Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 40  


The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

Sammy Jay Plans Mischief

Mischief may not mean to be really truly bad,

But somehow it seems to make other people sad;

Does a mean unpleasant thing and tries to think it fun;

Then, alas, it runs away when trouble has begun.

O F all the little people who live in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadows, none is more mischievous than Sammy Jay. It seems sometimes as if there was more mischief under that pert little cap Sammy Jay wears than in the heads of all the other little meadow and forest people put together. When he isn't actually in mischief, Sammy Jay is planning mischief. You see it has grown to be a habit with Sammy Jay, and habits, especially bad habits, have a way of growing and growing.

Now Sammy Jay had no quarrel with Johnny Chuck. Oh, my, no! He would have told you that he liked Johnny Chuck. Everybody likes Johnny Chuck. But just as soon as Sammy Jay found Johnny Chuck's new house, he began to plan mischief. He didn't really want any harm to come to Johnny Chuck, but he wanted to make Johnny uncomfortable. That is Sammy Jay's idea of fun—seeing somebody else uncomfortable. So he slipped away to a thick hemlock-tree in the Green Forest to try to think of some plan to tease Johnny Chuck and make him uncomfortable.

Of course he knew that Johnny had hidden his new house in the corner of Farmer Brown's old orchard because he wanted it to be a secret. He didn't know why Johnny wanted it a secret and he didn't care. If Johnny wanted it a secret, it would be fun to tell everybody about it. As he sat wondering who he should tell first; he saw Reddy Fox trotting down the Lone Little Path.

"Hi, Reddy Fox!" he shouted.

Reddy looked up. "Hello, Sammy Jay! What have you got on your mind this morning?" said Reddy.

"Nothing much," replied Sammy Jay. "What's the news?"

Reddy grinned. "There isn't any news," said he. "I was just going to ask you the same thing."

It was Sammy Jay's turn to grin, "Just as if I could tell you any news, Reddy Fox! Just as if I could tell you any news!" he exclaimed. "Why, everybody knows that you are so smart that you find out everything as soon as it happens."

Reddy Fox felt flattered. You know people who do a great deal of flattering themselves are often the very easiest to flatter if you know how. Reddy pretended to be very modest; but no one likes to be thought smart and important more than Reddy Fox does, and it pleased him greatly that Sammy Jay should think him so smart that no one could tell him any news. Sammy knew this perfectly well, and he chuckled to himself as he watched Reddy Fox pretending to be so modest.

"Have you called on Johnny Chuck at his new home yet?" asked Sammy Jay, in the most matter-of-fact way.


"Have you called on Johnny Chuck
at his new home yet?" asked Sammy Jay.

"No," replied Reddy, "but I mean to, soon." He said this just as if he knew all about Johnny Chuck's new home, when all the time he hadn't the remotest idea in the world where it was. In fact he had hunted and hunted for it, but hadn't found a trace of it. And all the time Sammy Jay knew that Reddy didn't know where it was. But Sammy didn't let on that he knew.

"I just happened to be up in Farmer Brown's old orchard this morning, so I thought I'd pay Johnny Chuck a call," said Sammy, and chuckled as he saw Reddy's ears prick up. "By the way, he thinks you don't know where he lives now."

"Huh!" said Reddy Fox. "As if Johnny Chuck could fool me! Well, I must be moving along. Good-by, Sammy Jay."

Reddy trotted off towards the Green Meadows, but the minute he was out of sight of Sammy Jay, he turned towards Farmer Brown's old orchard, just as Sammy Jay had known he would.

"I guess Johnny Chuck will have a visitor," chuckled Sammy Jay, as he started to look for Jimmy Skunk.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Dance, Little Baby

Dance, little Baby, dance up high!

Never mind, Baby, Mother is by.

Crow and caper, caper and crow,

There, little Baby, there you go!

Up to the ceiling, down to the ground,

Backwards and forwards, round and round;

Dance, little Baby and Mother will sing,

With the merry coral, ding, ding, ding!


  WEEK 40  


The Dutch Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Kit and Kat


This is a picture of Kit and Kat. They are Twins, and they live in Holland. Kit is the boy, and Kat is the girl.

Of course their real names are not Kit and Kat at all. Their real names are Christopher and Katrina. But you can see for yourself that such long names as that would never in the world fit such a short pair of Twins. So the Twins' Mother, Vrouw Vedder, said,

"They cannot be called Christopher and Katrina until they are four and a half feet high."

Now it takes a long time to grow four and a half feet of Boy and Girl. You know, chickens and puppies and colts and kittens always grow up much faster than twins. Kit and Kat ate a great many breakfasts and dinners and suppers, and played a great many plays, and had a great many happy days while they were growing up to their names. I will tell you about some of them.


The Dutch Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Day They Went Fishing

O NE summer morning, very early, Vrouw Vedder opened the door of her little Dutch kitchen and stepped out.

She looked across the road which ran by the house, across the canal on the other side, across the level green fields that lay beyond, clear to the blue rim of the world, where the sky touches the earth. The sky was very blue; and the great, round, shining face of the sun was just peering over the tops of the trees, as she looked out.


Vrouw Vedder listened. The roosters in the barnyard were crowing, the ducks in the canal were quacking, and all the little birds in the fields were singing for joy. Vrouw Vedder hummed a slow little tune of her own, as she went back into her kitchen.

Kit and Kat were still asleep in their little cupboard bed. She gave them each a kiss. The Twins opened their eyes and sat up.

"O Kit and Kat," said Vrouw Vedder, "the sun is up, the birds are all awake and singing, and Grandfather is going fishing to-day. If you will hurry, you may go with him! He is coming at six o'clock; so pop out of bed and get dressed. I will put some lunch for you in the yellow basket, and you may dig worms for bait in the garden. Only be sure not to step on the young cabbages that Father planted."

Kit and Kat bounced out of bed in a minute. Their mother helped them put on their clothes and new wooden shoes. Then she gave them each a bowl of bread and milk for their breakfast. They ate it sitting on the kitchen doorstep.


This is a picture of Kit and Kat digging worms. You see they did just as their mother said, and did not step on the young cabbages. They sat on them, instead. But that was an accident.


Kit dug the worms, and Kat put them into a basket, with some earth in it to make them feel at home.

When Grandfather came, he brought a large fishing-rod for himself and two little ones for the Twins. There was a little hook on the end of each line.

Vrouw Vedder kissed Kit and Kat good-bye.

"Mind Grandfather, and don't fall into the water," she said.

Grandfather and the Twins started off together down the long road beside the canal.

The house where the Twins lived was right beside the canal. Their father was a gardener, and his beautiful rows of cabbages and beets and onions stretched in long lines across the level fields by the roadside.

Grandfather lived in a large town, a little way beyond the farm where the Twins lived. He did not often have a holiday, because he carried milk to the doors of the people in the town, every morning early. Sometime I will tell you how he did it; but I must not tell you now, because if I do, I can't tell you about their going fishing.

This morning, Grandfather carried his rod and the lunch-basket. Kit and Kat carried the basket of worms between them, and their rods over their shoulders, and they were all three very happy.


They walked along ever so far, beside the canal. Then they turned to the left and walked along a path that ran from the canal across the green fields to what looked like a hill.

But it wasn't a hill at all, really, because there aren't any hills in Holland. It was a long, long wall of earth, very high—oh, as high as a house, or even higher! And it had sloping sides.

There is such a wall of earth all around the country of Holland, where the Twins live. There has to be a wall, because the sea is higher than the land. If there were no walls to shut out the sea, the whole country would be covered with water; and if that were so, then there wouldn't be any Holland, or any Holland Twins, or any story. So you see it was very lucky for the Twins that the wall was there. They called it a dyke.

Grandfather and Kit and Kat climbed the dyke. When they reached the top, they sat down a few minutes to rest and look at the great blue sea. Grandfather sat in the middle, with Kit on one side, and Kat on the other; and the basket of worms and the basket of lunch were there, too.


They saw a great ship sail slowly by, making a cloud of smoke.

"Where do the ships go, Grandfather?" asked Kit.

"To America, and England, and China, and all over the world," said Grandfather.

"Why?" asked Kat. Kat almost always said "Why?" and when she didn't, Kit did.

"To take flax and linen from the mills of Holland to make dresses for little girls in other countries," said Grandfather.

"Is that all?" asked Kit.

"They take cheese and herring, bulbs and butter, and lots of other things besides, and bring back to us wheat and meat and all sorts of good things from the lands across the sea."

"I think I'll be a sea captain when I'm big," said Kit.

"So will I," said Kat.

"Girls can't," said Kit.

But Grandfather shook his head and said:

"You can't tell what a girl may be by the time she's four feet and a half high and is called Katrina. There's no telling what girls will do anyway. But, children, if we stay here we shall not catch any fish."

So they went down the other side of the dyke and out onto a little pier that ran from the sandy beach into the water.

Grandfather showed them how to bait their hooks. Kit baited Kat's for her, because Kat said it made her all wriggly inside to do it. She did not like it. Neither did the worm!


They all sat down on the end of the pier, Grandfather sat on the very end and let his wooden shoes hang down over the water; but he made Kit and Kat sit with their feet stuck straight out in front of them, so they just reached to the edge,—"So you can't fall in," said Grandfather.

They dropped their hooks into the water and sat very still, waiting for a bite. The sun climbed higher and higher in the sky, and it grew hotter and hotter on the pier. The flies tickled Kat's nose and made her sneeze.

"Keep still, can't you?" said Kit crossly. "You'll scare the fish. Girls don't know how to fish, anyway."

Pretty soon Kat felt a queer little jerk on her line. She was perfectly sure she did.


Kat squealed and jerked her rod. She jerked it so hard that one foot flew right up in the air, and one of her new wooden shoes went—splash—right into the water!

But that wasn't the worst of it! Before you could say Jack Robinson, Kat's hook flew around and caught in Kit's clothes and pricked him.


Kit jumped and said "Ow!" And then—no one could ever tell how it happened—there was Kit in the water, too, splashing like a young whale, with Kat's hook still holding fast to his clothes in the back!

Grandfather jumped then, too, you may be sure. He caught hold of Kat's rod and pulled hard and called out, "Steady there, steady!"

And in one minute there was Kit in the shallow water beside the pier, puffing and blowing like a grampus!

Grandfather reached down and pulled him up.


When Kit was safely on the pier, Kat threw her arms around his neck, though the water was running down in streams from his hair and eyes and ears.

"O Kit," she said, "I truly thought it was a fish on my line when I jumped!"

"Just like a g-g-girl," said Kit. "They don't know how to f-f-fish." You see his teeth were chattering, because the water was cold.

"Well, anyway," said Kat, "I caught more than you did. I caught you!"

Then Kat thought of something else. She shook her finger at Kit.


"O Kit," she said, "Mother told you not  to fall into the water!"

" 'T-t-twas all your fault," roared Kit. "Y-y-you began it! Anyway, where is your new wooden shoe?"

"Where are both of yours?" screamed Kat.

Sure enough, where were they? No one had thought about shoes, because they were thinking so hard about Kit.

They ran to the end of the pier and looked. There was Kat's shoe sailing away toward America like a little boat! Kit's were still bobbing about in the water near the pier.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" shrieked Kat; but the tide was going out and carrying her shoe farther away every minute. They could not get it; but Grandfather reached down with his rod and fished out both of Kit's shoes Then Kat took off her other one and her stockings, and they all three went back to the beach.

Grandfather and Kat covered Kit up with sand to keep him warm while his clothes were drying. Then Grandfather stuck the Twins' fish-poles up in the sand and tied the lines together for a clothes-line, and hung Kit's clothes up on it, and Kat put their three wooden shoes in a row beside Kit.


Then they ate their luncheon of bread and butter, cheese, and milk, with some radishes from Father's garden. It tasted very good, even if it was sandy. After lunch Grandfather said,

"It will never do to go home without any fish at all."

So by and by he went back to the pier and caught one while the Twins played in the sand. He put it in the lunch-basket to carry home.

Kat brought shells and pebbles to Kit, because he had to stay covered up in the sand, and Kit built a play dyke all around himself with them, and Kat dug a canal outside the dyke. Then she made sand-pies in clam-shells and set them in a row in the sun to bake.

They played until the shadow of the dyke grew very long across the sandy beach, and then Grandfather said it was time to go home.

He helped Kit dress, but Kit's clothes were still a little wet in the thick parts. And Kat had to go barefooted and carry her one wooden shoe.

They climbed the dyke and crossed the fields, and walked along the road by the canal. The road shone, like a strip of yellow ribbon across the green field. They walked quite slowly, for they were tired and sleepy.


By and by Kit said, "I see our house"; and Kat said, "I see Mother at the gate."

Grandfather gave the fish he caught to Kit and Kat, and Vrouw Vedder cooked it for their supper; and though it was not a very big fish, they all had some.

Grandfather must have told Vrouw Vedder something about what had happened; for that night, when she put Kit to bed, she felt of his clothes carefully—but she didn't say a word about their being damp. And she said to Kat: "To-morrow we will see the shoemaker and have him make you another shoe."

Then Kit and Kat hugged her and said good-night, and popped off to sleep before you could wink your eyes.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son



  WEEK 40  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—In the Meadow  by Lisa M. Ripperton

The Gingerbread Boy


N OW you shall hear a story that somebody's great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing—they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.


Presently, she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go.


The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

And I can run away from you, I can!"


Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn't catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn't catch him.

And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow,

And I can run away from you, I can!"

But the pig ran, and couldn't catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

"I've run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow and a pig,

And I can run away from you, I can!"


Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently the gingerbread boy said: "Oh, dear! I'm quarter gone!" And then: "Oh, I'm half gone!" And soon: "I'm three-quarters gone!" And at last: "I'm all gone!" and never spoke again.



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

My Little Maid

High diddle doubt, my candle's out

My little maid is not at home;

Saddle my hog and bridle my dog,

And fetch my little maid home.


  WEEK 40  


Among the Meadow People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Last Party of the Season


S UMMER had been a joyful time in the meadow. It had been a busy time, too, and from morning till night the chirping and humming of the happy people there had mingled with the rustle of the leaves, and the soft "swish, swish," of the tall grass, as the wind passed over it.

True, there had been a few quarrels, and some unpleasant things to remember, but these little people were wise enough to throw away all the sad memories and keep only the glad ones. And now the summer was over. The leaves of the forest trees were turning from green to scarlet, orange, and brown. The beech and hickory nuts were only waiting for a friendly frost to open their outer shells, and loosen their stems, so that they could fall to the earth.

The wind was cold now, and the meadow people knew that the time had come to get ready for winter. One chilly Caterpillar said to another, "Boo-oo! How cold it is! I must find a place for my cocoon. Suppose we sleep side by side this winter, swinging on the same bush?"

And his friend replied: "We must hurry then, or we shall be too old and stiff to spin good ones."

The Garter Snake felt sleepy all the time, and declared that in a few days he would doze off until spring.

The Tree Frog had chosen his winter home already, and the Bees were making the most of their time in visiting the last fall flowers, and gathering every bit of honey they could find for their cold-weather stock.

The last eggs had been laid, and the food had been placed beside many of them for the babies that would hatch out in the spring. Nothing was left but to say "Good-by," and fall asleep. So a message was sent around the meadow for all to come to a farewell party under the elm tree.

Everybody came, and all who could sing did so, and the Crickets and Mosquitoes made music for the rest to dance by.

The Tree Frog led off with a black and yellow Spider, the Garter Snake followed with a Potato Bug, and all the other crawling people joined in the dance on the grass, while over their heads the Butterflies and other light-winged ones fluttered to and fro with airy grace.

The Snail and the fat, old Cricket had meant to look on, and really did so, for a time, from a warm corner by the tree, but the Cricket couldn't stand it to not join in the fun. First, his eyes gleamed, his feelers waved, and his feet kept time to the music, and, when a frisky young Ant beckoned to him, he gave a great leap and danced with the rest, balancing, jumping, and circling around in a most surprising way.

When it grew dark, the Fireflies' lights shone like tiny stars, and the dancing went on until all were tired and ready to sing together the last song of the summer, for on the morrow they would go to rest. And this was their song:

The autumn leaves lying

So thick on the ground,

The summer Birds flying

The meadow around,

Say, "Good-by."

The Seed Babies dropping

Down out of our sight,

The Dragon-Flies stopping

A moment in flight,

Say, "Good-by."

The Red Squirrels bearing

Their nuts to the tree,

The wild Rabbits caring

For babies so wee,

Say, "Good-by."

The sunbeams now showing

Are hazy and pale,

The warm breezes blowing

Have changed to a gale,

So, "Good-by."

The season for working

Is passing away.

Both playing and shirking

Are ended to-day,

So, "Good-by."

The Garter Snake creeping

So softly to rest,

The fuzzy Worms sleeping

Within their warm nest,

Say, "Good-by."

The Honey Bees crawling

Around the full comb,

The tiny Ants calling

Each one to the home,

Say, "Good-by."

We've ended our singing

Our dancing, and play,

And Nature's voice ringing

Now tells us to say

Our "Good-by."


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Last Night the Dogs Did Bark


  WEEK 40  


More Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

The Stepping Stones

It had been raining, raining, raining, and Betty had not seen her Aunt Mary for three long days, so as soon as the sun shone bright again, she put her bonnet on and started out to pay her a visit.

Up the hill and down the hill, through the lane where the Japonica hedges grew, by the fields and over the stile—this was the way to Aunt Mary's house, and Betty skipped gaily along till she came to a mud puddle in the lane that stretched across from hedge to hedge.

"Dear me!" said she when she saw this, "I can never get over this mud puddle by myself, and she looked about anxiously for some one to help her. Nobody was in sight but a fat little frog, and he was entirely too fond of mud to sympathize with her. He splashed in and out and all about, and looked as if he was thinking, "What a very strange creature to stand on dry land when she might be in this delightful puddle with me."


"Dear me!" said she when she saw this, "I can never get over this mud puddle by myself."

Betty sat down on a big gray stone under the hedge and watched him. Hop, jump, splish, splash he went.

"I wish I could jump over," said the little girl, but the mud puddle was too wide for that.

By and by a white duck came along. She belonged to Aunt Mary, and of course she knew Betty at once.

"Quack," she said, as she hurried into the puddle. "Quack, quack," which meant in her language, "Come paddle right in. What are you waiting for?"

"I wish my Uncle Jack would come for me in the wagon," said Betty, when the white duck had gone on to the farmyard, but Uncle Jack was at home and did not dream that Betty was waiting down there in the lane.

Sometimes the lane was full of wagons, but that day the only traveler was a buzzing bee who was in such a hurry to get to Aunt Mary's flower garden that she did not even see Betty, as she flew over the puddle and far away.

"Hum, hum, hum," she sang to herself, and her song was all about honey.

The spider, and the grasshopper, and the cricket who lived in the lane, came out from their homes to look at the little girl, and they talked about her among themselves.

"If I wanted to get over the puddle," said the spider, "I would spin a long thread from the branch of a tree, and swing across."

"I would hop through the hedge, and into the fields myself," said the grasshopper.

"The lane is pleasant here," chirped the cricket. "Why should she go on? I have lived here a long time."

"She will have to go home," croaked the frog, who had come from the puddle to sun himself. "Hear what I say, she can't get over"; and he had just settled himself for a nice little nap when Betty jumped up from her seat in such a hurry that he opened his eyes with a start, to see what was the matter.

"She is going to move the big gray stone," cried all the little watchers.

"She never will do it," said he; but he scarcely had spoken when the stone rolled out of its place and into the puddle just where Betty wanted it to go.

There was another stone in the lane and she did not rest until this too was rolled into the puddle. Then she found a red brick that had been lying under the hedge waiting for somebody to move it for so long a time that not even the cricket could remember when it came there.

"Here's a fine stepping stone," cried she, when she spied it, and she made haste to throw it into the mud, beyond the stones, where it fell with a splash.

"What is she going to do now?" asked the spider, but before the grasshopper or the cricket could say a word, or the frog could croak again, Betty went stepping from stone to stone, across the mud puddle, and safe to the other side.

"That's the best way to get over puddles," she said to herself, and away she ran, down the lane, by the fields, and over the stile to Aunt Mary's.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;

For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;

For want of the horse, the rider was lost;

For want of the rider, the battle was lost;

For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost,

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


  WEEK 40  


The Sandman: His Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Fine-Hominy Story

dropcap image NCE upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and had green blinds, and it stood not far from the road. And in the fence was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going through, had made a track that led up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

Not far from the house there was a field where corn grew; and when the winter was over and the snow was gone and it was beginning to get warm, Uncle John got the old oxen out of the barn. And the oxen put their heads down, and Uncle John put the yoke over and the bows under, and he put the plough on the drag and hooked the drag chain to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up there, Buck; gee up there, Star."

So the old oxen started walking slowly along the wagon track and out of the gate into the road. Uncle Solomon and Uncle John walked along beside them, and little John walked behind; and they walked along until they came to the corn-field. Then the oxen stopped and Uncle John took the bars down out of the holes in the posts, and the oxen geed up again through the gate into the corn-field.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the drag and hooked it to the plough and said "Gee up" again, and the oxen started walking along across the field, dragging the plough. Uncle Solomon held the handles, and the plough dug into the ground and turned up the dirt into a great heap on one side and left a deep furrow—a kind of a long hollow—all across the field where it had gone. And the old oxen walked across the field, around and around, making the furrow and turning up the dirt, until they had been all over the field.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the plough and hooked it on to the harrow. The harrow is a big kind of a frame that has diggers like little ploughs sticking down all over the under side of it. And the oxen dragged the harrow over the field and the little teeth broke up the lumps of dirt and smoothed it over and made it soft, so that the seeds could grow.

Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the harrow and hooked it to the drag and put the plough on the drag and said "Gee up," and the oxen walked along through the gateway and along the road until they came to the farm-house. And they went in at the wide gate and up the wagon track until they came to the shed, and there they stopped. Then Uncle John unhooked the chain and took off the yoke, and the old oxen went into the barn and went to sleep; and Uncle John put the drag in the shed.

The next day Uncle John took a great bag full of corn, and put it over his shoulder and started walking along to the corn-field; and little John walked behind. And when they got to the corn-field, Uncle John put the great bag of corn on the ground and put some in a little bag and gave it to little John. Then Uncle John began walking across the field and little John walked behind. And at every step Uncle John stopped and made five little holes in the ground; and then he took another step and made five other little holes. And little John came after and he put one grain of corn in each hole and brushed the dirt over. And they went all over the field, putting the corn in the ground, and when it was all covered over, they went away and left it.


Then the rain came and fell on the field and sank into the ground, and the sun shone and warmed it, and the corn began to grow. And soon the little green blades pushed through the ground like grass, and got bigger and bigger and taller and taller until when the summer was almost over they were great corn-stalks as high as Uncle John's head; and on each stalk were the ears of corn, wrapped up tight in green leaves, and at the top was the tassel that waved about. Then, when the tassel got yellow and brown and the leaves began to dry up, Uncle John knew it was time to gather the corn, for it was ripe.


Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John came out with great heavy, sharp knives and cut down all the cornstalks and pulled the ears of corn off the stalks. And little John came and helped pull off the leaves from around the ears. Then the old oxen came out of the barn and Uncle John put the yoke over their necks and the bows up under and hooked the tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke. And he said "Gee up there," and the old oxen began walking slowly along, dragging the cart; and they went out the wide gate and along the road to the corn-field.

Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon tossed the ears of corn into the cart; and when it was full, the old oxen started again, walking slowly along, back to the farm-house, in through the wide gate and up the wagon track and in at the wide door of the barn. And Uncle John put all the ears of corn into a kind of pen in the barn and the old oxen dragged the cart back to the corn-field to get it filled again; and so they did until all the ears of corn were in the pen.

And then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart and put the cart in the shed, and he took off the yoke, and the oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

The next morning Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and little John all went out to the barn and sat on little stools—low stools with three legs, that they sit on when they milk the cows—and rubbed the kernels of corn off the cobs. Then Uncle John put all the corn into bags and put it away; and he put the cobs in the shed, to use in making fires.

Then, one morning, Uncle John got out the oxen, and they put their heads down, and he put the yoke over their necks and the bows up under, and he hooked the tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke; and he said "Gee up there," and they walked into the barn. Then Uncle John put all the bags of corn into the cart, and he put little John up on the cart, and the old oxen started again and walked slowly along, down the wagon track, out the wide gate, and into the road.

Then they turned along the road, not the way to the field where they got the water, but the other way. And they walked a long way until they came to a place where there was a building beside a little river. And on the outside of the building was a great enormous wheel, so big that it reached down and dipped into the water. And when the water in the little river flowed along, it made the great wheel turn around; and this made a great heavy stone inside the building turn around on top of another stone. Now the building is called a Mill, and the big wheel outside is called a Mill-Wheel, and the stones are called Mill-Stones; and the man that takes care of the mill is called the Miller.


Now the miller was sitting in the doorway of the mill; and when he saw Uncle John and little John and the ox-cart filled with bags, he got up and came out, and called to Uncle John: "Good morning. What can I do for you this morning?"

And Uncle John said: "I've got some corn to grind."

So the oxen stopped, and little John got down, and the miller and Uncle John took all the bags of corn into the mill, and the oxen lay down and went to sleep. Then Uncle John and little John sat down on some logs in the mill, and the miller asked Uncle John how he wanted the corn ground. So Uncle John said he wanted some of it just cracked, and some of it ground into fine hominy, and some of it into meal.


Then the miller fixed the stones so they could just crack the corn, and he poured the corn in at a place where it would run down between the stones, and he started the stone turning. When the corn was cracked, he put it into the bags again, and tied them up.

Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn into fine hominy, and he poured the corn in, and it came out ground into fine hominy. Then he put the fine hominy into the bags again and tied them up.

Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn into meal, and he poured the corn in, and it came out ground into meal. Then he put the meal into the bags again and tied them up. And the miller kept two bags of each kind to pay for grinding the corn; but the other bags he put into the ox-cart.

Then the oxen got up and little John was lifted up and the old oxen started walking slowly along home again. And they walked a long time until they came to the wide gate, and they turned in at the gate and up the wagon track to the kitchen door, and there they stopped. And Uncle John took one of the bags of meal into the kitchen and gave it to Aunt Deborah.

And he said: "Here's your meal, Deborah."

And Aunt Deborah said: "All right. I'll make some Johnny-cake for breakfast to-morrow."

And the rest of the meal was put away in the store-room until they wanted it; for they had enough to last them all winter and some to take to market besides. Then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart from the yoke and put the cart in the shed. And he took off the yoke and the old oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Five Toes



  WEEK 40  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

Isaac and Rebekah

T HERE was sadness in the home of Abraham, the great chief, and his son Isaac. Sarah's tent was empty now, and Isaac, her son, went about sorrowfully, for he sorely missed his mother, whom he had loved with all his heart. Abraham was an old man now, and his life was nearly over; but Isaac was young, and the future looked very lonely and very sad to him.

Abraham watched his son with anxious eyes. It was not good for him to grieve so sorely. Surely it was time that he should marry and have a wife to bring back happiness to him. But it must be the right kind of wife; his son must not choose any of the ordinary women amongst whom they lived. No, he would send his old and trusted servant back to that far-away home he had left so long ago, and bid him bring from there a maiden of his own people, one who would be a fit wife for his only son. So here the story begins.

It was evening, and the little village, perched on the side of the hill, shone white in the last rays of the setting sun against its rocky background. Below, in the plain, evening shadows had already begun to gather as a weary traveller made his way with his swaying train of camels towards the well, sheltered by palm trees at the foot of the hill.

He was an old man, and his dusty sandals and travel-stained appearance showed that he had come a long distance. The camels, too, were travel-worn and thirsty. There was no one at the well as the old man, Abraham's trusted servant, drew near; and after he had made the camels kneel down he sat himself at the well side to wait until the women of the village should come to draw the evening supply of water.

It was a difficult errand on which his master had sent him. How was he to find out which of all the village maidens was the right wife for Isaac, his beloved master's son? Surely the best thing he could do was to ask God to help him. So there, in the gathering twilight, the old servant knelt and asked God to be graciously kind to him, and to show him by a sign which maiden he should choose. He would ask for a drink, and the one who answered, "Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also," would be the one he sought.

He had not long to wait, for scarcely was his prayer ended when down the path that led from the village came a young girl carrying a pitcher upon her shoulder. The old man watched her keenly. "She is very fair to look upon," he said to himself. He wondered if she would also have a kind heart. Then after she had filled her pitcher he determined to try the test, and went forward to meet her.

"Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher," he said.

Immediately the girl lowered her water-jug from her shoulder and held it towards him.

"Drink, my lord," she said kindly; and as she looked round on the tired beasts kneeling patiently there, she added, "I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking."

It seemed almost too good to be true. The old man could only stand and look at her in silent wonder as she gave the camels their drink. Then he took from his pack two golden bracelets and a wonderful gold ear-ring, and presented them to her, asking her name, and if she thought he could find a lodging in the village.

If he had had any doubts about the sign these vanished now as he listened to her answer. She was Rebekah, the daughter of his master's own brother, not only one of his race, but one of his own family.

So he followed her as she went on ahead to tell her father of the traveller who was coming, and when he arrived there was a warm welcome awaiting him, and everything in readiness for his comfort.

But before the faithful servant would even eat or drink he declared that he must tell them the reason of his coming: how his master Abraham had sent him to seek for a wife for his only son, and how God had showed him by a sign that Rebekah was the maiden of his choice.

The family listened wonderingly. Surely it was plain that they must let their beautiful Rebekah return with the servant to be Isaac's bride, for God had clearly shown that it was His will.

That night there was much feasting and rejoicing, but next morning a little sadness crept in. It was not easy to part with the only daughter of the house. Would it not be possible to wait for a few days? asked her mother wistfully.

"No," said the old servant decidedly, "send me away, that I may return at once."

"We will call Rebekah," said her mother, "and she shall decide."

Rebekah came and answered the question bravely. Yes, she would go. She was ready to start at once on that long journey, ready to trust herself to the faithful servant whom God had sent to fetch her.

She was very young; all unknown and untried the future lay before her. It might be a shining path of happiness, or rough with the stones of difficulty, but it was the path God had chosen for her.

So after many farewells they set out, a long train of swaying camels, to journey to that far-off land where Abraham and his son Isaac dwelt.

It was again evening time as the journey drew to an end. Isaac had wandered out into the fields after his day's work, to be alone with his sorrowful thoughts. He was watching the sun dip down in the west, when far along the winding strip of white road a cloud of dust caught his eye. Travellers must be coming that way. Closer and closer they came, until the camels and their riders could be clearly seen through the dust. Then Isaac saw that it was the faithful servant who had returned; and as they stopped and dismounted, he knew that the silent girl who stood there with veiled face was the wife his father had desired for him.

Quickly the servant told his story, and then Isaac came near and took Rebekah's hand and led her away. There was but one place for this beautiful maiden who had so trustfully left her home to come to him. Straight to his mother's tent he took her, that silent tent which now would be empty no longer; and ere long all his loneliness and sorrow vanished, and his empty heart too was filled with love for his beautiful wife who had come to comfort him for the loss of his mother.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Pease Porridge


Pease porridge hot,

Pease porridge cold,

Pease porridge in the pot,

Nine days old.

Some like it hot,

Some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot,

Nine days old.