Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Bantam Hen

T HE day after the ox-wagon man brought Johnny the picture-book from Bobby, Johnny sat by one of the tiny windows in the log cabin looking at the pictures. When he had turned every page in the book, he said to his mother:

"I wish I had something to send Bobby."

His little bantam hen was right under the window scratching for her dinner when he said it. "Cr-aw, cr-aw," she sang to herself; and presently she went around the house and up into the hall. Johnny's big straw hat was lying on the floor there.

"Cr-awcr-aw," sang the bantam hen when she saw it, and she stepped into the hat to see how it would do for a nest. It suited her exactly and she laid a little round egg in it. She was very proud of the egg.

"Cut—cut—cut—ca-dah-cut!" she called at the top of her voice just as if she were trying to say, "I've laid an egg, the prettiest egg, the whitest egg! Cut—cut—cut—ca-dah-cut!"

Johnny heard her very first call.

"My bantie hen has laid an egg," he said; and he put down the picture-book and took up his crutches to go and look for her nest.

"Put your hat on before you go into the hot sun, Johnny," called his mother.

Johnny was just about to pick up his hat when he spied the egg inside.

"My bantie hen has laid an egg in my straw hat!" he called.


"My bantie hen has laid an egg in my straw hat!" he called.

"Oh, Mamma, I believe I'll send the egg to Bobby!"

So when the ox-wagon man went to town next day he took Bantie's egg with him. Johnny's mamma had packed it in a little box filled with cotton-seed to keep it safe, and the ox-wagon man promised to be very careful with it.

"Don't forget to tell Bobby where I found it," Johnny called after him.

"I won't," said the ox-wagon man; and he did not.

When Bobby saw the egg and heard all about it, he was one of two happy boys on the Big Road. The other one was Johnny.