Citation
Little Peterkin Vandike

Material Information

Title:
Little Peterkin Vandike : the story of his famous poetry party
Creator:
Pratt, Charles Stuart, 1854-1921 ( Author, Primary )
Bridgman, L. J ( Lewis Jesse ), 1857-1931 ( Illustrator )
Alpha Publishing Company ( Publisher )
Pinkham Press ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Boston
Publisher:
Alpha Publishing Company
Manufacturer:
Pinkham Press
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
154 p. : ill. (some col.), music ; 21 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's literature, American ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Parties -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Vacations -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Imagination -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Play -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Amusements -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1896 ( local )
Baldwin -- 1896
Genre:
Family stories ( local )
novel ( marcgt )
Poetry ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Contains verse.
General Note:
Some illustrations printed in red.
General Note:
Includes a list of illustrations.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Charles Stuart Pratt ; forty-eight illustrations by L.J. Bridgman.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026923543 ( ALEPH )
ALH6679 ( NOTIS )
17019912 ( OCLC )

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Full Text




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Bs LEY

CHARLES STUART PRATT


















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WIIEN THE VIOLIN SQUEALED. :
(See page 19.)



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE

The Story of his Famous Poetry Party

By
CHARLES STUART PRATT

Author of ‘The Whirling Globe,” ‘* Bye-O-Baby Ballads,”
“Baby’s Lullaby Book,’ etc:

Forty-eight Illustrations by
L. J. BRIDGMAN

BOSTON
ALPHA PUBLISHING COMPANY
1896



Copyright, 1896,
by
ALPHA PUBLISHING COMPANY

All rights reserved

THE PINKHAM PRESS
BOSTON



L dedicate this book, -
made for the amusement
(and perchance instruction)
of the many boys who will read it,
to the memory of one boy,
who would have enjoyed as much as Peterkin
the plays of the Poetry Party,
but who has now marched,
as they will march one day,
out of the ranks of boyhood
into the ranks of young manhood.
CLS. Ps






CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.

PETERKIN SETS THE BALL Rotting. . . . . O58

CHAPTER II.

PETERKIN PLAYS THE SQUIRREL . . . ..... Qi
CHAPTER III.

THe BRAVE LITvLE CHICKADEE . . .. . .. . 82
CHAPTER IV.

NI EDIUE TUQIUN UTR Sy yee ea see Ge ev ers eres er a2)

CHAPTER V.
JrgeiresD INDIES DNS Gg Ae 6 te be 6 ooo eo GS

CHAPTER VI.
ANeGo) IRONING SG 8 oo eo bg be OD

CHAPTER VII.

BG NOIRE, Ieper 2 Gog eh te eo gD

CHAPTER VIII.

EE Aine NORCHeBHARIR SIs (s)he ie eS (Osh



8 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IX.

Tue AMBITIOUS BEE

CHAPTER X.

Tur DANCING BEAR

CHAPTER XI.

TRANSFORMATIONS .

CHAPTER XII.

Tur PorTrRy Party

PAGE.

102

115

143



ILLUSTRATIONS.

When the Violin Squealed

Initial, with Rats and the Magic Flute
Peterkin

““Squirming on the Captain’s Shoulder ”’
Initial, with Squirrel

At Five in the Morning

Peterkin and the Boas

Uncle Jock

Peterkin the Squirrel

Initial, with Eagle

‘Braver than an Eagle”

Dorothy and the Bull

The Girl-Chickadee

Initial, with Head of Cat .

The Chum .

Crouched before an enormous Rat-hole .

‘All Tangled Up in his Tail”

PAGE.
Frontis.

15
18
20



10 ILLUSTRATIONS.

Initial, with Ants
Peterkin Studies the Ant .
Allie arrives

“ Little Miss Ant”

Initial, with ‘‘the Rabbit of the Indian Legend”’ .

The Big Bunny by the Cabbages

‘‘ Bye-O, Baby Bunting” .

The Race

Initial, with Thinking-Cap and Lady-bug
Thinking it out .

Ready for Rehearsal .

“ Lady-bug, Lady-bug! Fly Away Home!”
Initial, with Firefly

Glow-worm

Lantern-fly

The Little Lantern-Swinger

Initial, with ‘“‘ Peterkin’s Drawing”

In the ‘‘ Brown Study”

The “ Great Night-Bird ”’

The Terrible Spidery Creature

Initial, with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
Ursa Major as the Greeks saw him .

“¢T-Spy’!?? answered Uncle Jock .



ILLUSTRATIONS.

ef ere Brought Your Hide; announced Peterkin
The Bear Danced

Initial, with ‘“ Peterkin’s Butterfly ”

The Miller and the Caterpillar

Peterkin Tells About the Rehearsal

The Chrysalis

The Butterfly

Initial, with ‘The Book of the Poetry Party ”’
“Two Minutes Apiece”’

Picking the Pear

“Three Cheers for — for — Everybody!”

PAGE,







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

CHAPTER L.

PETERKIN SETS THE BALL ROLLING.

“\. HIS is a story of lit-
' tle Peterkin Van-
dike, and certain of

his doings the sum-



mer he was ten.
Peterkin’s fa-
ther’s name was
Peter. His grandfather’s name was also Peter.
And his father’s name was Peter too—only he lived
in Holland, and his last name was Van Dyck.
When Peterkin’s grandfather came to America,
the family name somehow got changed to Vandike.
Peterkin’s father was a real American, though.

He was a captain in the Civil War, and the “star-
15



16 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

spangled banner” had waved from the staff above
the corner balcony ever since Peterkin could re-
member.

Still Peterkin’s father was fond of the old Dutch
family name, and so, when Peterkin was born, he
also was named Peter.

So long as he was too young to talk, and every-
one called him Baby, or Bud, or something of the
sort, there was no trouble.

But when he was too old for baby names, and
could talk as well as Captain Vandike himself,
there was trouble.

Whenever Mama Vandike called, “Peter!” Papa
Vandike answered, “Yes, my dear!” and Baby
Vandike answered, “Yes, mama!” and the “yes’s”
sounded like one big yes, and the “my dear” and the
“mama” were all mixed up together—and papa-
Peter and boy-Peter would come, one from the
study and one from the nursery, both at once.

So they had to change boy-Peter’s name to
Peterkin.

Peterkin was pink and white, like Captain Peter;



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 17

and his hair was yellow, with red in the shadows.
Still he was quite as much a man asif his hair had
been black. He didn’t ever play dolls, and he had
lots of muscle at the tops of his arms.

In fact, Peterkin was a very lively boy the
summer he was ten. His fists and feet were going
sixteen hours out of the twenty-four, often both at
once; and during the eight hours when he was sup-
posed to sleep they frequently continued to go.
Even Peterkin’s dreams were lively.

All the same, Peterkin stood at the head of his
classes, except in arithmetic. Somehow he
couldn’t remember nine times seven, but he could
remember hosts of other things. He could recite
“Horatius at the Bridge,’ and “The Ride of Paul
Revere,” so you would yell “Hurrah!” and wish you

were a hero, too. He could recite “The Pied Piper
of Hamelin” so that Mama Vandike would jump
up into a chair, and everybody could hear rats.

Indeed, it was on account of Mr. Browning’s
Pied Piper that Peterkin came to have his famous

poetry party.



18 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

It was very gay that summer at Captain Van-
dike’s. The Captain’s youngest brother, Peter-
kin’s dear Uncle Jock, had come up from Harvard
for the long vacation. He was
on the ’Varsity crew, and had
built up a pair of biceps mus-
cles that were Peterkin’s
especial envy. Then there
were his mother’s two sisters
from Vassar, his Aunt Nell
and his Aunt Belle. And there

- were no end of people in the summer villas near,



PETERKIN.

who had nothing to do but play tennis and get up
good times of all sorts.

They had camped out on the top of Kearsarge
Mountain, and sailed up Sunapee by moonlight,
and bicycled every road that didn’t run up hill
all the way. Then. they tried “living pictures,”
and lawn parties, and last of all, poetry parties.

At the Commodore’s they had a Longfellow
party, and Aunt Nell was Evangeline, and Uncle
Jock was Hiawatha, with bow and quiver and

deerskin, and eagle feathers in his hair.



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 19

Then at the Vandike villa they had a Browning
party. There was a tent with a stage between
two pines at the side of thelawn. Uncle Jock was
the Pied Piper. Peterkin, hidden at the side,
pulled the fine threads, which nobody could see,
but which drew the canton-flannel rats with black
bead eyes tumbling headlong after the Pied Piper
as he played on his magic flute.

Uncle Jock’s college chum was hidden beside
Peterkin with a violin. Some one recited Mr.
Browning’s poem—and just at the right place the
violin squealed for the rats so very delightfully
that Peterkin forgot to pull the rat-threads and
turned.a double somersault right into the middle
of the stage.

That night, after dinner, when the family and
friends were taking coffee in the parlors, Peterkin,
clad in his blue-and-white striped nightgown, sud-
denly slid down the long oak stair-rail and with a
bound landed in their midst.

“Uncle Jock,” he cried, before even Captain

Vandike could capture him, “Uncle Jock, Pm



20 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDILE.

going to have a poetry party myself—a new kind
—-and I want you to help me!”

“All right, Peterkin,” laughed Uncle Jock.
“Shall we begin now?”

But that moment Peterkin disappeared up the

stairs, squirming on the captain’s shoulder.





CHAPTER II.

PETERKIN PLAYS THE SQUIRREL.

HE next morning, about five,

Uncle Jock woke suddenly.

Something was in the
room—on the bed!

He started up. In the



dim light through the blinds he saw a strange
creature before him. Jt had horns. It pawed.
It made a hoarse noise. He was about to spring
out into the open floor, but just then the great
beast giggled, and Uncle Jock fell back among
the pillows and burst out laughing.

“Ts that you, Peterkin?” he cried—“T thought it
was a new sort of nightmare—one with horns.”

Peterkin, wrapped in a fur rug, his two hands
holding drumsticks out like horns from his fore-

head, crouched lower and shook his head savagely.
24



22 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Then, making his treble voice as gruff a bass as

he could, he answered:

“Tam Taurus, the bull,
And I bellow like thunder,
_ And the boys and the men—
They—they—”



“They get them from under!”





finished Uncle Jock, suddenly
drawing up his legs and
letting Peterkin

tumble headlong.







There was a pretty scrimmage for five minutes.

Then Uncle Jock lifted his knees under the bed-

clothes, and made a mountain, and Peterkin, no

longer Taurus, but a yellow-headed boy in a blue-



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 23

and-white striped nightgown, climbed up and
perched himself at the top. |

“Now, Uncle Jock,” said Peterkin very seri-
ously, “that is just what I want you to do—I want
you to help me out with the poetry. That’s why
Pve come. I couldn’t get that fourth line to
rhyme with thunder!”

“But why not get Mr. Longfellow or Mr. Brown-
ing to help you?—borrow some of their verses out

_of the books.”

“O,” said Peterkin, “my poetry party is differ-
ent. rm going to be an animal, and all the other
fellows will be animals—and all the girls, too.
Maybe not, though—I s’pose a girl would hate to
be a mouse, or even an elephant. I guess the
girls had better be bugs—don’t you think so,
Uncle Jock?”

“Pll have to think about that; but I expect you
are right, Peterkin, as usual.”

“And the poetry—I want some new poetry, all
our own. I can make some of the lines myself,

as I did for the bull just now—but I want you



24 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

to help me out, and Aunt Nell and Aunt Belle,
and maybe papa and Mama-my-dear.”

Uncle Jock’s right hand just then was slowly,
slyly, moving toward the other pillow. Peter.
kin’s quick eye saw
it. He slid down
the mountain and
off the bed, and
made a dash for the
door.

“ll come up to
your room right
after breakfast,
Uncle Jock,” he
called back as the
door banged behind

him and the pillow



struck it with a
PETERKIN AND THE BOAS. thud.

Peterkin always kept his word.

Right after breakfast, as Uncle Jock had started

to re-string his tennis racket, the door burst open,



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 25

and the boy came in like a little whirlwind. Two
fur boas trailed behind him as he circled the room
and stopped before Uncle Jock.
“That one is Aunt Nell’s, and that’s Aunt
Belle’s. They’re for my tail,” said Peterkin.
“But bulls don’t have tails the length of two
boas,” remarked Uncle Jock, as he pulled the raw-
hide cord through the
racket frame.
“No—nor squirrels,
but a squirrel’s tail is
wide and bushy, and a
squirrel my size will
want a lot of tail.”
“But I thought you

were to be a bull—as



you were this morn-

UNCLE JOCK,

ing.”
“C), that was just to show you about my kind of
poetry party. Vm going to be a squirrel, the
striped kind—what you call a chipmunk.”
“And I s’pose you want me to supply the nuts—

filberts, pecans, English walnuts, and—”



26 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“Yes, Uncle Jock, that’s it—and help about
the poetry, and the tail, and the ears, and the hide
—-that’s the hardest—there’s sewing, and I can’t
thread a needle, and I don’t believe you can.”

Unele Jock didn’t say as to this. JTrather think
Peterkin was right. Anyway, soon after that,
Aunt Nell was seen to go into the room with strips
of red-brown and yellow-white canton flannel over
her arm, and a work-basket in her hand. Then
the door was shut.

IT can’t of course tell what went on in Uncle
Jock’s room after the door was closed. There was
great fun, from the sounds that came out the key-
hole, but only once did the door open the whole
forenoon.

Then Uncle Jock rushed out, jumped on his
bicycle, and rode down the street as if on a race.
When he came back he had a coil of stout wire,
and as the door closed behind him he was heard
to say, “There, that will make the tail curl up over
your back like life, Peterkin.”

At lunch, Peterkin invited the family to a dress

rehearsal on the lawn, that afternoon.







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PETERKIN THE SQUIRREL.







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 29

When the curtain rolled up above the stage
where the Browning tableaux had been shown,
the little audience saw a mimic wood, with an
open space at the front, carpeted with pine-
needles and moss.

Suddenly a huge cocoanut rolled into this space.
Then a big squirrel sprang nimbly through the
bushes at one side—a very big squirrel, a squirrel
as big as Peterkin himself.

This very big squirrel sat up on its haunches,
with the cocoanut in its forepaws, and began to
gnaw away with its white teeth. Its tail curled
up over its back in a beautiful way—you never
would have guessed it had been made in Uncle
Jock’s room out of two boas belonging to Peter.
kin’s aunts.

All at once the squirrel winked at Captain Van-
dike and Mama-my-dear, who sat in the front row,

and recited this verse:

Tm a chipper little beast

As there is in West or East.

I can climb the tallest trees,
With ease;



30 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Jump from limb to limb,
With vin—

And no boy can follow me.
See!

And the way the big striped, furry creature
skipped about was really wonderful to behold.
Then it went on with another verse:

I can chipper like a bird,
As yowll say when you have heard.
Listen now, and you shall see—
Chip-chee!
Chipty-chipty-chip,
Teip-teip,
Chipty-chipty-chiekeree!
See?

Suddenly the bushes all around seemed to be
full of squirrels, chippering as only squirrels can.
Peterkin told me afterward that Uncle Jock’s
chum was behind the bushes with that magic

violin of his. Then came a last verse:

Jam happy all the year,

Gladdest when the nuts appear.

Then I hoard my winter store—
O, more



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE, 31

Than a boy could whack,
To crack,
In a year if he should try—

My-y-y!

With that “my-y-y” the curtain began to de-
scend, very slowly. Just as the lower edge hid
the squirrel’s ears, the cunning creature winked
again at Captain Vandike and Mama-my-dear.
Then it put its forepaws into its side pockets, and
pulled them inside out. They were very long
pockets, and as they came out they spilled showers
of nuts over the ground—nuts of all kinds, hazel
nuts, filberts, almonds, pecans, walnuts.

There was great applause, laughter and clap-
ping. In the midst of it, the squirrel’s head
appeared under the curtain, and it said, in Peter-
kin’s voice:

“There’ll be another to-morrow!”



CHAPTER ITI.

THE BRAVE LITTLE CHICKADEE.

ETERKIN was eating his
oatmeal. He was thinking,
too—thinking so very hard
that he actually forgot to
beg for an extra allowance
of sugar. All at once,
with his spoon half way

from the blue dish to his



red lips, he spoke.

“What's the bravest bird, Unele
Jock?”

“Why, the eagle, I should say—and, among all
eagles, our own national bird, of course.”

“That’s probably why he still spreads his wings
on our silver coin,” remarked Captain Vandike,
with a wink at his brother and the Chum.

82



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 33

‘Peterkin didn’t stop to ask why they laughed.
He was too full of his own affairs.

“Well, Uncle Jock, I don’t think so,” asserted
he, very positively. |

“You forget the famous war eagle, Old Abe—
he never so much as blinked in battle,” remarked
Uncle Jock.

“And the Victorious Roman Eagles, and the
Double-headed Eagles of Russia and Prussia,”
put in the
Chum, very
eravely.

“And the
eagles of

your war



hero Napo-

“BRAVER THAN AN EAGLE,”

leon—his
armies used to carry golden eagles in place of
banners, you know,” added Aunt Belle.

‘Well,” persisted Peterkin, “you are every one
wrong. I thought it all over before I was up this
morning; and I found out that a chickadee is

braver than an eagle!”





34 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“What, a little tit-mouse, a little black-cap?—
you must be making fun of us,” cried Uncle Jock.

“No. It’s just as Mama-my-dear says; the big-
gest and strongest are not always the bravest.”

“But the whole world thinks the eagle is brave,
as well as big and strong.”

“He'd be a great big coward not to be,” said
Peterkin, shaking his yellow head. “Now the
chickadee is a little bit of a bird, but he is just
as brave as can be. Why,” be went on, a fine
light flashing in his blue eyes, “the little chicka-
dee stays up North here all winter, and faces the
winds, and all the great storms, and the awful cold
—and—”

“And the long—dark—nights—without—any—
lamp,” finished Uncle Jock, with a mischievous
twinkle in his eye.

Peterkin flushed red, and fell to eating his oat-
meal very fast.

“Now, Jock, that’s too bad,” said Captain Van-
dike. “Peterkin has become a regular hero in the

dark.”



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 35

“Yes,” added Mama-my-dear, “ever since the
night you teased him about it, he has insisted on
going to bed without so much as a candle.”

“Bravo!” exclaimed Uncle Jock, “he shall have
a laurel wreath right after breakfast—and I
think perhaps we’d better change his name to
Chickadee.”

“Only then we shall have to dye his yellow wig
black,” laughed the Chum.

“No, you won't,” said Peterkin eagerly—“Doro-
thy’s hair is black now, black as a chickadee’s
cap—that’s why she is to be a chickadee at my
poetry party—and because she is the bravest little
girl in town.”

“You must know,” explained Aunt Nell to the
Chum, “this little Dorothy saved her baby brother
from the bull—she opened her little blue parasol
right in the face of Taurus, and scared him back
till the men came up. The Commodore says she
is brave as an admiral.”

“Yes,” added Aunt Belle, “and now they call

her the Admiral-ess.”



36 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

It was cloudy that morning, and Uncle Jock
and the Chum were going trouting. So Peter-
kin’s aunts promised to turn the Admiral-ess into
a chickadee, and to help him with his verses.

Peterkin ran over to the Com-
modore’s, and soon came
back with his






little neighbor
Dorothy. The four
era ASA were shut up in the pink
chamber all the forenoon. Now and then Dor-
othy’s clear voice came through the keyhole with
a chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee, and Peterkin’s followed
it with a chick-a-day-day-day, and close after came
a laugh from Aunt Nell and another from Aunt
Belle.

Uncle Jock and the Chum got back just as the



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 37

curtain rolled up for the dress rehearsal. Peterkin
heard their voices and wanted to call out and ask
how many they caught, but he didn’t, for just then
he was making a snow-storm with some thousands
of bits of white paper.

The stage was a snow-field (of cotton wadding
in sheets), and at the back were bushes with snow
in the crotches (likewise of white cotton). The
white field was broken here and there by gray
stones and dry weeds. Near the centre, rose a
last-year clump of goldenrod, and by that was the
chickadee that once had been an Admiral-ess.

She was cunningly clad in a short close dress
of gray satin, with a wire-stiffened train, which
was funnily like a tit-mouse’s tail, behind her
little black-stockinged legs. She wore a snug
black velvet cap, a black lace bib-let, and between
there was a triangle of white running to a perky
black bill just over her dear little nose.

As the chickadee hopped about the dry seedy
goldenrod, flirting its tail and bobbing its black-

capped head, it uttered its cry, “Chick-a-dee-dee-



38 : LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

dee-dee!” and from behind a high snow-bank came
an answering cry, “Chick-a-day-day-day!”

Then some one (I think it was Aunt Nell, behind
the snow-drift) recited these verses:

Summer birds have flown;
Winter winds make moan;
Green leaves now are gray;
Flowers have blown away;
Ah, me!
Yet gaily the chickadee sings, “Chick-a-dee,
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee !”

All the trees are bare;
Snow is in the air,
And the world is white—
Not a crumb in sight.
But stay!
As gaily the chickadee sings, “Chick-a-dee,
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee !”

There’s a child I know:
When things criss-cross go,
Others pout and sigh,
Say bad words and cry,
But she—
Still gaily she laughs, “O, you never mind me—
Iam happy ’s can be!”





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THE GIRL-CHICKADEE,







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 41

In a land of snow,
She makes roses blow,
Sunshine in the dark,
Songs for which you hark,
For, see!
The girl ’s a girl-chickadee, singing for me,
“Tam happy ’s can be!”

After each verse the speaker paused, and the
pretty chickadee by the dry clump of goldenrod
hopped about and twittered its merry “Chick-a-
(lee-dee-dee-dee, chick-a-day-day-day!’ The song
was trilled out in such a catchy way that, as the
curtain went down, everyone in the little audi-
ence, Uncle Jock, the Chum, the aunts, and even
Captain Vandike and Mama-my-dear, took up the
strain.

It was the best of applause—and the little au-
dience kept it up, with many funny twitterings
and trillings, until finally the curtain rolled up
again. Ounce more the voice behind the snow-dvift
recited the verses, once more the chickadee hopped
and twittered, and once more, as the curtain fell,
the audience changed to a chorus of singing

chickadees.



42 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

In the midst of the merriment, Peterkin, his
navy-blue sailor suit all tufted over with the white

cotton snow, crawled under the curtain and called
out:

“How many did you catch?”



CHAPTER IV.



PETERKIN PURRS.

HE next morning
Uncle Jock declared
that the biceps
muscles of which
he and Peterkin
were both so proud
were in need of ex-
ercise. They were
already a quarter-
inch smaller, by

actual tape-meas-



- ure evidence, than when he came up from Har-
vard. So after breakfast he appeared in a white
sweater with a big crimson H on the front, and
went off for a pull on the river.

Peterkin yelled after him the college cheer,
: 43



Bed LITTLE PETEREIN VANDIRE.

“Rah rah rah! rah ral rah! rab rab rah—Har-
ward!” and then climbed imto the hammock that

swung in the broad vine hung veranda, and put



on histhinking-cap. The great question just then
was whether ke should next turn into a beast or
a. bird. He had decwled in faror of a beast, when
the carriage was brought round, and Captain Van-

2 Unis dove away



dike and Mama-my-~lear and tl

to a morning lecture on palmistry at the Commo-

dore’s. The aunts took with them a Ag ster cast

of Peterkin’s right hand, which they had made the

eat delight of the owner















=

evening before to tlhe



fe
tf

of the original.









Peterkin did not cheer agaim as the carriage



rolled down the drive. stead, he looked rather



blue—for a pimk-and-white boy. “Poor pussy-



eat,” said he, and whistled a long whistle—trom
led the Ibeaustt:

should be a cat, and that he was worried as to whe



which we may conclude he had de



would help ;
Just then the

slipped down from an upper window and im

not the verses.
@ SO

oft quivering sound of a violim

through the swaying vines.



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIREE. 45

Peterkin started at the first note, sprang out of
the hammock, into the hall, up the broad stairs,
across the upper hall, and in at an open door as if
shot from a catapult.

“Can you purr?” he demanded, catching his
breath.

The Chum drew the bow across the strings in a
walling cater-
waul, lifted his
chin from his
violin, and
stared. “Can I
purr?” he re- |
peated.

“Yes,” panted



Peterkin. “You



see ’m going to
be a cat this THE CoeM.

afternoon, and I thought maybe youd help
me about it; and maybe make your violin purr
for the cat as it squealed for the rats at the Pied

Piper tableau.”



46 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“O,” laughed the Chum, “then you spoke to the
violin when you entered the room, not to me!—
well, neither of us are cats, exactly, but we’ll do
our best for you.”

“lve got the verses started, like this:

I’m a eat:

AS a mouser

I’m a rouser,
And I sometimes catch a rat.

At the end of each verse, like a chorus, ’1] have
a lot of purring—and, say,” Peterkin went on,
“you can make music, let’s make a song, and I’ll
sing it, for change.”

“Capital,” cried the Chum; “and V’ll get the
Commodore’s bass-viol; I can make that purr so
every cat in town will envy you!”

The Chum was about as clever with his water-
colors as with his violin, and by lunch-time the
cat-song was made, and likewise a wonderful tor-
toise-shell cat-skin, with a fawn-colored boa for a
tail.







CROUCHED BEFORE AN ENORMOUS RAT-HOLE.







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 49

The stage was set like the corner of a barn,
with a grain-chest, barrels, tools and a wheel-
barrow in the background, and hay scattered over
the floor.

As the curtain rolled up, the audience beheld a
huge buff-and-black cat crouched before an enor-
mous rat-hole at the side.

Without looking round, it sang the first verse
of the cat-song, and the soft thunderous rumble
of the bass-viol accompanied the purring chorus.
At the end of this great purring, the head of a big
rat popped out of the rat-hole, and back again
just in time to escape the claws of the cat. oMiter
this sudden spring, the cat came to the front of the
stage, “sat up” after the fashion of tabbies, and
sang the other verses.

These were the words of the song:

[Pm a cat:
As a mouser
I’m a rouser,
And I sometimes catch a rat—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.



50 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Pm a cat:
Midnight prowler,
Screecher, howler

Some folks, sometimes, call me that—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.



Puss am I:
Teeth that bite not,
Claws that fight not,
Have I when the baby ’s nigh—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.

Kitten too:
Playful, fuzzy,
Sleepy, buzzy,
Loving beastie through and through—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.

Then, while the bass-viol’s great soft purring
rumbled on like far-away thunder, the huge tor-
toise-shell dropped into doggerel, or, as the Chum
called it, catterel:

“Pm a cat, as I have said—just plain cat, but I
have read of story cats in books, in pictures seen
their looks: three kittens in mittens (but no shoes
on their feet!), the bad three kittens that lost their







THE SONG OF THE CAT.





































































$5— SB
a = : SS
oe oe o et :
1. Dm a cat: (purr-r) As a
2 eae a cat: (purr-r) Mid - night
3. Puss am T: (purr-r) Teeth that
.8. Kit - ten too: (purr-r) Play - ful,
4 eee te |
G 2). eo ee s = a ae
ed ese = = | =
4 EB ep
_e = -o@. oe @5: re
| i |
ot) -@- -@B-
Cra =
St _t. oS. 1. 1 ‘-- @ 4
ah zal i
tas = = s
Z,
Saori =i == |
SS SS
: - : 4
o eee —
mous - er (purr-y) I’m a rous - er,
prowl - er, (purr-r) Screech - er, howl - er—
bite not, (purr-r) Claws that fight | not,
fuz - zy, . (purr-r) Sleep - y, buz - zy,
B Ties =|
i ew 4 je
——
-o2. _@2_ =e
: cence ¢ 2 ys 2
e = ie. ; ig
=
| Se
oe ——



THE SONG OF THE CAT.











oe eee
7 f los 1 =I @.
< a ad oe oS
And I some-times catch a rat—
Some folks, some-times, call me that—
Have I when the ba -_ by’s nigh—

Lov - ing beas - tie through: and through—





















= eee —
ee ee ag
ee 6 6 {aoe 2 3 i <2
; a | ee @ =
o. o 6 ~e # ——" oma —


2. eae:
@____@ E- o | had oe . E 2 2.
7 ie — icons















CNS
jee
Bu
ei
LLL
@ |
@ 11
LLL
aa
1 y
|



Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.















eee







LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. ne

OL

mittens, somewhere along the street; and, odder
than that, a curious cat, that wore boots and did
wonderful things, like the things in a dream—he
turned an ogre into a mouse, and ate him up in his
castle-house—he set his master up with the kings,
and got for himself whole oceans of cream; but
I’m a plain cat, I like best the one that went to
London with Dick Whittington—he helped | his
master out of disaster, and lived with a king who
had no cats, but a palace-full of mice and rats—”

The huge tortoise-shell’s account of the story-
book cats ended suddenly, for, just as it got to the
“nalace-full of mice and rats,” a big rat Git really
was gray canton flannel, stuffed with cotton, with
black-headed shawl-pins stuck in for eyes—and
pulled by a thread too small to be seen) came out
from under the grain-chest and darted across the
hay-covered floor. The cat caught sight of this
‘at and sprang after it, and both vanished through
the enormous rat-hole already mentioned.

Then the curtain began to come down, but be-

fore the stage was shut from view the head of the



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

as
oS

huge cat appeared for an instant at the rat-hole,
with the rat in its mouth—and a cheer went up
from the men in the audience.

The cat responded to this applause by singing
once more, somewhere away off in the rat-hole,
the first verse of the cat-song.

A minute after, the Peterkin-cat crept out from
under the curtain, jumped off the stage, ran on all-
fours up to Aunt Belle, and crouched as if to
spring into her lap. Aunt Belle drew back and
cried, “Seat, scat?’ But the great cat didn’t
“seat? at all. instead, it began to purr and rub
against her skirts in the coaxing way of pussy-
cats, until she relented and said, “Come, kitty,
come!” Thereupon the Peterkin-cat sprang into
her lap, curled down, and then asked:

“What did the Professor say about my plaster
hand?”

Aunt Belle smiled. “Well, he looked it all over,
and then gravely declared it was the hand of a’
very shy little girl, who played with paper dolls,
and never was naughty, and never made any

noise!’



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 5T

Of course everyone laughed, and Peterkin
shouted loud enough forthe Professorof Palmistry
to hear over at the Commodore’s, and turned a
double somersault, and got all tangled up in

his tail. :





CHAPTER V.
LITTLE MISS ANT.

UNT NELL was near-

as :
fh sighted and wore






eyeglasses—just the
crystal without rim
or cord—and the
airy way they perched on her

pretty nose always seemed



magical to Peterkin.

It was a hot morning, even inside the vines of
the veranda, and Aunt Nell, flushed like a wild
rose, was hunting for the reading-glass.

“J had it in that hammock, when the breakfast-
bell rang,” she presently observed to Uncle Jock,
who was lying at ease reading the morning paper.

Uncle Jock good-naturedly rolled out of the big
Mexican hammock, and half a dozen grass-cloth
58



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 59

pillows rolled after him, but the reading-glass was
not in the hammock or among the gay pillows on
the rug.

Aunt Nell fluttered about the broad veranda
like a white butterfly, pulling silk blankets out of
willow chairs and turning over the magazines on
the bamboo table, till she chanced to catch sight
of an object lying down by the driveway.

“Ts that Peterkin—or the dog?” she asked Uncle

Jock, as she adjusted her eyeglasses.





fh |

PETERKIN STUDIES THE ANT.

It proved to be Peterkin, and Aunt Nell called
to him, “Peterkin! Peterkin, have you seen the
reading-glass?”

“Yes—lDve got it,” answered Peterkin, kicking



60 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

his heels over his back, but not lifting his head
which was bent low over the edge of the drive.
The reading-glass was between his face and the
gravel.

“What is the boy doing now?” queried Aunt
Nell.

“Reading the ‘sermons in stones,’ probably,” re-
plied Uncle Jock, as they both started down the
steps to investigate.

But before they reached him, Peterkin sprang
up with a shout of delight. “Hurrah, it’s all
right! They can stand up on their hind legs, just
like folks.” ;

“What can?” asked Aunt Nell.

“Why, ants,” cried Peterkin, holding one out to
her between thumb and finger. “You know little
Allie Appleton is going to be an ant, and I was
worried about the crawling—I didn’t s’pose she’d
like to crawl before all the folks, though I’ve seen
her crawl under the shrubbery like a cat when
hiding for I-spy—and so I was watching them

through the reading-glass.”



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. ve

“And following Solomon’s advice, ‘Go to the ant,
thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise,’ ”
remarked Uncle Jock.

“Peterkin is anything but a sluggard,” said
‘Aunt Nell

“True—as Dve learned to my cost the past
week,” answered Uncle Jock. “I take the slug-
gard part back. But,” he asked, turning to Peter-
kin, “how are you going to manage about the six
legs?”

“O, the extra legs will be easy enough, with
stout wires—you know how beautifully you fixed
my tail, Uncle Jock. The only trouble was the
standing up, and that’s settled—and Allie is so
just right for an ant, she’s so slimber.”

“So what?” eried Uncle Jock.

“Slimber,” repeated Peterkin—“don’t you know
—slim and limber.” Peterkin had a queer way of
sometimes making words of his own, when he ran
short of dictionary words.

“QO— yes—I understand,” said Uncle Jock, with

a smile to Aunt Nell. “But are you sure about



62 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ants standing up on their hind legs?—all I ever
saw went on all-fours, or, perhaps I should say,
on all-sixes.” :

“Peterkin is right,” declared Aunt Nell. “Iwas
reading up about ants, before breakfast. In Dr.
McCook’s book about the agricultural ants there
is a picture of one standing upright on its toes;
and in another book, by an English clergyman, I
found an account of how the ants express their
joy when the queen-ant appears, by skipping, leap-
ing, and standing up on their hind legs and prane-
ing with the others.”

The Vandike family were all at home that
morning—it was too hot for tennis or bicycling or
any sport out in the blazing sun—and so
Peterkin had plenty of helpers.

Aunt Nell undertook the verses, and wrote a
tiny poem, but big enough, as she said, for a tiny
black ant.

Peterkin ran off to the library for Sir John Lub-
bock’s book about ants, and their cousins the bees

and wasps, for the pictures, and then the Chum



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 63

began drawing queer little girl-ants in various
positions and costumes. He had just hit upon
one which everybody approved, when Peterkin
cried out, “There she comes!”

There was a hedge between the Vandike
grounds and the Apple-
ton estate, and as they
all turned that way they
saw a slight dark girl
squirm through, fly
across the lawn, and
come climbing over the
railing into the veranda

in a way to have done



credit to Peterkin him-

ALLIE ARRIVES.

self. She certainly was,
as Peterkin had said, very “glimber.”

Peterkin politely introduced her as “little Miss
Ant,” and, after a merry welcoming, Mama-my-
dear and Aunt Belle set to work to change her into
a likeness of the Chum’s drawing.

An old black satin gown with jet trimmings fur-



64 _ LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

nished the materials, along with wire and a roll of
cotton wadding. First there was a close hood of
the shining black satin. From this rose the
antenne—Allie called them horns, but Peterkin
said they were “feelers’—which Uncle Jock fash-
ioned from wire and glittering jet. Next came a
smooth jacket with tight sleeves, and a long
straight skirt that fell to the feet—all of the black
satin.
The skirt was puffed out over the hips with cot-
ton wadding, and gathered tightly in just below
the hips. Then it was again bulged out, with
wire hoops, and finally gathered in to a point at
the ankles. Allie’s feet were too small to count.
Then came the six legs. Allie’s arms, elbows
akimbo, were the first pair. Uncle Jock made two
other pairs, of the black satin stuffed with cotton
over a wire, and bent into shape. Jet bands were
added at throat, waist, and the indentation below
the hips. At the latter point, and just abeve, the
four legs were affixed, and lo! Allie had vanished,

and in her place stood “little Miss Ant.”









































































































































































































S

ast



-





\

“DLITTLE MISS ANT.’’









LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 67

‘After lunch, it was so hot the rehearsal on the
stage was given up.. Peterkin therefore de-
manded that Aunt Nell read her poem—but when
she took up the paper she stopped, seemed. sur-
prised, adjusted her eye-glasses, looked again, and
exclaimed:

“Why, somebody has crossed out one, two, three
—eight words, and written other words over them
—and changed my good ant to a bad ant! I
believe it is Jock’s writing, and—well, I'll read it ‘
both ways,” which she did.

This was the poem as written:

A good little Ant
She was,
Because
She never said “sha’n’t,”
Nor even “TI can’t!”
When bid,
She did
The best that she could,
As little folks should—
Did she,
This wee,
This good little Ant!



68 LITTLE PBYTERKIN VANDIKE.
And this was the poem as changed:

A bad little Ant
She was,
Because
She often said “sha’n’t,”
And even “T can’t!”
When bid,
She did
Not do what she could,
As little folks should—
Not she,
This wee, .
This bad little Ant!

As Aunt Nell stopped reading, two pillows flew
through the air toward Uncle Jock in the big
Mexican hammock. Peterkin threw one; I am
not sure but “little Miss Ant” threw the other.



CHAPTER VI.
THE BUNNY-BOY.

AN you waggle your ears, Uncle
Jock?” asked Peterkin, as he
climbed into the hammock and
peered over the top of the paper
his young uncle was reading.

“Tm afraid not— even to



please you, Peterkin.”
“f can’t, either,’ remarked Peterkin
regretfully—“but Bunny-Boy Burton
can. That’s why we boys call him Bunny-Boy—
and that’s why ?’'m going to have him be the rabbit

at my poetry party.”

“And when does the rabbit rehearsal come off?”
“Why, to-day—didm’t you know? Tm ever so
glad yowre at home to help me. Bunny-Boy and

T practiced the hopping over at his house yester-
69



TO LITPLE PETERKIN VANDIEE.

day; and we made some long paper ears and stuck
them on with liquid glue, and then we hopped into
the drawing-room to show his mama.”

“And did Mrs. Brown-Burton applaud the little
circus?”

“Well, Uncle Jock, you see it was five-o’clock

and —and—Mrs.





tea, and a lot of ladies there
Burton didn’t seem quite pleased.”

“Indeed!”

“But she ’s promised him to come, and he’l be
over this morning.”

Unele Jock lifted his paper, but Peterkin’s head
again bobbed up over the top.

“T say, Uncle Jock, isn’t it queer that rabbits’
ears are so very, very long, and their tails so very,
very short! Why is it?”

“Well,” answered Uncle Jock, a slow smile grow-
ing in his eyes, “I have no doubt it is because rab-
bits have always been harking for things. Mr.
Darwin says any organ used more than others will
grow more. If rabbits go on always harking for
things, I shouldn’t wonder if some day their ears

â„¢

become as long as their tails once were



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. . 71

“Why, did they ever have long tails?”

“Well, so the Indians say; and they have a
legend which tells how the long tail was lost. It
seems that Rabbit was very kind-hearted, and
once, when a friend fell into a pit, Rabbit stood
on the brink and let his long beautiful tail hang
down within reach. ‘Catch hold of my tail? he
cried, and then gave a great jump—but, sad to
say, the long beautiful tail broke short off an inch
from the body. i

“Still Rabbit did not give up helping. He
sprang into the pit and waid, ‘Catch hold of me
round the waist? and then he made another
mighty bound—which, glad to say, brought both.
out at the top. But the friend was heavy, and
Rabbit’s waist was strained and squeezed—and
from that day to this all rabbits have had small
waists and short tails. .

“There is another Passamaquoddy story of how
Rabbit’s upper lip became divided—because he
was aristocratic, and tried to eat with knife and
fork, and so slit his lip—but that, I think, must be

a modern story, invented since 1620—”



[2 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“Since the Pilgrims brought knives and forks to
New England?” interrupted Peterkin. °

“Just so. And there’s another story, which—
but here comes the Bunny-Boy himself—and we'll
go up to my room, if you like.”

Peterkin did like, and so did brown-eyed little
Master Burton; and the three boys had a very
jolly morning.

Aunt Belle was called in to help make the rabbit-
skin, and as she chanced to have an old carriage
cloak lined with red-squirrel fur, the rabbit-skin
was rather more real’than if made of canton
flannel. A strip of lighter fur was also found for
the under side of the body, and a white tuft for
the tail. Uncle Jock made wire frames for the
ears, Which were most beautifully long.

I think Aunt Belle also had a hand in the verses;
at least, Peterkin observed at lunch that they were
“just like Aunt Belle’—by which I suppose he
meant that they were not quite as lively as he
would have liked. Aunt Belle was not as merry
and girlish as her younger sister, but all the same

she had not forgotten the fun.










LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 15

After lunch the family gathered in front of the
stage, and as soon as Mrs. Brown-Burton arrived
having received a special complimentary ticket
from Peterkin—the curtain rolled up.

The stage was arranged like the edge of a gar-
den, a row of enormous cabbages (four or five feet
in diameter and made of green tissue paper over
wire frames) showing at one side.

- Sitting up by one of these huge cabbages was a
_ big bunny, nibbling the edge of a leaf a yard
across. As the curtain went up out of sight the
bunny turned in a half-startled way, and then
spoke, in verse.
These were the verses:
Of all the wild beast folk,
We are the timidest;.
By stars and moon we venture forth,

But all the day we rest
In some soft hidden nest.

Of all the wild beast folk,
We have the gentlest ways;

We are the children’s dearest pets—
Indeed, in baby days
Rag rabbits make their plays.



76 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Of all the wild beast folk,
We have the longest ear;

And we are wise, for we have heard
All that long ears may hear—
All things of joy and fear.

Of all the wild beast folk,
Or so the story goes,

Our fur alone has wrapped within
(As in a bud a rose)
A babe, from head to toes.

“That baby’s name was ‘Baby Bunting, I s’pose
everybody knows,” remarked the big bunny with
a queer little waggle of his long ears.

Then, as a smile rippled over the faces in front
of the stage, he hopped along a bit, dropped on all-
fours, and sat up again—but this time he held a
little doll-baby in his forepaws, and chanted in a
funny sing-song the old nursery rhyme:

“¢ Bye-O, Baby Bunting,
Papa’s gone a-hunting,
To get a wild brown rabbit skin
To wrap the Baby Bunting in.”

Then the curtain began to descend, but it had

hardly reached the floor when, to everyone’s sur-



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. TT

prise, it began to go up again; and when the stage
Was once more open to view the surprise was even
greater, those in the back
seats actually standing up to
see the better.

Somebody must have been
very active. The cabbages
had disappeared, and all was
an open field, with a clump

of bushes in the centre. At

the left, the big bunny



stood as if at the start of a

“BYE-O, BABY BUNTING.”

race, and by his side was a
great turtle (really made of paper over a wire
frame, painted by the Chum, and with Peterkin
on all-fours hidden within). On a post, beyond,
was a placard which announced, “Great Race—
the Hare and the Tortoise!”

The hare and the tortoise were trying hard to
“start even.” One would take a step or two, and
then the other, but every time the second got
ahead of the first, and they had to go back to the



78 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

starting-post. At last the hare scratched a line
with his paw, and placed his forefeet on it. The
tortoise did the same. Then a voice cried, “One,
two, three!” and the race began. As the hare
leaped ahead of the tortoise the curtain fell.

A minute later the curtain rolled up a second
time, to show the hare asleep under the bushes,
half across the stage, and the tortoise crawling

slowly by, then fell again.



THE RACE.

After a moment the curtain rolled up once more,
and the third tableau showed the hare at the right
side of the stage, near the goal, but starting back

‘in surprise to find the tortoise there ahead of him



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 79

—and so he stood, his long ears falling slowly
back, as the curtain descended for the last time.

There was loud clapping in the audience, and
Mrs. Brown-Burton clapped with the others, and
declared that never again would she object to

Bunry-Boy’s hopping, or his glued-on ears.



CHAPTER VII.

7?

“LADY-BUG, LADY-BUG

=
ey f HE granite steps that led

down from the Vandike vre-




randa were broad and stately. The
massive balustrade on either side
ended in a squarish pedestal, a
couple of feet across, which sup-
ported, on a_ stocky six-inch
column, a smooth sphere a foot in
diameter.

Peterkin, for half an hour or so, had been indus-
triously decorating these spheres with red chalk
_ —one with the equator, tropics of Cancer and Cap-
ricorn, and Arctic and Antarctic circles—the
other with the signs of the zodiac.

He was half round the zodiac, having just put

the finishing touches to Leo, the roaring July lion,

Sih



LITTLE PHTERKIN VANDIKEE. 81

when Dorothy came up the drive. Peterkin ex-
plained that he was taking a special course of
vacation geography from Aunt Belle, to make up
for the time he had the measles, and then asked
abruptly:

“Have you thought of one yet, Dorothy?”

“No, Peterkin—lI’ve thought of ever so many,
but not of any one.”

“Well, then,” exclaimed Peterkin with decision,
“you sit over there on the zones, and I’ll sit here
on the zodiac, and we’ll think it out now.”

_ So Peterkin climbed up and perched on the zo-
diac sphere, and a minute later Dorothy faced
him from the other.

Then both put on their beautiful invisible think-
ing-caps. And though invisible, had you seen the
two, chins on palms and elbows on knees, you
would have known they had thinking-caps on, just
as surely as if you could have seen those peaked
caps of azure, with golden stars and silver moons
—and the little bell at the tip that tinkles when-

ever the thoughts are merry.



82 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

. Presently Peterkin looked up and called across
to the sphere of zones, “I say, Dorothy, aren’t there
a lot of bugs, when you come to think of them!—
but—how would a katydid do?”

“Well, I like what a katydid says,” answered
Dorothy. “but I’d rather be a lady-bug—they’re
such cute little things, and they don’t bite, and



ait : ———e Sh fi
lie et

Mie yh,



THINKING IP OUT.
they do crawl up your finger in such a funny tickly
_ way, till they get to the very tip, then, bue! and off
they go. Yes, ll be a lady-bug at the poetry
party.”



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 83

“All right,” cried Peterkin, taking a flying leap

from the top of the zodiac sphere and landing half-
way up the steps, “come on then, Dorothy, come
on, and we'll catch Uncle Jock before he goes off
anywhere.”
: At the hall door however they met him face to
face, but before he could ask what it meant Peter-
kin had seized him by one hand, Dorothy by the
other, and they had whirled him about, across the
hall, and half-way up the stairs. There he sat
down, and would not budge till they told him.

“It is quite proper,” he then said, “that a plump
little lady should become a plump little lady-bug.
T’Ul do my very best, Miss Dorothy, to fit you out
with flying-wings and spotted wing-cases.”

“Yd like to know about those wing-cases,” re-
marked Peterkin. “They’re hard as shells—and
isn’t it odd how like tiny turtles they make the
lady-bugs look?—only, instead of red spots on a
dark ground, a lady-bug’s shell is red, spotted with
black.”

“You see,” explained Uncle Jock, “most insects



84 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

have four wings; some fly with both pairs, like but-
terflies; but in the great class commonly called
beetles, whose family name is really Coleoptera,
the fore-wings are changed to horny cases, which
serve as sheaths for the other pair.”

“And do they only use their hind wings in fly-
ing?” asked Dorothy.

“Only those,” answered Uncle Jock; “but the
flying-wings are very gauzy and delicate, and the
fore-pair protect them like armor. The protec-
tion of this armor may account for the vast num-
ber'of beetles—there are nearly a hundred thou-
sand kinds.”

Dorothy and Peterkin opened their eyes very
wide at this, but just then Uncle Jock sprang up,
and the three ran off to his room, calling for Aunt
Nell and the Chum on the way.

A snug hood of shiny black satin, with short
antenne of jet and wire, was fitted to Dorothy’s
head; and, below, a long plain gown with close
sleeves, likewise of black satin, fell to her feet,
where it was loosely gathered in. The six little

“tickly” legs were affixed in front.



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 85

Wing-cases, of stiff paper over a wire frame,
were painted like life by the Chum. The flying-
wings were of wire and black mosquito netting.
The two pairs of wings were cunningly contrived
by Uncle Jock so
that, with arms be-
hind, Dorothy could
lift the wing-cases
with her elbows, |
and then spread the

lacy fying-wings



with her hands.
When the curtain READY FOR REHEARSAL.
rolled up that afternoon, the audience saw a few
shrubs, and, a little to one side, a great rose-tree,
with leaves (of green tissue paper) the size of a
man’s hand, and huge roses (of pink tissue paper)
a foot across.

Suddenly, with wing-cases lifted and gauzy fly-
ing-wines spread, a big and beautiful lady-bug
flitted in from the side of the stage to the trunk

of the rose-tree. There it clung, moving but



‘86 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

slightly, its orange-red back with jetty spots
(which Peterkin called “polka dots”) turned to the
people. (Dorothy’s feet really rested on a stone
by the foot of the rose-tree.)

Then, somewhere out of sight, two voices re-
cited this little dialogue between a child-robin
and a parent-robin:

“Ym a hungry bird,
Tweet, tweet!

I want something good,
To eat!”

“Catch a nice fat worm;
Yowre big,

Big enough to scratch
And dig.”

“T am tired of worms
And things!

I would like a bug
That sings!”

“Kating stops the ‘sing’—
That fly!

Catch it, catch it, quick!
Ob—fie!”













‘‘LADY-BUG, LADY-BUG! FLY AWAY HOME!”







LITTLE PETEREIN VANDIKE. 89

“Don’t want flies and things—
Want lots—

Bugs of red, and black |
In spots!”

“Silly, silly bird!
That kind

Have hard shells to crack, .
You'll find!”

The lady-bug seemed to listen to the talk of the
birds, and it kept very still, not to be seen. At
the terrible desire of the child-robin, for “bugs of
red and black,” the lady-bug shuddered, but the
reply of the parent-robin appeared to comfort it.

A loud confused chirping followed, with sound
of flapping wings—and in the midst of the tumult
a quick voice that sounded like Peterkin’s called

out in the familiar rhyme:

“¢ Lady-bug, Lady-bug!
Fly away home!
Your house is on fire!
Your children will burn!”

Whereupon the big and beautiful lady-bug
lifted its spotted wing-cases, spread its gauzy fly-



90 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ing-wings, and swiftly flitted away from the trunk
of the rose-tree, across the stage, and out of sight
—and the curtain fell.



CHAPTER VIII.
THE TINY TORCH-BEARERS.

HE sun had set. Low

down there was a



dash of red through
the trees west of the
lawn, and over that
a band of yellow.
The warm color did
not reach the tree-tops, however, and above
there wus only the cool twilight blue—that and
‘one star just at the tip of a tall fir, like a candle
on a Christmas-tree.

It was a hot night, and the Vandike family were
all out on the veranda. The Captain, who had
had a busy week with his electric light business in
town, lay at ease in the big Mexican hammock.
The white hammock, with Aunt Nell inside,

91



92 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

swung between two pillars like a huge cocoon.
The Chum was in a third hammock. Mama-
my-dear and Aunt Belle, in willow rockers,
kept time to their slow rocking with fans like
great silvery moth-wings. Uncle Jock and Peter-
kin were on the blue and white Japan rug—or one
of them was, which, it was hard to tell, as they
| were rolling over in a rough-and-tumble play, and
very much mixed up with the grass-cloth pillows.

“Peterkin!” The voice came from the Cap-
tain’s hammock.

Peterkin somehow got clear of the tangle, and
7 presented himself. “Yes, papa,” said he, raising
his right hand to his forehead and dropping it
again to his side in a jerky geometrical way. This
funny little military salute was always Peterkin’s
especial compliment to his father. Then he stood
by the hammock in an attitude of polite attention.

“Well,” said Captain Vandike, “how comes on
that famous poetry party?”

“O, quite—quite fast and sure,” answered Peter-
kin—“it’s more than half here. We’ve had six

rehearsals already.”



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 93

“And how many more must we wait for?”

“Four—it takes ten to make a good party—
don’t you think so, papa?”

“Why, yes, I suppose so—just exactly ten,” said
the Captain with a smile. “And when is the pub-
lic performance to take place? Have you got out
your posters?” |

“The day isn’t set yet—and I don’t think Pl
have posters. Id rather have some pretty souve-
nirs for the audience to take away, if yowll think
up something very first-rate.”

“Well, ?U think up the very first-ratest that I-
can. But how will you get your audience without
posters?”

“O, Mama-my-dear has got the audience all
ready-—but it’s a secret, and you mustn’t ask me.
I do wish though yowd help me about the next
beast, or bird, or—”

“Well—now ‘there’s a firefly darting about the
lawn over there—how would a fire—”

But Peterkin didn’t stop to answer, or even to

hear the last of the question; he seized his hat,



94. LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

leaped the railing and dashed away in the dewy
darkness—for by now the red and yellow had dis-
appeared, and the one star had numberless
companions.

“IT got him, papa,” announced Peterkin pres-
ently, coming slowly up the steps, and stopping to
look at his prize in the strip of light that fell
across the veranda from the hall door. “But it
isn’t a fly at all!—it’s a Coleoptera!”

“A what?” asked the Captain.

“A beetle—that’s what Uncle Jock calls beetles.”

“Only this slim dark fellow with the light cap,”
said Uncle Jock, coming forward with a glass in
which to imprison the captive, “belongs to the
group of beetles named Lampyrida, from the
Latin word lampas, meaning torch or lamp.”
(That was Uncle Jock’s way of starting Peterkin’s
interest in Latin which he was to begin in the fall.)

“How about the glow-worm?—‘the elow-worm
lights its spark,’ you know—what some poet said
—is a glow-worm a worm or a beetle?”

“Beetle—but you should change ‘its’ to ‘her,



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 95

for it is only some of the Mrs. Fireflies over in
Europe that are wingless and worm-like in look;
but even they have six legs and are true insects.
The Mr. Fireflies of the same family have horny
wing-cases and gauzy flying-wings like the lady-
bugs and other beetles.”
“And now I’d like to know,’ said Peterkin,
“what makes the light.”
“A big word—-phosphorescence,” answered
Uncle Jock. “Really, it is a sort of combustion, a
burning, a- fire

—that is,acom-



bination of the
oxygen of the
air with some Femate. {| Glow Mate.

Wor
other element,

as oxygen combining with the carbon of coal in
the stove makes fire and light.”

“So the tiny torch-bearers are really ‘diving
lamps,’ as some naturalists have called them,” said
Mama-my-dear.

“These naturalists have observed,” went on



96 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Uncle Jock, “that when the firefly is at rest the
light is soft, but when flying fast, and so breath-
ing rapidly, the light becomes bright, because of
the increased supply of oxygen.”

“Just as when the drafts are opened in the stove
the oxygen let in makes the fire blaze up,” put in
the Chum.

Peterkin just then called everybody to look and
see the fireflies in the grass and among the shrub-
bery, “thick as stars in the sky,” whereupon Mama-

my-dear quoted two lines from-Tennyson:

“ Many a night Isaw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”
“Our little ‘lightning-bug’ here,” ‘continued
Uncle Jock, “has his light set in his body, but the
most brilliant fireflies, those of South America
and the West Indies, shine through two windows
in the thorax, near the head. Their light is so
bright that several in a glass make a good house-
lamp; and the women wear them at night for orna-
ments, like glittering gems. In some places they

are regular articles of trade.”



LITTLE PETERKIN VAN DIKE, OT

“Like kerosene and diamonds,” put in the
Chum.
“Yes, and when not wanted for reading or deco-

ration, they are let loose to catch the mosquitioes

in the house,” a
Fly

remarked the

Captain.
“Besides the

light-bearing



beetles,” said
real fies,



Aunt Belle, “there are the lantern-ilies



with four flying-wings. A Chinese sort is called
nwt




candle-fly.. A Brazilian variety is the lar



three inches long, with gorgeous wings like 2



terfly, six inches across. The ‘lantern’ is a queer
hollow extension of the forehead, nearly am inch

in Le



at his ae ce cee

Captain Vandike promised to have a po



ell:





electric apparatus sent up from the office to sup-

acle Jock and the Chim





98 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

agreed to arrange the costume, including both
sets of wings, as they had for the lady-bug. Aunt
Belle suggested that the night effect could be had
by draping the stage in black, stretching black
mosquito netting across the front, and making
huge cat-o’-nine-tails and other foliage of very
dark green or black tissue paper.

While these plans were being made, Aunt Nell
had emerged from her cocoon and was scribbling
on a block of paper in the light from the hall.

Peterkin persisted till she read these verses:

Little lantern-swinger

Through the darks and dews,
Though yowre not a singer,
‘Sure, you area winger,
And, mayhap, a bringer

Of good news.

Somewhere, in the night-time,
To some hapless mite
Hoping it is quite time,
Yowll come at the right time,
Bringing it a bright-time
In its night.



Full Text




Bilis Famous



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Stony of

Bs LEY

CHARLES STUART PRATT












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WIIEN THE VIOLIN SQUEALED. :
(See page 19.)
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE

The Story of his Famous Poetry Party

By
CHARLES STUART PRATT

Author of ‘The Whirling Globe,” ‘* Bye-O-Baby Ballads,”
“Baby’s Lullaby Book,’ etc:

Forty-eight Illustrations by
L. J. BRIDGMAN

BOSTON
ALPHA PUBLISHING COMPANY
1896
Copyright, 1896,
by
ALPHA PUBLISHING COMPANY

All rights reserved

THE PINKHAM PRESS
BOSTON
L dedicate this book, -
made for the amusement
(and perchance instruction)
of the many boys who will read it,
to the memory of one boy,
who would have enjoyed as much as Peterkin
the plays of the Poetry Party,
but who has now marched,
as they will march one day,
out of the ranks of boyhood
into the ranks of young manhood.
CLS. Ps
CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.

PETERKIN SETS THE BALL Rotting. . . . . O58

CHAPTER II.

PETERKIN PLAYS THE SQUIRREL . . . ..... Qi
CHAPTER III.

THe BRAVE LITvLE CHICKADEE . . .. . .. . 82
CHAPTER IV.

NI EDIUE TUQIUN UTR Sy yee ea see Ge ev ers eres er a2)

CHAPTER V.
JrgeiresD INDIES DNS Gg Ae 6 te be 6 ooo eo GS

CHAPTER VI.
ANeGo) IRONING SG 8 oo eo bg be OD

CHAPTER VII.

BG NOIRE, Ieper 2 Gog eh te eo gD

CHAPTER VIII.

EE Aine NORCHeBHARIR SIs (s)he ie eS (Osh
8 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IX.

Tue AMBITIOUS BEE

CHAPTER X.

Tur DANCING BEAR

CHAPTER XI.

TRANSFORMATIONS .

CHAPTER XII.

Tur PorTrRy Party

PAGE.

102

115

143
ILLUSTRATIONS.

When the Violin Squealed

Initial, with Rats and the Magic Flute
Peterkin

““Squirming on the Captain’s Shoulder ”’
Initial, with Squirrel

At Five in the Morning

Peterkin and the Boas

Uncle Jock

Peterkin the Squirrel

Initial, with Eagle

‘Braver than an Eagle”

Dorothy and the Bull

The Girl-Chickadee

Initial, with Head of Cat .

The Chum .

Crouched before an enormous Rat-hole .

‘All Tangled Up in his Tail”

PAGE.
Frontis.

15
18
20
10 ILLUSTRATIONS.

Initial, with Ants
Peterkin Studies the Ant .
Allie arrives

“ Little Miss Ant”

Initial, with ‘‘the Rabbit of the Indian Legend”’ .

The Big Bunny by the Cabbages

‘‘ Bye-O, Baby Bunting” .

The Race

Initial, with Thinking-Cap and Lady-bug
Thinking it out .

Ready for Rehearsal .

“ Lady-bug, Lady-bug! Fly Away Home!”
Initial, with Firefly

Glow-worm

Lantern-fly

The Little Lantern-Swinger

Initial, with ‘“‘ Peterkin’s Drawing”

In the ‘‘ Brown Study”

The “ Great Night-Bird ”’

The Terrible Spidery Creature

Initial, with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
Ursa Major as the Greeks saw him .

“¢T-Spy’!?? answered Uncle Jock .
ILLUSTRATIONS.

ef ere Brought Your Hide; announced Peterkin
The Bear Danced

Initial, with ‘“ Peterkin’s Butterfly ”

The Miller and the Caterpillar

Peterkin Tells About the Rehearsal

The Chrysalis

The Butterfly

Initial, with ‘The Book of the Poetry Party ”’
“Two Minutes Apiece”’

Picking the Pear

“Three Cheers for — for — Everybody!”

PAGE,

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

CHAPTER L.

PETERKIN SETS THE BALL ROLLING.

“\. HIS is a story of lit-
' tle Peterkin Van-
dike, and certain of

his doings the sum-



mer he was ten.
Peterkin’s fa-
ther’s name was
Peter. His grandfather’s name was also Peter.
And his father’s name was Peter too—only he lived
in Holland, and his last name was Van Dyck.
When Peterkin’s grandfather came to America,
the family name somehow got changed to Vandike.
Peterkin’s father was a real American, though.

He was a captain in the Civil War, and the “star-
15
16 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

spangled banner” had waved from the staff above
the corner balcony ever since Peterkin could re-
member.

Still Peterkin’s father was fond of the old Dutch
family name, and so, when Peterkin was born, he
also was named Peter.

So long as he was too young to talk, and every-
one called him Baby, or Bud, or something of the
sort, there was no trouble.

But when he was too old for baby names, and
could talk as well as Captain Vandike himself,
there was trouble.

Whenever Mama Vandike called, “Peter!” Papa
Vandike answered, “Yes, my dear!” and Baby
Vandike answered, “Yes, mama!” and the “yes’s”
sounded like one big yes, and the “my dear” and the
“mama” were all mixed up together—and papa-
Peter and boy-Peter would come, one from the
study and one from the nursery, both at once.

So they had to change boy-Peter’s name to
Peterkin.

Peterkin was pink and white, like Captain Peter;
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 17

and his hair was yellow, with red in the shadows.
Still he was quite as much a man asif his hair had
been black. He didn’t ever play dolls, and he had
lots of muscle at the tops of his arms.

In fact, Peterkin was a very lively boy the
summer he was ten. His fists and feet were going
sixteen hours out of the twenty-four, often both at
once; and during the eight hours when he was sup-
posed to sleep they frequently continued to go.
Even Peterkin’s dreams were lively.

All the same, Peterkin stood at the head of his
classes, except in arithmetic. Somehow he
couldn’t remember nine times seven, but he could
remember hosts of other things. He could recite
“Horatius at the Bridge,’ and “The Ride of Paul
Revere,” so you would yell “Hurrah!” and wish you

were a hero, too. He could recite “The Pied Piper
of Hamelin” so that Mama Vandike would jump
up into a chair, and everybody could hear rats.

Indeed, it was on account of Mr. Browning’s
Pied Piper that Peterkin came to have his famous

poetry party.
18 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

It was very gay that summer at Captain Van-
dike’s. The Captain’s youngest brother, Peter-
kin’s dear Uncle Jock, had come up from Harvard
for the long vacation. He was
on the ’Varsity crew, and had
built up a pair of biceps mus-
cles that were Peterkin’s
especial envy. Then there
were his mother’s two sisters
from Vassar, his Aunt Nell
and his Aunt Belle. And there

- were no end of people in the summer villas near,



PETERKIN.

who had nothing to do but play tennis and get up
good times of all sorts.

They had camped out on the top of Kearsarge
Mountain, and sailed up Sunapee by moonlight,
and bicycled every road that didn’t run up hill
all the way. Then. they tried “living pictures,”
and lawn parties, and last of all, poetry parties.

At the Commodore’s they had a Longfellow
party, and Aunt Nell was Evangeline, and Uncle
Jock was Hiawatha, with bow and quiver and

deerskin, and eagle feathers in his hair.
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 19

Then at the Vandike villa they had a Browning
party. There was a tent with a stage between
two pines at the side of thelawn. Uncle Jock was
the Pied Piper. Peterkin, hidden at the side,
pulled the fine threads, which nobody could see,
but which drew the canton-flannel rats with black
bead eyes tumbling headlong after the Pied Piper
as he played on his magic flute.

Uncle Jock’s college chum was hidden beside
Peterkin with a violin. Some one recited Mr.
Browning’s poem—and just at the right place the
violin squealed for the rats so very delightfully
that Peterkin forgot to pull the rat-threads and
turned.a double somersault right into the middle
of the stage.

That night, after dinner, when the family and
friends were taking coffee in the parlors, Peterkin,
clad in his blue-and-white striped nightgown, sud-
denly slid down the long oak stair-rail and with a
bound landed in their midst.

“Uncle Jock,” he cried, before even Captain

Vandike could capture him, “Uncle Jock, Pm
20 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDILE.

going to have a poetry party myself—a new kind
—-and I want you to help me!”

“All right, Peterkin,” laughed Uncle Jock.
“Shall we begin now?”

But that moment Peterkin disappeared up the

stairs, squirming on the captain’s shoulder.


CHAPTER II.

PETERKIN PLAYS THE SQUIRREL.

HE next morning, about five,

Uncle Jock woke suddenly.

Something was in the
room—on the bed!

He started up. In the



dim light through the blinds he saw a strange
creature before him. Jt had horns. It pawed.
It made a hoarse noise. He was about to spring
out into the open floor, but just then the great
beast giggled, and Uncle Jock fell back among
the pillows and burst out laughing.

“Ts that you, Peterkin?” he cried—“T thought it
was a new sort of nightmare—one with horns.”

Peterkin, wrapped in a fur rug, his two hands
holding drumsticks out like horns from his fore-

head, crouched lower and shook his head savagely.
24
22 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Then, making his treble voice as gruff a bass as

he could, he answered:

“Tam Taurus, the bull,
And I bellow like thunder,
_ And the boys and the men—
They—they—”



“They get them from under!”





finished Uncle Jock, suddenly
drawing up his legs and
letting Peterkin

tumble headlong.







There was a pretty scrimmage for five minutes.

Then Uncle Jock lifted his knees under the bed-

clothes, and made a mountain, and Peterkin, no

longer Taurus, but a yellow-headed boy in a blue-
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 23

and-white striped nightgown, climbed up and
perched himself at the top. |

“Now, Uncle Jock,” said Peterkin very seri-
ously, “that is just what I want you to do—I want
you to help me out with the poetry. That’s why
Pve come. I couldn’t get that fourth line to
rhyme with thunder!”

“But why not get Mr. Longfellow or Mr. Brown-
ing to help you?—borrow some of their verses out

_of the books.”

“O,” said Peterkin, “my poetry party is differ-
ent. rm going to be an animal, and all the other
fellows will be animals—and all the girls, too.
Maybe not, though—I s’pose a girl would hate to
be a mouse, or even an elephant. I guess the
girls had better be bugs—don’t you think so,
Uncle Jock?”

“Pll have to think about that; but I expect you
are right, Peterkin, as usual.”

“And the poetry—I want some new poetry, all
our own. I can make some of the lines myself,

as I did for the bull just now—but I want you
24 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

to help me out, and Aunt Nell and Aunt Belle,
and maybe papa and Mama-my-dear.”

Uncle Jock’s right hand just then was slowly,
slyly, moving toward the other pillow. Peter.
kin’s quick eye saw
it. He slid down
the mountain and
off the bed, and
made a dash for the
door.

“ll come up to
your room right
after breakfast,
Uncle Jock,” he
called back as the
door banged behind

him and the pillow



struck it with a
PETERKIN AND THE BOAS. thud.

Peterkin always kept his word.

Right after breakfast, as Uncle Jock had started

to re-string his tennis racket, the door burst open,
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 25

and the boy came in like a little whirlwind. Two
fur boas trailed behind him as he circled the room
and stopped before Uncle Jock.
“That one is Aunt Nell’s, and that’s Aunt
Belle’s. They’re for my tail,” said Peterkin.
“But bulls don’t have tails the length of two
boas,” remarked Uncle Jock, as he pulled the raw-
hide cord through the
racket frame.
“No—nor squirrels,
but a squirrel’s tail is
wide and bushy, and a
squirrel my size will
want a lot of tail.”
“But I thought you

were to be a bull—as



you were this morn-

UNCLE JOCK,

ing.”
“C), that was just to show you about my kind of
poetry party. Vm going to be a squirrel, the
striped kind—what you call a chipmunk.”
“And I s’pose you want me to supply the nuts—

filberts, pecans, English walnuts, and—”
26 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“Yes, Uncle Jock, that’s it—and help about
the poetry, and the tail, and the ears, and the hide
—-that’s the hardest—there’s sewing, and I can’t
thread a needle, and I don’t believe you can.”

Unele Jock didn’t say as to this. JTrather think
Peterkin was right. Anyway, soon after that,
Aunt Nell was seen to go into the room with strips
of red-brown and yellow-white canton flannel over
her arm, and a work-basket in her hand. Then
the door was shut.

IT can’t of course tell what went on in Uncle
Jock’s room after the door was closed. There was
great fun, from the sounds that came out the key-
hole, but only once did the door open the whole
forenoon.

Then Uncle Jock rushed out, jumped on his
bicycle, and rode down the street as if on a race.
When he came back he had a coil of stout wire,
and as the door closed behind him he was heard
to say, “There, that will make the tail curl up over
your back like life, Peterkin.”

At lunch, Peterkin invited the family to a dress

rehearsal on the lawn, that afternoon.




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PETERKIN THE SQUIRREL.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 29

When the curtain rolled up above the stage
where the Browning tableaux had been shown,
the little audience saw a mimic wood, with an
open space at the front, carpeted with pine-
needles and moss.

Suddenly a huge cocoanut rolled into this space.
Then a big squirrel sprang nimbly through the
bushes at one side—a very big squirrel, a squirrel
as big as Peterkin himself.

This very big squirrel sat up on its haunches,
with the cocoanut in its forepaws, and began to
gnaw away with its white teeth. Its tail curled
up over its back in a beautiful way—you never
would have guessed it had been made in Uncle
Jock’s room out of two boas belonging to Peter.
kin’s aunts.

All at once the squirrel winked at Captain Van-
dike and Mama-my-dear, who sat in the front row,

and recited this verse:

Tm a chipper little beast

As there is in West or East.

I can climb the tallest trees,
With ease;
30 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Jump from limb to limb,
With vin—

And no boy can follow me.
See!

And the way the big striped, furry creature
skipped about was really wonderful to behold.
Then it went on with another verse:

I can chipper like a bird,
As yowll say when you have heard.
Listen now, and you shall see—
Chip-chee!
Chipty-chipty-chip,
Teip-teip,
Chipty-chipty-chiekeree!
See?

Suddenly the bushes all around seemed to be
full of squirrels, chippering as only squirrels can.
Peterkin told me afterward that Uncle Jock’s
chum was behind the bushes with that magic

violin of his. Then came a last verse:

Jam happy all the year,

Gladdest when the nuts appear.

Then I hoard my winter store—
O, more
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE, 31

Than a boy could whack,
To crack,
In a year if he should try—

My-y-y!

With that “my-y-y” the curtain began to de-
scend, very slowly. Just as the lower edge hid
the squirrel’s ears, the cunning creature winked
again at Captain Vandike and Mama-my-dear.
Then it put its forepaws into its side pockets, and
pulled them inside out. They were very long
pockets, and as they came out they spilled showers
of nuts over the ground—nuts of all kinds, hazel
nuts, filberts, almonds, pecans, walnuts.

There was great applause, laughter and clap-
ping. In the midst of it, the squirrel’s head
appeared under the curtain, and it said, in Peter-
kin’s voice:

“There’ll be another to-morrow!”
CHAPTER ITI.

THE BRAVE LITTLE CHICKADEE.

ETERKIN was eating his
oatmeal. He was thinking,
too—thinking so very hard
that he actually forgot to
beg for an extra allowance
of sugar. All at once,
with his spoon half way

from the blue dish to his



red lips, he spoke.

“What's the bravest bird, Unele
Jock?”

“Why, the eagle, I should say—and, among all
eagles, our own national bird, of course.”

“That’s probably why he still spreads his wings
on our silver coin,” remarked Captain Vandike,
with a wink at his brother and the Chum.

82
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 33

‘Peterkin didn’t stop to ask why they laughed.
He was too full of his own affairs.

“Well, Uncle Jock, I don’t think so,” asserted
he, very positively. |

“You forget the famous war eagle, Old Abe—
he never so much as blinked in battle,” remarked
Uncle Jock.

“And the Victorious Roman Eagles, and the
Double-headed Eagles of Russia and Prussia,”
put in the
Chum, very
eravely.

“And the
eagles of

your war



hero Napo-

“BRAVER THAN AN EAGLE,”

leon—his
armies used to carry golden eagles in place of
banners, you know,” added Aunt Belle.

‘Well,” persisted Peterkin, “you are every one
wrong. I thought it all over before I was up this
morning; and I found out that a chickadee is

braver than an eagle!”


34 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“What, a little tit-mouse, a little black-cap?—
you must be making fun of us,” cried Uncle Jock.

“No. It’s just as Mama-my-dear says; the big-
gest and strongest are not always the bravest.”

“But the whole world thinks the eagle is brave,
as well as big and strong.”

“He'd be a great big coward not to be,” said
Peterkin, shaking his yellow head. “Now the
chickadee is a little bit of a bird, but he is just
as brave as can be. Why,” be went on, a fine
light flashing in his blue eyes, “the little chicka-
dee stays up North here all winter, and faces the
winds, and all the great storms, and the awful cold
—and—”

“And the long—dark—nights—without—any—
lamp,” finished Uncle Jock, with a mischievous
twinkle in his eye.

Peterkin flushed red, and fell to eating his oat-
meal very fast.

“Now, Jock, that’s too bad,” said Captain Van-
dike. “Peterkin has become a regular hero in the

dark.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 35

“Yes,” added Mama-my-dear, “ever since the
night you teased him about it, he has insisted on
going to bed without so much as a candle.”

“Bravo!” exclaimed Uncle Jock, “he shall have
a laurel wreath right after breakfast—and I
think perhaps we’d better change his name to
Chickadee.”

“Only then we shall have to dye his yellow wig
black,” laughed the Chum.

“No, you won't,” said Peterkin eagerly—“Doro-
thy’s hair is black now, black as a chickadee’s
cap—that’s why she is to be a chickadee at my
poetry party—and because she is the bravest little
girl in town.”

“You must know,” explained Aunt Nell to the
Chum, “this little Dorothy saved her baby brother
from the bull—she opened her little blue parasol
right in the face of Taurus, and scared him back
till the men came up. The Commodore says she
is brave as an admiral.”

“Yes,” added Aunt Belle, “and now they call

her the Admiral-ess.”
36 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

It was cloudy that morning, and Uncle Jock
and the Chum were going trouting. So Peter-
kin’s aunts promised to turn the Admiral-ess into
a chickadee, and to help him with his verses.

Peterkin ran over to the Com-
modore’s, and soon came
back with his






little neighbor
Dorothy. The four
era ASA were shut up in the pink
chamber all the forenoon. Now and then Dor-
othy’s clear voice came through the keyhole with
a chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee, and Peterkin’s followed
it with a chick-a-day-day-day, and close after came
a laugh from Aunt Nell and another from Aunt
Belle.

Uncle Jock and the Chum got back just as the
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 37

curtain rolled up for the dress rehearsal. Peterkin
heard their voices and wanted to call out and ask
how many they caught, but he didn’t, for just then
he was making a snow-storm with some thousands
of bits of white paper.

The stage was a snow-field (of cotton wadding
in sheets), and at the back were bushes with snow
in the crotches (likewise of white cotton). The
white field was broken here and there by gray
stones and dry weeds. Near the centre, rose a
last-year clump of goldenrod, and by that was the
chickadee that once had been an Admiral-ess.

She was cunningly clad in a short close dress
of gray satin, with a wire-stiffened train, which
was funnily like a tit-mouse’s tail, behind her
little black-stockinged legs. She wore a snug
black velvet cap, a black lace bib-let, and between
there was a triangle of white running to a perky
black bill just over her dear little nose.

As the chickadee hopped about the dry seedy
goldenrod, flirting its tail and bobbing its black-

capped head, it uttered its cry, “Chick-a-dee-dee-
38 : LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

dee-dee!” and from behind a high snow-bank came
an answering cry, “Chick-a-day-day-day!”

Then some one (I think it was Aunt Nell, behind
the snow-drift) recited these verses:

Summer birds have flown;
Winter winds make moan;
Green leaves now are gray;
Flowers have blown away;
Ah, me!
Yet gaily the chickadee sings, “Chick-a-dee,
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee !”

All the trees are bare;
Snow is in the air,
And the world is white—
Not a crumb in sight.
But stay!
As gaily the chickadee sings, “Chick-a-dee,
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee !”

There’s a child I know:
When things criss-cross go,
Others pout and sigh,
Say bad words and cry,
But she—
Still gaily she laughs, “O, you never mind me—
Iam happy ’s can be!”


e

ie :

rw,





















































































































































THE GIRL-CHICKADEE,

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 41

In a land of snow,
She makes roses blow,
Sunshine in the dark,
Songs for which you hark,
For, see!
The girl ’s a girl-chickadee, singing for me,
“Tam happy ’s can be!”

After each verse the speaker paused, and the
pretty chickadee by the dry clump of goldenrod
hopped about and twittered its merry “Chick-a-
(lee-dee-dee-dee, chick-a-day-day-day!’ The song
was trilled out in such a catchy way that, as the
curtain went down, everyone in the little audi-
ence, Uncle Jock, the Chum, the aunts, and even
Captain Vandike and Mama-my-dear, took up the
strain.

It was the best of applause—and the little au-
dience kept it up, with many funny twitterings
and trillings, until finally the curtain rolled up
again. Ounce more the voice behind the snow-dvift
recited the verses, once more the chickadee hopped
and twittered, and once more, as the curtain fell,
the audience changed to a chorus of singing

chickadees.
42 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

In the midst of the merriment, Peterkin, his
navy-blue sailor suit all tufted over with the white

cotton snow, crawled under the curtain and called
out:

“How many did you catch?”
CHAPTER IV.



PETERKIN PURRS.

HE next morning
Uncle Jock declared
that the biceps
muscles of which
he and Peterkin
were both so proud
were in need of ex-
ercise. They were
already a quarter-
inch smaller, by

actual tape-meas-



- ure evidence, than when he came up from Har-
vard. So after breakfast he appeared in a white
sweater with a big crimson H on the front, and
went off for a pull on the river.

Peterkin yelled after him the college cheer,
: 43
Bed LITTLE PETEREIN VANDIRE.

“Rah rah rah! rah ral rah! rab rab rah—Har-
ward!” and then climbed imto the hammock that

swung in the broad vine hung veranda, and put



on histhinking-cap. The great question just then
was whether ke should next turn into a beast or
a. bird. He had decwled in faror of a beast, when
the carriage was brought round, and Captain Van-

2 Unis dove away



dike and Mama-my-~lear and tl

to a morning lecture on palmistry at the Commo-

dore’s. The aunts took with them a Ag ster cast

of Peterkin’s right hand, which they had made the

eat delight of the owner















=

evening before to tlhe



fe
tf

of the original.









Peterkin did not cheer agaim as the carriage



rolled down the drive. stead, he looked rather



blue—for a pimk-and-white boy. “Poor pussy-



eat,” said he, and whistled a long whistle—trom
led the Ibeaustt:

should be a cat, and that he was worried as to whe



which we may conclude he had de



would help ;
Just then the

slipped down from an upper window and im

not the verses.
@ SO

oft quivering sound of a violim

through the swaying vines.
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIREE. 45

Peterkin started at the first note, sprang out of
the hammock, into the hall, up the broad stairs,
across the upper hall, and in at an open door as if
shot from a catapult.

“Can you purr?” he demanded, catching his
breath.

The Chum drew the bow across the strings in a
walling cater-
waul, lifted his
chin from his
violin, and
stared. “Can I
purr?” he re- |
peated.

“Yes,” panted



Peterkin. “You



see ’m going to
be a cat this THE CoeM.

afternoon, and I thought maybe youd help
me about it; and maybe make your violin purr
for the cat as it squealed for the rats at the Pied

Piper tableau.”
46 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“O,” laughed the Chum, “then you spoke to the
violin when you entered the room, not to me!—
well, neither of us are cats, exactly, but we’ll do
our best for you.”

“lve got the verses started, like this:

I’m a eat:

AS a mouser

I’m a rouser,
And I sometimes catch a rat.

At the end of each verse, like a chorus, ’1] have
a lot of purring—and, say,” Peterkin went on,
“you can make music, let’s make a song, and I’ll
sing it, for change.”

“Capital,” cried the Chum; “and V’ll get the
Commodore’s bass-viol; I can make that purr so
every cat in town will envy you!”

The Chum was about as clever with his water-
colors as with his violin, and by lunch-time the
cat-song was made, and likewise a wonderful tor-
toise-shell cat-skin, with a fawn-colored boa for a
tail.




CROUCHED BEFORE AN ENORMOUS RAT-HOLE.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 49

The stage was set like the corner of a barn,
with a grain-chest, barrels, tools and a wheel-
barrow in the background, and hay scattered over
the floor.

As the curtain rolled up, the audience beheld a
huge buff-and-black cat crouched before an enor-
mous rat-hole at the side.

Without looking round, it sang the first verse
of the cat-song, and the soft thunderous rumble
of the bass-viol accompanied the purring chorus.
At the end of this great purring, the head of a big
rat popped out of the rat-hole, and back again
just in time to escape the claws of the cat. oMiter
this sudden spring, the cat came to the front of the
stage, “sat up” after the fashion of tabbies, and
sang the other verses.

These were the words of the song:

[Pm a cat:
As a mouser
I’m a rouser,
And I sometimes catch a rat—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.
50 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Pm a cat:
Midnight prowler,
Screecher, howler

Some folks, sometimes, call me that—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.



Puss am I:
Teeth that bite not,
Claws that fight not,
Have I when the baby ’s nigh—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.

Kitten too:
Playful, fuzzy,
Sleepy, buzzy,
Loving beastie through and through—
Purr-r-r, purr-purr-purr-r-r.

Then, while the bass-viol’s great soft purring
rumbled on like far-away thunder, the huge tor-
toise-shell dropped into doggerel, or, as the Chum
called it, catterel:

“Pm a cat, as I have said—just plain cat, but I
have read of story cats in books, in pictures seen
their looks: three kittens in mittens (but no shoes
on their feet!), the bad three kittens that lost their

THE SONG OF THE CAT.





































































$5— SB
a = : SS
oe oe o et :
1. Dm a cat: (purr-r) As a
2 eae a cat: (purr-r) Mid - night
3. Puss am T: (purr-r) Teeth that
.8. Kit - ten too: (purr-r) Play - ful,
4 eee te |
G 2). eo ee s = a ae
ed ese = = | =
4 EB ep
_e = -o@. oe @5: re
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ot) -@- -@B-
Cra =
St _t. oS. 1. 1 ‘-- @ 4
ah zal i
tas = = s
Z,
Saori =i == |
SS SS
: - : 4
o eee —
mous - er (purr-y) I’m a rous - er,
prowl - er, (purr-r) Screech - er, howl - er—
bite not, (purr-r) Claws that fight | not,
fuz - zy, . (purr-r) Sleep - y, buz - zy,
B Ties =|
i ew 4 je
——
-o2. _@2_ =e
: cence ¢ 2 ys 2
e = ie. ; ig
=
| Se
oe ——
THE SONG OF THE CAT.











oe eee
7 f los 1 =I @.
< a ad oe oS
And I some-times catch a rat—
Some folks, some-times, call me that—
Have I when the ba -_ by’s nigh—

Lov - ing beas - tie through: and through—





















= eee —
ee ee ag
ee 6 6 {aoe 2 3 i <2
; a | ee @ =
o. o 6 ~e # ——" oma —


2. eae:
@____@ E- o | had oe . E 2 2.
7 ie — icons















CNS
jee
Bu
ei
LLL
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@ 11
LLL
aa
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Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.















eee

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. ne

OL

mittens, somewhere along the street; and, odder
than that, a curious cat, that wore boots and did
wonderful things, like the things in a dream—he
turned an ogre into a mouse, and ate him up in his
castle-house—he set his master up with the kings,
and got for himself whole oceans of cream; but
I’m a plain cat, I like best the one that went to
London with Dick Whittington—he helped | his
master out of disaster, and lived with a king who
had no cats, but a palace-full of mice and rats—”

The huge tortoise-shell’s account of the story-
book cats ended suddenly, for, just as it got to the
“nalace-full of mice and rats,” a big rat Git really
was gray canton flannel, stuffed with cotton, with
black-headed shawl-pins stuck in for eyes—and
pulled by a thread too small to be seen) came out
from under the grain-chest and darted across the
hay-covered floor. The cat caught sight of this
‘at and sprang after it, and both vanished through
the enormous rat-hole already mentioned.

Then the curtain began to come down, but be-

fore the stage was shut from view the head of the
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

as
oS

huge cat appeared for an instant at the rat-hole,
with the rat in its mouth—and a cheer went up
from the men in the audience.

The cat responded to this applause by singing
once more, somewhere away off in the rat-hole,
the first verse of the cat-song.

A minute after, the Peterkin-cat crept out from
under the curtain, jumped off the stage, ran on all-
fours up to Aunt Belle, and crouched as if to
spring into her lap. Aunt Belle drew back and
cried, “Seat, scat?’ But the great cat didn’t
“seat? at all. instead, it began to purr and rub
against her skirts in the coaxing way of pussy-
cats, until she relented and said, “Come, kitty,
come!” Thereupon the Peterkin-cat sprang into
her lap, curled down, and then asked:

“What did the Professor say about my plaster
hand?”

Aunt Belle smiled. “Well, he looked it all over,
and then gravely declared it was the hand of a’
very shy little girl, who played with paper dolls,
and never was naughty, and never made any

noise!’
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 5T

Of course everyone laughed, and Peterkin
shouted loud enough forthe Professorof Palmistry
to hear over at the Commodore’s, and turned a
double somersault, and got all tangled up in

his tail. :


CHAPTER V.
LITTLE MISS ANT.

UNT NELL was near-

as :
fh sighted and wore






eyeglasses—just the
crystal without rim
or cord—and the
airy way they perched on her

pretty nose always seemed



magical to Peterkin.

It was a hot morning, even inside the vines of
the veranda, and Aunt Nell, flushed like a wild
rose, was hunting for the reading-glass.

“J had it in that hammock, when the breakfast-
bell rang,” she presently observed to Uncle Jock,
who was lying at ease reading the morning paper.

Uncle Jock good-naturedly rolled out of the big
Mexican hammock, and half a dozen grass-cloth
58
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 59

pillows rolled after him, but the reading-glass was
not in the hammock or among the gay pillows on
the rug.

Aunt Nell fluttered about the broad veranda
like a white butterfly, pulling silk blankets out of
willow chairs and turning over the magazines on
the bamboo table, till she chanced to catch sight
of an object lying down by the driveway.

“Ts that Peterkin—or the dog?” she asked Uncle

Jock, as she adjusted her eyeglasses.





fh |

PETERKIN STUDIES THE ANT.

It proved to be Peterkin, and Aunt Nell called
to him, “Peterkin! Peterkin, have you seen the
reading-glass?”

“Yes—lDve got it,” answered Peterkin, kicking
60 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

his heels over his back, but not lifting his head
which was bent low over the edge of the drive.
The reading-glass was between his face and the
gravel.

“What is the boy doing now?” queried Aunt
Nell.

“Reading the ‘sermons in stones,’ probably,” re-
plied Uncle Jock, as they both started down the
steps to investigate.

But before they reached him, Peterkin sprang
up with a shout of delight. “Hurrah, it’s all
right! They can stand up on their hind legs, just
like folks.” ;

“What can?” asked Aunt Nell.

“Why, ants,” cried Peterkin, holding one out to
her between thumb and finger. “You know little
Allie Appleton is going to be an ant, and I was
worried about the crawling—I didn’t s’pose she’d
like to crawl before all the folks, though I’ve seen
her crawl under the shrubbery like a cat when
hiding for I-spy—and so I was watching them

through the reading-glass.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. ve

“And following Solomon’s advice, ‘Go to the ant,
thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise,’ ”
remarked Uncle Jock.

“Peterkin is anything but a sluggard,” said
‘Aunt Nell

“True—as Dve learned to my cost the past
week,” answered Uncle Jock. “I take the slug-
gard part back. But,” he asked, turning to Peter-
kin, “how are you going to manage about the six
legs?”

“O, the extra legs will be easy enough, with
stout wires—you know how beautifully you fixed
my tail, Uncle Jock. The only trouble was the
standing up, and that’s settled—and Allie is so
just right for an ant, she’s so slimber.”

“So what?” eried Uncle Jock.

“Slimber,” repeated Peterkin—“don’t you know
—slim and limber.” Peterkin had a queer way of
sometimes making words of his own, when he ran
short of dictionary words.

“QO— yes—I understand,” said Uncle Jock, with

a smile to Aunt Nell. “But are you sure about
62 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ants standing up on their hind legs?—all I ever
saw went on all-fours, or, perhaps I should say,
on all-sixes.” :

“Peterkin is right,” declared Aunt Nell. “Iwas
reading up about ants, before breakfast. In Dr.
McCook’s book about the agricultural ants there
is a picture of one standing upright on its toes;
and in another book, by an English clergyman, I
found an account of how the ants express their
joy when the queen-ant appears, by skipping, leap-
ing, and standing up on their hind legs and prane-
ing with the others.”

The Vandike family were all at home that
morning—it was too hot for tennis or bicycling or
any sport out in the blazing sun—and so
Peterkin had plenty of helpers.

Aunt Nell undertook the verses, and wrote a
tiny poem, but big enough, as she said, for a tiny
black ant.

Peterkin ran off to the library for Sir John Lub-
bock’s book about ants, and their cousins the bees

and wasps, for the pictures, and then the Chum
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 63

began drawing queer little girl-ants in various
positions and costumes. He had just hit upon
one which everybody approved, when Peterkin
cried out, “There she comes!”

There was a hedge between the Vandike
grounds and the Apple-
ton estate, and as they
all turned that way they
saw a slight dark girl
squirm through, fly
across the lawn, and
come climbing over the
railing into the veranda

in a way to have done



credit to Peterkin him-

ALLIE ARRIVES.

self. She certainly was,
as Peterkin had said, very “glimber.”

Peterkin politely introduced her as “little Miss
Ant,” and, after a merry welcoming, Mama-my-
dear and Aunt Belle set to work to change her into
a likeness of the Chum’s drawing.

An old black satin gown with jet trimmings fur-
64 _ LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

nished the materials, along with wire and a roll of
cotton wadding. First there was a close hood of
the shining black satin. From this rose the
antenne—Allie called them horns, but Peterkin
said they were “feelers’—which Uncle Jock fash-
ioned from wire and glittering jet. Next came a
smooth jacket with tight sleeves, and a long
straight skirt that fell to the feet—all of the black
satin.
The skirt was puffed out over the hips with cot-
ton wadding, and gathered tightly in just below
the hips. Then it was again bulged out, with
wire hoops, and finally gathered in to a point at
the ankles. Allie’s feet were too small to count.
Then came the six legs. Allie’s arms, elbows
akimbo, were the first pair. Uncle Jock made two
other pairs, of the black satin stuffed with cotton
over a wire, and bent into shape. Jet bands were
added at throat, waist, and the indentation below
the hips. At the latter point, and just abeve, the
four legs were affixed, and lo! Allie had vanished,

and in her place stood “little Miss Ant.”






































































































































































































S

ast



-





\

“DLITTLE MISS ANT.’’



LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 67

‘After lunch, it was so hot the rehearsal on the
stage was given up.. Peterkin therefore de-
manded that Aunt Nell read her poem—but when
she took up the paper she stopped, seemed. sur-
prised, adjusted her eye-glasses, looked again, and
exclaimed:

“Why, somebody has crossed out one, two, three
—eight words, and written other words over them
—and changed my good ant to a bad ant! I
believe it is Jock’s writing, and—well, I'll read it ‘
both ways,” which she did.

This was the poem as written:

A good little Ant
She was,
Because
She never said “sha’n’t,”
Nor even “TI can’t!”
When bid,
She did
The best that she could,
As little folks should—
Did she,
This wee,
This good little Ant!
68 LITTLE PBYTERKIN VANDIKE.
And this was the poem as changed:

A bad little Ant
She was,
Because
She often said “sha’n’t,”
And even “T can’t!”
When bid,
She did
Not do what she could,
As little folks should—
Not she,
This wee, .
This bad little Ant!

As Aunt Nell stopped reading, two pillows flew
through the air toward Uncle Jock in the big
Mexican hammock. Peterkin threw one; I am
not sure but “little Miss Ant” threw the other.
CHAPTER VI.
THE BUNNY-BOY.

AN you waggle your ears, Uncle
Jock?” asked Peterkin, as he
climbed into the hammock and
peered over the top of the paper
his young uncle was reading.

“Tm afraid not— even to



please you, Peterkin.”
“f can’t, either,’ remarked Peterkin
regretfully—“but Bunny-Boy Burton
can. That’s why we boys call him Bunny-Boy—
and that’s why ?’'m going to have him be the rabbit

at my poetry party.”

“And when does the rabbit rehearsal come off?”
“Why, to-day—didm’t you know? Tm ever so
glad yowre at home to help me. Bunny-Boy and

T practiced the hopping over at his house yester-
69
TO LITPLE PETERKIN VANDIEE.

day; and we made some long paper ears and stuck
them on with liquid glue, and then we hopped into
the drawing-room to show his mama.”

“And did Mrs. Brown-Burton applaud the little
circus?”

“Well, Uncle Jock, you see it was five-o’clock

and —and—Mrs.





tea, and a lot of ladies there
Burton didn’t seem quite pleased.”

“Indeed!”

“But she ’s promised him to come, and he’l be
over this morning.”

Unele Jock lifted his paper, but Peterkin’s head
again bobbed up over the top.

“T say, Uncle Jock, isn’t it queer that rabbits’
ears are so very, very long, and their tails so very,
very short! Why is it?”

“Well,” answered Uncle Jock, a slow smile grow-
ing in his eyes, “I have no doubt it is because rab-
bits have always been harking for things. Mr.
Darwin says any organ used more than others will
grow more. If rabbits go on always harking for
things, I shouldn’t wonder if some day their ears

â„¢

become as long as their tails once were
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. . 71

“Why, did they ever have long tails?”

“Well, so the Indians say; and they have a
legend which tells how the long tail was lost. It
seems that Rabbit was very kind-hearted, and
once, when a friend fell into a pit, Rabbit stood
on the brink and let his long beautiful tail hang
down within reach. ‘Catch hold of my tail? he
cried, and then gave a great jump—but, sad to
say, the long beautiful tail broke short off an inch
from the body. i

“Still Rabbit did not give up helping. He
sprang into the pit and waid, ‘Catch hold of me
round the waist? and then he made another
mighty bound—which, glad to say, brought both.
out at the top. But the friend was heavy, and
Rabbit’s waist was strained and squeezed—and
from that day to this all rabbits have had small
waists and short tails. .

“There is another Passamaquoddy story of how
Rabbit’s upper lip became divided—because he
was aristocratic, and tried to eat with knife and
fork, and so slit his lip—but that, I think, must be

a modern story, invented since 1620—”
[2 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“Since the Pilgrims brought knives and forks to
New England?” interrupted Peterkin. °

“Just so. And there’s another story, which—
but here comes the Bunny-Boy himself—and we'll
go up to my room, if you like.”

Peterkin did like, and so did brown-eyed little
Master Burton; and the three boys had a very
jolly morning.

Aunt Belle was called in to help make the rabbit-
skin, and as she chanced to have an old carriage
cloak lined with red-squirrel fur, the rabbit-skin
was rather more real’than if made of canton
flannel. A strip of lighter fur was also found for
the under side of the body, and a white tuft for
the tail. Uncle Jock made wire frames for the
ears, Which were most beautifully long.

I think Aunt Belle also had a hand in the verses;
at least, Peterkin observed at lunch that they were
“just like Aunt Belle’—by which I suppose he
meant that they were not quite as lively as he
would have liked. Aunt Belle was not as merry
and girlish as her younger sister, but all the same

she had not forgotten the fun.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 15

After lunch the family gathered in front of the
stage, and as soon as Mrs. Brown-Burton arrived
having received a special complimentary ticket
from Peterkin—the curtain rolled up.

The stage was arranged like the edge of a gar-
den, a row of enormous cabbages (four or five feet
in diameter and made of green tissue paper over
wire frames) showing at one side.

- Sitting up by one of these huge cabbages was a
_ big bunny, nibbling the edge of a leaf a yard
across. As the curtain went up out of sight the
bunny turned in a half-startled way, and then
spoke, in verse.
These were the verses:
Of all the wild beast folk,
We are the timidest;.
By stars and moon we venture forth,

But all the day we rest
In some soft hidden nest.

Of all the wild beast folk,
We have the gentlest ways;

We are the children’s dearest pets—
Indeed, in baby days
Rag rabbits make their plays.
76 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Of all the wild beast folk,
We have the longest ear;

And we are wise, for we have heard
All that long ears may hear—
All things of joy and fear.

Of all the wild beast folk,
Or so the story goes,

Our fur alone has wrapped within
(As in a bud a rose)
A babe, from head to toes.

“That baby’s name was ‘Baby Bunting, I s’pose
everybody knows,” remarked the big bunny with
a queer little waggle of his long ears.

Then, as a smile rippled over the faces in front
of the stage, he hopped along a bit, dropped on all-
fours, and sat up again—but this time he held a
little doll-baby in his forepaws, and chanted in a
funny sing-song the old nursery rhyme:

“¢ Bye-O, Baby Bunting,
Papa’s gone a-hunting,
To get a wild brown rabbit skin
To wrap the Baby Bunting in.”

Then the curtain began to descend, but it had

hardly reached the floor when, to everyone’s sur-
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. TT

prise, it began to go up again; and when the stage
Was once more open to view the surprise was even
greater, those in the back
seats actually standing up to
see the better.

Somebody must have been
very active. The cabbages
had disappeared, and all was
an open field, with a clump

of bushes in the centre. At

the left, the big bunny



stood as if at the start of a

“BYE-O, BABY BUNTING.”

race, and by his side was a
great turtle (really made of paper over a wire
frame, painted by the Chum, and with Peterkin
on all-fours hidden within). On a post, beyond,
was a placard which announced, “Great Race—
the Hare and the Tortoise!”

The hare and the tortoise were trying hard to
“start even.” One would take a step or two, and
then the other, but every time the second got
ahead of the first, and they had to go back to the
78 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

starting-post. At last the hare scratched a line
with his paw, and placed his forefeet on it. The
tortoise did the same. Then a voice cried, “One,
two, three!” and the race began. As the hare
leaped ahead of the tortoise the curtain fell.

A minute later the curtain rolled up a second
time, to show the hare asleep under the bushes,
half across the stage, and the tortoise crawling

slowly by, then fell again.



THE RACE.

After a moment the curtain rolled up once more,
and the third tableau showed the hare at the right
side of the stage, near the goal, but starting back

‘in surprise to find the tortoise there ahead of him
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 79

—and so he stood, his long ears falling slowly
back, as the curtain descended for the last time.

There was loud clapping in the audience, and
Mrs. Brown-Burton clapped with the others, and
declared that never again would she object to

Bunry-Boy’s hopping, or his glued-on ears.
CHAPTER VII.

7?

“LADY-BUG, LADY-BUG

=
ey f HE granite steps that led

down from the Vandike vre-




randa were broad and stately. The
massive balustrade on either side
ended in a squarish pedestal, a
couple of feet across, which sup-
ported, on a_ stocky six-inch
column, a smooth sphere a foot in
diameter.

Peterkin, for half an hour or so, had been indus-
triously decorating these spheres with red chalk
_ —one with the equator, tropics of Cancer and Cap-
ricorn, and Arctic and Antarctic circles—the
other with the signs of the zodiac.

He was half round the zodiac, having just put

the finishing touches to Leo, the roaring July lion,

Sih
LITTLE PHTERKIN VANDIKEE. 81

when Dorothy came up the drive. Peterkin ex-
plained that he was taking a special course of
vacation geography from Aunt Belle, to make up
for the time he had the measles, and then asked
abruptly:

“Have you thought of one yet, Dorothy?”

“No, Peterkin—lI’ve thought of ever so many,
but not of any one.”

“Well, then,” exclaimed Peterkin with decision,
“you sit over there on the zones, and I’ll sit here
on the zodiac, and we’ll think it out now.”

_ So Peterkin climbed up and perched on the zo-
diac sphere, and a minute later Dorothy faced
him from the other.

Then both put on their beautiful invisible think-
ing-caps. And though invisible, had you seen the
two, chins on palms and elbows on knees, you
would have known they had thinking-caps on, just
as surely as if you could have seen those peaked
caps of azure, with golden stars and silver moons
—and the little bell at the tip that tinkles when-

ever the thoughts are merry.
82 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

. Presently Peterkin looked up and called across
to the sphere of zones, “I say, Dorothy, aren’t there
a lot of bugs, when you come to think of them!—
but—how would a katydid do?”

“Well, I like what a katydid says,” answered
Dorothy. “but I’d rather be a lady-bug—they’re
such cute little things, and they don’t bite, and



ait : ———e Sh fi
lie et

Mie yh,



THINKING IP OUT.
they do crawl up your finger in such a funny tickly
_ way, till they get to the very tip, then, bue! and off
they go. Yes, ll be a lady-bug at the poetry
party.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 83

“All right,” cried Peterkin, taking a flying leap

from the top of the zodiac sphere and landing half-
way up the steps, “come on then, Dorothy, come
on, and we'll catch Uncle Jock before he goes off
anywhere.”
: At the hall door however they met him face to
face, but before he could ask what it meant Peter-
kin had seized him by one hand, Dorothy by the
other, and they had whirled him about, across the
hall, and half-way up the stairs. There he sat
down, and would not budge till they told him.

“It is quite proper,” he then said, “that a plump
little lady should become a plump little lady-bug.
T’Ul do my very best, Miss Dorothy, to fit you out
with flying-wings and spotted wing-cases.”

“Yd like to know about those wing-cases,” re-
marked Peterkin. “They’re hard as shells—and
isn’t it odd how like tiny turtles they make the
lady-bugs look?—only, instead of red spots on a
dark ground, a lady-bug’s shell is red, spotted with
black.”

“You see,” explained Uncle Jock, “most insects
84 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

have four wings; some fly with both pairs, like but-
terflies; but in the great class commonly called
beetles, whose family name is really Coleoptera,
the fore-wings are changed to horny cases, which
serve as sheaths for the other pair.”

“And do they only use their hind wings in fly-
ing?” asked Dorothy.

“Only those,” answered Uncle Jock; “but the
flying-wings are very gauzy and delicate, and the
fore-pair protect them like armor. The protec-
tion of this armor may account for the vast num-
ber'of beetles—there are nearly a hundred thou-
sand kinds.”

Dorothy and Peterkin opened their eyes very
wide at this, but just then Uncle Jock sprang up,
and the three ran off to his room, calling for Aunt
Nell and the Chum on the way.

A snug hood of shiny black satin, with short
antenne of jet and wire, was fitted to Dorothy’s
head; and, below, a long plain gown with close
sleeves, likewise of black satin, fell to her feet,
where it was loosely gathered in. The six little

“tickly” legs were affixed in front.
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 85

Wing-cases, of stiff paper over a wire frame,
were painted like life by the Chum. The flying-
wings were of wire and black mosquito netting.
The two pairs of wings were cunningly contrived
by Uncle Jock so
that, with arms be-
hind, Dorothy could
lift the wing-cases
with her elbows, |
and then spread the

lacy fying-wings



with her hands.
When the curtain READY FOR REHEARSAL.
rolled up that afternoon, the audience saw a few
shrubs, and, a little to one side, a great rose-tree,
with leaves (of green tissue paper) the size of a
man’s hand, and huge roses (of pink tissue paper)
a foot across.

Suddenly, with wing-cases lifted and gauzy fly-
ing-wines spread, a big and beautiful lady-bug
flitted in from the side of the stage to the trunk

of the rose-tree. There it clung, moving but
‘86 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

slightly, its orange-red back with jetty spots
(which Peterkin called “polka dots”) turned to the
people. (Dorothy’s feet really rested on a stone
by the foot of the rose-tree.)

Then, somewhere out of sight, two voices re-
cited this little dialogue between a child-robin
and a parent-robin:

“Ym a hungry bird,
Tweet, tweet!

I want something good,
To eat!”

“Catch a nice fat worm;
Yowre big,

Big enough to scratch
And dig.”

“T am tired of worms
And things!

I would like a bug
That sings!”

“Kating stops the ‘sing’—
That fly!

Catch it, catch it, quick!
Ob—fie!”










‘‘LADY-BUG, LADY-BUG! FLY AWAY HOME!”

LITTLE PETEREIN VANDIKE. 89

“Don’t want flies and things—
Want lots—

Bugs of red, and black |
In spots!”

“Silly, silly bird!
That kind

Have hard shells to crack, .
You'll find!”

The lady-bug seemed to listen to the talk of the
birds, and it kept very still, not to be seen. At
the terrible desire of the child-robin, for “bugs of
red and black,” the lady-bug shuddered, but the
reply of the parent-robin appeared to comfort it.

A loud confused chirping followed, with sound
of flapping wings—and in the midst of the tumult
a quick voice that sounded like Peterkin’s called

out in the familiar rhyme:

“¢ Lady-bug, Lady-bug!
Fly away home!
Your house is on fire!
Your children will burn!”

Whereupon the big and beautiful lady-bug
lifted its spotted wing-cases, spread its gauzy fly-
90 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ing-wings, and swiftly flitted away from the trunk
of the rose-tree, across the stage, and out of sight
—and the curtain fell.
CHAPTER VIII.
THE TINY TORCH-BEARERS.

HE sun had set. Low

down there was a



dash of red through
the trees west of the
lawn, and over that
a band of yellow.
The warm color did
not reach the tree-tops, however, and above
there wus only the cool twilight blue—that and
‘one star just at the tip of a tall fir, like a candle
on a Christmas-tree.

It was a hot night, and the Vandike family were
all out on the veranda. The Captain, who had
had a busy week with his electric light business in
town, lay at ease in the big Mexican hammock.
The white hammock, with Aunt Nell inside,

91
92 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

swung between two pillars like a huge cocoon.
The Chum was in a third hammock. Mama-
my-dear and Aunt Belle, in willow rockers,
kept time to their slow rocking with fans like
great silvery moth-wings. Uncle Jock and Peter-
kin were on the blue and white Japan rug—or one
of them was, which, it was hard to tell, as they
| were rolling over in a rough-and-tumble play, and
very much mixed up with the grass-cloth pillows.

“Peterkin!” The voice came from the Cap-
tain’s hammock.

Peterkin somehow got clear of the tangle, and
7 presented himself. “Yes, papa,” said he, raising
his right hand to his forehead and dropping it
again to his side in a jerky geometrical way. This
funny little military salute was always Peterkin’s
especial compliment to his father. Then he stood
by the hammock in an attitude of polite attention.

“Well,” said Captain Vandike, “how comes on
that famous poetry party?”

“O, quite—quite fast and sure,” answered Peter-
kin—“it’s more than half here. We’ve had six

rehearsals already.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 93

“And how many more must we wait for?”

“Four—it takes ten to make a good party—
don’t you think so, papa?”

“Why, yes, I suppose so—just exactly ten,” said
the Captain with a smile. “And when is the pub-
lic performance to take place? Have you got out
your posters?” |

“The day isn’t set yet—and I don’t think Pl
have posters. Id rather have some pretty souve-
nirs for the audience to take away, if yowll think
up something very first-rate.”

“Well, ?U think up the very first-ratest that I-
can. But how will you get your audience without
posters?”

“O, Mama-my-dear has got the audience all
ready-—but it’s a secret, and you mustn’t ask me.
I do wish though yowd help me about the next
beast, or bird, or—”

“Well—now ‘there’s a firefly darting about the
lawn over there—how would a fire—”

But Peterkin didn’t stop to answer, or even to

hear the last of the question; he seized his hat,
94. LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

leaped the railing and dashed away in the dewy
darkness—for by now the red and yellow had dis-
appeared, and the one star had numberless
companions.

“IT got him, papa,” announced Peterkin pres-
ently, coming slowly up the steps, and stopping to
look at his prize in the strip of light that fell
across the veranda from the hall door. “But it
isn’t a fly at all!—it’s a Coleoptera!”

“A what?” asked the Captain.

“A beetle—that’s what Uncle Jock calls beetles.”

“Only this slim dark fellow with the light cap,”
said Uncle Jock, coming forward with a glass in
which to imprison the captive, “belongs to the
group of beetles named Lampyrida, from the
Latin word lampas, meaning torch or lamp.”
(That was Uncle Jock’s way of starting Peterkin’s
interest in Latin which he was to begin in the fall.)

“How about the glow-worm?—‘the elow-worm
lights its spark,’ you know—what some poet said
—is a glow-worm a worm or a beetle?”

“Beetle—but you should change ‘its’ to ‘her,
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 95

for it is only some of the Mrs. Fireflies over in
Europe that are wingless and worm-like in look;
but even they have six legs and are true insects.
The Mr. Fireflies of the same family have horny
wing-cases and gauzy flying-wings like the lady-
bugs and other beetles.”
“And now I’d like to know,’ said Peterkin,
“what makes the light.”
“A big word—-phosphorescence,” answered
Uncle Jock. “Really, it is a sort of combustion, a
burning, a- fire

—that is,acom-



bination of the
oxygen of the
air with some Femate. {| Glow Mate.

Wor
other element,

as oxygen combining with the carbon of coal in
the stove makes fire and light.”

“So the tiny torch-bearers are really ‘diving
lamps,’ as some naturalists have called them,” said
Mama-my-dear.

“These naturalists have observed,” went on
96 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Uncle Jock, “that when the firefly is at rest the
light is soft, but when flying fast, and so breath-
ing rapidly, the light becomes bright, because of
the increased supply of oxygen.”

“Just as when the drafts are opened in the stove
the oxygen let in makes the fire blaze up,” put in
the Chum.

Peterkin just then called everybody to look and
see the fireflies in the grass and among the shrub-
bery, “thick as stars in the sky,” whereupon Mama-

my-dear quoted two lines from-Tennyson:

“ Many a night Isaw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”
“Our little ‘lightning-bug’ here,” ‘continued
Uncle Jock, “has his light set in his body, but the
most brilliant fireflies, those of South America
and the West Indies, shine through two windows
in the thorax, near the head. Their light is so
bright that several in a glass make a good house-
lamp; and the women wear them at night for orna-
ments, like glittering gems. In some places they

are regular articles of trade.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VAN DIKE, OT

“Like kerosene and diamonds,” put in the
Chum.
“Yes, and when not wanted for reading or deco-

ration, they are let loose to catch the mosquitioes

in the house,” a
Fly

remarked the

Captain.
“Besides the

light-bearing



beetles,” said
real fies,



Aunt Belle, “there are the lantern-ilies



with four flying-wings. A Chinese sort is called
nwt




candle-fly.. A Brazilian variety is the lar



three inches long, with gorgeous wings like 2



terfly, six inches across. The ‘lantern’ is a queer
hollow extension of the forehead, nearly am inch

in Le



at his ae ce cee

Captain Vandike promised to have a po



ell:





electric apparatus sent up from the office to sup-

acle Jock and the Chim


98 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

agreed to arrange the costume, including both
sets of wings, as they had for the lady-bug. Aunt
Belle suggested that the night effect could be had
by draping the stage in black, stretching black
mosquito netting across the front, and making
huge cat-o’-nine-tails and other foliage of very
dark green or black tissue paper.

While these plans were being made, Aunt Nell
had emerged from her cocoon and was scribbling
on a block of paper in the light from the hall.

Peterkin persisted till she read these verses:

Little lantern-swinger

Through the darks and dews,
Though yowre not a singer,
‘Sure, you area winger,
And, mayhap, a bringer

Of good news.

Somewhere, in the night-time,
To some hapless mite
Hoping it is quite time,
Yowll come at the right time,
Bringing it a bright-time
In its night.














THE LITTLE LANTERN-SWINGER



LITTLE PETERKEIN VANDIKE. 101

“And Ill be the little lantern-swinger,” cried
Peterkin as she concluded—while the firefly under
the glass “lit its spark,” and shone its brightest,

as if proud of the honor.
CHAPTER IX.

THE AMBITIOUS BEE.




| ETERKIN was
curled up among the
pillows of-a bam-
eo, boo couch on the
i) “Pathe veranda. He was in a brown




I, o study; at least, I think it was
brown—though, since he could not “see
his way,” it may have been black.

Presently he reached for a block of paper and
a pencil. On the left, at the top, he sketched an
owl on a bare branch; on the right, a humming-
bird poised before the flaring trumpet of a morn-
ing-glory.

“The owl,” observed Peterkin confidentially to
his lead-pencil, “is stout and stupid; the hum-
ming-bird is slim and swift. The owl has big
102
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKR. 103

wings, but flies as silent as—a ghost; the hum-
ming—”

“A ghost with wings?—don’t you mean an
angel?” queried the Chum, without looking up

from the book he was reading.







os
j \ oe v ;



= Re





IN THE ‘BROWN srupy.”

Peterkin did not look up either, or reply, but
went on: “The humming-bird has little wings, but
makes a big noise with them—that’s the trouble

with a humming-bird, for the poetry party; a hum-

+
104 LITTLE PHTERKIN VANDIKE.

ming-bird with folded wings wouldn’t hum, and
no arms could be made to go fast enough!
Besides—” :

“You might have the Captain send up a pair of
those electric fans they are using now,” again in-
terjected the Chum; “one fastened to each shoul-
der would supply the buzzing and the half-
invisible wings.”

“Besides,” went on Peterkin, without emerging
from his brown study to reply, “the humming-
bird-boy, or girl, would have to be hung up in the
air, like the fairies at the play, by invisible ropes
—only those weren’t invisible; for I could see
every one—and the hanging might not be any
great fun. It could.be done, though—and a green
satin suit, with a red tie, and a long slender bill,
would be no trouble at all.

“An owl, now, would be easy, with a suit of
glazed sheet-wadding with gray feather marks
(there’s a stuffed one in the library to go by), and
perched on a stump, with a big white-paper moon

rising out of pine trees behind it. Then Bunny-
i

MX



THE ‘GREAT NIGHT BIRD.”

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 107

Boy, or any other boy, would just jump to do the
hooting. I s’pose, though, ’twould have to be
some short stout boy, like Dumpling Ticknor.

“But I do like a humming-bird better—they are
such gay, spinning-top, catch-me-if-you-can little
things, and—”

“Peterkin,” once more interrupted the Chum,
“did you ever hear the legend of the humming-
bird 2”

This being a direct question, Peterkin emerged
from the brown study, looked up, and said he never
had, but would like to.

“Once on a time, and long, very, very long ago,
there lived a bee. It was—”

“Honey-bee or bumble?” broke in Peterkin.

It was now the Chum’s turn to take no notice,
and he went on: “It was in the days of cold, when
the Arctic ice slid down over the continent further
south than Boston and Chicago, and when even
‘the elephants wore fur coats.”

“Do you mean the woolly mammoth ” asked

Peterkin—but he got no answer.
108 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIEE.

“This long-ago bee was an ambitious bee. He
desired to discover flowers more marvelous than
bees had ever known, with juices more delicious
than bees had ever stored in the honey-comb.

“One mid-summer, a bee that had been swept
away into the north by a hurricane was blown
back again by a boreal blast. His wings were tat-
tered, and his life was nigh beaten out by the
buffetings of many gales. Before he expired,
however, he told of a honey-flower that flourished
on the very verge of the glacier, when the summer
sun melted its southern edge—a flower with
honey-horns longer than those of the scarlet
columbine and filled with a new nectar.

“The ambitious bee longed for this glacier flower
by day, and dreamed of it by night, till his desire
drew to him the fairy godmother of the bees. She
came at midnight, with a melodious hum and ina
blaze of light. She promised the ambitious bee
his wishes—three wishes.

“Remembering all the bee of the hurricane had

said, he asked for feathers like a bird, to shield
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 109

him from cold; for a bill slender and long as a
butterfly’s proboscis, to reach the deepest honey-
horns of the glacier flower; and to be bigger and
endowed with mighty swift wings, to withstand
all winds and overcome all distances.

“These three wishes the fairy godmother
granted, and the ambitious bee became a beauti-
ful green bee-bird; moreover, the fairy waved her
wand, and behold, poised in the air beside him, was
a bee-bird mate, to companion him on his adven-
turous way.

“Then the wonder-working fairy spoke wise
words of warning, and wise words of advice and
guidance, but in his impatience to reach the-
glacier realm the ambitious bee gave small heed.
Indeed, he hardly listened to the fairy’s last
words, which made the mystic rhyme by which
alone he could be changed back to a bee. She
besought him to repeat the magic words after her,
lest he forget, but with a hurrying hum he was
gone, and his mate had followed.

“Two gleams of emerald light shot through
110 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

leagues of air, and then the bee-birds were dart-
ing along the edge of the glacier.

“Presently they came to a clear rivulet
tumbling down the translucent precipice of
ice, and flowing away over silver sands. A
mimic rainbow spanned the mist that rose above
the fall And down along the sunny green banks
of the stream bloomed the rainbow-tinted, nectar-
filled flowers they sought.

“It was a veritable paradise for bees. Day
after day was a long delight—till came the day of
terror. Until that day they had not dreamed of
danger, or of lurking foes. Yet the terrible spidery
creature sprang on them from the loveliest clus-
ter of honey-flowers they had found. Their
feathery mail and their mighty buzzing wings
saved them, but before they escaped the ambitious
bee was pierced, and, as they fled from the place
that was no longer paradise, a drop of blood
stained his throat. .

“The terror of that day had hardly departed

when they had come again to the land of the bees. °
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 111

And there a new alarm assailed them. The bees ©

knew them not!

“When, therefore, the ambitious bee would have

repeated the mystic rhyme, and with his compan-

ion become a bee again, the magic words were

gone. He could not
remember what he
had heard so heed-
lessly. In vain were
all regrets that in
his impatience he
had not repeated
them as the fairy
godmother had _ be-
sought —for the
fairy camenotagain.

“Then the bee-

birds became known




ving?
a>

_

THE TERRIBLE SPIDERY CREATURE.

to the bees, and to all others, as humming-birds—

as ruby-throated humming-birds.

“And from that time to this day all humming-

birds have been timid, and every male ruby-
112 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

throat’ has borne the red mark of the wound.”
As the Chum concluded the legend of the
humming-bird, a silver bell rang; and as
they went in to lunch Aunt Belle asked
where he found the story, but before he could
reply Aunt Nell declared she knew he invented
it on purpose for Peterkin, “Now, didn’t you?”
she asked.
“T’ll never tell,” replied the Chum with a smile.
A little after lunch, Peterkin came upon a °:
couple of paper-pads on the bamboo table; on each
was a bit of verse, one in Aunt Belle’s handwrit-
ing, one in Aunt Nell’s.
“This was the first that Peterkin read:

THE OWL.

What made the “hoot” that you heard?
O, hark you, hark!
Somewhere in the dark

Goes sailing a great night bird—
With big round eyes,
And he cries,
“To-whit, to-who!
To-wh-e-w !”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 113

He shuns day-light,
And mid-night
Is his noon.
‘Tis the great owl-bird
That you heard—
The hoot-hooting bird 0’ the moon.

This was the other:
THE HUMMING-BIRD.

What made the “hum” that you heard?
O, look! O, see!
The mightiest bee!
Or is it a fairy bird?—
A bird that sings
With its wings;
And sips, sips, sips,
With its lips
The honey hid
In the mid
Of the flower!
Tis the humming-bird
That you heard—
The bonnie bee-bird o’ the bower.

Peterkin carried these verses off to the bamboo

couch, and curled up there in another brown study
pl LITTLE PETHERKIN VANDIKE.

—a browner one than the other—for it was harder
now than before to decide which he would have
for the poetry party, the “great night bird” or the
“ambitious bee.”
CHAPTER X.

THE DANCING BEAR.

THUNDER shower had
brightened the earth

after a day of dust and



heat, and a brisk cool
breeze, which had swept
clear the heavens, was /
now blowing over the hills and through the Van-
dike grounds.

The Vandikes themselves were out on a knoll
north of the villa, breathing in the refreshing air,
and watching the night-hawks which circled high
up with harsh cries, and now and then swooped
with a hollow whizzing sound. Peterkin said it
made him feel like the backward rush after a very
high “swing.” |

It was so long after sunset that the peak of
145 3
116 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

Kearsarge mountain was dark blue, like the vast
slopes of its sides. But rising up beyond were
the billowy “thunder-heads” that formed the rear-
guard of the shower, and these caught the sun-
light from below the horizon and glowed rosy-red,
“like piled-up mountains of rose-leaves,” declared
the Chum, and thereupon rushed to the house for
his water-colors to sketch the scene.

As the rose-color faded and the fireflies
sparkled out in the dark, Peterkin proposed that
they catch enough to light up the veranda, and
‘the whole family joined in the chase with much
merriment, till it was quite dark.

And so it chanced that they went back by star-
light, and, as a curious consequence, that the
“dancing bear” came to the poetry party.

Peterkin had been the first to see the evening
star hanging like a golden lamp in the west, and
then to find the seven stars of the Dipper. Peter-
kin was interested in stars, especially the constella-
tions, those groups in which the ancients saw the

figures of men and beasts and gods. He had once
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 117

saved his pocket-money for a whole month with
the intention of buying a telescope.

“And now, Uncle Jock,” said he, “I wish you'd
find for me the North Star that sailors steer by.”

“The two side-stars of the Dipper, farthest from
the handle,” said Uncle Jock, “are called the
pointers, because if you look upward, in a line with
them, about three



times as far as 7, :
they are apart, ee
you will see the f = ee

North Star, or ie oe ao
Pole-star. Andthe sf 2 f. >,
North Star is the ‘ oo A
very tip of thetail Wy) mete

URSA MAJOR AS THE GREEKS SAW HIM.

of Ursa Minor,
the Lesser Bear. The Dipper is Ursa Major, the
Greater Bear, you know.”

“Ye-e-s,” replied Peterkin, staring up into the
sky. “But, I say, Uncle Jock, I can’t make out
the little bear or the big bear—all I can see are

two dippers.”
118 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“Well,” observed Uncle Jock, “some of the old
Greeks couldn’t see the bears either—or even
long-handled dippers—these saw in place of a
great bear a celestial vehicle, and so they called
the constellation the Wagon.”

“The Romans,” remarked Aunt Belle, “also
called the seven stars the Seven Plowing Oxen 5:
while all over Europe this group is known vari-
ously as the Plow, the Wagon, and as-Charles’s
Wain. The Dipper is its special American
name.”

“Pm an American,” asserted Peterkin stoutly,
“but I do wish I could see the Great Bear like
the old Greeks.” a

“By the by, Peterkin,” said the Chum, “you
ought to have a bear at the poetry party.”

“Yes,” replied Peterkin promptly, “I’ve thought
about it a lot, but you see none of us are big
enough to be a bear—if Uncle Jock, now—”

“Forbear!” cried Uncle Jock in a eruff bass,
“T growl at the bare thought of it!”

“O, Uncle Jock, a double fine!” exclaimed Peter-

e
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 119

kin, and held out his hat for the pun-ishment
money he collected from everyone guilty of
punning.

“Well, I suppose [have to bear it,” said Uncle
Jock resignedly.

“Peterkin, we'll make him a dancing bear to pay
for that,” said the Chum. “And T’ll be the bear-
tamer, and play the fiddle for him to dance by.”

And so, as I have said, the dancing bear came
to the poetry party by way of the stars.

The. next morning Peterkin was up with the
“early bird,” and for a “worm” he caught a big
black bear-skin rug in the hall. This skin had
been brought back by Captain Vandike from a
shooting trip in the Adirondacks, and had been
preserved entire, even to the claws, and glass eyes
set in the stuffed head gave it a very lifelike
air. .

With this shagey skin wrapped around him,
Peterkin tumbled headlong into Unele Jock’s
room—to the imminent danger of the latter’s

moustache, from the edge of the razor which at
120 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

that instant was at its end in the process of:
shaving.

“Pve brought your hide,” announced Peterkin.

“ smile at the little joke,
which made his lathered
face very funny indeed.

After breakfast the
two removed the stuffing
from the bear’s head and
fitted the hide to its new
wearer; then they went



Honey Ne wieiaeos cae Ole UO) arranger the stage,

a while the Chum shut

himself up in his room to compose the dancing
music and write the verses.

When the curtain rolled up for the rehearsal in
the afternoon, the family audience beheld a coun-
try road in the foreground, a rail fence at the
back, and on the fence, and peering through from
behind, half a dozen children, the girls in sunbon-

nets, the boys bare-headed and bare-footed—and
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKBE. 121

all staring “up the street” at some unfamiliar
sight.

Then a shout was heard, “O, yes, here’s the danc-
ing bear—the bear that dances t-w-o for a cent-a!”

A minute later, the bear-tamer came in sight,
clad in a shabby velveteen suit (and with a full
beard which the Chum had not worn in the morn-
ing), a long rooster’s tail-feather in his pointed-top
hat, a fiddle under his left arm, and leading a big
black bear by a chain. |

The children over the fence



cheered and cried out in a shrill
chorus, “Here they
come!” “Here they are!”
“Tlere’s the dancing bear,
and the fiddler man!”
“Who's got Gl Gammon” “TVE BROUGHT YOUR nae
“Who's got a cent 9” ANNOUNCED PETERKIN,

A boy perched on a fence-post (who looked like
a very ragged Peterkin) fished up a cent from his
trousers pocket and tossed it tothe man. Ata

word of command the bear stood up on his hind
122 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

legs, while the tamer chanted a song to a jerky
accompaniment on his violin.

This was the first verse:

O, once he was a terrible bear,
And lived in a deep dark cave,
But now he’s the tamest anyhere,
And knows just how to behave:
This wild black bear—this rollicking, frolicking,
prancing, dancing bear!

With the last line the music fell into a swinging
waltz movement, to which the bear danced in a
queer awkward lumbering but rhythmic way.
Then the man chanted another verse.

These were the words:

He was a prowling, growling wild beast,
And bore off men to his lair,
But now he’s the tamest, west or east,
A bread-and-milk-eating-bear:
This fierce black bear—this good-natured, warm-
hearted, prancing, dancing bear!

And again the bear danced to the swaying ebb















SS

: so



ae
\\

NNN
Nut









) AWE Vy Sn EA ee YH

AA \




THE BEAR DANCED.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 125

and flow of the music, now down the roadway, now
back, now round and round in wavy circles.

As he swung around a second time by the fence,
a mischievous boy reached through the rails and
pulled his stubby little tail—and the tame trained
bear growled out like a wild bear of the woods.

And then Peterkin—I know it was not proper
and I have no excuse for him, though perhaps he
thought he had had the “two dances for a cent-a,”
and hadn’t another “cent-a”—Peterkin, I say,
scrambled to the top of the post and with a Red-
Indian whoop leapt through the air and came
down plump on the big bear’s shoulders! —

In an instant all was confusion, the children be-
hind the fence yelled, the bear growled out
fiercely and dropped on all-fours, pitching Peter-
kin headlong across the road and over the edge of
the stage, the bear-tamer shouted and pulled
back on the bear-chain, the audience started up
and cried “Oh, oh, oh!’—and the curtain came
down with a bang!

“Why did you do it, Peterkin?” asked Mama-
126 LITTLE PETHREKIN VANDIKE.

my-dear, after it was all over and they were on the
way back to the house.

“Well, you see,” replied Peterkin with a sober
face, “Uncle Jock did look so funny, and his
shoulders so furry and soft, that I—I—just

couldn’t help it, you know!”
CHAPTER XI.

TRANSFORMATIONS.

a. you win?” cried Peter-

kin, as Uncle Jock




swung back the
wrought-iron gate and
entered the Vandike
grounds. The annual

eterkins \ XS
Butterfly.

that afternoon, and the local crew being one short

boat-racehad come off

Uncle Jock had pulled an oar to help them out.
“It wouldn’t be modest to say J won, with eight
others in the boat, counting the coxswain,”
answered Uncle Jock. “I may say, though, that
we won, and no doubt Harvard training counted
in the victory.”
“I knew you would—tah rah rah! rah rah rah!

rah rah rah—Harvard? ” cheered Peterkin, throw-
127
128 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ing his hat so high it didn’t come down again, but
hung in the upper branches of the great maple
they were passing under.

While Peterkin went up the tree after his hat,
very like the squirrel he had played for the poetry
party, Uncle Jock threw himself on the turf and
waited. The cool shade was so delicious, after the
violent exercise of the race, that he did not rise
when Peterkin presently swung himself down and
dropped from the lower branches to the grass at
his side. |

“And how did the rehearsal go?—the tenth, and
last, is it not?” asked Uncle Jock, stretching his
muscular limbs out into fresh coolnesses of grass
and shadow. —

“The tenth and last,” repeated Peterkin—“and
the best of all! You ought to have been here.
It wasn’t as exciting as a—a—Harvard-Yale race,
I s’pose; and it wasn’t as funny as some; but it
was the beautifulest of all!

“Tt was Mama-my-dear’s plan,” Peterkin contin-

ued, “so of course it would be beautifuler than any
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 129

other—there’s no one like Mama-my-dear, is there,
Uncle Jock?”

“IT know only one other such,” replied Uncle
Jock with a radiant smile—though even when
Peterkin persisted he would not tell who that
other was; instead, he said abruptly, “Tell me all
about the rehearsal, Peterkin.” :

“Well,” said his nephew, “it was a sort of duet,

‘at least there was music, and there were two of us
—Allie was a miller, and I was a caterpillar.”

: “And so you came very near rhyming together,”
remarked Uncle Jock.

“Yes,” answered Peterkin, “very near, but not
quite—that’s the way it is in the poetry. I knew
it wasn’t a perfect rhyme, and I wished it were—
but of course I wouldn’t say so to Mama-my-dear!”

(I record this reply of Peterkin’s because it
shows two things: how the preparing for the
poetry party had trained his ear for rhyme sounds,
and how chivalrously thoughtful he was of the
feelings of others.)

“When the curtain went up the first time—”
130 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“The first?” interrupted Uncle Jock—“how
many times did it rise after that?”

“O, several,” answered Peterkin with an air of
mystery, while Uncle Jock whistled a long whistle
of pretended surprise.

“When the curtain went up first,” resumed
Peterkin, “the front of the stage was a gravel
garden-walk, and behind it shrubs, with lilies,
and a clump of irises gone to seed, and at the right
a rose-tree with green haws where roses had been.
The shrubs were really real, but the rose-tree and
the irises, though they looked real, were only tissue
paper.

“Phen a great green caterpillar came crawling
in from the right. I was inside and made him go.
The outside was green sateen over a wire-netting
frame, with blue dots and black eye-spots, and
stubby little pink legs.

“Just as the caterpillar got to the rose-tree, Allie
—I mean the big ‘dusty miller’—fluttered in from
theleft. She was dressed in white canton flannel,

with wings way to the ground, and two slim feath-




THE MILLER AND THE CATERPILLAR.

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 133

ers for feelers, and a white fur shoulder-cape; and
she was sprinkled all over with the stuff that
makes the snow sparkle on Christmas cards.

“The big ‘dusty miller’ looked down at me—at
the great green caterpillar, I mean—in a high and
mighty way and cried out, ‘O, ho! O, ho! O, ho?
And I humped my back—the caterpillar did, I

Inean



—and held up its head, and said in a warning
way, ‘Ah, ah?

“And then Mama-my-dear, hidden behind the
shrubbery, sang the song—I can’t sing it as Mama-
my-dear did, nobody could, but it’s like this,” and.
Peterkin sang the song of the miller and the
caterpillar.

These were the words:

“OQ, ho!” said the mocking Miller,
To the Caterpillar,

“Uoly, ugly, crawling thing,
Dou’t you wish you had a wing?”

“Ah, ah!” said the Caterpillar,
To the mocking Miller,

“Once you were a crawling thing,
Without any sign of wing!”
184 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

“A pithy little poem, with a great big moral,”
remarked Uncle Jock.

“Yes,” said Peterkin; “and when the miller
found she hadn’t a bit to be proud of she just
flirted her wings and buzzed away; and 1 humped
along after, as fast as I could go, just like this.”

Whereupon Peterkin plunged forward on all-
fours, and Uncle Jock being right in the way, and

having no wings for escape, Was Tun over as by a





AU
(a

PETERKIN [TELLS ABOUT THE REHEARSAL.

railway train; but he managed to capture the boy-
caterpillar by one foot, and this attack in the rear
was followed by a frolic like that of a good-natured
lion and a frisky cub. At the end, Uncle J ock,

THE MILLER AND THE CATERPILLAR.































































aes o omaeeesee ee ed
TAs 2 Ea =: a4
+ 4
dla ong ho!” said the mock - ing
2, AN, ah!” said the Cat - er -
eau 2 ee
fempeet os | 5 | F |
Pe d c — SS
> a i
s = aS |
5 —- @.. ml sy
Mil - lex, To the
pil - lar, To the
eo a -o-
e— —— : =
a ee —
A ut aN o~
= hy al sind
6? 2 . 2 ———# :
Cat - er - - ‘lar,
mock - ing - ler,
@- ISU lt Nea oh
je — a


THE MILLER AND THE CATERPILLAR.





















SS
o = = * (eo fe ecient
. -@- — Se -o-
v v
CAOicin ea slyae me eeioeeed lives crawl - ing thing,
“Once you were a crawl - ing thing,
pedi | is eee [ma
—@. @ — th @
c. Dime a ec’ E Se bes zl |
F a © o oe

































Don’t you wish you
With - out an - y
: 2. je
S o ie &
5. ——— oe: eo st a
F = fs (s
a _————
f- =
a Hi
5 === = =H
* , ———s
e
had ; a wing?”
sign of wing!’

————-

- f era









LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 139

lying on his back, set Peterkin firmly on his lifted
knees, and from that elevated seat the account of
the rehearsal was continued.

“And the curtain fell—but it went up again
very soon. The stage
was the same, only
different. The seed-
pods of the irises had
turned brown and
burst open, and the
green haws on the
rose-tree had turned

searlet—that was to



show it had come fall.
“The\miller and the
}

caterpillar were not there, but on the trunk of the

THE CHRYSALIS. |

rose-tree was a huge chrysalis. It was really
made of yellow-brown paper over a stout wire
frame, the lower end resting against the rose-tree,
the upper leaning away but held in place by a
girdle of cord—like an Indian papoose hung up
for a nap!—lI think that’s where the Indians got

the idea, don’t you, Uncle Jock?”
140 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE,

“Tt is quite possible,” replied Uncle Jock.

“T was inside that chrysalis,” went on Peterkin,
“but I wasn’t a caterpillar any longer.”

“Indeed!—had you changed back to a boy?”

“Not a boy—I was—PH tell you what in a min-
ute. Next the curtain came down, but after a jiff
it was up again—and now it was next summer,
_ the irises in bloom, and the big white roses too.

“Then the beautiful part came. The chrysalis
stirred as if something moved inside, and some-
thing did, for the next minute it split apart, and
a butterfly’s head pushed out, and then the whole
butterfly followed, and spread out its great gor-
geous wings—that’s what caterpillars do in the
chrysalis, you know, grow their wings—and the
butterfly fluttered about the garden, while the cur-
tain came down and everybody clapped hands and
cheered. hs

“Mama-my-dear says it’s like that when folks
and the

wings mean new powers, so we can do and be all

die—they don’t die, but rise with wings



that’s beautiful and good and splendid. Now
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 141

don’t you think this was the beautifulest of all,
Uncle Jock?”

“The very beautifulest,” replied Uncle Jock,
“and I’m sorry
I wasn’t here
to cheer with
the others.”

“Now come
WEE etm atahivee
house,” — cried
Peterkin, turn-
ing a sudden
somersault

down .from









Uncle Jock’s

knees — “ come









up and see my
wings. Vl put THE BUTTERFLY.

on my striped black-and-gold butterfly suit for
you, and my black-and-gold wings with blue and
orange spots. We made them after the ‘tiger swal-
low-tail’ I caught the other day. And isn’t it
142 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

strange, Uncle Jock, there’s a letter P on each
of the swallow-tail’s wings!”

“Which stands for Peterkin, of course.”

“Yes,” said Peterkin, as they went up the gravel
walk; “and Mama-my-dear put it in a little glass

case, and wrote under it, ‘Peterkin’s Butterfly.’ ”
CHAPTER XII.
THE POETRY PARTY.

HEY’RE coming!” shouted
Peterkin, dashing up the
steps and across the ve-
randa toward the hall door.

“Coming—who is com-



ing?” demanded Captain
Vandike, starting up with the morning paper in
his hand—“one might suppose it was a cavalry
attack, and you the leader, from this onset.”
Peterkin was in a tremendous hurry, but he
pulled up and saluted his father with military pre-
cision, as was his custom. “Why, papa,” said he,
“don’t you know—but you don’t, of course-—it was
a secret, and I couldn’t tell you! But I can now.
It’s Mama-my-dear’s audience for the poetry party
__a whole car-load of ‘country-week’ children from
148
144 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

the city. They’re coming up from the depot in
barges,” and Peterkin ran in to tell his mother.

Captain Vandike dropped his paper and turned
te Uncle Jock, who was smiling broadly at his
surprise. é :

“Don’t be alarmed, Peter,” said his brother, “it
isn’t a cavalry attack at all—merely infant-ry.”

Whereupon both laughed, and the Captain said,
“But a whole car-load against one is too oreat
odds—come on, Jock, come down to the gate and
help me surrender.”

But the barges were already coming up the
drive. As the first drew up at the veranda steps,
Peterkin reappeared with Mama-my-dear, his
aunts and the Chum. The children were given a
merry and hearty welcoming, and then Peterkin
Jed them out into the grounds.

White tents had sprung up like mushrooms over
night here and there under the great trees, and
all stood open with their waiting pleasures for the
children—all save one. That was a small round

tent in the centre of the lawn; it had a pointed


LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 145

top, above which was poised a great black-and-
gold butterfly with wings a yard across; and over
the closed entrance was a gilded: card with red
lettering which said, “The Good-bye Tent.”

The first tent bore a placard with “Drinking
Fountain” in red letters—Peterkin had insisted
that all signs should be lettered in red, because,
he said, it was a “red-letter day.” The water in
the fountain was lemonade, cold and delicious,
and Uncle Jock was kept busy for some time fill-
ing glasses, and Aunt Nell in passing the cake that
went with each glass.

After this refreshment, the children found, in
several other tents, toys, and games, and picture
books; in one was a huge kaleidoscope, six feet
long and a foot in diameter, which Uncle Jock had
constructed especially for the occasion, and which
was really wonderful to gaze into; in another was
a phonograph which sang “America,” when the
erank was turned, and on the wall of the tent was
a striking portrait of Dr. Smith, the author, draped

with the “stars and stripes”; in still another tent
146 . . LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

was a collection of Indian curiosities which the
Commodore had sent over (Bunny-Boy Burton had
charge of this tent, to tell all about the toma-
hawks and other weapons); the last tent was
labeled “Uncle Remus,” and inside was a jolly
darkey with a banjo, who sang the funniest songs
: and told the funniest sto-
ries the children had ever
heard, about little picka-
ninnies and about Brer
Rabbit (I believe it is now
an open secret that the
Chum played the part of
Uncle Remus).
Having made the circuit

of the tents, Peterkin



invited his guests to visit
the stables and the
gardens. The boys one after another rode Peter-
kin’s pony bareback about the stable yard, and
the girls took turns in holding the downy

little chickens—which one girl who had never

“TWO MINUTES APIECE.”
LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 147

| .
been in the country called sparrows. Allie and

Dorothy passed the chickens, and the girls held
and cuddled i
them two min-
utes apiece —
Uncle Jock hold-

ing his watch




and timing them.

In the orchard, each
“country-week” child was
given a gay little Japa-
nese basket, and all were
permitted to pick from the
trees with their own + PICKING THE PEAR.
hands an apple, a pear and a peach, to carry back
to the city.

After this round of the place came a big picnic
dinner under the trees, while a brass band played
the merriest music, till the little girls’ toes went
tap, tap, tap, and every boy’s lips, in spite of the
sandwiches, puckered up to whistle.

The dinner over, it was discovered that a regi-

\
148 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

ment of camp-chairs had invaded the lawn and -
drawn up in rank and file in front of “The Tableau
Tent.” Captain Vandike therefore marshaled
the boys, and Mrs. Vandike the girls, and the
chairs were taken by storm—the girls in the front
seats, the boys behind.

Meanwhile the band had somehow got into the
Tableau Tent and was playing more of the merry
music, and all grew quiet to listen.

The hush was broken by the sound of wheels
on the drive, and several gay carriage loads of
neighbors and friends soon filled the seats re-
served for them—the Commodore and his family,
the Burtons, the Appletons, and others. The
Commodore, at Peterkin’s special request, came
in full-dress uniform, greatly to the delight of the
boys but somewhat to the awe of the girls.

And presently a silver bell tinkled, and the cur-
tain rolled up, and the crowd of children leaned
forward to see. The musicians had vanished, and
the stage was set for the squirrel tableau. As the

cocoanut rolled into sight, and the big boy-squir-
eee

LITTLE PHTEREIN VANDIKE. 149

rel followed, the boys shouted, but the girls said
“Sh-h-h!” and the noise hushed to stillness as the
audience watched and waited for what should fol-
low. The verses and the bits of side-play started
fresh applause, and when, as the curtain was
going down, the big squirrel tossed handfuls of

nuts over the girls’ heads, to be caught on the fly

by the boys, they broke into ecstatic yells like a

victorious nine on the ball-field.

Then followed the chickadee with her verses,
which delighted the girls; and the cat with his
song; and “little Miss Ant;” and the bunny, with
the hare-and-tortoise tableaux; and the lady-bug
whose house got afire; and the day and night
scenes with the timid humming-bird and the
solenin owl] (for Peterkin couldn’t in the end give
up either and so had both); and the “little lantern-
swinger;” and the “dancing bear” (who danced to
its laughable end the dance Peterkin had cut short
at the rehearsal)—these, every one, went off
beautifully, and last of all came the miller and the
caterpillar, “the beautifulest of all,” as Peterkin

had truly said.
150 LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

And when the curtain fell after the transforma-
tion scenes, the children cheered and clapped, and
clapped and cheered, till it semed they never
would stop—till the curtain rolled up once more,
and Peterkin, still gloriously. winged, came for-
ward gallantly leading Mama-my-dear by thehand.
As Peterkin bowed and Mama-my-dear made her
loveliest courtesy, applause burst forth afresh,
and the joyous tumult swelled on till the band be-
gan to play, and the curtain slowly descended to
the sweet strains of “Home, Sweet Home.” —

But the day of delights was not quite at an end
even yet. As the music died away, Peterkin oncé
more appeared in his white flannel sailor suit, and
led the way to the “good-bye tent” on the lawn.

The tent-flaps werefolded back, revealinga piled-
up table. Then, as the children filed past, Peter-
kin put in the hand of each, one of the “souvenirs”
which Captain Vandike had promised Peterkin
in place of posters. The Captain had more than
kept his word. The souvenir was a dainty little

book, bound in gray-green linen, with all the
j Hi)
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“{HREE CHEERS FOR — FOR— EVERYBODY!”

LITTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE. 153

beasts and bugs and birds of the poetry party
dancing in brown silhouette on the cover, around
the golden title, “The Book of the Poetry Party.”
Inside were all the poetry-party poems, and oppo-
site each a picture of the stage tableau which
had been its accompaniment. “It’s the very first-
ratest that could have been,” Peterkin had said to
his father, “for now they can carry the poetry
party home with them!” 7

As the country-week children filed away, they
fell into a circle about the tent, and when the last
had taken his souvenir, one of the boys shouted,
“Three cheers for Peterkin!”—“And for his poetry
party!” added a little girl—and the cheers were
three times three.

It was too much for Peterkin to bear all this
honor alone; he waved his hat and cried out,
“Three cheers—for—for—everybody!”

So “everybody” cheered and was cheered, from
the little country-week children to the great
Commodore.

Then the barges drove up, and the country-
154 LATTLE PETERKIN VANDIKE.

week children piled in and rode merrily away,
bearing the memory of the happiest day that had
come to them in all their lives. The other
guests, having duly complimented Peterkin, soon
followed.

And as the Vandike family walked slowly back
to the villa, Peterkin between the Captain and
Mama-my-dear, and Uncle Jock and the Chum
following with Aunt Nell and Aunt Belle, it was
evident that of all his many happy days it was
also the happiest day in the young life of little
Peterkin Vandike.
23h /53)5


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