Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Birthday Bouquet

B Y the side of the Big Road, right in front of the little brown house, stood a post; and on top of the post a mail-box was fastened.

Father's name, R. L. RANDOLPH, was on the mail-box, printed in large clear letters that anybody could read. R. stood for Robert and L. stood for Lee. Bobby had the same name, but nobody called him by it.

The postman who brought the mail to everybody who lived along the Big Road put all of Mother's and Father's and Bobby's letters in the mail-box. Father got a great many letters and Mother got some, but Bobby scarcely ever got a letter. So you can imagine how surprised he was one day when the only letter that the postman left was for him.

Mother and Father wondered who could be writing to their little boy.

"I guess it is my grandmother," said Bobby.

But when the letter was opened and read, this is what it said:

"Will you come and play with me,

To-morrow afternoon at three?

"Your little friend,


"It's Florence's birthday. She will be six years old," said Bobby. "She told me she was going to have a party."

"Then you must take her a birthday bouquet," said Mother. "We will get the flowers the first thing in the morning."

There were golden-rod and asters, white Michaelmas daisies, and purple ironweed, blooming by the Big Road; and just as the road belonged to everybody alike, so did the wild flowers.

Mother and Bobby gathered as many as their hands could hold, and then hurried home to make them into the birthday bouquet.


Mother and Bobby gathered as many as their hands could hold.

Father had been busy while they were gone, and he had made a birthday card, with a tiny picture of the little brown house by the road, to tie on the bouquet.

Bobby printed his own name on the back of the card—BOBBY. The letters were not exactly straight, but Father said he thought it was better to write your own name, even if the letters were crooked, than to have any one else do it for you.

Bobby was ready to go to the party in plenty of time—but what do you think? When he was all dressed in his new sailor suit that had a red-and-white anchor on each sleeve, and Greylocks was waiting at the door to take him to the party, Bobby decided that he would rather stay at home.

"Father can take the birthday bouquet to Florence," he said. "I don't like to go to parties. I don't know any of the children."

"You know Florence and the baby brother," said Mother.

"And how will Florence feel when I tell her that you are not coming?" said Father. "I should not be surprised if she were depending on you to help everybody have a good time at the party because you are her friend."

Bobby had not thought of that.

"Perhaps I'd better go," he said.

Florence was waiting and watching for him. When she spied him coming she ran out to meet him with all the other children who had come to the party trooping after her.

"Now we'll have fun," she said. "Bobby knows such nice things to play."

And Bobby did not think of being a stranger, or of anything but having fun, the whole time that he was at the party.

Florence's mother had taken the flowers from Bobby at the door and he did not know what had become of them.

But when the children went into the dining-room to eat the party supper, the first thing Bobby spied was the birthday bouquet right in the middle of the party table.

"I thought I didn't like to go to parties, but I do," said Bobby when he got home.