Gateway to the Classics: The Storyland Tree by Maud Lindsay
The Storyland Tree by  Maud Lindsay

Silver or Gold

E VERY morning a little boy climbed the stairs to his grandma's room and asked:

"Have you any work for me to-day?"

He could straighten the books on Grandma's table or fold the newspaper or take messages to his mamma or the cook, and one day he polished Grandma's shoes all by himself. But no matter what he did, Grandma was sure to say at the end:

"What shall I pay you, silver or gold?" And then the fun began.

If the little boy wanted silver, he would hold out his left hand and Grandma would give it a flip and a flap and a clip and a clap all in time to a merry rhyme:

"Here's a silver piece,

Go to market,

Buy a little coat,

Buy a little wig,

Buy a pair of purple shoes and dance a little jig."

And who could keep from laughing at the thought of a little boy in a wig and purple shoes dancing a jig?

If he asked for gold, the little boy held out his right hand and Grandma said, as she paid him with a clip and a clap and a flip and a flap:

"Here's a gold piece, Go to market,

Buy a little fiddlestick,

Buy a little fiddle,

Buy a little fairy tune and play it diddle-diddle."

But the day that he polished her shoes, Grandma paid him gold and silver with a clip and a flip and a clap and a flap on both hands while she said:

"Gold and silver,

Buy yourself a bridle,

Buy yourself a saddle,

Buy yourself a little horse and ride off striddle-straddle."

Well, with such fine pay and so much fun in the bargain, it is no wonder that the little boy went every morning to work for his grandma.

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