Gateway to the Classics: The Irish Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins
The Irish Twins by  Lucy Fitch Perkins

How They Went to the Bog

The next morning when the Twins woke up, the sun was shining in through the one little square window in the bedroom, and lay in a bright patch of yellow on the floor. Eileen sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. Then she stuck her head out between the curtains of her bed. "Is it to-day or to-morrow? I don't know," she said.

Larry sat up in his bed and rubbed his eyes. He peeped out from his curtains. "It is n't yesterday, anyway," he said, "and glad I am for that. Do you mind about the Tinkers, Eileen?"


"I do so," said Eileen, "and the geese."

Their Mother heard them and came to the door. "Sure, I thought I 'd let you sleep as late as ever you liked," she said, "for there 's no school to-day, but you 're awake and clacking, so how would you like to go with your Dada to the bog to cut turf? Himself will put a bit of bread in his pocket for you, and you can take a sup of milk along."

"Oh, wirra!" cried Eileen. "What have we done but left the milk-jug at Grannie Malone's!"

"You can take the milk in the old brown jug, then," said the Mother, "and come along home by way of Grannie's, and get the jug itself. I 'd like your Father to get a sight of the Tinkers' Camp, and maybe of that thief of the world that stole the geese on us."

It did n't take the Twins long to dress. They wore few clothes, and no shoes and stockings, and their breakfast of bread and potatoes was soon eaten. The Mother had already milked the cow, and when they had had a drink of fresh milk they were ready to start.

Mr. McQueen was at the door with "Colleen," the donkey, and when Larry and Eileen came out, he put them both on Colleen's back, and they started down the road toward the bog.


When they came to the place where the Tinkers' Camp should be, there was no camp there at all! They looked east and west, but no sign of the Tinkers did they see.

"If it were not for the two geese gone, I 'd think you had been dreaming!" said Mr. McQueen to the Twins.

"Look there, then," said Larry. "Sure, there 's the black mark on the ground where their fire was!"

The Twins slid off Colleen's back, and ran to the spot where the camp had been. There, indeed, was the mark of a fire, and near by were some wisps of straw. There were the marks of horses' feet, too, and Eileen found a white goose feather by the thorn-bush, and a piece of broken rope.

"They were here surely," Mr. McQueen said, "and far enough away they are by this time, no doubt. It 's likely the police were after them."

They went back to the road, and the Twins got up again on Colleen's back, and soon they had reached the near end of the bog.

Mr. McQueen stopped. "I 'll be cutting the turf here," he said, "and the two of you can go on to Grannie Malone's with the donkey, and bring back the jug with yourselves. Get along with you," and he gave the donkey a slap.

The Twins and the donkey started along the road. Everything went well until Colleen spied a tuft of green thistles, on a high bank beside the road. Colleen loved thistles, and she made straight for them. The first thing the Twins knew they were sliding swiftly down the donkey's back, while Colleen stood with her fore feet high on the bank and her hind feet in the road.

Larry, being behind, landed first, with Eileen on top of him. She was n't hurt a bit, but she was a little scared. "Sure, Larry, but you 're the soft one to fall on," she said as she rolled over and picked herself up.

"I may be soft to fall on," said Larry, "but I 'm the easier squashed for that! Look at me now! It 's out of shape I am entirely, with the print of yourself on me!"

Then—" Whatever will we do with Colleen?" Eileen said. "She 's got her nose in the thistles and we 'll never be able to drag her away from them."

They pulled on the halter, but Colleen refused to budge. Larry got up on the bank and pushed her. He even pulled her backward by the tail! Colleen did n't seem to mind it at all. She kept right on eating the thistles.


At last Larry said, "You go on with yourself to Grannie Malone's for the jug, Eileen, and I 'll stay here until she finishes the thistles."

So he sat down by the road on a stone and Eileen trotted off to Grannie's.


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