Gateway to the Classics: The Way of the Gate by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
The Way of the Gate by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Edward's Birthday


"This is my birthday, and I am six years old!" said Edward. "Now I may do just as I wish."

Then Edward put a large piece of cake in his pocket. He started out for the park, to spend the morning with the animals.

Every one liked the bears in the park. There were big brown bears, and big white bears. They lived out-of-doors inside an iron paling. They had rocks to climb. They had a pond of water in the center.

At luncheon time Edward came to the place in the Park where the bears lived.

Edward felt hungry when he saw the keepers throwing in great loaves of bread to the bears. He took his piece of cake out of his pocket and was just going to bite it when he laughed instead. He dropped it on the ground. Before the bears ate their loaves of bread, they dipped them in the pond as if to wash them.

"They like to be sure that their food is clean," Edward thought. "Oh, how hungry I am!" he said, reaching down to the ground to pick up his piece of cake. He did not touch it, though. It was no longer clean enough to eat, he knew.

On the way home from the Park Edward came to a crowded street crossing. Grocery teams and trolley cars and automobiles went swiftly by.

"If I run across the street very fast, I shall be safe," Edward thought. But he did not run. He waited as he watched the blue-coated policeman who stood in the middle of the street. He was very big, and very brave, watching the people on foot and the traffic at once. Then he raised his right hand high. That was the signal for cars and teams and automobiles to stop. Then the people walked across. Not one of them ran.

As Edward crossed with the others, the policeman reached down and took his hand.

"That's right, little man," he said. "Always wait until it is safe to cross the street."

Edward felt very proud indeed. A policeman had never spoken to him before. He was glad that he had not run across as he had wanted to.


When Edward reached home, his mother was waiting for him at the door.

"The birthday cake is baked, and the ice cream is frozen," she said. "Now there is just time for my birthday boy to take a nap before the children come for the party."

"Oh, I don't want to take a nap," Edward said. "I am too old for naps now. I will play with Dick and Fido and Tabby until the children come."

But when Edward looked into the big living room where Fido, the dog, was lying, what do you think he saw? Fido was asleep on the rug with his head resting on his paw. The room was cool and dark. Fido was resting before he played with the children at the birthday party.

"I think I will take a nap," Edward said as he went upstairs.

Days should speak,

And multitude of years should teach wisdom.

—Job xxxii.7.

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