Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 45  

  Monday  


The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

Sammy Jay Has a Change of Heart

There's no one ever quite so bad

That somewhere way down deep inside

A little goodness does not find

A place wherein to creep and hide.

I T is so with Sammy Jay. Yes, Sir, it is so with Sammy Jay. You may think that because Sammy Jay is vain, a trouble-maker and a thief, he is all bad. He isn't. There is some good in Sammy Jay, just as there is some good in everybody. If there wasn't, Old Mother Nature never, never would allow Sammy Jay to go his mischievous way through the Green Forest. He dearly loves to get other people into all kinds of trouble, and this is one reason why nobody loves him. But if you watch out sharp enough, you will find that hidden under that beautiful blue and white coat of his there really is some good. You may have to look a long time for it, but sooner or later you will find it. Johnny Chuck did.

Sammy Jay had already made a lot of trouble for Johnny Chuck. You see he had been the first of the little forest and meadow people to find Johnny Chuck's new house. And then, just to make trouble for Johnny Chuck, he had told Reddy Fox about it, and after that he had called Bowser the Hound and Farmer Brown's boy over to it. Now he had discovered Johnny Chuck's greatest secret—that Johnny had a family. What a chance to make trouble now!

Sammy started for the Green Forest as fast as his wings could take him. He would tell Reddy Fox and Redtail the Hawk. They were very fond of young Chucks. It would be great fun to see the fright of Johnny Chuck and his family when Reddy Fox or Redtail the Hawk appeared.

Sammy Jay chuckled wickedly as he flew. When he reached the Green Forest and stopped in his favorite hemlock-tree to rest, he was still chuckling. But by that time it was a different kind of a chuckle. Yes, Sir, it was a different kind of a chuckle. It was a better chuckle to hear. The fact is, Sammy Jay was no longer chuckling over the thought of the trouble he could make. He was laughing at the memory of how funny those three little baby Chucks had looked sitting up on Johnny Chuck's doorstep and trying to do whatever Johnny Chuck did. The more he thought about it, the more he tickled and laughed.

Right in the midst of his laughter along came Redtail the Hawk. Sammy Jay opened his mouth to call to Redtail and tell him about Johnny Chuck's secret. Then he closed it again with a snap.

"I won't tell him yet," said Sammy to himself, "for he might catch one of those baby Chucks, and they are such funny little fellows that that would really be too bad. I guess I'll wait a while." And with that, off flew Sammy Jay to hunt for some other mischief. You see, he had had a change of heart. The little goodness way down deep inside had come out of hiding.

But of course Johnny Chuck didn't know this, and over in his new house in the far corner of the old orchard, he and Polly Chuck were worrying and worrying, for they felt sure that now every one would know their secret, and it wouldn't be safe for the dear little baby Chucks to so much as put their funny little noses outside the door.

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Bell Horses

Bell horses, bell horses, what time of day?

One o'clock, two o'clock, three and away.

 


  WEEK 45  

  Tuesday  


The Dutch Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

One Sunday

[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

O NE Sunday morning in early fall, Kit and Kat woke up and peeped out from their cupboard bed to see what was going on in the world.

The sun was shining through the little panes of the kitchen window, making square patches of light on the floor. The kettle was singing on the fire, and Vrouw Vedder was already putting away the breakfast things.

Father Vedder was lighting his pipe with a coal from the fire. He had on his black Sunday clothes, all ready for church. Father Vedder did not look at Kit and Kat at all. He just puffed away at his pipe and said to himself,

"If there are any Twins anywhere that want to go to church with me, they'd better get dressed and eat their breakfasts."

Kit and Kat tumbled out of the cupboard at once.

Vrouw Vedder came to help them dress.

I can't tell you how many petticoats she put on Kat, but it was ever so many. And over them all she put a skirt of plaid. There was a waist of a different color, and over that a kerchief with bright red roses on it. And over the skirt she put a new, clean apron.

Kit was dressed very splendidly too. He had full baggy trousers of velveteen that reached to his ankles, and a jacket that buttoned with big silver buttons. His trousers had pockets in them.

Kit and Kat both wore stockings, which Vrouw Vedder had knit, and their best shoes of stout leather.

When they were all dressed, Vrouw Vedder stood them up side by side and had them turn around slowly to be sure they were all right.

"Now see that you behave well in meeting," she said. "Sit up straight. Look at the Dominie, and do not whisper."

"Yes, Mother," said Kit and Kat.

Then she tied a big apron over each of them and gave them each a bowl of bread and milk. While they were eating it, Father Vedder went out and looked at the pigs, and chickens, and ducks, and geese, and smoked his pipe.

When he came in, Kit and Kat were quite ready. Vrouw Vedder had tied on Kat's little white-winged cap, and put Kit's hat on. She kissed them good-bye, and they were off—one on each side of Father Vedder, holding tight to his hands.

Mother Vedder looked after them proudly, from the doorway. She did not go to church that day.

They walked slowly along the roadway in the bright sunshine. Many of their neighbors and friends, all dressed in their best, were walking to church, too.


[Illustration]

Father Vedder and Kit and Kat went a little out of their way, in order to pass a large windmill that was swinging its arms around and creaking out a kind of sleepy windmill song. This is the song it seemed to sing:—

Around, and around, and around, I go,

Sometimes fast and sometimes slow.

I pump the water and grind the grain,

The marshy fields of the Lowlands, drain.

I harness the wind to turn my mill,

Around, and around, and around with a will!

Perhaps it was listening to the windmill song that made Kat say,

"Why do we have windmills, father?"

Kit and Kat said "Why?" every few steps on that walk. You see, they didn't often have their father all to themselves, to ask questions of.

"Why, what a little Dutch girl," said Father Vedder, "not to know what windmills are for! They pump the water out of the fields, to be sure! Don't you know how wet the fields are sometimes? If we didn't keep pumping the water out, they would be so wet we could not make gardens at all."

"Does the wind pump the water?" asked Kat.

"Of course it does, goosie girl! and grinds the grain too. The wind blows against the great arms and turns them round and round. That works the pumps; and the pumps suck the water out of the fields, and it is poured out into the canals. If it weren't for the good old windmills working away, who knows but the water would get the best of us some day and cover up all our land!"

"Wouldn't the dykes keep out the sea?" asked Kit.

"Suppose the dykes should break!" said Father Vedder. "Even one little break can let in lots of water. The dykes have to be watched day and night all the time, and the least bit of a hole stopped up right away, so it can't grow any bigger and let in the sea."

"Oh dear," Kat said, "what a leaky country!"

She ran near the mill and let the wind from the fans blow her hair and the white wings on her cap.

As the great fans swung near the ground, Kit jumped up and caught hold of one. It lifted him right off the ground as it swung around, and in a minute he was dangling high in the air.


[Illustration]

"Jump, jump, quick," shouted Father Vedder.

Kit let go and dropped to the ground just in time. In another minute he would have been carried clear over.

As it was, he sat down very hard on the ground, and had to have the dirt brushed off of his Sunday clothes.

"I am surprised at you," Father Vedder said, while he brushed him. "You are too small to swing on windmills, and besides it is the Sabbath day. Don't you ever do it again until you are big enough to be called Christopher!"

Sitting down so hard in the dirt had hurt Kit a little bit, and scared him a good deal, so he said, "No, father."

Then they walked all around the mill. They peeped inside a door which was open, and saw the pumps working away.

"Yes," said Father Vedder, "it is nip and tuck between wind and water in Holland. Let us sit down here on the canal bank, in the sunshine, and I will tell you what hard work has to be done to keep this good land of ours. And it is a good land! We should be thankful for it! Just see the rich green meadows over there, with the cows grazing in them!"—Father Vedder pointed to the beautiful fields across the canal. "The grass is so rich and fresh, that the cows here give more milk than any other cows in the whole world!"


[Illustration]

"That's what Mother says," said Kat.

"The Holland butter and cheese are famous everywhere," went on Father Vedder; "and we have all the good milk we want to drink, besides. The Dutch gardens, too, are the finest in the world."

"And ours is one of the best of Dutch gardens, isn't it, Father?" said Kit.

"It's a very good garden," said Father Vedder, proudly. "No one can raise better onions and cabbage and carrots than I can. And the Dutch bulbs! Our tulips and hyacinths make the whole world bloom!"

"Holland is really the greatest country there is; isn't it?" said Kit.

"We—ll, not in point of size, perhaps," Father Vedder admitted; "but in pluck, my boy, it is! Did you know that sometimes people call Holland the Land of Pluck?"

"I don't see why," said Kat. "I'm Dutch, but I'm afraid of lots of things! I'm afraid of spiders and of cross geese, and of falling into the water!"

"You're a girl, if you are Dutch," said Kit. "Boys are always pluckier than girls; aren't they, Father?"

"Really plucky people never boast," said Father Vedder.

Kit looked the other way and dug the toe of his shoe into the dirt. Kat snuggled up to her Father and sniffed at Kit.

"So there, Kit!" was all she said.

"There's pluck enough to go round," said Father Vedder mildly, "and we all need it—boys and girls, and men and women too. It was pluck that made Holland, and it's pluck that keeps her from slipping back into the sea."

"How did pluck make Holland?" asked Kit.

"There wasn't any Holland in the first place," Father Vedder answered. "There were only some marshes and some lands under water. But people built a wall of earth around these flats; and then they pumped out the water from the space inside the wall, and made canals through the land, and drained it. And after all that work, we have our rich fields."

"How does pluck keep them?" asked Kat.

"The dykes have to be watched and mended all the time," said Father Vedder. "And the windmills have to work and work, to keep the fields drained. No one can be lazy in Holland. Each one has to work well for what he gets. If Holland should grow lazy, she would soon be back again in the Zuyder Zee! So, my children, you see you must learn well and work hard. And that is all my sermon to-day."

"It is a better sermon than the Dominie will preach, I know," said Kat.

"Tut, tut! You must never say such things," said Father Vedder. He got up and held out his hands to the Twins.

"Come! we must walk along, or we shall be late for church," he said. "Here comes the Dominie now."

There indeed was the Dominie! Kit and Kat knew him well. No one else dressed as he did. He wore a high silk hat, and long, black coat and trousers, such as city people wear.

As he came along the road, all the people bowed respectfully; the little boys took off their caps, and the little girls bobbed a courtesy. Kit and Kat bobbed and courtesied too, and the Dominie smiled at them and laid his hand on Kit's head.


[Illustration]

"I wish he'd come to see us again," said Kit, after the Dominie had passed by.

Father Vedder was pleased.

"I am glad to see that you love your pastor, my son," he said.

"Well," said Kit, "I don't really like him so very  much, because we have to be washed, and recite the catechism, and mind all our manners when he comes. But Mother always has such good things to eat when the Dominie comes—doesn't she, Kat?—cake and preserves—and everything!"

"If it weren't for the catechism and such things, it would be something like St. Nicholas day!" sighed Kat. "But the Dominie never forgets! And last time I couldn't tell what saving grace was! The cakes are good, but—"

"Good Dutch boys and girls always learn their catechism well," said Father Vedder; "then they are glad to see the good Dominie as well as the cakes. Now no more chatter! Here is a penny for each of you to put in the bag when it is passed."

He gave them each a penny. Kit put his in his pocket. Kat didn't have a pocket, so she held hers tight in her hand.

At the church door they met Grandfather and Grandmother.

Grandfather looked very fine indeed, in his black clothes; and Grandmother was all dressed up in her best black dress, with a fresh white cap, and a shawl over her shoulders. She carried a large psalm book with golden clasps in one hand, and a scent bottle in the other. She had some peppermints too. Kit and Kat smelled them.


[Illustration]

They all went into the church together, and an old woman led them to their seats. Kit and Kat sat one each side of Grandmother. Grandfather and Father Vedder sat on the other side of the church with all the rest of the men.

"You must sit very still and look straight before you," said Grandmother.

Kit remembered the peppermints and sat up like a soldier. So did Kat.

Pretty soon the schoolmaster came in and went up into the pulpit. He read a chapter from the Bible, and then the Dominie stood up in the pulpit and began to preach. He preached a long time.

Kit and Kat tried very hard to sit still, just as Grandmother had said; but pretty soon their heads began to nod.

Grandmother gave them each a peppermint.

They waked up for a minute. But the Dominie kept right on preaching, until they were both sound asleep with their heads on Grandmother's shoulders,—one on each side; and if they had been awake to see, they might have thought that Grandmother took a nap too.


[Illustration]

The sermon was so very long that a great many people went to sleep. So, by and by, the Dominie said,

"We will all sing the Ninety-first Psalm."

Everybody woke up.

Grandmother opened the great golden clasps of her psalm book, and stood up with all the rest of the people. She stood up quickly, so that no one would think she had been asleep. She forgot that the Twins were asleep too, with their heads on her shoulders. That was why, when she got up, Kit and Kat fell against each other and bumped their heads!

They forgot that they were in church. They said "Ow!" both together, and Kat began to cry. But Grandmother said "Sh! sh!" and gave them each a peppermint; and that made them feel much better.


[Illustration]

Pretty soon the schoolmaster came along with a little bag on the end of a long stick. He passed it to each person. Kit and Kat each put in a penny, though Kit had a hard time to get his out of his pocket. But Grandmother was so upset about the Twins getting bumped, that she forgot and put in a peppermint instead.

 



Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Little Boy Blue


[Illustration]

 


  WEEK 45  

  Wednesday  


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

Henny-Penny

[Illustration]

O NE day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when—whack!—something hit her upon the head. "Goodness gracious me!" said Henny-penny; "the sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the king."

So she went along and she went along and she went along till she met Cocky-locky. "Where are you going, Henny-penny?" says Cocky-locky. "Oh! I'm going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," says Henny-penny. "May I come with you?" says Cocky-locky. "Certainly," says Henny-penny. So Henny-penny and Cocky-locky went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

They went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Ducky-daddles. "Where are you going to, Henny-penny and Cocky-locky?" says Ducky-daddles. "Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. "May I come with you?" says Ducky-daddles. "Certainly," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Goosey-poosey. "Where are you going to, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles?" said Goosey-poosey. "Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles. "May I come with you?" said Goosey-poosey. "Certainly," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Turkey-lurkey. "Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?" says Turkey-lurkey. "Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey. "May I come with you, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?" said Turkey-lurkey. "Oh, certainly, Turkey-lurkey," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.


[Illustration]

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: "Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey?" And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy: "We're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling."  "Oh! but this is not the way to the king, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey," says Foxy-woxy; "I know the proper way; shall I show it you?"  "Oh, certainly, Foxy-woxy," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling. So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they came to a narrow and dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy's cave. But Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: "This is the short way to the king's palace: you'll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you come after, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey."  "Why of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?" said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey.

So Foxy-woxy went into his cave, and he didn't go very far, but turned round to wait for Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So at last at first Turkey-lurkey went through the dark hole into the cave. He hadn't got far when "Hrumph," Foxy-woxy snapped off Turkey-lurkey's head and threw his body over his left shoulder. Then Goosey-poosey went in, and "Hrumph," off went her head and Goosey-poosey was thrown beside Turkey-lurkey. Then Ducky-daddles waddled down, and "Hrumph," snapped Foxy-woxy, and Ducky-daddles' head was off and Ducky-daddles was thrown alongside Turkey-lurkey and Goosey-poosey. Then Cocky-locky strutted down into the cave, and he hadn't gone far when "Snap, Hrumph!" went Foxy-woxy and Cocky-locky was thrown alongside of Turkey-lurkey, Goosey-poosey, and Ducky-daddles.


[Illustration]

But Foxy-woxy had made two bites at Cocky-locky, and when the first snap only hurt Cocky-locky, but didn't kill him, he called out to Henny-penny. But she turned tail and off she ran home, so she never told the king the sky was a-falling.


[Illustration]

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Taffy

Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief,

Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef;

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not home;

Taffy came to my house and stole a marrow-bone.


I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not in;

Taffy came to my house and stole a silver pin;

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed,

I took up the marrow-bone and flung it at his head.

 


  WEEK 45  

  Thursday  


Among the Forest People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Wild Turkeys Come

[Illustration]

T HE Wild Turkeys are a wandering people, and stay in one place only long enough to rear their young. One could hardly say that they lived in the Forest, but every year when the acorns and beechnuts were ripe, they came for a visit. It is always an exciting time when the Turkeys are seen gathering on the farther side of the river and making ready to fly over. Some of the Forest People have started for the warmer country in the South, and those who still remain are either talking over their plans for flight, or working hard, if they are to spend the winter in the North, to get their stores of food ready.

It was so this year. One morning a Red-headed Woodpecker brought the news that the Turkeys were gathering. The Ground Hog heard of it just as he was going to sleep after a night of feeding and rambling in the edge of the meadow. One of the young Rabbits told him, and coaxed him to stay up to see the newcomers.

"I've never seen Turkeys in my life," said the young Rabbit, "and they say it is great fun to watch them. Oh, please come with me to the river-bank and see the Turkeys cross over. Please do!"

"Ah-h-h," yawned the Ground Hog. "You might better ask somebody who has not been up all night. I am too sleepy."

You won't be sleepy when you reach the river-bank," said the Rabbit. "Beside, I think there should be someone there to meet them."

At this, the Ground Hog raised his drooping head, opened his blinking eyes, and answered with great dignity: "There should indeed be someone. I will go at once."

When they reached the river-bank there was a sight well worth seeing. On the farther side of the water were a great many Turkeys. Old Gobblers were there, and the mother Turkeys with their broods of children, all looking as fine as you please, in their shining black coats. When they stood in the shadow, one might think that they wore no color but the brilliant red of their heads and necks, where there were no feathers to cover their wrinkled skin. When they walked out into the sunshine, however, their feathers showed gleams of beautiful purple and green, and the Rabbit thought them the most wonderful great creatures he had ever seen.

"Look at them now!" he cried. "Why do those largest ones walk up and down in front of the rest and scold them?"

"They are the Gobblers," answered the Ground Hog, "and they are doing that to show that they are not afraid to cross the river. They strut and gobble, and strut and gobble, and say: 'Who's-afraid? Who's-afraid?' until the rest are ready to fly over."

"Now the others are doing the same thing," said the Rabbit, as the mothers and young Turkeys began to strut back and forth.

"That shows that they are willing to cross," answered the Ground Hog. "Now they will fly up to the very tops of the trees on the hill and visit there for a time. It is always so. They start from the highest point they can find. It will be some time before they come over, and I will take a short nap. Be sure to awaken me when they start. I want to welcome them to the Forest." And the Ground Hog curled himself up beside a log and went to sleep.

The Rabbit wandered around and ate all the good things he could find. Then he fell to wondering how it would feel to be a bird. He thought it would be great fun to fly. To pass so swiftly through the air must be delightful, and then to sweep grandly down and alight softly on the ground without having people know that you were coming!

He had a good mind to try it. There was nobody to watch him, and he crept up the trunk of a fallen tree which leaned over against its neighbors. It was a foolish thing to do, and he knew it, but young Rabbits are too full of mischief to always be wise.

"I will hold my hind legs very still," he thought, "and flap my forelegs for wings." With that he jumped off and came crashing down upon the dry leaves. He felt weak and dizzy, and as he picked himself up and looked around he hoped that nobody had seen him. "It may be a great deal of fun to fly," he said, "but it is no fun alighting from your flight unless you have real feather wings. It is too bumpy when you fly with your legs."

At this minute he heard an old Gobbler call out, and saw the flock of Turkeys coming toward him. "Wake up! Wake up!" he cried to the Ground Hog. But the Ground Hog never moved.

Still the Turkeys came nearer. The Rabbit could see that the fat old ones were getting ahead of the others, and that here and there a young or weak Turkey had to drop into the river and swim, because his wings were tired. They got so near that he could see the queer little tufts of wiry feathers which the Gobblers wear hanging from their breast, and could see the swaying scarlet wattles under their beaks. He called again to the Ground Hog, and getting no answer, poked him three times with his head.

The Ground Hog turned over, stretched, yawned, moved his jaws a few times as though he dreamed of eating fresh spring grass, and then fell asleep once more. After that the Rabbit left him alone.

The first to alight were the Gobblers, and they began at once to strut and chatter. Next came the mother Turkeys and their young, and last of all came the weak ones who swam across. It was a fine sight to see them come in. The swimmers spread their tails, folded their wings tightly, stretched their necks, and struck out swiftly and strongly with their feet.

The young Rabbit could hear a group of mothers talking together. "The Gobblers are growing quite fond of the children," said one.

"Yes," said another; "my husband told me yesterday that he was very proud of our little ones."

"Well, it is the season for them to begin to walk together," said the first speaker; "but I never in my life had such a time as I had this spring. I thought my husband would break every egg I laid."

"I had a hard time too," said the other. "None of my eggs were broken, but after my chicks were hatched I had to hurry them out of their father's sight a dozen times a day."

"It is very trying," said a third mother Turkey with a sigh; "but that is always the way with the Gobblers. I suppose the dear fellows can't help it;" and she looked lovingly over at her husband as he strutted around with his friends. You would not have believed if you had seen her fond looks, and heard her husband's tender "Gobble," that they had hardly spoken to each other all summer. To be sure, it was not now as it had been in the springtime. Then he would have beaten any other Gobbler who came near her, he loved her so; still, the Rabbit could see as he watched them that when he found some very large and fine acorns, this Gobbler would not eat them all, but called his wife to come and share with him; and he knew that they were happy together in their own Turkey way of being happy.

At this minute the Ground Hog opened his eyes and staggered to his feet. The loud talking had awakened him. He did not look very dignified just now. His fur was rumpled, and he blinked often from sleepiness. There was a dry leaf caught on one of his ears, too, that made him look very odd. The Rabbit wanted to laugh, but he did not dare to do so. The Ground Hog walked toward the Gobblers, and raised himself on his haunches. "Good-evening, good-evening," said he (it was really morning, you know). "We are very glad to welcome you to the forest. Make yourselves perfectly at home. The grass is not so tender as it was a while ago, yet I think that you will find good feeding," and he waved his paws politely.

"Thank-you,thank-you!" answered the Gobblers, while the mothers and young Turkeys came crowding up to look at the Ground Hog. "We came for the acorns and nuts. We shall certainly enjoy ourselves."

"That is right," said the Ground Hog heartily. "We have a very fine forest here. You will pardon me for remarking it. The Pond People have a saying that is very true: 'It's a might poor Frog that won't croak for his own puddle.' And my grandfather used to say that if a Ground Hog didn't love his own home he was a very poor Hog indeed. Good-night, my friends, good-night." And he trotted happily away, followed by the Rabbit.

When he was gone, the Turkeys said: "How very kind of him!" and "What fine manners!" And the young Rabbit thought to himself: "It is queer. He was sleepy and his fur was rumpled, and that leaf bobbed around his ear when he talked. He said 'evening' instead of 'morning,' and spoke as though Turkeys came here to eat grass. And yet they all liked him, and were pleased by what he said."

You see the young Rabbit had not yet learned that the power of fine manners is more than that of looks; and that people could not think of the Ground Hog's mistakes in speaking because they knew his kindness of heart.

 



A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Primrose Hill

[Illustration]
 


  WEEK 45  

  Friday  


More Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

The Birthday Present

One afternoon, as Mama sat out on the long porch, paring apples, the children came running in. There were Cousin Pen, who was visiting at the farm, and Brother Fred and little Ben, and they all began to talk at the same time.

"To-morrow is Grandmother's birthday," they cried. "What can we give her for a birthday present?"

"I think a silk dress would be nice if we had enough money to buy it," said Cousin Pen.

"Let's give her a watermelon, the biggest one we can find," said Brother Fred.

"Or one of the new kittens; Grandmother likes cats," said little Ben.

"A roll of fresh butter, as yellow as gold and as sweet as clover," said Mama, "if you will do the churning yourselves."

"Oh, yes, we will churn," promised the children, and they ran off to their play, well satisfied, for they could think of nothing nicer than a roll of fresh butter as yellow as gold and as sweet as clover, for Grandmother's birthday present.

By and by the cows came home. Their names were Daisy and Dandelion and Dolly, and as soon as the children heard the tinkle of their bells in the lane they made haste to open the big back gate, for it was milking time.

Papa milked, and when he carried his buckets of sweet white milk to the house, Mama strained the milk into the bright tin pans that stood in a row on the dairy room shelves. The next afternoon every pan was covered with thick yellow cream, all ready for the churning. Mama skimmed the cream into the great stone churn.

"Who will churn first?" she asked.

"I will," said Cousin Pen. "I like to make the dasher go dancing up and down."

So Cousin Pen put on one of Mama's gingham aprons and began to churn. "It is easy to churn," she said at first, but after a little her arms grew tired and the dasher grew heavy. She did not think of giving up, though, for she was churning to get her Grandmother's birthday butter, and the dasher seemed to say to her as it splashed up and down:—

Oh, the cream to butter's turning,

In the churning, churning, churning.

It will turn, turn, turn,

As you churn, churn, churn,

All the cream to butter turning,

In the churning, churning, churning.

"Brother Fred's time," called Mama, and Brother Fred came running up the kitchen steps to take the dasher from Cousin Pen.

"I think it is fun to churn. I don't believe I will ever get tired," he said.

He did get tired, but he would not stop even to rest, for he was churning to get his Grandmother's birthday butter, and the dasher seemed to say to him:—

Hear the buttermilk a-bumming,

For the yellow butter's coming.

It will come, come, come,

With a bum, bum, bum,

All the buttermilk a-bumming,

When the yellow butter's coming.

"Little Ben's time," called Mama. Little Ben had to stand on a box to churn, and his cheeks were as red as roses as he worked away.

"Don't you want us to help you?" asked the other children.

"No, indeed," said little Ben; "I guess I can churn to get my Grandmother some birthday butter," and he churned with a will, till the dasher seemed to say to him:—

Bum, bum,

Butter's come.

Mama looked in the churn, and sure enough the flakes of golden butter were floating on the milk.

"Hurrah!" cried little Ben, "Hurrah!" cried Cousin Pen and Brother Fred, and they hurried into the kitchen to watch Mama as she gathered the butter, and worked it, and salted it, and patted it into a very fine roll. When she had done that she printed a star on top of the roll, and the butter was ready to take to Grandmother.

"You must make Grandmother guess what it is," said Mama, as she put the butter into a nice little basket and covered it with a white napkin.

"All right," said the children; so when they got to Grandmother's house they called, "Grandmother, Grandmother, guess what we have brought you for a birthday present."


[Illustration]

"Grandmother, Grandmother, guess what we have brought you for a birthday present."

"It is yellow as gold," said Brother Fred.

"It's sweet as clover," said Cousin Pen.

"We churned it ourselves," said little Ben; and Grandmother guessed what it was with her very first guess.

"It is just what I wanted," she said, and she kissed them every one. She had been thinking about them, too, all the long day, and she had baked a beautiful birthday cake for their tea.

Mama and Papa came to tea, and all together they had a merry time.

The children thought the birthday cake was the nicest thing they had ever tasted, but Grandmother said she thought nothing could be nicer than her birthday butter.

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Robin


[Illustration]

The north wind doth blow,

And we shall have snow,

And what will poor robin do then,

Poor thing?


He'll sit in a barn,

And keep himself warm,

And hide his head under his wing,

Poor thing!

 


  WEEK 45  

  Saturday  


The Sandman: More Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Brush-Pile 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.

One day, after the summer was all over and all the things had got ripe and had been gathered, Uncle John called to little John and told him to come to the garden field. For they had to clear up all the old withered things, and get the field ready to use the next year. So little John ran over, across the little track and across the grass place and in at the wide gate of the garden field. And there were the pea vines, all dried and brown, and no peas on them. And there were the bean vines and the squash vines and all the other things, some of them vines and some of them little bushes.

First Uncle John went to the pea vines, and little John helped him. Uncle John pulled up the pea-brush with the vines holding to it by the slim curly stems, and he kept hold of each piece after he had pulled it up. Then little John took hold of the vines, and he pulled on the vines and Uncle John pulled on the pea-brush, and the slim curly stems had grown so brittle that they broke off and let go of the pea-brush. And little John took each vine that he pulled off, over to a bare place in the middle of the garden field, and there he threw it down. And Uncle John put the pea-brush in a heap by the gate of the field. So they pulled up all the pea-brush and all the pea vines, and at last the vines were all in a heap in the middle of the field and the pea-brush was all in a heap by the gate.

Then Uncle John went out of the garden field, across the grass place and across the little track to the shed. And he got the wheelbarrow and wheeled it back to the gate of the garden, where all the pea-brush was. Then he loaded the pea-brush into the wheelbarrow, as much as the wheelbarrow would hold, and he wheeled that load across the grass place and across the little track to the shed. There he piled the pea-brush in the corner of the shed, carefully, so that it would be all ready for the peas the next year. And when he had piled up all that load, he went back and loaded the wheelbarrow again, and piled that in the shed the same way. So at last all the pea-brush was nicely piled in the shed.

While Uncle John was wheeling the pea-brush across to the shed and piling it up, little John began on the squash vines. First he took hold of the vine near the root, where it came out of the ground, and he pulled as hard as he could, and after awhile, the vine came up and the root came right out of the ground. But sometimes the root broke off and stayed in the ground. When he had pulled up that end of the vine, little John started walking along to the middle of the field, where all the old pea vines were. And the withered squash vine pulled away from all the things it had been holding on to, and it dragged after, and the end came dragging over the grass place and over the wall and over the garden, behind little John. But sometimes the vine broke off in the wall, and then little John had to go there and take the broken end and pull all the rest of it over the wall. And when he had pulled it to the middle of the garden, he dropped it on the top of the heap of old dried-up vines that was there. So, by the time Uncle John had the pea-brush all piled up in the shed, little John had pulled up all the squash vines and put them on the pile in the middle of the garden.

Then Uncle John went to the beans that had been climbing up poles. And he pulled up the poles, one by one, and little John held on to the bean vines and pulled them off the poles. When the vines were all pulled off the poles, Uncle John put the poles in the wheelbarrow and wheeled them over to the shed and piled them up beside the pea-brush, so that they would be all ready for the next summer, and he wouldn't have to cut any more poles unless there were more beans planted. And while Uncle John was doing this, little John was putting the bean vines on top of the pile in the middle of the garden.

When the bean vines were on the pile, it was a pretty high pile. But there were some other old dried-up things to go on the top, and little John couldn't reach up to the top. So he just dropped the things beside the pile and Uncle John put them up on the top. And then all the old withered things were in a pile in the middle of the garden and the rest of the field was all bare. Then little John wanted Uncle John to set the pile afire.

So Uncle John looked, and he saw that the wind was blowing away from the house and the barn, so that they wouldn't catch afire, and he went out the gate and across to the kitchen. And pretty soon little John saw him come out of the kitchen door with a shovel, and on the shovel were some half-burned pieces of wood that were blazing.


[Illustration]

And Uncle John came across to the field and in at the gate, and to the middle of the field, and he emptied the burning wood out of the shovel into the pile of old dried vines, at one side, near the bottom. Then the vines caught afire, and the fire crackled and blazed up, and in a minute it was a great enormous high fire, and it was so hot that little John had to get farther away, and he thought it was great fun to have such a big fire. And the fire was so hot and blazed so high that a lot of little white ashes went straight up into the air for a long way, but there wasn't much smoke.


[Illustration]

It was so hot that little John had to get farther away.

The fire didn't last long, because things like old dried vines burn up quickly. And pretty soon the fire wasn't so high, and it got lower and lower, and little John was sorry that it didn't last longer. And in a few minutes there wasn't any fire, but a heap of hot coals and white ashes. And after awhile the coals turned to ashes and the fire was all out.

Then the garden field was all ready for the oxen to come and plough it.

And that's all.

 



Ring o' Roses  by L. Leslie Brooke

Wee Willie Winkie

[Illustration]

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,

Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,

[Illustration]

Rapping at the window, crying through the lock,

"Are the children in their beds, for now it's eight o'clock?"

[Illustration]
 


  WEEK 45  

  Sunday  
 


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Old Woman of Harrow


[Illustration]

There was an old woman of Harrow,

Who visited in a wheelbarrow;

And her servant before,

Knocked loud at each door,

To announce the old woman of Harrow.