Among the farmyard people


Material Information

Among the farmyard people
Physical Description:
245 p., 12 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Pierson, Clara Dillingham
Gordon, F. C ( Illustrator )
E.P. Dutton (Firm) ( Publisher )
Knickerbocker Press ( Printer )
E.P. Dutton & Company
Place of Publication:
New York
Knickerbocker Press
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Farm life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1899
Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York


Statement of Responsibility:
by Clara Dillingham Pierson ; illustrated by F.C. Gordon.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002236026
notis - ALH6495
oclc - 269352552
System ID:

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Full Text

Page 194




- ~.uC



Author of "Among the Meadow People," and Forest People "

Illustrated by F. C. GORDON




-y ^



tbe 1knfckerbocker trees, IRew P1ork


Dear Little Friends :
I want to introduce the farmyard peo-
ple to you, and to have you call upon
them and become better acquainted as
soon as you can. Some of them are work-
ing for us, and we surely should know
them. Perhaps, too, some of us are work-
ing for them, since that is the way in this
delightful world of ours, and one of the
happiest parts of life is helping and being
It is so in the farmyard, and although
there is not much work that the people
there can do for each other, there are
many kind things to be said, and even
the Lame Duckling found that he could
make the Blind Horse happy when he

iv Preface

tried. It is there as it is everywhere else,
and I sometimes think that although the
farmyard people do not look like us or
talk like us, they are not so very differ-
ent after all. If you had seen the little
Chicken who would n't eat gravel when
his mother was reproving him, you could
not have helped knowing his thoughts
even if you did not understand a word of
the Chicken language. He was thinking,
"I don't care! I don't care a bit! So
now !" That was long since, for he was
a Chicken when I was a little girl, and
both of us grew up some time ago. I
think I have always been more sorry for
him because when he was learning to eat
gravel I was learning to eat some things
which I did not like; and so, you see, I
knew exactly how he felt. But it was not
until afterwards that I found out how his
mother felt.
That is one of the stories which I have
been keeping a long time for you, and the


Chicken was a particular friend of mine.
I knew him better than I did some of his
neighbors; yet they were all pleasant ac-
quaintances, and if I did not see some of
these things happen with my own eyes, it
is just because I was not in the farm-
yard at the right time. There are many
other tales I should like to tell you about
them, but one must n't make the book too
fat and heavy for your hands to hold, so
I will send you these and keep the rest.
Many stories might be told about our
neighbors who live out-of-doors, and they
are stories that ought to be told, too, for
there are still boys and girls who do not
know that animals think and talk and
work, and love their babies, and help each
other when in trouble. I knew one boy
who really thought it was not wrong to
steal newly built birds'-nests, and I have
seen girls-quite large ones, too-who
were afraid of Mice! It was only last
winter that a Quail came to my front


door, during the very cold weather, and
snuggled down into the warmest corner
he could find. I fed him, and he stayed
there for several days, and I know, and
you know, perfectly well that although he
did not say it in so many words, he came
to remind me that I had not yet told you
a Quail story. And two of my little
neighbors brought ten Polliwogs to spend
the day with me, so I promised then and
there that the next book should be about
pond people and have a Polliwog story
in it.
And now, good-bye Perhaps some of
you will write me about your visits to the
farmyard. I hope you will enjoy them
very much, but be sure you don't wear
red dresses or caps when you call on the
Turkey Gobbler.
Your friend,
March 28, 1899.







DO 33











viii Contents

















HER. Frontispiece 194




" TISTEN said the Nigh Ox, "don't
you hear some friends coming ?"
The Off Ox raised his head from the
grass and stopped to brush away a Fly,
for you never could hurry either of the
brothers. I don't hear any footfalls,"
said he.
You should listen for wings, not feet,"
said the Nigh Ox, and for voices, too."
Even as he spoke there floated down
from the clear air overhead a soft "tit-
tle-ittle-ittle-ee," as though some bird were
laughing for happiness. There was not a
cloud in the sky, and the meadow ws
covered with thousands and thousands of
green grass blades, each so small and ten-

2 Among the Farmyard People

der, and yet together making a most beau-
tiful carpet for the feet of the farmyard
people, and offering them sweet and juicy
food after their winter fare of hay and
grain. Truly it was a day to make one
laugh aloud for joy. The alder tassels
fluttered and danced in the spring breeze,
while the smallest and shyest of the wil-
low pussies crept from their little brown
houses on the branches to grow in the
Tittle-ittle-ittle-ee Tittle-ittle-ittle-
ee!" And this time it was louder and
clearer than before.
"The Swallows!" cried the Oxen to
each other. Then they straightened their
strong necks and bellowed to the Horses,
who were drawing the plow in the field
beyond, The Swallows are coming "
As soon as the Horses reached the end
of the furrow and could rest a minute,
they tossed their heads and whinnied
with delight. Then they looked around

I .i A d


Story that the Swallow Did n't Tell 3

at the farmer, and wished that he knew
enough of the farmyard language to un-
derstand what they wanted to tell him.
They knew he would be glad to hear of
their friends' return, for had they not
seen him pick up a young Swallow one
day and put him in a safer place ?
Tittle-ittle-ittle-ee !" and there was a
sudden darkening of the sky above their
heads, a whirr of many wings, a chatter-
ing and laughing of soft voices, and the
Swallows had come. Perched on the
ridge-pole of the big barn, they rested
and visited and heard all the news.
The Doves were there, walking up and
down the sloping sides of the roof and
cooing to each other about the simple
things of every-day life. You know the
Doves stay at home all winter, and so it
makes a great change when their neigh-
bors, the Swallows, return. They are
firm friends in spite of their very differ-
ent ways of living. There was never a

4 Among the Farmyard People

Dove who would be a Swallow if he
could, yet the plump, quiet, gray and
white Doves dearly love the dashing
Swallows, and happy is the Squab who
can get a Swallow to tell him stories of
the great world.
Is n't it good to be home, home, home!"
sang one Swallow. I never set my claws
on another ridge-pole as comfortable as
I 'm going to look at my old nest,"
said a young Swallow, as she suddenly flew
down to the eaves.
"I think I '11 go, too," said another
young Swallow, springing away from his
perch. He was a handsome fellow, with
a glistening dark blue head and back, a
long forked tail which showed a white
stripe on the under side, a rich buff vest,
and a deep blue collar, all of the finest
feathers. He loved the young Swallow
whom he was following, and he wanted
to tell her so.

Story that the Swallow Didn't Tell 5

There is the nest where I was hatched,"
she said. "Would you think I was ever
crowded in there with five brothers and
sisters ? It was a comfortable nest, too,
before the winter winds and snow wore it
away. I wonder how it would seem to
be a fledgling again?" She snuggled
down in the old nest until he could see
only her forked tail and her dainty head
over the edge. Her vest was quite hid-
den, and the only light feathers that
showed were the reddish-buff ones on
throat and face; these were not so bright
as his, but still she was beautiful to him.
He loved every feather on her body.
"I don't want you to be a fledgling
again," he cried. I want you to help me
make a home under the eaves, a lovely
little nest of mud and straw, where you
can rest as you are now doing, while I
bring food to you. Will you?"
"Yes," she cried. "Tittle-ittle-ittle-
ee Oh, tittle-ittle-ittle-ee !" And she

6 Among the Farmyard People

flew far up into the blue sky, while he
followed her, twittering and singing.
Where are those young people go-
ing?" said an older Swallow. I should
think they had flown far enough for to-day
without circling around for the fun of it."
Don't you remember the days when
you were young ? said the Swallow next
to him.
"When I was young?" he answered.
My dear, I am young now. I shall al-
ways be young in the springtime. I shall
never be old except when I am moulting."
Just then a family of Doves came pat-
tering over the roof, swaying their heads
at every step. "We are so glad to see
you back," said the father. We had a
long, cold winter, and we thought often
of you."
A very cold winter," cooed his plump
little wife.
Tell me a story," said a young Dove,
their son.

Story that the Swallow Didn't Tell 7

Hush, hush," said the Father Dove.
" This is our son," he added, "and this is
his sister. We think them quite a pair.
Our last brood, you know."
Tell us a story," said the young Dove
Hush, dear. You must n't tease the
Swallow," said his mother. "They are
so fond of stories," she cooed, and they
have heard that your family are great
But I want him to tell us a story,"
said the young Dove. "I think he
This made the Swallow feel very un-
comfortable, for he could see that the
children had been badly brought up, and
he did not want to tell a story just then.
Perhaps you would like to hear about
our journey south," said he. Last fall,
when the maples began to show red and
yellow leaves among the green, we felt
like flying away. It was quite warm

8 Among the Farmyard People

weather, and the forest birds were still
here, but when we feel like flying south
we always begin to get ready."
"I never feel like flying south," said
the young Dove. I don't see why you
That is because I am a Swallow and
you are a farmyard Dove. We talked
about it to each other, and one day we
were ready to start. We all had on our
new feathers and felt strong and well.
We started out together, but the young
birds and their mothers could not keep
up with the rest, so we went on ahead."
"Ahead of whom?" said the young
Dove, who had been preening his feath-
ers when he should have been listening.
Ahead of the mothers and their fledg-
lings. We flew over farms where there
were Doves like you; over rivers where
the Wild Ducks were feeding by the
shore; and over towns where crowds of
boys and girls were going into large

Story that the Swallow Didn't Tell 9

buildings, while on top of these buildings
were large bells singing, 'Ding dong,
ding dong, ding dong.' "
I don't think that was a very pretty
song," said the young Dove.
Hush," said his mother, "you must n't
interrupt the Swallow."
And at last we came to a great lake,"
said the Swallow. It was so great that
when we had flown over it for a little
while we could not see land at all, and our
eyes would not tell us which way to go.
We just went on as birds must in such
places, flying as we felt we ought, and not
stopping to ask why or to wonder if we
were right. Of course we Swallows never
stop to eat, for we catch our food as we
fly, but we did sometimes stop to rest.
Just after we had crossed this great lake
we alighted. It was then that a very
queer thing happened, and this is really
the story that I started to tell."
"Oh!" said the young Dove and his

io Among the Farmyard People

sister. How very exciting. But wait
just a minute while we peep over the
edge of the roof and see what the farmer
is doing." And before anybody could
say a word they had pattered away to
The birds who were there say that the
Swallow seemed quite disgusted, and
surely nobody could blame him if he
You must excuse them," cooed their
mother. "They are really hardly more
than Squabs yet, and I can't bear to
speak severely to them. I 'm sure they
did n't mean to be rude."
Certainly, certainly," said the Swal-
low. I will excuse them and you must
excuse me. I wish to see a few of my
old friends before the sun goes down.
Good afternoon !" And he darted away.
The young Doves came pattering back,
swaying their heads as they walked.
"Why, where is the Swallow?" they

Story that the Swallow Didn't Tell 1

cried. What made him go away? Right
at the best part of the story, too. We
don't see why folks are so disagreeable.
People never are as nice to us as they
are to the other young Doves."
"Hush," said their mother. "You
must n't talk in that way. Fly off for
something to eat, and never mind about
the rest of the story."
When they were gone, she said to her
husband, I wonder if they did hurt the
Swallow's feelings? But then, they are
so young, hardly more than Squabs."
She forgot that even Squabs should be
thoughtful of others, and that no Dove
ever amounts to anything unless he be-
gins in the right way as a Squab.


THE Sheep are a simple and kind-
hearted family, and of all the people
on the farm there are none who are more
loved than they. All summer they wander
in the fields, nibbling the fresh, sweet grass,
and resting at noon in the shadow of the
trees, but when the cold weather comes
they are brought up to the farmyard and
make their home in the long low Sheep-
That is always a happy time. The
Horses breathe deeply and toss their heads
for. joy, the Cows say to each other,
" Glad to have the Sheep come up," and
even the Oxen shift their cuds and look
long over their shoulders at the woolly

The Lamb with the Longest Tail 13

newcomers. And this is not because the
Sheep can do anything for their neighbors
to make them warm or to feed them. It
is only because they are a gentle folk and
pleasant in all they say; and you know
when people are always kind, it makes
others happy just to see them and have
them near.
Then, when the cold March winds are
blowing, the good farmer brings more
yellow straw into the Sheep-shed, and sees
that it is warm and snug. If there are
any boards broken and letting the wind in,
he mends them and shuts out the cold.
At this time, too, the Horses and Cattle
stop often in their eating to listen. Even
the Pigs, who do not think much about
their neighbors, root in the corners nearest
the Sheep-shed and prick up their ears.
Some bleak morning they hear a faint
bleating and know that the first Lamb is
there. And then from day to day they
hear more of the soft voices as the new

14 Among the Farmyard People

Lambs come to live with the flock. Such
queer little creatures as the Lambs are
when they first come-so weak and awk-
ward They can hardly stand alone, and
stagger and wobble around the little rooms
or pens where they are with their mothers.
You can just imagine how hard it must be
to learn to manage four legs all at once !
There is one thing which they do learn
very quickly, and that is, to eat. They
are hungry little people, and well they may
be, for they have much growing to do,
and all of the food that is to be made into
good stout bodies and fine long wool has
to go into their mouths and down their
throats to their stomachs. It is very
wonderful to think that a Cow eats grass
and it is turned into hair to keep her warm,
a Goose eats grass and grows feathers, and
a Sheep eats grass and grows wool. Still,
it is so, and nobody in the world can tell
why. It is just one of the things that are,
and if you should ask "Why?" nobody

The Lamb with the Longest Tail 15

could tell you the reason. There are many
such things which we cannot understand,
but there are many more which we can, so
it would be very foolish for us to mind
when there is no answer to our Why ?"
Yes, Sheep eat grass, and because they
have such tiny mouths they have to take
small mouthfuls. The Lambs have differ-
ent food for a while,-warm milk from
their mothers' bodies. When a mother
has a Lamb to feed, she eats a great deal,
hay, grass, and chopped turnips, and then
part of the food that goes into her stomach
is turned into milk and stored in two warm
bags for the Lamb to take when he is
hungry. And how the Lambs do like this
milk! It tastes so good that they can
hardly stand still while they drink it down,
and they give funny little jerks and wave
their woolly tails in the air.
There was one Lamb who had a longer
tail than any of the rest, and, sad to say, it
made him rather vain. When he first

r5 Among the Farmyard People

came, he was too busy drinking milk and
learning to walk, to think about tails, but
as he grew older and stronger he began to
know that he had the longest one. Be-
cause he was a very young Lamb he was
so foolish as to tease the others and call
out, Baa! your tails are snippy ones! "
Then the others would call back, Baa !
Don't care if they are "
After a while, his mother, who was a
sensible Sheep and had seen much of life,
said to him: "You must not brag about
your tail. It is very rude of you, and very
silly too, for you have exactly such a tail
as was given to you, and the other Lambs
have exactly such tails as were given to
them, and when you are older you will
know that it did not matter in the least
what kind of tail you wore when you
were little." She might have told him
something else, but she didn't.
The Lamb didn't dare to boast of his
tail after this, but when he passed the



I. -, 1W'

Page 16


The Lamb with the Longest Tail 7

others, he would look at his mother, and if
he thought she wouldn't see, he would
wiggle it at them. Of course that was just
as bad as talking about it, and the other
Lambs knew perfectly well what he meant;
still, they pretended not to understand.
One morning, when his mother's back
was turned, he was surprised to see that she
had only a short and stumpy tail. He had
been thinking so much of his own that he
had not noticed hers. Mother," he cried,
"why didn't you have a long tail too? "
I did have once," she answered with a
sheepish smile.
"Did it get broken ?" he asked in a
faint little voice. He was thinking how
dreadful it would be if he should break his.
"Not exactly," said his mother. "I
will tell you all about it. All little Lambs
have long tails- "
Not so long as mine, though," said he,
No, not so long as yours," she re-

18 Among the Farmyard People

plied, "but so long that if they were left
that way always they would make a great
deal of trouble. As the wool grows on
them, they would catch burrs and sharp,
prickly things, which would pull the wool
and sting the skin. The farmer knows
this, so when the little Lambs are about
as old as you are now, he and his men
make their tails shorter."
Oh cried the Lamb, curling his tail
in as far between his legs as he could,
"do you mean that they will shorten my
tail, my beautiful long tail ?"
"That is just what I mean," said his
mother, "and you should be very glad of
it. When that is done, you will be ready
to go out into the field with me. A lot
of trouble we should have if the men did
not look after such things for us; but
that is what men are for, they say,-to
look after us Sheep."
But won't they laugh at me when my
tail is shorter?" asked her son.

The Lamb with the Longest Tail 19

"They would laugh at you if you
wore it long. No Lamb who pretends
to be anybody would be seen in the
pasture with a dangling tail. Only wild
Sheep wear them long, poor things "
Now the little Lamb wished that he had
not boasted so much. Now, when the
others passed him, he did not put on airs.
Now he wondered why they could n't have
short tails in the beginning. He asked
his uncle, an old Wether Sheep, why this
was and his uncle laughed. Why, what
would you have done all these days if
things happened in that way? What
would you have had to think about?
What could you have talked about?"
The little Lamb hung his head and asked
no more questions.
"What do you think ?" he called to a
group of Lambs near by. I 'm going to
have one of the men shorten my tail. It
is such a bother unless one does have it
done, and mine is so very long!"


" UT-CUT-CA-DAH-CUT !Cut-cut-
cut-ca-dah-cut called the Dork-
ing Hen, as she strutted around the
poultry-yard. She held her head very
high, and paused every few minutes to
look around in her jerky way and see
whether the other fowls were listening.
Once she even stood on her left foot right
in the pathway of the Shanghai Cock, and
cackled into his very ears.
Everybody pretended not to hear her.
The people in the poultry-yard did not
like the Dorking Hen very well. They
said that she put on airs. Perhaps she
did. She certainly talked a great deal of
the place from which she and the Dorking
Cock came. They had come in a small

The Wonderful Shiny Egg 21

cage from a large poultry farm, and the
Dorking Hen never tired of telling about
the wonderful, noisy ride that they took
in a dark car drawn by a great, black,
snorting creature. She said that this
creature's feet grew on to his sides and
whirled around as he ran, and that he
breathed out of the top of his head. When
the fowls first heard of this, they were
much interested, but after a while they
used to walk away from her, or make
believe that they saw Grasshoppers whom
they wanted to chase.
When she found that people were not
listening to her, she cackled louder than
ever, Cut-cut-ca-dah-cut! Look at the
egg-the egg-the egg-the egg that I
have laid."
"Is there any particular reason why we
should look at the egg-the egg-the egg
-the egg that you have laid ?" asked the
Shanghai Cock, who was the grumpiest
fowl in the yard.

22 Among the Farmyard People

Now, usually if the Dorking Hen had
been spoken to in this way, she would
have ruffled up her head feathers and
walked away, but this time she had news
to tell and so she kept her temper.
"Reason ?" she cackled. "Yes indeed! It
is the finest egg that was ever laid in this
Hear her talk !" said a Bantam Hen.
"I think it is in very poor taste to lay
such large eggs as most of the Hens do
here. Small ones are much more genteel."
"She must forget an egg that I laid a
while ago with two yolks," said a Shanghai
Hen. "That was the largest egg ever
laid here, and I have always wished that I
had hatched it. A pair of twin chickens
would have been so interesting."
"Well," said the Dorking Hen, who
could not keep still any longer, "small
eggs may be genteel and large ones
may be interesting, but my last one is

The Wonderful Shiny Egg

"Perhaps you'd just as soon tell us
about it as to brag without telling?"
grumbled the Shanghai Cock. "I sup-
pose it is grass color, or sky color, or hay
color, or speckled, like a sparrow's egg."
No," answered the Dorking Hen, it
is white, but it is shiny."
"Shiny !" they exclaimed. "Who ever
heard of a shiny egg? "
Nobody," she replied, "and that is
why it is so wonderful."
Don't believe it," said the Shanghai
Cock, as he turned away and began
scratching the ground.
Now the Dorking Hen did get angry.
"Come to see it, if you don't believe me,"
she said, as she led the others into the
She flew up to the row of boxes where
the Hens had their nests, and picked her
way along daintily until she reached the
farthest one. Now look," said she.
One by one the fowls peeped into the

24 Among the Farmyard People

box, and sure enough, there it lay, a fine,
shiny, white egg. The little Bantam,
who was really a jolly, kind-hearted crea-
ture, said, Well, it is a beauty. I should
be proud of it myself."
"It is whiter than I fancy," said the
Shanghai Cock, "but it certainly does
"I shall hatch it," said the Dorking
Hen, very decidedly. "I shall hatch it
and have a beautiful Chicken with shin-
ing feathers. I shall not hatch all the
eggs in the nest, but roll this one away
and sit on it."
Perhaps," said one of her friends,
"somebody else may have laid it after all,
and not noticed. You know it is not the
only one in the nest."
Pooh !" said the Dorking Hen. "I
guess I know! I am sure it was not there
when I went to the nest and it was there
when I left. I must have laid it."
The fowls went away, and she tried to

The Wonderful Shiny Egg

roll the shiny one away from the other
eggs, but it was slippery and very light
and would not stay where she put it.
Then she got out of patience and rolled
all the others out of the nest. Two of
them fell to the floor and broke, but she
did not care. "They are nothing but
common ones, anyway," she said.
When the farmer's wife came to gather
the eggs she pecked at her and was very
cross. Every day she did this, and at
last the woman let her alone. Every-day
she told the other fowls what a wonderful
Chicken she expected to have. "Of
course he will be of my color," said she,
but his feathers will shine brightly. He
will be a great flyer, too. I am sure
that is what it means when the egg is
light." She came off the nest each day
just long enough to stroll around and
chat with her friends, telling them what
wonderful things she expected, and never
letting them forget that it was she who

26 Among the Farmyard People

had laid the shiny egg. She pecked
airily at the food, and seemed to think
that a Hen who was hatching such a
wonderful Chicken should have the best of
everything. Each day she told some new
beauty that was to belong to her child,
until the Shanghai Cock fairly flapped his
wings with impatience.
Day after day passed, and the garden
beyond the barn showed rows of sturdy
green plants, where before there had been
only straight ridges of fine brown earth.
The Swallows who were building under
the eaves of the great barn, twittered and
chattered of the wild flowers in the for-
est, and four other Hens came off their
nests with fine broods of downy Chickens.
And still the Dorking Hen sat on her
shiny egg and told what a wonderful
Chicken she expected to hatch. This was
not the only egg in the nest now, but it
was the only one of which she spoke.
At last a downy Chicken peeped out of

The Wonderful Shiny Egg

one of the common eggs, and wriggled
and twisted to free himself from the shell.
His mother did not hurry him or help him.
She knew that he must not slip out of it
until all the blood from the shell-lining
had run into his tender little body. If
she had pushed the shell off before he had
all of this fine red blood, he would not
have been a strong Chicken, and she
wanted her children to be strong.
The Dorking Cock walked into the
Hen-house and stood around on one foot.
He came to see if the shiny egg had
hatched, but he would n't ask. He thought
himself too dignified to show any interest
in newly hatched Chickens before a Hen.
Still, he saw no harm in standing around
on one foot and letting the Dorking Hen
talk to him if she wanted to. When she
told him it was one of the common eggs
that had hatched, he was quite disgusted,
and stalked out of doors without a word.
The truth was that he had been rather

28 Among the Farmyard People

bragging to the other Cocks, and only a
few minutes later he spoke with pride of
the time when our shiny egg should
hatch. For," he said, Mrs. Dorking
and I have been quite alone here as far as
our own people are concerned. It is not
strange that we should feel a great pride
in the wonderful egg and the Chicken to
be hatched from it. A Dorking is a
Dorking after all, my friends." And he
flapped his wings, stretched his neck, and
crowed as loudly as he could.
"Yes," said the Black Spanish Cock
afterward, "a Dorking certainly is a
Dorking, although I never could see the
sense of making such a fuss about it.
They are fat and they have an extra toe
on each foot. Why should a fowl want
extra toes? I have four on each foot, and
I can scratch up all the food I want with
"Well," said the grumpy old Shanghai
Cock, I am sick and tired of this fuss.

The Wonderful Shiny Egg

Common eggs are good enough for
Shanghais and Black Spanish and Ban-
tams, and I should think- "
Just at this minute they heard a loud
fluttering and squawking in the Hen-house
and the Dorking Hen crying, "Weasel!
Weasel!" The Cocks ran to drive the
Weasel away, and the Hens followed to
see it done. All was noise and hurry, and
they saw nothing of the Weasel except the.
tip of his bushy tail as he drew his slender
body through an opening in the fence.
The Dorking Hen was on one of the
long perches where the fowls roost at
night, the newly hatched Chicken lay
shivering in the nest, and on the floor
were the pieces of the wonderful shiny
egg. The Dorking Hen had knocked it
from the nest in her flight.
The Dorking Cock looked very cross.
He was not afraid of a Weasel, and he did
not see why she should be. "Just like a
Hen !" he said.

30 Among the Farmyard People

The Black Spanish Hen turned to him
before he could say another word. Just
like a Cock! she exclaimed. I never
raise Chickens myself. It is not the
custom among the Black Spanish Hens.
We lay the eggs and somebody else
hatches them. But if I had been on the
nest as long as Mrs. Dorking has, do you
suppose I 'd let any fowl speak to me as
you spoke to her? I 'd-I 'd-" and she
was so angry that she could n't say another
word, but just strutted up and down and
A motherly old Shanghai Hen flew up
beside Mrs. Dorking. "We are very
sorry for you," she said. I know how
I should have felt if I had broken my two-
yolked egg just as it was ready to hatch."
The Bantam Hen picked her way to the
nest. What a dear little Chicken !" she
cried, in her most comforting tone. He
is so plump and so bright for his age. But,
my dear, he is chilly, and I think you

The Wonderful Shiny Egg

should cuddle him under your wings until
his down is dry."
The Dorking Hen flew down. He is
a dear," she said, "and yet when he was
hatched I did n't care much for him, be-
cause I had thought so long about the
shiny egg. It serves me right to lose that
one, because I have been so foolish. Still,
I do not know how I could stand it if it
were not for my good neighbors."
While Mrs. Dorking was talking with
the Bantam by her nest, the Black Spanish
Hen scratched a hole in the earth under
the perches, poked the pieces of the shiny
egg into it, and covered them up. "I
never raise Chickens myself," she said,
"but if I did "
The Shanghai Cock walked away with
the Dorking Cock. I 'm sorry for you,"
he said, "and I am more sorry for Mrs.
Dorking. She is too fine a Hen to be
spoken to as you spoke to her this morning,
and I don't want to hear any more of your

32 Among the Farmyard People

fault-finding. Do you understand ?" And
he ruffled his neck feathers and stuck his
face close to that of the Dorking Cock.
They stared into each other's eyes for a
minute; then the Dorking Cock, who was
not so big and strong as the Shanghai,
shook his head and answered sweetly, It
was rude of me. I won't do it again."
From that day to this, nobody in the
poultry yard has ever spoken of the shiny
egg, and the Dorkings are much liked by
the other fowls. Yet if it had not been
for her trouble, Mrs. Dorking and her
neighbors would never have become such
good friends. The little Dorkings are
fine, fat-breasted Chicks, with the extra
toe on each foot of which all that family
are so proud.


"Q UACK! Quack! called the Duck
who had been sitting on her nest
so long. My first egg is cracked, and I
can see the broad yellow bill of my eldest
child. Ah! Now I can see his downy
white head." The Drake heard her and
.quacked the news to every one around, and
flapped his wings, and preened his feathers,
for was not this the first Duckling ever
hatched on the farm ?
The Drake had not been there long
himself. It was only a few days before
the Duck began sitting that she and her
five sisters had come with him to this
place. It had not taken them long to be-
come acquainted with the other farmyard

34 Among the Farmyard People

people, and all had been kind to them.
The Geese had rather put on airs, at first,
because they were bigger and had longer
legs, but the Ducks and Drake were too
wise to notice this in any way, and before
long the Geese were as friendly as possible.
They would have shown the Ducks the
way to the water if it had been necessary,
but it was not, for Ducks always know
without being told just where to find it.
They know, and they do not know why
they know. It is one of the things that
Now that the first Duckling had chipped
the shell, everybody wanted to see him,
and there was soon a crowd of fowls
around the nest watching him free him-
self from it. The Drake stood by, as
proud as a Peacock. I think he looks
much like his mother," said he.
Yes, yes," cackled all the Hens. The
same broad yellow bill, the same short yel-
low legs, and the same webbed feet."

The Duckling

The mother Duck smiled. He looks
more like me now than he will by and by,"
she said, for when his feathers grow and
cover the down, he will have a stiff little
one curled up on his back like the Drake's.
And really, except for the curled feather,
his father and I look very much alike."
That is so," said the Black Spanish
Cock. "You do look alike; the same
white feathers, the same broad breast, the
same strong wings, the same pointed tail,
the same long neck, the same sweet ex-
pression around the bill !" That was just
like the Black Spanish Cock. He always
said something pleasant about people when
he could, and it was much better than say-
ing unpleasant things. Indeed, he was
the most polite fowl in the poultry-yard,
and the Black Spanish Hen thought his
manners quite perfect.
Then the Duckling's five aunts pushed
their way through the crowd to the nest
under the edge of the strawstack. Have

36 Among the Farmyard People

you noticed what fine large feet he has ?"
said one of them. "That is like his
mother's people. See what a strong web
is between the three long toes on each
foot! He will be a good swimmer. The
one toe that points backward is small, to
be sure, but he does not need that in
swimming. That is only to make wad-
dling easier."
Yes, yes," "A fine web," and "Very
large feet," cried the fowls around the
nest, but most of them did n't care so much
about the size of his feet as the Ducks
did. Large feet are always useful, you
know, yet nobody needs them so badly as
Geese and Ducks. The Geese were off
swimming, and so could not not see the
Duckling when first he came out of the
"Tap-tap, tap-tap," sounded inside
another shell, and they knew that there
would soon be a second damp little Duck-
ling beside the first. The visitors could

The Duckling

not stay to see this one come out, and they
went away for a time. The eldest Duck-
ling had supposed that this was life, to
have people around saying, How bright
he is!" "What fine legs!" or He hasa
beautiful bill!" And now that they all
walked away and his mother was looking
after the Duckling who was just breaking
her shell, he did n't like it-he did n't like
it at all.
Still, it was much better so. If he had
had no brothers and sisters, he would have
been a lonely little fellow; besides, he
would have had his own way nearly all
the time, and that is likely to make any
Duckling selfish. Then, too, if all the
other fowls had petted him and given him
the best of everything, he would have be-
come vain. Truly, it was a good thing
for him not to be the only child, and he
soon learned to think so.
After there were two Ducklings, a third
one came, and a fourth, and a fifth, and

38 Among the Farmyard People

so on until, when the broken shells were
cleared away and the mother had counted
bills, she could call to the Drake and her
sisters, Nine Ducklings hatched, and
there were only nine eggs in the nest."
Then come to the brook," said the
Drake, "and let the children have a bath.
I have been swimming a great many times
to-day, and they have not even set foot in
water yet. Why, our eldest son was out
of his shell before the Horses were har-
nessed this morning, and here it is nearly
time for their supper."
"I couldn't help it," said the mother
Duck. I could n't leave the nest to take
him swimming until the rest were ready to
go. I am doing the best I can."
I did n't mean to find fault," said the
Drake, and I suppose you could n't get
away, but we know that Ducklings should
be taught to bathe often, and there is
nothing like beginning in time."
I might have taken some of them to

The Duckling

the brook," said one of the aunts. The
mother straightened her neck and held
her head very high, while she answered,
" You ? You are very kind, but what do
you know about bringing up Ducklings ? "
Now the aunt might have said, I know
just as much as you do," for it was the
young mother's first brood, yet she kept
still. She thought, I may hatch Duck-
lings of my own some day, and then I
suppose I shall want to care for them
Wait," said the Drake, as they reached
the brook. Let us wait and see what
the children will do." The words were
hardly out of his bill when-flutter-splash
-splash !-there were nine yellow-white
Ducklings floating on the brook and mur-
muring happily to each other as though
they had never done anything else.
The Dorking Cock stood on the bank.
" Who taught them to swim ? said he.
Nobody," answered their mother

40 Among the Farmyard People

proudly. "They knew without being
told. That is the way a Duck takes to
water." And she gave a dainty lurch and
was among her brood.
Well! exclaimed the Dorking Cock.
"I thought the little Dorkings were as
bright as children could be, but they did n't
know as much as that. I must tell them."
He stalked off, talking under his breath.
"They know more than that," said the
Drake. "Did you see how they ran
ahead of us when we stopped to talk?
They knew where to find water as soon
as they were out of the shell. Still, the
Cock might not have believed that if I
had told him."
They had a good swim, and then all
stood on the bank and dried themselves.
This they did by squeezing the water out
of their down with their bills. The Drake,
the mother Duck, the five aunts, and the
nine Ducklings all stood as tall and straight
as they could, and turned and twisted their

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Page 40

The Duckling

long necks, and flapped their wings, and
squeezed their down, and murmured to
each other. And their father did n't tell
the little ones how, and their mother
did n't tell them how, and their five aunts
did n't tell them how, but they knew
without being told.
The Ducklings grew fast, and made
friends of all the farmyard people. Early
every morning they went to the brook.
They learned to follow the brook to the
river, and here were wonderful things to
be seen. There was plenty to eat, too,
in the soft mud under the water, and it
was easy enough to dive to it, or to reach
down their long necks while only their
pointed tails and part of their body could
be seen above the water. Not that they
ate the mud. They kept only the food
that they found in it, and then let the mud
slip out between the rough edges of their
bills. They swam and ate all day, and
slept all night, and were dutiful Duck-

42 Among the Farmyard People

lings who minded their mother, so it was
not strange that they were plump and
At last there came a morning when the
eldest Duckling could not go to the brook
with the others. A Weasel had bitten him
in the night, and if it had not been for his
mother and the Drake, would have car-
ried him away. The rest had to go in
swimming, and his lame leg would not let
him waddle as far as the brook, or swim
after he got there.
"I don't know what to do," he said to
his mother. "I can't swim and I can't
waddle far, and I 've eaten so much al-
ready that I can't eat anything more for a
long, long time."
You might play with the little Shang-
hais," said his mother.
"They run around too much," he re-
plied. I can't keep up with them."
Then why not lie near the corn crib
and visit with the Mice?"

The Duckling

Oh, they don't like the things that I
like, and it is n't any fun."
How would it suit you to watch the
Peacock for a while ? "
I 'm tired of watching the Peacock."
"Then," said the mother, "you must
help somebody else. You are old enough
to think of such things now, and you must
remember this wise saying: 'When you
don't know what to do, help somebody.' "
"Whom can I help?" said the lame
Duckling. People can all do things for
There is the Blind Horse," answered
his mother. "He is alone to-day, and
I 'm sure he would like somebody to visit
"Quack !" said the Duckling. I will
go to see him." He waddled slowly away,
stopping now and then to rest, and shak-
ing his little pointed tail from side to side
as Ducks do. The Blind Horse was
grazing in the pasture alone.

44 Among the Farmyard People

I've come to see you, sir," said the
Duckling. "Shall I be in your way ?"
The Blind Horse looked much pleased.
I think from your voice that you must
be one of the young Ducks," said he. I
shall be very glad to have you visit me,
only you must be careful to keep away
from my feet, for I can't see, and I might
step on you."
I '11 be careful," said the Duckling. I
can't waddle much anyway this morning,
because my leg hurts me so."
"Why, I 'm sorry you are lame," said
the Horse. "What is the matter ?"
"A Weasel bit me in the night, sir.
But it does n't hurt so much as it did be-
fore I came to see you. Perhaps the
pasture is a better place for lame legs
than the farmyard." He didn't know
that it was because he was trying to make
somebody else happy that he felt so much
better, yet that was the reason.
The Blind Horse and the Duckling be-

The Duckling

came very fond of each other and had a
fine time. The Horse told stories of his
Colthood, and of the things he had seen
in his travels before he became blind. And
the Duckling told him what the other
farmyard people were doing, and about
the soft, fleecy clouds that drifted across
the blue sky. When the mother Duck
came to look for him, the little fellow was
much surprised. Did n't you go to the
brook ?" he asked.
"Yes," said his mother, with a smile.
" We have been there all the morning.
Don't you see how high the sun is ?"
"Why-ee !" said the Duckling. "I
did n't think I had been here long at all.
We've been having the nicest time. And
I'm coming again, am I not?" He asked
this question of the Blind Horse.
"I wish you would come often," an-
swered the Blind Horse. "You have
given me a very pleasant morning. Good-
bye !"

46 Among the Farmyard People

The mother Duck and her son waddled
off together. How is your leg ?" said she.
I forgot all about it until I began to
walk," answered the Duckling. Is n't
that queer ? "
Not at all," said his mother. It was
because you were making somebody else
happy. 'When you don't know what to
do, help somebody.'"


N a sheltered corner of the farmyard,
where the hedge kept off the cold
winds and the trees shaded from hot
summer sunshine, there were many hives
of Bees. One could not say much for the
Drones, but the others were the busiest
of all the farmyard people, and they had
so much to do that they did not often
stop to visit with their neighbors.
In each hive, or home, there were many
thousand Bees, and each had his own
work. First of all, there was the Queen.
You might think that being a Queen
meant playing all the time, but that is
not so, for to be a really good Queen,
even in a Beehive, one must know a great
deal and keep at work all the time. The

48 Among the Farmyard People

Queen Bee is the mother of all the Bee
Babies, and she spends her days in laying
eggs. She is so very precious and im-
portant a person that the first duty of the
rest is to take care of her.
The Drones are the stoutest and finest-
looking of all the Bees, but they are lazy,
very, very lazy. There are never many
of them in a hive, and like most lazy
people, they spend much of their time in
telling the others how to work. They do
not make wax or store honey, and as the
Worker Bees do not wish them to eat
what has been put away for winter, they
do not live very long.
Most of the Bees are Workers. They
are smaller than either the Queen Mother
or the Drones, and they gather all the
honey, make all the wax, build the comb,
and feed the babies. They keep the hive
clean, and when the weather is very warm,
some of them fan the air with their wings
to cool it. They guard the doorway of

The Fussy Queen Bee

the hive, too, and turn away the robbers
who sometimes come to steal their honey.
In these busy homes, nobody can live
long just for himself. Everybody helps
somebody else, and that makes life pleas-
ant. The Queen Mother often lays as
many as two thousand eggs in a day.
Most of these are Worker eggs, and are
laid in the small cells of the brood comb,
which is the nursery of the hive. A few
are Drone eggs and are laid in large cells.
She never lays any Queen eggs, for she
does not want more Queens growing up.
It is a law among the Bees that there can
be only one grown Queen living in each
The Workers, however, know that.some-
thing might happen to their old Queen
Mother, so, after she has gone away, they
sometimes go into a cell where she has
laid a Worker egg, and take down the
waxen walls between it and the ones on
either side to make a very large royal cell.

50 Among the Farmyard People

They bite away the wax with their strong
jaws and press the rough edges into shape
with their feet. When this egg hatches,
they do not feed the baby, or Larva, with
tasteless bread made of flower-dust, honey,
and water, as they would if they intended
it to grow up a Worker or a Drone. In-
stead, they make what is called royal jelly,
which is quite sour, and tuck this all
around the Larva, who now looks like a
little white worm.
The royal jelly makes her grow fast,
and in five days she is so large as to nearly
fill the cell. Then she stops eating, spins
a cocoon, and lies in it for about two and
a half days more. When she comes out
of this, she is called a Pupa. Sixteen
days after the laying of the egg, the
young Queen is ready to come out of her
cell. It takes twenty-one days for a
Worker to become fully grown and twenty-
five for a Drone.
In the hive by the cedar tree, the Queen

The Fussy Queen Bee

Mother was growing restless and fussy.
She knew that the Workers were raising
some young Queens, and she tried to get
to the royal cells. She knew that if she
could only do that, the young Queens
would never- live to come out. The
Workers knew this, too, and whenever
she came near there, they made her go
The Queen Larvae and Pupa were of
different ages, and one of them was now
ready to leave her cell. They could hear
her crying to be let out, but they knew
that if she and the Queen Mother should
meet now, one of them would die. So
instead of letting her out, they built a
thick wall of wax over the door and left
only an opening through which they could
feed her. When she was hungry she ran
her tongue out and they put honey on it.
She wondered why the Workers did
not let her out, when she wanted so much
to be free. She did not yet know that

52 Among the Farmyard People

Queen Mothers do not get along well
with young Queens.
The Workers talked it over by them-
selves. One of them was very tender-
hearted. It does seem too bad," said
she, to keep the poor young Queen shut
up in her cell. I don't see how you can
stand it to hear her piping so pitifully all
the time. I am sure she must be beauti-
ful. I never saw a finer tongue than the
one she runs out for honey."
Humph !" said a sensible old Worker,
who had seen many Queens hatched and
many swarms fly away, you 'd be a good
deal more sorry if we did let her out now.
It would not do at all."
The tender-hearted Worker did not
answer this, but she talked it over with the
Drones. I declare," said she, wiping her
eyes with her forefeet, "I can hardly
gather a mouthful of honey for thinking
of her."
"Suppose you hang yourself up and

The Fussy Queen Bee

make wax then," said one Drone. It is
a rather sunshiny day, but you ought to
be doing something, and if you cannot
gather honey you might do that." This
was just like a Drone. He never gathered
honey or made wax, yet he could not bear
to see a Worker lose any time.
The Worker did not hang herself up
and make wax, however. She never did
that except on cloudy days, and she was
one of those Bees who seem to think that
nothing will come out right unless they
stop working to see about it. There was
plenty waiting to be done, but she was too
sad and anxious to do it. She might have
known that since her friends were only
minding the law, it was right to keep the
new Queen in her cell.
The Queen Mother was restless and
fussy. She could not think of her work,
and half the time.she did not know whether
she was laying a Drone egg or a Worker
egg. In spite of that, she did not make

54 Among the Farmyard People

any mistake, or put one into the wrong
kind of cell. I cannot stay here with a
young Queen," said she. I will not stay
here. I will take my friends with me and
fly away."
Whenever she met a Worker, she struck
her feelers on those of her friend, and then
this friend knew exactly how she felt about
it. In this way the news was passed
around, and soon many of the Workers
were as restless as their Queen Mother.
They were so excited over it at times that
the air of the hive grew very hot. After a
while they would become quiet and gather
honey once more. They whispered often
to each other. Do you know where we
are going ?" one said.
Sh was the answer. "The guides
are looking for a good place now."
I wish the Queen Mother knew where
we are going," said the first.
"How could she ?" replied the second.
"You know very well that she has not

The Fussy Queen Bee

left the hive since she began to lay eggs.
Here she comes now."
"Oh dear!" exclaimed the Queen
Mother. "I can never stand this. I
certainly cannot. To think I am not
allowed to rule in my own hive! The
Workers who are guarding the royal cells
drive me away whenever I go near them.
I will not stay any longer."
Then," said a Drone, as though he had
thought of it for the first time, "why
don't you go away ? "
I shall," said she. Will you go with
me ?"
No," said the Drone. I hate mov-
ing and furnishing a new house. Besides,
somebody must stay here to take care of
the Workers and the young Queen."
The Queen Mother walked away.
"When we were both young," she said to
herself, he would have gone anywhere
with me."
And the Drone said to himself, Now,

56 Among the Farmyard People

is n't that just like a Queen Mother She
has known all the time that there would
be young Queens coming on, and that she
would have to leave, yet here she is,
making the biggest kind of fuss about it.
She ought to remember that it is the law."
Indeed she should have remembered that
it was the law, for everything is done by
law in the hive, and no one person should
find fault. The law looks after them all,
and will not let any one have more than
his rightful share.
That same afternoon there was a sudden
quiet in their home. The Workers who
had been outside returned and visited with
the rest. While they were waiting, a few
who were to be their guides came to the
door of the hive, struck their wings to-
gether, and gave the signal for starting.
Then all who were going with the Queen
Mother hurried out of the door and flew
with her in circles overhead. Good-bye !"
they called. Raise all the young Queens

The Fussy Queen Bee

you wish. We shall never come back.
We are going far, far away, and we shall
not tell you where. It is a lovely place, a
very lovely place."
Let them go," said the Drones who
stayed behind. Now, isn't it time to let
out the young Queen ?"
"Not yet," answered a Worker, who
stood near the door. Not one feeler
shall she put outside her cell until that
swarm is out of sight."
The tender-hearted Worker came up
wiping her eyes. Oh, that poor Queen
Mother! said she. I am so sorry for
her. I positively cannot gather honey to-
day, I feel so badly about her going."
Better keep on working," said her
friend. It's the best thing in the world
for that sad feeling. Besides, you should
try to keep strong."
Oh, I will try to eat something from
the comb," was the answer, but I don't
feel like working."

58 Among the Farmyard People

"Zzzt! said the other Worker. "I
think if you can eat, you can hunt your
food outside, and not take honey we have
laid up for winter or food that will be
needed for the children."
The Drones chuckled. It was all right
for them to be lazy, they thought, but
they never could bear to see a Worker
waste time. "Ah," cried one of them
suddenly, "what is the new swarm doing
now ?"
The words were hardly out of his mouth
when the Queen Mother crawled into the
hive again. Such dreadful luck !" said
she. "A cloud passed over the sun just
as we were alighting on a tree to rest."
I would n't have come back for that,"
said a Drone.
No," said she, in her airiest way, I
dare say you would n't, but I would. I
dare not go to a new home after a cloud
has passed over the sun. I think it is a
sign of bad luck. I should never expect

The Fussy Queen Bee

a single egg to hatch if I went on. We
shall try it again to-morrow."
All the others came back with her, and
the hive was once more crowded and
hot. Oh dear !" said the tender-hearted
Worker, is n't it too bad to think they
could n't go ?"
The next morning they started again
and were quite as excited over it as before.
The Queen Mother had fussed and fid-
geted all the time, although she had laid
nine hundred and seventy-three eggs while
waiting, and that in spite of interruptions.
" Being busy keeps me from thinking,"
said she, "and I must do something."
This time the Queen Mother lighted on
an apple-tree branch, and the others clung
to her until all who had left the hive were
in a great mass on the branch,-a mass as
large as a small cabbage. They meant to
rest a little while and then fly away to the
new home chosen by their guides.
While they were hanging here, the

6o Among the Farmyard People

farmer came under the tree, carrying a
long pole with a wire basket fastened to
the upper end. He shook the clustered
Bees gently into it, and then changed them
into an empty hive that stood beside their
old home.
"Now," said the Workers who had
stayed in the old hive, "we will let out
the new Queen, for the Queen Mother
will never return."
It did not take long to bite away the
waxen wall and let her out. Then they
gathered around and caressed her, and
touched their feelers to her and waited
upon her, and explained why they could
not let her out sooner. She was still a
soft gray color, like all young Bees when
they first come from the cell, but this soon
changed to the black worn by her people.
The Workers flew in and out, and
brought news from the hive next door.
They could not go there, for the law does
not allow a Bee who lives in one home to

The Fussy Queen Bee

visit in another, but they met their old
friends in the air or when they were sip-
ping honey. They found that the Queen
Mother had quite given up the idea of
living elsewhere and was as busy as ever.
The farmer had put a piece of comb into
the new hive so that she could begin
housekeeping at once.
The new Queen was petted and kept at
home until she was strong and used to
moving about. That was not long. Then
she said she wanted to see the world out-
side. We will go with you," said the
Drones, who were always glad of an excuse
for flying away in pleasant weather. They
said there was so much noise and hurry-
ing around in the hive that they could
never get any real rest there during the
So the young Queen flew far away and
saw the beautiful world for the first time.
Such a blue sky! Such green grass!
Such fine trees covered with sweet-smell-

62 Among the Farmyard People

ing blossoms She loved it all as soon as
she saw it. "Ah," she cried, "what a
wonderful thing it is to live and see all
this I am so glad that I was hatched.
But now I must hurry home, for there is so
much to be done."
She was a fine young Queen, and the
Bees were all proud of her. They let her
do anything she wished as long as she
kept away from the royal cells. She soon
began to work as the old Queen Mother
had done, and was very happy in her own
way. She would have liked to open the
royal cells and prevent more Queens from
hatching, and when they told her it was
the law which made them keep her away,
she still wanted to bite into them.
That poor young Queen Mother!"
sighed the tender-hearted Worker. I
am so sorry for her when she is kept away
from the royal cells. This is a sad, sad
world!" But this isn 't a sad world by
any means. It is a beautiful, sunshiny,

The Fussy Queen Bee 63

happy world, and neither Queen Bees nor
anybody else should think it hard if they
cannot do every single thing they wish.
The law looks after great and small, and
there is no use in pouting because we can-
not do one certain thing, when there is any
amount of delightful work and play await-
ing us. And the young Queen Mother
knew this.


TH E span of Bays were talking together
in their stalls, and the other Horses
were listening. That was one trouble
with living in the barn, you could not say
anything to your next-door neighbor with-
out somebody else hearing. The farmer
had solid walls between the stalls, with
openings so far back that no Horse could
get his head to them without breaking his
halter. This had been done to keep them
from biting each other, and as nobody but
the Dappled Gray ever thought of doing
such a thing, it was rather hard on the
rest. It made it difficult for the mothers
to bring up their children properly, for
after a Colt was old enough to have a

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 65

stall to himself, his mother had to call out
her advice and warnings so loudly that
everybody could hear, and you know it is
not well to reprove a child before com-
pany if it can be helped. Indeed, it was
this very question that was troubling the
span of Bays now. Each of them had a
two-year-old Colt, and they knew that it
was nearly time for the farmer to put
these Colts to work. The span of Bays
were sisters, so of course their children
were cousins, and they were all very fond
of each other and of the Blind Horse,
who was the uncle of the Bays and the
great-uncle of the Bay Colt and the Gray
"I am worried about the Bay Colt,"
said his mother. "Since he was brought
into the barn last fall and had a stall away
from me, he has gotten into bad ways. I
have told him again and again that he
must not nibble the edge of the manger,
yet the first thing I heard this morning

66 Among the Farmyard People

was the grating of his teeth on the
Well," said his aunt, you know he is
teething, and that may be the reason."
That is no excuse," said his mother
sternly. "He has been teething ever
since he was five days old, and he will
not cut his last tooth for three years yet.
I don't call it goodness to keep from
cribbing when you don't want to crib,
and the time to stop is now. Besides, if
he waits until he has all his teeth, he won't
be able to break himself of the habit when
he does try."
That is so," said his aunt, and he will
ruin his teeth, too."
Pooh !" exclaimed the Bay Colt, who
had heard what they were saying. I can
stop whenever I want to, and they 're my
own teeth, anyway. It is n't anybody's
else business if I do ruin them."
"There !" said his mother to his aunt,
"you see what I mean. That is just the

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 67

way he talks all the time. Now what
would you do ?"
Let him alone," snorted the Dappled
Gray. Let him alone, and he will get
some Horse sense after he has been
broken. He'll have a hard time of it,
but he '11 come out all right."
The Bay Colt kicked against the side
of the stall, he was so vexed. I '11 thank
you to let me alone," said he. I don't
see why everybody tells me what I ought
to do. Guess I know a thing or two."
I '11 tell you why," said the Dappled
Gray, in a voice that sounded as though he
were trying very hard not to lose his tem-
per. It is because you are young and
we like you, and we can save you trouble
if you mind what we tell you. I had lost
the black pits in my front teeth before
you were born, and when a Horse has
lived long enough to lose the black pits
from his front teeth, he knows a good
deal. You don't know a curb-bit from

68 Among the Farmyard People

a snaffle now, but you will learn many
things when you are broken-a very great
many things."
The Bay Colt tossed his head and did
not answer. When he was led out to
drink, the Dappled Gray spoke quickly
to his friends. We will let him alone,"
said he, as he wishes. We will not ad-
vise him until he asks us to do so." They
were all whinnying "Yes when the Bay
Colt came back. Then it became so still
that you could have heard a stem of hay
For a few days after this, the Bay Colt
had a very good time. Nobody gave him
any advice, and even when he gnawed at
the edge of the manger, his mother did
not seem to notice it. After he found that
she did n't say anything, he did n't gnaw,
or crib, so much. He was such a foolish
and contrary young fellow that when peo-
ple told him not to do a thing, he always
wanted to do that thing worse than any-

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 69

thing else in the world. His cousin, the
Gray Colt, was not at all like him. She
was a gentle little two-year-old whom
everybody loved. She was full of fun
and was the gayest possible companion in
the meadow, yet when the older Horses
gave her advice, she always listened and
The Bay Colt was very fond of his
cousin, but he did like to tease her, and
once in the fall, before they came to stay
in the barn, he called her a goody-goody "
because she would n't jump the fence and
run away with him. He said she would n't
do such things because she did n't know
what fun was. Then she did show that
she had a temper, for her brown eyes
snapped and her soft lips were raised un-
til she showed all her biting teeth. I 'm
not a 'goody-goody,'" she cried, stamping
the ground with her pretty little hoofs,
"and I just ache to go. I feel as though
there were ropes that I could n't see, pull-

70 Among the Farmyard People

ing me toward that fence every time I
think of it, but I won't go! I won't go !
My mother says that she jumped a fence
and ran away when she was a Colt,
and that she felt as mean as could be
"I don't care," said her cousin, "I 'm
going anyway, and you can stay at home
if you want to. Good-bye He ran and
leaped over the fence, and trotted down
the road with his head well up and his
tail in the air. And then how the Gray
Colt did want to follow! I won't !" she
said again. "I won't do it. I '11 look
the other way and try to forget it, but I
wish he knew how hard it is to be good
The hext morning the Bay Colt was in
the pasture again. The farmer and his
man had found him far away and led him
back. I had a fine time," he said to his
cousin, and I don't feel a bit mean. I 'm
going again to-day, but don't you tell."

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 71

When his mother scolded him as he de-
served, he just switched his tail and
thought about something else until she
stopped talking. Then he ran away
The next morning when the Gray Colt
saw him, he had a queer wooden thing
around his neck, and fastened to this was
a pole that stuck out ahead of him. It
tired his neck and bothered him when he
wanted to run. If he had tried to jump
the fence, it would have thrown him down.
When the Gray Colt came toward him,
he pretended not to see her. He might
just as well have looked squarely at her
as soon as she came, because, you know,
he had to look at her sometime, but he
had a mean, slinking, afraid feeling, such
as people always have when they have
done something wrong and have had time
to think about it. Besides, he had changed
his mind since the wooden poke had been
put on him, and somehow his running

72 Among the Farmyard People

away seemed very foolish now. He won-
dered how he could ever have thought it
any fun, and he was so disgusted that he
could n't keep his ears still, but moved
them restlessly when he remembered his
own silliness.
The Gray Colt was too polite to say
anything about his wearing the poke, and
she talked about the grass, the sky, the
trees, and everything else she could think
of. Once she was about to speak of the
fence, and then she remembered and
stopped short. The Bay Colt noticed
this. "You might just as well go on,"
said he. "You are very kind, but I know
how foolish I have been, and there 's no
use in keeping still. You were right, and
it does n't pay to jump fences for a few
minutes of what you think will be fun.
I feel sick all over when I think about it."
It's too bad," whinnied the Gray Colt.
" I 'm very sorry for you."
And what do you think?" said the

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 73

Bay Colt. "I heard the Dappled Gray
say this morning that I was like a Pig!
Imagine a Colt being like a Pig! He
said that it did n't make any difference
on which side of a fence Pigs were, they
always wanted to be on the other side,
and that I was just as stupid."
This was all in the fall, before the cold
weather had sent them to live in the barn,
and while the Bay Colt was wearing the
poke he could not well forget the lesson
he had learned about jumping and run-
ning away. His mother grew quite proud
of him, and the Dappled Gray had been
heard to say that he might amount to
something yet. That was a great deal
for the Dappled Gray to say, for although
he had a very kind heart, he did not often
praise people, and hardly ever said such
things about two-year-olds. That made
it all the harder for him when the Bay
Colt became cross over being told to stop

74 Among the Farmyard People

You know there are some Colts who
learn obedience easily, and there are
others who have one hard struggle to
stop jumping, and another to stop crib-
bing, and another to stop kicking, and so
on, all through their Colthood. The
older Horses are sorry for them and try
to help them, for they know that neither
Colt nor Horse can really enjoy life until
he is trying to do right. To be sure, peo-
ple sometimes do wrong even then, but if
they will take advice and keep on trying
they are certain to turn out well.
And now, when the Bay Colt seemed
to have forgotten the lesson he had in
the fall, and after he had told the other
Horses to let him alone, very strange
things began to happen. The farmer took
him from his stall and made him open his
mouth. Then a piece of iron was slipped
into it, which lay on top of his tongue
and fitted into the place on each side of
his jaw where there were no teeth. Long

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 75

lines were fastened to this iron on either
side, and when he tossed his head and
sidled around, these lines were gently
pulled by the farmer and the iron bit
pressed down his tongue.
The farmer was very kind, but the Bay
Colt did not want the bit in his mouth, so
he acted as ugly as he knew how, and
kicked, and snapped with his jaws open,
and tried to run. The farmer did not
grow angry or cross, yet whenever the Bay
Colt showed his temper, the bit would
press down his tongue and stretch the
corners of his mouth until he had to stop.
Once in a while the farmer would try to
pat him and show him that it was all right,
but the Bay Colt would not have this, and
he was a very cross and sweaty two-year-
old when he was taken back to his stall.
He missed the Gray Colt from her
usual place, but soon she came in with
one of the farmer's men. She had been
driven for the first time also.

76 Among the Farmyard People

Hallo!" said he. "Have you had a
bit in your mouth too ? Was n't it dread-
ful ? I am so angry that my hoofs fairly
tingle to hit that farmer."
It was hard," said the Gray Colt, but
the man who drove me was very kind and
let me rest often. He patted me, too,
and that helped me to be brave. My
mother says we won't mind the bit at all
after we are used to it."
Well," said the Bay Colt, I 'm never
going to be used to it. I won't stand it,
and that 's all there is about it." He
stamped his hoofs and looked very im-
portant. Two-year-olds often look quite
as important as ten-year-olds, and they
feel much more so. The Bay Colt was
rather proud of his feet, and thought it
much nicer to have solid hoofs than to have
them split, like those of the Cows, the
Hogs, and the Sheep.
When he said that he would not stand
it to be driven, a queer little sound ran




0 ..!


* Ie


The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 77

through the stalls. It was like the wind
passing over a wheatfield, and was caused
by the older Horses taking a long breath
and whispering to themselves. The Bay
Colt's mother was saying, Poor child!
What hard work he does make of life !"
The next day both Colts were driven
again, and the next day, and the next,
and the next. By this time the Gray
Colt was quite used to it. She said she
rather enjoyed knowing what the man
was thinking, and that she could tell his
thoughts by the feeling of the lines, much
as she used to understand her mother by
rubbing noses when she was a tiny Colt.
Her cousin had a sore mouth from jerk-
ing on the lines, and he could not enjoy
eating at all. That made it even harder
for him, because he got very hungry, and
it is not so easy to be sensible when one
is hungry.
When the Gray Colt learned to walk
steadily and turn as her driver wished,

78 Among the Farmyard People

she was allowed to draw a light log
through the furrows of a field. This
tired her, but it made her very proud, and
she arched her neck and took the dainti-
est of steps. It was not necessary that the
log should be drawn over the field; still,
she did not know. this, and thought it was
real work, when it was done only to teach
her to pull. The man who was driving
her patted her neck and held her nose in
his hand. When he stopped to eat an
apple, he gave her the core, and she
thought she had never tasted anything
so good. As she went back to her stall,
she called to the Horses near, "I have
been working. I have drawn a log all
around a field."
The Blind Horse spoke softly to her.
"You will have a happy life, my dear,
because you are a willing worker."
Although the Bay Colt did n't say any-
thing, he thought a great deal, and about
many things. While he was thinking he

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 79

began to crib, but the noise of his biting
teeth on the wood startled him, and he
shook his head and whispered to himself,
" I will never crib again." When he ate
his supper, his sore mouth hurt him, but
he did n't whimper. You deserve it,"
he said to himself. It would n't have
been sore if you had been steady like
your cousin." The Bay Colt was growing
sensible very fast.
The Dappled Gray had noticed how
suddenly he stopped cribbing, and so
watched him for a few days. He saw
that the Bay Colt was in earnest, that he
drew the log up and down without mak-
ing any fuss, and was soon hitched with
his mother to a plow. The Dappled Gray
and the Blind Horse were also plowing
that day, and they called across from
their field. Fine day for plowing," they
"Perfect," answered the Bay Colt.
"Did you notice the last furrow we

80 Among the Farmyard People

turned? Can you do any better than
that? If I had jumped, it would have
been crooked instead of straight; and if
I had stopped, it would not be done yet."
Good furrow! Wonderful furrow!"
answered the Dappled Gray. Always
knew you 'd be a good worker when you
got down to it. You are one of us now,
one of the working Horses. Glad of it.
Good-bye And he turned away to start
his plow across the field again.
Do you like being grown up?" said
the Bay Colt's mother to him.
Like it?" he answered with a laugh.
" I 'm so proud that I don't know what
to do. I would n't go back to the old
life of all play for anything in the world.
And my little cousin made me see my
mistakes. Was there ever another Colt
as foolish as I ? "
"A great many of them," said his
mother. More than you would guess.
They kick and bite and try to run be-

The Bay Colt Learns to Mind 81

cause they cannot always have their own
way; and then, when they have tried the
farmer's way, and begin to pay for his
care of them, they find it very much bet-
ter than the life of all play. Colts will
be Colts."


THERE was a Lamb, a bright, frisky
young fellow, who had a twin sister.
Their mother loved them both and was as
kind to one as to the other, but the brother
wanted to have the best of everything, and
sometimes he even bunted his sister with
his hard little forehead. His mother had
to speak to him many times about this,
for he was one of those trying children
who will not mind when first spoken to.
He did not really mean to be naughty-
he was only strong and frisky and thought-
less. Sometimes he was even rude to his
mother. She felt very sad when this was
so, yet she loved him dearly and found
many excuses for him in her own heart.
There were three other pairs of twins

The Twin Lambs

in the flock that year, and as their moth-
ers were not strong enough to care for
two Lambs apiece, the farmer had taken
one twin from each pair to a little pen
near the house. Here they stayed, play-
ing happily together, and drinking milk
from a bottle which the farmer's wife
brought to them. They were hungry very
often, like all young children, and when
their stomachs began to feel empty, or
even to feel as if they might feel empty,
they crowded against the side of the pen,
pushed their pinkish-white noses through
the openings between the boards, and
bleated and bleated and bleated to the
farmer's wife.
Soon she would come from the kitchen
door and in her hand would bring the big
bottle full of milk for them. There was
a soft rubber top to this bottle, through
which the Lambs could draw the milk
into their mouths. Of course they all
wanted to drink at once, though there was