Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Persimmon‑Tree

A PERSIMMON-TREE grew by the side of the Big Road. It was not a very large tree, and there were a great many prettier trees, but there was no tree that Father was so glad to see when he and Mother and Bobby came to live in the country.

"It makes me think of the time when I was a little boy and used to go persimmon-hunting," he told Bobby.

"Shall we go persimmon-hunting?" asked Bobby.

"Yes, indeed, when persimmons are ripe," said Father. "And there's nothing nicer than a ripe, red-as-gold, sweet-as-sugar persimmon."

Bobby had never tasted a persimmon in all his life, and, of course, he wanted to go persimmon-hunting with Father. Every time he passed the tree, he looked to see if there were any persimmons on it; and when at last he spied the fruit on the branches, he was delighted.

All through the bright fall days he watched the fruit changing from green to yellow, from yellow to red-gold. It looked so tempting that he thought it must be ripe. But when he asked if they could go persimmon-hunting Father said, "Not yet. Wait a little longer."

Bobby waited patiently enough until the day the wind came down the Big Road. This is how it happened:

Bobby was standing by the side of the road waiting for Father and Greylocks. He did not even know that the wind was anywhere near, when it came by and off went Bobby's hat, whirling and twirling all the way from the little brown house to the persimmon-tree. Oh, how the wind blew! But Bobby was a fast runner. He and the hat reached the persimmon-tree at almost the very same second.

Bobby was stooping to pick the hat up when—oo-oo-oo—the wind came whistling through the branches of the tree and down came a big red-gold persimmon right at Bobby's feet.

Then Bobby could not wait any longer; or at least he thought he couldn't. And he set his little white teeth right in the middle of the big persimmon.

Oh! How could anybody like a persimmon that puckered up your mouth and nipped your tongue? Dear me! It was worse than medicine! Oh! Why hadn't Bobby heeded what Father said?

"I'll wait until he goes persimmon-hunting with me before I eat any more persimmons," said Bobby.

But who do you think was the first to find ripe persimmons? Mother!

She came in from a walk one day and said to Bobby:

"Open your mouth and shut your eyes,

And I'll give you something to make you wise."

And she put a bit of persimmon that was as sweet as sugar into Bobby's open mouth.

Oh, how good persimmons were—when they were ripe!