About Harriet  by Clara Whitehill Hunt

What Harriet Did on Friday

H ARRIET is a little girl four years old. She lives with her Father and Mother in a great huge city.

When Harriet opened her eyes one Friday morning, the first thing she thought about was her baby, who always sleeps in a wee, small crib beside Harriet's big crib. Harriet reached down to the little bed and called, "Time to wake up, Florella May."

Then she lifted dolly into her own bed, hugged her close, and told her the very same story that Father had read to Harriet at bedtime last night.

Florella May listened very quietly. She liked best of all Harriet's stories the one about "The Three Bears." It made her shiver when Mamma Harriet spoke in a great, gruff voice, like the Big Bear's, and she wished very much for a taste of Baby Bear's porridge.

After the story was finished, Harriet's Mother came and said, "Now, little daughter, it's almost time for your  porridge."

So Mother helped her dress, but Harriet put on her shoes and stockings all by herself. There was not time to dress Florella May, because Father was waiting for breakfast; but dolly seemed glad to take another nap.

When Harriet ran into the dining-room, Father called:—

"Hullo, Miss Dusenberry! How do you find yourself this fine day?"

And Harriet jumped into Father's arms and answered gayly:—

"I find myself ready to go to the beach with you, Mr. Father Robertson!"

Then Father laughed,—

"Oho! What do you suppose my big boys would think if their teacher went off to play on a school day?"

"They would think, 'We'll go to the beach too!' " she answered quickly.

But Mother said: "Oh, we aren't ready to go to the beach to-day. You and I have a great deal of baking to do first, or there wouldn't be lunch enough. You know Old Ocean always makes little girls and big Fathers want to eat a great many sandwiches and a great many cookies; and our cooky jar is almost empty."

"Shall we go to-morrow?" asked Harriet. "Is to-morrow Saturday?"

"Yes," answered Mother. "But come to breakfast now or our good food will be quite cold."

Then Father lifted Harriet into her high chair and tied on her bib, and Harriet said a little "Thank you" to God for the nice breakfast. Then she picked up her birthday spoon and began to eat her oatmeal.


When Harriet had eaten every bit, she smiled happily, for down at the bottom of her bowl was a picture which she always liked to see. There was a little Japanese garden and in the middle of it was a tiny bridge across a wee lake, and two funny little Japanese children were leaning over the railing of the bridge throwing crumbs to the swans in the water. Harriet owned a great many picture dishes, because she had two Grandmothers and four aunties and three uncles, and many friends who loved to give her presents; but ever since Mother had read the story of "The Japanese Twins" Harriet liked this bowl best of all.

Soon Father jumped up, kissed Mother and Harriet good-bye, and started off to catch his train.

Harriet ran to the window to wave her hand and throw kisses till Father turned the corner and she could see him no longer.

Then the busy day began. In fact, there was so much to do that Florella May slept in her nightie all day long, because her little Mother did not find time to dress her.

First there were the dishes to wash and wipe. Harriet knew how to wipe the knives and forks and spoons till they were so bright that she could see her face in them. This was a great help to Mother.


Next there were beds to make and rooms to be put in order; and then it was time for cooky-making. This was the most fun of all.

Mother worked at a high table, with a big moulding-board and a large rolling-pin, a great bowl and wooden spoon, and cooking dishes of large size.

Harriet stood by her own little table and she had a little moulding-board and a little rolling-pin, a wee bowl and a tiny wooden spoon.

First Mother made the cooky dough, then she put some of it into Harriet's bowl. Harriet stirred briskly for a long time. Then she sifted some flour through her tiny sifter on to her moulding-board. Then she rolled out the dough, very thin. And then  she cut out the cookies.

First she used a crinkly-edged cutter as large and round as a fifty-cent piece.

Next she cut out a tiny heart, like a valentine the postman had brought her last Valentine's Day,—only the valentine was red and the cookies were yellow as gold.

Last of all she used the cutter that made a lot of little baby moon cookies, just like the tiny golden boat that Harriet loved to watch as it floated on the sky ocean at night.

Harriet was too little to attend to baking her cookies in the great hot oven, so Mother did that for her, while Harriet climbed into the rocking-chair in the sitting-room and rocked and sang to herself, making-believe she was in the steamboat on the way to Maine where she and Father and Mother lived in summer.

After a while Mother called, "Do you want to see your cookies, dear? They are all out of the oven."

Harriet ran into the kitchen and gazed with delight at her hearts and rounds and baby moons; and, oh joy! there in their midst was a tall, thin, boy cooky and a short, plump, girl cooky that Mother had made as a surprise for her little daughter.

Harriet gave her Mother a bear hug of thankfulness, but she did not ask to eat anything then, because she knew that cookies hot from the oven aren't good for a little girl's "tummy."

After a long, satisfied look at the panful Harriet asked:—

"Now,  what are we going to do, Mother dearie?"

"I think I must next smooth out the wrinkles in your brown linen dress," said Mother. "That is a good dress for the beach, and though it is not soiled, it is a little too mussed for the first part of the day."

"It'll have lots and lots of wrinkles in it the last part of the day, won't it, Mother?" said Harriet gleefully.

"Yes, indeed!" laughed Mother. "After a day in the sand and the puddles it will be quite ready for Mrs. O'Brien to take home to wash on Monday."

While Mother ironed the linen dress, Harriet with her own little iron pressed the wrinkles out of Tommy Sweet Tooth's blue jumpers. Tommy Sweet Tooth was Harriet's boy doll. He had been a present from Aunt Grace on Harriet's last birthday. On the same birthday Aunt Helen had given Harriet the story of a funny little boy doll whose name was Tommy Sweet Tooth, so it isn't any wonder that the birthday "truly boy" was given the same name as the birthday story boy.

Presently it was lunch-time, and after lunch nap-time; and then it was time for a walk in the sunshine.

Harriet loved to walk on the Parkway not far from the quiet little street on which she lived. The Parkway was a great wide avenue, almost wide enough for three streets. First there was the sidewalk in front of the row of high brick houses. Along the edge of the sidewalk was a strip of green grass with a row of tall trees standing with their roots in the soft grass. Beyond the trees was a paved roadway for heavy wagons and grocers' and butchers' carts.

Then came a broad gravel walk, bordered with grass and roofed over with two rows of beautiful, stately trees. Along both sides of the gravel walk were benches; and on this bright June afternoon the benches were filled with mothers and nurses, while ever so many babies were sleeping and laughing and crowing in their pretty carriages, and ever so many little boys and girls were trundling hoops and dragging little carts and pushing doll carriages and running about merrily in the sunshine.


Beyond the gravel walk was a wide, wide road along which automobiles whizzed swiftly and splendid horses drew shining carriages on their way to the Park at the end of the Parkway. And again beyond the wide road was another gravel walk and another narrow roadway, and another sidewalk.

So it is no wonder that Harriet felt it a long and dangerous journey to cross the Parkway; and even though the splendid policeman on his beautiful, glossy horse was on guard to take care of the people afoot, Harriet always clung tightly to Mother's hand till they were safe under the trees on the gravel.

There isn't time to tell about all the things that Harriet saw on that Friday afternoon. It was the first warm, bright day after many cloudy or rainy ones, so it seemed as if everybody had come out to enjoy the sunshine.

There was the peanut man with his shaggy pony and red cart and the squeaky whistle that kept blowing while the peanuts were roasting in the little oven.

There was the balloon man carrying red and yellow and green and purple balloons on one arm, a basket of gay paper windmills on the other arm, while a whistle in his mouth made the children think a canary bird must be flying about the Parkway.


Once Harriet had seen an automobile stop at the curb to let a little boy buy a yellow balloon, which his father fastened to the front of the car. Then the automobile whirled away with the balloon bobbing in the wind before it.

There was the hurdy-gurdy—or street piano, some children called it—played by a dark-skinned Italian whose gayly dressed wife kept time with her tambourine and then passed it around for pennies. Harriet always liked to give pennies to the Italian woman, because she smiled so brightly and said, "Thanks, little Lady," so politely to Harriet.


There were so many things to see that Harriet thought the afternoon had been very short when Mother said:—

"It is time to go home now, dear, or Father will get there before we do."

You may be sure that at the end of this busy day Harriet was quite willing to go to bed early; only, of course, she had to have her bedtime story first.

This time she chose the story of "The Elephant's Child." It was such fun to pull Father's nose, the way the crocodile pulled the inquisitive little elephant's, and to hear Father say, "Led go, you are hurtig be!" just the way the elephant child talked in the "Just So" story.

After the story came the goodnight prayer, then oh, so many hugs and kisses for Father and Mother, and in two minutes more Harriet was fast asleep.

So that is the end of the First Story about Harriet and what she did on Friday.