Gateway to the Classics: Little Folks' Land by Madge A. Bigham
Little Folks' Land by  Madge A. Bigham

The Material for the House

"W ELL," said Father Gipsy, "the next thing for us to do, is to buy the things we need to build Joe-Boy's house with. Just get a pencil and paper, Mother Gipsy, and I will write them down as we think of them. First, there must be brick for the chimneys and for the foundation; and there must be sand to make the mortar; and there must be glass for the windows, and iron for gas and water pipes; and then there must be a great lumber pile. It will take ever so many planks to build Joe-Boy's house—broad planks and narrow planks, thick planks and thin planks, long planks and short planks, and all very strong."

"Yes," said Mother Gipsy, "our straight, tall forest trees will give us all the planks we need—they, too, will help to build the house."

So Father Gipsy wrote all the things down in his little book and then went away to buy them.

For many days after that, the big wagons loaded down with the lumber and brick and sand rolled down the big road to the place where the house was to be built. Mother Gipsy watched the things go by with a happy heart, and sometimes she would take Joe-Boy in her arms to watch the men unload the wagons.

It was then she would pat the tired horses on their heads and stroke them very gently. That was the way she said "Thank you" to them for helping to build Joe-Boy's house. "For who would draw the heavy wagons loaded with lumber and other things, were it not for you, kind horses?" she said. Then, she would take Joe-Boy's soft hand in hers, and show him how to say thank you, too—just as she had done.

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