WEEK 36 |
T HESE spring days were beautiful days on the Green Meadows. It seemed to Johnny Chuck that the Green Meadows never had been so lovely or the songs of the birds so sweet. He had forgotten all about his old friends, Jimmy Skunk and Peter Rabbit and the other little meadow people.
You see, he couldn't think of anybody but Polly Chuck, and he didn't want to be with anybody but Polly Chuck. He had even forgotten that he had started out to see the world. He didn't care anything more about the world. All he wanted was to be where Polly Chuck was. Then he was perfectly happy. That was because Johnny Chuck had found the greatest thing in the world, which is love. But Johnny still had one great wish, the wish that he might show Polly Chuck just how brave and strong he was and how well he could take care of her.
One morning they were feasting in a patch of sweet clover over near an old stone wall. It was the same stone wall in which Johnny Chuck had escaped from old Whitetail the Marshhawk, when Johnny was a very little fellow.
Suddenly Polly gave a little scream of fright. Johnny Chuck looked up to see a dog almost upon her. Johnny's first thought was to run to the old stone wall. He was nearer to it than Polly was. Then he saw that that dreadful dog would catch Polly before she could reach the stone wall.
A great rage filled Johnny's heart, just as it had when he had fought the old gray Chuck. Every hair stood on end, not with fear, but with anger, and he sprang in front of Polly.
"Run, Polly, run!" he cried, and Polly ran.
But Johnny didn't run. Oh, my, no! Johnny didn't run. He drew himself together ready to spring. He showed all his sharp teeth and ground them savagely. Little sparks of fire seemed to snap out of his eyes. There was no sign of fear in Johnny Chuck then, not the least little bit. Just in front of him the dog stopped and barked. He was a little dog, a young and foolish dog, and he was terribly excited. He barked until he almost lost his breath. He didn't like the looks of Johnny Chuck's sharp teeth. So he circled around Johnny, trying to get behind him. But Johnny turned as the dog circled, and always the little dog found those sharp teeth directly in front of him. He barked and barked, until it seemed as if he would bark his head off.
Finally the little dog, who was young and foolish, grew tired of just dancing around and barking. "Pooh!" said he to himself. "He's nothing but a Chuck!" Then he stopped barking and sprang straight at Johnny with an ugly growl.
Johnny Chuck was ready for him and he was quicker than the little dog. His sharp teeth closed on one of the little dog's ears, and he held on while with his stout claws he scratched and tore.
The little dog, who was young and foolish and hadn't yet learned how to fight, couldn't get hold of Johnny Chuck anywhere. Then he tried to shake Johnny Chuck off, but he couldn't, because Johnny held on to that ear with his sharp teeth.
"Kiyi-yi-yi-yi!" yelled the little dog,
for those teeth hurt
Over and over they rolled and tumbled, the little dog trying to get away, and Johnny Chuck holding on to the little dog's ear. Finally Johnny had to let go to get his breath. The little dog sprang to his feet and started for home across the Green Meadows as fast as he could run.
Johnny Chuck shook himself and grinned, as he heard the little dog's
"My, how brave you are!" said Polly Chuck.
"Pooh, that's nothing!" replied Johnny Chuck.
Pussy-cat ate the dumplings, the dumplings,
Pussy-cat ate the dumplings.
Mamma stood by, and cried, "Oh, fie!
Why did you eat the dumplings?"
WEEK 36 |
T HE ox-wagon man got off to town so early one morning that his wife forgot to give him a sample of some calico that she wanted him to get at the store. She did not remember it till at least two hours after he and Buck and Bright were on their way.
"I'd rather have forgotten anything else," she told Johnny. "Now I can't finish your new waist for there's no telling how long."
"Let's send Daddy the piece of calico by Towser," said Johnny. "He'll catch up with him, I know."
The ox-wagon man's wife was not sure of this, but she thought it would do no harm to try Towser.
So when she had written on a bit of paper how much of the calico she wanted she wrapped the note and the sample in a little bundle and fastened it on the dog's collar.
"Go and find Daddy! Go and find Daddy!" said Johnny.
Towser knew what that meant.
Many people had passed along the Big Road since the
He would not turn aside for anything. When a chipmunk ran right across the road in front of him he only barked, as if to say:
"Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Go where you please. I shall not chase you. I'm going to find my master."
By and by he came to the creek. The
Towser stopped, too, and barked at the shining water.
Which way had his master gone? Had he driven through the creek, or had he turned aside into a little road that led to the deep woods?
The yellow dog ran along the creek bank sniffing at the
The ox-wagon man had let his oxen rest under the
"Bow-wow! Bow-wow!" Where was the
But—"Bow-wow!"—there he was driving into Bobby's yard!
Towser dashed in behind the wagon, barking with all his might, and the ox-wagon man looked around with a start.
He spied the little bundle at Towser's neck the very first thing, and showed it to Bobby.
Bobby said it was no wonder that Johnny thought Towser was the smartest dog in the world.
Y the side of the Big Road, right in front of the
little brown house, stood a post; and on top of the
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
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
"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
"I thought I didn't like to go to parties, but I do," said Bobby when he got home.
WEEK 36 |
Appley Dapply, a little brown mouse,
Goes to the cupboard in somebody's house.
In somebody's cupboard
There's everything nice,
Cake, cheese, jam, biscuits,
—All charming for mice!
Appley Dapply has little sharp eyes,
And Appley Dapply is so fond of pies!
Now who is this knocking
At Cottontail's door?
Tap tappit! Tap tappit!
She's heard it before?
And when she peeps out
there is nobody there,
But a present of carrots
put down on the stair.
Hark! I hear it again!
Tap, tap, tappit! Tap tappit!
Why—I really believe it's
A little black rabbit!
Old Mr. Pricklepin has never a cushion
to stick his pins in,
His nose is black and
his beard is gray,
And he lives in an ash stump
over the way.
You know the old woman
Who lived in the shoe?
And had so many children
She didn't know what to do?
I think if she lived in a little
That little old woman was surely a mouse!
Diggory Diggory Delvet!
A little old man in black velvet;
He digs and he delves—
You can see for yourselves
The mounds dug by Diggory Delvet.
Gravy and potatoes
In a good brown pot—
Put them in the oven,
and serve them very hot!
There once was an amiable
Who brushed back his hair like
He wore a sweet tie,
As blue as the sky—
And his whiskers and buttons
Were very big.
Dance, Thumbkin, dance;
(keep the thumb in motion
Dance, ye merrymen, everyone.
(all the fingers in motion
For Thumbkin, he can dance alone,
(the thumb alone moving
Thumbkin, he can dance alone.
(the thumb alone moving
Dance, Foreman, dance,
(the first finger moving
Dance, ye merrymen, everyone.
But Foreman, he can dance alone,
(the first finger moving
Foreman, he can dance alone.
(the first finger moving
Dance, Longman, dance,
(the second finger moving
Dance, ye merrymen, everyone.
For Longman, he can dance alone,
(the second finger moving
Longman, he can dance alone.
(the second finger moving
Dance, Ringman, dance,
(the third finger moving
Dance, ye merrymen, dance.
But Ringman cannot dance alone,
(the third finger moving
Ringman, he cannot dance alone.
(the third finger moving
Dance, Littleman, dance,
(the fourth finger moving
Dance, ye merrymen, dance.
But Littleman, he can dance alone,
(the fourth finger moving
Littleman, he can dance alone.
(the fourth finger moving
WEEK 36 |
LONG the upper edge of the meadow and in the corners of the
rail fence there grew
It may have been because the
Nobody knows why they should have been called Frog-Hoppers, unless it was because when you look them in the face they seem a very little like tiny Frogs. To be sure, they have six legs, and teeth on the front pair, as no real Frog ever thought of having. Perhaps it was only a nickname because their own name was so long and hard to speak.
The golden-rod was beginning to show small
These four little Frog-Hoppers did not know how lucky they
were, and that, you know, happens very often when people
have not seen others lonely or unhappy. They supposed that
One morning the oldest Frog-Hopper brother thought that the
sap pumped very hard. It may be that it did pump hard, and
it may be that he was tired or lazy. Anyway, he began to
grumble and find fault. "This is the worst stalk of
He was quite right in saying that it was the worst stalk he
had ever seen, because he had never seen any other, but he
was much mistaken in saying
that it didn't pay to pump sap,
and as for saying that "it didn't pay, so there!" we all
know that when insects begin to talk in that way the best
thing to do is to leave them
quite alone until they are
The other Frog-Hopper children couldn't leave him alone, because they hadn't changed their skins for the last time. They had to stay in their foam until that was done. After the big brother spoke in this way, they all began to wonder if the sap didn't pump hard. Before long the big sister wiggled impatiently and said, "My beak is dreadfully tired."
Then they all stopped eating and began to talk. They called their home stuffy, and said there wasn't room to turn around in it without hitting the foam. They didn't say why they should mind hitting the foam. It was soft and clean, and always opened up a way when they pushed against it.
"I tell you what!" said the big brother, "after I've changed
my skin once more and gone out into the great world, you
won't catch me hanging around this old
"Nor me!" "Nor me!" "Nor me!" said the other young Frog-Hoppers.
"I wonder what the world is like," said the little sister.
"Is it just bigger foam and bigger
"Huh!" exclaimed her big brother. "What lots you know! If I didn't know any more than that about it, I'd keep still and not tell anybody." That made her feel badly, and she didn't speak again for a long time.
Then the little brother spoke. "I didn't know you had ever been out into the world," he said.
"No," said the big brother, "I suppose
you didn't. There are
lots of things you don't know." That made him feel badly,
and he went off into the farthest corner of the foam and
stuck his head in between a
For a long time nobody spoke, and then the big sister said, "I wish you would tell us what the world is like."
The big brother knew no more about the world than the other
children, but after he had been cross and put on airs he
didn't like to tell the truth. He might have known that he
would be found out, yet he held up his head and answered: "I
don't suppose that I can tell you so that you will
understand, because you have never seen it. There are lots
of things there—whole lots of them—and it is very big.
Some of the things are like
This was very interesting and made the little sister forget
to pout and the little brother come out of his
It was not long after this that the young
When they had left their foam and their
Then the big brother would answer: "Yes, I did. That is one
of the things
which I said were not like either
For a while they met only Crickets, Ants, Grasshoppers, and
"Oh, see!" cried the others. "There is somebody with only four legs, and he doesn't look as though he ever had any more. Why, Brother, what does this mean? You said everybody had six."
At this moment the Tree Frog opened his eyes a little and
his mouth a great deal, and shot out his quick tongue. When
he shut his mouth again, the big brother of the
WEEK 36 |
O NCE upon a time there lived a wee woman whose bit of a garden was a delight to all eyes.
Such flowers as she had! And in the midst of them, green as an emerald and smooth as velvet, was a grass plot with never a weed upon it. And through the grass ran a garden walk as white as snow. Every one who saw it declared there was no prettier garden in the king's country and what they said was no more than what was true.
Early and late the wee woman worked to keep her garden fair and lovely but in spite of all her care whenever the east wind blew it brought with it a whirl of trash from her neighbor's dooryard, and scattered it among her flowers.
Alack and alas, what a dooryard was that! Except for the trash that was always upon it, it was as bare as the palm of your hand; and there was a heap of dirt and ashes as high as a hillock in front of the door. Everybody who passed it turned their eyes away from it, for there was no uglier spot in the king's country; and that is nothing but the truth of it.
Whenever the wee woman looked from her windows or walked in her garden she saw the dooryard and many was the day when she said to herself:
"I wish I were a thousand miles away from it;" and if she made up her mind, as sometimes she did, that she would trouble no more about it, the east wind was sure to come with a whirl of its trash. Oh, it seemed as if she were always cleaning because of that dooryard!
And what to do about it she did not know. She puzzled and planned, she wished and she worked, but she had come to the end of her wits when, one day, her fairy godmother came to see her.
"Never fret," said the godmother when she had heard the trouble. "In your own garden grows a magic flower that can set things right; and if you will only tend it and watch it and wait long enough you shall see what you shall see."
And when she had pointed out the flower she went on her way, leaving the wee woman much comforted.
She tended the flower and watched it and waited to see what she should see; and while she was watching and waiting, the flower burst into bloom. The loveliest bloom! Every blossom was as rosy as the little clouds at sunrise; and the wee woman's garden was more beautiful than before because of them.
While she was watching and waiting, the flower burst into bloom.
But as for the neighbor's dooryard it was as bare and ugly as ever. The heap of dirt and ashes grew larger every day; and whenever the wind blew from the east it brought a whirl of its trash into the wee woman's garden just as it had always done.
The wee woman looked each morning to see if the magic of the flower had begun to work but morning after morning nothing changed.
"It is long waiting and weary watching for magic things to work," said she to herself; but because of what her fairy godmother had told her, she tended the flower from day to day, and hoped in her heart that something might come of it yet.
By and by the blossoms of the flower faded and fell and after them came the seed. Hundreds and hundreds of feathery seed there were, and one day the wind from the west came by, and blew them away in a whirl over the fence and into the neighbor's door-yard. No one saw them go, not even the wee woman knew what had become of them; and as for the door-yard, it was as ugly as ever with its ash heap and its trash. Everybody who passed it turned their eyes away from it.
The wee woman herself would look at it no longer.
"I will look at the magic flower instead," she said to herself, and so she did. Early and late she tended the plant and worked to make her garden fair and lovely; but she kept her eyes from the dooryard. And if the wind from the east blew trash among her flowers she raked it away and burned it up and troubled no more about it.
Summer slipped into autumn and autumn to winter and the flowers slept; but at the first peep of spring the wee woman's garden budded and bloomed once more; and one day as she worked there, with her back to the dooryard, she heard passers-by call out in delight:
"Of all the gardens in the king's country there are none so pretty as these two," and when she looked around in surprise to see what they meant she saw that the neighbor's dooryard was full of flowers—hundreds and hundreds of lovely blossoms, every one as rosy as the little clouds at sunrise. They covered the heap of dirt and ashes, they clustered about the door stone; they filled the corners; and in the midst of them was the neighbor, raking and cleaning as busily as if she were the wee woman herself.
"The finest in the world," said the wee woman; and she nodded and smiled too, for she knew that the magic flower had done its work.
Mary had a pretty bird,
Feathers bright and yellow,
Slender legs—upon my word
He was a pretty fellow!
The sweetest note he always sung,
Which much delighted Mary.
She often, where the cage was hung,
Sat hearing her canary.
WEEK 36 |
O NCE upon a time there was a little boy, and he was almost five years old, and his name was David. And there weren't any other children near for him to play with, so he used to play happily all by himself.
He had his cat and his cart and his shovel and his hoe, and he always wore his overalls when he was playing.
They had been building a new house in the field next to David's house, and it was all done, and all ready to be lived in.
It had electric lights and a range which would burn either coal or gas and in cold weather they would burn coal in the range, and in warm weather they would use the gas part.
And the telephone was all in, for the inside-telephone-men had come and put it in. David hadn't seen them do their work, because they had been inside the house all the time, and there wasn't any nice foreman, like Jonathan, who knew him, and who took pains to show him everything there was to show.
But he had seen them go in, carrying the telephone, and he had seen them come out without it, and he had asked them if they had it all fixed so that people could talk, and they had said that they had fixed it, and that it was all right.
Then six great wagons had come. Three of the wagons brought furnace coal and two of them brought range coal, and one brought a load of wood to burn in the fireplaces.
And the furnace coal went in at one cellar window, and the range coal went in at another cellar window, and the wood went in at the cellar door, in a man's arms.
All these different things were being done at once, and there was a tremendous racket with all the coal going down through iron chutes, and all the men had been very busy.
Then the racket had stopped, and the men had taken their chutes and thrown them into the wagons, and they had climbed up into their seats, and they had rattled off, in a procession, but they had left the cellar windows flapping.
Coal men never do fasten the cellar windows unless there is somebody right there to remind them of it. And, in a few minutes, David saw a man come out of the house and lock the door, and walk up the road and turn the corner.
The next day, David watched the new house for a long time, but nothing happened, and he couldn't see that there was anybody there, so he wandered into the thin woods behind his house.
His cat started with him, but two crows came and flew at the cat, and she was frightened and ran home as fast as she could go, with her bushy tail sticking straight out behind her.
David laughed to see her running away from the crows, and he walked along slowly, and he came where were some crusts of bread and other things which the maid at his house had taken out there for the birds.
David's mother had the maid throw out crusts of bread and tie lumps of fat on the trees all winter, because when the snow is on the ground it is sometimes hard for the birds to find things enough to eat.
There was a plenty of things for the birds to eat now, and they were easy enough to get, but some birds were picking at the scraps.
Suddenly the birds flew up into a tree and two gray squirrels came and gnawed at the bread crusts, when the two crows that had chased David's cat came flapping down and tried to get at the scraps.
But the squirrels stopped eating and chased the crows savagely; and the crows didn't fight back, but they just flew up a little bit of a way and hovered there until the squirrels began to eat again.
The squirrel chased the crows.
Then they flapped down on the ground and began to sneak up toward the scraps; and the squirrels darted at them and chased them again.
David wasn't very near, and he had watched the squirrels and the crows for some time.
Then he just happened to look up, and he saw a maid come out of the cellar door of the new house and get some wood from the pile that the carpenters had left.
And she picked out the little pieces and put them in her apron and went in; and, almost as soon as she was in, smoke began to come out of the chimney, and David thought he had better go there and see what was going on.
He walked up past his house, and stopped and got his cart and called his cat. And his cat came running, and he walked along, dragging his cart, with his shovel and his hoe rattling in the bottom of it.
But when he got to the road he looked up to the corner to see if there was anything coming, and he saw what he thought must be the circus just turning the corner.
First there came three great horses, harnessed abreast, and their harness was glittering with chains and little brass things and with ivory rings; and the horses were dragging a great big shiny van which seemed almost as big as a house.
The driver's seat was up high, and the top of the van stuck over and made a little roof for it; and on the side of the van was a picture of two lions, and the lions in the picture were about as big as real lions.
And behind that van came another
And behind that came a smaller van drawn by two horses,
and that had lions painted on the side, and a little
dog trotted under the
When these three vans had turned the corner, no more came, although David watched for as much as half a minute.
By that time the first van was past him and his cat had caught sight of the little dog and the little dog had caught sight of the cat.
But the cat didn't do anything, and the little dog was too tired to chase her. So he pretended that he didn't see her, and he trotted along under the van as far as the new house.
All the vans stopped at the new house, and the horses backed them up side by side in the gutter. There wasn't any curbstone, and the sidewalk was a new one of gravel, and there would be a border of grass when the grass had time to grow.
As soon as the vans had stopped, the little dog trotted
out from under the
And he came to the faucet where they screw on the hose, and he saw that there was a drop of water hanging on the bottom of the faucet. So he licked that up and waited until another drop came, and he licked that up.
Then one of the moving-men saw him.
"Poor little Dick!" said the moving-man.
And he went to the faucet and the little dog wagged his stump of a tail and backed away a step and waited.
Then the moving-man turned the handle of the faucet so that a little thin stream of water ran out, and the little dog came up and lapped out of the little thin stream, wagging his stump of a tail very fast. He wagged and he lapped until he had had enough.
He licked up the drops of water.
And the moving-man turned the handle of the faucet the other way, and the water stopped running.
Then the little dog licked the man's hand, and he trotted back to the van, and he went under and curled up and slumped down, and he put his head on his paws, and he drew two or three long breaths, and he went to sleep.
There were three men with each three-horse van and two
men with the
The things were covered with a great many old soft
cloths: old coarse burlaps, and old quilts and
comforters. These soft cloths belonged to the
When they took anything out of a van, they took off the cloths and threw them in a pile on the sidewalk, and they put the things in a sort of a clump, along the front walk of the new house.
David had come up close, dragging his cart, but his cat had run off into the field.
Then the moving-men noticed David standing there.
"Hello," said one of the men. He seemed to be a kind of a foreman. "Do you live around here?"
David pointed to his house.
"I live in that house. Do you know whether there are any little boys coming to live in this house?"
"I think likely," said the moving-man, "but I don't know for certain."
"Well, are you going to take all these things into the house?" David asked again, pointing at the things.
There were a hat-rack, and two wastebaskets filled with little things done up in newspaper, and a little table, and a pasteboard box filled with hats, and two mirrors about as tall as David, and a maid's washstand, and a bundle of pictures tied up in newspapers, and a wooden box full of rubbers, and some crockery things, and a barrel of kitchen things, and a great enormous pasteboard box tied up with tape, and another great pasteboard box with the side broken in, and three kitchen chairs, and a chamber chair, and a bundle of magazines, and some other things and they were all spread out on the walk.
These things were all the things that had been left over and put in last in packing the vans, or little things which filled up chinks.
"We are going to take them in as soon as somebody comes
to tell us where to put them," the
David nodded his head.
Just then one of the men took out of a van a little upholstered armchair.
"Hello!" said the moving-man. "That looks as if there was a youngster of some kind coming, either a boy or a girl."
Then another man came with a box of toys, and set it down beside the armchair.
David saw it and smiled.
"That looks so, too, doesn't it now?" said the
David turned around, and he saw a very pleasant-looking man coming along, and, holding by his hand, there was a little boy who looked as if he might be almost five years old.
They came near, and David looked at the little boy, but he didn't say anything, and the little boy looked at David, and he didn't say anything either, but he held to his father's hand tighter than ever.
"Well, here we are. You have not been waiting long, I judge. Now I'll go in and you can come along with the things as fast as you like. What will you do, Dick?"
At the sound of his name, the little dog raised his head and wagged his stump of a tail and was all ready to get up; but nobody saw him, for the little boy was whispering to his father, who turned to David.
"I guess that your name is David," he said and David nodded. "I know your father, David. How would you like it if Dick stayed out here with you? You two can play anywhere that you are used to, David, or you can stay and watch as long as you like."
David thought that that would be nice, and he turned his cart around and took out the backboard, and he told Dick that he might sit in it if he wanted to, or he could sit in the little armchair.
Dick chose the cart to sit in, and David sat in the armchair, and they watched the men, who were beginning to carry in the things.
They watched the men.
They had taken some more things out of one of the vans, and they had come to the heavy things.
One man was in the van, unpacking the things and pushing them to the back, where the other men could reach them.
And a man would take as much as he could carry under his arms, and march into the house with it; and another man would come and get his load, and he would march in with it.
There was a procession of men going in with their loads and coming out without any, and Dick's father stood just inside the front door and told each man where to leave his load, and the man went to that room and left it, and came out again.
But when they had all the parts of a bed in the room where the bed was to be, they put the bed together, so that it was all ready to be made up.
Two men carried in the dining-table, and
the library table, and the
They had come to a lot of boxes, all just alike, each box just about a load for one man. The men were taking them up as fast as they could, and going in, and piling them up in the hall, and they joked about them, they were so heavy.
David was curious about the boxes, and he asked Dick what was in them; and Dick said that books were in them, and his mother and his father packed them, and it took them a long time, for they had to wrap every book in newspaper and stuff newspapers in all the cracks. Then his father had screwed the tops on with a screwer.
And David said it was funny how heavy books were, because they were made of paper, and paper was one of the lightest things there was, and his kitty liked to play with pieces of newspaper, out of doors, where the wind blew them.
Then he got up and called his cat, but she didn't come.
"I'll tell you," David said; "let's go and find her."
So Dick and David each took hold of one handle of the cart, and walked along to David's house, and David called his cat again, but she didn't come.
Then he thought that she must be in the woods, and they would go there and find her.
But first he went into his house and asked the maid to give him and Dick some cookies, and the maid gave him three for Dick and three for himself.
And he gave Dick his three, and the two little boys wandered on into the woods, eating their cookies and dragging the cart behind them, and David thought how much better a real little boy was than a pretend little boy.
And David told Dick about the squirrels and the crows and the other birds that were there, and he showed him where there were some chestnuts; and they picked up some chestnuts and got them out of the burs and put them into the cart.
Then suddenly there was David's cat walking along, with her bushy tail sticking straight up in the air; and she went to David and rubbed against him, and she went to Dick and rubbed against him, and she went to the cart and rubbed against that.
Then she ran on ahead, and they came after, and they went to the place where the squirrels and the crows had been.
But no squirrels were there.
So the two little boys wandered on through the thin woods, looking for squirrels, and sometimes the cat was with them and sometimes she wasn't, and at last they were just behind Dickie's house, for the new house was his house now.
And they looked up and saw the vans just starting away, and the horses were trotting.
They watched until they couldn't see the vans any longer, and they heard them turn the corner.
"I guess I've got to go," said Dickie then.
"Why have you got to go?" David asked. "Aren't you going to live in that house?"
"Yes," Dick said, "I am, but we're going back for
"Oh," said David.
That was the first time Dick had told him that he had a baby sister.
Dick had already started up to his house, but he stopped and turned around.
"Good-bye, David," he said.
"Good-bye, Dick," said David.
And Dick turned again and hurried to the new house, but David stood, holding the handle of his cart and looking after him.
And he saw Dick's father come around the corner of the house and take Dick by the hand.
Then Dick's father stood for a minute looking at the house, as if he was afraid that he had forgotten something.
But he couldn't think of anything, and he and Dick began to walk away, and Dick was talking to his father and his father was smiling.
David stood still, watching them, until he couldn't see them any longer.
Then he began to gallop along toward his house, dragging his cart, and his shovel and his hoe rattled like everything in the bottom of it; and his cat ran on ahead, with her bushy tail sticking straight up in the air.
And that's the end of this book.
WEEK 36 |
T HE beautiful world which God in the beginning made full of sunshine and happiness was soon spoilt by the sin which so swiftly crept in, and ever since there has always been sorrow and pain waiting to dim the gladness and darken the light.
But there are some good gifts of God which no pain or sorrow can spoil, that shine out like stars in a dark sky, whose light nothing can quench, and that death itself has no power to dim.
Perhaps one of the best of these gifts, the most precious thing which God can give us, is a friend; some one who understands and loves us, and whom we love and trust with all our hearts. They are rare things, these friends, worth more to us than all the riches of the world, although sometimes we think them as common as the sunshine or the flowers.
When the King of Heaven came down to earth, to live the life of common men, He too had a little company of friends around Him, who truly loved Him, and whom He loved. But among them all there was one special friend, one special gift from God, St. John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
No one else seemed to live quite as close to Jesus as he. No one was as quick to understand the Master, to guess His wishes almost before they were put into words. St. John did not, like St. Peter, boast of his love and devotion, but he quietly followed his Master, and never left him.
Whenever it was possible, St. John was always to be found at Jesus' side. At the Last Supper, when all the sorrowing friends gathered round him, St. John was nearest, and even leaned his head against his Friend. When cruel hands had nailed the King to the Cross, it was St. John who stood close beneath, beside the only other person who had courage to be there—the Lord's dear mother.
The King, looking down, saw these two good gifts which God had given Him—His mother and His friend—and they were very precious in His eyes. To the friend He would give the most sacred thing which He had to leave behind Him.
"Woman," He said, "behold thy son," and to St. John, "Son, behold thy mother."
All through his life St. John's love had never failed. Like many other of the friends of Jesus, he suffered pains and punishments for his Master's sake; and at last, when he was an old man, worn out with suffering, he was banished to the island of Patmos, and left there alone, as it seemed, friendless and deserted.
It might well be that the lonely old man felt as if his life had been a failure, and was almost bewildered to see how evil had triumphed over good. He had not only suffered himself, but he had seen the terrible sufferings of many other servants of the King. There had been no pity for the Christians. Even young girls and children had been flung to the wild beasts, because they would not deny their Lord. The King had been his Friend; and yet here he was, old, worn out, and alone, deserted by every one, thrust away from the sound of any human voice.
Faithful unto Death — Early Christian Martyrs
But he was not really alone. His Friend was close at hand, who had never left him, and He lifted the veil which hung between them, and showed St. John a glimpse of Heaven, a revelation of unseen things. St. John's weary eyes had been looking at the mistakes and failures and puzzles of the world, until these seemed to him bigger than anything else; now he was to see with clearer vision how wonderfully everything had been planned by God. He was to see the friends of the King sharing His glory, all sorrow, sin, and suffering forgotten, since God had wiped away all tears from their eyes.
There, upon the throne, was his dear Master, bearing still the marks of the cruel nails, "a Lamb as it had been slain." There around Him, all things in Heaven and earth bowed down and worshipped Him.
Many were the glorious things shown to St. John by God's angel, and afterwards the lonely saint on the desert island tried to write down an account of the wonders he had seen. He wrote of a golden city with its walls of jasper and its gates of pearl, of the crystal river and the jewelled throne set around with a rainbow halo, of white-robed angels and golden harps.
"The angel which shewed me these things."
But all these things were as nothing compared to the sight of his Master's face, to the knowledge that his King and unchanging Friend was there, ruling all things, and that some day He would come again, when every eye would see Him.
"Behold, I come quickly," had been the comforting words of the
King, when for that wonderful moment the veil had been lifted; and
St. John's answer rang out full of faith now as well as
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop;
So I cried, "Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?"
And was going to the window
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,
And far away he flew.