Diddily Dee Dot's Dreamland for Children Everywhere K. K's Square
KAY, KAY'S SQUARE
What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?
What five-letter word becomes shorter when you take away two letters from it?
What word begins and ends with an ‘e’ but only has one letter?
What has a neck but no head?
What type of cheese is made backwards?
What gets wetter as it dries?
Why did the boy bury his flashlight?
Because the batteries died.
Which letter of the alphabet has the most water?
What starts with a ‘P’, ends with an ‘E’ and has thousands of letters?
The Post Office!
What has to be broken before you can use it?
Why can’t a man living in New York be buried in Chicago?
Because he’s still living!
What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it?
How many letters are there in the English alphabet?
There are 18: 3 in ‘the’, 7 in ‘English’ and 8 in ‘alphabet’.
Which month has 28 days?
All of them of course!
KAYLEIGH OF Q. BRINGS TO YOU A STRANGE LITTLE TALE CALLED
'YOU NEVER CAN TELL'
WRITTEN BY STEPHEN SOUTHWOLD
It was a warm day in early autumn. Under a great spreading oak tree a late daisy nodded in the faint breeze which swayed the yellowing grass about her.
Suddenly she was startled by a plop! on the ground near her, and saw that a small oval object had fallen from somewhere, and lay beside her.
"Are you hurt?" asked the daisy anxiously. "And who are you?"
"Me? I'm an acorn, and acorns never get hurt," replied the newcomer.
Where did you come from?" asked the daisy, "but you must have come from somewhere, you know."
"Well, I came from the oak tree above you," answered the acorn, "she is my mother."
"How lovely, to have such a splendid great mother as that," breathed the daisy. "I don't think I have ever had a mother at all.
"Don't be silly," laughed the acorn, "we all have mothers."
"Really and truly ?" asked the daisy. And then she went on, "When are you going back?"
"Back, back where?" said the acorn in surprise.
"Why, back to your mother of course," said the daisy.
"You are a simpleton," laughed the acorn; "don't you know where I'm going presently?"
"No," replied the daisy, "where?"
"Why under the ground," replied the acorn.
"Oh how dreadful!" shivered the daisy; "it will be so dark and dismal."
"Not a bit of it," cried the acorn; "it will be just splendid. But, I shan't stay there for ever - oh dear me, no !"
Where will you go next?" asked the little daisy.
"I shall come climbing back, up out of the ground," answered the acorn; and I shall be so different you would not know me, I shall be a little, little, little sprouting tree."
"Oh !" breathed the wondering daisy.
"And I shall grow and grow and grow," continued the acorn, "until one day I shall be - guess?"
"I could never guess, do tell me," said the daisy eagerly.
"A great oak tree, as big as my mother!" shouted the acorn, breaking into a loud laugh.
"Oh, you are making it all up; it's not true," gasped the astonished the astonished daisy.
"It is, as true as true can be," said the acorn ; and when I think of it I feel so proud that I could burst with joy."
"I should think so too," said the daisy a little enviously.
Then before the acorn could say another word there was a noise of slow heavy feet, and a pig came waddling towards them, with his hard snout rooting in the ground as he lumbered from side to side.
He touched the acorn with his nose, and in a flash he had swallowed it
"Oh no! no! no!" screamed the little daisy in terror and dismay; "oh, whatever have you done!"
"Now then," grunted the pig; don't you be afraid, I shan't hurt you!"
"Oh, but see what you've done," whispered the daisy, almost in tears.
"Well, what have I done?" asked the great pig.
"You've eaten the acorn," replied the daisy breathlessly.
"That's nothing to make a fuss about," laughed the pig; "why shouldn't I? That's what acorns are for, to feed nice pigs.
"Oh no ! no! no! you are quite wrong," said the daisy; "acorns are not to be eaten at all."
What are they for then?" grunted the great pig with a smile.
They have to grow into great oak trees," replied the daisy; "I know, because the acorn told me so."
"Dear me!" laughed the pig, "I'm sorry. That acorn will never be an oak tree, you may be sure."
"Oh dear and I thought thay all would become oak trees," said the daisy.
"Some do and don't," grunted the great pig.
"So it just happens sometimes, but not always?" asked the daisy."That's right, my dear," said the great pig, as he prepared to move away; "if I happen to be about they don't, and if I don't happen to be about, why then, they do. I make all the difference. If I liked I could stop any more oak trees growing at all; but I'm to soft hearted to do that." and with a satisfied grunt away he waddled.
"Fancy that!" said the daisy in a whisper.
"Fancy what?" asked the oak tree in her great booming voice.
And when the daisy told her what had happened, she laughed so much tat she shook down from her branches a whole shower of acorns.
"And will all these be oak trees" asked the daisy timidly.
"Well they might; and they might not, you know," boomed the giant oak tree.
"So the pig was right then, after all?" asked the daisy.
"He was right and he was wrong," replied the oak tree wisely.
"It does seem such a puzzle!" cried the little daisy. "Does any one know?" she asked.
The oak tree shook herself as if she would gather her memories about her. She was silent for a long while, and then she said very gravely, "You are so little and so young; I am so big and so very, very old. Yet with all my age and with all my wisdom, I can only say, just as you do, I do not know."
"But the great pig knew," said the daisy, eagerly yet timidly.
The oak tree smiled. "Only the stupid know," she said, "when the pig is wiser he will know less."
"It still all sounds like a riddle to me," cried the daisy in a puzzled little voice.
"It is all a riddle," replied the oak tree, "and one day perhaps we may find the answer. but don't you worry your pretty little head about it. See, the shadows are gathering, and it is time you were asleep."
The daisy nodded gently once or twice; and then, closing her petals, she slept.
And there our Tale ends,
but here is a little addition to it by Diddily.
Diddily has quite a few small oak tree saplings growing in her garden. But she doesn't leave them grow there for more that three years. Then when the three years is up, Diddily's husband digs them up very carefully and plants them a few hundred metres away from the house, in a gap in one of the hedges usually. If I were to let the oak trees stay they would eventually spread out to many roots and the leaves would cover everything in shadow and that too would be bad for all the other creatures and bushes that grow there.
But this is the interesting bit. Although we have a few sapling setting their roots in the garden, Diddily, doesn't have even one great oak tree, to drop acorns in the autumn. I wonder if any one knows how the little trees got there.
It's very simple really. Diddily has many, many birds, and squirrels, also foxes and cats and dogs that wander through it and even though the Jay's and squirrels eat the acorns in the woods, they also bury them to keep them in store for the winter. Of course we all know that the creatures hide thing to eat later, but they don't always remember where they have buried them. And it is those ones that they have forgotten about that start to grow, and often in my very full gardens.
[It's a good job the peanuts don't plant themselves, I think I would have a billion peanut trees otherwise!]
I end up with many strange plants, sunflowers, linseed, elder, even a wild maple tree. Many flowers that have never been put there as seeds by Diddily, have arrived when the birds tummies get full and they need to pass them out of their body to make room for more food. Then it is their manure that lies on the soil to be watered by the rain and warmed by the sun , that makes Diddily's gardens very, very beautiful.
Isn't the JAY, a beautiful bird, I bet you wouldn't believe it is related to the crow.
Just a few of the birds that come into Diddily's Back garden during the winter.
KAYLEIGH OF Q. BRINGS TO YOU A FEW LITTLE RHYMES
WRITTEN BY PATTY HOWE
IN her cot upon the hill, Where the rude winds blow, Sitting by the sill,
Is pretty Patty Howe. 0, the little merry lass, Whene'er I see her pass, Like the dew-drops on the grass Shine her dark eyes, 0.
To see her 'neath the eaves Of her cottage low, Peeping through the leaves
Of the green vines, ; And to hear the maiden sing, Like a linnet in the spring, Is to wish one had the ring
Then to wed her, O.
LITTLE COME-BY-CHANCE. (1)
Poor little Come-by-chance Wept in the rain ! Starving and shivering, Weary with pain, Ragged and shoeless,
Pallid and lean, Poor little Come-by-chance Stood in the rain. Poor little Come-by-chance !
Nobody knew Who were her parents,
They cared little, too. Wild was the tempest,
Fast fell the snow, And winter had bitten
Her little feet raw.
LITTLE COME-BY-CHANCE. (2)
By little Come-by-chance Swung an old gate ; Inside, a palace
Where Death sat in state. A mud-pool, and hovel
Where swine held the sway ; With old wooden windows
To bar out the day. Wild blow the hailstones
Over the snow ; Hark ! there 's a groan
From a pallet of straw ! Darkness within,
And a heap on the floor, Where her poor grandmother
Dies by the door.
Wealth in its chariot Sees nothing wrong ;
Waggons, corn-laden, Are rumbling along :
Poor little Come-by-chance
Sits by her home, The ghost of a little one
Ripe for the tomb.
Her eye is unclosed,
Yet dumb is the maid ; And dropped on her bosom
Her innocent head ! Her sorrow is over,
Her suffering and wrong Her soul is an angel,
Her wail is a song.
A hole in the grave-yard
Is dug the next day ; And both, without mourners,
Are buried straightway. A " shell" is let down
Then, a small wooden chest And Come-by-chance sleeps
On her grandmother's breast.
DIDDILY DEE DOT'S DREAMLAND
Welcome to Dream-land, do stay a while and have some fun
As Kayleigh comes from Wales, she has asked if we might put on a story about a Welsh Prince, a baby and a dog called Gellert after she was asked by the children of the local primary school to tell them
about Gellert the dog that belonged to our Prince Llewelyn in far away
times in Wales. so here it is, you may find it a little sad. xxx
The Story of Gelert,
the name of a legendary dog associated with the village of Beddgelert
(whose name means "Gelert's Grave") in Gwynedd, northwest Wales. The
story of Gelert is a variation on the well-worn "Faithful Hound"
folk-tale motif, which lives on as an urban legend.
This Welsh version of the legend, the dog is alleged to have belonged to Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd, a gift from King John of England.
In this legend, Llywelyn returns from hunting to find his baby missing,
the cradle overturned, and the dog with a blood-smeared mouth.
Believing the dog savaged the child, Llywelyn draws his sword and kills
it. After the dog's dying yelp Llywelyn hears the cries of the baby,
unharmed under the cradle, along with a dead wolf which had attacked the
child and been killed by Gelert. Llywelyn is then overcome with remorse
and he buries the dog with great ceremony, yet he can still hear the
dying yelp. After that day Llywelyn never smiles again.
It is now accepted that the village of Beddgelert took its name from an early saint named Kilart or Celert,
rather than from the dog. The "grave" mound is ascribed to David
Prichard, landlord of the Goat Hotel in Beddgelert in the late
eighteenth century, who connected the legend to the village in order to
On the supposed grave of Gelert there are two slate memorials, one in Welsh and the other in English. The latter reads:
IN THE 13TH CENTURY, LLYWELYN, PRINCE OF NORTH WALES, HAD A PALACE AT
BEDDGELERT. ONE DAY HE WENT HUNTING WITHOUT GELERT "THE FAITHFUL HOUND"
WHO WAS UNACCOUNTABLY ABSENT. ON LLYWELYN'S RETURN, THE TRUANT STAINED
AND SMEARED WITH BLOOD, JOYFULLY SPRANG TO MEET HIS MASTER. THE PRINCE
ALARMED HASTENED TO FIND HIS SON, AND SAW THE INFANT'S COT EMPTY, THE
BEDCLOTHES AND FLOOR COVERED WITH BLOOD. THE FRANTIC FATHER PLUNGED THE
SWORD INTO THE HOUND'S SIDE THINKING IT HAD KILLED HIS HEIR. THE DOG'S
DYING YELL WAS ANSWERED BY A CHILD'S CRY. LLYWELYN SEARCHED AND
DISCOVERED HIS BOY UNHARMED BUT NEAR BY LAY THE BODY OF A MIGHTY WOLF
WHICH GELERT HAD SLAIN, THE PRINCE FILLED WITH REMORSE IS SAID NEVER TO
HAVE SMILED AGAIN. HE BURIED GELERT HERE. THE SPOT IS CALLED BEDDGELERT.
This story formed the basis for several English poems, among which are "Beth Gêlert; or, the Grave of the Greyhound" by William Robert Spencer
written around 1800; "Beth Gelert" by Richard Henry Horne; "Gelert" by
Francis Orray Ticknor and the dramatic poem "Llewellyn" by Walter
Richard Cassels. The tale is also alluded to by John Critchley Prince
in lines 24 to 29 of his poem "North Wales:" "Thou hast not trod with
pilgrim foot the ground / Where sleeps the canine martyr of distrust, /
Poor Gelert, famed in song, as brave a hound / As ever guarded
homestead, hut, or hall, / Or leapt exulting at the hunter’s call; / As
ever grateful man consigned to dust."
Despite this, and despite the presence of a raised mound in the village
called Gelert's Grave, historians do not believe that Gelert ever
is recorded in Wild Wales by George Borrow, who notes it as a well
known legend; by Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, which details
versions of the same story from other cultures; and by The Nuttall Encyclopaedia,
under the Anglicised spellings "Gellert" and "Killhart". John Fiske
discusses Gelert in his Myths and Myth-makers, saying regretfully that
"as the Swiss must give up his Tell,
so must the Welshman be deprived of his brave dog Gellert, over whose
cruel fate I confess to having shed more tears than I should regard as
well bestowed upon the misfortunes of many a human hero of romance." He
notes that "to this day the visitor to Snowdon is told the touching
story, and shown the place, called Beth-Gellert, where the dog's grave
is still to be seen. Nevertheless, the story occurs in the fireside lore
of nearly every Aryan people."
The tale indeed appears in numerous cultures with minor variations. The Alpine ligurian poem R sacrifisi dr can, written in Ligurian,
tells of how a shepherd shot his sheepdog after finding it covered in
sheep blood, only to later find a dead wolf in the stable.
India, a black snake replaces the wolf and a mongoose replaces the dog.
In Egypt, the story goes that a cook nearly killed a Wali for having
smashed a pot of herbs, but later discovers that the pot contained a
In Malaysian folklore, a similar story involves a tame bear,
kept by a Malay hunter as the guardian of his young daughter. As in the
story of Gelert, the hunter returns home from an expedition, and finds
his daughter gone and the bear covered in blood. Hastily thinking the
bear has devoured his daughter, the hunter kills it with his spear, but
later finds the body of a tiger, killed by the bear in defence of the
hunter's daughter, who shortly emerges from the jungle, from where she
In the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp
(1955), the Tramp is carried off to the pound after Aunt Sarah finds
him in the baby's room with the cradle overturned. Luckily, Lady manages
to show Jim Dear the big, dead rat behind the curtain, and they realize
that the Tramp saved the baby. Happily in this version of the tale,
"Gelert" is saved in time.
Tulip Fairy Song
"Our stalks are very
straight and tall,
Our colours clear and bright;
Too many-hued to name them all --
Red, yellow, pink, or white.
And some are splashed, and some, maybe,
As dark as any plum.
From tulip-fields across the sea
To England did we come.
We were a peaceful country's pride,
And Holland is its name.
Now in your gardens we abide --
And aren't you glad we came?"
Cicely Mary Barker
Diddily Dee Dot's Dreamland for Children Everywhere Kayleigh Q HERE IS A LOVELY STORY ABOUT TWO ANIMALS THAT PROVED THAT NO MATTER WHAT COLOUR OR TYPE YOU ARE, IF NEEDS BE YOU CAN BE FRIENDS FOREVER.
After losing his parents, this 3 year old orangutan was so depressed he wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments. The veterinary surgeons thought he would surely die for he didn't seem to have the will to live any more. Strnge though it may seemed the zoo keepers found an old sick dog on the grounds in the park at the zoo where the orangutan lived. Without more ado they took the dog to the animal treatment center. The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there being treated. Within moments the two animals had bonded, something in their look created a spark in the other's soul and from that day on the two animals became inseparable. They are together 24 hours a day and each helps the other as though they were long time blood brothers. Isn't life strange children and wonderful.
They live in Northern California where swimming is their favorite past time, although Roscoe (the orangutan) is a little afraid of the water and needs his friend's help to swim.
Together they have discovered the joy and laughter in life and the value of friendship.
They have found more than a friendly shoulder to lean on.
I don't know......some say life is too short, others say it is too long, but I know that nothing that we do makes sense if we don't touch the hearts of others.......while it lasts!
A beautiful film I watched this morning, I do believe the kids have some of the best films on TV. I have only acquired clips cos as yet the whole film hasn't been put on in chapters, so you have many clips, many languages and many variations in the takes xxx Xmas 2009.
KAYLEIGH OF Q Welcomes you to join her on a Stage Coach toFINGLES WOOD
" POLLY LEE, Polly Lee, What's your hurry, Polly Lee ? Don't you know, in company Journeys shorten pleasantly ? "
"Jesse Gay, Jesse Gay, You have heard my mo'ther say, Men are troubles in our way, Jesse Gay, Jesse Gay."
" Polly Lee, Polly Lee, Listen, honey don't you see That was never meant for me, Polly Lee, Polly Lee?"
" Jesse Gay, Jesse Gay, You are joking, Jesse, eh ? Fie ! for all the maidens say You're in love with Fanny May."
IN her cot upon the hill,
Where the rude winds blow, Sitting by the sill,
Is pretty Patty Howe. 0, the little merry lass, Whene'er I see her pass, Like the dew-drops on the grass Shine her dark eyes, 0.
To see her 'neath the eaves
Of her cottage low, Peeping through the leaves
Of the green vines, ; And to hear the maiden sing, Like a linnet in the spring, Is to wish one had the ring
Dobbin has a little friend,
Spotted white and sable;
Every day she goes to him,
In his lonely stable.
Not a mite of dread has she,
Not a thought of danger,
Lightly runs between his hoofs,
Jumps upon his manger,
Lays her soft warm cheek to his,
Purrs her meek "Good-morning!"
Gives the flies that hover near
Such a look of warning.
"Dobbin dear," she sometimes says, "Feel my winter mittens! "Nice and warm, you see, and made Purposely for kittens.
Dobbin dear, such times at home! Mother has caught a rat! Brought it home to show to us, What do you think of that?"
"Dobbin," she whispers, purring still, "You often get so weary ! Why don't you balk or run away, And get your freedom dearie?"
Then Dobbin gives his head a toss, And says: "For shame, Miss Kitty! If I could do so mean a thing Twould be a monstrous pity!
"No, no; my master's good and kind! I'll never vex him - never!" And pussy, pleased, still rubs his cheek, And likes him more than ever.
This is the complete version of a wonderful little verse by MARY MAPES DODGE, whom you all know I like very much. xxx
Kayleigh of Q
The Chorus of Frogs
Croak, croak, croak !" Said the croaking voice of a frog: "A rainy day In the month of May, And plenty of room in the bog."
"Croak, croak, croak !" Said the frog, as it hopped away: "The insects feed On the floating ween, And I'm hungry for dinner today."
"Croak, croak, croak !" Said the frog, as it splashed about: "Good neighbours all, When you hear me call, It is odd that you don't come out."
"Croak, croak, croak !" said the frogs: "it is charming weather; We'll come and sup When the moon is up, And we'll all of us croak together."
Written by Anne Hawkshawe.
I Saw a Peacock, with a Fiery Tail
I Saw a Peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a Blazing Comet drop down hail
I saw a Cloud with Ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy Oak creep on the ground
I saw a Pismire swallow up a Whale
I saw a raging Sea brim full of Ale
I saw a Venice Glass Sixteen foot deep
I saw a well full of mens tears that weep
I saw their eyes all in a flame of fire
I saw a House as big as the Moon and higher
I saw the Sun even in the midst of night
I saw the man that saw this wondrous sight.
Read this carefully mummy. Nobody knows who wrote it but it has been dated at about the 1660's It is a kind of puzzle within a poem, a lesson on the importance of
punctuation. As you can see, it only has one fullstop.
But if you
punctuate it with a full stop, or a comma in the middle of each line, it
makes perfect sense. "I saw a peacock." "With a fiery tail I saw a
comet." But the pictures that become visible are amazing.
"KAYLEIGH Q" In Diddilydeedot's Dreamland
Brand New Dog and Anthony were playing 'Piggy-in-the-middle', or more accurately, 'Froggy-in-the-middle' for the 'pig' was infact Happy Frog!
"Its not fair," said Anthony as Happy Frog easily leapt up and caught the ball sailing over his head,"you shouldn't be allowed to hop that high!"
"Not hop?" croaked happy Frog, grinning from ear to ear. "But I'm a frog, I don't have any choice in the matter." "Well I'm fed up of Piggy-in-the-middle," said Anthony, "can't we play something else?"
"What about 'Froggy, Froggy, may we cross your river today?'" said Frog. "That's no good either," said Anthony, "Barbie always wins. She always has some item of just about every colour on her, whether its purple pants, lemon socks or blue and yellow flowers sown on to her frilly bits. Besides, she has such long legs she can always outrun 'Froggy' everytime, even when the 'Froggy' is you, Frog!"
"Well what about hide-and-seek then?" suggested Ellen, looking up from the little rag doll she was sowing for her cousin Marjorie.
"Not hide-and-seek," said Anthony. "The last time I was 'IT' I was in the cupboard underneath the stairs for three days before anybody ever found me. And then it was only the electricity man come to read the meter."
"Well we didn't know Amornrat's Uncle was coming to visit with his two daughters, Mai and Bai. Before we knew it Amornrat had bundled us all up in her shoulderbag to visit Hong Kong Disneyworld for the weekend. By the we realised you weren't with us we were already going through customs. We did bring you back a model of Minnie Mouse and some Moon-cakes!" "Yes and Orange Thing ate most of them. I only got half of one." "If I recall it was a half-moon the evening we got back," said Brand New Dog. "Well well, speak of the devil," said Barbie, leaning out from the top shelf where she was reading the latest issue of 'Fashion Fashion Fashion', "here's Orange Thing now but what on earth is that he's carrying in his mouth - not another rat with half its stomach hanging out? Will he never get it through his thick marmalade head that little girls don't eat rats?"
Orange Thing laid the half-chewed rodent next to Amornrat's fluffy pink house-slippers, neatly positioned under his mistress's bed next to her collection of romance comics and horoscope magazines. He glared up at Barbie.
"Well naturally, they need training up," he remarked cooly and proceeded to wash his paws and stomach. "One hardly expects a plastic doll to know anything about such matters."
"Doesn't the fact that every time you bring her one she almost has a seizure and chases you around the house with a broom suggest you might be barking up the wrong tree?" asked Brand New Dog, eying the mutilated offering with scientific interest.
Orange Thing narrowed his eyes and looked down his nose at the gaudily painted clay dog, amazed that even such a stupid creature could imagine cats barked up trees. "She was simply overcome with emotion," he said. "Young girls are prone to such fits of the vapours. She will grow out of it."
"Well here she comes now,' said Barbie, catching sight of her head coming up the stairs. "Take cover everyone!"
Happy Frog let out a healthy 'Ribbit' and leapt to the top of the nearby bookcase. Brand New Dog looked around him, startled. "Quick," he said, grabbing Anthony by a paw, "underneath the bed, watch out for the rat!"
By the time amornrat entered the room only Orange Thing was still visible, sitting proudly beside his latest victim, looking as if he had just lapped up a bowl of cream.
Peeping out from behind the waste-paper bin Ellen began slowly counting. She got to three before the expected typhoon hit. One minute the room was quiet and peaceful, the next it was full of screaming and yowling as Orange Thing shot this way and that trying to avoid the house-broom Amornrat had swiftly acquired from the landing. Eventually a hissing orange streak whizzed between the young girls legs and shot downstairs five steps at a time like, well, like a cat out of hell...
When Amornrat had finally disposed of the unwanted gift and had calmed down enough to change out of her school uniform and go downstairs to watch cartoons the eager friends emerged from their hiding places.
"How long?" asked Brand New Dog expectantly. "Three seconds," said Ellen, coming out from behind the waste-paper basket. "I told you so," said Happy Frog to Anthony. "That's two chocolate buttons and a jelly-baby you owe me." "Oh well," said Anthony, "fair enough - but can we make it three chocolate buttons and half a jelly baby?"
"Which half?" asked Happy Frog dubiously. "The bottom," said Anthony. "Hmm..." said Happy Frog. "I suppose so but next time try to make it the head!" "Well now that that's out of the way what shall we play next?" said Brand New Dog, turning to Anthony and looking at him enquiringly.
But Anthony was laying curled up on a cushion with his head propped on his front paws, fast asleep. Well, he was a very young clay dog!
Kayleigh of Q Gardens IMOGEN COMES TO TEA by Susan Coolidge the author of the "Katy" books.
"Aunt Izzie, may I ask Imogen Clark to spend the day here on Saturday?" cried Katy, bursting in one afternoon. "Who on earth is Imogen Clark?" I never heard the name before," replied her aunt. "Oh, the loveliest girl! She hasn't been going to Mrs Knight's school but a little while, but we're the greatest friends. And she's perfectly beautiful, Aunt Izzie. Her hands are just as white as snow, and no bigger that. She's got the littlest waist of any girl in school, and she's really is sweet, and so self denying and unselfish! I don't believe she has a bit good times at home, either. Do let me ask her to come, Aunt Izzie!" "How do you know she is so sweet and denying if you've only known her such a short time?" Asked Aunt Izzie, in an uncompromising tone. "Oh, she tells me everything! We always walk together at recess now. I know all about her, and she's just lovely! Her father used to be real rich, but they're poor now, and Imogen had to have her boots patched twiced last winter. I guess she's the flower of her family. You can't think how I love her!" concluded Katy sentimentally. "No I can't," said Aunt Izzie. "I never could see these sudden friendships of yours, Katy, and I'd rather you wouldn't invite this Imogen, or what ever her name is, till I've had a chance to ask somebody about her." Katy clasped her hands in despair. "Oh Aunt Izzie!" she cried, "Imogen knows that I came in to ask you, and she's standing at the gate at this moment, waiting to hear what you say. Please let me just this once! I shall be so dreadfully ashamed not to." "Well," said Aunt Izzie, moved by the wretchedness of Katy's face, "If you have asked her already it's no use my saying no, I suppose. But recollect Katy, this is not to happen again. I can't have you inviting girls, and then coming for my leave. Your father won't be at all pleased. He's very particular about whom you make friends with. Remember how Mrs. Spenser turned out" Poor Katy she was always getting herself into scrapes, with her taking to people so easily. Ever since she began to walk and talk "Katy's intimate friends" had been one of the jokes of the household. Papa once undertook to keep a list of them, but the number grew so great that he had to give up in despair. First on the list was a small Irish child, named Marianne O'Riley. Marianne lived in a street which Katy passed by on the way to school. It was not Mrs. Knight's but an A B C school to which Doris and John went now. Marianne used to be always making sand-pies in front of her mother's house, and Katy, who was about five years old, often stopped to help her. Over this mutual pastry dish they grew so intimate that Katy resolved to adopt Marianne as her own little girl, and bring her up in a safe and hidden corner. She told Clover of this plan but nobody else. The two children full of delight at their secret, began to save pieces of bread and biscuits from their supper every evening. By degrees they collected a great heap of dry crusts, and other refreshments, which they put safely away in the attic. They also saved apples they were given for two weeks, and made a bed in a big empty box, with cotton quilts, and the doll's pillows out of the baby house. When all was ready Katy broke the plan to her beloved Marianne, and easily persuaded her to run away and take possession of this new home. "We won't tell Papa and Mamma till she's quite grown up, Katy," said Clover; "Then we'll bring her downstairs, and won't they be surprised! Don't let's call her Marianne any longer, either. It isn't pretty. We'll name her Susquehanna instead - Susquehanna Carr. Recollect, Marianne, you mustn't answer if I call you Marianne, only when I say Susquehanna." "Yes'm," replied Marianne, very meekly. For a whole day all went on delightfully. Susquehanna lived in her wooden box, ate all the apples and the freshest of the biscuits, and was happy. The two children took it in turn to steal away and play with "the baby" as they called Marianne, even though she was a good deal bigger than Clover. But when night came and nurse came and swooped on Katy and Clover and carried them off to bed, Little Miss O'Riley began to think that the attic was a dreadful place. Peeping out of the corner of the box she could see black things standing in the corners, which she couldn't remember seeing in the daytime. They were really dark trunks and brooms and warming pans, but somehow in the darkness they looked different, big and awful. Poor little Marianne bore it as long as she could; but when at last a rat began to scratch in the wall close besides her, her courage gave way entirely, and she screamed at the top of her voice. "What on earth was that?" said Dr. Carr, who had just come in, and was on his way upstairs. "It sounds as if it came from the attic." said Mrs Carr, (for this was before Mamma died). "Can it be one of the children has got out of bed and wandered upstairs in her sleep?" No, Katy and Clover were safe in the nursery, so Dr. Carr took a candle and went to the attic as fast as he could, where the howls were growing louder. When he reached the top of the stairs the cries ceased. He looked about. Nothing was to be seen at first, then a little head appeared over the edge of the big wooden box, and a piteous voice sobbed out: "Ah, Miss Katy, and indeed I can't be staying her any longer. There's rats in it!" "Who on earth are you?" asked the amazed doctor.
"Sure but I'm Miss Katy's and Miss Clover's baby. But I don't want to be a baby any longer. I want to go home and see my mother." And again the poor little midge lifted up her voice and wept. "I don't think Dr. Carr ever laughed so hard in his life as when finally he got to the bottom of the story, and found out that Katy and Clover had been "adopting" a child. But he was very kind to poor Susquehanna, and carried her downstairs in his arms to the nursery. There, in a bed close to the other children, she soon forgot her troubles and went to sleep. The sisters were much surprised when they waked in the morning, and found their baby asleep besides them. But their joy was speedily turned to tears. After breakfast Dr Carr carried Marianne home to her mother, who was in a great fright over her disappearance, and explained to the children that the attic plan had to be given up. Great was the mourning in the nursery; but as Marianne was allowed to come and play with them now and then, they gradually got over their grief. A few months later Mr'O'Riley moved away from Burnet, and that was the end of Katy's first friendship.
The next incidence was even funnier. There was a strange old black woman who lived all alone in a small house near the school. She was well known for her very bad temper. The neighbours told horrible stories about her, so that the children were afraid to pass her house. They used to turn just before they reached it, by crossing to the other side of the street. This they did regulary that their feet had worn a path in the grass. But Katy well, she found a great fascination to the little house. She liked to dodge about the door, always holding herself ready to turn and run if need be. One day she begged a large cabbage off Alexander, and carefully rolled it into the doorway. The old woman seemed to like this and after their first cabbage meeting, Katy always stopped to speak to her. She even got as far as sitting on the front doorstop watching the woman at her work. Katy seemed to get a perilous pleasure out of this, like a lion tamer with his lions, always ready incase they spray up to eat him. Shortly after this, Kate took a fancy to a couple of twin sisters, daughters of a German Jeweller. They were quite grown up, and always wore identical dresses. Hardly anyone could tell them apart. They spoke very little English, and Katy didn't speak a word of German, but somehow they managed quite well with smiles and bunches of flowers, which Katy used to tie up and present to them when they passed the gate. She was actually shy, and after putting the flowers in their hands she would run away. However this obviously pleased the twins for one day when Clover was looking out of the window, the twins stopped by the gate, opened it and then placed a little parcel on the bush. Of course Clover tld Katy and they dashed out and taking the parcel they opened it. Inside was a bonnet, a beautiful doll's bonnet of blue silk, trimmed with artificial flowers. There was also a note, "to the nice little girl who was so kindly to give us flowers." You can imagine how pleased the two little girls were, Katy was about six at the time. I honestly couldn't tell you how many different friends she has had since then. There was the ash-man, and a steam-boat captain. There was Mrs Sawyer's cook, a niceold woman, who gave Katy lessons in cooking, and taught to make soft custard and sponge cake. Then there was the bonnet-maker, pretty and dressy, whom to Aunt Izzie's great indignation, Katy insisted in calling "Cousin Estelle!" There was a thief in the town jail, under whose window Katy used to stand saying, "I'm so sorry, poor,poor man!" and "Have you got any little girls like me?" In a most sorrowful way. The thief had a piece of string which he let down from the window and Katy would tie rose-buds and cherries to the end and he would draw the string up. It was so interesting to do this, and she was very upset when they carried him away to a big prison. But of all Katy's strange aquaintances, Mrs Spenser, to who her aunt had referred was the strangest.
Mrs Spenser was a mysterious lady whom nobody ever saw. Her husband was a handsome man, though he had something scary about him. He wasn't a local. they had arrived and rented a small house in Burnet He didn't seem to have any business and he seemed to be away a lot. His wife was said to be an invalid, and people wondered how she managed to look after herself when she was all alone in the house. Of course Katy was to young to understand these whispers, or why the adults didn't think much of her husband. And so the romance of the closed door intrigued our Miss Katy. She used to stop and stare at the windows and wonder what was going on inside the house. So one day she took some flowers and Victoria, her favourite doll, and boldly marched to the Spensers' yard. She tapped on the front door, but nobody answered. Then she tapped again. Still nobody answered. She tried the door , it was locked, so shouldering Victoria, she trudged round the back of the house. As she passed the side door she saw that it was open a little way. She locked, nobody came so in she went, passing through into a little hall. There seemed to be nobody in the house, Kate peeped in the kitchen first, it was bare and forlorn. All sorts of dishes were standing about. There was no fire in the stove. The parlour was not much better, there were dirty glasses on the table and a pair of mens boots in the middle of the floor. On the mantle piece was a platter with bones with meat upon it. Dust lay thick everywhere, the whole house looked as if it hadn't been lived in for at least a year. Katy tried several doors, all of which were locked, and then she went upstairs. As she stood at the top of the stairs grasping her flowers, and a little doubtful what to do next, a feeble voice from the bedroom called out:
"Who is there?" Mrs Spenser lay in her bed, the room was as dusty as all the other rooms in the house. Katy looked at Mrs Spenser, her clothes were unclean but her face was sweet and she had beautiful curling hair, which tumbled over the pillow. But Katy thought she looked very sick. and she felt even sorrier for her than before. "Who are you child?" asked Mrs Spenser. "I'm Dr. Carr's little girl, answered Katy, I came to bring you some flowers." And she laid the flowers on the dirty sheet. Mrs Spenser seemed to like the flowers, she took them up and smelled them for a long time, without speaking. "But how did you get in?" "The door was open," faltered Katy. "They said you were sick so I thought to bring you some flowers." "You are a kind ittle girl," said Mrs Spenser. After this Katy used to call every day, sometimes Mrs Spenser would be up and moving feebly about; but more often she was in her bed, and Katy would sit besides her. The house stayed the same but Katy used to brush Mrs Spenser's hair, and wash her face with a corner of a towel. Her visits were a comfort to the lady, who was really very ill and lonely. Sometimes when she felt a little well she would tell Katy about when she was a little girl and lived with her mother and father. But she never spoke of Mr Spenser and Katy never saw him except once, but she was so frightened she stayed away for several days. Then as soon as she was told that he had gone on the stagecoach with his carpet bag. Katy was back there straight away and Mrs Spenser cried when she saw her, from that day Katy never missed a day, always picking her the nicest flowers and saving a nice peach or grapes for her. But Aunt Izzie was beginning to worry, but Katy's father thought it was alright and so Katy kept going in to see her friend. One day however, as usual she stopped at the house but it was all locked up. All the blinds were drawn, It was very puzzling. As she stood in the yard a woman put her head out of the window of the next house. "It is no use knocking," she said; "All the folks have gone away." "Gone away where?" asked Katy. "Nobody knows" said the woman; "the gentleman came back in the middle of the night, and this morning, before light, he had a wagon at the door, and just put the trunks and the sick lady in, and drove off. There has been more than one a knocking since they left. But Mr Pudgett, he's got the key, and nobody can get in without him." It was all true, Mrs Spenser was gone and Katy never saw her again. There was talk of Mr Spencer making forged money, to which he was put in prison. Auntie Izzie thought it terrible that Katy was going to the house of a counterfeiter, but Dr Carr said, he didn't think it was catching and that was that. If Autie Izzie got vexed, she always mentioned Mrs Spenser, and the children made a new game of "putting Mr. Spenser in gaol." which was a favourite for a good while. Even now Katy got upset when Mrs Spenser's name was mentioned, she had tears now in her eyes as she walked to the gate, and looked so very sober that Imogen Clark, who was stood waiting, clasped her hands and said: "Ah, I see! Your aristocratic aunt refuses."
Imogen's real name was Elizabeth. She was rather a pretty girl, with a screwed-up, sentimental mouth, shiney brown hair, and a little round curl on each cheek. These curls must have been stuck on with glue or tin-taks, for they never seemed to move. Imogen was a bright girl naturally, but she had read so many novels that her brain was completely turned. It was partly this which made her so attractive to Katy, who adored stories, and thought Imogen was a real heroine of romance. "Oh no, she doesn't," she replied, hardly able to keep from laughing at the idea of Aunt Izzie being called an "aristocratic relative," - she say's she shall be very hap -" But here Katy's concience gave a prick, and the sentence ended in um, um, um, " "So you'll come, won't you, darling? I'm so glad!" "And I!" said Imogen, turning up her eyes theatrically. From this time on till the end of the week the children talked of nothing but Imogen's visit, and the nice time they were going to have. Before breakfast on Saturday morning, Katy and Clover were at work building a beautiful bower of asparagus boughs under the trees. All the playthings were set out in order. Debby baked them some cinnamon cakes; the kitten had a pink ribbon tied round her neck; and the dolls, including "Pikery," were arrayed in their best clothes. About half-past ten Imogen arrived. She was dresses in a light-blue barége, with low neck and short sleeves, and wore coral beads in her hair, white satin slippers, and a pair of yellow gloves. The gloves and slippers were very dirty, and the barége was old and darned; but the general effect was so very gorgeous that the children, who were dressed for play, in gingham frocks and white aprons, were quite dazzled at the appearance of their guest. "Oh, Imogen, you look just like a young lady in a story!" said simple Katy; whereupon Imogen tossed her head and rustled her skirts more than ever. Somehow, with these fine clothes, Imogen seemed to have put on a fine manner, quite different than that she used every day. You would almost have thought it was a different Imogen, one who was kept in a box through the week and bought out on weekends and grand days. When Aunt Izzie spoke to her, she fluttered and behaved so airy that Clover almost laughed out loud. In fact, Katy was glad to leave the playroom and we all know how Katy took to people. "Come on , lets go out to the bower," Katy said, putting her arm round the blue barége waist. "A bower!" cried Imogen. "How sweet!" But when they reached the asparagus boughs her face fell. Why it hasn't any roof, or pinnacles, or any fountain!" she said. "Why no, of course not," Clover said, we made it ourselves." "Oh !" said Imogen, she was evidently disappointed, Katy and Clover felt mortified; but as their visitor did not care for the bower, they tried to think of something else. Let us go too the loft," they said. So they all crossed the yard together. Imogen picked her way daintily in thew white satin slippers, but when she saw the spiked post she gave a scream. Oh, not up there, darling, not up there!" she cried; "never, never!" "Oh do try! It's just as easy as can be," pleaded Katy, going up and down half a dozen times to show her how easy the steps where. But Imogen wouldn't be persuaded. "Do not ask me," she said affectedly; "my nerves would never stand such a thing. And besides - my dress!" "What made you wear it?" asked Philly, who was a plain spoken child. While John whispered to Dorry, "That's a real stupid girl. Come on let's go off somewhere and play by ourselves. So one by one the small fry crept away leaving Katy and Clover to entertain their visitor. They tried dolls. But Imogen didn't care for dolls, then they proposed to sit in the shade, and cap verses - a game they all liked. But Imogen although she liked poetry, she never could remember any. So they ended up going to the orchard were Imogen ate a great many plums and early apples, and she really seemed to enjoy herself. Then when she got fed up with that they sat there very quietly. Don't you ever sit in the drawing room?" "The what?" asked Clover. "The drawing room," repeated Imogen. "Oh, she means the parlour! cried Katy. "No, we don't sit there except when Aunt Izzie has company to tea. It is all dark and poky, you know. Besides it is so much pleasanter to be out doors. Don't you think so?" "Yes, sometimes," replied Imogen doubtfully; "but I think it would be pleasant to go inside to sit for a while. My head aches dreadfully, being out here in this horrid sun." Katy was at her wit's end to know what to do. They scarely ever went into the parlour, which Aunt Izzie regarded as a sort of sacred place. She kep cotton petticoats over all the chairs for fear of dust, and never opened the blinds for fear of flies. The idea of children in their dusty boots going in there to sit! On the other hand, Katy's natural politeness made it hard to refuse a visitor anything she asked for. And besides, it was dreadful to think that Imogen might go away and report, "Katy Carr isn't allowed to sit in the best room even when she has company." So with a quaking heart she led the way to the parlour. She dared not opened the blinds, so the room looked very dark. She could just see Imogen's figure sat on the corner of the sofa and Clover twirling uneasily about on the piano stool.
All the time she kept listening to hear if Aunt Izzie were not coming, and altogether the parlour was a dismal place to her; not half so pleasant as the asparagus bower, where they felt perfectly safe. But Imogen, who for the first time seemed comfortable, began to talk. Her talk was about herself. Such stories she told about the things which had happened to her! All the young ladies in The Ledger put together never had stranger adventures. Gradually, Katy and Clover got so interested that they left their seats and crouched down close to the sofa, listening with open mouths to these stories. Katy forgot to listen for Aunt Izzie. The parlour door swung open, but she did not notice it. She did not even hear the front door when Papa came hometo dinner. Dr Carr, stopping in the hall to glance over the newspaper, heard the high-pitched voice running in the parlour. At first he hardly listened; then the words caught his ear: "Oh it was lovely girls, perfectly delicious! I suppose I did look well, for I was all in white with my hair let down, and just one rose, you know, here on top. And he leaned over me and said in a low, deep tone: Lady, I am a Brigand but I feel the enchanting power of beauty. You are free!" Dr. Carr pushed the door open a little farther. Nothing was to be seenbut some indistinct figures, but he heard Katy's voice in eager tone; "Oh do go on, what happened next?" "Who on earth have the children got in the parlour? he asked Aunt Izzie, whom he found in the dining room. "The parlour!" cried Miss Izzie wrathfully; "why, what are they there for? Then going to the door she called out, "Children, what are you doing in the parlour? Come on out, right away. I thought you were playing out doors." "Imogen had a headache," faltered Katy. The three girls came out into the hall; Clover and Katy looked scared and even the Enchanter of the Brigand looked crestfallen. "Oh," said Aunt Izzie grimly, "I am sorry to hear that. Probably you are bilious. Would you like some camphor or anything?" "No thankyou, " replied Imogen meekly. But afterwards she whispered to Katy. "Your aunt isn't very nice, I think she's just like Jackima, that horrid old woman I told you about, who lived in the Brigands Cave and did the cooking. "I don't think you're a bit polite to tell me so," retorted Katy, very angry at this speech. "Oh never mind dear, don't take it to heart!" replied Imogen sweetly. "We can't help having relations that ain't nice, you know." The visit was evidently not a success. Papa was a very civil to Imogen at dinner, but he watched her closely, and Katy saw a comical twinkle in his eye which she did not like. Papa had very droll eyes, they saw everything, and sometimes they seemed to talk almost as distinctly as his tongue. Katy began to feel very low spirited. She confessed afterwards that she should never have got through the afternoon if she hadn't run upstairs two or three times, and comforted herself by reading a little in Rosamond. "Aren't you glad she's gone?" Whispered Clover, as they stood at the gate together watching Imogen walk down the street. "Oh Clover! How can you? said Katy. But she gave Clover a great hug, and I think in her heart she was glad.
"Katy," said Papa next day? "You came into the room then exactly like your new friend Miss Clark." "How? I don't know what you mean," answered Katy, blushing deeply. "So" said Dr. Carr; and he got up, raising his shoulders and squaring, his elbows, and took a few mincing steps across the room. Katy couldn't help laughing, it was so funny, and so like Imogen Then Papa sat down again and drew her close to him. "My dear," he said, "you're an affectionate child, and I'm glad of it. but there is such a thing as throwing away one's affection. I didn't fancy that little girl at all yesterday. What makes you like her so much? "I didn't like her so much yesterday," admitted Katy reluctantly. "She's a great deal nicer than that at school, sometimes." "I'm glad to hear it," said her father. "For I should be sorry to think that you really admired such silly manners. And what was that nonsense I heard her telling you about Brigands?" "It really hap....... " began Katy. Then she caught Papa's eye, and bit her lip, for he looked quizzical. "Well," she went on laughing, "I suppose it really didn't happen at all; but it was funny, Papa, even if it was all made up. And Imogen's just as good natured as can be. All the girls like her" "Make ups are all very well," said Papa, "as long as the people don't try to make you believe they are true. When they do that, it seems to me it comes too near the edge of falsehood to be safe or pleasant. If I were you Katy, I would be a little shy of swearing eternal friendship for Miss Clark. She maybe good natured, as you say, but I think two or three years from now she won't seem so nice to you as she does now." He smiled. "Now give me a kiss, chick and run away, for there's Alexander with the new gig.
Kayleigh of Q Gardens
THE FARMER'S ROUND
FIRST comes January, The sun lies very low: I see in the farmer's yard The cattle feed on stro'. Next is February, So early in the spring: The farmer ploughs the fallows, The rooks their nest begins.
March it is the next month, So cold and hard and drear: Prepare we now for harvest, By brewing of strong beer.
God grant that we who labour May see the reaping come, And drink and dance and welcome The Happy Harvest Home.
Next the month is April, When early in the morn The cherry farmer soweth To right and left the corn
In May I go a-walking To hear the linnets sing, The blackbird and the throstle A-praising God the King.
Full early in the morning Awakes the summer sun, The month of June arriving, The cold and night are done
The Cuckoo is a fine bird, She whistles as she flies, And as she whistles "Cuckoo" The bluer grows the skies. .
Six months I now have named, The seventh is July. Come, lads and lasses, gather The scented hay to dry.
August brings the harvest: The reapers now advance Against their shining sickles The field stands little chance. By middle of September, The rake is laid aside, The horses wear the breeching, Rich dressing to provide.
All things to do in a season, Methinks is just and right Now summer season's over, The frosts begin at night...
October leads in winter,
The leaves begin to fall, The trees will soon be naked, No flowers left at all.
The eleventh month, November, The night are long and cold, By day we're felling timber, And spend the night in song.
Then comes dark December, The last of months in turn: With holly, box, and laurel We house and church adorn.
So now, to end my story, I wish you all good cheer, For a merry, happy Christmas, And a Prosperous New Year.
Kayleigh of Q Gardens
A. for the Aconite, first of the year, with its pretty green ruff and its message of cheer
B. for the Buttercup, able to hold Dewdrop and rain in its chalice of gold
C. for the Cowslip, sweet joy of the spring; When cowslips are blooming the nightingale sings
D. for the Daisy, white star of the grass,
Lifting her bright eye to us as we pass.
E. for the Eglantine, lovely wild rose, Sheds fragrance of sweetbriar where ever it grows
F. for the Foxglove.the sentinel tall. Guarding the forest from summer to fall.
G. for the Gorse of rich golden delight;
Linnaeus went down on his knees at the sight
H. For the Harebell, so fragile, yet strong, Dear little Blue - Bells of Scotland in song
I. for the Iris which grows by the stream, The Flower of the Rainbow, how golden its gleam
J. for the Jasmine, Golden or White, Sweetness it's blossom, pearls in the night
K. for the Kingcup that loves marshy ground
And glorious the harvest of gold that it yields.
L. for the Lilac, my favourite flower, Reminds me of times that are spent in the bower
M. for the Marigold, all colours of Gold,
Deep Yellow and Honey a sight to behold
N. for the Nightshade, or Bittersweet flower. With its berries and blossoms of poisonous power
O for the Orchid, so much beauty, yet fragile Don't pick them my dear ones, let then grow wild
P .for the Poppy who grows in cornfields of gold, Sad is her face, seeing what she has had to behold
Queen of the Meadow, fragrance divine, Heady this Meadow, Sweet Meadow is thine
R. Rose-bay Willowherb, in abundance is seen The oldest plant in the fields so it seems
S. for the Speedwell, of tenderest blue; From the skies it has taken its exquisite hue
Thrift looks like clover yet its smell does betray
The scent of the strawberry hidden away.
U. An Umbrella that covers her head, How could you resist her, this beautiful Fey.
V. for the Violet, flower of the soul. Heart's ease of Paradise, making us whole
W. for Wind Flower, so fair to the sight, That throws o'er the woodlands her mantle of light.
Who else but the Fairy of Xmas could be here, She only comes to visit but once in a year
Y. for the Yarrow all wayfarers know, As it grows by the wayside wherever you go.
Sweet Pink grows the Zinnia, so small to see This fairy as tender and mild as can be
Here is a brand new playlist of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees
The Magic Pear Tree
A Tale from China
Retold by Alida Gersie
A long time ago in ancient China a farmer went to market. He had
luscious pears to sell and was determined to ask a very high price.
Once he had found a goo
d place in the market, he cried out: "Pears,
Whilst he called attention to his goods, an old ragged-looking monk
approached him. He humbly asked to be given one of the pears. The
farmer said: "Why should I give a pear to you? You're as lazy as
anything and haven't done an honest day's work in your life." As the
monk did not walk away but repeated his request, the farmer became more
and more angry. He called him the nastiest things under the sun.
"Good sir, " said the monk, "I cannot count the number of pears in
your wheelbarrow. You have hundreds of them. I have only asked for one
pear. Why has this made you so angry?"
By then a large crowd of people had assembled around the farmer and
the poor monk. "Give him a little pear," someone suggested, in the hope
that this might solve the problem. "Do as the old man asks, for
heaven's sake it is only a pear," another one remarked, but the farmer
wouldn't hear of it. "No is no is no," he said. Finally an elderly man
bought one of the pears and handed it reverently to the old monk.
The monk bowed, thanked the elderly man and said: "You know that I
am a holy man. When I became a monk I gave up everything. I have no
home, no clothes which I may call my own, no food other than what is
given to me. How can you refuse to give me a single pear when I ask for
it? I shall not be this selfish. I invite every one of you to eat one
of the pears that I have grown. It shall be an honour if you accept my
The people were startled. Why had the monk asked for a pear if he
had so many pears with him? He did not seem to carry anything. What did
the old man mean?
The monk ate his pear with great concentration until there was just
one small pip left. He quickly dug a hole in the ground, planted the
pip and gently covered it with earth. Then he asked for a cup of water.
One of the people in the crowd handed him the water. The monk poured it
on the soil. Hardly any time had passed when the bystanders saw some
green leaves sprouting from the earth. These leaves grew very quickly.
The people were astounded. In front of their eyes stood a small pear
tree with branches and more branches and leaves, more and more leaves.
Where the old monk had planted the little pip only minutes ago, there
was now a small pear tree. It continued to grow faster and faster. They
could see it grow.
Silence fell in the marketplace as the tree burst into flower and
the flowers slowly turned into large, sweet-smelling pears. The monk's
face was aglow with pleasure. He picked the pears one by one,
handed them to each person who had witnessed the pear tree's miraculous
growth. He handed them out and handed them out until everyone had been
refreshed by a delicious pear. Then the monk took his axe and before
the people even realized what was happening, the pear tree was cut
down. The monk simply picked the tree up, put it over his shoulder and
went on his way.
The farmer had watched the scene in amazement. He had not been able
to believe his eyes when the pear tree grew out of the ground so near
to his very own wheelbarrow which was full of pears. He looked at the
barrow. It was empty. Not a single pear was left in it. One of the
handles of the barrow was missing, too. Then the farmer knew what had
happened. The old monk had used his pears to create the wonderful pear
published in 1868. This novel is loosely
based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.
EVA'S VISIT TO FAIRY-LAND.
A little girl lay on the grass down by the brook wondering what the
brown water said as it went babbling over the stones. As she listened
she heard another kind of music that seemed to come nearer and nearer,
till round the corner floated a beautiful boat filled with elves, who
danced on the broad green leaves of the lily of the valley, while the
white bells of the tall stem that was the mast rung loud and sweet.
flat rock, covered with moss, stood in the middle of the brook, and
here the boat was anchored for the elves to rest a little. Eva watched
them at their pretty play, as they flew about or lay fanning themselves
and drinking from the red-brimmed cups on the rocks. Wild strawberries
grew in the grass close by, and Eva threw some of the ripest to the
fairy folk; for honey and dew seemed a poor sort of lunch to the child.
Then the elves saw her, and nodded and smiled and called, but their soft
voices could not reach her. So, after whispering among themselves, two
of them flew to the brookside, and perching on a buttercup said close to
"We have come to thank you for your berries, and to
ask if we can do anything for you, because this is our holiday and we
can become visible to you."
"Oh, let me go to fairyland! I have
longed so to see and know all about you dear little people; and never
would believe it is true that there are no fairies left," cried Eva, so
glad to find that she was right.
"We should not dare to take some
children, they would do so much harm; but you believe in us, you love
all the sweet things in the world, and never hurt innocent creatures, or
tread on flowers, or let ugly passions come into your happy little
heart. You shall go with us and see how we live."
But as the elves spoke, Eva looked very sad and said,--
"How can I go? I am so big I should sink that pretty ship with one finger, and I have no wings."
The elves laughed and touched her with their soft hands, saying,--
"You cannot hurt us now. Look in the water and see what we have done."
looked and saw a tiny child standing under a tall blue violet. It was
herself, but so small she seemed an elf in a white pinafore and little
pink sun-bonnet. She clapped her hands and skipped for joy, and laughed
at the cunning picture; but suddenly she grew sober again, as she looked
from the shore to the rock.
"But now I am so wee I cannot step over, and you cannot lift me, I am sure."
"Give us each a hand and do not be afraid," said the elves, and whisked her across like dandelion down.
elves were very glad to see her, and touched and peeped and asked
questions as if they had never had a mortal child to play with before.
Eva was so small she could dance with them now, and eat what they ate,
and sing their pretty songs. She found that flower-honey and dewdrops
were very nice, and that it was fine fun to tilt on a blade of grass, to
slide down a smooth bulrush-stem, or rock in the cup of a flower. She
learned new and merry games, found out what the brook said, saw a
cowslip blossom, and had a lovely time till the captain of the ship blew
a long sweet blast on a honeysuckle horn, and all the elves went aboard
and set sail for home.
"Now I shall find the way to Fairyland and can go again whenever I like," thought Eva, as she floated away.
the sly little people did not mean that she should know, for only now
and then can a child go to that lovely place. So they set the bells to
chiming softly, and all sung lullabies till Eva fell fast asleep, and
knew nothing of the journey till she woke in Fairyland.
to be sunset; for the sky was red, the flowers all dreaming behind
their green curtains, the birds tucked up in their nests, and there was
no sound but the whisper of the wind that softly sang, "Good-night,
"We all go early to bed unless the moon shines. We
are tired, so come and let us make you cosey till to-morrow," said the
elves, showing her a dainty bed with white rose-leaves for sheets, a red
rose-leaf for coverlet, and two plump little mushrooms for pillows.
Cobweb curtains hung over it, a glow-worm was the candle, and a
lily-of-the-valley cup made a nice night-cap, while a tiny gown of woven
thistle-down lay ready to be put on.
Eva quickly undressed and
slipped into the pretty bed, where she lay looking at the red light till
sleep kissed her eyelids, and a lovely dream floated through her mind
till morning came.
As soon as the sun peeped over the hills the
elves were up and away to the lake, where they all dipped and splashed
and floated and frolicked till the air was full of sparkling drops and
the water white with foam. Then they wiped on soft cobweb towels, which
they spread on the grass to dry, while they combed their pretty hair and
put on fresh gowns of flower-leaves. After that came breakfast, all
sitting about in parties to eat fruit and cakes of pollen, while their
drink was fresh dew.
"Now, Eva, you see that we are not idle,
foolish creatures, but have many things to do, many lessons to learn,
and a heaven of our own to hope for," said the elves when they had all
sung together; while the wind, who was the house-maid there, cleared the
tables by blowing everything away at one breath. "First of all come to
our hospital,--for here we bring all the sick and hurt things cruel or
careless people have harmed. In your world children often torment and
kill poor birds and worms and flies, and pick flowers to throw away, and
chase butterflies till their poor wings are broken. All these we care
for, and our magic makes them live again. Come and see."
followed to a cool, quiet place, where on soft beds lay many wounded
things. Rose, the fairy nurse, was binding up the leg of a fly as he lay
in a cobweb hammock and feebly buzzed his thanks. In another place an
ugly worm was being put together after a cruel boy had cut him in two.
Eva thought the elves were good to do such work, and went on to a
humming-bird which lay in a bed of honeysuckles, with the quick colors
very dim on its little breast and bright wings very still.
shot with an air-gun, and my poor head still aches with the dreadful
blow," sighed the poor bird, trying to sip a little honey with his long
"I'm nearly well," chirped a cricket, whose stiff tail had
been pulled off by a naughty child and nicely put on again by a very
He looked so cheerful and lively as he hopped about
on his bed of dried grass, with his black eyes twinkling, and a bandage
of bindweed holding his tail firmly in place till it was well, that Eva
laughed aloud, and at the pleasant sound all the sick things smiled and
Rows of pale flowers stood in one place, and elves
watered them, or tied up broken leaves, or let in the sunshine to cure
their pains,--for these delicate invalids needed much care; and
Mignonette was the name of the nurse who watched over them, like a
little Sister of Charity, with her gray gown and sweet face.
have seen enough. Come to school now, and see where we are taught all
that fairies must know," said Trip, the elf who was guiding her about.
a pleasant place they found the child elves sitting on pink daisies
with their books of leaves in their hands, while the teacher was a
Jack-in-the-pulpit, who asked questions, and was very wise. Eva nodded
to the little ones, and they smiled at the stranger as they rustled
their books and pretended to study busily.
A class in arithmetic was going on, and Eva listened to questions that none but elves would care to know.
"Twinkle, if there were fifteen seeds on a dandelion, and the wind blew ten away, how many would be left?"
"Bud, if a rose opens three leaves one day, two the next, and seven the next, how many in all?"
"Daisy, if a silk-worm spins one yard of fairy cloth in an hour, how many can he spin in a day?"
"Twelve, if he isn't lazy," answered the little elf, fluttering her wings, as if anxious to be done.
we will read," said Jack, and a new class flew to the long leaf, where
they stood in a row, with open books, ready to begin.
read 'The Flower's Lesson' to-day, and be careful not to sing-song,
Poppy," said the teacher, passing a dainty book to Eva that she might
follow the story.
"Once there was a rose who had two little buds. One was happy and contented, but the other always wanted something.
wish the elves would bring me a star instead of dew every night. The
drop is soon gone, but a star would shine splendidly, and I should be
finer than all the other flowers,' said the naughty bud one night.
you need the dew to live, and the moon needs the stars up there to
light the world. Don't fret, sister, but be sure it is best to take what
is sent, and be glad,' answered the good bud.
"'I won't have the
dew, and if I cannot get a star I will take a firefly to shine on my
breast,' said the other, shaking off a fresh drop that had just fallen
on her, and folding her leaves round the bright fly.
child!' cried the rose-mother; 'let the fly go, before he harms you. It
is better to be sweet and fair than to shine with a beauty not your own.
Be wise, dear, before it is too late.'
"But the silly bud only
held the firefly closer, till in its struggles it tore her leaves and
flew away. When the hot sun came up the poor bud hung all faded on her
stem, longing for a cool drop to drink. Her sister was strong and fresh,
and danced gayly in the wind, opening her red petals to the sun.
"'Now I must die. Oh, why was I vain and silly?' sobbed the poor bud, fainting in the heat.
the mother leaned over her, and from her bosom, where she had hidden
it, the dew-drop fell on the thirsty bud, and while she drank it eagerly
the rose drew her closer, whispering, 'Little darling, learn to be
contented with what heaven sends, and make yourself lovely by being
"I shall remember that story," said Eva when the elves shut their books and flew back to the daisy seats.
"Would you like to hear them sing?" asked Trip.
"Very much," said Eva, and in the little song they gave her she got another lesson to carry home.
"I shine," says the sun,"To give the world light," "I glimmer," adds the moon, "To beautify the night." "I ripple," says the brook,"I whisper," sighs the breeze, "I patter," laughs the rain,"We rustle," call the trees "We dance," nod the daisies,"I twinkle," shines the star, "We sing," chant the birds,"How happy we all are!" "I smile," cries the child,Gentle, good, and gay; The sweetest thing of all,The sunshine of each day.
shall sing that to myself and try to do my part," said Eva, as the
elves got out their paints and brushes of butterfly-down, and using
large white leaves for paper, learned to imitate the colors of every
"Why do they do this?" asked Eva, for she saw no pictures anywhere.
keep the flowers fresh, for in the world below they have trials with
the hot sun that fades, the mould that spots, grubs that gnaw, and frost
that kills. We melt bits of rainbow in our paint-pots, and when it is
needed we brighten the soft color on Anemone's cheeks, deepen the blue
of Violet's eyes, or polish up the cowslips till they shine like cups of
gold. We redden the autumn leaves, and put the purple bloom on the
grapes. We made the budding birches a soft green, color maple keys, and
hang brown tassels on the alder twigs. We repair the dim spots on
butterflies' wings, paint the blue-bird like the sky, give Robin his red
vest, and turn the yellow bird to a flash of sunshine. Oh, we are
artists, and hereafter you will see our pictures everywhere."
lovely!" said Eva. "I often wondered who kept all these delicate things
so beautiful and gay. But where are we going now?" she added, as the
elves led her away from the school.
"Come and see where we learn to ride," they answered, smiling as if they enjoyed this part of their education.
a little dell where the ground was covered with the softest moss Eva
found the fairy riding-school and gymnasium. The horses were all kinds
of winged and swift-footed things, and the race-ground was a smooth path
round the highest moss mound. Groups of elves lay on the ground, swung
on the grass-blades, or sat in the wood flowers, that stood all about.
one place the mothers and fathers were teaching their little ones to
fly. The baby elves sat in a row on the branch of a birch-tree,
fluttering their small wings and nestling close together, timid yet
longing to launch boldly out into the air and float as the others did.
The parents were very patient, and one by one the babies took little
flights, getting braver and braver each time.
One very timid elf
would not stir, so the sly papa and mamma put it on a leaf, and each
taking a side, they rode the dear about for a few minutes, till she was
used to the motion; then they dropped the leaf, and the little elf
finding herself falling spread her wings and flew away to a tall bush,
to the great delight of all who saw it.
But the riding was very
funny, and Eva soon forgot everything else in watching the gay creatures
mount their various horses and fly or gallop round the ring while the
teacher--a small fellow in a gay cap and green suit--stood on the
moss-mound, cracking a long whip and telling them how to ride in the
best fairy fashion.
Several lady elves learned to mount
butterflies gracefully and float where they liked, sitting firmly when
the winged horses alighted on the flowers. The boy elves preferred
field-mice, who went very swiftly round and round, with saddles of woven
grass and reins of yellow bindweed, which looked well on the little
gray creatures, who twinkled their bright eyes and whisked their long
tails as if they liked it.
But the best fun of all was when the
leaping began; and Eva quite trembled lest some sad accident should
happen; for grasshoppers were led out, and the gallant elves leaped over
the highest flower-tops without falling off.
It was very funny
to see the queer hoppers skip with their long legs, and when Puck, the
riding-master, mounted, and led a dozen of his pupils a race round the
track, all the rest of the elves laughed aloud and clapped their hands
in great glee; for Puck was a famous fairy, and his pranks were endless.
Eva was shouting with the rest as the green horses came hopping
by, when Puck caught her up before him, and away they raced so swiftly
that her hair whistled in the wind and her breath was nearly gone. A
tremendous leap took them high over the little hill and landed Eva in a
tall dandelion, where she lay laughing and panting as if on a little
yellow sofa, while Trip and her mates fanned her and smoothed her pretty
"That was splendid!" she cried. "I wish I was a real
fairy, and always lived in this lovely place. Everything will seem so
ugly and big and coarse when I go home I shall never be happy again."
yes, you will," answered Trip, "for after this visit you will be able
to hear and see and know what others never do, and that will make you
happy and good. You believed in us, and we reward all who love what we
love, and enjoy the beautiful world they live in as we do."
you," said Eva. "If I can know what the birds sing and the brook, and
talk with the flowers, and see faces in the sky, and hear music in the
wind, I won't mind being a child, even if people call me queer."
shall understand many lovely things and be able to put them into tales
and songs that all will read and sing and thank you for," said Moonbeam,
a sweet, thoughtful elf, who stole quietly about, and was always
singing like a soft wind.
"Oh, that is what I always wanted to
do," cried Eva, "for I love my song-books best, and never find new ones
enough. Show me more, dear elves, so that I can have many fine tales to
tell when I am old enough to write."
"Come, then, and see our
sweetest sight. We cannot show it to every one, but your eyes will be
able to see through the veil, and you will understand the meaning of our
So Moonlight led her away from all the rest,
along a little winding path that went higher and higher till they stood
on a hilltop.
"Look up and follow me," said the elf, and touching
Eva's shoulders with her wand, a pair of wings shot out, and away she
floated after her guide toward what looked like a white cloud sailing in
the blue sky.
When they alighted a soft mist was round them, and through it Eva saw a golden glimmer like sunshine.
"Look, but do not speak," said Moonlight, beckoning her along.
the mist passed away and nothing but a thin veil of gossamer like a
silken cobweb hung between them and the world beyond. "Can you see
through it?" whispered the elf anxiously.
Eva nodded, and then
forgot everything to look with all her eyes into a lovely land of
flowers; for the walls were of white lilies, the trees were rose-trees,
the ground blue violets, and the birds the little yellow canary-plant,
whose blossoms are like birds on the wing. Columbines sounded their red
horns, and the air was filled with delicate voices, unlike any ever
heard before, because it was the sweet breath of flowers set to music.
what surprised Eva most was the sight of a common dandelion, a tuft of
clover, a faded mignonette-plant, with several other humble flowers, set
in a little plot by themselves as if newly come, and about them
gathered a crowd of beautiful spirits, so bright, so small, so perfect
that Eva could hardly see them, and winked as if dazzled by the sunshine
of this garden among the clouds.
"Who are they? and why do they care for those poor flowers?" whispered Eva, forgetting that she must not speak.
Moonlight could answer, all grew dim for a moment, as if a cold breath
had passed beyond the curtain and chilled the delicate world within.
"Hush! mortal voices must not be heard here," answered the elf with a warning look.
lovely creatures are the spirits of flowers who did some good deed when
they bloomed on earth, and their reward is to live here forever where
there is no frost, no rain, no stormy wind to hurt them. Those poor
plants have just come, for their work is done, and their souls will soon
be set free from the shapes that hold them. You will see how beautiful
they have made themselves when out of the common flowers come souls like
the perfect ones who are welcoming them.
"That dandelion lived
in the room of a poor little sick girl who had no other toy, no other
playmate. She watched and loved it as she lay on her bed, for she was
never well, and the good flower, instead of fading without sunshine in
that dreary room, bloomed its best, till it shone like a little sun. The
child died with it in her hand, and when she no longer needed it, we
saved it from being thrown away and brought it here to live forever.
clover grew in a prison-yard, and a bad boy shut up there watched it as
the only green thing that made him think of the fields at home where
his mother was waiting and hoping he would come back to her. Clover did
her best to keep good thoughts in his mind and he loved her, and tried
to repent, and when he was told he might go, he meant to take his flower
with him but forgot it in his hurry to get home. We did not forget, for
the wind that goes everywhere had told us the little story, and we
brought brave Clover out of prison to this flower-heaven.
lived in a splendid garden, but no one minded her, for she is only a
little brown thing and hid in a corner, happy with her share of sunshine
and rain, and her daily task of blossoming green and strong. People
admired the other fine flowers and praised their perfume, never knowing
that the sweetest breath of all came from the nook where Mignonette
modestly hid behind the roses. No one ever praised her, or came to watch
her, and the gardener took no care of her. But the bees found her out
and came every day to sip her sweet honey, the butterflies loved her
better than the proud roses, and the wind always stopped for a kiss as
it flew by. When autumn came and all the other plants were done
blossoming, and stood bare and faded, there was modest Mignonette still
green and fresh, still with a blossom or two, and still smiling
contentedly with a bosom full of ripened seeds,--her summer work well
done, her happy heart ready for the winter sleep.
"But we said,
'No frost shall touch our brave flower; she shall not be neglected
another year, but come to live loved and honored in the eternal summer
that shines here.' Now look."
Eva brushed away the tears that had
filled her eyes as she listened to these little histories, and looking
eagerly, saw how from the dandelion, set free by the spells the spirits
sang, there rose, light as down, a little golden soul, in the delicate
shape the others wore. One in pale rose came from the clover, and a
third in soft green with dusky wings; but a bright face flew out of the
mignonette. Then the others took hands and floated round the new-comers
in an airy dance, singing so joyfully that Eva clapped her hands crying,
"Happy souls! I will go home and try to be as good as they were; then I
may be as happy when I go away to my heaven."
The sound of her
voice made all dark, and she would have been frightened if the elf had
not taken her hand and led her back to the edge of the cloud, saying as
they flew down to Fairyland--"See, the sun is setting; we must take you
home before this midsummer day ends, and with it our power to make
Eva had so much to tell that she was ready to
go; but a new surprise waited for her, and she saw a fairy spectacle as
she came again before the palace.
Banners of gay tulip-leaves
were blowing in the wind from the lances of reeds held by a troop of
elves mounted on mice; a car made of a curled green leaf with
checkerberry wheels and cushions of pink mushrooms stood ready for her,
and Trip as maid of honor helped her in. Lady elves on butterflies flew
behind, and the Queen's trumpeters marched before making music on their
horns. All the people of Elfland lined the way, throwing flowers, waving
their hands, and calling, "Farewell, little Eva! Come again! Do not
forget us!" till she was out of sight.
"How sweet and kind you
are to me. What can I do to thank you?" said Eva to Trip, who sat beside
her as they rolled along,--a gay and lovely sight, if any but fairy
eyes could have seen it.
"Remember all you have seen and heard.
Love the good and beautiful things you will find everywhere, and be
always a happy child at heart," answered Trip with a kiss.
Eva could speak the sun set and in a moment every elf was invisible,
all the pretty show was gone, and the child stood alone by the brook.
But she never forgot her visit to Fairyland, and as she grew up she
seemed to be a sort of elf herself, happy, gay, and good, with the power
of making every one love her as she went singing and smiling through
the world. She wrote songs that people loved to sing, told tales
children delighted to read, and found so much wisdom, beauty, and music
everywhere, that it was very plain she understood the sweet language of
bird and flower, wind and water, and remembered all the lessons the
elves taught her.