinking
to sell him to some one far away in the country. His boys thought to have
some fun with him, and stole him from their father.
They were punished for being cruel to an animal, and their father for steal-
ing; and that whole wicked family is now in prison, where they are compelled
to spend their days in hard labor, yet they have time to think over their
THE DISOBEDIENT CHICKEN.
IGHT babies! Eight little yellow chicks to look after! Eight young
children to be instructed in polite manners and the very best of morals!
Certainly, Mrs. Hen had her wings full.
The little chickens were hatched one sunny morning; and no sooner had
they popped out of their shells and got over their astonishment, than they
began to scratch for worms, and tumble over one another in their eagerness
to catch the passing flies and gnats.
Hoity-toity! this sort of thing won't do," cried Mrs. Hen. My dears,
you musn't be greedy. Come here, and listen to me while I give you your
Now, as a rule, the finding of a name for one baby gives a great deal of
trouble; so we can easily imagine how worried poor Mrs. Hen and her
husband were before they settled what they should call their eight children.
But it was finally agreed that the names should be : Snap, Peep, Scrap, Tweet,
Snip, Puff, Pop, Scruff; and very good names, too, I think. But, at any rate,
the chicks thought so (which is far more important), and were immensely
proud of themselves as they went to walk with their father and mother, and
were introduced to the other animals in the farmyard.
Certainly, the chicks, with one exception, were a credit to their parents,
and I am sorry to say that Scrap was that exception. Although the smallest
THE DISOBED)IENT CHICKEN.
chick in the whole brood, he had more naughtiness in his little body than all
the rest of his brothers and sisters put together. While Mrs. Hen's other
children paid the greatest attention to their lessons every morning, Scrap's
mind was filled with thoughts of flies and worms, and he was always wishing
it was dinner-time. Scrap, I am grieved to say, was a greedy chicken. Then
he caused his family terrible anxiety by being too friendly with the young
ducks. Now, young ducks, in their own way, are just as nice as young
chickens; but their way led them to the pond, for they delighted in water,
and could swim perfectly. But Scrap could not swim; and so his father
and mother, and brothers and sisters, were afraid that
if he continued to associate with the ducklings, he might
Venture one day into the water and be drowned. And
it so happened that Scrap's greediness did lead him
into terrible trouble. One afternoon he met the ducks
coming away from the pond; they were talking about
Sthe happy day they had spent, and how far more pleasant
Sit was, and what a lot more there was to eat on the other
side of the water. Scrap said nothing, but listened very eagerly; and that
night before he went to sleep under his mother's wing, he made up his mind
that on the morrow he would, by hook or by crook, reach the other side of
The next day Scrap was awake betimes, and as soon as he saw a good
opportunity, this naughty chick stole away from his family, and ran as fast as
his little legs could carry him to the water's side. But there he came to a
standstill, just as you would have done if you had run away from home and
had come to the wide sea, and were thinking about swimming across it. Scrap
put one foot into the water, and drew it out again very quickly- he thought
it very cold and uncomfortable. He would not have ventured in the water
then for all the dinners in the world. But still he could just see the little
ducks in the distance swimming gayly over to the other side; it was really
very tantalizing. Scrap thought for a moment, and then determined that, as
he could not cross the pond, he would go round it.
Poor Scrap he did not know what a terrible undertaking this was for so
small a body.
At first, his journey was easy enough, for it lay through short, sweet
grass, but soon he had to encounter thistles, nettles, and thick brambles.
"THE DISOBEDIENT CHICKEN.
With great difficulty he pushed himself through these, having to rest every
minute. And he very soon got so tired, and scratched, and wet with the dew,
that he made up his mind to return to his mother. But, all of a sudden, he
heard a rustling, and, to his horror, he saw a big rat. Now, for a chicken to
meet a rat, is just as bad as if you were to meet a lion. Poor Scrap lay quite
still, trembling all over, and oh, how thankful he was that the rat didn't see
him as it passed along. Then, up he jumped and ran off- in his fright he
did not know where. On he went, tumbling over sticks, and tumbling into
ditches, until he was in a terrible plight, and had lost his way.
You can fancy how anxious his father and mother, his brothers and sisters,
were about him all this time. They hunted high and low, and searched
the farm-yard, the kitchen garden, and even the flower-beds, but he was
nowhere to be found. No one had seen or heard anything of him.
It was dusk, and night was fast approaching. Mrs. Hen was sadly putting
the remaining children co sleep, when a small black object was seen to limp
towards the fowl-house.
"Tweet! tweet it cried faintly, as it came near, and then threw itself
beneath Mrs. Hen's wing.
Dear me! It was poor Scrap, but oh! how changed black with mud,
and with hardly a bit of fluff remaining on his little body. You can imagine
how glad Mrs. Hen was to get him back again, and the fluff soon grew; but I
am glad to say that Scrap was a much better chick afterwards, for whenever
he felt inclined to be disobedient he always remembered the big black rat.
He never stays away now from the crowing class which his father holds
every day; and although he was very backward at first, I am sure he will soon
make up for lost time, for his father is very indulgent.
Listen to what he and his brothers are saying now:
Is it hard to do, papa? Is it hard to do ?
We would like to crow like that, and be as big as you,
But you are old and fatherly, and we are young and new !"
"Silence, children, while I speak, now, Cock-a-doodle-doo !
Now, my children, run and scratch, I am coming too,
Mother let you out to play, she'll her kindness rue,
If you don't obey papa, as all good chickens true.
Well, to please you, once again, Cock-a-doodle-doo.' "
GOLD _AND SILVER.
M INE really looks rather a large
family when you see them all
..4 ^together, as you do now: four
grown-ups and the baby. When I
call them grown-ups, you know I
mean that they are grown-up for
S.-- .- '... dollies. I am Dolly too, so it is
quite a family name for them; and
.,. they have others, of course, besides.
~, / The one in the blue hat is Lu-
-(- cinda: she's the eldest, and the
beauty of the family, though some
people consider her very like her
...,Imother too. Then comes Bron-
zella. I gave her that name because
when she came she had on the most lovely bronze shoes, but they were worn
out long ago. I can't keep her hair tidy, whatever I do. And as I can't afford
more than one hat at a time amongst them all, they take it by turns to wear
it; and Bronzella's in a temper because it isn't her turn to-day. That boy
sitting by Lucinda is Carlo Dolci. I called him Charlie at first; but he was
such a dear, sweet, gentle little fellow that Uncle Leo, who paints pictures,
advised me to change it to Carlo Dolci. Carlo always holds baby carefully on
his knee when I take them for a drive : her name is Pinkie, because of her
pink frock, made out of a bit of mine. I've left Drowsabella till the last
because her story is a sad one, and I
do not like telling it.
I left her out of doors one night
last summer, and Ben found her when
he went out early to milk the cows, .
and brought her in, so when I woke '
in the morning, there she was lying '---
on my bed, but in such a state, that
though she is my own child I really did not know her at first. All her
pretty curls were gone ; she was balder even than Uncle Leo, and had a great
hole in her head besides; her back was hurt, and one hand bitten off; and her
GOLD AND SILVER.
clothes were all wet and muddy. Nurse said the cows had done it, and that
it served me right for being so careless; but I cried so, I think nurse was sorry,
and when I was dressed she helped me to do all that could be done for
Drowsabella. We made a tight cap that just fitted her poor head, such as
Uncle Leo wears when he is painting, but there was no little frill of hair to curl
round it as his does, you see; then we bound up her poor arm, and nurse
washed her clothes while she was in bed. It's quite impossible amongst so many
to give them more than one frock each,
or for that matter, more than one any
thing; so they all have to stay in bed
on washing-days, and play at being
Poor Drowsabella, sh will
never sit up again, and isn't w '
a bit pretty now; bu:
she sleeps most of the
time, and gives
no trouble, and
I love her best -7-.7
after all. I .
have learnt a --
song called, I .
once had a
sweet little doll, dears;" and when her back is very bad I sing it to comfort
her, because it seems to have been written on purpose for her.
Now you know all about the family. They are just dressed and fed, and
it's quite one person's work to see to them every morning, I can tell you.
Jack and I are taking them out into the fields. Jack always goes with us, and
I find him very useful in sitting by them whilst I pick flowers. It is too hot
to run about this morning, so I am going to keep them quiet by telling them
a story. You shall hear it too, if you like stories, and will come with us.
This big oak-tree is my summer nursery. The branches hang down so
low that the cows never come quite underneath, and these great roots stick-
ing out with pillows of moss between, make lovely seats and beds for the
family. Drowsabella has the softest place: she lies on this long sloping cushion
with Pinkie beside her, and Carlo sits on the root close by. Lucinda and
1 I \) r'i\e.
ir\ ~ '
GOLD AND SILVER.
Bronzella always quarrel about the hat if they sit together, so I put them on
each side of the others. Jack turns round three times and then lies down with
his nose on his paws, and pretends to be asleep ; but he hears and sees every-
thing all the same. There, now for my story. I read a bit of it in a book,
you know, and made up the rest, and I call it
GOLD AND SILVER.
Once upon a time a most beautiful little girl, whose name was Lilian, was
picking buttercups and daisies in a large meadow which was quite covered with
them. Lilian was very fair indeed, and thin and tall for her age, which was
'--- about eight or nine ; her hair
was as yellow as gold, and
n ishe wore a long green frock,
so that she really looked
rather like a tall white lily.
SI suppose that is why they
s w,.. s e .o called her Lilian. She went
about and about the field
Singing softly to herself, and
picking the finest buttercups
Sand daisies till she had quite
a large bundle under her
arm. Suddenly she came
upon a tiny brown field-
mouse, lying on the grass
quite dead. Lilian took it
up in her hand, and stroked
and kissed it gently; then she dug a little hole with a bit of a stick, and lined
it with daisies, and laid the little mouse in it, and covered it up again with a
daisy-root on the top. When she had done she sat down for a few minutes to
rest, feeling rather sad, because she loved all the little creatures out of doors
so much, she did not like to think of their dying. While she sat thinking
she was surprised to hear a little voice close to her say, -
Thank you, little mistress; you have done my work for me, I see."
Lilian looked all about her, but could see no one.
I can't see anybody," she said to herself, but I am sure some one spoke."
GOLD AD-D SILVER.
It was I," said the same voice. I am here, close to your feet."
Lilian looked down, and there, balanced on the centre of a moon-daisy, was
the tiniest and prettiest little man she had ever seen. He was dressed in
green, and had on a little yellow cap, like a buttercup upside down, so that
unless one looked closely, it was not easy to distinguish him amongst the
buttercups and daisies.
Oh, you dear wee fellow! exclaimed Lilian, who are you, and where
do you come from ?"
My name is Amber, very much at your service," answered the little man
jumping up, and taking off his cap with a graceful bow;
" but whence I come, sweet Mistress Lilian, I am not
at liberty to say."
Are you all alone, Master Amber? asked Lilian.
Just at present I am, but I have hundreds and hun-
dreds of brothers and sisters."
"Are they all as small as yourself?"
Some are smaller still."
Oh, how I should like to see them! "
I daresay you have seen, but did not know them;
we are always about. My sister Azure knows you very
well, and so do I," continued Amber. We all wear I
green dresses, but have different colored flower caps.
It is not easy to see us unless we choose to be seen ; it t \
is only to kind and gentle little children like you, Mis-
tress Lilian, that we sometimes appear in our real forms. We know that you
love all the little creatures that we watch over and care for; and when you
buried the dead mouse just now, you were doing my work, that is why I spoke
How do you mean that it was your work ?"
I should have done it if you had not. Have you never noticed how
seldom you find dead birds or butterflies about ?- and yet think how many
there would be if some one did not bury them. I and my brothers go about
and find them, and lay them carefully under the buttercups and daisies, which,
by the way, we call gold and silver flowers. There is a large band of us, also,
who look for, and help any little creatures that happen to be hurt, and we
cure them when we can."
GOLD AN'D SILVER.
How do you cure them ?" asked Lilian.
Why, we know secrets of healing powers, possessed by herbs and flowers,
just as your doctors do, but we know more of them, and how to use them."
I know that lily leaves cure cuts and bruises," said Lilian.
Yes," nodded Amber, you were not called Lilian for nothing, I see."
How is it you know my name ?" questioned Lilian : I have been want-
ing to ask you all the time."
Ah, we know more things than you think for," replied Amber. I should
not wonder if we had something to do with your being called so."
I do not see how that could be, because I had proper godmothers, and
was christened in the church over there, you can just see the tower through
the trees. But please tell me more about yourself, Master Amber, and what
your sisters do ?"
Some of them help us to take care of the sick creatures, but the greater
number of them watch over the flowers."
How do they do that ? "
Oh, in a hundred ways. For instance, there are a great many flowers that
require closing up at night, or when it is going to rain, and others that want a
great deal of dew to drink have to be opened wide at twilight; my sisters pull
cool leaves over those that cannot bear hot sun by clay, and uncover others
that like the sunshine. They prop up tall flower stems when the wind sways
them too roughly; all night long they drop dew on their petals, and keep
away any thing that might hurt them; but their busiest time is early in the
morning, when they have to repair as far as they can, any little accident that
may happen to their charges in the night, and make them look fresh and
bright and beautiful, just as you see them when you come out."
That is lovely work," said Lilian. How I wish I could see them doing
Look here, then," whispered Amber, pointing to a daisy which hung its
head because its stem was bent and bruised ; and at the same moment a little
lady in a green frock, and harebell cap, bustled out of the tall grass close by.
She went up to the injured daisy, and gently raised its head, and began to
bathe the stem with something from a harebell cup which she carried slung
across her shoulders. She continued to do this till the daisy held up its head
quite strongly again, and then lightly kissing its silver fringe she tripped away.
That was my sister Azure," said Amber ; "she bathed the stem with a
lily leaf, dipped in honey and dew."
GOLD WANCD SILVER.
It was lovely," exclaimed Lilian.
Amber nodded kindly at her, and went on -
I said early morning was the busiest time, but often the evening work is
the saddest. Ah Mistress Lilian, you little know the havoc that human
children, and, for that matter, grown-up folk too, make amongst the dear
beautiful flowers- how often they break and trample on whole masses at
once, and hurt them quite beyond our skill to cure. Then they pick great
bunches, just to throw them away, and pick more : that is the saddest sight of
all to us. As for Azure, you would be quite grieved if you could see how she
breaks her little heart over it."
I am sorry," said Lilian. It always makes me sad too." Then she
looked down at the bundle of flowers she carried under her arm, and saw they
were beginning to droop.
Please, Master Amber," she said, I think I must go home now, and put
my flowers in water. I did not pick them to throw away, you know, but for
mother, my own dear mother she is not strong enough to come out and
pick them, but she loves them, and I pick some for her every day. I hope I
shall see you again some day."
Amber nodded, as he skipped down from the daisy where he had been sitting
all the time.
Surely," he said, now that you know how to find us. You are a favorite
with the fairies, Mistress Lilian," he added, bowing and kissing his hand till he
disappeared in the thicket of gold and silver.
So Amber was a fairy after all, you see," finished up Dolly. And now
the family must go home too. Heigh-ho, how I wish there were fairies who
could cure dollies, and then I would take poor dear Drowsabella to them."
HEcARTH- UG -AFT.
HEN Baby and I are playing alone, our plays are always the same,-
Dolls' tea-parties, and fetching the Doctor to Dolly, and that sort
But we have much better fun when Cousin Eric comes to stay,
Because he's read so much, and he gets things out of books, and we do them
But last time he came was jolliest, for we played at rafts all day:
We got the hearth-rug, that was the raft, and the carpet was the great wide sea.
And Eric was captain of a ship-
wrecked crew, that was Baby
And we had a walking-stick for
one oar, and Aunt Jane's red
I silk sunshade, that she'd left in
A.nd I'm sorry to say we broke
the handle, but she needn't
have been so cross for we
didn't mean to at all.
And we hoisted a flag, Eric's
handkerchief, and made sig-
nals of distress, and sent up
I didn't understand exactly what
they were, but Eric threw up all
the little things in our pockets.
-V And I suppose we did
make the dining-room
rather untidy, with tops,
and marbles, and string;
But Aunt Jane needn't
IK. have sent us to bed, and
7. said we were the ruin of
THE CARD CASTLE.
T was a wet afternoon. The children had found a pack of cards, and Alec
was building a splendid house with them, and Baby sat on the floor and
We're going to build a castle,
A castle, oh, so high!
Whose towers and noddin' battlements
Will almost touch the sky.
But in this wondrous castle,
Although it is so tall,
You cannot go up-stairs, because
There are no stairs at all.
And in my castle liveth
A boo'ful little maid,
Who in its topmost turret
A prisoner long hath stayed.
He cried, I've come to save thee;
Come down, oh, maiden fair! "
The maid she sobbed, How can I
Without a single stair? "
There came a Knight a-riding,
His spear of golden straw;
He was the very bravest Knight
That mortal ever saw.
Just then came by a Mousie,
With a mushroom for a hat,
And as he saw their trouble,
He said, I'll settle that!
,fetch the kitchen bellows,
id give a good big puff,
ring the castle tumbling down,
u'll find it quite enough! "
followed Mousie's counsel,
d soon that castle grand
gone, while Knight and Maiden
)de off to Fairyland!
STHE LITTLE SHEPHERDESS.
T HERE was once a little maid, and her name was-
no, I don't think I'll tell you what it was, for you
m ight laugh, and this is such a sad, sad story.
Well, this little girl did not go to school, and she did
not stop at home, and she did not play -but I'll tell you
what she did do: she was out in the fields all day minding
her father's sheep.
And they were such funny sheep. Do you know
they each had four legs, and instead of walking on two
Feet as we do, they walked on four feet; and then they
had such long noses, and they couldn't talk a bit, that is,
they could only say Baa : and there is not much variety in that, is there ?
And then there was another funny thing about them, their tails were always
behind them, no matter where they went, or how slowly they walked, those
stupid tails always kept behind.
Well, Bo-peep (there, I have let out her name after all) used to sit and
watch those curious sheep, under the shade of her big blue hat, and she used
to talk to them, and tell them wonderful stories of fairies and hobgoblins, but
no matter how exciting her tales were, she (
never got anything in the way of applause
but Baa! -
So one day when it was very hot, and .
Bo-peep had seen all her flock comfortably .l'--
asleep in the shade, she thought she would ,I f
have a little nap too; so making a pillow of
the softest moss she could find, she soon fell asleep, and dreamt she was a
queen, and had nothing to do all day but to sing, and dance, and eat sweets,
and ride about in a beautiful golden chariot with snow-white horses, and
everything that was lovely.
But she awoke with a great start, as a little bird perched upon her
She rubbed her eyes and looked all around, but not a sheep was in sight,
not even a tail, and they would sure to have been behind. Poor Bo-peep!
she called loudly and waved her crook, but not a single Baa could she hear.
THE LITTLE SHEPHERDESS.
But she saw a squirrel, and she said, Oh, do get up to the top of this
tree, and tell me if you can see anything of my sheep."
But the squirrel said, "I am going to a garden-party, and am a little late,
I will look for you to-morrow." Then the same little bird flew back.
Poor little Bo-peep,
Oh, why do you weep ?
See, here are your sheep,
Look, little Bo-peep,"
sang the bird in her ear; and, looking up, to her great surprise, Little Bo-
peep saw all her sheep quite close to her, and happily feeding; and, yes, there
were their tails, all behind them as usual.
Bo-peep could not understand how ever they had come back; but she was
quite happy again, and sang away, the little bird piping an accompaniment:
I'm little Bo-peep,
I've found all my sheep,
I'll never more sleep,
But careful watch keep.
Good little Bo-peep."
--'^A f' ^ .
"' *" j M
THE LITTLE 'MONKEY.
N" URSEY," said Miss Lil, one morning, father has given me a whole
Has he, Miss ?" said Nurse. I wonder why he did that? "
He gived it me for my thoughts," answered Lil. He said to me this
morning, A penny for your thoughts, Lil,' and I was just thinking whether I
should put Dolly's blue hat on when I went out, or her fur cap. And I told
him, and he laughed so, and gave me a beautiful bright penny. It looks like a
gold penny, doesn't it? And, now, what shall I buy with it, Nursey, dear ? "
Well, what do you want most, Missy ?"
I might buy a little totty dolly for Miranda to play with," continued Lil.
" Can I get a dolly for a penny, Nursey? "
Oh yes, I think so," answered Nurse. You can buy a little china or
wooden dolly for a penny, I feel sure. When we were children we used to get
little wooden dollies, two a penny. They were not so pretty as the dollies now,
but they had jointed legs and arms, and you could make them sit down, and
sometimes stand up. I hardly know whether you can buy that kind now."
Would they really sit down ? cried Lil, a little excited ; because that is
what Miranda won't do. She is so stiff in the middle. Then I might buy a
chair. I saw some penny chairs in the shop yesterday, and the little dolly
could sit in it."
But if you buy the dolly, you won't have any penny left to buy the chair."
Oh, dear! Lil exclaimed rather in dismay. Her face fell a little, for a
beautiful vision of a jointed wooden doll sitting up in a chair was rising in her
mind. But, oh, Nursey, what is that funny noise ? and Lil started up and
ran to the window.
Oh! it is a little dark boy with a hurdy-gurdy," she cried, and he has a
little monkey such a funny little monkey in a frock, with a cap on his head.
And now he plays a tune; the monkey runs about and dances and bows. Oh!
Nursey, let us go outside and see him, do, please."
Nurse put on Lil's sun-bonnet, and then they went into the front garden.
The little Italian boy came just in at the gate, and smiled at her with his soft
dark eyes, and turned his hurdy-gurdy, and made his monkey go through all
his tricks; but Lil was a tiny bit afraid of the little creature, and shrank back
close to Nurse.
THE LITTLE MvONKEY.
Jacko not hurt little lady," said the boy in his imperfect English. Jacko
good little monkey."
Is he ? said Lil. Won't he bite ?"
No, no, not bite. See here. Come, Jacko !"
The little creature ran back to his master, sprang on his shoulder, and
rubbed his wizened, quaint little face against the boy's olive cheek.
"Is he your monkey, your very own ?" asked Lil.
Si, si, now," said the lad. "The Padrone lets me have him. Jacko does
more tricks for me."
"Then I expect you are kind to him;" said Nurse; "and that's why
he obeys you."
I love Jacko," the boy answered simply, and Jacko loves me."
Nursey, whispered Lil, my penny, mayn't I give the monkey my
Do, miss, if you like," said Nurse. I would give him one also, but I
sent all my money away yesterday to Mother, because Father is out of work."
So Lil pulled out her bright penny and dropped it into Jacko's cap, and Jacko's
master, Luigi, thanked her in soft Italian words and smiles, which latter were
much more intelligible to Lil than his speech.
And Miss Lil was really happier in giving her penny to the poor little
Italian than if she had bought half-a-dozen jointed dollies, and chairs for them
to sit on. She would have been happier still if she could have known how
her penny was spent, for .Luigi got so many pence that day -people seem
in a giving mood he thought that the Padrone who had employed him gave
him back one for himself.
That is the pretty little lady's penny," said Luigi. I know it because it
is so bright and shining. Now, my Little Jacko, what shall we buy ? I know;
we will have an orange and some nuts, and it will be the little lady's festa."
So Luigi spent his penny on these dainties, and he and Jacko enjoyed
their little treat on a quiet, sheltered doorstep, and then went home to sleep.
THE MAGIC DAIS Y-CHA41.
S. T was a sad day at the farm. Mrs. Giles shook her head
S mournfully from side to side, so did Farmer Giles, so did
Tommy Giles, so did also his little sister Esther.
'NBV ..., )They were sad because somebody else was sad, very sad
A '.L .' indeed. This somebody was a poor woman who lived in a
-- small cottage at the farther end of the village, and she was
S-" sad because she had very little money, and very little food,
-- but she was still more unhappy and broken-hearted because
S she had no comforts to give her little daughter, her poor
little daughter who lay ill in bed all day long this beautiful summer weather.
Farmer Giles had just returned from the cottage, having taken the poor
woman a jar of soup that his good wife had thought would do the little one
good, and he had met the doctor Esther. "We'll
in the village, who had looked very make her a great
grave, and had shaken his head i L/ long one that will go
mournfully when he spoke about \ two times round her
the poor woman and the little I '" -. neck."
brown-eyed girl. ., ll, ,;' ..J' The children
When Tommy and Esther went walked on across
to play they did not rush out of ; the field to-
the house with a shout and a laugh gether, Esther
as they usually did, but walked with her doll
along in silence, both little minds under her arm,
thinking about the poor sick child. -until them came
"I wonder if she'd like my to a shady bank
dolly," said Esther, after a long / ..
"I'm sure she would," said
Tom. Let us walk over the hill '
and give it to her. And let us /'
make her a lovely daisy-chain :
she'd like that too, because she
cannot get up to pick the daisies."
Es, that will be lovely," said
THE MAGIC DAISY-CHAIN.
beside a wood, and there having gathered a pinafore full of daisies, they
sat down to make the chain.
Dis daisy," said Esther, picking up the first flower, -" dis daisy is to
make her quite well again."
And this daisy is to give her plenty to eat for ever and ever," said Tom,
as he handed his sister a second flower.
"And dis one is to give her heaps and heaps of silver pennies," said the
little girl. Oh, won't it be a lovely daisy-chain!"
Rather," replied Tom. And what's this one to do ?"
Dat one," said Esther, after
thinking some time, "is to make
her a good girl always, always, ..
always. P'raps that ought to -
have been with the first daisy," "
she added doubtfully. '
"P'raps so," said her z.
brother, but it doesn't
matter if she is.
good always which \'\ ('
daisy makes her (
"And the next "--
one shall be plum- "
cake for breakfast, \
dinner, and tea,"
cried Esther glee- > -
And the next one a cage of white mice," chimed in Tom.
"And the next oh, it will be a booful daisy-chain, must give her a good
fairy always to look after her," exclaimed the little girl excitedly.
And so the daisy-chain went on getting longer and longer until there was
not one good thing left to wish the sick child.
If only these good wishes had come true she would have been more lovely,
more fortunate, and happy than any princess in the whole wide world.
When the children rose to go they discovered for the first time that they
were not alone. A lady was standing behind them, leaning against a tree at
L .. ..
)41) l;D aio~
G I? l R.
THE MAGIC DAISY-CHAIN.
the edge of the wood. She was a very pretty lady, and had such a sweet
smile and such a pretty dress.
Little ones," said she, I have been watching you make your beautiful
daisy-chain. Who is the fortunate person to whom you are going to give it ?
Come and sit down beside me and tell me all about it."
Down the three sat; and the lady was so kind and gentle that the children
were not a bit shy, and told
her all about the sick child,
and how poor her mother was,
and how they had made the ...
daisy-chain to make the little
girl well again.
And where does she
live?" asked the L._ .
"At the last cot-
tage in the village,
over there," replied
over the green hill. 1
"And now, I
daresay, you wish J
to be off to take the
daisy-chain. Per- ( ,' :
haps we may meet e, '- i
again some clay."
So saying the lady
kissed the two chil-
dren, and leaving
them went down a path in the wood and was soon out of sight in the distance.
I wonder who she is," said Esther, as the two trotted along. She's
almost as booful as a fairy."
It was not long before they arrived at the cottage, when Esther gave her
doll to the little girl, who was so pleased with it, and listened with delight
to the story of the daisy-chain.
Ou must get quite well first," said Esther, as she put the chain round the
THE MAGIC DAISY-CHAIN.
child's neck, and p'r'aps the good fairy and all the other nice things will
The poor mother listened to the children's prattle with tears glistening
in her eyes.
Now, good-by," said Tommy: "we will come again to-morrow." And
after many kisses all round, Esther and her brother returned to the farm.
To-morrow! I think it was the most wonderful to-morrow that ever came;
so the poor woman and her child, and Tommy and Esther thought, and so, I
am sure, will you, dear.
First of all a great big basket arrived at the cottage, a hamper full of
SEs it sent such a basket this morning
" Es, it sent such a basket this morning,.
jellies, and soups, and ever so
many nice things comforts
enough for a princess.
And then as they were all
wondering where the hamper
could have come from, in
walked the pretty lady with
the sweet smile upon her face.
And she kissed the children,
and sitting down by the bed-
side, stroked the little girl's
long brown hair.
Do you feel better, dear ?"
Yes, oh, yes, she felt much
better, was the reply.
That was a wonderful
daisy-chain," said the lady,
turning to Esther and patting
and sent ou too. Ou must be
the good fairy," replied Esther.
It was indeed a wonderful daisy-chain, because from that day more baskets
came, and the pretty lady came also every afternoon. And best of all, the
little girl grew better and better, until she was quite fat and strong, and able
to run about with Tom and Esther.
THE DOG, THE COCK, AND THE FOX.
S OCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! Cock-a-doo-
p dle-doo! !" cried a Cock. "It's an
Extremely fine morning. Cock-a-doo-
," Ho, ho said a sly
M, \ '4,. -,, old Fox to himself, that
Sounds as if there would
Sbe a nice little breakfast
for me," and he stole
\ ', softly along. But, alas,
I for the Fox, the Cock was
perched so high on a tree,
that Reynard could not
reach him. Dear Friend,
A',7 r" then said the Fox, it was
good of you to crow me so loud a 'good-morning.' I have come to wish you
a happy day. Pray come down that I may do so in a more friendly manner."
It's kind of you," replied the Cock, very kind indeed, but there are
some nasty animals about who wouldn't a bit mind eating me for breakfast.
I would rather stay where I am for the present."
"My dear soul," replied Reynard, King Lion and King Eagle have
proclaimed that there is henceforth to be peace amongst the animals."
Well! exclaimed the Cock, You ought to be delighted, for there is
an old friend of yours coming along to greet you." The Fox was horrified to
find himself face to face with a big Dog. Oh, don't! cried Reynard, as the
Dog seized him. But the Dog said nothing, but killed the Fox, and I don't
think that Cock was very sorry.
TIC-TAC-TOO was a little boy; he was exactly three years old, and the
youngest in the family; so, of course, he was the king. His real name
was Alec; but he was always known in the household, and among his
wide circle of friends generally, as Tic-tac-too. There was a little story to
account for this, and it is that story which I am now going to tell.
There are very few children who do not know the funny old nursery rhyme
of "Tic-tac-too ;" it is an old-fashioned rhyme, and in great vogue amongst
nurses. Of course Alec enjoyed it, and liked to have his toes pulled, and the
queer words said to him. But that is not the story; for it is one thing to like
a nursery rhyme very much, and another to be
called by the name of that rhyme, and nothing
"' / else.
p I Now, please, listen to the story.
There was no nicer house to live in than
'>- i'2 Daisy Farm: it was old-fashioned and roomy;
There were heaps of small bed-
,, Z \' rooms with low ceilings, and heaps
i of long passages, and unexpected
Sturnings, and dear little cosey cor-
ners; and there was a large nur-
S sery made out of two or three of
,:';,". the small rooms thrown together,
Y and this nursery had casement
windows, and from the windows
)_< the daisies, which gave their name
to the farm, could be seen. They
came up in thousands upon thou-
sands, and no power of man and scythe combined could keep them down.
The mowing-machine only suppressed them for a day or two ; up they started
anew in their snowy dresses, with their modest pink frills and bright yellow
Mr. Rogers, who owned Daisy Farm, objected to the flowers; but his
children delighted in them, and picked them in baskets-full, and made daisy-
chains to their hearts' content. There were several children who lived in this
pleasant farmhouse, for Tic-tac-too had many brothers and sisters. The old-
fashioned nursery was all that a modern nursery should be; it had deep cup-
boards for toys, and each child had his or her wide shelf to keep special
treasures on; and the window-ledges were cosey places to curl up in on wet
days, when the rain beat outside, and the wind sighed, and
tfl even the daisies looked as if they did not like to be washed
Some of the children at Daisy Farm were old enough to
i'-= have governesses and masters, to have a schoolroom for
themselves, and, in short, to have very little to say to the
nursery; but still there were four nursery little ones ; and one
day mother electrified the children by telling them that
another little boy was coming to pay them a visit.
S He is coming to-morrow," said mother; he is a year
younger than Alec here, but his mother has asked us to take
care of him. You must all be kind to the little baby
W' stranger, children, and try your very best to make him feel at
home. Poor little man, I trust he will be happy with us."
Mother sighed as she spoke; and when she did this, Rosie, the eldest
nursery child, looked up at her quickly. Rosie had dark gray eyes, and a very
sympathetic face; she was the kind of child who
felt everybody's troubles, and nurse said she did
this far more than was good for her.
The moment her mother left the room, Rosie
ran up to her nurse, and spoke eagerly- CIlboL' 'I
Why did mother sigh when she said a new ,
little boy was coming here, nurse ?" ,/ !
"Oh, my love, how can I tell? People sigh
most likely from habit, and from no reason what-
ever. There's nothing to fret anybody in a sigh,
But mother doesn't sigh from habit," answered Rosie; I expect there's
going to be something sad about the new little boy, and I wonder what it is.
Harry, shall we collect some of our very nicest toys to have ready for the poor
little new boy ?"
Harry was six; he had a determined face, and was not so generous as
I'll not give away my skin-horse," he said, so you needn't think it, nor
my white dog with the joints; there are some broken things down in that
corner that he can have. But I don't see why a new baby should have my
best toys. Gee-up, Alec! you're a horse, you know, and I'm going to race
you from one end of the nursery to the other now trot "
Fat little curly-headed Alec started off good-humoredly, and Rosie sur-
veyed her own shelf to see which toys would most distract the attention of
the little stranger.
She was standing on a hassock, and counting her treasures over carefully,
when she was startled by a loud exclamation from nurse.
Mercy me If that ain't the telegraph boy coming up the drive! "
Nurse was old-fashioned enough still to regard telegrams with apprehen-
sion. She often said she could never look at one of those awful yellow
envelopes, without her heart jumping into her mouth; and these fears she had,
to a certain extent, infected the children with.
Harry dropped Alec's reins, and rushed to the window; Rosie forgot
her toys, and did likewise; Jack and Alec both pressed for a view from
Me, me, me, me want to see screamed baby Alec from the back.
Nurse lifted him into her arms; as she did so, she murmured under her
God preserve us! I hope that awful boy isn't bringing us anything bad."
Rosie heard the words, and felt a sudden sense of chill and anxiety; she
pressed her little hand into nurse's, and longed more than ever to give all the
nicest toys to the new little boy.
Just then the nursery door was opened, and Kate, the housemaid, appeared,
carrying the yellow envelope daintily between her finger and thumb.
"There, nurse," she said, it's foryou ; and I hope, I'm sure, it's no ill-luck
I'm bringing you."
Oh, sake's alive! said nurse. Children, dears, let me sit down.
That awful boy to bring it to me Well, the will of the Lord must be done;
whatever's inside this ugly thing? Miss Rosie, my dear, could you hunt
round somewhere for my spectacles? "
It always took a long time to find nurse's spectacles; and Rosie, after
a frantic search, in which she was joined by all the other nursery children,
discovered them at last at the bottom of Alec's cot. She rushed with them
to the old woman, who put them on her nose, and began deliberately to read
the contents of her telegram.
The children stood round her as she did so. They were all breathless
and excited; and Rosie looked absolutely white from anxiety.
Well, my dears," said nurse at last, when she had spelt through the
words, "it ain't exactly a trouble; far from me to say that; but all the same,
it's mighty contrary, and a new child coming here, and all."
What is it, nurse ? said Harry. Do tell us what it's all about."
It's my daughter, dears," said nurse; she'll be in London to-morrow, on
her way back to America."
Oh, nurse said Rosie, not your daughter Ann ?"
"The same, my love; she that has eight children, and four of them with
carrotty hair. She wants me to go up to Lon-
don, to see her to-morrow; that's the news the
telegraph boy has brought, Miss Rosie. My
daughter Ann says, Mother, meet me to-morrow
Sat aunt's, at two o'clock.' Well, well, it's mighty
f iP contrary; and that new child coming, and all!"
But you'll have to go, nurse. It would be
dreadful for your daughter Ann not to see you again."
Yes, dear, that's all very fine; but what's to become
of all you children ? How is this blessed baby to get on
without his old Nan ?"
Oh, nurse, you must go! It would be so cruel if
you didn't," exclaimed Rosie.
Nurse sat thinking hard for a minute or two; then saying she would go
and consult her mistress, she left the room.
The upshot of all this was, that at an early hour the following morning
nurse started for London, and a girl, of the name of Patience, from the vil-
lage, came up to take her place in the nursery.
Mrs. Rogers was particularly busy during these days. She had some
friends staying with her, and in addition to this her eldest daughter, Ethel,
was ill, and took up a good deal of her mother's time; in consequence of
these things the nursery children were left entirely to the tender mercies of
Not that that mattered much, for they were independent children, and
always found their own amusements. The first day of nurse's absence, too,
was fine, and they spent the greater part of it in the open air; but the second
day was wet a hopelessly wet day a dull day with a drizzling fog, and no
prospect whatever of clearing up.
The morning's post brought a letter from nurse to ask for further leave of
absence; and this, in itself, would have depressed the spirits of the nursery
children, for they were looking forward to a gay supper with her, and a
long talk about her daughter Ann, and all her London adventures.
But this was not the real
Trouble which pressed so heavily
S LI on Rosie's motherly heart; the
") _~ ; facereal anxiety which made her little
'\ K; face look so careworn was caused
S-'- ) by the new baby, the little boy of
S'I two years old, who had arrived
late the night before, and now sat
with a shadow on his face, abso-
-. ... lutely refusing to make friends
with any one.
little boy at home, for he was
_- 1_ beautifully dressed, and his curly
hair was nicely cared for, and his
/n \fair face had a delicate peach
S/ Lbloom about it; but if he was
i,.V,.. petted, he was also, perhaps,
spoilt, for he certainly would not
make advances to any of his new
comrades, nor exert himself to be agreeable, nor to overcome the strangeness
which was filling his baby mind. Had nurse been at home, she would have
known how to manage; she would have coaxed smiles from little Fred, and
taken him up in her arms, and mothered" him a good bit. Babies of two
require a great lot of mothering," and it is surprising what desolation fills
their little souls when it is denied them.
Fred cried while Patience was dressing him; he got almost into a passion
when she washed his face, and he sulked over his breakfast. Patience was
not at all the sort of girl to manage a child like Fred; she was rough in every
sense of the word; and when rough petting failed, she tried the effect of
Come, baby, come, you must eat your bread and milk. No nonsense
now, open your mouth and gobble it down. Come, come, I'll slap you if you
But baby Fred, though sorrowful, was not a coward ; he pushed the bowl
of bread and milk away, upset its contents over the clean tablecloth, and
raised two sorrowful big eyes to the new nurse's face.
Naughty dirl, do away," he said; "Fred don't 'ove 'oo. Fred won't
Oh, Miss Rosie, what
a handful he is!" said
eat something. Come Fred-
dy darling, you love Rosie,
don't you ? "
No, I don't," said Fred.
Well, you'll eat some breakfast; come now."
I won't eat none bekfus' do away."
Rosie turned round and looked in a despairing way at '
her own three brothers.
If only nurse were at home! she said.
Master Fred," said Patience, if you won't eat, you must get down from
the breakfast-table. I have got to clear up, you know."
She popped the little boy on the floor. He looked round in a bewildered
Let's have a very exciting kind of play, and perhaps he'll join in," said
Rosie, in a whisper. Let's play at kittens that's the loveliest of all our
Kittens was by no means a quiet pastime. It consisted, indeed, in wild
romps on all-fours, each child assuming for the time the character of a kitten,
and jumping after balls of paper, which they caught in their mouths.
It's the happiest of all our games, and perhaps he'll like it," said Rosie.
But the little stranger did not like the game of kittens. He marched in a
fat, solid sort of way across the nursery, and sat down in a corner, with his
back to the company. Here he really looked a most dismal little figure. The
view of his back was heart-rending; his curly head drooped slightly, forlorn-
ness was written all over his little person.
What a little muff he is 1 said Harry; I'm glad I didn't give my skin
horse to him."
Oh, don't," said Rosie, can't you see he's unhappy? I must go and
speak to him. Fred," she said, going up to the child, come and play with
Alec and me."
No," said Fred, I'se too little to p'ay."
But we'll have such an easy play, Fred. Do come; I wish you would."
I'se too little," answered Fred, shaking his head again.
At that moment Rosie and her two elder brothers were called out of the
room to their morning lessons. Rosie's heart ached as she went away.
Something must be done," she said to herself. That new little boy-
baby will get quite ill if we can't think of something to please him soon."
She did not know that a very unexpected little deliverer was at hand. The
two babies were now alone in the nursery, and Patience, having finished her
tidying up, sat down to her sewing.
Patie," said Alec, going up to the new nurse, does 'oo know Tic-tac-
Of course I do, master Baby a silly game that."
I 'ike it," said little Alec.
He tripped across the nursery to the younger baby, and sat down by his
Take off 'oo shoe," he said.
Fred was very tired of being cross and miserable. He could not say he
was too little to Alec, for Alec was scarcely bigger than himself. Besides he
understood about taking off his shoe. It was a performance he particularly
liked. He looked at Baby Alec, and obeyed him.
Take off 'oo other shoe," said Alec.
Fred did so.
Pull off 'oo 'tocks," ordered the eldest baby.
Fred absolutely chuckled as he tugged away at his white socks, and
revealed his pink toes.
Now, come to Patie."
Fred scrambled to his feet, and holding Alec's hand, trotted down the long
Patie," said Alec, take F'ed on 'our lap, and play Tic-tac-too for
him ? "
Patience was busy sewing; she, '
raised her eyes. Two smiling little '-
baby-boys were standing by her knee.
Could this child, whose blue eyes were I
full of sunshine, be the miserable little
Well, master Alec," she said, kiss- -'
ing the older baby, you're a perfect /-"
little darling. Well, I never! to think /
of you finding out a way to please that -
Tic-tac-too !" said Fred, in a loud
and vigorousvoice. He was fast get- ,
ting over his shyness, and Alec's game
suited him to perfection.
Patience lifted him on her lap, popped him down with a bounce, kissed
him, and began, -
Tic, tac, too,
The little horse has lost his shoe,
Here a nail, and there a nail,
Here a nail, and there a nail,
Tic, tac, too!"
When the other children returned to the nursery, they heard peals of
merry baby laughter; and this was the fashion in which a little boy won his
DOT'S PET KITTEN.
I T came in a hamper. But what was it ? It was
a big hamper, tied up with blue ribbon, and
rather heavy; and a very neatly written label,
addressed to Miss Baby Dot," was on that
hamper. What could it be ? Was it apples and
pears, cakes and crackers, or bags of sweeties ?
Dot stood by while mamma undid the ribbons,
and then what do you think she saw? Why, noth-
ing less than a little tabby kitten, with light blue
-- Dot clapped her hands with joy, and hugged
and kissed the kitten. Dot had no brothers and sisters; and although she
had a number of toys, dolls, and dolls' houses, bricks and picture-books, she
had never had anything that could love her so much as a kitten might do.
Of course she had her papa and mamma, and nurse, but she had nothing
young like her little self.
Now, I am sorry to say that Dot pulled that kitten's tail, and picked it up
by one paw, and then by another paw, until the poor little cat did not know
which leg to stand upon.
Humph said the kitten to itself, that's a very nice little baby-girl, I
dare say; but she seems to think I'm made of rags and sawdust, like her
dollies, and I must say it is rather uncomfortable to be treated so. And yet I
don't like to scratch her."
It was certainly very good of Kitty not to scratch Dot; but whenever she
saw the little girl coming, away she would run and hide in the coal-scuttle, so
that Dot could not catch her.
Oh, what a naughty Pussy said the Baby to her Nurse. She always
runs away from Dot, and Dot loves her so."
Well, dear," said Nurse, I daresay you love her very much, but you
don't treat her properly. Suppose you had a tail and I were to pull you round
the room by it; and suppose I were to pick you up by your hands and feet,
why I am quite sure you would run away whenever you saw me coming."
Baby did not say anything in reply to this, but that very day she put a saucer
of milk on the foor for Kitty.
'DOT'S PET KITTEN.
Hullo !" said Miss Puss, Is she trying to catch me, or is she going to
be kind ? I really must find out."
What was the little cat's wonder and delight to discover that Dot really
meant to be kind. She stroked her and loved her, and never pulled her tail
once, although it was really very tempting.
From that day to this Dot and the kitten were the very best of friends.
They will play together on the floor, and Kitty, who has grown into a
beautiful cat by this time, will often sit in Baby's high chair, and wait patiently
till the pap gets cool, when she knows that Dot will be sure to give her
Dot has a little brother to love and play with now, but you may be quite
sure she loves Pussy none the less.
"W T was a beautiful morning on the first of May, and the dew
twinkled on the spiders' webs till they looked like strings of
i diamonds. The sun had got up smiling over the distant
V. hills, and seemed inclined to continue this pleasant behavior.
S" '.~ "All was very still at present. The geese had not got their
heads from under their wings or let down their other legs,
t' for it was quite early. Oliver, the gamekeeper, had come
,' out of his cottage and gone striding off to look after the
young pheasants in the Red Spinney; Jim Wallis, Farmer
Nethercote's shepherd, was also up, because he had to see to the lambs in the
Far Close, and two or three of the lads of the village had stolen away an hour
or two before, and brought back boughs of hawthorn and willow and black-
thorn, cut from the beautiful bosky hedgerows that had not yet been
" splashed and pared by modern farming. So that, if a girl in that village
were a shrew,.and had a scolding temper, when she tried to light the fire that
morning, she would find the chimney-pot stuffed with a branch of blackthorn;
if she were a slut it would be a branch of willow; but if she were a sweet,
pretty girl, with a loving heart and gentle ways, then she would find a beauti-
-WfA YDA Y."
ful branch of white May, all wound about with love-ribbon, set outside the
door to greet her.
Just now, however, nobody was about except the old donkey; and he
would not have been, only that he dis-
approved of. wasting time. He had' '.'
heard rumors that the butcher intended .
keeping a Nanny-goat on the green that "-
summer, and he had determined that the
creature should not have one of his -:',-~
thistles so long as he was alive and could
devour. And as he had lived longer !
than the oldest inhabitant could remem-
ber, and looked like lasting for many
years yet, and as he was always eating
when he was not asleep, there did not
seem to be much chance for the Nanny-
goat. So he passed several hours this .
morning fulfilling his destiny, which,
with him, meant full-filling himself. Then the young ladies from the Hall
came out, with their Cousin John to take care of them. They had come to
gather May dew to wash their faces, so that their complexions should be
bright and clear. But they did not require May dew at all, for they looked as
fresh as roses already, and Cousin John pointed to the mass of furze blooms
yellowing over all the common yonder, and said he -
'When the furze is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion,' so I must
kiss you Cousin Lucy and Cousin Kate;" *-
which he did, greatly to the young ladies' .-
horror and disgust, most properly and vigor- .,, '-. ":
Ugh What sillies they are! said the /
old donkey to himself, and he took another *,
mouthful of thistles.
Then came out by ones and twos and .
threes laughing and chattering little rip- I J- .
ples and rills of laughter flowing to meet each
other the children of the village. To-day
I-Al-ovilvi tl,-) ,
"' IA YDAY."
they had a holiday because it was the first of May, and there was going to be
a tea in the school that afternoon, and games and dancing on the green. A
large pole, with a movable ring on the top, from which depended several
bright ribbon streamers, stood ready near the inn ; and the children ran to it,
and began to dance round, holding the streamers. They were to dance the
ribbon-weaving dance when Squire and Madam from the Hall came down, and
meantime they wanted to see how well they knew it. So they danced and sang
the little song they had learned ; and the old donkey pricked up his ears, and
wagged his tail, but he did not stop eating lest he should waste any time, and
there was no telling when that goat creature would come. Soon a very small
boy and girl came out of a cottage near, and travelled slowly over the green,
threading their way among the furze bushes, The girl had something firmly
clutched in her hand, and now and then they both stopped to look at it, to
make quite sure
it was safe. Then
I' ''" -- along again sol-
.- emnly satisfied.
,, : :: F At last they ar-
.--- rived at the shop,
and going in, the
.. girl stood on tip-
I toe, and rapped
on the counter
with the treasure,
Which proved to
.. -be a dingy little
Out came the smiling dame who kept the shop.
Please 'em, a farden-worth o' suckers," said the girl.
Yes, my dear; which sort will you have, these pink 'uns, or them striped
St'iped 'uns !" bellowed a voice below the counter.
Please 'em," said the girl reprovingly.
"What, Dick! So he's come along o' sister is he? Bless him! srid
motherly Mrs. Thrupp, leaning as far over as she could, to try and catch sight
of his shock head; but she could not manage it because she was so fat.
., Well, my dear, here's the suckers; and how's
"Please 'em, she's a bit better, and
F doctor says she'll be about again d'rec'ly.
'.. Mornin', ma'am, and thank you
/ So, grasping the suckers in one
r'h hand, and Dicky's fat fist in the
other, she towed him carefully out
S of the shop. There were two steps
"'----" down into the road, and they had
to sit on each of these in order to
descend safely, but at last it was accomplished.
Me a sucker," began Dicky, almost before they had started.
Dicky, wait till we 'wide 'em," gravely responded the girl, stamping along
Me a sucker, d'eckly minnit," whimpered Dicky, making preparations to
howl, Libby give Dicky."
So she stopped, and, after a long struggle, succeeded in undoing the packet
of sticky stuff, and one sucker was taken out and put in Dick's open mouth,
stretched eagerly out like a young bird's.
Their mother had been maid to the Squire's lady; and when her little girl
was christened and the parson said, Name this child," she had dropped a
courtesy, and said, Elizabeth, please, sir;" that being Madam's name. And
she had called her baby so, despising all abbreviations. Now Dick followed
his mother's example to the best of his ability.
They re-crossed the green on their way home, and divided the suckers on
a round mill-stone which was laid down in front --
of their cottage door. There were five; so ..
Libby gave Dicky two, and herself two, and '. .-
then they cracked the remaining one with a L
stone, and had half each; and Dicky bit all his '-l
suckers in two, and, displaying the sticky treas- i.
ures in his hand, said, triumphantly, "There,
Libby, I got lot o' bits more'n you.".
"I don't care," said Libby. t. t
But now the day got on, and the sun rose
" MAY DA Y."
higher, and Libby and.Dicky went indoors, for it was nearly time for the May-
garlands to start, and they had to be dressed. Their Aunt Rachel had come
in to do this, because their mother was not well enough yet, and a hard task
she had; for Dicky wanted to dance when his face was being washed, and to
stand on his head when he should have been getting into his Sunday breeches;
and Libby was trembling with excitement, for she was to wear a white muslin
frock, and a wreath of pink and white daisies, and be Queen of the May, while
Dicky, in the Sunday breeches and a smart
,' little blue coat with a gilt paper crown
.-.- .'r round his cap, was "the king.
S... : But Aunt Rachel got them
finished at last, and they went
S... to their mother to be looked
.,, at, and stamped out to meet
Sthe ':ther -hildren, who came to fetch them
S" \Jith ::arlan1 l3 of gillyflowers and pinks and
".... '' n.ri .1-M; and sweet-williams and bunches of
S.... ,. dcowslips and daisy chains and
ladies' smocks so pretty. Then
'l"andf tthey went round to each house
T t in the village, and sang their
May-songs, and begged money
i ad to pay for their tea in the after-
o noon; and when they got to
.' the Hall, the Squire and Madam
no and the young ladies and gen-
tlemen all came out to the front
door to listen ; and silver coins
rained down into the great gar-
land that two of the biggest girls carried, made of interlaced hoops, covered
with a sheet, adorned with flowers, and inhabited by the most lovely dolls.
Then the children courtesied to the gentlefolks, and said, Thank you kindly,
Sir and Madam," as good children should; for this was in the olden times
before School Boards came in and destroyed good manners, a sideways nod
being now the usual salutation offered by the young to their elders and
betters, at least in the village I live in ; and the Squire actually patted Libby
"Ma YDA Y."
on the shoulder, and said, Good little girl;" while Dicky stared with his
thumb in his mouth, dumbfounded in the presence of so much greatness.
Then they went home to dinner, and out again to the races and games on
the green where the big boys jumped and ran, and the girls played drop
handkerchief, and the ribbon-weaving dance was performed to the great
amusement of everybody.
But Libby and Dicky were too young to do this, so they played about on
the grass with the other little ones at least Libby did for a long time, until
all at once she looked round, and no Dicky was there.
Where could he have gone? She got up, and looked again, and then ran
off to seek for him.
Anxiously she trotted down the road which led across the common, peering
between and under the furze bushes, and eying the old donkey as he still ate
thistles; but he had no time to stop and tell her where Dicky was. Farther
and farther she went till her legs ached terribly, and she was quite out of sight
of the May Feast, and out of hearing of the singing and music. Still no
Dicky. The common was a very wide one, and seemed a trackless waste to
little Libby who had never ventured so far before ; and now she came to a hilly
part, and toiled and panted up and down
steep slopes where were great -,. -;.-;; rabbit- holes,
and heaps of scratched up sand, ._. ..- and thickets
of fern and bramble amongst the -
furze. Her legs were torn and-
bleeding, and she stumbled over-
rough places, and fell more than .- .''
once, but she picked herself up .,' .
again and went on; and she wan-
dered until the sun began to go down, and she felt '' '
frightened in this great, wide, lonely place all by
herself. Poor Libby began to cry, and presently her sobs were .
answered by faint howls.
Dicky O-o-o-oh Dicky she called, and ran off in the direction
from which they came. Sure enough Dicky it was, with his clothes torn and
dirty, and his face besmirched with tears, his gilt crown all awry and crumpled,
while a torn fragment hung down over one eye; and he was roaring dolefully
as he sat by a rabbit-hole. When he saw Libby he instantly left off, and she
; .-. ."*.
'~~ ~ l' ..".
,,. -. .,,,..; .
:, ::... :
q ,rF-,--. :s.. ,_,., -o ,-.:
'" ~ 4 r
.... os .', ,
took his hand, wiped his face with the skirt of her frock, and turned to lead
him home. But, alas, the day was fast fading; and all the holes and heaps
looked exactly alike, and they soon got quite lost. Hand in hand they wan-
dered until at last Dicky lurched and stumbled, being overcome with weari-
ness, and down he went under a mass of dry fern, and fell fast asleep. Libby
could not wake him, neither could she carry him, and she was so afraid he
would be cold. She took off the little scarlet-hooded cloak she wore MIadam
had given one to each of the girls in the school at Christmas and tucked it
well round Dicky, and then she wrapped her little muslin skirt about her own
bare arms and neck, and huddled down beside him.
S Now it was quite dark under the furze bushes, and she
could hear nothing but the rustle of the grass as the wind
swept through it, until came a sound of scores of little
pattering feet, and the rabbits ran out of their holes to dance-
How they scattered, and ran, and capered, and splut-
tered the sand ,: about, little knowing that the shapeless heap under
the bracken i yonder was composed of the dreadful two-legged
creatures they ',-Y feared so much.
Then Libby looked up into the deep profound of the night sky,
beginning to be pierced by one little twinkling star after another, and she felt
still more frightened and alone
and small in such a great solemn
world so far away from home.
Poorlittle tiny Libby! What
should she do if bogies
came? She had heard
the bigger girls whisper
together about bogies,
and had trembled in her
shoes many a time. -, .
What if t/ey should, .
come / She glanced .
round her into the deep
shadows, cowering, and
half expecting to see awful eyes glaring at her and dreadful claws coming
to seize. She felt ready to scream for a minute, and it seemed as if she
" MA YDA Y."
could bear it no longer. Then Libby shut her eyes tight, and said out
Jesus, tender Shepherd hear me:
Bless Thy little lamb to-night,
Through the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me safe till morning light.
Through the day Thy Hand has led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care;
Thou hast warmed and clothed and fed me,
Listen to my evening prayer.
Let my sins be all forgiven,
Bless the friends I love so well,
Take me when I die to Heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell.- Amen."
And then she didn't feel frightened any more. She got as close to Dicky
as she could, and fell fast asleep.
Why, bless 'em, here they are !" said a rough, hearty voice, as a flash of
light fell on Dicky's sleepy face, and he and Libby were lifted up and carried
Of course they had been missed and anxiously searched for, and nrw it
was Oliver the gamekeeper who had found his children.
Bless her little heart, if she ain't gone and wrapped the boy in her own
cloak," said her father, as he raised the heavy little head and pillowed it ten-
derly on his velveteen coat, and he hugged her warmly in his strong arms.
So home they went, and were put to bed; and Dicky got up next day all
right, and ready for further mischief; but Libby lay there for many weeks, and
when she came out on the common again she was still in her father's arms,
and the old donkey remarked that she was thinner. She's been wasting her
time," said he, contemplating the place where the thistles had been, and where
the Nanny-goat was at last browsing, not having had one. I should be thin
if I didn't keep on eating. Wooden thing she is! and he turned and ate
But Libby soon got quite well; and when she grew up she went to be maid
to Miss Kate, and was nurse to her children after she married Cousin John.
And all the children loved her very much.
A DONKEY-LOAD OF ROSES.
\_ GREAT many things are not so easy as they look.
jii' Alice found this out, the day when mother and Mary
/ ,f went out and left her to do the housework and take
S care of the little ones.
-.f" n It happened in this way: Alice and Mary had
Y\. o : both been to school; and Alice, who was the elder,
Sand the quicker, had learned a great deal more than
^ '"1 Mary, and so when they came home for the holi-
days, Alice just amused herself and read her prizes -
S she had seven -and played about in the garden. And when
t Betty, the maid, had to go home to nurse her sick father, Mary
and mother did all the housework. Alice never offered to help : she
thought that kind of work very unpleasant, and besides, very easy. Why
should she, who could do Compound Long Division sums, crochet tidies,
and play the Bluebells of Scotland" on the piano with only two wrong
chords in the bass -why should she do such low, easy things as washing
dishes and making beds ? It seemed to her that a great deal of time was
wasted in this way. Often, when she wanted to play at shops, or have a
doll's tea-party, Mary would say, -
"I can't come now -I must damp down the clothes for to-morrow's
ironing," or else, I will this afternoon, Allie, but this morning I must see
to the baking for mother."
It seemed very hard, especially as mother was just the same. When Alice
wanted a story it often happened that
her mother said, -
My dear little girl, how can I -o,
sit down and tell you stories, with the
beds not made and the rooms not
"I wish housework didn't take
such a long time," grumbled Alice.
But one day Mrs. Merton, as she
was busy at the wash-tub, heard little i--l..
voices in the garden outside, where -
Mary had just taken out a little basket
full of fine things to hang on the line.
"Come down in the orchard," said Alice,
I've got such a lovely plan for a game. I've
nailed a piece of board up in the crooked apple-tree,
and we can have all the dolls up there, and get some
gooseberries and currants, and make a feast."
I can't just now," Mary answered: I must help
mother with the washing."
Well, I think it's very hard," Allie answered bitterly: it's always the
same. I don't see why we can't have servants to do things for us."
You know we can't have a lot of servants, because we're not rich," said
Mary ; besides, I like to help mother do the work."
Conceited thing," said Allie, who felt cross without knowing why, as
idle people so often do; why, I could do all your work, and mother's too, in
half the time, if I chose to try."
"\Would you like to try ?" said mother's voice from the wash-house.
Allie was rather taken aback, but she did not like to confess that she had been
" talking big," so she said, -
You mean you would really like to do all the work, without any help
from Mary and me?"
I could," said Allie, leaning up against the wash-house door, and turning
up a rather red face to her mother's eyes.
Very well, you shall try. I am
going to market to-morrow, and I
will take Mary with me, and you
shall do everything. Only I warn I
you, it will not be so easy as it
Allie got red, red, redder, even )
to the tips of her ears and the back
of her neck. Then she flung her
arms around her mother's knees.
I don't mean to be a pig, moth-
er," she said, but I do hate house- .. i
work; and people do seem to make -
so much fuss about it."
Perhaps after to-morrow you'll
think differently," said her mother.
I'll tell you what I shall do to-
morrow," she said to her sister as
they were going to bed that night.
"After I've done the beds and things,
I shall cook a most lovely dinner for the little ones, and I shall give them
tea in the orchard, and I shall have yours and mother's tea ready for you
when you come home."
The next morning was bright and sunny, and Alice felt in very good spirits
as she stood leaning over the gate of the cottage, with Bobbie and Elsie
beside her, and watched the back view of the covered cart, which was carrying
mother and Mary away to the market-town.
When the last glimpse of the covered cart disappeared round the corner
of the lane, she went back to the little house, eager to get the housework
done, and cook the beautiful dinner for the little ones. She cleared the
breakfast-table, washed up and put away the things as well as she could, in the
places where she thought they ought to go. Then she swept up the crumbs
and the hearth, as she had seen Mary do every morning. But it took her
much longer than she expected, and it was half-past ten before the hearth
brush was hung up.
Now for the dinner," she was saying to herself, when she remembered/
She ran up-stairs, and began to make the beds; but sheets and blankets
are hard things to handle, and her arms ached before the beds were made.
Then she wiped the wash-stands, and
took the best water-pitcher and in it
i'7 1. brought some water up-stairs. It was
i very heavy, and made her arms ache
-- again. When she was carrying it full
the third time, she let it fall, and a hole
'"-- \ was broken in the bottom, and the water
Slowed in a stream across the room.
I She seized the best towels, and tried to
mop it up; but it ran under the bed,
and under the cupboard, and among the
---- bandboxes, and came near spoiling her
mother's best bonnet.
By the time the water was wiped
up, Allie was very hot and rather cross. She put the wet towels on the
top of the narrow stairs, and set to work to sweep the bedrooms. This took
some time; but it was fairly easy work, and her old impression of housework
being so easy" was beginning to recover from the shock of the broken jug,
when, in going from one room to another, she stumbled over the wet towels,
and down the stairs she went, rolling over and over, and banging her head
against the door that shut them in at the bottom. The door flew open with
the knock, and poor Allie rolled over on to the kitchen floor, where she lay
without moving for a few moments, till she could make up her mind whether
she was killed or not. The little ones came running in, and pitied and kissed
her, and presently she got up and went and sat in the rocking-chair, feeling
rather sick, and with a lump on her forehead as big as a duck's egg. She
sat there and thought about dinner. She had meant to make a potato pie,
and a plum pudding- she had often seen mother make these dishes, and
even Mary could manage them, So of course I could," said Allie to herself.
She drank a mugful of water and felt better. Then she went into the
kitchen to begin to get dinner.
You're going to have a splendid dinner," she explained to the children,
'- 10 3 $)Oti- '*"e'11* o
o'R 11 i e's I
~lt, I ~
as she got out the paste-board and flour-crock, so go out in the garden and
play at ships till it's ready."
Will it be soon ? asked Elsie wistfully. I'se so hungry."
Yes,'very soon," replied Allie rashly. Elsie, you like potato pie, and
plum-pudding don't you ? "
Oh, yes said both the little ones, but it's a long time till dinner to-day,
isn't it, Bobby?"
Allie glanced at the tall
clock, tick, ticking in the corner.
It was one o'clock. No dinner
prepared no dusting done up-
stairs nor in the parlor!
She flew to the oven to see
if it was hot enough for the
potato pie. The fire was out.
To light a fire is, like so '
many other things, not as easy
as it seems. Every one knows
that you light it with coal and 1
wood and paper and matches .
if you can. Allie had matches
and paper and wood and coal .,,
and she couldn't. She black- --
ened her face and hands. She "
burned her wrist against the still '
hot bars. She wasted a whole ....... -
box of matches, and I shouldn't
like to say how much paper, but the fire would not light. Just then Bobby
and Elsie came in.
Come and play at ships with us," they said.
Play," cried Allie, turning her little black face on them- I look like
playing, don't I ?"
Her tone and face were something so new from Sister Allie, who was
never cross, and never too busy to play, that the little ones, after one look at
her, and one at each other, broke into a howl. Poor Allie felt inclined to cry
too, but she kissed them and comforted them, making them thereby as black
as herself; and when, for the tenth or twelfth time they had dried their tears
and said, We is so hungry," she replied with sudden resolution, -
"Then we'll have a picnic dinner and give up the plum-pudding and pie."
So she spread the cloth on the bricks outside the door, and brought out all the
cold food she could find.
The dinner went off very well-the little ones were good-but Allie
thought they would never get done eating. It was nearly three when the last
plate was carried in-doors, and mother would
be home at half-past four.
She flew to wash up, but there was no
hot water, now the fire was out; and Allie
Si did not know how to wash greasy plates.
'U *So she put the dirty dishes and things on
the sink, and had another struggle with the
fire. This time it really did burn up. She
filled the kettle and putt it on, and then caught up a duster and rushed to the
parlor. When she opened the door she stood still a moment, and turned
quite pale. There was a white pool on the best carpet. From the ceiling,
water was still dripping, bringing with it the whitewash and plaster.
Oh -what shall I do?" she cried aloud; but there was no one to
answer. She wiped the carpet as well as she could, and then got a basin and
put it under that big wet patch on the ceiling, from which the water was still
Now came a sudden hissing, splutter, and crash from the kitchen. She
turned. The kettle had toppled over as the fire burned through. A horrid
smell and steam came from the wet coals, and a slow stream of water mingled
with wood-ashes was running from under the steel fender, and making its way
to the table from which Bobby and Elsie, startled by the fall of the kettle, had
just knocked over the flour-crock. It broke, and a cloud of flour rose up from
Amid those ruins Allie sat down and cried as she hadn't cried for many a
long day. There's nothing like unsuccessful housework to make you cry.
Allie cried and cried, and Elsie and Bobby, who knew they ought to have
left the flour alone, cried too and so Mary found them all when she ran in,
ten minutes later.
Mother will be in in half an hour; she stopped at Mrs. Green's to -
What's the matter ?"
No one spoke, but the whole look of the kitchen answered plainly enough.
Mary looked and understood and she didn't say, I told you so! which is
much to her credit. She just kissed the others and sent them off to wash
their hands and faces, and took off her hat and put on her apron and set to
The kitchen fireplace was too wet to light a fire in, but she soon had one
burning in the little grate in the back-kitchen. The flour was soon swept up,
and the hearth; but Mary had to call Allie to find the tea-things, for she had
put everything away in the wrong place.
I can't say the kitchen looked very tidy even when mother came home, but
there was tea ready for the family, yet Allie couldn't eat anything. After tea
her mother said,-
Well, dear, how have you got on ?"
And then Alice told her
^5^ everything that had happened,
Sand how hard she had found
,-. the -housework.
And if Mary hadn't come
Sin, there would have
been no -tea for
you when you came
.. 6 ~home."
";Q.e.\ -Mother kissed
her, and said softly :
Then you do begin to understand now ? "
Yes," said Allie, I hope you'll teach me things, mother. I don't know
a single thing."
Mother smiled and kissed her again. Allie often found housework tire-
some after that, but she persevered, and now she is as clever as Mary. Allie
has taught Mary to crochet, and to play the Bluebells of Scotland," wrong
chords and all.
So that their father will find that both his little girls have learned some-
thing, when he comes home from sea. Nothing is left to remind Alice of her
dreadful first day of housework, except the rivets in the best jug, and the
stain on the best carpet.
They make a cunning three-toed track
In the soft, cool mud,- quack! quack!"
" I! cried the dandelion, I!
My roots are thirsty, my buds are dry."
And she lifted a towsled yellow head
Out of her green grass bed.
"I hope 'twill pour! I hope 'twill pour! "
Purred the tree-toad at his gray bark door,
For, with a broad leaf for a roof,
I am perfectly weather-proof."
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
--_"_ H FE snow lay thickly over the fields.
S' Thle hedges were laden with icicles
j 'sparkling in the wintry sun like sprays
-of diamonds. Along the railway the
/ snow was piled in high drifts, through
which the train had cut a road during
the last storm. The morning air was
stinging cold, and sprays of ice crystals
.- r 11lir branched in fern-like shapes across the
"\ car window in which Mrs. Burr and her
S. little daughter Bessie, clad in their
-thickest wraps and tucked in beneath a
Swarm fur rug, were journeying from
Maine, the most eastern State in the
\ Union, to Boston, the largest city in
New England and the capital of Massachusetts.
The distance to be travelled was more than one hundred miles, and it
seemed long to Bessie, who with her mother was to visit her mother's sister,
Mrs. Noble, and her little son Harry, about her own age, whom she had never
seen. Every time the train stopped she asked her mother, Is this Boston ?"
and when told it was not, she impatiently cried, Oh, dear! When shall we
get there ? "
She was an only child; and the idea of having her Cousin Harry for a play-
mate was something new, and filled her mind with many plans for sport. She,
however, became tired as the early darkness came on, and when the lights of
the great city began to be seen in the distance, she had fallen asleep on her
mother's shoulder, and knew nothing more till a hearty kiss was given upon
her rosy cheek, with a cordial greeting for herself and mother, from her Aunt
Noble, when they entered the hall of her brilliantly lighted house.
Harry has gone to bed," said Mrs. Noble, when they had seated them-
selves in the dining-room at the cosey tea-table. He stayed up half an hour
later than usual to see you, but your train was so late I was obliged to send
him up-stairs. He is planning to have a gay time with his Cousin Bessie. I
hope you will both have much fun together."
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
The two ladies went to earnestly chatting about the things that happened
when they were young, and Bessie, whose sleep in the cars had made her
wakeful, played with Harry's kitten till past nine o'clock. Then Aunt Noble
showed Bessie and her mother to the large front chamber which they were to
occupy during their stay in Boston, which was.to be during the Holiday
The children met at the nursery breakfast on the following morning, and
oh! how lovely it was to Bessie to see another little figure opposite to her.
Harry was rather shy at first; but he soon overcame that feeling, and they
passed that day and the rest of the week in unbroken happiness.
Christmas morning was the dawn of new pleasures. The stockings hang-
ing at the foot of the beds were so full of toys that pillow-cases had been used
too; and shouts of de-
m light echoed through the
St. /rooms, as first one, then
Alt. P another treasure came
r; /n to view. It seemed to
i n the children that the
'/ kindest of Santa Claus
had brought everything
/ they most wanted ; but
you and I who are in the
secret know very well
-" that it was the loving
thought in the mothers'
Hearts that made such
a beautiful Christmas
morning to their little
ones. Anyway, the toys were there dolls, dolls' clothes, tea-things, puzzles,
a baker's shop, and no end of goodies for Bessie; and a ball, pop-gun, reins,
whip, box of animals, and goodies for Harry, besides many other things I have
Then came the Christmas dinner with a whole party of relations, children
big and little; the pudding with a great sprig of holly in the middle, and a
sauce of blue flames running all round the dish; the crackers with caps and
%~b e (c i E :t ) ,,o 'e.
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
By-and-by came games in the drawing-room, when the grown-up people
tried to be children again, and romped with the little ones. Hunt the Slip-
per was too funny, with Uncle Noble as the old cobbler; for he was so stupid
and could not find the slipper for ever so long, although once a little boy
flourished it just under his nose. Then they had Musical chairs," with Mrs.
Burr at the piano playing the old familiar tunes Bessie knew so well; and all
the children danced round the chairs, and Bessie won the game. Last of all
came Fox and Geese," when Mrs. Burr, as Mother Goose, spread out her
skirts for wings, striving to protect the flock of merry children behind her
from Uncle Noble, the wary fox, who ran about on all fours, pursuing the
goslings, and finally frightened Harry into tears as he carried him off as a tid-
bit for his supper.
One more romp to end the evening with a smile of joy, then good-night.
Oh! what a lovely Christmas," said Bessie, as nurse undressed her: I
wish every day in the week was Christmas Day." .
The next day the little cousins were playing in the library.
At first all went smoothly
with the little cousins. Bes-
sie wore Harry's reins and
Splayed horses with him.
\. Next they had a dollie's
Christmas-party, using the
tea-things given to Bessie,
/ *.. and a grand feast of sweets.
.- 'These having disappeared, Harry
wished to play with his tramcar.
Bessie wanted it too.
Let me have it, I'm the biggest," said Bessie.
"Then I'm the littlest, and ought to have it," said Harry. It's mine, and
you're an unkind girl! "
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
If you have the car I shall take your ball and keep it," said Bessie, putting
it behind her. I am afraid she was feeling cross and tired after her gayety.
If you take my ball I'll poke your doll's eyes out," cried Harry defiantly.
" I did it once to Mary Jane's doll. Mary Jane is nurse's sister. Her
doll's eyes rattled about inside her head, and she looked so ugly!"
Bessie was infuriated. You're a bad, wicked boy," she cried, fairly pant-
ing with passion, "and I hate you. If you touch my dear dollie, I'll break all
your Christmas toys." She raised her hand as though to strike her little cousin,
when the library door opened, and Aunt Noble, with a very grave face, came
into the room.
What is the matter ? Are you quarrelling ? Oh my dear children, you
have everything to make you happy, and yet I see angry looks, and hear hard
words. Stop, both of you. Kiss and make friends directly. I am going to
tell you what has happened to two little city waifs who have no home, who
don't even know
means, unless it be
c extra cold and hun-
Sger." The chil-
dren's interest was
S. awakened ; they
Quickly forgot their
quarrel, and nestled
close to Mrs.
.. ." I was turning
into the Square,"
she said, "when I
r saw two ragged
children sitting on
the curbstone, almost without clothing, and apparently exhausted from cold
and hunger. The elder one, a boy of seven, told me his mother was dead, his
father gone away, and they had been left to try and get a living as they could.
I asked him if they had breakfasted. 'No, mum,' said the boy wearily, I
haven't been able to pick up a job yet.' The younger child began to cry. I
brought them home they are now in the kitchen; and presently, when they
have had a good meal, you shall see them."
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
During this conversation in the library, the greatest excitement prevailed
The two destitute children, on being left to the servants, at first stared
around them as though half-dazed, but gradually the elder boy ventured a
Is she a lodger in this house ma'am ?" he said gravely to cook, jerking
his thumb in the direction of the door through which Mrs. Noble had just
There are no lodgers here," said cook kindly. "The lady who brought
you in is mistress, and we her servants."
Oh, my!" said the boy. He could not quite grasp this idea: as far as
his experience went an entire family occupied each separate room of a house.
Aren't they dirty, poor children," said
"'\ the housemaid. Here, cook, while you're
Smacking the cocoa, and cutting the bread
and butter. I'll gi\c them a bath."
S\\'hat'' that ?" asked the elder boy
\ sharply, clutching his younger brother's
hand tightly, as though to protect him
Ifroin some unknown danger, while Jane
deliberately poured the warm water into a large, round bath before the
kitchen-fire. You ain't going for to drown us surely. I say, let's go back
to the streets again "
Drown you, no !" replied Jane, laughing, only to get rid of the city
mud sticking about you. Come, you needn't be frightened. What's your
name ? "
THE GIFT OF LOVE,
My name's Ginger, 'cos my 'air's red," said the boy, touching his head,
which looked like an ill-kept door-mat.
And mine's Tim," said the younger child.
Well, Tim, you come first," said Jane, as, whisking off the few rags
hanging about the boy, she popped him into the water, and began scrubbing
My! ain't he white!" cried Ginger delightedly, dancing up and down;
and his 'air, why it ain't mud color at all! Is it nice, Tim ? "
Ah ain't it just," said Tim gratefully, surveying his small person with
pride, while Ginger, impatient for his turn, fumbled with the knots of string
that held his scanty clothing together.
Here are two bundles of nice tidy clothes," said another maid, entering
These are what the Missis sends for you, boys," said cook. We'll burn
those dirty old rags and see what you look like presently."
The children, too enchanted to reply, could only nod and smile. The
bathing was soon over, then re-dressed and unrecognizable they sat down to a
How they enjoyed that cocoa and bread and butter.
I feel as if I 'adn't never 'ad no food afore," said Ginger. We's walked
the streets since six this morning but I don't mind now."
Presently Mrs. Noble peeped into the kitchen. Well, boys," she said,
" do you feel better?"
Yes, ma'am, and ain't we smart. We haven'tt never 'ad clothes all over us
Mrs. Noble was silent, tears rose in her eyes as she thought of the children
up-stairs, laden with all the good things of the world, and then of these two
poor little waifs. She went to the foot of the stairs to call Bessie and Harry,
who came at once, eager to see Ginger and Tim.
We's done now," said Ginger, rising, and thank you kindly, mum. We'll
never 'ave nothing so good again, I guess," he sighed.
"Bessie and Harry," said Mrs. Noble, these poor children have no
mother, no one to take care of them nothing."
No Christmas presents ? asked Bessie, the thought of her toys being
uppermost in her mind.
Nothing," repeated Mrs. Noble.
THE GIFT OF LOVE.
Bessie ran up-stairs and returned quickly with an armful of toys.
may have them," she said to Ginger. I prize them
all, but you shall have them." She was only a very ,
little girl, and this first sacrifice was her Christmas r
gift of love.
Mrs. Noble's kindness did not stop here. She
found a respectable old woman to take charge of the
poor boys, and every morning Bessie and Harry
caught sight of their glad faces as they ran down
the kitchen steps to enjoy the warm breakfast pre-
pared by cook.
By-and-by, when Bessie and her mother were
safely home again, Mrs. Noble wrote that the boys '
had gone to a comfortable school, where they would i '
be well cared for, and where she could go and see ; .
them from time to time.
On Bessie's next birthday, when mother gave
her a bright new half-crown, she did not forget
Ginger and Tim. She said she would like them to
have a small Christmas present, just to show they
were not forgotten at that glad season of the year.
Now Bessie is grown up, her life is full of kind, unselfish deeds;
was not the least of them all, when out of the fulness of her childish
she offered her precious Christmas toys to Ginger and Tim.
Now, children, I would ask that when
You gaze upon your Christmas toys,
You'd just remember there are some
Bereft of all your Christmas joys;
And spare one thought, do one kind deed,
Let one sad heart through your help know,
That flowers of love and sympathy
Are blooming 'mid the winter snow.
Do you want to help me, dear,
Very, very much ?
Careful walk along right here,
And you must not touch;
You must learn to keep the row;
Pull the weeds where'er they grow;
Soon you'll learn to use the hoe,
Rake, and spade, and such.
M. E. McKEE.
THINK you must go to your father; he is evidently fretting for
you. and you ought to go to-day," said Dr. Lee, as he handed a
letter to his wife, whose whole attention
seemed given to two small children who
;' were sitting, one on each side of her, at
the breakfast table.
"It is really most perplexing," said
S*' Mrs. Lee, as she poured milk into two
little porridge bowls, and pressed kisses
S on the restless, chubby hands, which were
busy with the sugar basin.
"With nurse away how can I possibly manage to leave these two little
They are desperate little plagues," said Dr. Lee, smiling, laying a fond
hand on the golden head near him, that of Jack. What's to be done with
Me go to me own nursie! said Jack complacently, as he took a bite
from a slice of raspberry jam and bread.
"The whole matter in a nutshell! cried Dr. Lee, laughing. "The diffi-
culty has vanished! Send a telegram to nurse. She arrives this afternoon.
I take you off to Brighton, leaving nurse to manage the youngsters' affairs.
She sleeps here, and takes them off to Arundel to-morrow. How would Elsie
and Jack like that ? "
Now, it will not for a moment be supposed that this proposed programme
of events was listened to in orderly silence by
the little people so much concerned in it. On
the contrary, there was a great commotion. .
Elsie's arms were round her mother's neck,
teacups in danger of breakage, porridge bowls
were upset, Jack was climbing on his father's
knee, and deafening him with as big Hurrahs" as
could be expected from his years, and the whole
scene was lively in the extreme. For, to visit the
dearest nurse in the whole world, living in a lovely '
park, near a grand old castle, and with a shining .
river ever inviting you to row upon it, is as fair a prospect as a London child
could ask for; and Elsie and Jack were not hard to please.
Nurse had only left the little people six months before, to be married to one
c of the gardeners belonging to
SArundel Castle, and had already
--- managed to get possession of the
children for a day or two in the
.early spring, so that her pretty
Cottage home seemed, in a man-
S. ner, familiar to them, and she was
such a dear and cosey creature
/ i that no child could feel unhappy
with her, certainly not Elsie and Jack, who
had never been separated from her until
she was married.
It is altogether a splendid plan," said
Mrs. Lee, "and I shall feel quite easy
about the children, if nurse will take charge of them. We will send a tele-
gram to her at once, and I will pack up to be ready to start for Brighton with
you as soon as she has arrived, and taken them under her charge."
I must be off then, now," said Dr. Lee, and arrange for my work. I
l1fLSVi i2 F
shall look in at lunch-time to hear nurse's reply; and if all is well we will catch
the seven o'clock train for Brighton this evening."
The telegram from nurse arrived in due time. It ran thus: Coming by
next train. Can stay night." Mother was greatly relieved by this reply, and
Elsie and Jack executed a wild dance over portmanteaus and boxes, and were
carried off by Annie, the nursemaid, who had a romp with them in the nursery,
until the lunch-bell rang, and they were made ready to go down-stairs.
And soon after lunch nurse found her way into her old
i '. nursery, and sat in the old rocking-chair, and hummed the
_ `.1 old tunes which
used to send the children into dreamland,
and the children flew into her arms, and
hugged her to their hearts' content.
Well, nurse," said Dr. Lee, coming
in before he went his rounds, "you see
we can't get on without you; these little
tyrants will have you.. Let them spend
the week out of doors, give them milk
and bread and butter, leave all their finery
at home, and let them be happy in pina-
fores and sun-bonnets." With which
injunctions he departed. Seven o'clock
soon came, and mother unwillingly tore
Herself away from the merry nursery
party, to join Dr. Lee at the station for
the Brighton train.
Oh, my dear canary! who will take
care of you ?" cried Elsie, next morning,
as she put a lump of sugar between the
bars of its cage, as a parting gift.
It will be well looked after, Missy dear," said nurse, as she led the chil-
dren down-stairs to the cab. You shall gather plantains for it from our
lanes, and store them for winter use."
The little party, Elsie and Jack, nurse and Annie, were soon out of the
din and dust of London, and whirling in the train through wooded valleys
and chalky downs. Then the river Arun gleamed before them, soft mossy
hills appeared, deep shady woods, then the stately castle and keep, and they
were at Arundel.
Nurse's husband, Simmonds, met them with a truck for the luggage. The
station was full of soldiers, and the quiet town was unusually lively.
Is there going to be a battle? asked Jack eagerly.
No, little master," answered Simmonds, "but there's a fine sight for you
in the park. Seven or eight hundred men are encamped there, and to-morrow
there will be a review, and the duke will be there, and a grand show of gentry
from round about. Oh! you young folks are come at the right time, I can
tell you. There will be grand doings to-morrow."
"Let us go this minute to the
park!" cried Elsie. Please, nurse,
let us go now! and Jack began coax-
ing nurse in a way that she could not -
You shall, my dears, if nursey
can manage it. What can I do, Sim- | -
monds ? I must go home to get dinner
for you and the children."
All right." said good-natured 'i
Simmonds. "I'll leave the luggage
and truck in the dairy, and come for it
when I have taken the little ones and
Annie to the park. They shall have a
drink of milk at the dairy, and that will
serve them until they come to dinner."
They crossed the bridge over the
Arun, and turning to the right passed by the ruins of an ancient monastery,
and so on, under shady trees, until they came to the dairy.
This is like the Queen's dairy at Windsor," said nurse, as the children
had a glass of milk each; but we can't stay to look over it, if you want to go
into the park. I shall leave you now and go home, Simmonds; you will tell
Annie where she is to be found with the children at dinner-time. So good-by,
dears, for the present," and nurse hurried off.
Simmonds took the children and Annie through the lodge gates into the
park. Oh, those soft, mossy hills, with the warm mid-day sun resting upon
them They could scarcely leave them, but Simmonds hurried them on to the
encampment. And here a splendid sight was before them. Tents were
dotted about in all directions, groups of soldiers were being drilled, officers
were hurrying about, and a band was playing. Simmonds found them a seat
where they could enjoy the sight of what was going on, and telling Annie to
keep them there until he could fetch them, he left them.
Simmonds soon appeared, and finding that little Jack's footsteps lagged,
hoisted him on his shoulder and thus carried
him to the cottage. Honeysuckle and clematis
covered the porch, and sweet scented white roses
Sran up the walls of the house, and the garden was
fragrant with old-fashioned flowers. Roses and
honeysuckle peeped in at the windows of the
sitting-room where they dined, and a big bowl of
roses stood on the table.
"Oh, I so happy and comfy with me own
nursie !" said Jack, with a sigh of delicious con-
tent, as he climbed into her arms after dinner.
l His head soon drooped, and his blue eyes closed,
and nurse carried him up, and laid him on a
small white-draped bed, and Elsie was glad to
lie down upon another, and they slept soundly
-- until the pleasant clatter of teacups awakened
Anybody up there want a cup of tea ? cried Simmonds at the foot of
the stairs, and nurse scolded him for waking them ; but Elsie and Jack shouted
out, Yes, yes, come and fetch us And they tumbled out of bed and down-
stairs in a state of rumple and crumple and tangled curls
that would have shocked their London nurse.
Why, here are swallows on our teacups and saucers, -.
and over your mantel-piece," cried Elsie; ". and I saw some
swallows on the china in the shops, as we passed through
the town. Swallows seem everywhere."
"The town took the swallow for its device hundreds of
years ago, and some say that the town of Arundel got its
name that way."
I shall take it as my device," said Elsie quickly. "The swallow is my
very dearest bird."
Me have the swallow for me 'vice too," said Jack.
But, nurse," said Elsie, looking puzzled, how could the town be named
from the swallow ?"
The French for swallow is Hiirondelle, I have heard tell," said nurse;
" and so, some say, they called the town Arundelle, after the swallow. And
now, are you tired of soldiers, or shall we go to
the park again until bedtime?"
There could be only one answer to this, and
two very happy children, in clean white frocks
',.-i and smooth curls, ran by her side. They entered
"Bf. the park this time by a different way. They
climbed up the steep hill
^ road past the castle walls,
S- :'-' which were wreathed with
creepers and foliage of
all kinds, and entered by
a beautiful avenue. More
.. tents were to be seen, for
iall was being prepared
.. for the Review next day.
.The timid deer had re-
S'tired to the further re-
cesses of the park: the
children caught sight of
1a few of the herd, but
were not allowed to
follow them, for the day
had been full of excite-
ment to them, and nurse
was afraid they would be over fatigued. But she let them stay to hear the
band play; and Jack was proud to take off his cap when they played God
Save the Queen," and Elsie was sorry that girls kept their hats on. Then, in
the soft evening air, and through the twilight, nurse and the tired children
walked home, and so passed the first day at Arundel.
Do you remember the happy and drowsy feeling of being very slowly
awakened on a summer's morning by country sounds, to which you were quite
unaccustomed, such as the lowing of cattle, the chuck, chuck of hens, the
bleating of sheep ? You must have been a dweller in a town fully to appre-
ciate and enjoy the delicious sense of rest and peace which these sounds con-
vey. Our little friends from Harley Street certainly didn't analyze their sen-
sations, but they woke up feeling that life was all sunshine, warmth, and love.
Birds were twittering round the window; they could hear, and even feel, the
foliac-e and steins bending .
under their % i rht; and th-
scenr of ir nnn tt and,"
geraniums filled their room.
Then, to breakfast in a
small nest of a room when you are accustomed to a large and stately one,- to
be able to stretch out your hand as you sit at table and gather a rose at your
pleasure, to know that there is a shining river close at hand, on which you
may be invited to row, and a Valley of Butterflies, which in a way seems to
belong to you by right of discovery and by right of name; and to know that
for a whole week you may wander in your valley or row upon your river.
Well, such a state of affairs is enough to fill young hearts with delight, and
young faces with smiles. And Elsie and Jack smiled so much at breakfast,
that Simmonds said that their faces looked like full moons.
The Review in the park was to begin at three o'clock. What should be
done this morning ?
The children want to be in Butterfly Valley,' as they call it," said nurse.
I don't rightly know where that is," said Simmonds.
Where the target stands," answered nurse. Annie shall take them
soon. They shall water nurse's flowers after breakfast, and play about in the
Jack's tiny water-pot was filled with water, and Elsie was trusted with a
" real one, as she called it, and they began their work. Nurse placed a pail
of water by the garden chair for refilling their watering-pots, gathered for
each of them some sweet-scented clove carnations, gave them two juicy apples
apiece, and left them. Now, watering flowers in summer is a most delightful
occupation. The sweet breath of the flowers, and the grateful smell of the
moistened earth, are better than all the scents ever made for a lady's handker-
chief. The little gardeners enjoyed the work immensely; and Elsie asked to
have the water-pail refilled again and again, while Jack climbed into the garden
chair and ate an apple. Then came the run to Butterfly Valley, through the
park. Oh, that you could see that spot! The soft mossy hills on either side,
covered with fragrant thyme and golden cistus, and a thousand tiny flowers;
butterflies here, and butterflies there, under your feet and over your head, of
the softest colors, and the downiest softness! The children climbed the sunny
hills again and again, and were never weary of rolling down the slopes. It
was hard to tear themselves away from the spot; but there was a store of joy
waiting for them in the afternoon, though, as" Jack said, hills and butterflies
were far nicer than peoples." Still, when they found themselves among the
expectant crowds of people in the afternoon, and watched the officers on their
spirited horses, and the whole battalion going through their exercises in such
a splendid manner, and saw the Duke of Norfolk himself on his magnificent
horse, and the Duchess, seated among her ladies, watching the Review. their
delight knev no bounds. You do not at all wonder that Jack declared that
he must be a soldier, or that Elsie sighed deeply because she couldn't be
Very tired little people returned to the cottage for tea, and there was a
letter from mother to her darlings, hoping that they were good and happy
children, and that she might come to see them before long. And so ended
another bright day.
The tide will serve for a row on the river this afternoon," said Simmonds,
next morning, to his wife. Shall I tell Adams you will be ready for the boat
by two o'clock? "
Yes! yes! shouted two voices. We'll row too !"
Now, listen to me, young folks," said Simmonds seriously. The river
is ever so deep and dangerous in parts, and if you jump about I'm afraid of an
upset. You'll be all right if you sit quiet. Now, shall I order the boat for
two children who will do just as nurse bids them ? "
Yes," said Elsie, we will do all our jumping and riots this morning in
our valley, and be as quiet as mice in the boat; so order the boat, dear
Then I shall pack a hamper, and we will take tea at Amberley," said
nurse. We'll boil our kettle and have a picnic."
Could anything be more delightful ? The children collected sticks, which
they tied in bundles, and put into the hamper with a box of matches; and
Elsie packed up the plates with straw between, and cups and saucers, and a
teapot and teaspoons. Jack fetched eggs from the fowl-house, which nurse
packed in some tea and sugar, and placed the kettle ready with a cork in the
spout. That would be filled with fresh spring-water the last thing before
starting, and a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread, and some butter would not be
With joyful hopes the children ran off to their valley, while nurse got
through her work, that she might be free for the boating expedition in the
At two o'clock a merry party got on board the boat for Amberley. The
river glittered in the sunshine, the boat glided rapidly past the grand old
castle and green glades of Arundel. Elsie tried an oar, and even Jack man-
aged to pull a stroke with Annie holding him.
The castle looked dark and gloomy as they returned, and the stars were
out before the children were home again; but they never forgot that lovely
row upon the river.
Annie," said nurse next morning, I must put the dear children under
your charge to-day. I have to be at the castle, and may not have a chance
of coming home until the afternoon."
Two faces looked mournful at this announcement.
"There are some apples to be sorted," said Simmonds. "Will Missy and
Master help me this'morning ? "
Yes, yes, we can sort them and eat them," said Elsie, laughing. I
should like to pick the red apples from the tree by the shed, and sit among
the boughs while nurse is away, and do leave your dog to play with us."
Well, that may be safe enough," answered Simmonds; but we had best
have no pranks while you are under our care. You are safest on mother
earth, so follow me, Missy."
There were several baskets in the shed, some full of summer apples, some
S "' "' .
empty. Simmonds showed them where to place the bruised ones, and where
to put those that were for sale.
And when you are tired of your work," said he, choose two apples
apiece and eat them in the garden, and keep Flip with you if you can hold
Jack's fat arms held Flip fast, and a good game followed among the bas-
kets, while Elsie began her work. It was pretty work too : the apples, red,
yellow, and russet, were splendid fruit and fragrant, and Jack held out his
hand for one.
hand for one.
Lazy Jack ought to work !" said Elsie; but she gave him an apple, and
the little boy ran away with Flip. Elsie sorted apples steadily for a time, and
then, taking her wages in the shape of an apple, looked about for Jack.
That enterprising young gentleman had scrambled on to the orchard wall,
Flip stationed as a guard near him, and, in trying to help him down, the two
children rolled down together, and Flip set up sharp, alarmed barks for help.
But there was no harm done. Annie appeared, and took them in for clean
pinafores and hats.
The next day when Annie was walking with them in the park they rambled
off after the deer, which retreated as they approached, until Elsie and Jack
found themselves far away from Hiorne Tower, in a glade altogether new to
them. They climbed a mossy' hill, and scrambled down the other side, and
found themselves on very familiar ground, in their own valley.
Me velly, velly, tired," said Jack, and Elsie, too, was glad to throw her-
self on the warm, soft grass and rest; and soon they grew drowsy, and fell
fast asleep in Butterfly Valley Meanwhile, the train had brought their mother
from Brighton, and she was hastening to nurse's home to meet her children.
But Mrs. Lee found the cottage empty. Annie, returning to find the children,
was surprised to see her mistress there, for she had given no notice of her
coming, as it was rather uncertain and dependent on grandpapa's health.
Annie was troubled at losing the children, but Mrs. Lee felt pretty sure they
were in their favorite haunt, and hastened to find them, with Annie. In pass-
ing through the park they met Dr. Lee. I've heard," he said, of two little
folks being seen chasing the deer; their little feet won't carry them away from
us far afield."
Elsie and Jack were waking up from their afternoon nap, when their father
and mother found them; and such embraces and huggings ensued, and such
bewildering accounts of picnics, boating, and all manner of pleasures, that
there could be no doubt about the success of Jack's plan of being with Me
I want a cup of tea after my journey," said Mrs. Lee; and as we all have
to get back to town to-night, there is no more time to idle here."
There was a cosey tea-party in.the cottage, a rapid packing up, fond good-
bys to nurse, and the train carried the children from Arundel and the Valley
JOHNNIE BROWN'S WHITE DRESS.