Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Picnic

O NE day when all the birds were singing, and there was not a cloud in the sky, Father said:

"Let's have a picnic?"

"Oh, yes, let's!" said Bobby.

So Mother packed a basket with sandwiches and fruit and they were soon on their way.

Bobby carried the basket for a while, and Father carried it for a while. Then Father put a stick through the handle of the basket so he and Bobby could both carry it. This was a fine plan and they were stepping along briskly when suddenly Father stopped and said:

"I hear running water."

Bobby and Mother stopped to listen.

Yes they heard it, too. Gurgle, gurgle.

"There is a brook somewhere near us," said Father, "and the place that a brook comes from is the best place in the world to have a picnic."

When they came to the turn of the road there sure enough was a little stream that crossed the Big Road and ran away down the hill.

Father stopped beside the brook and played that he was talking to it.

"Where did you come from, little brook?" he asked.

"From a bubbling spring in a woodland nook," he answered himself.

"How shall we find it, tell me, pray?"

"Follow my stream. I'll show you the way," he answered himself again.

So Bobby and his father and mother followed the little stream back through mosses and ferns, under trees and over stones till they came to a grey rock on the side of a hill.

From under the grey rock bubbled a spring of water. Drip, drop it fell among the stones, and gurgle, gurgle it ran away in the shining stream that they had followed from the Big Road.

The grass grew like a carpet all about the spring and the trees overhead were like great green umbrellas.

It was the best place in the world for a picnic they all agreed, and Mother made haste to spread the table-cloth that she had brought in the basket, and to take out the luncheon.

Sandwiches and fruit and cool spring-water in green leaf-cups that Father made—who would want a better luncheon? Not Father nor Mother nor Bobby.

"I like to eat my lunch out-of-doors. Let's do it every day," said Bobby.