Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 44  


The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

Sammy Jay Understands

I T was a beautiful morning. Jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had thrown his bedclothes off very early and started to climb up the sky, smiling his broadest. Old Mother West Wind had swept his path clear of clouds. The Merry Little Breezes, who, you know, are Mother West Wind's children, had danced across the Green Meadows up to the old orchard, where they pelted each other with white and pink petals of apple blossoms until the ground was covered. Each apple-tree was like a huge bouquet of loveliness. Yes, indeed, it was very beautiful that spring morning.

Sammy Jay had gotten up almost as early as Mr. Sun and Old Mother West Wind. As soon as he had swallowed his breakfast, he flew up to the old orchard and hid among the white and pink apple blossoms to watch for Johnny Chuck. You see, he knew that Johnny Chuck had some sort of a secret which filled Johnny with very great pride; but what it was Sammy Jay couldn't even guess, and nothing troubles Sammy Jay quite so much as the feeling that he cannot find out the secrets of other people. So he sat very, very still among the apple blossoms and waited and watched.

By and by Johnny Chuck appeared on his doorstep. He seemed very much excited, did Johnny Chuck. He sat up very straight and looked this way and looked that way. He looked up in the apple-trees, and Sammy Jay held his breath, for fear that Johnny would see him. But Sammy was so well hidden that, bright as Johnny Chuck's eyes are, they failed to see him. Then Johnny Chuck actually climbed up on the old stone wall so as to see better, and he sat there a long time, looking and looking.

Sammy Jay grew impatient. "He seems to be terribly watchful this morning. I never knew him to be so watchful before. I don't understand it," muttered Sammy to himself.

After a while Johnny Chuck seemed quite satisfied that there was no one about. He hopped down from the old stone wall and scampered over to the doorway of his new house, and there he began to chatter. Sammy Jay stretched his neck until it ached, trying to hear what Johnny Chuck was saying, but he couldn't because Johnny's head was inside his doorway.

Pretty soon Johnny Chuck backed out and sat up, and he looked very proud and important. Then Sammy Jay saw something that nearly took his breath away. It was the head of Polly Chuck peeping out of the doorway. It was the first time that he had seen Polly Chuck.

"Why," gasped Sammy Jay, "it must be that Johnny Chuck has a mate, and I didn't know a thing about it! So that's his secret and the reason he has appeared so proud lately!"

Polly Chuck came out on the doorstep. She looked just as proud as Johnny Chuck, and at the same time she seemed terribly anxious. She sat up beside Johnny Chuck, and she looked this way and that way, just as Johnny had. Then she put her head in at the doorway and began to call in the softest voice.

In a minute Sammy Jay saw something more. It surprised him so that he nearly lost his balance. It was another head peeping out of the doorway, a head just like Johnny Chuck's, only it was a teeny-weeny one. Then there was another and another! Polly kept talking and talking in the softest voice, while Johnny Chuck swelled himself up until he looked as if he would burst with pride.

Sammy Jay understood now why Johnny Chuck had been so proud for the last few days. It was because he had a family! Sammy looked down at the three little Chucks sitting on the doorstep, trying to sit up the way Johnny Chuck sat, and they looked so funny that Sammy forgot himself and laughed right out loud. In a flash the three little Chucks and Polly Chuck had disappeared inside the house, while Johnny Chuck looked up angrily. He knew that his secret was a secret no longer.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Little Tom Tucker


Little Tom Tucker

Sings for his supper.

What shall he eat?

White bread and butter.

How will he cut it

Without e'er a knife?

How will he be married

Without e'er a wife?


  WEEK 44  


The Dutch Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Mother's Day

Part 2 of 2

"Now it is time to cook the dinner," said Vrouw Vedder. "We will have pork and potatoes and some cabbage. Kit, run to the garden and bring a cabbage; and Kat, you may get the fire ready to cook it, when Kit brings it in."


Kat went to the stove—but it was such a funny stove! It wasn't a stove at all, really.

There was a sort of table built up against the chimney. It was all covered with pretty blue tiles, with pictures of boats on them. Over this table, there was a shelf, like a mantel shelf. There were plates on it, and from the bottom of the shelf hung some chains with hooks on them. The coals were right out on the little table.

Kat took the bellows and—puff, puff, puff!—made the coals burn brighter. She peeped in the kettle to see that there was water in it. Then she put some more charcoal on the fire.

Kit brought in the cabbage, and Vrouw Vedder cut it up and put it into the pot of water hanging over the fire. She put the pork and potatoes in too.

In a little while the pot was bubbling away merrily; and Father Vedder, who was in the garden, sniffed the air and said,

"I know what we are going to have for dinner."

While the pot boiled, Vrouw Vedder scrubbed the floor and wiped the window. Then she took her brooms and scrubbing-brush outside.

She scrubbed the door and the outside of the house. She scrubbed the little pig with soap. The little pig squealed, because she got some soap in its eyes. She scrubbed the steps—and even the trunk of the poplar tree in the yard! She scrubbed everything in sight, except Father Vedder and the Twins! By and by she came to the door and called,

"Come to dinner! Only be sure to leave your wooden shoes outside, when you come into my clean kitchen."

Here are the shoes, just as they left them, all in a row. And as it was Saturday, the shoes were scrubbed too, that night.


When the dinner was cleared away, Vrouw Vedder said to the Twins,

"It is almost time for Grandmother to come. Let's walk out to meet her."


They walked clear to the edge of the town before they saw her coming. They walked on top of the dyke, so they could look right down into the street, and see all the houses in a row. Grandmother was coming up the street with a basket on her arm.

"What do you think is in that basket?" Vrouw Vedder asked the Twins.

"Honey cake!" said Kit; and Kat said, "Candy!"

And Kit and Kat were both right. There was a large honey cake and anise candies, and some currant buns besides!


Grandmother let them peep in and see. They were very polite and did not ask for any—Vrouw Vedder was proud of the Twins' good manners. Grandmother said,

"This afternoon, when we have tea, you shall have some."

"I'm glad I ate such a lot of dinner," said Kit to Kat, as they walked along; "or else I'd just have to have a bun this minute!"

"Yes," said Kat, "it's much easier to be polite when you aren't hungry."

When they got home, Kit and Kat took their Grandmother to see the new goslings, and to see the ducklings too. And Vrouw Vedder showed her the butter that Kit and Kat had helped to churn; and Grandmother said,

"My, my! What helpers they are getting to be!" Then she said, "How clean the house is!" and then, "How the brasses shine!"

"Yes," said Vrouw Vedder; "the Twins helped me make everything clean and tidy to show to you."

"I guess it's time for honey cake," said Grandmother.

Then Vrouw Vedder stirred up the fire again and boiled the kettle and made tea. She took down her best china cups and put them out on the round table.


Then Grandmother opened her basket and took out the honey cake and buns and the candy; and Vrouw Vedder brought out her fresh butter.

"I can't stay polite much longer," said Kit to Kat.

Grandmother gave them each a thin slice of honey cake and a bun; and Vrouw Vedder spread some of the butter on the buns—and oh, how good they were!

"Some for a honey cake,

And some for a bun,"

sang Kat. It didn't take the Twins long to finish them.

When they had drunk their tea, Grandmother brought out her knitting, and Mother Vedder began to spin.

"How many rolls of linen have you ready for Kat when she marries?" Grandmother asked.

"I try to make at least one roll each year; so she has four now and I am working on the fifth one," said Vrouw Vedder. "She shall be as well-to-do as any farmer's daughter near here, when she marries. See, this is the last one," and Vrouw Vedder took from the press a roll of beautiful white linen tied with blue ribbons.

"Is that for me, Mother?" asked Kat.

"Yes," said Vrouw Vedder. "When you marry, we shall have a fine press full of linen for you."

"Isn't Kit going to have some too?" asked Kat.

Grandmother laughed.

"The mother of the little girl who will some day marry Kit, is working now on her linen, no doubt; so Kit won't need any of yours."


The Twins looked very solemn and went out into the yard. They sat down on the bench by the kitchen door together. Then Kat said,

"Kit, do you s'pose we've got  to be married?"

"It looks like it," said Kit.

Things seemed very dark indeed to the Twins.

"Well," said Kat, "I just tell you I'm not going to do it. I'm going to stay at home with Mother and Father, and you and the ducks and everything!"

"What will they do with the linen then?" said Kit. "I guess you'll have  to be married."

Kat began to cry.

"I'll just go and ask Mother," she said.

"I'll go with you," said Kit. "I don't want to any more than you do."

So the Twins got down from the bench and went into the kitchen where Grandmother and Vrouw Vedder were.

Their mother was spinning flax to make linen thread.

"Mother," said the Twins, "will you please excuse us from being married."


"O my soul!" said Vrouw Vedder. She seemed surprised.

"We don't want to at all," said Kat. "We'd rather stay with you."

"You shan't be married until after you are four feet and a half high and are called Christopher and Katrina anyway," said Vrouw Vedder. "I promise you that."

The Twins were much relieved. They went out and fed their ducklings. They felt so much better that they gave them an extra handful of grain, and they carried a bun to Father Vedder, who was hoeing in the farthest corner of the garden. He ate it, leaning on his hoe.


When they went back to the house, it was late in the afternoon. Grandmother was rolling up her knitting.

"I must go home to Grandfather," she said. "He'll be wanting his supper."

The Twins walked down the road as far as the first bridge with Grandmother. There she kissed them good-bye and sent them home.

When their mother put them to bed that night, Kat said,

"Has this been a short day, Mother?"

"Oh, very short!" said Vrouw Vedder, "because you helped me so much."

Then she kissed them good-night and went out to feed the pigs, and shut up the chickens for the night.


When she was gone, Kit said,

"I don't see how they got along before we came. We help so much!"

"No," said Kat; "I don't think—" But what she didn't think, no one will ever know, because just then she popped off to sleep.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson




  WEEK 44  


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

The "Go-Sleep" Story

"H OW can I go to bed," said Penny, the flossy dog, "till I say good night to Baby Ray? He gives me part of his bread and milk, and pats me with his little soft hand. It is bedtime now for dogs and babies. I wonder if he is asleep?"

So he trotted along in his silky white nightgown till he found Baby Ray on the porch in mamma's arms. And she was telling him the same little story that I am telling you:

"The doggie that was given him to keep, keep, keep,

Went to see if Baby Ray was asleep, sleep, sleep."

"How can we go to bed," said Snowdrop and Thistledown, the youngest children of Tabby, the cat, "till we have once more looked at Baby Ray? He lets us play with his blocks and ball, and laughs when we climb on the table. It is bedtime now for kitties and dogs and babies. Perhaps we shall find him asleep." And this is what the kitties heard:

"One doggie that was given him to keep, keep, keep,

Two cunning little kitty-cats, creep, creep, creep,

Went to see if Baby Ray was asleep, sleep, sleep."

"How can we go to bed," said the three little bunnies, "till we have seen Baby Ray?" Then away they went in their white velvet nightgowns as softly as three flakes of snow. And they, too, when they got as far as the porch, heard Ray's mamma telling the same little story:

"One doggie that was given him to keep, keep, keep,

Two cunning little kitty-cats, creep, creep, creep,

Three pretty little bunnies with a leap, leap, leap,

Went to see if Baby Ray was asleep, sleep, sleep."

"How can we go to bed," said the four white geese, "till we know that Baby Ray is all right? He loves to watch us sail on the duck pond, and he brings us corn in his little blue apron. It is bedtime now for geese and rabbits and kitties and dogs and babies, and he really ought to be asleep."

So they waddled away in their white feather nightgowns, around by the porch, where they saw Baby Ray, and heard mamma tell the "Go-Sleep" story:

"One doggie that was given him to keep, keep, keep,

Two cunning little kitty-cats, creep, creep, creep,

Three pretty little bunnies, with a leap, leap, leap,

Four geese from the duck pond, deep, deep, deep,

Went to see if Baby Ray was asleep, sleep, sleep."

"How can we go to bed," said the five white chicks, "till we have seen Baby Ray once more? He scatters crumbs for us and calls us. Now it is bedtime for chicks and geese and rabbits and kitties and dogs and babies, so little Ray must be asleep."

Then they ran and fluttered in their downy white nightgowns till they came to the porch, where little Ray was just closing his eyes, while mamma told the "Go-Sleep" story:

"One doggie that was given him to keep, keep, keep,

Two cunning little kitty-cats, creep, creep, creep,

Three pretty little bunnies, with a leap, leap, leap,

Four geese from the duck pond, deep, deep, deep,

Five downy little chicks, crying, peep, peep, peep,

All saw that Baby Ray was asleep, sleep, sleep."


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Where Are You Going, My Pretty Maid?


"Where are you going, my pretty maid?"

"I'm going a-milking, sir," she said.

"May I go with you, my pretty maid?"

"You're kindly welcome, sir," she said.

"What is your father, my pretty maid?"

"My father's a farmer, sir," she said.

"What is your fortune, my pretty maid?"

"My face is my fortune, sir," she said.

"Then I can't marry you, my pretty maid."

"Nobody asked you, sir," she said.


  WEEK 44  


Among the Forest People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Quarrelsome Mole


W HEN the first hillock of fresh brown earth was thrown up in the edge of the Forest, the People who lived there said to each other. "Can it be that we have a new neighbor?"

Perhaps the Rabbits, the Ground Hogs, and the Snakes cared the most, for they also made their homes in the ground; yet even the Orioles wanted to know all about it. None of them had ever been acquainted with a Mole. They had seen the ridges in the meadows beneath which the Moles had their runways, and they knew that when the Moles were making these long streets under ground, they had to cut an opening through the grass once in a while and throw the loose earth out. This new mound in the forest looked exactly like those in the meadow, so they decided there must be a Mole in the neighborhood.

If that were so, somebody should call upon him and get acquainted; but how could they call? Mrs. Red Squirrel said: "Why can't some of you people who are so clever at digging, burrow down and find him?"

"Yes indeed," twittered the birds; "that is a good plan."

But Mr. Red Squirrel smiled at his wife and said: "I am afraid, Bushy-tail (that was his pet name for her) that none of our friends here could overtake the Mole. You know he is a very fast runner. If they were following they could never catch him."

"Let them burrow down ahead of the place where he is working, then," said she.

"And the Mole would turn and go another way, not knowing it was a friend looking for him."

"Well, why not make an opening into one of his runways and go into it, hunting until he is found?" said Mrs. Red Squirrel, who was like some other people in not wishing to give up her own ideas.

"Yes," cried a mischievous young Woodpecker; "let the Ground Hog go. You surely don't think him too fat?"

Now there was no denying that the Ground Hog was getting too stout to look well, and people thought he would be angry at this. Perhaps he was angry. The little Rabbits were sure of it. They said they knew by the expression of his tail. Still, you know, the Ground Hog came of a good family, and well-bred people do not say mean things even if they are annoyed. He combed the fur on his face with both paws, and answered with a polite bow: "If I had the slender and graceful form of my charming friend, Mrs. Red Squirrel, I should be delighted to do as she suggests."

That was really a very clever thing for Mr. Ground Hog to say. It was much more agreeable than if he had grunted out, "Much she knows about it! We burrowing people are all too large." And now Mrs. Red Squirrel was pleased and happy although her plan was not used.

That night Mrs. Ground Hog said to her husband: "I didn't know you admired Mrs. Red Squirrel so much." And he answered: "Pooh! Admire her? She is a very good-looking person for one of her family, and I want to be polite to her for her husband's sake. He and I have business together. But for my part I prefer more flesh. I could never have married a slender wife, and I am pleased to see, my dear, that you are stouter than you were." And this also shows how clever a fellow Mr. Ground Hog was.

The very next night, as luck would have it, the Mole came out of his runway for a scamper on the grass. Mr. Ground Hog saw him and made his acquaintance. "We are glad to have you come," said he. "You will find it a pleasant neighborhood. People are very friendly."

"Well, I'm glad of that," answered the Mole. "I don't see any sense in people being disagreeable, myself, but in the meadow which I have just left there were the worst neighbors in the world. I stood it just as long as I could, and then I moved."

"I am sorry to hear that," said the Ground Hog, gently. "I had always supposed it a pleasant place to live in." He began to wonder what kind of fellow the Mole was. He did not like to hear him say such unkind things before a new acquaintance. Sometimes unpleasant things have to be said, but it was not so now.

"Umph!" said the Mole. "You have to live with people to know them. Of course, we Moles had no friends among the insects. We are always glad to meet them in the ground, but they do not seem so glad to meet us. That is easily understood when you remember what hungry people Moles are. Friendship is all very well, but when a fellow's stomach is empty, he can't let that stand in the way of a good dinner. There was no such reason why the Tree Frog or the Garter Snake should dislike me."

"Are you sure they did dislike you?"

"Certain of it. I remember how one night I wanted to talk with the Garter Snake, and asked him to come out of his hole for a visit in the moonlight. He wouldn't come."

"What did he say?" asked the Ground Hog.

"Not a word! And that was the worst of it. Think how provoking it was for me to stand there and call and call and not get any reply."

"Perhaps he was not at home," suggested the Ground Hog.

"That's what he said when I spoke to him. Said he was spending the night down by the river. As though I'd be likely to believe that! I guess he saw that he couldn't fool me, though, for after I told him what I thought of him he wriggled away without saying a word."

"Still he is not so disagreeable as the Tree Frog," said the Mole, after a pause in which the Ground Hog had been trying not to laugh. The Ground Hog said afterward that it was the funniest sight imaginable to see the stout little Mole scampering back and forth in the moonlight, and stopping every few minutes to scold about the Meadow People. The twitching of his tiny tail and the jerky motions of his large, pink-palmed digging hands, showed how angry he grew in thinking of them, and his pink snout fairly quivered with rage.

"I will tell you about the Tree Frog," said the mole. "He is one of these fellows who are always just so good-natured and polite. I can't endure them. I say it's putting on airs to act that way. I was telling him what I thought of the Garter Snake, and what should he do but draw himself up and say: 'Excuse me, but the Garter Snake is a particular friend of mine, and I do not care to hear him spoken of in that way.' I guess I taught him one good lesson, though. I told him he was just the kind of person I should expect the Garter Snake to like, and that I wished them much joy together, but that I didn't want anything to do with them.

"It was only a short time after this that I had such trouble about making my fort. Whenever I started to dig in a place I would find some other Mole there ahead of me."

"And then you would have to go somewhere else, of course?" said the Ground Hog.

"I'd like to know why!" said the Mole, with his glossy silver-brown fur on end. "No indeed! I had a perfect right to dig wherever I wished, and I would tell them so, and they would have to go elsewhere. One Mole was bad-tempered enough to say that he had as much right in the meadow as anybody, and I had to tussle with him and bite him many times before he saw his mistake. . . . They are disagreeable people over there,—but why are you going so soon? I thought we would have a good visit together."

"I promised to meet Mrs. Ground Hog," said her husband, "and must go. Good-night!" and he trotted away.

Not long afterward this highly respectable couple were feeding together in the moonlight. "What do you think of the Mole?" said she.

"Well,—er—ahem," answered her husband. "You know, my dear, that I do not like to talk against people, and I might better not tell you exactly what I think of him. He is a queer-looking fellow, and I always distrust anyone who will not look me in the eye. Perhaps that is not his fault, for the fur hides his eyes and he wears his ears inside of his head; but I must say that a fiercer or more disagreeable-looking snout I never saw. He has had trouble with all his old neighbors, and a fellow who cannot get along peaceably in one place will not in another. He is always talking about his rights and what he thinks——"

"You have told me enough," said Mrs. Ground Hog, interrupting him. "Nobody ever liked a person who insists on his 'rights' every time. And such a person never enjoys life. What a pity it is!" and she gave a sigh that shook her fat sides. "Now, I had it all planned that he should marry and set up housekeeping, and that I should have another pleasant neighbor soon."

"Ah! Mrs. Ground Hog," said her husband teasingly, "I knew you would be thinking of that. You are a born matchmaker. Now I think we could stand a few bachelors around here,—fine young fellows who have nothing to do but enjoy life." And his eyes twinkled as he said it.

"As though you did not enjoy life!" answered his wife. "Still, I could not wish any young Mole such a husband as this fellow. It is a great undertaking to marry a grumpy bachelor and teach him the happiness of living for others." And she looked very solemn.

"I suppose you found it so?" said Mr. Ground Hog, sidling up toward her.

"What a tease you are!" said his wife. "You know that I am happy." And really, of all the couples on whom the moon looked that night, there was not a happier one than this pair of Ground Hogs; and there was not a lonelier or more miserable person than the Mole, who guarded his own rights and told people what he thought of them. But it is always so.


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Hark! Hark!


  WEEK 44  


Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

The Closing Door

THERE was once a little girl (her best and sweetest name was Little Daughter), who had a dear little room, all her own, which was full of treasures, and was as lovely as love could make it.

You never could imagine, no matter how you tried, a room more beautiful than hers; for it was white and shining from the snowy floor to the ceiling, which looked as if it might have been made of a fleecy cloud. The curtains at the windows were like the petals of a lily, and the little bed was like swan's down.

There were white pansies, too, that bloomed in the windows, and a dove whose voice was sweet as music; and among her treasures she had a string of pearls which she was to wear about her neck when the king of the country sent for her, as he had promised to do some day.

This string of pearls grew longer and more beautiful as the little girl grew older, for a new pearl was given her as soon as she waked up each morning; and every one was a gift from this king, who bade her keep them fair.

Her mother helped her to take care of them and of all the other beautiful things in her room. Every morning, after the new pearl was slipped on the string, they would set the room in order; and every evening they would look over the treasures and enjoy them together, while they carefully wiped away any specks of dust that had gotten in during the day and made the room less lovely.

There were several doors and windows, which the little girl could open and shut just as she pleased, in this room; but there was one door which was always open, and that was the one which led into her mother's room.

No matter what Little Daughter was doing she was happier if her mother was near; and although she sometimes ran away into her own room and played by herself, she always bounded out at her mother's first call, and sprang into her mother's arms, gladder than ever to be with her because she had been away.

Now one day when the little girl was playing alone, she had a visitor who came in without knocking and who seemed, at first, very much out of place in the shining white room, for he was a goblin and as black as a lump of coal. He had not been there more than a very few minutes, however, before nearly everything in the room began to look more like him and less like driven snow: and although the little girl thought that he was very strange and ugly when she first saw him, she soon grew used to him, and found him an entertaining playfellow.


One day . . . she had a visitor who came in without knocking.

She wanted to call her mother to see him; but he said: "Oh! no; we are having such a nice time together, and she's busy, you know." So the little girl did not call; and the mother, who was making a dress of fine lace for her darling, did not dream that a goblin was in the little white room.

The goblin did not make any noise, you know, for he tip-toed all the time, as if he were afraid; and if he heard a sound he would jump. But he was a merry goblin, and he amused the little girl so much that she did not notice the change in her dear room.

The curtains grew dingy, the floor dusty, and the ceiling looked as if it might have been made of a rain cloud; but the child played on, and got out all her treasures to show to her visitor.

The pansies drooped and faded, the white dove hid its head beneath its wing and moaned; and the last pearl on the precious string grew dark when the goblin touched it with his smutty fingers.

"Oh, dear me," said the little girl when she saw this, "I must call my mother; for these are the pearls that I must wear to the king's court, when he sends for me."

"Never mind," said the goblin, "we can wash it, and if it isn't just as white as before, what difference does it make about one pearl?"

"But mother says that they all must be as fair as the morning," insisted the little girl, ready to cry. "And what will she say when she sees this one?"

"You shut the door, then," said the goblin, pointing to the door that had never been closed, "and I'll wash the pearl." So the little girl ran to close the door, and the goblin began to rub the pearl; but it only seemed to grow darker. Now the door had been open so long that it was hard to move, and it creaked on its hinges as the little girl tried to close it. When the mother heard this she looked up to see what was the matter. She had been thinking about the dress which she was making; but when she saw the closing door, her heart stood still with fear; for she knew that if it once closed tight she might never be able to open it again.

She dropped her fine laces and ran towards the door, calling, "Little Daughter! Little Daughter! Where are you?" and she reached out her hands to stop the door. But as soon as the little girl heard that loving voice she answered:—

"Mother, oh! Mother! I need you so! my pearl is turning black and everything is wrong!" and, flinging the door wide open, she ran into her mother's arms.

When the two went together into the little room, the goblin had gone. The pansies now bloomed again, and the white dove cooed in peace; but there was much work for the mother and daughter, and they rubbed and scrubbed and washed and swept and dusted, till the room was so beautiful that you would not have known that a goblin had been there—except for the one pearl which was a little blue always, even when the king was ready for Little Daughter to come to his court, although that was not until she was a very old woman.

As for the door, it was never closed again; for Little Daughter and her mother put two golden hearts against it and nothing in this world could have shut it then.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Old Woman of Gloucester


There was an old woman of Gloucester,

Whose parrot two guineas it cost her,

But its tongue never ceasing,

Was vastly displeasing

To the talkative woman of Gloucester.


  WEEK 44  


The Sandman: More Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Gun 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. In the fence was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going through, had made a little track that led up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

When little Charles was ten years old, Uncle John thought he was big enough to have a gun. So he bought a new gun and gave it to him. It was really for little Charles and little John both, but little John wouldn't be big enough to use it until he was ten years old. Little Charles was very glad to have a gun, and it made him feel like a very big boy. As soon as he had it, he wanted to shoot something with it. So Uncle John showed him just how to load it and fire it and clean it, and then little Charles went after another boy who was just as old as he was, and he asked that boy to come to the farm-house the next morning, and then they would go to shoot some squirrels.

The next morning, that other boy, who was named Charles, too, came to the farm-house very early, before little Charles had finished his breakfast. And little Charles was in such a hurry to try his new gun that he didn't want any more breakfast. And little John was going, so he didn't want any more breakfast, either. So little Charles got the gun, and some shot and some powder in a horn. They used to carry powder in a real cow's horn. It had a wooden stopper in the big end, and in the little end was a fine hole, so that when the horn was tilted, the powder ran out of the fine hole in a little stream. And when little Charles had got these things, he and the other Charles and little John started.

They walked down the little track and out of the wide gate and along the road until they came to the little lane that went up between the fields. They turned in there, and walked along the lane to the woods where they had caught the woodchuck, and along the road in the woods for a little way. Then they began to go very carefully and to look about in the trees, to see if there were not some squirrels there.

Pretty soon little John called out, "I see one." So they all looked, and there was a fat gray squirrel, sitting up on the branch of a tree, eating a nut. He held the nut with his paws, just as if they were hands, and he cracked the shell off with his teeth and got the meat out. A squirrel's teeth are very sharp, and some of them are long, like nut-picks. The squirrel saw the little boys, and he watched them while little Charles loaded the gun. Then the squirrel thought it was time for him to go away, and he dodged around to the other side of the tree, so that the little boys couldn't see him. Little John ran around to the other side of the tree, but the squirrel had run up into the top of the tree and along some branches to another tree, and had gone away, so that they didn't see him any more. Little Charles was sorry, and they went on, trying to see another squirrel.

A great many squirrels were in those woods, so after a while the other Charles saw one. That one was on the ground, poking about among the leaves, looking for something to eat. The gun was already loaded, this time, so little Charles raised it up and put the big end of it against his shoulder. Then the squirrel saw the little boys and the gun, and he hurried to a tree and began to run up on the bark, holding on with his sharp claws. Little Charles pointed the gun at the squirrel as well as he could, but it was too heavy for him to hold it very steady, and he was excited, thinking what he was trying to do, so the end of the gun waved around a good deal. And the squirrel wouldn't keep still, but kept dodging around the tree. Little Charles knew he couldn't hit the squirrel, so he didn't shoot, but waited.

Then the squirrel got up the tree, part way, and he came around and sat on a branch, to see what the boys were doing.


Then little Charles asked little John to stand up in front of him, so that he could rest the gun on little John's shoulder and make it steady. And little John stood up in front, and little Charles rested the gun on his shoulder and made it steady, and when he thought it was aimed just right, he pulled the trigger, to fire it.


Little Charles rested the gun on his shoulder.

But just as little Charles pulled the trigger, the squirrel dodged around the tree to the other side, and the shot only hit the tree and rattled among the leaves, and didn't hit the squirrel at all. Then that squirrel ran away.

Little Charles didn't like to miss the squirrel, so they went along looking for another. And when they saw another, it was the other Charles's turn to shoot. So little John stood in front again, and the other Charles rested the gun on his shoulder and aimed it. But squirrels are hard to hit, because they dodge around the trees to the other side, and the little boys hadn't learned how to hit them. So that squirrel got away, too. And they kept looking on for more squirrels, and they saw three more, but they didn't hit any of them.

After that, the boys didn't see any more squirrels, and when they had looked a long time, they thought they might as well go home.

So they walked back along the little lane, and between the fields to the road. And they went along the road to the farm-house, and in at the wide gate. And there they saw Uncle John. And Uncle John said, "Well, boys, what luck?" And little Charles didn't say anything, but he looked so sorry that Uncle John knew they hadn't shot any squirrels. So he laughed and told little Charles not to mind, because he would do better another time.

Then little Charles had to sit down and clean the gun. And the other Charles helped him, and little John watched.

And that's all.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Cross Patch



  WEEK 44  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

The Finding of Moses


M ANY long years had passed since the days when Joseph's brothers and their families had settled in the land of Egypt. They were a great nation in numbers now, but the Egyptians still ruled over them, and used them as servants. The Pharaoh who had been so kind to the shepherds from Canaan was dead long ago, and the new kings, or Pharaohs, as they were called, hated foreigners, and began to treat the Israelites very harshly. There were too many of them, they said; it was dangerous to have so many strong, powerful slaves. They must be kept down, and made to work from morning till night, and be beaten if they did not work fast enough.

That was very hard for the poor people; but worse was to come. An order was issued one day which spread sorrow through all the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived. Every baby boy that was born was to be thrown into the river. Girl babies might be allowed to live, for they would be useful as slaves, but boys might grow up to fight for their country, and so they must be destroyed.

In one little house, not far from the great river Nile, a woman sat holding her tiny baby in her arms, while the tears ran down her cheeks. He was such a beautiful baby, so strong and fair and healthy; but the king's order was that he was to be thrown into the river, where the cruel, hungry crocodiles were waiting to snap up everything they could find for a meal. Jochebed, the poor mother, held her baby closer in her arms. No, she could not obey the king's order. She would try and hide the baby for a little while, at any rate.

It was easy to hide a baby while he was still tiny and slept most of the day; but when he grew bigger it was much more difficult. His sister Miriam did her best to help her mother; but any day, now that the baby was three months old, he might be discovered, and something must be done at once.

So Jochebed thought of a plan, and prayed to God that He would help her to carry it out. At the edge of the river there grew tall bulrushes, which, when cut down and dried, could be made into many useful things. Taking some of these bulrushes, she wove them into a little cradle with a cover to it, just like a little ark, and this she covered with a kind of pitch, so that not a drop of water could come through. Inside the cradle she made a soft bed, and laid the baby there while he was fast asleep, and set the ark afloat in the water where the bulrushes were growing. She knew that presently the great princess, Pharaoh's daughter, would come down to bathe in the river, and would notice the queer little ark floating there.

Very soon the royal procession came winding down from the palace towards the river, as the princess in her gorgeous robes made her way to bathe in the pool of the lotus flowers. But at the edge of the river she stopped. What was that among the bulrushes? It was no lotus flower, but a strange-looking covered basket, and she ordered her maidens to bring it to her.

The little ark was lifted out of the water and carried to the princess. There was surely something alive inside, and the princess was full of curiosity as she leaned down and lifted the cover to look in. Then she started back in amazement. The dearest little baby she had ever seen lay there, all rosy and fresh after his sleep, gazing up at her with wide-open eyes. The maidens crowded round, and the sight of all those strange faces was more than the baby could bear. He puckered up his face and began to cry.


"She saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept."

The princess loved babies, and she had none of her own. That little wailing cry went to her heart. She guessed at once that this was one of the Hebrew babies which had been ordered to be destroyed, and she made up her mind that this beautiful boy should at least be saved.

All this time Miriam had been watching from her hiding-place close by, and with anxious, beating heart she came forward now. Could she help the princess? she asked. Should she run and find some Hebrew woman who might look after the baby?

Perhaps the princess guessed that the baby's mother would not be far off, and she must have smiled a little when a nurse was so quickly found. But she took no notice of that.

"Take this child away," she said, when Jochebed stood humbly before her, "and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages."

It was merely as a nurse that the mother was hired. The great princess meant to adopt the baby as her own. But he was safe, and Jochebed's heart was full of gratitude to God as she took her little son into her arms again.

As long as he needed a nurse the baby was left to be looked after by his mother in the little house by the river side. The princess called him Moses, which means "drawn out," because he had been drawn out of the water, and she had made up her mind that as soon as he was old enough he should come to live with her at the palace, and be brought up as a prince. He would be treated just as if he was really her son.

But his poor mother had him for those first precious years while he was still a little boy, and she did not waste one minute of that time in her training of him. She taught him about God, and told him all the wonderful stories about his own country, so that he should never forget that he belonged to God's people, even when he should become a prince in the Egyptian palace. Just as a gardener sows seeds in a garden which afterwards grow up into beautiful flowers, so she sowed the seeds of truth in the heart of her little son, which long afterwards were to blossom out and bear such wonderful fruit.

Then when Moses was old enough to do without a nurse, she took him to the palace, and "brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son."


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Multiplication Is Vexation

Multiplication is vexation,

Division is as bad;

The Rule of Three doth puzzle me,

And Practice drives me mad.