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THE SECOND HOLIDAY BOOK
The Naughty Little Blacksmith The Angry Puppy Giggle and Hop Get Into Trouble Peter's Good Turn The Doll in the Cushion How High Is Your House The Flyaway Cottage A Garden Seat and a Dressing Table The Tin Whistle The Golliwog Who Smoked The Girl with Whiskers The Cat Who Cut Her Claws For the Christmas Tree The Astonishing Guy He Wouldn't Go To Sleep Lavender Bundles Polly's Ps and Qs The Whistling Kettle The Big Glass Marble A Few Christmas Puzzles The Land of Nowhere Three Things To Do She Stamped Her Foot Christine's Kite 8 14 18 23 27 33 36 48 49 53 57 62 67 70 77 83 84 90 96 101 102 118 119 125
The Very Strange Pool To Puzzle You ! The Humpy Goblin's Kettle Christmas Tree Aeroplane Bells ! Bells ! Bells ! Grannie's Bad Apple Connie's Curious Candle The Jumping Bean Safety First Never Mind Freddie Has a Job The Magic Clock The Clever Servant The Sparrow Children A Flock of Christmas Robins
130 136 137 150 157 158 162 170 175 176 181 187 191 197 202
was once a lovely village on the borders of Heyho Land called Comfy. The village of Comfy was exactly like its name. All the houses were snug and comfortable, the gardens were fine and grew everything well, and the people were friendly and happy. So you can guess that plenty of people wanted to go and live in Comfy! But no one was allowed to unless they had work of some sort that they could do. When Gobo wanted to live there the chief of the village said to him, " What work can you do? " " I can bake pies and cakes and tarts," said Gobo. " I've brought one of my pies with me. Try it." So the chief tried it and found it very good. ' You can come and live here," he told Gobo. " Work hard and make cakes, pies, and tarts for us, and you will be very happy." Another time a rich gnome called Smug wanted to buy one of the snug little houses. When the chief of Comfy asked him what work he could do, he answered in a very high and mighty voice: " Work! I don't need to work! I've plenty of money without working." " Well, go and spend it somewhere else," said the chief. " People are only really happy when they have work to do, and we want nobody here who cannot work." So the rich gnome had to go away, disappointed and angry. The chief of the village watched him and laughed. "He is lazy and fat! " thought the chief. "A little work would do him good and make him happy. Well, well—we don't want people like Smug here, that's certain! '
Now one day a small pixie called Tiggle came to ask if he might live in the village. The chief came to see him and to ask him questions. Tiggle was very well dressed, and looked cheeky and vain. " What work can you do? " asked the chief. " Oh, anything ! " answered Tiggle. " What do you mean by ' anything '? " asked the chief. "Well —just anything!" said Tiggle cheekily. " We want a smith—can you shoe horses? " asked the chief, looking at Tiggle's soft white hands and thinking that they didn't look as if the pixie had ever done any work at all. " Oh yes, I can shoo anything! " said Tiggle. " I can shoo horses and donkeys and geese and flies—I'm very clever, I am! " " Well, you can come and live in our village then," said the chief. " But mind you work hard! " So Tiggle moved into a dear little house, well built and comfortable. He hung blue curtains at the window, put soft carpets on the floor, and a most comfortable arm-chair for himself by the parlour fire. Every one came to give him a hand, for the folk of Comfy Village were the kindest in all Hey ho Land. Tiggle soon settled down and was very happy. He had plenty of money to spend, he kept a little servant, and he made a great many friends. Whenever the chief of the village was anywhere near, Tiggle would sigh and say, " I've worked so hard this week! I've shooed three geese, four ducks, five hens, and ever so many flies." So people thought he made shoes of all kinds and said he must be a very clever fellow. But the chief of the village still kept looking at Tiggle's
soft white hands, and wondered how anyone could have hands like that if he really did such a lot of hard work. “I'd like to see the shoes you make, Tiggle," said the chief one day. “I'll come along and see some to-morrow. I've a duck with a lame foot— perhaps one of your shoes would do for it." Well, that gave Tiggle a great shock, for, as you may guess, he had never made a shoe for anything in his life. He said goodbye very quickly, and caught the next bus to the town over the hill. There he spent a good deal of money on red, yellow, and blue shoes of all kinds. He put them into his bag and went home. He arranged all the shoes in his parlour, and the next day, when the chief of Comfy came knocking at the door, he found Tiggle busy sewing a button on a shoe. " Dear me! ' said the chief, looking all round. " What a lot of shoes! I like this little blue pair! '
He picked up the blue shoes, turned them upside down, and looked at them. On the sole was stamped the name of the shop where Tiggle had bought the shoes! The chief put down the shoes and looked at Tiggle, who was still busy with the button. " So you made all these shoes, Tiggle? " he said. " Yes, sir," said Tiggle, most untruthfully. He went very red, and hung his head over the shoe he was holding. " Really? " said the chief, and he walked to the door. " Well, tomorrow I'll bring a few things for you to shoe, Tiggle. And I shall be sorry for you if you can't do the job! " The next morning Tiggle got such a shock—for up the hill to his house came a great crowd of people. The chief came first, leading his lame duck. Then came others, some with a horse, some with a dog or cat, some with hens and geese! The chief knocked on Tiggle's door. " Come out, Tiggle! " he cried. " We want to see you do some work. We've brought a few creatures for you to shoe! " Tiggle opened the door and looked at all the animals. " I can't work to-day," he said. " I don't feel well." Everybody crowded into Tiggle's little garden. Somebody's goat began to eat the flowers, and the hens scratched up a bed of lettuce.
Tiggle saw them and was very angry. " Take your horrid creatures away! " he shouted. “ Not till you've shoed them all," said the chief. " You said you could shoe anything, Tiggle. Was that true?”: “Yes, quite true," said Tiggle sulkily. " But I didn't mean what you meant, that's all. I can shoo anything!” " You're not telling the truth," said everybody. The goat ate all Tiggle's sweet-peas and began on the tomato plants. Tiggle was dreadfully upset, and very angry indeed. " I am telling the truth! " he shouted. " I'll show you! I’ll show you! Watch me shooing the goat, to start with! ' Tiggle rushed at the alarmed goat, waved his hands at him, and yelled loudly. " Shoo, goat! Shoo, shoo, SHOO! Shoo, goat! " The goat shooed in fright. He jumped right over the wall and ran down the street. Everyone stared with wide-open eyes and mouth. Tiggle shouted at them. " Well, didn't I shoo the goat? Didn't I? Now I'll shoo all the other creatures you brought to be shooed! Shoo, duck! Shoo, hen! Shoo, shoo, shoo, geese! Ah, you bad creatures, you've eaten my carrots. Shoo, I tell you, shoo! And shoo, you dogs and cats; and shoo, you silly horse, eating my grass. SHOO!” All the animals and birds fled away in fright. They jumped over the wall, squeezed under the gate, flew over the hedge—anything to get away from the shouting pixie. " Now stop this, you bad pixie," said the chief, very sternly. " You deceived us. You didn't deserve to live in our happy little village. You . . ." " I won't be talked to like this! " shouted Tiggle, who was in a fine old temper now. " Shoo, all of you! Shoo! SHOO! I said I could shoo anything, and so I can. I'll shoo the lot of you! Shoo! SHOO! ' " Ho, ho! So that's how you are going to behave, is it? " cried the chief, losing his temper too. " Well, we can do a bit of shooing, too! ' He slipped off his shoe. Everyone else took off a shoe too, and grinned. They knew what was coming. " Shoo, Tiggle, shoo! Shoe! Shoe! " cried the chief, and he lifted his leather shoe and gave Tiggle such a smack with it that he jumped high in
the air and howled with pain. " How do you like our way of shooing, Tiggle? Shoo! Shoo!" Everyone tried to get in a smack at bad little Tiggle, and cried, "Shoo! Shoo! Here's a shoe for you! Smack, smack! Shoo, shoo! " Tiggle ran down the path to the gate. Smack, smack, shoo, shoo! The goat peeped over the wall and laughed. The geese cackled loudly. Tiggle yelled and shouted, and ran as fast as he could out of the gate. " It doesn't pay to be deceitful! " cried the people after him. " You'd better be honest next time, Tiggle! Shoo, shoo, shoo! "Tiggle caught the. next bus, crying big tears down his nose. " I was silly," he sobbed. " I daren't go back. I've lost all my goods and left my money behind. Now I shall really have to go to work." Well, it didn't do him any harm. He went to help a blacksmith, so he really is shoeing something now. Maybe one day he'll go back to the village of Comfy and start all over again, honest and hardworking. But I think I know what everyone will shout if they see him again. Do you? Yes—shoo, shoo, shoo !
THERE was once a puppy who stole a string of sausages from the JL kitchen. He was whipped very hard for his naughtiness, and he was angry. " I won't stay here and be treated like this! " he yelped. " Horrid people! I'll run away and go to live with animals. I shall be happier then." So he ran off. Soon he came to a great brown horse, feeding in a field. He spoke to him. " May I come and live with you? " he asked. " Certainly! " said the horse. " You will have grass to eat. You will have a heavy saddle to carry. And you will learn to paw the ground like this! " He pawed the ground so hard that a clod of earth flew up and struck the surprised puppy on the nose. " I don't like you," he said to the horse, very angrily. " I should hate to eat grass. I won't carry a heavy saddle. And I think that pawing the ground is silly! ' He trotted off again, and came to where a big cat was stretched out on the ground, sunning herself. The puppy spoke to her. " May I come and live with you? " he asked.
" Certainly! " said the cat. " You will learn to catch birds to eat. You will have to keep down the mice. And you must learn to scratch, like this!" The cat put out her claws and scratched the puppy on the leg. He was very angry. " I don't like you," he said to the cat. " I should hate to catch birds. I wouldn't bother myself to catch mice. And I think it would be silly to learn to scratch! ' He ran off, and the cat laughed to herself. Soon he came to a big white goose, and he ran up to her. " May I come and live with you? " he asked. " Certainly! " said the goose with a cackle, " You will have to waddle like me. You will have to cackle like this!” The goose put out her great beak and pecked the puppy's tail. She almost pecked it off! The puppy yelped, and was very cross. “ I don't like you," he said. '' I should hate to waddle as clumsily as you. I wouldn't like to cackle at all—and I think pecking is silly! " He ran off, yelping angrily. He was a very cross little pup indeed. Soon he came to where a red fox was ambling along, and he spoke to him.
" May I come and live with you? '
" Certainly! " said the fox, and he grinned at the small puppy. " You will have to learn to bark like me —oof, oof, oof! You will be chased by dogs. And you must learn to snap like this! ' He snapped at the puppy and almost bit the end of his nose off. The puppy jumped back in alarm. " I don't like you," he said. " I should hate to bark like a fox instead of a dog. I should hate to be hunted by a pack of dogs—and to snap like that isn't at all nice! " He ran off, and came to where a company of ducks was lying at ease by the water-side. He spoke to them. " May I come and live with you? " he asked. "Certainly! " said the ducks. "You must quack like this—quackquack-quack! You must burrow in the mud of the pond. And you must swim like this! " They all jumped into the pond and splashed the puppy from head to foot. He was very angry. He shook himself and yelped at the ducks: " I don't like you! I think quacking is silly, and as for burrowing in the mud, it's a horrible thing to do. And if swimming means getting wet all over, it's a thing I'll never learn! He ran off, wet and miserable. He was tired and hungry and lonely. He ran and ran, and at last found himself at his own back door.
His mistress was there and she went to welcome him. “ You poor little puppy! I thought you must be lost! Come along in and get dry and warm. I'll give you some hot milk to drink, a sweet biscuit, and a bone. You shall lie down in your own cosy basket and be happy! " Good gracious! ' said the puppy to himself, as he lay in his warm basket chewing a delicious bone, with his mistress patting him lovingly. " Good gracious! What did I want to run away for? Why did I want to live with anyone else? I'll stay at home in future and BE GOOD!” Well, he did stay at home, and he grew into a fine big dog. But he isn't always good, though his mistress loves him, good or naughty. I know, because he lives next door to me!
kept a school for pixies. It was a boarding-school, so they stayed there all the time, except when they went home for holidays. It was a very nice school and they ah1 enjoyed it very much. But there were two of the pixies who were real nuisances. If ever there was any trouble, Dame Rap-Rap was sure to find that it was because of Giggle and Hop. If the jam disappeared out of the cupboard, she would find that Giggle had been in the room two minutes before. If a window got broken, it would be because Hop had thrown his ball through it. The worst of it was that it was very difficult to make sure that Giggle and Hop were the two that caused all the trouble. They looked so good and sweet that Dame Rap-Rap could really hardly believe they could be so naughty. Now one night Giggle and Hop woke up and looked out of the window. It was a moonlight night and Giggle thought it looked beautiful. "Hop! Let's go and watch the frogs playing leap-frog to-night!” said Giggle. " They are having their races. I heard Jump say so to-day, when we passed the pond." “ But we aren't supposed to go out at night," said Hop, half afraid. “ What does that matter? " said Giggle, jumping out of bed. " Every one is asleep. No one will know. Let's go!” So they both crept out of the window, slid down the tree outside, and set off to the pond. The frogs were there on the bank, having their jumping match. It was great fun to watch!
" You ought not to be out of bed at this time of night," said a big frog suddenly. " I shall tell Dame Rap-Rap." " Mean thing! " said Hop, and both the pixies ran off in a hurry. The frog kept his word and told Dame Rap-Rap, and she was very cross. " Now, which of you was it who went to the frogs' jumping-match? she asked the school next day. Naughty little Giggle and Hop didn't say a word. They just sat in their desks, looking sweet and good. Dame RapRap looked at them and felt perfectly certain it couldn't be either Giggle or Hop. So she didn't find out who it was at all. Giggle and Hop thought it would be fine fun to slip out again one night. So when they heard the moths were holding a honey-supper in the wood, they slipped out of bed, down the tree outside the window, and went to join the moths. They were all sipping honey and telling each other the news. They flew softly here and there, and their big plumy feelers waved to and fro as they chattered. Giggle and Hop tried to join in, and they each took a big pot of honey for themselves. But the moths were angry, " You haven't been invited! " they said. " Go home! You belong to Dame Rap-Rap's school, we know! We shall tell her to-morrow how you came here and took our honey. What are your names? ' But the pixies wouldn't tell the moths. They fled back to the school and went to bed. And in the morning Dame Rap-Rap had a letter saying that two of her pupils had slipped out the night before. She was very cross. She simply couldn't find out who the naughty pixies were. Giggle and Hop just sat and looked as sweet as possible, and
seemed quite shocked when Dame Rap-Rap said that SOMEONE had been out in the woods the night before. Well, when they heard that the field-mice were having a dance at the edge of the cornfield, they winked at one another and made up their minds to go there too, that very night. So off they went, and weren't they pleased to see a fine spread of cheese-cake, bacon-rind sandwiches, and wobbly jellies set out for the field-mice to eat. Giggle and Hop danced a dance together and then began to eat the cakes. They were really delicious. They were just finishing a jelly when Fitter, the head field-mouse, came scampering up. “What are you doing? " he cried. " You don't belong to our party! Go home! How dare you take our food! ' " We thought you would be proud if we came to the party," said Giggle. " It isn't often that pixies come to dance with the field-mice! ' " You go home at once! " cried the field-mouse angrily. " You go to Dame Rap-Rap's school, we know. Well, we'll tell her about you! You'll be punished! " " Oh no, we shan't! " cried Hop, and he snatched another cake. The field-mouse was so angry that he rushed at the pixie and knocked him right over. Then up came all the other field-mice, and the pixies saw that they must run away. They ran—but the mice ran after them! "Quick! " cried Giggle. "Hide! " " Where? " cried Hop. " In a poppy! " cried Giggle. The red poppies were standing here and there at the edge of the field. In a trice the two pixies each climbed a green
stalk, parted the red silky petals and hid themselves inside a poppy. The field-mice raced along below and passed them, for they had not seen what the pixies were doing. " Good! " cried Hop, when he saw that they were safe. " Come along! We'd better get back to school." Off they ran, and were soon in bed. They didn't know that they were quite black with the pollen off the poppies. You know what a black middle the poppies have, don't you? Well, all the black had come off on to the pixies! They hadn't been in bed long when a field-mouse came knocking at the school door. In great alarm Mrs. Rap-Rap put on her dressing-gown, and went down to open the door. How angry she was when the field-mouse told her that two of her pixies had been to the dance by the cornfield! " Oh, really! " she said. " Well, I'll just find out this time who it is. I'll wake the whole school up and find out if everyone is here. Thank you, Field-mouse! '
Dame Rap-Rap rang the school bell. All the pixies woke up in alarm. Dame Rap-Rap went in and out of the bedrooms calling, " Put on your dressing-gowns and go into the hall! Put on your dressing-gowns and go into the hall! ' In five minutes every pixie was there. Dame Rap-Rap counted them. Dear, dear! no one was missing after all. But then she looked very carefully at Giggle and Hop. They were black! “Why are you so dirty?” she asked sternly. “Your faces are black, your hands are black—and dear me, your night-suits, under your dressing-gowns, are black too! Have you been in the coal-cellar?”: “ No, Dame Rap-Rap," said the pixies at once. “ I know what the black is," cried little Twinkle. “ It's the black from the middle of poppies! I got some on my nose yesterday! " “ Oh! " said Dame Rap-Rap, and she stared sternly at the two trembling pixies. " And poppies grow by the cornfield —and the dance is held there to-night—and two pixies went—and were chased away and hid—and I guess they hid in the poppies and got black! And I guess, too, that those pixies were you, Giggle and Hop! Come with me at once!” They had to go with Dame Rap-Rap—and dear me, she hadn't got her name for nothing. All the other pixies stood and listened. "Rap-rap-rap!' they heard, "Raprap-rap! " And if you'd like to get yourselves as black as Giggle and Hop, just go and put your nose inside a poppy. You'll soon see how it was that the pixies got so dirty!
Peter's Good Turn
PETER was a Boy Scout. Every day he had to do a good turn to somebody, and he never, never forgot. Sometimes he ran an errand for his mother. That was one good turn. Sometimes he fetched the paper for his father. That was another good turn. Sometimes he picked up a child who had fallen down, and he wound his own hanky round the hurt knee. That was another good turn. " So long as I can find a good turn each day, I've kept my promise," thought Peter. " But I shall be sad if I can't find a good turn—I would have to break my promise." Well, there came a day when Peter simply couldn't seem to find a good turn to do. His mother didn't want any errands running. In fact, she told Peter not to come bothering her, for she was busy His father was out at work. Mrs. Brown next door said she didn't want anything at all. No child fell down in the streets. No bird fell out of a nest. Nobody wanted any letters posted. It was very tiresome. “ How can I possibly do a good turn if there isn't one to be done? "wondered Peter. “Well, perhaps I'd better go and look round a bit. I may find one to do." So off he went for a walk. It was after tea, so there wasn't much time till bedtime, but Peter meant to find a good turn to do somehow! When he came into Pond Lane, he saw a puppy dog. It was standing in the gutter. Peter knew the puppy. It was Gip, who belonged to Mr. George. He whistled.
"Phee! Pheee! Phee! " Gip whined, but he didn't come. " Gip, Gip! Come along! " shouted Peter. " I'm out for a walk! ' Still Gip didn't move, but only yelped pitifully. " There must be something wrong! " thought Peter, and he ran to see. What do you think had happened? Poor Gip had got his paw caught in the grating of the drain! He had put it there to try and catch the water that he saw winking at him below the drain—and now he couldn't get his paw out again! He had twisted it round so that it was stuck more tightly than ever! " You poor fellow! " said Peter, and he knelt down beside him. " You know, Gip, I've been looking and looking for a good turn to do to-day— and you're my good turn! You see, Gip, I have to do a good turn every day. I've promised to, and I must never break a promise. I'm a Boy Scout. I expect you've seen me in my uniform." All the time he was talking, Peter was trying to get Gip's paw out of the drain. He tried it this way and he tried it that way. The puppy whined. He licked Peter's ear and listened to all he said. Peter twisted the little fat paw round to the right—and it suddenly slipped out of the grating! It was swollen with pain, and the puppy limped, holding his foot up as he went. " My good turn to you isn't finished yet," said Peter. " Come along to the stream and let me bathe your paw. Then the swelling will go down." So the boy bathed the swollen paw in the cool water. The puppy
was glad to feel the pain going. He licked Peter again. He thought it was a very good idea to do a good turn to somebody every day. He thought in his puppy mind that he would do the same! He would be a Boy Scout too! He ran home on all four paws. Peter went home too, very happy because he had found his good turn to do. And the very next day Gip paid Peter back for his good turn. It was really very strange, but it just happened all of a sudden. Gip was out, looking for his good turn to do. Suddenly he smelt the smell of Peter, and he looked for him. He saw Peter crossing the road —and he saw, too, a big car coming at a tremendous speed. It would certainly knock Peter down! There was no time for anybody to pull the boy back. But what was this? A brown furry body suddenly hurled itself into the road, and flung itself on Peter's back. The boy went flying across the road and fell flat on his face with the shock. The car missed him by about two inches. Gip had saved Peter's life! Everyone ran up and began to pat the dog, and pick Peter up, and talk about the wonderful thing the dog had done. :” Oh, Gip, it's you that saved my life, is it! " cried Peter, and he hugged the puppy. ' You were my good turn yesterday, and I was yours today! You're a good little Scout dog. You really are! ' Gip wagged his tail so hard that it looked like a windmill in the wind! Then up came a newspaper man, who wanted to write all about the clever puppy in his newspaper, and when he heard what Peter said, what do you think he did? Why, he went to buy a Scout hat and a Scout pole
for Gip, and he took a picture of Peter and Gip together—Peter in his Scout uniform, and Gip in his Scout hat, holding the pole! You can see it here, if you look. Aren't they fine? They send a message to you, and it's this: “Do a good turn every day if you can! " Very well. We will!
JEANIE’S nursery was a little rubber doll that squeaked whenever she was pressed. " Eeeee! " she went like a mouse, and Jeanie laughed and thought she was a funny little doll. " I shall call you Squealie," she said, ' because you squeal and squeak." Squealie lived in the toy-cupboard with two gollies, three teddies, two more dolls, the bricks, the train, and some soft animals. She would have been very happy indeed if only the toys wouldn't have made her squeak so much! She was very small, and anybody was strong enough to squeeze her and make her squeak. Even the clockwork mouse could squeeze the little rubber doll, and whenever the pink teddy-bear wound him up at night, the very first thing the mouse did was to rush after poor Squealie, squash her very tightly and make her cry, " Eeee! Eeee! Eeee! ' " Please don't," Squealie would say. " Please don't. You squash all my breath out of me and I don't like it. It's not kind of you. I'm only meant to be squeezed by children. After all, I can talk to you—I don't want to keep squeaking to you." But the toys still went on squeezing poor Squealie. She hadn't any clothes on except rubber ones, and she didn't like her tummy squashed so hard. :”Eeee! Eeee! Eeee! " she cried all night long. Now one night she couldn't bear it any longer, so she looked for a place to hide. She thought the brick-box would be a good place. She crept inside and hid between the bricks and the box. But the clockwork
mouse had seen her creeping inside and he ran to the box, lifted up the lid, and jumped in. " Eeee! Eeee! Eeee! " cried Squealie, as the mouse squeezed her to make her squeal. She began to cry. She ran away—and wherever do you suppose she hid next? She was small enough to climb inside the teapot belonging to the big toyteaset! It was quite a big teapot and Squealie could just squeeze inside. She settled the lid over her head and crouched there, looking out through the spout at all the toys. " Where's Squealie? " cried the pink Teddy, looking all round. " I want to squeeze her." " She went into the teapot," whispered the red-haired doll, with a giggle. 'Into the teapot! " said the teddy in surprise. " Does she think she's a tea-leaf or something? " " We'll go and ask her! " cried the big golly, and all the toys ran to the teapot. The clockwork mouse peeped down the spout and shouted loudly: "Hie! Are you a tea-leaf? Will you pour out?” "Let's try and see! " giggled the big golly, and he tipped up the teapot. Of course the rubber doll was too big to pour out of the spout, but she got such a shock that she squeaked loudly, " Eeee Eeee!
The small golly took off the lid. The rubber doll climbed out and ran away again. Oh dear, why couldn't the toys leave her alone for a little while! The toys were all going after her when the red-haired doll gave a yell. She had fallen into the domino-box, and the toys had to stop and get her out. When they turned round to see where Squealie had gone to, they couldn't see her. She was gone! Where do you suppose she was? She was in a very good hiding-place this time. There was a cushion on the nursery chair, and one side of it had come undone a little. The rubber doll saw the undone part, and she climbed through it into the cushion! She lay down in the dark softness of the cushion and hoped nobody would find her. Nobody did! Nobody thought of looking inside a cushion, and so Squealie lay there quite safely all night long, and nobody squeezed her at all to make her squeak. She was very glad. Now next day Jeanie came into the nursery to have her breakfast. Nurse came too, and Nurse sat down heavily on the cushion inside which Squealie was hiding. Well, of course, Nurse's heavy body squeezed poor Squealie so much that she was squashed quite flat. She squeaked at once. "Eeee! Eeee! Eeeee! " " Goodness gracious! I've sat on the cat! " cried Nurse, and she sprang up at once. But there was no cat there, only the cushion. Nurse was surprised. " I really thought I heard the cat squealing," she said. She sat down again— and Squealie squeaked loudly, " EeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEE! " Up got Nurse again in a hurry. She took the cushion up and looked underneath it. There was nothing there. She simply couldn’t understand it.
I shan't sit on this chair any more," she said. " I don't like the noise it makes." So she took another chair and sat down without any noise at all. Now the toys had been peeping through the door of the toy-cupboard all this time, and when they saw and heard what was happening, they laughed and laughed and laughed. They knew quite well that Squealie must be hiding inside the cushion and that Nurse had sat on her. Well, the next thing that happened was that Jeanie sat down on the cushion to dress the red-haired doll. “EeeeeeEE! " squeaked poor Squealie inside, almost squashed flat. " Goodness! " cried Jeanie in surprise, and she jumped up at once. "Have I sat on the cat? " But no, she hadn't. It was all very mysterious and Jeanie couldn't imagine where the noise came from. She sat down on the chair again, and once more the squealing noise came. “ It sounds like Squealie under the cushion," said Jeanie, and she lifted up the cushion to see. But of course Squealie was inside, not underneath.
Then it was time for Jeanie to go out, so she had to go and put on her coat and hat. Whilst she was in the bedroom the cat came into the nursery. He jumped up on the cushion at once. " EEEEEEEEEEEE! ' squeaked Squealie. The cat jumped down in fright. The toys in the toy-cupboard laughed so much that they couldn't stand up! The red-haired doll who was on the floor nearby laughed till the tears ran down her red cheeks. The cat licked them up, and thought about the strange cushion. But before he could make up his mind about it, Mother came into the room with Jeanie. '' Just let me see if this button wants sewing on your coat," she said, and sat down on the cushion. " EEEEEeeeeEEEEeeee! " squealed the rubber doll, for Mother was big and heavy. Mother jumped up at once in astonishment. The toys laughed till they made a noise and the cat ran to the toy-cupboard to see what the fuss was about. " Did you hear that cushion make a noise, Jeanie? " asked Mother, shaking the cushion. " Yes, it keeps making noises," said Jeanie. “It sounds like my rubber doll, Squealie." " Most extraordinary," said Mother. She pressed the cushion all over —and suddenly she felt the little rubber body of Squealie inside! " Why, there's something in the cushion! " she cried. She undid the cushion cover a little more and then slipped her hand in. She pulled out poor Squealie.
" Why, here's your rubber doll! " she said. " Did you hide her there, Jeanie? " “No, I didn't, Mother," said Jeanie, most surprised. " She must have crept there herself." " Of course she didn't! " said Mother. “What would she want to hide away for?” Squealie was put back into the toy-cupboard, and the hole in the end of the cushion was sewn up. Squealie was glad to be out of the cushion, for it was really dreadful to be sat on so often. The toys could hardly speak to her for laughing. Squealie looked at them. " It may have been funny to you" she said, "it was simply dreadful for me! Still, I'm glad you had a good laugh—but please, as I've given you such a nice lot of giggling, won't you be kind to me and not squeeze me any more? I really am afraid my squeak is wearing out now." “ All right, Squealie, we won't squeeze you any more," promised the big golly. “I've never laughed so much in my life! Oh dear—I'm going to laugh again! ' And he did. He made such a noise that the cat came along again and peeped into the cupboard. “What's the joke? " he asked. But nobody told him. They were afraid he might squeeze Squealie it they told him about her, and toys don't like a cat's sharp claws!
The Fly-Away Cottage
and Harry looked out of the nursery window. It was pouring with rain, and they had to go across the fields to fetch the eggs from the farm. :” “What a nuisance! " said Harry. It's such a long way down the road and over the hill to the farm when it's raining." " Well, let's go the short cut through the woods," said Sheila. " We can put on our big rubber boots and our macks and sou'-westers, and we shall be sheltered from the wind if we walk through the wood. It won't take us very long." So they put on their rubber boots, and their mackintoshes and oilskin hats. They took the basket for the eggs, called good-bye to their mother and set out. It was raining hard! There were big puddles everywhere, and the rain splashed into them and made them bigger still! The wind blew hard too, and altogether it was a very stormy, windy day. Soon the two children came to the woods. They were glad to get among trees, for they were more sheltered then. They walked through the dripping trees, over the soaking grass. Then suddenly there came such a gale blustering through the woods that the children were quite frightened. “ I hope the wind won't blow any trees down on us," said Sheila, looking round at the trees bent almost double in the gale. " I wish there was somewhere for us to shelter in just till this storm is over, Harry. Is there any cottage near that we could go to? " " No," said Harry. " I've never seen any cottage here at all." Just as he spoke, Sheila cried out in surprise and pointed to the left.
"Look, Harry! There's the funniest little cottage I've ever seen. What are those things growing out of each side of it? " It certainly was a strange cottage. Jutting out at each side of it were big feathery wings. They were perfectly still, and drooped a little in the rain. The cottage was very small, and had a yellow front door with one chimney that twisted here and there in the wind. " It's the funniest cottage I've ever seen," said Harry. " I don't know whether to go to it or not. It looks queer to me. Goodness knows who might live there—a witch perhaps, or an enchanter. It's just the sort of cottage you see in a book." The two children stood looking at it, and the rain fell more and more heavily on them. " It's raining cats and dogs," said Harry, and my goodness me, just as he said that, his words came true! It really did begin to rain cats and dogs! A large black kitten fell on Sheila's head, and a little white dog fell down by Harry. Then two tabby cats tumbled near Sheila and three collies around Harry. The children stood looking at them in amazement. Then they looked up at the sky. It was full of cats and dogs, all falling to earth like rain! "Quick! Run to the cottage !” said Harry, in a fright. "We don't want hundreds of dogs and cats on our heads! It must be a very bad storm if it rains cats and dogs! ' So they ran through the falling cats and dogs to the queer little cottage. Sheila thought she saw its wings move a little as they came near. A black cat fell on to her shoulder and made her squeal. She rushed to the cottage door and turned the handle. She and Harry ran inside and slammed the door behind them.
A smell of new made cakes was in the cottage. The children gazed around the room they were in. A small woman with green wings growing out of her shoulders looked round at them from the fireplace. " Now then, now then, what do you mean by rushing in like that without so much as a knock at the door or a ring? " she said grumpily. " Here I've got my oven door open and my cakes are baking as well, and you come and make a draught like that. It's enough to make them all go flat, so it is." The children were so surprised to see such a funny person that they couldn't speak. The little woman was fat and round and she wore a sort of sun-bonnet on her head. Her cheeks were hot from the fire, and she shut her oven door with a slam. " Well? " she said. '' Haven't you a tongue in your heads, either of you? What do you want? Have you come to buy any of my cakes? ' " No," said Harry. "We didn't know you sold them. Are you a fairy?” “ I'm a pixie woman," said the funny little person, taking off her spectacles and polishing them on her big white apron. “I'm the famous Mother Mickle-Muckle, whose cakes are bought for all the best parties in Fairyland and Witchland. Haven't you ever heard of me? ' “No," said Sheila, feeling rather excited to see a real pixie person. “I'm so sorry if our opening the door has spoilt your cakes. But, you see, it's raining cats and dogs outside and we had to run for shelter."
" Cats and dogs! " said the pixie woman in surprise. " Nonsense! " Just as she spoke a large brown and white dog fell down the chimney into the fire. It jumped out at once and ran barking round the kitchen. Mother Mickle-Muckle picked up a frying-pan and ran after it. " Get out, you clumsy creature! " she said. "I won't have animals in my nice clean kitchen! " She opened the door and the dog ran out into the wood. But no sooner had the pixie woman shut it than two big cats fell down her chimney, and when they had jumped out on the hearth rug they began to fight, spitting and snarling at one another in a spiteful manner. The pixie picked up a rollingpin and rushed angrily at the cats. They flew at her and scratched her on the hand. Then out of the window they jumped, still hissing at one another. " Look at that now! " said Mother Mickle-Muckle, showing her hand to the children. " I won't stay here a minute longer! I hate dogs and cats to fall down my chimney! Cottage, fly to Topsy-Turvy Land! " Before the children could say a word the cottage spread its two feathery wings and flew up into the air! Yes, it really did! Sheila rushed to a window and she saw its wings beating the air like a bird's, and, as she watched, the trees were left behind and the cottage rose high into the air. "Ooh! " cried Sheila in the greatest astonishment. "The cottage is flying away! " " Of course," said the pixie, busy rolling out some pastry on the kitchen table. " It's Fly-Away Cottage, didn't you know that? It's famous all over the world."
' Well, ‘I’ve never heard of it," said Sheila. " Have you, Harry ? " Never," said Harry, looking in wonder out of the window, gazing at fields and woods below them. “ Then you are two silly, ignorant children," said Mother MickleMuckle quite crossly. " I don't know where you go to school, if they don't teach you things like that." “I wish we were taught things like that! " said Sheila. " It would be much more exciting to learn about this Fly-Away Cottage and you, than about bays and rivers." Mother Mickle-Muckle was pleased. She took a plate of chocolate buns from the cupboard and put them down in front of the children. “You can each have two," she said. “ We shan't arrive at TopsyTurvy Land for another hour or two. Take off your coats and hats and sit down." ' Whatever will mother say if we don't go back to dinner! " said Harry. " I don't think we ought to go to Topsy-Turvy Land, Mother Mickle-Muckle, though I'd love to." " You'll have to go," said the pixie, popping another tin of cakes into the oven. '" I am taking some cakes to the Big Little Goblin for his party this afternoon and he would turn me into a biscuit or an ice-cream if I were late." " Big Little Goblin! " said Sheila in surprise. " Nobody can be big and little, too." " Oh, can't they? " said Mother Mickle-Muckle, rolling out some more dough. " Well, let me tell you, my clever little girl, that the Big Little Goblin is little in height but very big in width. That is, he
is very short and very fat, and he is the King of Topsy-Turvy Land because he is the stupidest person there." : Then why do they make him King ? " asked Harry, astonished. ;t Oh, everything is upside-down in Topsy-Turvy Land," said the pixie. ' The stupidest is King and the cleverest is a beggar. Now just sit down and keep quiet whilst I decorate these cakes. We'll be passing over the sea in a little while, and you can watch the ships." It was strange to be in a little cottage flying high above the clouds. The two children looked out of the windows and saw the ships on the sea, and then at last they were over land again. The cottage swooped down and landed with a bump on a little hill. The children were thrown off their feet, but Mother Mickle-Muckle didn't seem to mind. She put some cakes into a basket and opened the door. " Come along," she said. The children followed her—and how surprised they were to see the land they had come to. Everything was Topsy-Turvy!
The houses stood on their chimneys, and the people had to have ladders to get up to their front doors. It was really most peculiar. The people walked the right way up but they all wore a large boot or shoe on their heads instead of a hat. Sheila and Harry wanted to laugh whenever they met anyone. The people were mostly small and fat, and they all had funny little button noses and pointed ears. They wore their coats back to front and they talked very loudly in high voices. The Big Little Goblin lived in a small cottage and didn't look a bit like a king. He wore a red button-boot on his head, and round one of his legs was a golden crown. He took the basket of cakes from Mother Mickle-Muckle and peered at them to see if they were all right. " He's a funny sort of king," said Sheila, when they came out of the cottage. “ I should have thought he would have lived in that big palace over there." She pointed to a high, shining palace a little way off, “ Oh, that's where the cleverest man lives, the beggar I told you of," said the pixie woman. “This is Topsy-Turvy Land, remember. Beggars live in palaces and kings live in cottages." Sheila stopped to watch a Topsy-Turvy Man walk up the ladder to his upside-down front door. She thought it must be very funny to walk on ceilings and see your fire burning upside-down. “Come along, come along," said Mother Mickle-Muckle impatiently. " I must get to Giant Too-Tall's before one o'clock with a jam roll." They hurried back to where the Fly-Away Cottage was waiting for them. It was waving its feathery wings in the air, and was so anxious to be away that it rose up in the air almost before Sheila had gone through
the door. She nearly fell out as it rose with a jerk, and Harry just caught her in time and pulled her into the kitchen. “ We'd better have our dinner whilst the cottage is flying to Giant Too-Tall's," said the pixie woman, and she set the table with a white cloth. For their dinner she gave them hot ginger buns, cherry pie and cheese biscuits straight from the oven. They liked it very much. The cottage flew steadily through the air whilst they ate, and when next the children looked out of the window they saw a big black cloud in front of them with something glittering in the middle of it. " There's a castle right in the middle of the cloud! " said Sheila in surprise. :e Goodness, think of that! ' Sure enough, there was! The cottage flew into the thick cloud and set itself down in the castle yard. The pixie woman took a small jam roll out of the oven. " Is that for a giant? " asked Harry, laughing. " My goodness, he must be a small giant! ' " You wait and see! " said Mother Mickle-Muckle, and she opened the door of her cottage. " Coo-ee! " she called, in a high, bird-like voice. " Coo-ee!” The door of the great castle opened and out came a most enormously tall giant with eyes as big as a dinner-plate. Sheila and Harry felt quite frightened and ran back into the cottage. " Have you brought my jam roll ? " called a thundering voice and the cottage shook from top to bottom. " Yes, come and get it," answered the pixie woman and she held out the jam roll she had made. The children saw a big hand come down to
get it and dear me, what a very peculiar thing happened! As soon as the jam roll touched the giant's hand, it suddenly grew ten times as large, and was the biggest jam roll the children had ever seen in their lives! “Thanks," said the giant's booming voice, and he gave the pixie woman a shilling as large as a saucer. But as soon as it touched her hand it became small, and she slipped it in her pocket. " Have you got visitors in your Fly-Away Cottage? " suddenly asked the giant and he bent down and looked through one of the windows. "Ho, children! Come along with me and play with my daughter! ' " Good gracious me, no! " cried the pixie woman. " She would think they were dolls and would break them in a trice." " You give them to me!\ " said the giant and he tried to open the window to get at the children. But the pixie woman slapped his hand smartly with her rolling-pin so that he cried out in pain, and she called out: " Fly away, cottage, to the cave of the dwarf!': The cottage at once spread its wings and left the black cloud with its great castle towering in the midst. It flew into the blue sky, and the two children were delighted to leave the tall giant behind.
The cottage flew lazily along, and the pixie woman looked at the clock. It said three o'clock. She tapped sharply on the wall of the cottage and cried: " Now then, Fly-A way Cottage, hurry up or we shan't be at the dwarf's cave in time for tea. He must have his cherry buns for it's his birthday party." The cottage began to flap its wings so fast that it jerked about and the children sat down suddenly on the floor. Cups flew off the dresser and a chair fell on to the pixie woman's toe so that she cried out in pain. “ “Now, now," she shouted, banging the cottage wall with her rolling-pin, " what are you thinking of, cottage, to fly so fast? Be sensible. We don't want to be jerked out of the windows." The cottage slowed down a little and the room inside became steadier. The children looked out of the windows. They were passing over the sea again, but it was a very queer sea, for it was bright yellow, streaked with pink. Time went on and soon the hands of the clock pointed to twenty to four. A mountain came in sight, standing right up in the middle of the yellow sea, just like a pointed island. The cottage flew to it and perched on the very top. The children wondered if it would slide down—and no sooner did they wonder it than the cottage did slide down! What a funny feeling it was—just like going down a very swift lift! Bump! The cottage reached the bottom and the children fell over again. When they picked themselves up they saw the pixie woman going out of the door with a basket of cherry buns. ;( Don't come with me," she said. " The Tick-Tock Dwarf is badtempered and might want to keep you for servants. Stay here."
So the children stayed where they were, and peeped out of the door. Sheila saw a strange-looking flower growing not far off and ran out to get it. As she stooped to pick it she heard a voice say: " Ha! Here are some children! Let's take them prisoners! ' She looked up and saw a tiny dwarf staring at her, and not far away were about a dozen others like him. They all had long beards reaching to the ground, and wore long-pointed shoes on their big feet. Sheila was frightened and she ran back to the cottage and slammed the door, hoping that the pixie woman would return very soon. But she didn't come. The dwarfs surrounded the cottage and came closer and closer. Harry locked the door and fastened all the windows. “ I believe there's a dwarf coming down the chimney! " he said suddenly, and sure enough, there was! “ They'll capture us! " said Sheila, looking ready to cry. Harry peeped out of the window to see if the pixie woman was coming but there was no sign of her. So in despair he cried out to the cottage: " Fly-Away Cottage, please fly away from here and take us home!” At once, the cottage spread its wings and rose into the air! The children were so glad. The dwarf who was climbing down the chimney got out again in a great hurry and jumped to the ground just in time. The cottage flew over the yellow and red sea at a great pace. Sheila and Harry were
glad to leave the dwarf's island but they were worried about the pixie woman. What would she do? Would she have to live on the island all her life? Suddenly they heard a cross voice shouting. They looked out of the window. Behind them flew the pixie woman trying her hardest to keep up with the cottage. " Open the door and let me in! " she shouted. " You stupid, silly children, open the door! “ They opened the door, and Mother Mickle-Muckle flew in. She sat down by the fire and panted. She was very cross with them. " Flying off with my cottage like that! " she said. " I never heard of such a thing! I shall take you both straight back home. I really don't know what you'll do next! ' The children were so glad to be flying home! They had had quite enough adventures for one day. Just as the clock hands pointed to twenty past four the cottage flew downwards, and the children saw that they were in their very own garden! How glad they were! It had stopped raining, and the sun was shining. They took up their mackintoshes and hats and stepped out of the strange Fly-Away Cottage. “ Good-bye, Mother Mickle - Muckle," they said. c Thank you for our nice dinner and all the adventures." “You're welcome to them," said the little pixie woman, putting another tin of cakes into her oven and slamming the door. " Come and see me again when it's raining cats and dogs!" Off they ran and the last they saw of the Fly-Away Cottage was a speck that looked like a kite in the air as the cottage flapped away to the west where the sun was sinking slowly. :(I do hope we see it again if ever it rains cats and dogs," said Sheila. I'd
like to, too, wouldn't you?
have a dolls' house, you can make a piece of furniture for indoors, and a garden seat to put outside. We will have a dressing-table first. All you want is six or nine empty match-boxes, some plain paper to paste over them, a small piece of cardboard to hold the mirror—and a piece of silver paper for the mirror itself! Look at the picture. Do you see how to place the match-boxes? Paste the plain paper round them (thin note-paper will do) and then glue the boxes into position. Glue the piece of cardboard down the back for the mirror. Now paste on the piece of tinfoil—doesn't it look real? The drawers of your dressing-table open and shut, of course. The dolls' house dolls can keep quite a lot of things in them! You can use paper-fasteners as handles, or anything else you can think of. Now look at the little garden seat. You need four little corks and a piece of cardboard that you can bend and tack down on the corks. Paint the cardboard brown or green, like a park seat. Sit a doll or two on the seat and see how real it looks!
THE TIN WHISTLE
LESLIE had a tin-whistle that had a very loud whistle indeed. His mother got very tired of it. "Leslie! If you don't stop blowing that whistle I shall take it away and put it into the dustbin! " she cried. " Oh no, Mother! " said Leslie in alarm. “It's the best one I've ever had." " Well, go into the woods and play there," said Mother. " You can whistle all you like there, for there is no one to hear you! Maybe the birds will get a bit tired of you, but they can always fly away, and I can't! ' So Leslie went to the woods with his tin-whistle. He blew it and he blew it, and at last he had no breath left. "I'll climb a tree and have a rest," he said. " It shall be my ship, swaying on the sea." So he climbed a big tree and sat near the top, swaying in the wind, for all the world like a ship bobbing to and fro on the sea. After a while he got out his tin-whistle again and looked at it. " I think I shall be the guard of a train now," he said. “The tree is the train. When I blow my whistle the train must go! ' But before he blew his whistle again, he heard voices. They were the voices of two boys. Leslie peeped down to the bottom of the tree. The boys were standing underneath, talking. “ Now, I'll creep through the hedge into Farmer Brown's strawberry field with my basket," said one boy, " and you stay here and keep watch for me. You can see the road well from here. If you see anyone coming, whistle. See? Then I shall hear your whistle and come back before I'm caught. We'll share whatever strawberries I get."
Oooh, the naughty bad boys! " thought Leslie, shocked. " Those are my Daddy's strawberries. Those boys mean to steal them! What shall I do ? If I climb down and tell them to go away, they will fight me and knock me down. But I can't stay here and see my Daddy's fruit stolen! " The first boy was already creeping through the hedge with his basket. The other boy was standing beneath the tree, watching the road, which could be seen clearly from where he stood. Then Leslie had a marvellous idea. He put his tin-whistle to his mouth and blew hard. Pheeeeeeeee! The boy who was climbing through the hedge at once squeezed back again, and ran to join his friend in the wood. " Is there somebody coming? " he asked. " I heard your whistle." " Well, I didn't whistle," said the other boy, puzzled. " You must have! " said the first boy. " I heard you! ' " Well I heard a whistle too, but it wasn't me whistling," said his
friend. “ Go on—try again. No one's coming." Leslie let the boy get right into the field, then he blew on his whistle again: Pheeeeeeee! Pheeeeeeee! At once the boy scrambled back through the hedge and ran helter-skelter into the wood. “You whistled again! ' he panted. " Who's coming? ': "Nobody. And I didn't whistle, and I can't think who did!" said the second boy angrily, looking all round. ' Perhaps it was a bird." "It was you whistling! " said the other boy. “I know your whistle. You are just playing tricks on me." " No, I'm not," said the second boy. " Go on—try again." But as soon as the boy got into the field, Leslie whistled even more loudly than before: Pheeeeeee! Pheeeeeee! PHEE! Back came the boy, panting. ' That was your whistle! " he cried. “Is there anyone coming? ' " No, there isn't, and it wasn't my whistle I tell you," said the boy, half afraid, looking all round him. “Whoever can be whistling here? " Then Leslie thought he would try a big deep voice and see what would happen. So he said in a growly, fierce voice: " BAD BOYS! WICKED BOYS! I CAN SEE YOU! WAIT TILL I CATCH YOU! " " Oh! Oh ! It's the farmer! " cried the boys, and they ran off through the wood at top speed, leaving their basket behind them. Leslie blew a long blast on his whistle and climbed down the tree. He picked up the basket and went home to tell his mother what had happened, blowing his whistle hard all the time. " Leslie! Stop! " cried his mother. " That dreadful whistle!”
" Well, just listen what it did! " said Leslie proudly, and he told his mother how the whistle had saved his father's strawberries. How his mother laughed! She was very pleased. " That was clever of you, Leslie," she said. * Well, well! As it's such a smart whistle I suppose I'll have to let you blow it as much as you like. Blow away! ' " No, I won't annoy you, Mother! " said Leslie. :< I'll only blow it loudly in the woods. And maybe it will scare some more strawberrythieves away. I shouldn't be at all surprised." And neither should I!
Answers to puzzles on page 96 1. A hole. 2. The letter O. 4. A spruce goose. A bobbin' robin. A jerky turkey. A hearty party. Jolly holly. A whacker cracker.
The Golliwog Who Smoked
golliwog found an old bubble-pipe in the toy-cupboard. It had been used by the children when they had some soap to blow bubbles. Then they had grown tired of blowing bubbles and had thrown the pipe into the cupboard. The golliwog stuck the pipe into his mouth. At once he felt very grand and important. The teddy-bear laughed at him. " You needn't think you're smoking, because you're not! You have to put tobacco into a pipe before you can smoke. I know that, because I've watched the children's Daddy! ' The golliwog took the pipe out of his mouth and spoke grandly. " My dear bear, I know all that. I am going to put tobacco into this pipe and smoke it properly. Then you will see that I know all about smoking too! " The golliwog looked in all the ash-trays that night for cigarette-ends. He undid them and packed the cigarette tobacco into his little pipe. Then he got a box of matches and struck one to light his pipe. He puffed at it. A cloud of blue smoke rose from the mouth of the pipe and some went up the stem into his mouth. It made him choke at first. He blew the smoke out, feeling very grand indeed. " There you are! " he said to all the amazed toys. " What did I tell you? I know all about smoking! I shall smoke all night long, now." “ Oh no, you won't," said the red-haired doll at once, beginning to choke a little. “We don't want our nice nursery filled with smoke every
night. And besides, Golly, it's bad for toys to smoke. It's as bad for them as it is for children. You mustn't do it.” But the golliwog was not going to be told what not to do by the redhaired doll! He made a little snorting noise and turned his back on her. He blew out such a cloud of smoke that he really couldn't be seen for a moment. Each night he found the cigarette-ends and used them for tobacco for his pipe. He made the nursery so smoky that the toys couldn't bear it. “We'll snatch your pipe away from you every time you smoke!” said the teddy-bear. " We'll throw the pipe out of the window! " said the red-haired doll. " You are very horrid," said the golliwog, and he scowled at them, making a very nasty face indeed. " You don't look at all well," said the bear severely. " We told you that smoking is bad for you. You are looking quite pale. Soon you will lose your nice black colour and will be pale and white. Then you won't be a golliwog! The golliwog wondered how he could go on smoking his pipe. He couldn't bear to give it up. But he knew quite well that the toys would snatch his pipe away from him and throw it out of the window if he disobeyed them. So what do you think he did the next night? He stole into the dolls’ house after he had filled his pipe, and put his head up the bedroom
chimney there! " If I smoke up the chimney, no one will see me or smell the smoke," he thought. " I shall be safe!”: Well, nobody did see or smell the smoke for some time, and they quite thought the golliwog had obeyed them and was playing in the toycupboard. And then the teddy-bear suddenly gave a squeal that made everyone jump. " Look! Look! The dolls' house chimney is smoking! It must be on fire! Oh, help, help! What shall we do? " Everyone looked at the chimney. It was quite true, it was smoking! The toys didn't know that it was only the smoke from the golliwog's pipe. They really thought the chimney must be on fire, for they knew no one had lighted a fire in the dolls' house fireplace. " Quick! Get a pail of water! " cried the red-haired doll. " I am big enough to climb up on the roof and pour it down the chimney. Then the fire will be put out! ' So the teddy-bear climbed up to the basin and filled a toy pail with water. He gave it to the red-haired doll. She clambered up on to the roof of the dolls' house, tipped up the pail and emptied the water down the smoking chimney. Slish-slosh-slish-slosh! It poured down on to the golliwog's head, hair, and shoulders. It gave him a terrible fright, and he rushed down the stairs of the dolls' house screaming for help.
" What's the matter, what's the matter? " cried all the toys in alarm. " Oh dear, oh dear! I was smoking my pipe up the chimney of the dolls' house fireplace so that you wouldn't know," sobbed the golliwog, "and suddenly a great waterfall came down and swamped me! See how wet I am! Oh, I got such a fright! " The toys began to laugh. How they laughed! The golliwog was very angry. “ What are you laughing at ? " he cried. “You are very unkind." But the toys wouldn't tell him why they were laughing. The teddybear shook his head at the golly and said, " Now, Golly, you see what happens to naughty toys that smoke up chimneys. Waterfalls come down and swamp them! Don't you try any naughty tricks again." The golliwog left his pipe up the chimney and didn't fetch it again. He was much too afraid that another waterfall would come along and swamp him. So now he doesn't smoke any more, and he doesn't look nearly so pale, which is a very good thing. But I can't think what Peggy will say when she discovers a bubblepipe up her dolls' house chimney! If you're with her when she finds it, you can tell her how it got there. But I don't expect she will believe you.
The Girl With Whiskers
was once a girl called Betty who teased animals. She had a dog, and two cats, and three rabbits down the garden, and she teased them all. She pulled the cats' tails, she pulled the dog's whiskers, and she swung the rabbits round by their ears. The rabbits and the cats ran whenever they saw her. The rabbits hid at the back of the cage, and the cats jumped over the wall. Only the dog stayed where he was, for, surprising as it may seem, he loved Betty. " However can you love her? " said one of the cats. " Hateful girl! You don't really love her, do you, Bonzo? ': " It's funny, but I do," said Bonzo. " That's the way dogs are made, you know. They can't help loving the family they live with! I don't like my whiskers being pulled, and I hate having things tied to my tail, as Betty does sometimes—but I'd do anything for her, really I would! " " Then we think you're just silly! " said the cats, and they walked off with their tails in the air. One day Betty went for a walk, and she passed a funny little house she had never seen before. Lying asleep on the front path was a puppy. He had the longest whiskers that Betty had ever seen in her life! She stared at them in surprise. She crept up to the puppy, bent down and took hold of his whiskers.
he naughty little tease pulled the whiskers hard. The puppy woke up with a squeal. Betty pulled his fine whiskers again, and he yelped and tried to get away. Betty laughed—and just as she let go the puppy's whiskers, the door of the queer little house flew open and an old woman looked out. " Don't you steal my puppy's fine whiskers! " she cried. “I've got some just like them that you can have for yourself." She ran down the path with a box in her hand. In it were some long green whiskers. In a trice the old woman dabbed them hard on to Betty's pink cheeks. They stuck there, sticking out at each side, looking very peculiar!
Betty gave a scream. “ I wasn't stealing his whiskers! " she cried. " I was teasing him! Take these horrid green whiskers away! ' " rising him! " cried the old woman in anger. c You horrid girl! Keep the whiskers! It will serve you right to have something you don't want!” She slammed the door. Betty ran home crying, holding her hands in front of her face so that no one would see her awful green whiskers. She slipped in at the garden
door and went up to her room. She looked at herself in the glass—oh dear, oh dear, what a peculiar sight she was! Green whiskers, as long as a cat's or a dog's, grew out from her cheeks, just by her mouth! Betty pulled at them to get them off. They wouldn't come off at all! They were really growing! Betty sobbed in fright and pain. She looked dreadful with green whiskers. “ It hurts me to pull them, it hurts me!” she wept. '' Oh, how I must have hurt that little puppy! Oh, whatever shall I do? ': There was a pattering of feet in the room and Bonzo the dog came in. He had heard Betty crying and had come to see what the matter was. Although she had pulled his ears hard that morning and made him yelp, he couldn't bear to hear her crying. He pushed his nose on to her knee, and tried to love Betty. She looked at him—and he saw her astonishing green whiskers. He was very surprised. " Oh, Bonzo, I pulled a puppy's whiskers this morning, and a horrid old woman came out and stuck some on my cheeks," sobbed Betty. " And now they're growing there, and I can't pull them off. I daren't go to school. I daren't go out at all, because people will laugh at me so much.
Oh, I'm so unhappy! Whatever shall I do?" Bonzo licked Betty's hand. He was very surprised. He knew quite well who the old woman was, and he had seen the puppy with the enormous whiskers. To think that poor Betty should have to wear whiskers too! She sobbed and the dog felt more and more unhappy. He forgot that Betty had teased him. He forgot that she had been unkind very often and that the cats and rabbits hated her. He only remembered that here was a little girl in trouble, and he wanted to help her. He was as loving and as faithful as all dogs are. He pulled Betty's dress gently. She looked down at him. He pulled her again. He wanted her to go with him. She got up and followed him. He pulled her downstairs and out into the garden. He took her down the lane till she came to the cottage where the old woman lived. He left her outside and went into the house himself, stopping to sniff at the longwhiskered puppy as he went. The old woman was there. The dog began to talk to her, for the old woman was partly a fairy and could understand what he said. “ Mistress, take the whiskers away from Betty! " begged Bonzo. " She is so unhappy. Please, do take them away." ''She is an unkind little girl and deserves a punishment," said the old woman. Well, she has been punished enough
now," said Bonzo. c You've no idea how she cried and cried! I love her and it makes me unhappy." “You love her! " cried the old woman. " Well, dear me, if you love her there must be some good in her. For your sake and because of your loving heart, I will take the whiskers away, Bonzo. But I'll give her twice as many if she teases any animal again." The old woman ran down the path to Betty, who was crying outside the gate. She put out her hand and snatched off Betty's green whiskers. The little girl gave a scream, for it hurt her very much. ;t Scream away! " said the old woman. ' You've made many an animal squeal and yelp, / know. There! Your whiskers are out! I've taken them away because your loving dog has begged me to. He says he loves you and doesn't want you to be unhappy. Your dog is a better creature than you are, Betty! Betty knelt down and put her arms round Bonzo, who licked her face in joy. " Thank you for helping me, Bonzo," she said. ' Thank you for loving me enough though I've been so horrid. Now I'll show you how nice I can be! I promise you I will! ' Do you think she'll keep her word? Well, if she doesn't, she'll wear green whiskers again—I'm certain of that!
The Cat Who Cut Her Claws
was once a most beautiful cat called Smoky. She was the colour of blue-grey smoke, and had long thick fur and lovely golden eyes. Everybody thought she was wonderful. Smoky thought herself wonderful too. When she sat washing herself on the wall, she loved to see people looking up at her, and saying, " Oh! Look at that marvellous cat! ' The other cats thought she was lovely too, but they didn't tell her so, because they thought that she was vain enough already. " You know," said Cinders, the black cat, " Smoky is really rather stupid. She can't even catch a mouse!” Now Smoky was just the other side of the wall, and she heard what Cinders said. She jumped up on to the wall and spat at Cinders in a very rude way. "I am very clever indeed! " she said. “You may not think so— but the two-legged people do. They are always telling me so! Why, I can even rattle at a door-handle to tell people I want to get into a room." " Really! " said Tabby, a grey-striped little cat, " Well, I don't do that, Smoky— I just jump in at the window!” The cats laughed, and Smoky jumped down in a temper. She went into her house and looked for her mistress, who always made a great
fuss of her. She was in her bedroom, dressing herself ready to go out. " Hallo, Smoky darling! " she said. " What a beauty you are! But what have you been doing to your lovely fur? You have dust on it!” Smoky's mistress took a little brush that she kept specially for the cat and brushed her fur well. Smoky purred. Ah, what did other cats know about having their fur brushed? What other cat had a basket with a silk cushion in it? What other cat had a white china bowl with her name on, as Smoky had? Smoky sat and looked at her mistress. She saw her wash her hands and face. " I do that too," thought Smoky, " but my tongue and paws are my soap and sponge! ' Then her mistress brushed her hair. “ My hair has been brushed too," thought Smoky proudly. " I am really much more like a two-legged creature than a cat! ' Her mistress sprayed herself with a sweet-smelling scent. Smoky
sniffed the smell and liked it. She stood up and mewed to her mistress. “What! You want some scent too! “said her mistress, laughing. "Very well! Stand still and I will spray you with some!” So Smoky had some scent like her mistress, and she felt so proud that she really couldn't sit still any longer but went prowling up and down the room, purring loudly. “ And now I must do my nails! " said Smoky's mistress, getting out her little nail-scissors and file and tiny bottle of varnish. " Ah! Nails! " thought Smoky, and came close to see what her mistress was going to do. :e Mistress always calls her claws nails. What does she do to them? I must watch." Smoky watched her mistress trimming » her nails and filing them shorter. She watched her paint them with a little pale-pink stuff from the tiny bottle, to make them shiny. " There! " said Smoky's mistress, showing the cat her nails. " Don't they look nice? They are not horribly sharp and long like yours, Smoky! Oh, how I should hate to have cat's claws! Good gracious! Look at the time! I must run or I shall miss my bus." She ran downstairs and left Smoky in the bedroom. Smoky looked at the nail-scissors and file and tiny bottle. So her nails were horribly sharp and long? Well, why shouldn't she cut them and paint them a pretty pale pink so that they shone like glass ? " I'm washed, I'm brushed, I've got scent on me," thought Smoky. "And now I don't see why I shouldn't make my claws into nails. I shall really be like my mistress then! ' So what do you think that vain cat did? She cut off the sharp points of her twenty claws. She filed them down neatly. Then she tried to put the shiny varnish on them out of the little bottle. But she upset the bottle and made a great mess on the carpet! She put out her claws and dipped them all into the spilt varnish.
Then she let them dry, and soon they were as shiny as her mistress's had been. How proud Smoky was! " I must go and show all the other cats," she said. " They will certainly think I am clever to have nails instead of claws! " So off she went, and miaowed so loudly that every cat from the gardens around came running at once. Smoky sat on the ground and looked at the cats with her big golden eyes. " Look how clever I am! " she said, putting out her short, blunt, shiny claws. " I have nails instead of claws. I watched how my mistress did it— and now I am like her. Smell me, too—she put some of her scent on me! " The cats looked at the strange claws in surprise. They turned up their noses at the sweet smell that came from Smoky. " You are foolish," said Cinders. " Very, very foolish. You think you are clever—but you will soon find out how silly you are, and you will be sorry that you have nails instead of claws." " You only say that because you are jealous of me," said Smoky grandly. " I know that you all wish you had nails instead of claws—but I shan't tell you how to get them. That is my secret! " " We don't want to know," said Tabby. "Hark! A dog! " cried Cinders suddenly. He was right. In at the gate rushed a big dog, his pink tongue hanging out, his eyes gleaming to see so many cats to chase! " Wuff! " he said, and rushed at the little crowd of frightened animals. Tabby rushed up a tree. Cinders leapt up the fence. The others ran for their lives, and so did Smoky
Smoky had such a curious and unusual smell that the dog chose to chase her! So down the garden went Smoky, and after her went the dog, barking madly. Smoky was terrified! She ran and ran and the dog ran too. :e I must jump up a tree! " panted poor Smoky. So she ran to a tree, and tried to claw her way up it. But alas for Smoky, her claws were now only short blunt nails and she could not dig them into the bark of the tree and hold on as she leapt up. She fell down to the ground again and the dog nearly caught her! Off she went again, feeling more afraid than ever. She couldn't even fight the dog, for she had no claws to claw him with! Oh, how could she have been so foolish as to make her fine sharp claws into useless nails! Goodness knows what would have happened to poor Smoky if Cinders and Tabby hadn't come to her rescue. They knew that she now had no sharp claws and would sooner or later be caught by the dog, so up they ran. One leapt on to the dog's tail and one clawed at his hind legs. The dog turned to snap at the two cats, and that just gave Smoky the chance to jump right over the wall and run home. She hid behind the sofa, panting and puffing. She felt very silly and very much ashamed. " I've been so vain and foolish that I nearly got caught by a dog! " she said to herself. ' I shall let my claws grow very, very long! Oh, how I hate the look of them now—silly, useless nails! ' That evening Smoky told Cinders and Tabby how sorry she was for being so silly, and she thanked them for saving her. “ If it hadn't been for your good strong claws I would be chewed up by that horrid dog by now!" she said. “ Forgive me for being vain and foolish. I see now that I am not at all clever. Please teach me to catch mice when my claws have grown." “Very well," said Cinders. "Maybe your mistress will like you better still if you have claws to catch mice with, instead of nails to make you vain! " Cinders was right. Smoky's mistress was delighted when she began to catch mice. “I thought you were a silly, beautiful cat without any brains at all! " she said, hugging Smoky. “But now I see that you are as clever as you are beautiful!”
It would be fun to make some gay little baskets to hang on the Christmas tree, full of sweets. We want some flat round corks, some long pins, and some brightcoloured wool. Perhaps Mother has a pickle-cork she can let us have, a nice flat one that we can cut into two, and use for the bases of two baskets. If you are not very old, ask Mother to cut the cork for you, or you may hurt yourself with the knife. Now we have our flat cork. Stick the long pins in all round—not too close together. Now take a gay length of wool and begin to twist it from pin to pin. You must begin weaving at the base of the pins, of course, not at the top. Go on weaving until the pins are quite covered with the wool, and you have your little basket. A piece of wire (or a hairpin) will do for a handle. Twist some wool over it, then bend the ends to catch under the edges of the basket, just as in the picture. Now put your sweets in, and hang your little basket up on a twig of the Christmas tree. If you make half a dozen, they will look very gay hanging on the tree.
The Astonishing Guy
Harry, Jack, Leslie, George, and Fanny were getting excited about Guy Fawkes' Day. They were saving up their money to buy as many fireworks as possible. What fun to set them all off in the garden on Bonfire Night! " We can get a lot of different kinds, you know," said Harry. " There are sparklers, and golden rain, and Catherine wheels, and rockets, and-----" " Ooooh! It sounds fine," said Ellen. " Let's see how much money we've got already." So they counted it up, and found that they had almost two shillings. "That will buy quite a lot," said Ellen. ' There is a box of fireworks for half a crown that looks lovely—perhaps we can save a few pennies more and buy that." " I think we ought to have a guy, too," said Jack. “We'll have a real beauty and we'll make every bit of him ourselves. We can easily do that." " Ohjya," said Fanny. " That would be fun." So they began to make a guy. He really was a funny one! They stuffed his body with straw, and made him a round head on which they put a funny mask. Daddy gave Ellen an old hat, and Mummy gave George a pair of old trousers for the guy. Harry's uncle gave the children a worn-out coat and a torn shirt, and the children found two old boots in a ditch, which they pushed on to the guy s legs.
When he was finished he looked very real. He sat in the wood-shed, grinning at them, and, as Ellen said, he looked almost as if he was going to get up and join them in their play. He sat on an old broken chair, waiting for Guy Fawkes' Day. The children saved up more money, and then found that they had three shillings and a penny!
" I'll go and buy our fireworks this afternoon," said Harry, pleased. So off he went, with Ellen; but do you know, there was a hole in Harry's
pocket—and by the time he got to the shop there was only the penny left there! Harry put his hand deep into his pocket in dismay. " I say! The money's gone!" he cried. “Oh, Ellen—there's a hole in my pocket! There's only a penny left. All the rest is gone!” " It must have fallen out when we were running across the field," said Ellen anxiously. " I thought I heard a clinking noise then. Let's go back and look." But although they looked for a whole hour, not one bit of the lost money could they find— which was not at all surprising because most of it had rolled down a rat-hole. The children were very unhappy. They went back to tell the others. " Oh, Harry! You might at least have put the money into a safe pocket! " cried George. " Well, I didn't know this one had a hole in it," said poor Harry. “ It must have come quite suddenly."
The children looked at one another sadly. " Well, we can't buy many fireworks with a penny," said Fanny. “But at least we have still got the guy-" They went to look at him. He sat there on his chair, grinning away at them. He looked a very goodtempered fellow. Harry looked round the shed—and then he noticed something funny. "I say! Where are Daddy's tools? " he said. " They don't seem to be here." The children looked round for their father's tools. The spade, the fork, the hoe, and the rake were gone. It was very funny. They ran off to tell their mother—and George, Fanny, and Leslie ran next door, where they lived, to see if the tools in their shed were all right. And the funny thing was that some of the tools had been taken from there too. Every one got very excited, and began to talk about robbers and thieves at once. " We shall have to tell the police," said the children's mothers. “ I do wish we could catch the thief," said Harry. " Daddy is so busy digging his garden in the week-ends now, and I'm sure he won't want to spend money to buy new tools." Then George had a good idea. :c Harry," he said, " maybe the thief will come again to-night to steal a few more things. What about keeping a watch for him? ' " Oh yes^? said Harry. " I’ll hide in the shed! I’ll hide behind the old guy. You come too, George, because it's your idea. And if a robber comes, we'll pretend we are the guy, and make him talk in a big deep voice to frighten him! '
The children giggled. They thought this was a marvellous idea! So that night George and Harry crept down to the shed, dressed in warm clothes, and went to hide themselves behind the guy. “ Now, if anyone comes, I'll pretend to be the guy talking," said Harry, with a giggle. " That will give the thief such a fright. George, have you brought your big whistle with you? You have? Good. Well, when I nudge you hard—like this—you must blow your whistle, and then the girls will tell our mothers and fathers that the robber is in the shed/' The boys settled down comfortably on some sacks behind the guy. They waited and waited. It was dark, not very warm, and not at all comfortable. They wondered if the thief would come. There were still some tools left to take, so perhaps he would creep along to steal them. " What a long time to wait! " whispered Harry to George. " I've got pins and needles in my foot." " I've got pins and needles all over! " said George, with a groan. “In fact, I feel just like a pin-cushion feels! I'm just----" Sh! " said Harry suddenly. He had heard a sound. The boys waited silently. The sound came again. It was someone coming quietly down the path to the shed, his feet making a tiny noise on the path as he came. " It's the thief! " whispered Harry. Then the door was opened gently, with a little creak. Someone came into the shed and shut the door quietly behind him., He switched on a torch, and the beam shone on the guy sitting in his chair at the end of the shed. " Hallo, guy! So you're still here? " said the voice of the robber.
" Well, good evening to you! ' Harry pretended to be the guy. " Good evening," said the guy in a deep, hoarse voice. The thief nearly dropped his torch. He stared at the guy in amazement and fright. " I thought you spoke," he said. :' My ears are playing me tricks." " Ha, ha, ha! " laughed the guy, making a deep sort of noise down his throat. "I did speak! Why shouldn't I speak?”: " Oh dear! I don't like this! " said the thief nervously. " It's horrible! " " No—you're horrible! " said the guy. “Coming here like this, and stealing people's tools. Gr-r-r-r! ' The guy growled like a dog, and the thief felt more frightened than ever. George thought Harry was doing marvelously. The thief quickly took down a pair of good shears from the side of the shed. He meant to steal them, whatever the guy said. " Put those back! " said the guy in a deep, angry voice. " Talk all you like—you can't stop me taking things! " said the thief. "What! " Can't I?" roared the guy, and he stood up! Yes—he really did! It was Harry pushing him up, of course, but the thief didn't know that. He really thought the guy was standing up himself. He gave a scream. “Stop! Don't come any nearer! I'll put the shears back." Harry made the guy wobble a bit as if he was going to walk forward. The thief quickly put back the shears. The guy had an old stick in his hand. Harry lifted the guy's arm with the stick in it, making it seem as if he was going to hit the thief.
would bring someone else! fright. The girls rushed to tell their parents that they had heard the whistle. Two big fathers at once went down the garden, astonished but fierce— and flung open the shed door. There was the thief, cowering against a pile of baskets! " Oh—so it's you, Brown! " said Harry's father, and he caught hold of the man's shoulders. “I gave you notice because I knew you were stealing vegetables from the garden—so you thought you'd come back and steal a few more things! Well—the police will deal with you!”' “ I say! " said George's father in astonishment. " Look at that guy! It's alive! " “Yes, sir—it's almost frightened me out of my skin! " said the thief in a trembling voice. :c It talks—and it came after me with a stick—and it whistled for help. I'm right scared of it." “You're a wicked man! " said the guy in a deep voice, and he shook
The man was so frightened that he couldn't find the door. He began to groan with fright and to feel all round for the door. And then Harry gave George a sharp nudge— that meant he was to blow his whistle. " Stay where you are," said the guy, in an angry voice. " I am going to whistle for help. If you so much as move out of this shed, I will come after you and beat you with my stick." George blew a shrill blast on his big whistle. The guy waved his stick about—though it was really Harry waggling it. The thief didn't know what to do—he was afraid of turning round to open the door in case the guy came after him, and he was afraid too, that the whistle So he stayed where he was, trembling with
his stick again. His hat fell over one eye, and he looked most peculiar. Harry's father knew Harry's voice—and he guessed at once the trick that the boy had played. He grinned to himself, but said nothing to the thief. Let him think that it was the guy who had found him out! The thief was marched off. The boys came out laughing, and George rushed to tell the others all that Harry had done. The children's fathers laughed over the astonishing guy. " For a moment he gave me a shock," said George's father. " I really thought he had come alive! No wonder the thief was scared." “ Well, you boys did a good job of work to-night," said Harry's father, pleased. " I hope you will enjoy your fireworks and your guy on November the Fifth." “ We shall enjoy the guy—but we shan't have fireworks," said Ellen sadly. ' We saved three shillings and a penny—and lost all the money except the penny." “Well, that's too bad," said her father. " Look—here is half a crown, Harry, for your smart work to-night. Buy some fireworks with it." " And, George, here is half a crown for you" said George's father. " You deserve a reward as well." “ Goodness! Five whole shillings! " squealed the children. “ What luck! " " More than we had before! " said Fanny. “We'll spend it to-morrow," said Leslie. “ But we won't let Harry put it into his pocket," said Ellen, bringing out a purse for the money. ' We mustn't lose it again." And now they're off to-day to spend the five shillings. Aren't they lucky? They mil get a fine lot of fireworks—and wouldn't I just love to see them!
LEAPER the frog was a fine fellow. He was five years old, so he was quite grown-up, and felt very proud of himself indeed. " I am the biggest frog in the ditch! " he said to himself. " I have the brightest green coat, and I am sure that no other frog has legs as long as mine. I can leap almost to the top of the hedge!” He couldn't really—but certainly he could jump very high, for a frog. Once when a rat was after him, Leaper jumped so high that the rat was afraid and ran away! Leaper was clever at catching flies, too. He flicked out his tongue, which had a sticky tip, and caught hundreds of flies each summer. Once a sparrow saw him catching fly after fly, and flew down beside him. " How do you catch flies so easily? " asked the sparrow. “I would like to take a lesson from you. I cannot catch nearly so many as you, and I have four baby sparrows to feed. Teach me how you do it, frog." " Well, it's quite easy," said Leaper. " Look—I fling my tongue like this—hit the fly—and bring it back into my mouth on the tip of my tongue."
" Yes, but how do you manage to fling your tongue out so far? " asked the sparrow. " Mine will only go out a tiny way." " Ah, but I have my tongue fastened to the front of my mouth, not to the back," said Leaper proudly. “You see, I can put it out much farther then. Look! ' He flung out his tongue again and hit the sparrow on the beak with it. " Good gracious! " said the sparrow, in surprise. " Don't do that. I'm afraid, Leaper, that I'll never be able to catch as many flies as you, because my tongue is fastened to the back of my mouth, just as the tongues of children are. Well, well—you are very lucky, I think." Leaper had a lovely summer. It was rather rainy, and he liked that. His ditch was damp and cool. Flies buzzed everywhere, especially the big blue-bottles. Leaper only had to sit under a dock-leaf and wait for the flies to perch nearby—then out would go his tongue, and fly after fly would disappear! Leaper grew fat. He found a great many green caterpillars and ate those too. He found a family of earwigs and had them for his dinner. He discovered where the slugs came out to feast after a rain-shower, and he ate so many that he really couldn't manage even one more. Oh yes, Leaper had a marvellous time, and enjoyed his life very much. He knew the mice that ran along the ditch. He often talked with the slow, wise old toad who lived under a big stone on the bank. He chatted to the
sparrows and said how-do-you-do to the hedgehog that sometimes came shuffling by at night. The summer passed. The autumn came, and acorns tumbled down in the wood. Blackberries grew fat and juicy on the hedges, and children came to pick them. The grass snake came wriggling along the bottom of the ditch, and Leaper got under a stone at once. The snake sometimes made a meal of a fat frog. " I can see you! " called the snake. ;< But you needn't worry. I'm off to sleep the weeks away now! ' " Silly fellow! " said Leaper, as he watched the snake wriggling away. " Going off to sleep in a hollow tree whilst there is so much food to eat!” It was a warm autumn. Flies still buzzed around, and Leaper had plenty to eat. But the nights were cold. The hedgehog came to say goodbye. " I have a cosy hole in the bank," he told Leaper. " I have taken dead leaves and moss into it in my mouth, and now I am going to curl up there, warm and snug, and sleep the winter away." " Silly creature! " thought Leaper. "What is this idea of sleeping the winter away? I did it for four winters—but now that I am full-grown I shall do as I please. I shall spend the winter awake—and eat all the flies there are! There will be no one to share them with, so I shall have more than ever."
The dormouse hurried along the ditch, fat and brown. " Goodbye, Leaper!" he cried. "I am fat and well, and I am going to curl myself up at the bottom of the hedgerow roots and go to sleep, now that the winter is nearly here. Why don't you go to the 'pond as
the other frogs do?” “ Because I am not going to go to sleep this winter," said Leaper grandly. " It is a waste of everything by myself! " “ How foolish you are!" said the dormouse, and ran down a hole
to its hiding-place under the roots. He curled himself up, put his nose into his paws, and slept.
The old toad called to Leaper. " Leaper! Go to the pond and settle yourself in the mud at the bottom to sleep! It is time." " I'm not going to," said Leaper. " I'm going to keep awake for a change! Why don't you keep awake too, old toad? ': " I am wise enough to know what is good for me," said the toad, and he blinked sleepily. “ Goodnight! I am going to sleep now. Do not wake me until the spring days are here." " Foolish toad! " said Leaper, and he laughed croakily. " Nobody is brave enough to keep awake. Well—I will be the first frog to keep awake in the winter. How I shall laugh at all the other creatures when they awake thin and sleepy in the spring and see me here, fat and jolly!” One by one all the creatures disappeared. The bats went. The lizards were nowhere to be seen. The newts had gone. Every frog was at the bottom of the pond, sleeping tight. The toads were under damp stones. The dormice had gone, and the snakes no longer glided along the bottom of the ditch. Only the rabbits came out to play, and the stoats and weasels hunted them. And sometimes the big rat came slinking along the hedgerow to see what he could find. The frog hid then. At first there were many flies for him and even a caterpillar or two. The flies came to feast on the ivy-flowers that blossomed late on the hedge above. Leaper caught a great many. He liked the warm autumn sunshine— but at night the frost came and put a white covering on the grass.
Then suddenly the flies all went! There was a very hard frost one night—and every fly was killed. Even the spiders now hid themselves away in cracks and corners. Not one was to be seen. Leaper grew thin. For five days he did not catch a single fly, nor did he find any grub or spider. He began to be worried. “ Perhaps after all it is a wise thing to sleep in the winter," he thought. " I wish now that I had gone down to the bottom of the pond with the others. What am I going to do if no more flies come? ': No more flies arrived. They were all dead. A whole week more went by, and now Leaper was so thin that he looked half his size. " I shall go to the pond and swim down to the mud," he thought at last. "The others will laugh at me, but I can't help it. I shall die of hunger and cold if I stay up here." So he began to leap away from the ditch towards the pond. He could not leap as high as usual because he was not so fat and strong. But at last he reached the pond. And then Leaper stared in astonishment. Something had happened to the pond! It was no longer water. He could not slip into it and swim. It was hard, like the earth. What could have happened? Leaper hopped on to the ice—for the pond had frozen, of course! But no matter how he tried he could not get through the ice to the mud at the bottom of the pond. So he hopped off again and leapt to another pond he knew. But that was the same! It was quite hard and cold. " This is most extraordinary," said poor Leaper. " Why did nobody tell me that ponds went hard in the winter? I never knew that before. And I didn't know either that flies disappeared in the cold weather. Dear, dear —I thought I was so clever and wise and strong—and now I find that I know hardly anything! The ones I thought so foolish are the wise ones! "
He hopped away from the ponds. He was frightened, hungry, cold, and sad. He knew he would soon die—but it was his own fault. And then Billy, the spaniel-dog, saw him! Billy was surprised. He was old enough to know that no frogs were about in the winter. He gently picked Leaper up in his mouth and trotted home with him. Billy had been taught not to hurt anything he picked up, so when he put Leaper down at the feet of his little mistress, the frog was not hurt at all. Nora, Billy's mistress, was most astonished to see the frog. " Mummy, Mummy! " she called. '' Come and see what Billy has brought me—a frog, in the middle of winter! ' Mummy was astonished too. She picked up the thin frog and looked at him. “Poor thing," she said, " he is half dead. Put him into your aquarium, Nora—maybe he will sink to the bottom and sleep in the sand there." So Leaper was put into Nora's aquarium—and he was sensible enough to swim to the bottom and bury himself in the sand there. He slept at once— and there he still sleeps, for I saw him yesterday. Wasn't it a lucky thing for him that Billy the spaniel found him? I don't think he will be quite so proud or quite so foolish next winter, do you?
ever heard anyone say to a boy or girl, " Now just mind your P's and Q's "? Well, Polly was a little girl who didn't mind hers! She was always forgetting her pleases and thank-yous. The P's are the pleases, you see, and the Q's are the thank-yous. If you say, " Thank you," you will hear the Q at the end! " Will you have some more pudding? " Polly's mother would say. And Polly would answer, " Yes." “ Yes, what? " her mother would say. " How many times must I tell you to say Please"? It does sound so rude to say “Yes” like that. You should say, “Yes, please, Mummy'." Then she would give Polly her pudding, and the little girl would take it—and forget to say " Thank you!” She really was dreadful! One day her Aunt Jessica came to tea. Polly was a bit afraid of her, because she was rather strict and she always said that Polly was spoilt. Aunt Jessica brought out a packet of butter-scotch. She nearly always had some sweets in her bag. She offered some to Mummy. " Thank you, Jessica," said Mummy, and took a piece. " Would you like some butter-scotch too, Polly? " asked Aunt Jessica. " Yes," said Polly at once. She loved butter-scotch. Aunt Jessica glared. " I'll give you another chance, Polly," she said crossly. " Would you like to have a bit of my butter-scotch?” . " Yes," said Polly. She didn't think of saying " Please," you see!
No pleases to-day, I see," said Aunt Jessica, putting away her packet of sweets. " Well—no pleases, no butter-scotch!” "Please!" said Polly. Aunt Jessica looked very cross still, but she undid the packet and offered it to Polly. Polly took a piece and began to unwrap the paper. But Aunt Jessica put out her hand and took the butter-scotch from her. She wrapped it up again and put it into the packet. " You bad-mannered little girl!” she said. " Not even a thank you now!” " Oh, thank you! " cried Polly. But it was too late this time. Aunt Jessica put the butter-scotch away in her bag. She turned to Mummy. " Alice, I can't think why you don't teach Polly her manners! " she said. " I'm really ashamed of my niece. What must people think of her when she goes out to tea and never says Please or Thank you ? " " I don't know," said Mummy, looking worried. “I do try to teach her, Jessica—I really do. But she forgets so often. I really do not know what to do! Could you tell me what to do? You're so clever with children." " Dear me, yes; I can tell you what to do," said Aunt Jessica at once. " Every time she forgets her P's and Q's pin one on to her—she won't like being hung with them, I am sure—and they will remind her of what she keeps forgetting." " Well, that's a good idea," said Mummy with a laugh, and she began to cut out lots of letter P's and Q's from some white cotton stuff. When she had about thirty, she stuck a safety-pin into each one. " There! " she said. " They're all ready! Polly, here are your P's and Q's. Every time you remember one, it shall go into the waste-paper basket. But every time you forget one, it shall come to you!” Polly thought it was a horrid idea. She made up her mind she wouldn't have a single one of the nasty letters pinned to her. She sat looking sulky. Aunt Jessica and Mummy went on talking about something else”
Nanny came into the room with a rosy apple. ' “Would you like an apple, Polly? " she asked. " Yes! " shouted Polly, and she ran to take it. She didn't say "Please," and she didn't say " Thank you "! Aunt Jessica at once took up a large white P and a large white Q from the table. " Come here, Polly," she said. Polly went to her slowly. Aunt Jessica pinned the P on to the front of her jersey, and the Q on to her skirt. " There! " she said. " There's the Please you forgot and the Thank you you forgot. They have both come to live with you! ' Polly was ashamed, but do you know, she had got into such a bad habit of forgetting her P's and Q's that she forgot them three times before Aunt Jessica went home! So she had three more P's and three more Q's pinned on to her, back and front, before bedtime came. " Can I take them off now? " asked Polly, when she undressed. " Oh no," said Nanny. " Mummy says you must keep them on till you remember. It will be strange for you to put on your jersey and skirt tomorrow, with all these funny white letters on. I do think you are silly not to remember your P's and Q's. Other children do." Well, Polly didn't at all like putting on her skirt and jersey next morning, with so many white letters pinned there. She was glad that Daddy had gone to town before he saw her. He would have laughed at her! At breakfast-time Mummy said to Polly, " Would you like sugar or treacle with your porridge this morning, Polly? ' " Treacle," said Polly—and then she suddenly remembered! "Treacle, PLEASE, Mummy!" she said.
" Good girl," said Mummy. " I will unpin one of the P's. Come here." So one of the horrid P's was taken away and thrown into the waste-paper basket. Polly was glad. " Oh, I'll soon get rid of them all! " she thought. But it wasn't so easy. She twice forgot to say Please to Nanny, and three times forgot a Thank you. So Nanny had to pin five more letters on her. And Mummy pinned seven more, by the end of the morning. Wasn't it dreadful! " Well, this just shows you what bad manners you have, Polly," said Mummy sadly. “I can hardly believe you forget so much!” That afternoon Allan came to ask if Polly could go home to tea with him. " Can I, Mummy, PLEASE? " asked Polly. Mummy unpinned a P and threw it away. " Yes, you may go," she said. " But, dear me, / shouldn't like to go all pinned up with P's and Q's! " " Oh! " cried Polly in dismay. " Must I take them with me? "
" Certainly,” said Mummy. “You've got to get rid of them by remembering them." " Then I shan't go out to tea," said Polly, and she began to cry, because Allan was laughing at her queer dress, all pinned over with white letters. So she didn't go out to tea, and she was very sad indeed. She sat in a corner and cried. Nanny was sorry for her. “ Cheer up, Polly," she said. “You know quite well that you can get rid of all those letters if you really try. You only need to think hard when you answer anybody. Cheer up, do! Shall I read to you for a while? 3: " Yes, Nanny, PLEASE! " said Polly at once. Nanny unpinned a P. She took down a book and Polly got on her knee. " Thank you, Nanny! " said Polly. Off came another Q ! Good ! When Nanny had finished the story, Polly spoke to her. " PLEASE, Nanny, will you read another? ': Off came another P. This was fine. When the story was finished, Polly said, " Thank you, Nanny; I loved that." Off went a Q. Nanny was surprised and glad. 'c Well, you really do sound perfectly sweet when you speak like that," she told Polly. " Good-mannered children are always nice to be with, and it's a pleasure to hear you talk so politely." You will hardly believe it, but before that day was done, Polly had had every single P and Q unpinned from her frock! Not one was left. They were all in the wastepaper basket! “I wonder if I ought to cut out some more for tomorrow?”: said Mummy. " I-d better, I think, ".
"No, Mummy, THANK YOU! " said Polly at once. "I'm always going to remember now." " Well, I hope you do," said Mummy, " because Aunt Jessica is coming again to-morrow." She came as usual, and this time she had a box of chocolates. She offered one to Polly. " Thank you, Aunt Jessica," said Polly. Aunt Jessica looked surprised, but she didn't say anything. She talked to Mummy for a bit, then she turned to Polly. " Would you like to show me your garden ? " she asked. “Yes, please, Aunt Jessica," said Polly, jumping up, pleased to show her pretty garden. “ Bless us all ! " said Aunt Jessica, staring in astonishment at Polly. "How did she learn such nice manners all of a sudden ? Don't tell me it was the P's and Q's! " “ It was, Jessica," said Mummy, laughing. “You should have seen Polly yesterday morning—covered with P's and Q's from head to foot. She did look silly. But she suddenly made up her mind she couldn't bear it, and before she went to bed she had got rid of them all, and had learnt the nicest way of speaking you can imagine!” " Splendid! " said Aunt Jessica, and she gave Polly a hug. " You're a nice little girl, my dear, but even the nicest people can be spoilt if they have bad manners. I shall be proud of you now, I'm sure! ' She is, because Polly didn't once have another P or Q pinned to her. Every one likes to have her to tea because she has such nice manners. It was a funny way of learning her P's and Q's, wasn't it? I do hope you'll never have to learn in Polly's way—but I'm sure you won’t
The Whistling Kettle
had a new kettle that whistled. She was so pleased with it. She showed it to Harry and Joan. " Look/' she said, " when I put this kettle on to boil, it will tell me when the water is ready by whistling its whistle. So no matter where I am —upstairs making the beds, or in the kitchen baking cakes—I shall hear the whistle and come running to fetch the water." It was an electric kettle. It stood in the nursery, and when Mother wanted it to boil, she just put down the switch, and left the kettle to boil. The electricity made the kettle hot, the water boiled, and then the kettle whistled! “ Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! " it went, as loudly as could be, and it didn't stop till somebody came and fetched the boiling water. Harry and Joan thought it was a marvellous kettle. They often watched it beginning to boil and listened for its whistle. The toys in the nursery loved it too, because the kettle was a friendly thing, and sang them all sorts of comical songs as it boiled. The dog didn't like it much. The first two or three times the kettle whistled, Rover came bounding up the stairs to the nursery, thinking that one of the children was whistling for him! How angry he was when he found at last that it was only the kettle whistling! “ What! " he cried. " You are whistling me to come to you, Kettle? I never heard of such a thing! A kettle whistling for a dog indeed! Be quiet!"
The kettle gurgled with laughter. It laughed so much that it forgot to whistle. As soon as the dog went out of the room, it began to whistle againPheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” The dog bounded into the room. "Be quiet, I tell you! " he barked. " I shall not come when you whistle! ' The children came into the room and laughed. " Mother, Rover thinks the kettle is whistling to him! “ called Joan. " Isn't he funny! " Mother came into the room carrying some clothes. The children looked at them and squealed for joy. " Are those our party dresses for to-morrow? " cried Joan. " Is that my fancy-dress? Oh, how lovely! ' “ Yes, I have finished making both your fancy dresses now," said Mother, taking the kettle up and pouring the water into the nursery teapot for tea. " You shall try them on after tea, then I will press them out nicely, and they will be ready for to-morrow."
The toys were pleased to hear that the children would try their fancy
dresses on in the nursery, for then they would see them. They all peeped through the crack in the toy-cupboard door, and watched. Joan's dress was a fairy's frock, with big silver wings behind. She looked simply lovely in it. Mother had made her a little silver crown and wand to go with the fluffy, frilly white frock. Harry's dress was a clown's. He had a clown's hat, too, with black bobbles on it. Mother had made it very cleverly. The children danced round the nursery in their dresses, and the toys thought they looked wonderful. " Yes, you do look nice," said Mother, pleased. " Now I'll press them, and then I'll hang them over two chairs here in the nursery, and you shall wear them to-morrow." So Mother ironed the dresses and then hung them carefully over two chairs by the window, with the clown's cap and the fairy's crown, wings, and wand on the seats of the chairs. The children went to bed. The nursery light was turned out. Mother and Daddy went to bed too. It was midnight. The toys crept out of the toycupboard to play. " What's that noise? " asked the curly-haired doll, listening. " It's the wind and the rain," said the golliwog. " My goodness, what a storm is getting up! ' It was true. The wind blew in at the open window, and the curtains
swayed and billowed like sails on a ship. Then the rain came pelting fast, and suddenly the golliwog gave a shout. He was by the window and he came running to the other toys. " The rain is coming in at the window! It has wet me, look!” " So it has," said the white dog, feeling him. Then the curly-haired doll gave a cry of alarm. "I say! Will those beautiful fancy dresses get wet, do you think? If they do, they will be spoilt! The children won't be able to wear them. The silver wings will go soft and horrid." " Well, we can't move them," said the golliwog, looking at the rain beating in on the nice dresses. " We should only drag them across the floor and get them dirty. We can't move the chairs." " And we aren't strong enough to shut the window! " cried the white dog. " But we must do something! Let's think hard." So they thought and they thought and they thought, but their thinking wasn't a bit of good. Then suddenly the electric kettle spoke to them, and made them all jump. It had a curious sing-song voice. " Listen to me, Toys," it said. " If only we could get somebody in here, they would see the rain coming in and move the clothes." " Yes; but how could we do that? " said the golliwog. “ Everyone is asleep." " Well, we'll wake them! " said the kettle. " I will wake them. Now listen! I am empty, and I must have water in me before I whistle. Golliwog, tell the toys to fetch cups from the dolls' teaset and fill them at the tap. Pour the water into me, till I am half full. Then you can press down
the switch near me, and I'll soon begin to boil. Then I will whistle very loudly and wake up every one in the house!” “ Kettle, you are very, very clever," said the golliwog. He and the other toys hurried off to fetch the little cups. It took a long time to get the kettle half full, but at last it was done. Then the golliwog, half frightened, pressed down the electric switch. In a short time the kettle began to bubble its watery song—and very soon it was boiling and the steam ran into the whistle-part, and the kettle whistled. How it whistled! You really should have heard it! "Pheeeeeeeeeeee!' it went. " Pheeeeeeeeeeee! ' Well, of course, every one woke up at once! You would, too, if you heard a very loud whistle in the middle of the night! Mother rushed into the nursery— and there was the kettle, boiling away and whistling loudly. “ Good gracious, who filled the kettle and put down the switch! " cried Mother in astonishment. Then she saw the rain beating in at the window and she ran to shut it. She saw
the damp clothes and carried them off to the hot cupboard to dry. " Another hour and they would have been quite spoilt! " Mother told the two surprised children. “Thanks to the whistling kettle, your fancy dresses have been saved -but I simply CAN'T imagine who filled the kettle and made it boil! ' "Our toys did, of course!” cried Joan. " Well, I really can't believe that! " said Mother, with a laugh. But there wasn't anything else to believe, so she had to. As for the kettle, it's still in the nursery, and it has now made up a song all about that exciting night. I heard it, and that's how I know all about it, you see!
boy in the school had his own marbles—but Benny had the biggest one. I wish you could have seen that marble! It was as big as a small ball, and inside it were curly streaks of green, blue, red and yellow. It was made of glass, so you could see right to the middle of it. Benny was very, very proud of it. He showed it to every one at least twice a day, and though John offered him twelve small marbles for it, he wouldn't part with that fine glass marble. The school was at the top of the hill. Every day the children had to climb up to it. Benny used to put his hand in his pocket and feel his big marble every time he went to school. Mummy said he was quite silly about it! " You treat that marble as if it was a pet dog or something," Mummy said. " I'm surprised you don't buy it a bone, or give it a drink of milk!” " I love it best of anything I've got," said Benny, Now one day the boys went out to play in the playground of the school, and they had a game of " Touch ". Harry tore after Benny, and Benny ran away shouting. He fell over with a bang, and his marble flew out of his pocket! Benny had hurt both his knees badly, and he was so worried about them that for a minute or two he didn't notice that his marble was gone. Then, when his knees were bound up with his hanky and Harry's, he felt for his marble to make sure it was safe. Just suppose it was broken! It wasn't in his pocket! It was gone! Benny began to look for it. " I say! " he said. e< My marble's gone. You know—that lovely big one of mine. Help me to look for it." Well, every one hunted till the bell rang for them to go back to lessons again, but nobody could find it. They hunted in every
single corner of the playground, but it wasn't there. Benny was so upset that he nearly cried, but he didn't quite. He couldn't do his sums properly because he kept thinking about the marble. He couldn't do his geography. Mr. Brown got really cross. But it was no good, Benny couldn't think of anything but his beautiful lost marble. And now what had happened to his marble? Well, I'll tell you! When Benny had fallen down, the marble had shot straight out of his pocket to the ground. It had rolled to the gate, and had slipped under it. There it was, at the top of the hill. Well, of course you know what all marbles and balls do on a hill—they roll down! So the marble began to roll downhill. It was very pleased. It liked an adventure. It was tired of being in Benny's pocket and being held in his hot hand. It wanted to run around and see people. So down the hill it went. Soon it came to a party of sparrows in the
gutter, quarrelling over some bread. It rolled up to them and they looked at it in surprise. “ What are you? " asked a sparrow. “ I'm the great big Rollaby-Roo," said the marble grandly, making up the name just that minute. " What do you eat? " asked the sparrow, hoping that the Rollaby-Roo didn't peck bread. " I eat chimney-pots and apple-pips," said the marble, most untruthfully. The sparrows stared at him in surprise. It seemed a funny sort of mixture. The marble had run into a little hole in the road, and he stayed there, quite still. The sparrows thought he might be going to eat their bread after all, as there didn't seem to be any chimney-pots and apple-pips nearby for him to peck. So one of them pecked him hard—and that set him rolling down the hill again! '' Good-bye! " he said. “I'm off on my adventures again!”
Soon he came to where a kitten played in the road with a bit of paper. The kitten stared at the marble, who stopped nearby. " Who are you? " asked the kitten. " I'm the great big SlipAlong-Shiny," said the marble grandly. “ Good gracious! " said the kitten. " Where do you live? " " Oh, sometimes in teapots and sometimes in worm-holes! " said the marble naughtily. He really was enjoying himself. The kitten laughed. She patted him with her paw and sent him rolling quickly down the hill again. " Well, go and find a teapot or a worm-hole! " she mewed. Off went the marble, rolling down the road. Presently he came to where a big brown horse stood, waiting for his master to come out from a shop. The marble bumped into one of the horse's hoofs and stopped. The horse looked down and saw him. " Who are you? " said the horse in surprise. " Oh, I'm the Rumble-Rattle-Roarer," said the marble, thinking howclever he was at names. " Never heard of you before," said the horse. “Where do you come from?" " I come from the egg of an elephant! " said the untruthful marble with a giggle. " Elephants don't lay eggs! " snorted the horse, and he kicked the marble with his hoof. It rolled down the hill again, chuckling to itself. What an adventure this was! It rolled down for a very long way, and didn't meet anyone at all. Then j it met a dog, sniffing about the gutter. The marble rolled into his nose and the dog jumped back in fright.
" Who's this? " he wuffed. "It's the Thingummy-Jig! " cried the marble. “Haven't you ever heard of the Thingummy-Jig?” " I don't think so," said the dog. " Who is your master?”: " My master is the Man in the Moon," giggled the marble. The dog nosed him out of the gutter and he went off down the hill again, rolling, rolling, rolling. He felt tired. He had come a very long way. He had had a lot of adventures. Now he longed for Benny's warm pocket. He rolled on and on, and at last came to a gateway. He rolled inside the gate and down the garden-path. " I wish I was with Benny now," he said to himself. “I'm tired of adventures!” Where was Benny? Well, he had looked for his marble again after school and hadn't found it. He had been very unhappy. He went home down the hill, and his right-hand pocket felt strangely empty. There was no big glass marble there! He went indoors to tell his mother all about how he had lost it. She was very, very sorry. " Don't worry about it, Benny," she said. " It may turn up. Things do sometimes, when they are lost." " Oh, Mummy, that marble will never turn up again," said Benny. " It's lost for ever." Then suddenly his mother caught hold of his arm and pointed out of the window—and whatever do you think Benny saw? Yes—he saw his lovely glass marble rolling slowly in at the gate! It rolled to the front door and stopped. It could go no farther, for the step was there. " My marble! My fine glass marble! " cried Benny, and he rushed to get it. " So you came home after all! You clever, clever thing!” “ Dear me, I really am very, very clever," thought the marble in surprise. " I didn't know this was Benny's house—but it is." So after that it felt grander than ever, and you should just have heard the way it told the other marbles all its wonderful adventures! No wonder they all jiggle and giggle together deep in Benny's pocket!
The Land of Nowhere
and Susie had a pet between them. They loved it very much indeed. It was a pure white rabbit with big, floppy ears and a lovely nose that twitched up and down. They called it Snowball, and every day they gave their rabbit fresh lettuce to eat and cleaned out its hutch. " He's the loveliest rabbit in the world,” Denis said, and Susie thought so too. The children had no other pets—just Snowball; so they loved the bunny very much, and played with him as often as they could. Then one day a dreadful thing happened. They went to Snowball's hutch after breakfast—and the door was wide open! Denis peeped into the hutch and looked all round. There was no rabbit there! " Susie! " he cried. " What's happened? Snowball's gone! However could he have opened the door?”: " He couldn't have," said Susie, in astonishment. " I shut it myself yesterday evening and made it fast. I remember doing it." “Yes, I saw you," said Denis. " Then how could Snowball have escaped? ': : “Somebody let him out," said Susie, nearly crying. " Oh, it's too bad! Let's look for him." So they looked for Snowball everywhere. They called him and hunted for him all over the garden. But he was gone. There wasn't a sign of him anywhere at all.
Susie sat down in the grass and cried loudly. Denis was very worried too. He did so love Snow-ball, and it was dreadful not to know where he was. Suppose-just suppose— someone had stolen him and meant to have him for dinner! It was too dreadful to think of. Denis didn't dare to tell Susie what he thought, for he knew she would be very unhappy. Then a queer thing happened and their adventures began. They heard a shrill whistling not far off, very high and strange. The children looked at one another. " Where does that whistling come from? " asked Susie, drying her eyes. " It sounds as if it came from the greenhouse," said Denis, puzzled. " But surely it can't, because there's no one there. Let's go and look." So they went. The door was open, and they went inside the hot, damp greenhouse. Bright geraniums glowed everywhere, and maidenhair ferns hung cool and green. Certainly the whistling came from the greenhouse. It was very loud in there. The children looked here and there to find what made the noise. And then they found it. It was made by a small man, who was peeping out of a trap-door under the staging on which the pots stood. He wore a bright green hat on his head, decorated with red cherries as small as peas. In his mouth was a silver whistle and he was blowing this with all his might. " I say! " said Denis, in surprise, staring at him. " Look, Susie! Who's that?" Susie looked and she couldn't believe her eyes. The man was so
tiny, only a little bigger than her biggest doll. As soon as the little man saw the children looking at him, he took the whistle out of his mouth and beamed at them. " I thought you'd hear me and come and find out what the noise was," he said. “Snowball, your rabbit, gave me a message for you." "Snowball gave you a message! " said Denis, more surprised than ever. " Where is he? " " I'll tell you about it," said the little man, climbing out of the trapdoor and sitting down on an upturned pot nearby. " Last night the Princess of Nowhere came by in her carriage. It was drawn by four black rabbits, and one of them stepped on a spray of bramble and hurt his foot in your garden. So the coachman hunted about for another rabbit to take his place, and of course he saw Snowball." " And did they take Snowball? " asked Susie, her eyes wide open in astonishment. " Yes," said the little man. " He didn't want to go, because it is difficult to get back from the Land of Nowhere, and the Princess Juliana might want to keep him, if he pulled her carriage well. So he was sad to have to go. And he called out a message to me as he went galloping off with the three black rabbits. He said: " Please tell Susie and Denis where I'm going, and if I'm not back by the time two days and two nights have passed, ask them to come and fetch me '." " Goodness me! " cried Denis, hardly able to believe such a strange tale. "Is it true? Has Snowball really gone to the Land of Nowhere? Where is it?" " I don't know," said the little man, shaking his head. " But if I were you I'd wait till to-morrow night, and then if he isn't back by midnight,
I should go and look for him if you love him very much." “Yes, we do love him very much," said Susie. :e But suppose he doesn't come back, how can we find him?” " I’ll help you all I can," said the little man. " If he's not back, come and rap on my trap-door and I'll open it. Come just after midnight." " Oh thank you! " said the two children. " We will! " The little man waved good-bye, climbed into the hole, and shut the trap-door down. The children went out of the greenhouse, excited and puzzled. It was all so strange. They waited all that day and night and all the next day for Snowball. But he didn't come back. They went to bed on the second evening, and kept awake till midnight. Then they crept downstairs to see if Snowball was back in his hutch; but he wasn't. " Well, we'll have to go and look for him," said Denis. " Are you afraid, Susie? ': " Not a bit," said Susie. " I love Snowball too much to be afraid. Besides, I'll have you to look after me, Denis." “Well, come on, we'll go and rap on the trap-door," said Denis. The moon was shining brightly as they went into the greenhouse. Both children had quickly slipped
on their clothes before they had gone down to the garden, just in case they might have to go and look for Snowball, so they were quite ready. The trap-door was fast closed. Denis could hardly see where it was. At last he found it and rapped on it. At first nothing happened— and then, when he rapped more loudly a second time, it suddenly flew open and the little man looked out. " Hallo, hallo, hallo! " he said. " I was quite expecting you. So Snowball hasn't come back?” " No," said Denis. " And we're going to look for him and bring him back. You said you'd help us." " I can't help you much, I'm afraid," said the little man. " But I'll take you to someone who might be able to help you a lot. Come down through the trap-door." “We can't," said Denis. " We're too big!" " Nonsense !” said the little man, with a laugh. « try and see! " Denis put his foot through the trap-door—and goodness me, what a surprise! He suddenly grew as small as the little man, and found it was quite easy to squeeze through the trap-door. He looked up at Susie. She seemed enormous and she was gazing at him in the greatest astonishment. " Come on, Susie! " called Denis. " It's all right! " So Susie put her foot into the trap-door and she too shot down small — as small as one of her dolls. She was so surprised. “The greenhouse looks enormous! " she said, looking round. " I say, Denis, isn't this an adventure! ' “ Come on," said the little man. “We haven't much time to spare. What are you named? Mine is Squiddle." “ What a funny name! " said Susie, laughing. ''' Mine's Susie, and this is Denis."
"What queer names! " said Squiddle, laughing too. "I've never heard them before—but Squiddle is quite a common name in Fairyland." " Are you a Fairy, then? " asked Denis excited. " Well, not exactly," said Squiddle. " I'm half a goblin and half a pixie. But I belong to the Fairy folk and know them all. Come along, down this passage, and mind the step at the end." Along they all went, and soon came to a big door with a lamp hanging over it. On the door was a brass plate on which a name was written— Mister Spectacles. " Mister Spectacles! " said Denis, laughing. " Another funny name! ' Squiddle knocked at the door and it opened. A tall thin man peered out, and Denis and Susie saw why he had such a queer name. He wore three pairs of spectacles! One at the end of his nose, one on the bridge of his nose and the third pair up on his forehead. " What do you want? " asked Mister Spectacles, in a gruff voice. " Oh, Mister Spectacles, could you help these two children? " asked Squiddle. '' They want to go to the Land of Nowhere, and they don't know where it is. You know so much, and you have so many clever books to tell you everything you want to know. Could you tell them which way to go ? " " Come in and sit down," said Mister Spectacles smiling a sudden smile at the two shy children. " I'll see what I can do." Denis and Susie sat down in two big armchairs. Squiddle sat down on a stool. The children stared and stared at queer Mister Spectacles and his three pairs of glasses. They longed to know why he wore so many pairs at once.
" I'll help you on one condition," said Mister Spectacles, putting a fourth pair of spectacles on his nose. " And that is that you don't ask me why I wear so many pairs of spectacles. I'm so tired of answering that question." Denis and Susie were very glad they hadn't asked it. " We shouldn't dream of asking you things you didn't want to tell us," said Denis, politely. “ But please could you tell us where the Land of Nowhere is? ': "Well, it might be Anywhere! " said Mister Spectacles. "Yes, it might be Anywhere!” " Well, could you tell us where Anywhere is and we'll go and look there," said Susie. " Yes, I'll tell you where Anywhere is," said Mister Spectacles, and he took down a great big atlas with many queer maps in it. He poked his finger here and there and at last pointed to an island in the middle of a yellow sea. " Anywhere is on this island at the moment," he said. " It's a queer land, you know; it moves about from place to place. Well, Nowhere might possibly be in the middle of Anywhere. So I should advise you to look there." " How can we get there? ' asked Susie. " Take the train to Golden Sands, and catch the boat to the Island of Anywhere," said Mister Spectacles, taking off the fourth pair of spectacles and polishing them with his handkerchief. " But mind you catch the boat—there's only one goes every week, and that's to-morrow." " But can we travel all night?” asked Denis.
“It's daytime in Fairyland, so you'll be all right," said Mister Spectacles, " Off you go now, and catch the train. And thanks very much for not asking about my spectacles! ' " I'll go with you," said Squiddle, taking the children by the hands. " I'd like to help you." So Denis and Susie and the little man in the green hat went out of the door and into the passage again. Squiddle hurried them up some steps and they suddenly came to what looked like a tiny room with a seat in it. Squiddle pushed the children down on the seat and pulled a rope hanging down nearby. “ Oooooooh! " gasped the children—for the little room was a lift and it shot up tremendously quickly, quite taking away their breaths. It rose up for about three minutes and at last came to a stop on a very high hill. " Get out," said Squiddle. " The lift's going down again." They walked out of the lift and watched it sink swiftly down into the hill, out of sight. Then they looked round. What a long way they could see! The hill was very, very steep, and as slippery as glass. Nobody could possibly climb up or down it. Just behind them, resting on the shoulders of the hill, was a long bank of cloud. It stayed quite still and didn't move at all, as clouds usually do. “Where's the train? " asked Susie. " Surely there can't possibly be a railway on this hill! ' “ It's a cloud railway," explained Squibble. " You wait a minute and you'll see the train! It's due very soon."
Almost as he spoke there came the rattle of wheels, and to the children's great delight they saw the prettiest train imaginable running along the bank of cloud just near them. It was the colour of the blue sky, and each carriage was in the shape of a bird. " How does it go? " asked Denis. " Does it go by steam?” " No, by lightning," said Squiddle. " You'll see how quick it goes when you're in it!' They all climbed into a carriage that was shaped like a kingfisher. The engine-driver, a goblin with a funny apple-like face, leaned out to see that they were safely in, and then off they went, running along the clouds in the sky. The train went so very fast that both children clutched hold of the sides of the car and gasped for breath. “ Oh, goodness! " said Denis, when at last he could speak. " It certainly does go like lightning! ' It was a wonderful ride. It was bright daylight, just as Mister Spectacles had said, and the children had a marvellous view of their world as they travelled swiftly along the clouds on the strange, airy railway. Then they came to Fairyland and saw the beautiful spires, towers and pinnacles of that dream-like land. They wished the journey would never end, as they travelled along the clouds that hung over Fairyland.
" I hope we shall catch the boat to Anywhere," said Squiddle, suddenly, looking anxiously at a very large red watch. " The train's not so fast as usual. There was a big storm last night and some of the lightning got used up, so there's not so much for the train to-day." " Oh my, I hope we shall be in time," said Susie in dismay. " Mister Spectacles said there was only one boat a week." On went the train and on, and at last the children cried out that they could see the sea. " Then we're nearly there," said Squiddle, looking at his watch again. " I hope my watch is fast." The train came to a standstill on a cloud that rested on another very high hill. Out jumped Squiddle and the children and rushed to a lift that stood waiting. They got into it, Squiddle pulled the rope and down they shot at such a speed that Susie really thought she was falling and cried out in fright. The lift stopped at the bottom and the three of them ran out. They found themselves on a beach where the sand was as bright as gold. " This is Golden Sands," said Squiddle. " Oh dear, where's the boat?" " There it is ! " cried Denis, pointing. " It's gone! " Sure enough it had! It was far out to sea, a big boat with yellow sails.” We're too late," said Squiddle, sadly. " We're too late. Now what shall we do? Can you possibly wait a week? Then you could catch the next boat." " No, we couldn't possibly," said Denis. " Why, our mother would worry terribly if we didn't go home." “ Oh, we must, we must rescue Snowball," said Susie, with tears in her eyes. “ Oh, Squiddle, can't you think of something?”
Squiddle shook his head. Susie began to cry properly and Denis and Squiddle took out their handkerchiefs and tried to comfort her. She wouldn't be comforted and she made such a noise that Denis was quite upset. " What's the matter with the little girl? " asked a surprised voice, suddenly. Denis looked up and saw a mermaid sitting on a rock, her tail in a warm pool. " We've missed the boat and don't know how to get to Anywhere," he said, sadly. " Why don't you fly? " asked the mermaid, beginning to comb out her hair. " Mother Dibble has a fine lot of gulls' wings to lend to people who miss the boat. She only charges a penny a time." "Where does Mother Dibble live? " asked Squiddle. " In that cave over there," said the mermaid, pointing. The children turned and saw a cave nearby, with a little gate in front of it. " Oh, we'll go and get some wings, then," said Squiddle, gladly. He took the children's hands and they went over to the cave. Mother Dibble was sitting in it, sewing. All around her hung beautiful wings, grey, white and black. " Good-day, Mother Dibble," said Squiddle, politely. " Would you lend us three pairs of gulls* wings, please? We have missed the boat and we want to get to the Island of Anywhere at once. Here are three pennies for the wings."
Mother Dibble took the pennies, and then chose three pairs of pearlygrey wings. She fastened them carefully to their shoulders. The children felt most excited. They had often flown in dreams, but never in real life, and they could hardly wait until their wings were safely on. " Spread them out well, and fly slowly," said Mother Dibble. They spread their wings and flapped them—and at once they rose up into the air! It was glorious. The children flew strongly over the water, and in a little while they had passed right over the ship they had missed. "We shall be there before the ship! " cried Denis. "Oh, look, Squiddle—is that the Island of Anywhere?” " Yes," said Squiddle. " Isn't it strange? " It was indeed a strange island, for it changed its shape as they watched it. It seemed alive. In the centre of it was a shining town, whose towers gleamed like gold. " Ah, that's the Land of Nowhere," said Squiddle, pleased. " Mister Spectacles said it might be Anywhere and so it is! It's in the middle of the island, so we are sure to find your rabbit, Snowball, there. Hurray! " They ah1 flew down into the shining town. " We had better go to the palace and ask for the stables," said Squiddle. So he stopped a hurrying gnome and asked the way to the palace of the Princess Juliana. Then on they went, their big gulls' wings folded neatly behind them. They came to the glittering palace and walked a little way round it, to where the stables were. Squiddle pushed open a door in the wall and they
passed through it into the stables. Rabbits were kept there, all jetblack and beautiful. Their whiskers were carefully curled each morning and their ears were brushed. The children couldn't see their white bunny, Snowball, anywhere. They asked a servant where he was. " Oh, the Princess Juliana likes him so much that she has made him her pet," said the little servant. :' He is sitting on a black velvet cushion by her knee, in the palace." " Goodness! Now we shall have to go and ask her for him," said Squiddle. ' That may be awkward. Listen, children—if the Princess is unkind and won't let Snowball go, wait for a signal from me. Then, as soon as you see me wink hard at you, snatch up Snowball and run to the window. Fly out and up into the sky as quickly as you can. I'll stay behind to stop the Princess from sending her flying-gnomes after you." Feeling most excited the children went with Squiddle to the palace gates. They went through them and made their way into the palace. They asked a servant to take them to the Princess, and when at last they came to where she was sitting, they saw, to their great joy, their lovely rabbit, Snowball, sitting on a cushion at her feet, looking very bored and unhappy. " Oh Snowball! " cried Susie, joyfully, and she ran to him and hugged him. " Oh, Your Highness, this is my darling bunny! You borrowed him
the other night when one of your rabbits went lame, but now I have come to fetch him home again." The Princess Juliana was very beautiful and spoilt. She shook her curly golden head and looked cross. " He is my pet now," she said. " You can't have him. You shall have a. sack of gold instead." " No, I want my rabbit," said Susie, firmly. The Princess cried out crossly and ran to ring a big bell near the fire-place. " I will tell my servants to turn you out of the palace," she cried, angrily. ' You shan't have Snowball." Squiddle winked hard at Susie and Denis. They knew it was a signal to act at once, so Denis picked up the rabbit in his arms, and Susie ran to the window and opened it. In a trice the children spread out their wings and were up in the air! Squiddle was left behind to stop the Princess from sending servants after them. Over the sea flew Denis and Susie, leaving the strange Land of Nowhere, set in the Island of Anywhere, far behind them. They wondered if Squiddle was all right—and then, to their great delight, they heard the swish-swish of big wings and there he was, flying beside them once more! " I couldn't stop the Princess from sending out her flying gnomes!” he cried breathlessly. " We mustn't stop at Golden Sands, for there is no train to take us away. We must fly straight on!': Denis and Susie looked behind and saw a whole crowd of little gnomes flying swiftly through the air after them. They flapped their gulls' wings all the faster and soon the gnomes were left behind. On went the children,
and on and on, Denis carrying the frightened rabbit carefully in his arms, and Squiddle keeping a look-out for the gnomes. " Fly down to earth now," he said, suddenly. So down they flew and landed in a garden—and whatever do you think? It was their very own garden, and there was the greenhouse just nearby! They had flown all the way home! As they dropped downwards the daylight disappeared, and when they stood on the ground, everywhere was dark save for faint, shining moonlight. It was night-time again, as soon as they had left Fairyland behind! " Put Snowball into his hutch and get back to bed quickly," said Squiddle to the children. “You'll still be able to get a little sleep. Leave your gulls' wings in the garden. They will fly back to Mother Dibble by themselves." Denis put Snowball safely back into his hutch. Then the children said a loving good night to him, and you should have seen how his nose
twitched with delight to be safe home again! Then they carefully took off their wings and put them on the grass. Just as they turned to go indoors they heard a swishing sound—and hey presto, the wings rose up by themselves and flew away! It was very strange. " Good-bye, good-bye," whispered Squiddle, pressing their hands. "I'm glad I was able to help you. Come and see me again sometimes." " Oh, we will! " said the children. “Good-bye and thank you so much! " They crept into bed, surprised to find themselves their own size once more. " What an adventure, Susie! " said Denis, as he put his head down on his pillow. “ It's all mixed up in my mind—the cross Princess, the Island of Anywhere, Mother Dibble and the mermaid, the Cloud Railway and that funny old Mister Spectacles!” " I wish we knew why he wore so many spectacles! " sighed Susie. " That's just one thing I really would like too know! ' I'd like to know too, wouldn't you? But as he never will let anybody ask him why, I don't expect we shall ever know!
She Stamped Her Foot
had a dreadful temper. When she was in a rage she went red in the face, shouted—and then stamped her foot! " Matilda! Please don't stamp your foot at me! " said her mother crossly. “No matter what you want, I shan't give it to you if you stamp like that. It's rude." Matilda stamped her foot again. It wasn't a bit of good—she was just sent up to bed! So after that she didn't stamp her foot at her mother any more—only at Jane the maid, George the gardener, and her little friends. They couldn't send her to bed—but they didn't like her at all when she stamped her foot at them. One afternoon Matilda went to pick blackberries in Farmer Giles's field. She knew where there was a fine hedge of them—and as they were the last of the autumn's feast of blackberries, she meant to have a very nice time! But she found a little old lady there, picking away fast, and putting the big juicy blackberries into her basket. Matilda stared in rage. " I came to pick these blackberries," she said. " So did I," said the old lady, still picking. “ I saw them the other day, and I said to myself that they should be mine and no one else's," said Matilda, going red in the face.
How funny! That's just what I said to myself! " said the old dame, still picking hard. Matilda stared crossly. “I want those blackberries! " she said. " So do I," said the old lady. " You can share them, can't you?” " You've picked all the biggest. You're greedy," said rude Matilda. " What an unpleasant child you are! " said the old dame, staring at Matilda out of curious green eyes. Those eyes should have warned Matilda that the old lady was magic, for people with green eyes are not the same as ordinary folk. " You're not to talk to me like that! " said Matilda—and she stamped her foot. " You're not to, you're not to!” "Don't stamp your foot at me, or you'll be sorry! " said the old lady, and her eyes looked rather fierce. But did Matilda care? Not she! She lost her temper all in a hurry, and began to shout and stamp. "I want those blackberries! (Stamp, stamp!) I want those blackberries! (Stamp, stamp!) I want those blackberries! (Stamp, stamp, STAMP!)" The old lady looked at Matilda in the greatest surprise. " My dear little girl," she said, "you shouldn't have been a child at all. You should have been a pony! Then you could do all the stamping you please! " " Give me those blackberries!" shouted Matilda, and she stamped so heavily on the grass that she squashed it flat. “ I don't mind horses stamping at me, but I won't have little girls behaving like this," said the old dame, and she waved a thin brown hand at Matilda. "Be a pony! Run away and stamp all you like! ”
then, to Matilda's enormous dismay, she found that she was no longer a little girl, but a small brown pony with a white star on its head! She had four legs and a long tail! She stamped with her forefoot on the grass, and opened her mouth to shout —but she neighed instead: " Nay - hay - hay - hay- hay! Nay-hayhay-hay-hay!” "Well, if you want hay, go and get it," said the old lady, going on
with her picking. Matilda was frightened by her horse-voice and ran away round the field. Oh dear, this was dreadful! She was a pony—fancy that, a pony! She couldn't speak like a little girl. She couldn't pick blackberries, for she had no hands. She could still stamp, and she could wave a long tail about—how very, very queer! Matilda wanted to go home, so she ran to the field gate. But it was shut. Matilda stamped her foot, and the old lady laughed. ;c Stamp away! I always love to see a horse stamping with its hoof—it's right for horses to paw the ground! Stamp all you like, little pony, and enjoy yourself!”
But Matilda wasn't enjoying herself one bit. Suppose the farmer came by and put her into the shafts of a cart to carry his goods to market? Suppose he wanted to ride her? He was such a big heavy man. And what about her food? Would she have to eat grass? Matilda put her big ponyhead down to nibble the grass to see what it tasted like. It was horrid! She still had the tastes and feelings of a little girl although she had the body of a pony! Whatever was she going to do? Why, oh, why had she stamped at that old woman? Just then George, John, Lucy and Fred came into the field. " Look!” cried Fred. " A new pony! Let's ride him! ' Matilda was full of horror. What—let those children ride on her back? Never! She ran away to a corner of the field, and the children followed. The pony stamped her foot at them, and the children laughed. " He's like Matilda! " they cried. " He stamps his foot just like Matilda! ' Just then the children's mother came along and called them. " Come out of the field, children. There's no time to play before tea. Come along."
Tea! Matilda felt hungry. How she wished she could go home to eat cakes, and jam too. But what would her mother say if a pony came running into the house? Still—she would go home. Perhaps her mother would know her even though she was now a pony. Matilda cried a few big tears out of her large pony-eyes. She cantered out of the gate that the children had carelessly left open, and went down the lane to her home. The door was open. The pony cantered inside—and there was her mother, laying the tea. " Good gracious! A horse coming to tea!" said Matilda's mother. "I never heard of such a thing! Shoo! Shoo! Go out at once." Matilda went right into the room and put her big pony-head on her mother's shoulder. Tears ran down her big brown pony-nose. " Well, look at this! " cried her mother in the greatest amazement " A pony crying on my shoulder! Poor creature, what's the matter?”: Matilda tried to get on to her mother's knee, but of course, being a pony, she couldn't possibly. " Now, pony, don't be silly," said her mother, pushing it away. " Do you think you're a little dog or something, trying to sit on my knee? You'll be borrowing my handkerchief to wipe your eyes next! Dear, dear, I don't understand this! I must be in a dream." A voice spoke from the doorway. " No—you are not in a dream. That is Matilda—but she stamped her foot at me, so I changed her into a pony for a time. Horses may stamp when they please, but not children! ' " Oh dear, oh dear! " cried Matilda's mother, putting her arms round the pony's neck. " Now I understand what this poor pony wants. Old woman, you are magic! Change my little girl to her own shape, please! I am sure she will never, never stamp her foot at you again! ' “Will you ever stamp your foot again, Matilda? " the old dame asked
the pony. It shook its big head at once. The old woman waved her hand— and lo and behold! the pony disappeared, and there was Matilda, looking rather small and scared. " Good-bye," said the old lady. " Remember that only horses stamp— so be careful you don't change into one again. You never know!” She went out, with her basket of blackberries. Matilda looked at her mother. " Don't let me stamp my foot any more! " she wept, glad to find that she didn't neigh this time. " Well, you must try and remember yourself," said her mother. " I can't tell your feet what to do! ' Matilda laughed through her tears. I'll try and remember," she said. " I don't want to eat grass any more— and you don't want a pony stamping about the kitchen, do you, Mother? ' All the same, I hope I'm there if Matilda ever does stamp her foot again—it would be so surprising to see her change into a pony!
Christine was nine, she had a lovely kite given to her for her birthday. It was a big one, and it had the face of a cat painted on it. Christine was very pleased with it. " I've never had a kite before," she said. " Never! This is a beauty. And oh, what a fine tail it has!” The kite was red and yellow, and it had a tail of brightly coloured paper. With it had come a big ball of string. " And it's a fine windy day too! " said Christine. " So it will be just right to fly the kite this morning." She took it to the hillside, where the wind was very strong. Alan, Mary, George, and Tom saw her carrying it. " Many happy returns of the day," said Mary. “I say! Is that one of your presents? Can we come and help you fly it? ': " No," said Christine, who was very bad at sharing her things with others. " I want to fly it all by myself. You're not to come with me." " You're a selfish girl," said George. " You wouldn't let us have a ride on your tricycle the other day, and you wouldn't let us have a try at spinning your top." Christine didn't say anything. She turned her back on the others and went on by herself. The others stared after her, and then went on into the fields to play Catch. Christine unwound a great deal of string. She shook out the kite's tail. She threw it up into the strong wind. It flew high at once. Oh, it was a
fine kite, pulling strongly at the string, longing to go higher and higher and higher! " You're a splendid kite! " called Christine joyfully, as she watched it climbing into the sky. “You will soon have used all my string!” She began to run with the kite, because it pulled so hard—and suddenly she stepped into a rabbit-hole, twisted her ankle, and fell down flat! " Oh! " cried Christine. " I've hurt my foot! Oh! I can't get up! Help! Help! " But the wind blew her voice away, and nobody heard her. The kite pulled hard at the string. Christine was still holding it. The kite was flying high above the field where the other children were playing. How Christine wished she had let them come with her and share the kite! Then they could have helped her. An idea came into her head. Perhaps the kite could help her. She began
to pull it in. At last it was lying on the grass beside her. The little girl pulled out her notebook and wrote on a page: " I have hurt my foot. I am on the hill. Please help me. Christine." Then she broke off the last piece of the kite's tail and tied the note there instead. She tried to throw the kite into the air, but it was difficult now she was sitting down. The wind was dropping too—but at last the kite did rise a little, and at once Christine let out some more string. It flew into the air, but it dipped down and round every now and again because the wind was not so strong now. Still, it flew upwards and was soon high in the air. And now, when it dipped down, Christine did not pull at the string to make it rise up again. Instead she -let the string go slack, so that the kite dipped still further.
The wind dropped again—and down went the kite in great circles, dipping right to the ground. It fell among the children, who were surprised to see it falling there. " It's Christine's kite,'3 said Alan. "We'd better throw it up for her." But as they were going to throw it into the wind, Mary noticed the odd bit of white paper tied to the end of the coloured tail. " Wait a minute," she said. " What's this? ': She took the note and read it. " Oh," she said, " this is a note from Christine. She's hurt her foot on the hillside. We must go and help her." " I don't see why we should," said George. “Selfish girl! She won't let us go with her when she's got a new toy—but she wants us quickly enough when she needs help." " Don't be mean, George," said Mary. c You needn't come if you don't want to—but I shall go, anyhow." George went too, and the others. They soon found Christine sitting by the rabbit-hole, her face still white. She couldn't possibly walk on her hurt foot. She had twisted her ankle very badly. They managed to get her home between them. Her mother was worried when she saw them coming, and ran out to see what was the matter. " Never mind, Christine," she said. " We will put a cold, wet bandage on your ankle, and the swelling will soon go down if you rest it."
" What about my birthday party? " wept poor Christine. " Well, dear, as you didn't want anybody to your party except Daddy, Auntie, and me, it won't be much of a disappointment not to have it," said Mother, who was always feeling sad because Christine wouldn't share things with her friends. So there was no birthday party for Christine; but later on, when her foot was better, Christine sent out invitation cards to all her friends. She had been thinking a lot whilst she had lain still with her bad ankle. " I really am selfish! " thought Christine. " I never share anything with anybody—and yet I love to wheel Grace's pram when she lets me, and I always take one of John's sweets if he offers me any. I feel ashamed of myself now. I wouldn't share my kite—and yet when the other children knew I was hurt they came running to help. I didn't deserve their kindness. But I'll make up for it now." So she is having a lovely party now that her foot is better, and is going to share her cake and her chocolates and balloons and toys with everyone. She'll be much happier if she does, won't she? And next time she flies her kite, everyone is going with her to help. They're sure to have a fine time up on the windy hillside.
Now once upon a time Shiny-One the gnome had to take a heavy mirror to Dame Pretty. It was a very large looking-glass indeed, bigger than Shiny-One himself, so it made him puff and pant, as you can imagine. When he got to the middle of Cuckoo Wood he felt that he really must have a rest. So he laid the mirror flat on the ground, with the bracken and grass peeping into it, and went to lean against a tree a little way off. And he fell fast asleep. Now along that way came little Peep and Pry, the two pixies who lived at the edge of the wood. They were always peeping and prying into things that were no business of theirs—so you can guess they were most astonished to see a big flat shining thing in the middle of the wood! " Look at that! " said Peep. " A new pool! ' " A lovely, shiny pool ! " said Pry. They both ran to it—and indeed, the mirror did look exactly like a shining pool of clear water, for it reflected the grass, the bracken, the trees, and the sky exactly as a sheet of water does. " I wonder how a pool suddenly came here," said Peep. " It's really rather extraordinary. There was never one here before." " It hasn't been raining," said Pry. “I just can't understand it. Do you suppose it is a magic pool, Peep?” " Yes—perhaps it is," said Peep. “ Peep—shall we take a little drink from it, in case it's a wishingpool? " whispered Pry. " Well—do you think we'd better? " said Peep. “Suppose it belongs to somebody?”:
" They'll never know," said naughty Pry. " Come on— let's scoop a little water up in our hands and drink it. We'll wish at the same time." Peep put his hand down to the mirror—but, of course, all he felt was something hard, and not soft water! He stared in astonishment. "The pool's frozen! " he said. " Look—there's no water —only ice." "Well, that shows it's magic! " said Pry at once. "That just shows it is! How could water freeze on a warm autumn day like this? It's impossible." " I think you're right," said Peep in excitement. " Yes, I really think you are. A pool that is frozen hard on a warm day must be magic! Whoever it belongs to must have frozen it so that nobody could take a drink and wish." " Ah—but we can manage to trick the owner! " said Pry in a whisper.
“We can break the ice, Peep—and drink the water below! we?”
"Of course!" said Peep. "Come on—let's break it, and drink quickly, before anyone comes." So they took stones and banged the pool hard—crack! The mirror broke into little pieces—and to the pixies' great astonishment there was no water underneath! " Stranger and stranger! " said Peep. " I wish there was somebody we could tell this to." Then they saw Shiny-One the gnome, not very far off, just waking up. They ran to him. “ I say, there's a magic pool over there!”
" We knew it was magic because it was frozen hard." " So we cracked the ice to get a drink of the water underneath—but there wasn't any! Did you ever know such magic?” “What nonsense are you talking? " said Shiny-One crossly. He knew Peep and Pry well and didn't like the way they poked their noses into things that had nothing to do with them. "A magic pool — frozen on a day like this! Rubbish !” Peep and Pry took him to the pool—and Shiny-One stared down in horror at his poor broken mirror. " My mirror! " he said. " The one I was selling to Dame Pretty. Look what you've done, with your silly interfering ways—smashed that beautiful big mirror! You bad pixies! How much money have you got in your pockets? You'll have to pay for that mirror." Peep and Pry tried to run away—but Shiny-One caught hold of them both. He turned them upside down and shook them well. All their money rolled out of their pockets. “Thank you," said Shiny-One, and he turned the pixies the right way up. " Thank you! Just enough to pay for a new mirror, I think. Now run off before I think of smacking you both." Peep and Pry ran off, crying. Shiny-One dug a hole with a stick and buried all the bits of broken mirror, so that nobody's feet would get cut. As for poor Peep and Pry, they couldn't buy sweets for four weeks, because all their money had gone—so maybe they won't go poking their noses about quite so much another time!
The Humpy Goblin's Kettle
was a small pixie who lived all by himself in Twisty Cottage. His cottage stood at the end of the Village of Ho, and was always very neatly kept. It had blue and yellow curtains at the windows and blue and yellow flowers in the garden so you can guess how pretty and trim it was. Mister Curly was mean. He was the meanest pixie that ever lived, but he always pretended to be very generous indeed. If he had a bag of peppermints he never let anyone see it, but put it straight into his pocket till he got home. And if he met any of the other pixies he would pull a long face and say: " If only I had a bag of sweets I would offer you one." " Never mind," the others said. :c It's nice of you to think of it!" And they went off" saying what a nice, generous creature Mister Curly was! Now one day, as Mister Curly was walking home along Dimity Lane, where the trees met overhead, so that it was just like walking in a green tunnel, he saw a queer fellow in front of him. This was a Humpy Goblin, and he carried a great many saucepans, kettles and pans, all slung down his back, round his shoulders and over his chest. They made a great noise as he walked, but louder than the noise was the Humpy Goblin's voice. He sang all the time in a voice like a cracked bell.
" Do you want a saucepan, kettle or pan? If you do, here's the Goblin Man, The Humpy Goblin with his load Of pots and pans is down the road, Hie, hie hie, here's the Goblin Man, Do you want a saucepan, kettle or pan? " Now Mister Curly badly wanted a new kettle, because his own had a hole in it and the water leaked over his stove each day, making a funny hissing noise. So he ran after the Goblin Man, and called him. The Humpy Goblin turned round and grinned. He was a cheerful fellow, always pleased to see anybody. “I want a good little kettle, nice and cheap," said Curly. " I've just the one for you," said Humpy, and he pointed to a bright little kettle on his back. Curly looked at it. " How much is it? " he asked. " Sixpence," said the Goblin. This was quite cheap, but mean old Curly wasn't going to give sixpence for the kettle. He pretended to be shocked at the price, and then he gave a huge sigh. " Oh, I'm not rich enough to pay all that," he said, sadly. " I can only pay threepence." " Oh, no," said Humpy, firmly. " Threepence isn't enough. You must pay sixpence." Well, they stood and talked to one another for a long time, one saying sixpence and the other saying threepence, until at last the Humpy Goblin laughed in Curly's face and walked off, jingling all his kettles and pans. " You're a mean old stick! " he
called after Curly. "I'm not going to sell you anything! Good-bye, Mister Mean! ' Off he went and soon began to sing his song again. Curly heard him. “ Do you want a saucepan, kettle or pan? If you do, here's the Goblin Man!' Curly stood and watched him angrily. Then he started walking too. He had to follow the Goblin Man because that was the way home to Twisty Cottage. But he took care not to follow too close, for he was afraid that Humpy might call something rude after him. It was a hot day and the Goblin was tired. After a while he thought he would sit down in the hedge and rest. So down he sat—and it wasn't more than a minute before he was sound asleep and snoring! Curly heard him and knew he must be sound asleep. A naughty thought slipped into his head. " I wonder if I could take that kettle from him whilst he's asleep? I could leave threepence beside him to pay for it. How cross he would be when he woke up to find that I had got the kettle for threepence after all!” He crept up to the Humpy Goblin. He certainly was sound asleep, and his mouth was so wide open that it was a good thing there wasn't anything
above his head that could drop into it. Curly carefully undid the little shining kettle without making even a clink of noise. Then he put three bright pennies on the grass beside the Goblin, and ran off, chuckling to himself for being so smart. He soon reached home. He filled the little kettle with water and put it on the fire. It really was a dear little thing, and it boiled very quickly indeed, sending a spurt of steam out of the spout almost before Curly had got out the teapot to make the tea. Just as he was sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake someone walked up his garden path and looked in at the door. It was the Humpy Goblin. When he saw that Curly had the kettle on the fire, he grinned all over his face. " So you've got it! " he said. " Well, much good may it do you! Kettle, listen to me! Teach Mister Curly the lesson he needs! Ho, ho, Curly, keep the kettle! I don't want it!” Laughing and skipping the Goblin went down the path again. Curly felt a bit uncomfortable. What was he laughing like that for? " Oh, he just tried to frighten me and make me think something nasty would happen," said Curly to himself. " Silly old Goblin! " He cleared away his cup and saucer and filled up the kettle again. He was washing up the dirty dishes when a knock came at his door, and Dame Pitapat looked in. :c I say, Curly, could you let me have a little tea? I've emptied my tin and it's such a long way to the shops." Now Curly had a whole tin full, but he wasn't going to let Dame Pitapat have any. He ran to the dresser and took down a tin he knew was empty.
Yes, certainly, Dame Pitapat," he said, ''* you shall have some of my tea. Oh dear! The tin's empty! What a pity! You could have had half of it if only I'd had any, but I must have used it all up! " Dame Pitapat looked at the empty tin. Then she turned to go. “ I'm sorry I bothered you, Curly," she said. :e It was kind of you to say I could have had half, if only you'd had any tea! ' Then a funny thing happened. The little kettle on the stove sent out a big spurt of steam and began to shout a shrill song: " Mister Curly has plenty of tea! He's just as mean as a pixie can be! Look in the tin on the left of the shelf And see what a lot he has for himself! "
Then the kettle took another breath and shouted: "Mean old thing! Stingy old thing! Oooooh, look at him! " Dame Pitapat was so astonished that she stood gaping for quite a minute. She couldn't think where the song came from. She had no idea it was the kettle on the stove. But Curly knew it was, and he was so angry and ashamed that he could have cried. Dame Pitapat went to the shelf and took down the tin that stood on the left. She opened it and sure enough it was full to the brim with tea. " Oh, look at this! " she said. " Well, Curly, you said I could have half of any tea you had, so I shall take you at your word. Thanks very much." She emptied half the tea out into the tin she had brought and went out of the cottage, looking round curiously to see if she could spy who had sung that song about Curly. But she didn't think of looking at the kettle, of course. Curly was so angry with the kettle that he decided to beat it with a stick. But before he could do that someone poked his head in at the window and called him. " Mister Curly! Will you lend me your umbrella, please? I've lost mine and it's raining." It was little Capers the pixie who lived next door. He was always lending Curly things, and now he had come to borrow something himself. But Curly was in a very bad temper. " My umbrella's lost too," he said. " I'm so sorry, Capers. You could have it if only I had it myself, but it's gone."
" Oh, well, never mind," said Capers. " It's nice of you to say you would have lent it to me." Before he could go, the shining kettle gave a tiny hop on the stove and began to sing again. " Mister Curly has got an umbrella, He's such a mean and stingy fella, He says he hasn't got one at all, But just you go and look in the hall! ' Then it took another breath and began to shout again at the top of its steamy voice: " Mean old thing! Stingy old thing! Oooooh, look at him! " Capers was so surprised to hear this song that he nearly fell in at the window. He stared at Curly who was looking as black as thunder and as red as a beetroot. Then Capers looked through the kitchen door into the tiny hall—and sure enough Curly's green umbrella stood there. Capers jumped in at the window and fetched the umbrella. He waved it at Curly. " You said I could have it if only you had got it! " he cried. " Here it is, so I'll borrow it! Many thanks! ' He ran off and left Curly nearly crying with rage. The pixie caught up a stick and ran to beat the kettle—but that small kettle was far too quick for him! It rose up in the air and put itself high up on a shelf for safety.
Then it poured just a drop of boiling water on to Curly's hand, which made the pixie dance and shout with pain. " You wait till I get you! " cried Curly, shaking his stick. Someone knocked at his front door. Curly opened it. Rag and Tag the two gnomes stood there, smiling. “ Mister Curly, we are collecting pennies for poor Mister Tumble whose house was burnt down yesterday," they said. " You are so generous that we thought you would be sure to give us one." Curly knew that there was no money in his pockets, so he pulled them inside out quickly, saying " Oh, yes, you shall have whatever money I have, Rag and Tag. Goodness, there's none in this pocket—and none in that! How unfortunate! I haven't any pennies to give you, and I should have been so pleased to have let you have all I had! ' " Well, that's very nice of you to say so," said Rag and Tag. " Never mind. Thank you very much for trying to be generous! ' Before they could go, that little kettle was singing again, spurting out great clouds of steam as it did so! " Although he says he hasn't any, Curly's got a silver penny! Look in his purse on the table there, And take the money he well can spare!”
Then, taking another breath, the kettle shouted with all its might: " Mean old thing! Stingy old thing! Oooooh, look at him! ' Rag and Tag stared all round the kitchen to see where the voice came from, but they couldn't see anyone but Curly. It couldn't be the pixie singing, surely! No, he looked too angry and ashamed to sing anything! The gnomes saw the purse lying on the table and they ran for it. Inside was a silver sixpence. They took it and put it into their box. " Well, Curly," they said, " you said we might have any pennies you had if you'd had any—and you have, so we'll take this silver one. Goodbye! " Out they went, giggling together, wondering who it was in the cottage that had given Curly away. As for Curly, he was so angry that he caught up a jug and flung it straight at the kettle, which was still high up on the shelf. Crash! The kettle hopped aside and the jug broke in a dozen pieces against the wall behind. The milk spilt and dripped on to Curly's head. Then the kettle began to laugh, and you can't think how angry that made Curly! He took up a hammer and flung that at the kettle too—but once more it slipped to one side, and oh dear me, smash went a lovely big jar of plum jam up on the shelf. It all splashed down on to Curly, so what with milk and jam he was a fine sight. The kettle nearly killed itself with laughing. It almost fell off the shelf. Curly went and washed himself under the tap. He felt frightened. What was he going to do with that awful singing kettle? He must get rid of it somehow or it would tell everyone the most dreadful tales about him.
" I'll wait till to-night," thought Curly. " Then, when it's asleep I'll take it and throw it away." So he took no more notice of the kettle, and as no other visitors came that day the kettle was fairly quiet, except that sometimes it would suddenly shout: " Mean old thing! Stingy old thing! Oooooooh, look at him! ' Then Curly would almost jump out of his skin with fright, and glare at the kettle angrily. At nine o'clock Curly went to bed. The kettle hopped down to the stove and went to sleep. Curly waited for a little while and then he crept out of bed. He went to the stove and took hold of the kettle. Ah, he had it now! The kettle woke up and shouted, but Curly had it by the handle. The water in it was no longer hot, so that it could not hurt Curly. The pixie hurried outside with the kettle and went to the bottom of his garden. There was a rubbish-heap there and the pixie stuffed the struggling kettle right into the middle. He left it there and went back delighted. He climbed into bed and fell asleep. But at midnight something woke him by tapping at the window. "Let me in! "cried a voice. "Let me in! I'm dirty and I want washing!" " That's that horrid kettle! " thought Curly, in a fright. " Well, it can go on tapping! I won't let it in! ' But the kettle tapped and tapped and at last it flung itself hard against the glass, broke it and came in through the hole! It went over to Curly's bed and stood itself there.
" Wash me! " it said. " I'm dirty and smelly. You shouldn't have put me on that nasty rubbish-heap! ' " Get off my nice clean bed! " cried Curly, angrily. " Look what a mess you are making! ' But the kettle wouldn't get off, and in the end the angry pixie had to get up and wash the kettle till it was clean again. Then he banged it down on the stove and left it. Next day the kettle sang songs about him again, and Curly kept hearing it shout: " Mean old fellow! Stingy old fellow! Ooooooh, look at him! ' till he was tired of it. So many people had heard about the strange things happening in the pixie's cottage that all day long visitors came to ask for different things and poor Curly was nearly worried out of his life. " I'll drown that kettle in my well to-night! " he thought. So once more he took the kettle when it was asleep and threw it down the well. Splash! Ha, it wouldn't get out of there in a hurry! But about three o'clock in the morning there came a tap-tap-tap at the window, which had now been mended. It was the kettle back again! " Curly! Let me in! I'm c-c-c-c-cold and w-wet! Let me in!” Curly was afraid his window would be broken again so he jumped out of bed and let in the shivering kettle. To his horror it crept into bed with him and wouldn't go away! " It was cold and wet in the well! " said the kettle. " Warm me, Curly! "
So Curly had to warm the kettle and how angry he was! It was so uncomfortable to sleep with a kettle, especially one that kept sticking its sharp spout into him. But he had to put up with it. In the morning he put the kettle back on the stove and started to think hard whilst he had his breakfast. " I can't get rid of that kettle," he said to himself, " And while it's here it's sure to sing horrid things about me every time anyone comes to borrow something. I wonder what it would do if I let people have what they ask for? I'll try and see." So when Mother Homey came and begged for a bit of soap because she had run out of it and the shops were closed that afternoon, Curly gave her a whole new piece without making any excuse at all. Mother Homey was surprised and delighted. " Thank you so much," she said. " You're a kind soul, Curly." The kettle said nothing at all. Nor a single word. As for Curly he suddenly felt very nice inside. It was lovely to give somebody something. It made him feel warm and kind. He made up his mind to do it again to see if he felt nice the next time—and to see if that wretched kettle said anything. He soon found that the kettle said never a word unless he was mean or untruthful—and he found too that it was lovely to be kind and to give things away; it was nice even to lend them. " I've been horrid and nasty," thought Curly to himself. " I'll turn over a new leaf and try to be different. And that old kettle can say what it likes! Anyway, it boils very quickly and makes a lovely pot of tea." Very soon the kettle found little to say, for Curly became kind and generous. Once or twice he forgot, but as soon as he heard the kettle beginning to speak he quickly remembered, and the kettle stopped its song. And one day who should peep in at the door but the Humpy Goblin, grinning all over his face as usual.
" Hallo, Curly! " he said. " How did you like the kettle? Was it cheap for threepence? I've come to take it back, if you want to get rid of it. It was a mean trick to play you, really, but I think you deserved it!” Curly looked at the smiling goblin. Then he took his purse from his pocket and found three pennies. He held them out to the Humpy Goblin. " Here you are," he said. “You wanted sixpence for the kettle and I was mean enough to leave you only threepence. Here's the other threepence." " But—but—don't you want to give me back the kettle? " asked Humpy, in surprise. :c I left a horrid singing spell in it." " Yes, I know," said Curly. " But I deserved it. I'm different now. I like the kettle, too—we're great friends. I try to be kind now, so the kettle doesn't sing nasty things about me. It just hums nice, friendly little songs. And it makes a wonderful pot of tea." " Well, well, well, wonders will never end! " said the Goblin Man, astonished. " Don't bother about the other threepence, Curly. I don't want it." " Well, if you won't take it, let me offer you a cup of tea made from water boiled in the singing kettle," said Curly. Humpy was even more astonished to hear the pixie being so kind, but he sat down at the table in delight. Then he and Curly had a cup of tea each and a large slice of ginger cake—and they talked together and found that they liked one another very much indeed. So now Mister Curly and the Humpy Goblin are the very greatest friends, and the little singing kettle hums its loudest when it boils water for their tea. You should just hear it.
The Christmas Tree Aeroplane
the children in the village were as excited as could be, because the lady at the Big House was giving a party—and every boy and girl was invited! " I'm going to wear my new suit! " said Alan. " I'm going to have on my new blue dress," said Eileen. " There's going to be crackers and balloons! " said John. " And an ENORMOUS Christmas tree that nearly reaches the ceiling! " said Harry. " And a lovely tea with jellies and chocolate cake! " said Belinda. " It will be the loveliest party that ever was! " said Kenneth. " Look! There's the tree going up to the Big House! " cried Fred. All the children ran into the lane and watched the cart going up the snowy road, with a big Christmas tree lying on it. " There's a fine pack of toys for this tree! " called the driver, who was Alan's father. :c I've seen them. My, you'll be lucky children! " " What's for the top of the tree? " asked Belinda. " Will there be a fairy doll? " " No, not this year," said the driver. " There is something differentit's Santa Claus in an aeroplane! He's going to be at the top of the tree, looking mighty grand in his 'plane, I can tell you!” " How lovely! " cried all the children—and they thought that it would
be even nicer to have Santa Claus in an aeroplane at the top of the Christmas tree than a fairy doll. At last the great day came. Everybody was dressed in their best. Every girl wore new ribbons and every boy had brushed his hair down flat till it shone. They all went up to the Big House as happy as could be. At least, all of them except Harry. He went with the others, but he didn't feel very happy. His suit wasn't new—it was only his old one, because he hadn't a best one. His shoes wanted mending, and he hadn't even got a clean hanky, because his mother was ill in bed and couldn't see to him properly. But Harry had washed his face and hands, and brushed his hair as well as he possibly could. He soon forgot about his old suit and his old shoes. The children shouted with joy when they went into the big hall and saw the Christmas tree there. Its candles were not yet lighted, but all the ornaments and presents hung on it, and it looked beautiful. "Look! There's the aeroplane at the top of the tree!' cried
Kenneth. Every one looked—and, dear me, it certainly was a very fine aeroplane. It shone and glittered, and the little Santa Claus inside grinned in a jolly way at all the children. “ I wonder who will have the aeroplane for a present," said John. Mrs. Lee, the lady who was giving the party, smiled at him. "Nobody will have the aeroplane," she said. “I bought it to go at the top of the tree, not for a present. It is just to make the tree look pretty." The party was lovely. There were games of all kinds and there were prizes for those who won the games. Everybody won one except Harry, who really was very unlucky. Then balloons were given out. Harry got a great big blue one. He was very proud of it. And just as he was throwing it up into the air, playing with it, he heard someone's balloon go pop! It was little Janey's. She had thrown it by mistake against a spray of prickly holly, and it had burst. Janey burst too—into tears! She sobbed and sobbed—but there was not another balloon left for her to have. Harry went up to her. " Have my balloon, Janey," he said. " Here it is. It's a beauty. You have it, and then you won't cry any more." Janey was simply delighted. She took the blue balloon and smiled through her tears. " Oh, thank you, Harry," she said. " I do love it! " Wasn't it nice of Harry? He watched Janey playing with his balloon until tea-time—and then the children sat down to a lovely tea. Oh, the cakes there were! And the dishes of jellies and blancmanges! They really did enjoy themselves. At the end of tea, Mrs. Lee gave each child three crackers. They pulled them with a loud pop-pop-pop. Out came toys and hats. Harry was unlucky with his crackers. The other children who pulled with him got the toys out of his crackers—and he only got a hat. And that was a bonnet, so he gave it to Ruth. The next exciting thing that happened was the Christmas tree! All the children went into the hall, and there was the tree lighted up from top to bottom with pink, yellow, blue, green, and red candles. It looked like a magic tree. " Isn't it lovely! " cried all the children. " Oh, isn't it lovely! ' Then Mrs. Lee began to cut the presents off. As she did so, she called out a child's name.
" Kenneth!” And up went Kenneth and took a train. " Belinda!” And up went Belinda and was handed a beautiful doll. " Alan! ' Up went Alan and had a big fat book of stories. It was so exciting. But one little boy was left out! It wasn't Harry—he had a ship. It was Paul. For some reason he had been forgotten, and there was no present for him at all. Mrs. Lee smiled at all the children and told them to go into the dining-room again to play some more games—and Paul didn't like to say he had had no present from the tree. “ Where's your present, Paul? " asked Harry, as they went into the big dining-room. " I didn't get one," said Paul, trying to look as if he didn't mind. "Perhaps Mrs. Lee doesn't like me. I was rather naughty last week, and she may have heard of it." “ But, Paul, aren't you unhappy because you haven't got anything? >: said Harry, who thought Paul was being very brave about it. " Yes," said Paul, and he turned away so that Harry shouldn't see how near to crying he was. It was so dreadful to be left out like that. Harry thought it was dreadful too. He put his arm round Paul. " Take my ship," he said. :6 I've got one at home. I don't need this, Paul." Paul turned round, his face shining. " Have you really got a ship at home, Harry? " he said. " Are you sure you don't want it? ':
Harry did want it—but he saw that Paul wanted it badly too. So the kind-hearted boy pushed his precious ship into Paul's hands, and then went to join in a game. When half-past six came, the party was over. Mothers and fathers had come to fetch their children. How they cried out in surprise when they
saw the balloons, the cracker-toys, and the lovely presents and prizes that their children had. Only Harry had none. His mother did not come to fetch him because she was ill. His father was looking after her, so Harry was to walk the long dark way home by himself. It was snowing, and the little boy turned up his collar. He went to say good-bye and thank you to Mrs. Lee. He had good manners, and he knew that at the end of a party or a treat every child should say thank you very much. " Good-bye, Mrs. Lee, and thank you very much for asking me to your nice party," said Harry politely. " I'm glad you enjoyed it," said Mrs. Lee, shaking hands with him. “But wait a minute—you have forgotten your things. Where is your balloon? And your cracker-toys—and your present? You surely don't want to leave them behind." Harry went red. He didn't know what to say. But little Janey called out loudly: " Oh, Mrs. Lee, my balloon burst, so Harry gave me his lovely blue one. Here it is! ' " And he only got a bonnet out of one of his crackers, and he couldn't wear it because he's a boy," said Ruth, holding up the red bonnet. " So he gave it to me.
" But where is your present? ': asked Mrs. Lee. :c I know I gave you a ship!' " Here's the ship! " said Paul, holding it up. "He gave it to me."
" But why did you do that, Harry? " asked Mrs. Lee in surprise. " Didn't you like it? " " I loved it," said Harry, going redder and redder. :c But you see, Mrs. Lee, Paul didn't get a present. You forgot him. And he really was very brave about it, so I gave him the ship." "Well! " said Mrs. Lee in astonishment, " I think you must be the most generous boy I've ever known. But I can't let you go away from my party without some-thing! Wait a minute and let me see if-there is anything left." She looked in the balloon box. No balloons. She looked in the cracker boxes. No crackers! She looked on the tree —not a present was left! Only the ornaments were there shining and glittering. " Dear me, there doesn't seem to be anything left at all," said Mrs. Lee. And then she caught sight of the beautiful shining aeroplane at the top, with Santa Claus smiling inside. " Of course! There's that! I didn't mean any one to have it, because it is such a beauty and I wanted it for the next time we had the tree—but you shall have it, Harry, because you deserve it! ' And she got a chair, cut down the lovely aeroplane, and gave it to Harry. He was so excited that he could hardly say thank you. He had got the loveliest thing of all! The other children crowded round him to see. " Ooooh! Isn't it lovely! " they said. :e How it shines! And isn't Santa Claus real? You are lucky, Harry— but you deserve it." ;
" Yes, he deserves it," said Mrs. Lee, smiling. " And I am going to take him home in my car, because I don't want him to be lost in the snow. Wait for me, Harry! "
So Harry waited, hugging his fine aeroplane, and feeling happier than he had ever been in his life. And when Mrs. Lee came up with her fur coat on, she carried a box of cakes and a big dish of fruit jelly for Harry's mother. " I thought I was going home with nothing—and I'm going home with more than anybody else," said Harry in delight. " A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee. " Remember that, Harry! ' He always does remember it—and we will too, won't we?
Answers to " To Puzzle You" p. 129.
2. Island. 3. No—they both weigh the same.
Granny's Bad Apple
-war-time, and Denis had been sent away from the town, to live with his Granny in the country. He loved being with Granny, for she had a lovely garden and plenty of fruit and vegetables. He had gone to her house in the autumn, when the apples were ripe. It was fun to help to pick them. Some they had eaten, some they had cooked, some they had sold, and the rest Granny had put in her loft, to store away for the winter. " These will keep well," she told Denis. " We shall be glad of them when there is very little fresh fruit. You shall have baked apples then, covered with syrup, and apple pies with custard." Denis helped to store them, but Granny kept making him put aside first one apple and then another. " You must not store any apples that are the least bit bruised or bad," she said. " You must look at them carefully, Denis, please. Look all round each apple before you put it in its place on the floor. That one you have put there has a tiny brown bruise—look!” " Oh, Granny, surely that won't matter? " said Denis. " After all, if one apple goes bad, you have hundreds of others!” " One bad apple will harm all the others," said Granny solemnly. But Denis didn't believe her. He thought she was making a fuss. Grown-ups were very fussy, he thought. If only he could lay down all the apples
straight away in their rows, instead of having to look at each one, the work would soon be done! But no—Granny would make a fuss and see that every single one was perfect. At last all the apples were stored. They lay in long lines on the loft floor, and smelt very good. Denis sniffed at them, and thought that an apple-room was delicious. He was just going down the loft-ladder when he spied an apple in the middle of the floor. It had a tiny brown bruise on it, a bad place not much bigger than a pea! " Look at that! " said Denis. " I thought I had looked them all over so carefully. Well, I'm just not going to move all the apples to get to that one in the middle. I'm sure a tiny bruise like that can't matter, and anyway, it's only one apple! So he left the apple there and went down to his dinner, very hungry. He forgot all about the apple with the little bad place on it. The winter came, and Granny was glad of her apples. She had five boys staying with her now, all jolly lads, willing to help her. They were Denis's cousins, and he had a fine time playing with them. It was war-time, and many children were sent out to the little village where Granny lived. One boy came called Sammy. He was a sly boy, and very deceitful. He did not live at Granny's, but was with Mrs. Brown, at the other end of the village. And one day Mrs. Brown said she couldn't have him any more because she was going away. Denis asked Granny if Sammy could come and live with him and his cousins. Denis knew that Sammy was sly and deceitful, but Sammy could fly a kite better than anyone, and he knew, too, how to carve the most exciting animals out of bits of wood. It would be fun to have Sammy.
But Granny shook her head. “No," she said. “Sammy must not come here. He is a sly boy, and I won't have him with my grandsons." " Oh, Granny! Sammy won't harm us! " said Denis. " We are all truthful, and we do try to be good and helpful. We shan't learn bad ways from Sammy. Maybe he'll learn good ways from us!”' " Ah, Denis, I wish I could think that," said Granny. " But one bad child can turn the rest bad too. Just like apples! Just like apples! ' Then Denis remembered the one bad apple he had left in the loft, and he caught hold of Granny's hand. " Granny! " he said. " You're wrong. I left one apple up in the loft that had a tiny bad place on it. And your apples are all right, aren't they? They haven't gone bad because of that one apple? ' " Come and see, Denis," said Granny. She lighted a lamp and took it up to the loft, for the day was dark. Denis climbed up into the loft after her. There were not so many apples there now, for Granny had used a great many. She held up her lamp, and Denis looked down at the place where he had put the apple with the little bruise. The apple was still there. But the little brown place had spread all over it, till the apple was rotten from top to bottom. " Now look at that apple, Denis," said Granny. " Do you see how bad it is—and look at the four apples round it—do you see how rotten they are too? That one bad apple touched the others, and made them go bad too. And
they in turn touched the others around ' them, and they have gone bad too! And those are touching still others, and if you look you will see patches of brown coming on them also! " Denis stared in dismay. That one apple he had stupidly left, had turned one, two, three—six—eight—ten—good gracious, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, nineteen apples bad! How dreadful! " You might think, Denis, that all these good apples would make the one bad apple good too," said Granny. «But things don't happen like that, more's the pity! Anything bad or evil goes on spreading and spreading, and it has to be stopped. And that is why I don't want sly little Sammy among my good kind grandsons! He will be like the one bad little apple, touching the good ones and making them like himself! No, Denis, you must believe me—and remember your one bad apple! " " Oh, Granny, I do believe you," said Denis. " I don't want Sammy now. You are quite right. He must go to some house where there are no other children! Are you a good apple? I hope so!
Connie's Curious Candle
were four children in Connie's house. There was Philip, who was the eldest, and Helen, who was next, and George, who was seven, and then there was Connie, who was six. There was no electric light and no gas in Connie's house. It was a very-old house, and Mother used oil-stoves to cook with, and oil-lamps to light the rooms, and candles in candlesticks to light the bedrooms at night. Each child had its own candlestick. Philip's was green, Helen's was red, George's was blue, and Connie's was yellow. Mother used to buy coloured candles, and it was Connie's job to fit the right colours into the right candlesticks. Every night the candles were put on the hall-chest, ready for the children to carry upstairs when they went to bed. The candles used to wait there, longing for the time to come when they might wear a little yellow flame for a hat. They lighted up the bedrooms then, and they could see the children getting undressed and the shadows jumping, and they could hear the prayers the children said and the creak when they jumped into bed. One day Connie had to take the old bits of candle out of the coloured candlesticks and put in fine new candles. Mother had bought them that day—green, red, blue and yellow—one for each of the children. " A red candle for a red candlestick," said Connie, and she stuck the red candle firmly into the candlestick. " A green candle for a green candleTHERE
stick. A blue candle for a blue candlestick. And here is my lovely yellow candle for my yellow candlestick. It is the prettiest of all!
The yellow candle was pleased to hear that, but the others were not. " Yellow is a silly colour," said the red candle. “Red is the best—it is the colour of warm fire!” " No, blue is the best. It is the colour of the spring sky," said the blue candle proudly. “ Ah, but green is the colour of the trees and the grass," said the green candle. “ Everyone loves green." “ Yellow is the colour of the sun," said the yellow candle timidly. "Surely that is a good colour?” Nobody took any notice of the yellow candle at all, so he didn't say any more. He just longed and longed for the night to come so that he might wear his flame-hat and see the shadows jumping around him as he burnt. But before the night came the children's mother came bustling into the hall, carrying an oil-stove which she set down on the floor not far from the chest. '' It's so cold to-night I really must warm the hall," she said to Connie. " The hot air will rise up and warm the stairs too. It's bitterly cold to-day." The oil-stove burnt clearly and sent a yellow light over the dark hall. Connie sat on the bottom stair and watched it. There was a golden pattern en the ceiling, thrown by the stove, and she liked it very much. She shivered. It was really a very cold day. She got up and went nearer to the stove, holding out her doll to warm its toes. She did not go too near, for
Mother had told her that oil-stoves were dangerous, and she must never go really close. Connie looked at the candles on the chest. Her yellow one was right at the back. "Poor yellow candle!” she said. "You must be cold, tucked away there at the back. I'll move you forward a bit and then you will be warm." So she moved her yellow candle in its yellow candlestick, and placed it right at the front of the chest. It could almost see down into the oil-stove! It .was most exciting to watch the flame flickering up and down there. "Connie, Connie! Come out of the cold hall," called Mother, and Connie ran into the parlour where a big fire was burning. The candles were left alone in the hall, watching the golden light from the oil-stove. Soon the yellow candle began to feel a little queer. He was hot. He felt soft. He couldn't hold his head up! He wanted to lean over to one side! It was very strange.
He did his best to stand up straight. He tried his hardest to hold firmly to the candlestick at the bottom—but he couldn't. Slowly, slowly he began to bend himself. He dropped to one side. He curled over. He grew so soft at the bottom that he seemed to be sitting on the candlestick instead of standing in it. It was dreadful! Of course, it was the heat from the stove that was melting him! He didn't know that, and he felt very much ashamed to think he was behaving so queerly. The other candles began to laugh at him. " Look at Yellow! " said Red. " He can't stand up! " “Do you want an arm-chair to rest yourself in? " cried Blue cheekily. “Poor old fellow! He's as bent as the old man who came begging at the door to-day," said Green. " I can't help it," said Yellow sadly in a soft, melting sort of voice. "It isn't my fault! " " Pull yourself together! " said Red. " You will be no use as a candle if you stand like that! ' " How can anyone light a wick that is pointing downwards instead of up? " cried Blue. "Why, you'd burn yourself up at once!”
" Don't frighten me," said Yellow sadly, and he bent himself just a little more. " You must be a very feeble, weak sort of candle," said Green. "Cheap, I should think. We cost threepence each. I should think you only cost a penny." " I didn't! " cried poor Yellow. " I cost threepence, too!” " Cheap candle! " cried Red, delighted. " Penny candle! " cried Green, and he waggled his wick and laughed. " Connie will throw you away into the dustbin when she sees what a useless candle you are! " cried Blue. " You won't like that. You'll have to make friends with potato peel, empty tins, and tea-leaves!”' " Don't talk to me like that," begged Yellow, and he wept two yellow tears of wax on to the chest. Now very soon it was Connie's bedtime. She was the youngest, so she went first, at six o'clock. She danced out into the hall with Philip. He was ten, so he was allowed to light candles. He struck a match to light Connie's for her. He gave a shout of surprise. " Look! Look at Connie's candle! It's all curled over! It's no use at all! ' Red, Green and Blue chuckled to themselves, and poor Yellow wept another yellow tear on to the chest.
Mother came out into the hall. " Oh, Connie dear! " she said. " Did you move your candle to the edge of the chest? You have put it so near the oil-stove that it has almost melted it, poor thing! It's of no use now." Connie looked at her candle. She couldn't bear to see it like that. " “Poor candle! " she said, almost crying. " I only put it there to get warm. Now look what I've done to it! Poor little yellow candle! ' She began to cry. Mother picked up the candlestick and looked at the curved candle. " Connie! " she said. " Don't cry! This is a very clever candle! It knew it belonged to a little girl called Connie—and it has made itself into a beautiful letter “C”! for Connie. Look! It's just as good a “C” as you do in your writing-book! ' All the children were now in the hall, and they looked at the yellow candle. Sure enough, Mother was quite right—the candle was a big curved “C”! Connie was simply delighted. "Mother! Do you suppose a candle ever did that before?" she cried. "I shall keep it always! I shall show' it to all my friends!” " Can I put my candle near the stove to see if it will make the letter H? " asked Helen at once. " Oh no," said Mother. "We mustn't waste candles like that. Connie, get the old candlestick from the kitchen, and find yourself another candle. You may take this clever yellow one to your room and stand it on your mantelpiece!" Well, think of that! Red, Blue and Green could hardly believe it! So Yellow was clever! Yellow was going to live on Connie's mantelpiece for a long, long time! Long after they had burnt themselves right down to the candlestick and were thrown away, the yellow candle would still stand on the mantelpiece and be admired by every one! “ It's a mistake to laugh at people! " said Red. So it is, isn't it! Connie's yellow candle still makes a “C”. I'd really like you to see it.
Spink the pixie found a Jumping Bean in his garden. He was simply delighted. You see, a Jumping Bean can jump on to anyone, and then they have to start jumping, too. It's very funny, if you happen to be watching—and Spink at once began to plan which people he would make jump. " Chippy shall be the first! " said Spink. " He wouldn't lend me his umbrella yesterday." So Spink went to meet Chippy, when Chippy came back from his shopping. " Jump, Bean! ' he whispered. And as soon as Spink opened his hand the bean jumped out and landed somewhere on Chippy. Well, of course, Chippy began to jump. He hopped down the street like a frog, most surprised. He couldn't walk. He couldn't run. He could only jump. It was very tiring and a great nuisance. Now he would have to jump all day. " Come back, Bean! " shouted Spink. The bean jumped off Chippy, and bounded up the street to Spink. It jumped into his hand and he held it tightly. Chippy had heard Spink's shout, and he turned to him. " Spink! You’ve got a Jumping Bean and you jumped it on me. Just you make me stop jumping! ' " Shan't! " said Spink, and he ran off. " Next time perhaps you'll lend me your umbrella!”'
He soon met Dame Twiggle. " Jump, Bean!” he whispered. " Dame Twiggle didn't ask me to her last party! She can do a little jumping!” The bean jumped from Spink's hand to Dame Twiggle, and at once the old woman began to jump. She didn't like it at all. She wasn't used to jumping. She liked to trot along with her umbrella. She knew what had happened, and she shouted to Spink: "You bad pixie! You've got a Jumping Bean. Stop me jumping at once." "Shan't!" said Spink. "Now perhaps you'll not leave me out of your party another time! Come back, Bean! " The bean came back—but Dame Twiggle went on jumping, and jump she would have to until the night came and the magic wore off. Every one stared at the strange sight of Dame Twiggle jumping along like a kangaroo, but the one who laughed most was unkind Spink. " Now if only I could meet fat old Mister Tubby! " thought Spink. " It would do him good to hop along like a grasshopper! He gave me a whipping last time he caught me taking plums from his trees. Ah— that looks like him coming round the corner." It was. Spink grinned. " Jump, Bean! " he whispered, and the bean jumped high. It landed in the top of Mister Tubby's grand new hat. And at once Mister Tubby began to jump.
How he jumped! He was a big fat brownie and he made a great noise, for his feet were big and he wore very large boots. Crash! Crash! Crash! People came running out of their houses to see what the noise was. They couldn't help smiling to see poor Mister Tubby leaping along— but the fat brownie didn't smile. No, he didn't think it was at all funny. He was very angry indeed. He shook his stick at Spink, and roared at him, " I whipped you last week and I'll whip you again, you bad fellow! Take this magic jumping from me at once." " Not I!" cried Spink, and he held his sides because they ached with laughing. " It serves you right." Mister Tubby jumped off down the road. "Come back, Bean!” cried Spink, and the bean came back. Spink held it in his hot little hand and thought of some more people he would like to make jump all day long. He passed by Mrs. Pippy's cottage. There was a most wonderful smell coming from her kitchen, for Mrs. Pippy was a marvellous cook. Spink stopped and sniffed. He liked Mrs. Pippy, for she had once
given him a taste of her new chocolate cake. He didn't want to make her go jumping all over the place. He wondered if she would give him a little of what smelt so very good—stew, or soup, or something, Spink thought it was. So he went up the path and knocked at the door. Mrs. Pippy opened it. “ Mrs. Pippy, please will you give me some of the stuff that smells so good? " said Spink, sniffing the air. “ Certainly not," said Mrs. Pippy at once. She was a kind soul, but she didn't like people who came and asked like that. " Mrs. Pippy, you'd better give me what I want," said Spink. " I've got a Jumping Bean—and I'll jump it on to you if you're not careful! ' " You bad fellow! " said Mrs. Pippy. " I suppose it was your Jumping Bean that made poor Dame Twiggle go jumping by this morning—and Chippy, too. You've no right to use Jumping Beans to play jokes. They are meant to help lame frogs and grasshoppers, as you very well know." " I don't care," said Spink, " I've had a lot of fun! Now, Mrs. Pippy, what about that stew? Are you going to give me some or not? I'll jump the bean on to you if you don't, and you'll go hop-hop-hop for the rest of the day. And won't you be tired at night! ' Mrs. Pippy opened the door wide. She had suddenly thought of something rather funny. ''' Come in," she said. :c I'll give you some of the soup I am making. It's not stew." “You're very sensible," said Spink. He sat down at the table. Mrs. Pippy put a steaming hot plate of the most delicious bean-soup in front of him. Spink was so pleased! He put his Jumping Bean down on the table and took up his spoon. He turned to Mrs. Pippy. “ This smells lovely," he said. He didn't notice what had happened when he turned to Mrs. Pippy. His Bean had jumped straight into the plate
of soup! Jumping Beans always jump to their brothers, if they come near them, and there were many beans in that plate of soup! So, of course, Spink ate his Jumping Bean with all the other beans— and long before he had finished his meal his legs jumped him up from the table and sent him hop-hop-hopping round the room! He was angry and astonished. " What's this? " he cried. "Where's that Bean? " " You must have eaten it! " said Mrs. Pippy with a giggle. " That was bean-soup, you see—and you know that Jumping Beans always jump to join their own kind. So it must have jumped into the soup, and you ate it!" " You bad woman! You knew that would happen! " cried Spink in a rage, hopping about all over the place. “I've eaten it! I've eaten it! I'll jump for the rest of my life! ' " Serves you right," said Mrs. Pippy, opening the door and pushing him out. " Your Bean has done to you what you made it do to others. I hope you are enjoying it!” But he isn't! He goes hop-skip-jumping along all day—and how he wishes he had never, never found that horrid Jumping Bean!
had had a birthday. Mother had given him a train, Daddy had given him railway lines, and Auntie Nora had given him a book. The postman had brought him three birthday cards and two birthday letters —and in each of the letters there was paper money! In one letter there was a postal order for three shillings and sixpence from Uncle Fred. In the other there was a postal order for a shilling from Auntie Flo. “ I'm rich! " said Henry. ''Mummy, can I spend this money, or must I save it?” " What do Uncle Fred and Auntie Flo say in their letters? " asked Mummy. “ You must do what they say." "Well, Uncle Fred says, ‘Please buy something you badly want with this money’; and Auntie Flo says, “I am sending you a shilling to spend just how you like,” said Henry. " Very well then," said Mummy. " You can spend your money, and not save it." " Oh, good! " said Henry. " Well, I know what I shall buy with my three shillings and sixpence, Mummy! I shall buy a perfectly lovely paintbox that I saw in the window of the book-shop the other day. You know, I haven't got a paint-box, and I do want one very, very badly. Can I buy it to-day? " " Yes," said Mummy. " And what are you going to buy with the other money?”
" The shilling? " said Henry. " I don't know, Mummy. Sweets, perhaps. I'll just put it into my purse and see." Henry set off to spend his three shillings and sixpence. He was so happy to think that he would have that beautiful paint-box. It was black,
and inside there were twenty different colours, four tubes of paint, and four different-sized paint-brushes. It really was a wonderful box. " I shall be able to paint marvellous pictures when I have that," thought Henry to himself. " Hallo, George! Hi! Look what I've got for my birthday! ' George came over to look. Henry took out the two bits of paper money from his purse, and showed them to George. And then an awful thing happened. The wind swooped down and snatched one bit of paper right out of Henry's hand! It blew it away into the air, higher and higher. It blew it over the hedge—and then it was gone! "Oh, quick! My three shillings and sixpence! " shouted Henry. "Quick ! Get through the hedge and find it, George! ' George and Henry squeezed through the hedge and hunted for the paper money. But it had quite disappeared. Billy the goat looked at them, and Henry stared at the goat. " I feel sure Billy the goat's eaten my paper money," he said, almost in tears. " He's always eating all kinds of things. I saw him eating a newspaper yesterday—and he tries hard to eat tins and boxes too. Billy, have you eaten my three shillings and sixpence?” The goat tossed his head and ran away. George was sorry for Henry.
" Never mind! " he said. " You've got your other paper money still, haven't you? You said you had two." “ Yes, I have," said George. " But this one is only for one shilling and won't buy me a paint-box like the one I wanted. I do feel unhappy." " Never mind," said George again. " Buy some chalks, Henry. You can make fine pictures with chalks, you know." " All right," said Henry, feeling very miserable. He and George walked to the shop that sold books, papers, pencils, chalks and paints. " That's a nice box of chalks," said George, pointing to one. " Get that, Henry. It's only ninepence." So Henry bought the box of chalks, and got threepence change from his postal order. " What shall I buy with the threepence? " he said. " Look, there's a new Sunny Stones out," said George. " Buy that. It's only twopence, and there's a picture to chalk in it this week. And buy some sweets with the last penny." So Henry went home with the box of chalks, a Sunny Stories, and some
sweets. He had given George two sweets and had promised to lend him the Sunny Stones when he had read it. He told Mummy all about how he had lost his paper money, and she was very sorry. “Never mind," she said. "Never mind! You might have lost both your paper moneys, and that would have been worse. Never mind!” " Well, I do mind," said poor Henry. " But I'm not going to make a fuss about it. Look, Mummy—do you see this competition in Sunny Stones'? It's a picture we have to colour as nicely as ever we can. Do you think, if I do it very nicely, you would give me a stamp so that I could post the picture, and see if it is worth a prize? ' “Yes, certainly," said :< Mummy. " Do your very best." It's a pity I haven't got that lovely paintbox," sighed Henry. " If I had I could paint this picture instead of just chalking it." He set to work on the picture. He did it beautifully. He didn't go over the line once, and as his chalks were all new and sharp, you can guess he made a really beautiful picture! “That's splendid, Henry! " said Mummy. "You should certainly send it in. It might win a prize for you." So Henry wrote his name and address under his picture, cut it out carefully, put it into an envelope, and sent it away to see if it was good enough for a prize. And do you know, he found his name among the list of prize-winners when the results were printed! He could hardly believe his eyes! Just fancy! He had won a prize! When would it come? What would it be? Henry could hardly wait for the postman to come.
The prize came that very afternoon! The postman brought it in a brown-paper parcel, addressed to Henry Harrison. Henry took it and ran shouting to his mother. " Mummy! Mummy! It's come! Will you undo it for me?” Mummy cut the string. Henry undid the paper—and drew out his prize. What do you think it was? Guess! It was a big paint-box, full of the loveliest paints—just exactly what he wanted! " Mummy! " he cried. '' It's a much nicer one than the one I was going to buy! Just look at it! I've got a paint-box after all! Oh, I am so pleased—it's much, much nicer to win one than just to go and buy it! " “Well, I am glad, Henry," said Mummy. " You didn't make a fuss about the paint-box you didn't get, and you do deserve this lovely one. Well done! " And now Henry is busy going in for the next colouring competition — but this time he is using his new paint-box. He hopes you will win a prize one day too, and that it will be just exactly what you want!
door to Freddie there lived an old man who couldn't walk. He lay on a couch by his window all day long, and looked out into his garden.
His name was Mr. Still, and Freddie used to think it was a good name for anyone who had to lie still all day long. The old man liked to see his flowers in the spring and summer. He had crocuses in the early spring, and then hundreds of golden daffodils nodding in the March wind. Then he had tulips, and after that a crowd of flowers—lupins, flags, sweet-williams, roses—everything you could think of. He often smiled at Freddie when he saw him looking over the wall. ‘Good morning! " he would call. " A nice day for the roses—and for little boys too! ' When the autumn came, and all the flowers died except the big clumps of Michaelmas daisies, Mr. Still got his housekeeper to put up a big bird-table. Then he watched that instead of his flowers. He used to have crumbs, seeds, soaked dog-biscuits, scrapings of pudding, and all kinds of things put on his table—and, dear me, you should have seen the number of birds that came to feast there! Freddie could see the bird-table from his bedroom window. " Look, Mother! " he said each morning. " Look at all the sparrows—and there are two robins—and lots of greedy starlings—and a chaffinch and a blackbird and a thrush." It was fun to watch them all, but Mother wouldn't let him stay in his cold bedroom for long. She made him come down to the warm sittingroom and play there. He couldn't see the bird-table from there. " Mother, couldn't I have a bird-table too? asked Freddie. “I would so love one." " No, you can't," said Mother. “They are too expensive to buy, and I can't make one." " I think I could," said Freddie. " All I want is a piece of flat wood for the top, and a long stick of some kind for the leg. That's all, Mother." But Mother said no. And as she meant no when she said no, it wasn't any good asking her again. Freddie watched the bird-table being taken down in the spring. Mr. Still always said that he expected the birds to return his kindness then, and eat the greenfly and the caterpillars in his garden, so that his flowers might be as lovely as possible. The daffodils were beginning to flower. It was time for the birds to begin hunting for caterpillars!
The summer went by, and Mr. Still's garden was more beautiful than ever—especially the roses; but when the autumn came, Freddie was most surprised to see that no bird-table was put up as usual! He looked from his bedroom window each morning as he dressed, but no— there was no bird-table there. Freddie wondered why. So one morning he climbed up and sat on the wall between the two gardens. He called to Mr. Still, who lay on his couch as usual by the window. " Mr. Still! Have you forgotten your bird-table this autumn? The birds come hopping round, looking for it, but you haven't had it put up." Mr. Still pushed open the window and nodded to Freddie. " No, I haven't forgotten it," he said. " But you see, Freddie, things are difficult now, so every scrap of bread is used up, and I mustn't
even buy dog-biscuits, because it is not right to give them to the birds when there is only just enough for our dogs. All the milk-puddings we have are scraped round for us to finish up ourselves, instead of giving them to the birds." " Oh, I see," said Freddie, sadly. " Mr. Still, won't the birds be awfully disappointed? They keep looking for your bird-table, you know. Can't you put berries or seeds on it? ' " I could, if only my legs would take me into the fields and lanes to collect berries and wild seeds," said Mr. Still. “ But they won't walk, you know, Freddie. Something is wrong with them, and they can't be cured. I am just as disappointed as the birds about the bird-table—I did so love watching them. There isn't much for me to do here, and I do miss seeing my little feathered friends on the table." " Well," said Freddie, suddenly thinking of a good idea, " well, Mr. Still—let me be your legs! Why can't I go off into the fields and lanes and pick berries and seeds for the birds? Then you could have your table up, and watch the birds just as usual! '
" Would you really do that for me? " said Mr. Still, smiling. " That's very kind of you indeed. If you would come to tea with me to-day I could tell you all the berries and seeds to get! ' So Freddie went to tea, and he and Mr. Still talked about what to get for the bird-table. The next day was Saturday, so Freddie was able to go off to collect what he could find. He did have fun. He found those lovely bright scarlet hips that grow on the wild rose. He found masses of crimson hawthorn berries. He found purple privet berries, and plenty of yew berries too—though Mr. Still said they were poisonous to little boys, so, although the birds loved them, Freddie mustn't eat them. Freddie found plenty of seeds, too. He shook out old flower-heads into a paper bag, and tiny brown and black and yellow seeds rattled down into it from all kinds of plants. " The birds will pick out those they want," said Mr. Still. “They are very sensible. They know which are bad for them and which are good." Freddie saw some great sunflower heads growing in Mrs. Brown's garden one day. She was just cutting them down, and Freddie called to her. " Mrs. Brown! Do you want all those sunflower seeds for next year? If you don't, may I have some for a bird-table? ; “ Certainly," said Mrs. Brown. " I'll just keep one or two heads and dry them. I shall want seed for sunflowers again, because I do so love these giant sunflowers—and I always save
some seed for my sister's old parrot. But you can have all the other heads if you like!" Wasn't Freddie pleased! There were seven big heads, full of flat sunflower seeds! He took them to Mr. Still. " Splendid! " said the old man. " We will dry them and then hang them up one by one from the bird-table, so that the birds can peck them as they please. They will have a feast! " Freddie found acorns and chopped them up to put on the bird-table. He found hazel-nuts and chopped those up too, or threaded the shelled nuts on string for the tits, who loved them. " Well, really, I don't think I've ever seen my bird-table so full before! " said Mr. Still, watching the crowd of birds hopping on it. " It's marvellous, I don't know what I should have done without you, Freddie. I do hope you get some pleasure out of watching the table, too! " " Well, I don't really see it much, though I should simply love to," said Freddie. " You see, I can only see it from my window when I'm dressing. I can't see it from downstairs. I do so wish I had one of my own —but Mother said no, and I can't bother her about it again." " No, of course not," said Mr. Still. " Well, I can tell you I have had fun this winter watching the birds gobble up all the seeds and berries and nuts you have found for them." The next week was Christmas week. Freddie was very busy making presents for everyone, and he hadn't much time to go hunting for berries and seeds—but it didn't matter, because he and Mr. Still had a good store now, drying in a shed, ready to use if snow came and hid the trees and bushes. Freddie gave Mr. Still a present. It was a calendar he had made himself, with a picture of two robins on it. Mr. Still was very pleased indeed. " Thank you," he said. ;c My present for you will be coming along soon. It may have two robins on it too, but I can't quite promise that! '
Freddie wondered what the present would be, and when Christmas morning came, he looked carefully all through his presents to find Mr. Still's. And he was very disappointed indeed not to find one! He thought Mr. Still must have forgotten him after all. But he hadn't—for when Freddie came downstairs and looked out of the window, what do you think he saw? He saw a fine big bird-table standing in his own garden, just near the window-sill, so that he could see it, and from it hung a large label that said, " For Freddie—from Mr. Still and all the birds, with love and twitters and chirrups! ' " Oh! " cried Freddie in the greatest joy. " Mother! A bird-table of my own! The finest one I've ever seen! Oh, Mother, I'm so happy! ' " You deserve to be, Freddie," said his mother, smiling at him. " And do look at your first visitors—two bold little robins! ' Sure enough, two robins flew down to the new bird-table and looked at Freddie as if to say ''Breakfast, please!' They were just like the ones on the calendar that Freddie had given to Mr. Still. It was really very strange. He rushed in to tell Mr. Still. " Well, now you will be busy," said the old man, smiling. " You will have two bird-tables to spread each day with food and water. What a fine thing it was that you thought of going out to get berries and seeds!” And don't forget, will you, that you can spread a bird-table with the same things, even if you have very few crumbs or potatoes or scrapings to spare. It's such fun hunting in the woods and fields for bird-food. You'll love it.
ONCE when Jinky went by Mother Goody's, he saw her nice round-faced clock.
Now Jinky had no clock, and he had always wanted one like Mother Goody's. He peeped in at the kitchen door. There was no one inside. Then the naughty little fellow ran to the mantel-piece, took down the clock, hid it under his coat and ran home. “ Mother Goody has two clocks, so she can spare me this one," said Jinky to himself. “But I'd better not put it on my mantel-piece in case anyone comes in and sees it. I will hide it." So he put it in his larder. No sooner had he done that than Dame Fanny came in for a chat. Jinky gave her a chair and they sat talking away for a long time—but as they talked, a curious noise was gradually heard. It was the noise of ticking—but, dear me, such loud ticking! “TICKTOCK! TICK-TOCK! TICK-TOCK! " “ What's that noise? " said Dame Fanny, looking round in surprise. “ What noise? " said Jinky, going red, and wondering why ever the clock ticked so loudly. " That loud sort of tick-tock noise," said Dame Fanny. “I can't see a clock anywhere. It seems to come from your larder too—how strange, Jinky! What can it be? " " Oh, just the cat in there, I expect," said Jinky, still very red. " Don't you think you ought to be going now, Dame Fanny. I believe I heard the bus coming!” Dame Fanny jumped up in a hurry, forgetting all about the noise. She said good-bye and ran down the path. Jinky was glad to see her go. He went to the larder, opened the door and glared at the clock, which was now ticking softly again.
" You stupid thing! " said Jinky. " I suppose you thought you'd let Dame Fanny know you were here! Well, to punish you I'll just take you upstairs to my bedroom and put you into the dark wardrobe. Then nobody can hear you ticking." So he took the clock upstairs and put it into his wardrobe. He shut the door loudly. When he got downstairs he found his friend, Peter Penny, there. " Hallo! " said Peter. " Can I have a drink of lemonade, Jinky? I'm so thirsty." Jinky poured out a drink—and just as he was doing it, there came the sound of a bell ringing loudly. "R-r-r-r-r-ring, r-r-r-r-r-ring, r-r-r-r-r-ring!" " Good gracious, what's that? " said Peter, jumping. He spilt the lemonade in his fright.
“Must be some one at the front door," said Jinky. But there wasn't anybody there. The bell rang again, even more loudly. " R-r-r-r-ring! R-rr-r-r-ring!” “ Perhaps it's some one at the back door," said Peter Penny. But there was nobody there either. Still the bell went on ringing and ringing. "Sounds like an alarm-clock going off," said Peter, puzzled. “ But you haven't got a clock, have you, Jinky? " Jinky went red and didn't answer. Of course, the noise was made by that tiresome clock! Still it went on ringing. " I don't think I like it, Jinky," said Peter, getting up. “It's very queer—a bell ringing like that, and nobody at the door. Goodbye!" Jinky tore upstairs to the clock, and took it out of the wardrobe. It stopped ringing and looked up at him with a cheeky round face. It waved its hands at him and then clapped them together. “Tick-tock, I gave you a shock! " ticked the clock, and clapped its hands again. “You're going to get a shock now," said naughty Jinky, and he took the clock down to the dustbin. He put it inside, and clapped the lid on it. 'There! Now the dustman can take you when he comes! ' But the clock didn't mind. It ticked loudly in the dustbin, it rang its bell as loudly as an ice-cream man's, and it jumped up and down against the tin lid of the dustbin, making a tremendous noise. Mother Goody heard the noise as she passed by, and she called in at Jinky's window, " Jinky! There's such a funny noise in your dustbin. What have you got there? >: Jinky got such a shock when he heard Mother Goody's voice that he didn't know what to say. At last he stammered out, " Oh, it's only the c-c-ccat, I expect, Mother G-Goody." " The cat! In the dustbin With the lid on! " cried Mother Goody in astonishment. " I never heard of such a thing! You just come and get that cat out, Jinky!”
She took Jinky by the collar and dragged him to the took off the lid—and there was her own round-faced clock her, ticking and ringing, and clapping its hands for joy! “ So that was what it was!" said Mother Goody. " I met and Peter Penny this morning, and they both told me what they heard in your house. I suppose you stole my clock, wouldn't be quiet, you put the poor thing into the dustbin." " Please forgive me," wept Jinky, very much afraid. " Oh, I'll forgive you all right," said Mother Goody. " But I think you're a very rubbishy sort of person, Jinky—and rubbish goes into the dustbin, doesn't it? Well— in you go! Goodbye! " And Mother Goody put Jinky into the dustbin, clapped the big lid over him, and taking her clock under her arm, went off home, smiling all over her face. " He won't steal things again in a hurry! " said Mother Goody. “He'll have to stay there till the dustman comes this afternoon! ' " Tock-tick, tock-tick! What a very pretty trick," said the clock to Mother Goody. And you should have heard them both laugh!
dustbin. She staring up at Dame Fanny queer noises and when it
The Clever Servant
upon a time Lord Brainy wanted a servant. He wanted somebody clever, for he hated to have stupid people round him. " I will put a notice in the paper," said Lord Brainy. " Then perhaps I shall get somebody clever." So he wrote a notice and put it into the village paper. This is what he said: " Wanted by Lord Brainy, a really clever servant. Call to-morrow at six o'clock." Well, a great many people saw that notice, and wished they could get the job, for Lord Brainy was good and kind. Little Wily the Pixie saw it too, and made up his mind that be would get the job! But how could he prove to Lord Brainy that he was clever? "I'm so small," sighed Wily. "And I don't look at all clever. But I am —I know I am. I would be just the right person for Lord Brainy! " He sat and thought for a long time. His dog crept up to him and put his nose on Wily's knee. His cat rubbed against his leg, purring—but for once in a way Wily took no notice of them. At last he jumped up and rubbed his hands. He had thought of an idea! How he hoped that it would work! He took his watch from his pocket and went to the larder with it. He put it beside the joint of meat! How strange! But Wily knew what he was doing. Then he took off his neck-tie and folded it carefully beside the
packet of kippers on the larder shelf. His dog and cat sniffed in delight at the meat and the kippers. But Wily did not give them any. He shut the larder door tightly, and went back into the kitchen. He took his best suit and sponged and pressed it. He meant to look his very smartest when he went to see Lord Brainy the next day. At six o'clock the next evening Wily went to Lord Brainy's big house. He took with him his faithful dog and cat. Wagger the dog walked close beside him. Purrer the cat sat on his shoulder, purring into his ear. In his pocket was his watch, and round his neck was the same neck-tie that he had put in the larder the day before! He came to Lord Brainy's house. Lord Brainy was just coming into the garden to see if anyone was going to ask for the job of servant. There were already four people waiting. " Good evening," said Lord Brainy. " Who came first? " Well, one by one the four people were seen and talked to by Lord Brainy, and told that he would let them know the next day
whom he had chosen. Then came Wily's turn. He looked very small, not very clever, but very clean and neat. " You won't do, I'm afraid," said Lord Brainy. " You are so small, and you don't look very clever." " Please, sir, I am far cleverer than I look," said Wily at once. “You really wouldn't believe the things I can do!” Lord Brainy smiled. "Well, tell me some," he said. " Well, sir, if you hide my watch in the middle of a great big field, and don't tell me where it is, I can find it just by walking over the field! " said Wily. « You can bury it as deep as you like—I'll know when I walk over it." Lord Brainy laughed. " I'm afraid I don't believe that," he said. " But we'll try. Give me your watch." So Wily gave it to him. Lord Brainy didn't know that it smelt of the meat that it had lain beside all night long! He took it, locked Wily into the room, and went to bury the watch in the great field at the end of his garden. Presently he came back, smiling. “Well, come along," he said. “It's buried somewhere in the field. Now see if you can find it just by walking over it." Wily went out to the field. Wagger went with him, and Purrer was still on his shoulder. Wily began to walk over the field with Wagger. Up and down he went, whilst Lord Brainy watched him. " You'll never find your watch just by doing that! " he laughed. " It's a good thing I know where it is, or your watch would be quite lost!” Just then Wagger began to sniff. He smelt meat with his sharp doggy nose! Where was it? He looked all round but couldn't see it. It must be
in the ground then—but as soon as Wily saw Wagger getting excited he knew what the reason was! Wagger could smell meat—so his watch, which smelt of meat, must be just there! " I think my watch is here! " Wily called to Lord Brainy. “I will dig and see! ' Wily had a spade, so he began to dig—and at once he found his watch. He took it out of the earth and held it up to Lord Brainy. " Well, well, well! " said Lord Brainy in the greatest astonishment. " That's the cleverest thing I ever saw!” " Oh, I can do cleverer things than that! " said Wily. " Look, sir-here is my neck-tie. Go to that wood over there, and tie it to the branch of any tree you like. I will walk through the wood, without looking up— and when I come to the tree where you have put it, I shall stop at once!” " Impossible! " said Lord Brainy. " I don't think any one could do that!” He took the neck-tie and went to the wood. He chose a thick poplar tree and hid the neck-tie there, just in case Wily should look up and see it.
" Now go and find it! " he said to Wily. Wily went off with Lord Brainy, and began to walk slowly through the wood. Purrer was sitting quietly on his shoulder—but suddenly the cat lifted her head and sniffed in surprise. Kippers! She smelt kippers! But how could kippers be in a wood? Purrer knew many woods, but she had never found kippers in any of them. She felt quite excited, and sniffed hungrily. Wily felt her getting restless, and he stopped at once. He was sure that Purrer could smell the kippery smell of his neck-tie—and that meant that it must be in the tree above. He looked up and saw a thick poplar tree. “ I think my tie is here," he said to Lord Brainy. He parted the branches, and sure enough there was his tie! He pulled it down and put it round his neck! “Well, you certainly are the most remarkably clever pixie I've ever seen," said Lord Brainy in astonishment. " I will certainly take you for my servant." Now Wily was a very truthful pixie, and he felt a little bit uncomfortable about his tricks, now that he had got the job and had found that Lord Brainy was so nice. He went very red and spoke humbly to his new master. '' Please, sir, I have something to say first. I am telling you the truth when I say I am clever—but I am not quite so clever as you think I am! ' “ What do you mean? " asked Lord Brainy in surprise.
And then Wily told him how his dog had smelt the meat-smell of his buried watch, and how his cat had smelt the kippery neck-tie! " You see, it was they who were the clever ones, really! " he said. 6 Dear me! " said Lord Brainy in surprise. " So that explains how you found your watch and your tie in such a remarkable way! Well, you quite deceived me, Wily." " I suppose you won't want me for your servant now," said Wily dolefully. " I want you all the more! " said Lord Brainy, with a laugh. “Your pets may be clever—but you had to think of the idea! And also, you are something that is even better than being clever—you are truthful! Yes, you shall certainly have the job, Wily, and you can come to me to-morrow!" So off skipped Wily, as happy as a blackbird in spring—and now he is working happily for Lord Brainy. Wagger is there too, guarding the house, and Purrer catches all the mice. They are both paid sixpence a week, which they spend on bones and kippers!
ONCE, in the very cold weather, the young sparrows could not get enough to eat. They were not yet a year old, and they were not as clever as the older sparrows at finding seeds, and bits, and scraps. “We will go to our fathers and mothers, who fed us in the nests last year, and see if they will help us," said Beaky, the biggest young sparrow. So they flew off to where the older sparrows sat on the barn roof, waiting for the farm hens to be fed. Then there was a chance of flying down and stealing a few grains of corn. “ There are our fathers and mothers," said Tailer, a tiny sparrow. “Mother! Don't you remember me? ': The big brown sparrow he spoke to, looked at him in surprise. " Oh, are you the naughty little sparrow that would keep trying to fly from the nest before you were allowed to? " she said. " Yes—I do believe you are! What do you want? " “ Please, Mother, we young sparrows are getting more and more hungry in this frosty weather," said Tailer. “We want you to give us food as you used to do when we were first out of the nest." “ Good gracious! We can't do that now that you are nearly a year old! " said the older sparrow. “You must look after yourselves! We can hardly find enough to eat as it is." The young sparrows were sad and disappointed. Now what were they to do? A small brownie, who was running by, stopped when he saw the unhappy sparrows. “What's the matter? " he said. They told him, and he nodded his head. “ Many people are hungry now," he said, " as well as birds. But I am
very lucky. I have plenty of food stored away—enough to share with you if you like." " Oh, you are kind! " cried the sparrows. “ May we come now?” " Yes," said the brownie. " You may come once a day, at dinnertime. I will cook enough potatoes in their skins for all of us, and I will bake enough bread for us all too. Come along! ' They flew on to his small shoulders, and on to his red-capped head, chirruping gaily. He took them to a small house set right underneath a bramble bush, so well hidden that nobody could see it if they passed by. " Now," said the brownie, getting some hot potatoes out of the oven, " here we are! Potatoes for every one! ' He looked round his room. There was only one chair. He pointed to his bookcase and the sofa. “The boy-sparrows can sit on the bookcase and the girls on the sofa-back," he said. “ But, dear me—you all look exactly alike to me! However am I going to tell one from another?”
" I'm a boy-sparrow," said Tailer, sitting on the bookcase. "And Beaky's a boy-sparrow too. But Toppy, Flick, Feathers and Fluff are girl-sparrows. All the rest are boys." The brownie stared at them. "I shall never know which is which," he said, " and I do want to know you all properly. I know! I will give the boy-sparrows little black bibs to wear! That will always show me which are the boys." He took eight little black bibs from a drawer, and put them on the boy-sparrows. They were delighted. They really did feel grand. The girls wanted them too, but the brownie shook his head. " No," he said; " if you all wear black bibs I’ll be just as much muddled as before." He gave each sparrow a potato and a handful of crumbs. They were so hungry that they gobbled them up at once. " Can we keep our black bibs on? " begged the boy-sparrows, when they had finished. " We do feel so grand in them." " If you like," said the brownie, smiling. They did look so funny with the bibs on. So off they all flew, and the boy-sparrows showed their new bibs very proudly to everyone. Each day they flew to the brownie's, and each day he fed them until the warm weather came. " Now you can feed yourselves," he said. " But come again next year, as many of you as you like, and I'll help you; but in return, please bring me as much thistledown as you can in the autumn, because I need plenty for my eiderdowns and cushions! " So in the autumn the sparrows hunted for thistledown for the brownie, and in the cold New Year weather he fed them with all kinds of food.
And they wore their bibs—and still do! You don't believe it? Well, please look carefully at all the sparrows you see. Those that have black bibs under their chins are the boy-sparrows—and those that have no bibs are the girls. The boy-sparrows always begin to wear them in the New Year, so you will see plenty of them. And now you will always know cock and hen sparrows when you see them!
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