NCE upon a time there was a farm-house, and
it was painted white and had green
blinds; and it stood not far from the
road. In the fence was a wide gate to
the wagons through to the barn. And the
wagons, going through, had made a little
track that led up past the kitchen door
and past the shed and past the barn and
past the orchard to the
That farm-house was a long way from the
village, where the houses were a great
deal closer together, and in the village
After a while, the people found that
they wanted to put something else where
So, one morning, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and little Charles and little John and little Sam all started out after breakfast. Uncle John and little Charles and little John walked down the little track and out the wide gate into the road, and they didn't wait for the others, because the others were all going in the wagon, and Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis were going with them. And Uncle John and the two little boys walked along the road for a long way until at last they began to come near the village. And they met a lot of other men and boys who were going to the same place, and they all walked along together.
When they got to the old meeting-house,
there were many men working away, with
axes and crowbars and hammers, tearing
off the boards from the sides. And Uncle
John and the other men who had just come
took their axes and helped. And there
were so many men working that they got
the boards off very quickly; but they
wouldn't let all the boys come
near, for fear that they would get hurt.
There were a great many boys, all that
lived anywhere near, and they had to
stand far off and watch. And more people
kept coming, some walking and some in
wagons, and when the boards were almost
all off, the wagon from the
At last all the boards were off the
sides, and there were all the beams and
standing up straight and bare, with the
roof on top. Then the men got long ropes
to fasten to the top of the beams, so
that the men could take hold of those
ropes and pull and make the whole thing
come tumbling down. And Uncle Solomon
told them how to do that part, because
he had been a sailor and knew all
about ropes. So they went up the ladders
and tied the ropes to the tops of the
beams, and then the men came down from
the ladders and dragged the other ends
the ropes as far away as they would
reach. The ropes were long, so that none
the people that pulled on them should be
too near when the
When they had taken down all the ladders and the men were taking hold of the ropes, to pull, little John couldn't stand it any longer, and he called out to Uncle John and asked him if he and Charles couldn't pull, too. And the other men heard, and they all cried out, "Yes, let the boys take hold."
So all the little boys were glad, and they were so excited that they yelled as loud as they could, and that was pretty loud. Then they ran and stood by some of the ropes, as many as twenty boys by one rope. So the boys took hold of some of the ropes and the men took hold of the others. And they waited until everybody was ready, so that they could all pull at once.
When everybody was ready, Uncle Solomon
cried out, "Are you ready?" And they
cried, "All ready." And then he called
out, very loud, "Heave away!" That
meant to pull. So they all pulled at
once, for just a little bit, and then
stopped. And Uncle Solomon was watching
Pretty soon they could see that it was
swinging back and forth. Every time it
swung Uncle Solomon called out, and they
all pulled. And the
When the great SMASH came, all the men and all the boys yelled as loud as they could. And a great enormous cloud of dust went up into the air and there was so much dust that it made it dark and everybody was covered with dust.
Saw the beams and logs in a great heap on the ground.
Then the wind blew the dust away, and all the people looked and saw the beams and logs in a great heap on the ground, and there were a great many bats flying about, trying to find a place to hide in.
These bats used to sleep all day, up in
the garret of the
After the dust had all blown away, the people began to talk to each other about the way the meeting-house had fallen down, and then some of them started to go home again. They couldn't stay there and watch, because they had to do the work at home and get dinner ready. Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis had to go home, but Uncle John was going to stay for a while, to help the other men clear up the great heap of logs and beams. And little Charles and little John wanted to stay and watch the men, so Uncle John said they might stay for a while. Then Uncle Solomon and Aunt Phyllis and Aunt Deborah and little Sam all started back in the wagon, and little Charles and little John stayed, with a lot of other boys, and they watched the men working.
After a while, Uncle John had to stop
working and start home again, to get his
dinner and to do the work on the farm.
So the two little boys went with him,
and they walked along the road for a
way until they came to the
And that's all.