There was once upon a time a white dove that lived next door to a growly, grizzly bear.
The dove had a voice as sweet as music, but the bear had a terrible growl. He was always snarling, growling, and quarreling, till the white dove said: "I cannot stand it any longer. I must find a new home."
So, early the next morning, she started out to find the new home. First she went to the creek and dipped her wings in the shining water till they were as white as snow, and then away she flew, over the hills and the valley.
So, early the next morning, she started out to find the new home.
"Coo, coo! I should like to live with a good child," she said as she flew.
By and by she came to a small, white house by the roadside, and there on the doorstep sat a little girl who looked so much like a good child that the white dove lighted on a tree by the gate and called, with her voice as sweet as music: "Coo, coo! may I come in? Coo, coo! may I come in?"
But the little girl did not hear, for just then her mother called from the kitchen: "Little daughter, come here! I want you to rock the baby to sleep." And before the dove had time to call again the little girl began to cry as loudly as she could: "Boo-hoo! Boo-hoo! I—don't—want—to—come—in! Boo-hoo! Boo-hoo!"
"Coo, coo," called the white dove. But it did no good, so she spread her wings and flew away.
"I should rather live next door to a growly, grizzly bear," she said to herself, "than in the house with a child who cries like that."
On and on she flew, over the tree tops and roofs, till she reached a big house that had a great many doors and windows. The windows were open, and, looking in, the white dove saw half a dozen boys and girls playing together.
Oh! what a noise there was! The baby had waked up long before he was through with his nap, and he was crying about it, and the nurse was singing to him; and all the rest were running and screaming and jumping, till all together there was such a din that the white dove could not make herself heard, although she called many times.
At last, however, somebody spied her, and then what a terrible time she had!
Every child in the room began to push and scramble to get her. "She's mine!" "She's mine!" "I saw her first!" "You didn't!" "I did!" they cried, all talking at once, till the white dove spread her wings and flew away.
"It would be almost as bad as living next door to a growly, grizzly bear to live in the house with all that noise," she said as she flew away.
Her white wings were weary and she began to think that she would have to turn back, when she heard a sound as sweet as her own voice. It came from a brown house near by, and the white dove made haste to the door to find out what the sound was.
When she put her head in at the door
she saw a little girl rocking her baby brother
to sleep in his cradle; and it was this little
girl who had the voice like music. As she
rocked the cradle she
"All the pretty little horses,
White and gray and black and bay;
All the pretty little horses,
You shall see some day, some day,
All the pretty little horses."
— An Old Lullaby
"Coo, coo! may I come in?" called the white dove softly at the door; and the little girl looked up.
Now the child had often thought that she would rather have a white dove than anything else in the world, and she whispered back: "Dear dove, come in." Then the white dove went in and lived there all the days of her life and never had to go back to live by the growly, grizzly bear any more, for she had found a home with a good child, and that is the best home in the world.