Title: The Nursery, August 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 2
Release date: March 29, 2008 [eBook #24939]
Most recently updated: January 3, 2021
Credits: Produced by Emmy, Juliet Sutherland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net Music
by Linda Cantoni.
|The Mother's Prayer
|Coosie and Carrie
|The Fourth of July Cake
|How our School came to have the Nursery
|Where the Dandelions went
|The Bird's Nest
|Meditations of a Shut-out One
|Dreaming and Doing
|A Journey to California
|A Letter to George
|The Blackberry Frolic
|Song of the Brook
|Dear Little Mary
|Little Jack Homer (with music)
When that little boy, whose name was Edward, grew up, it seemed as if his mother's prayer had been answered, and that, in making it, she had been wiser than she knew or dreamed.
She had not prayed that he might be wise; but somehow the love in his heart seemed to make him wise, and to lead him to choose what is best, and to remember all the good things he was taught.
She had not prayed that he might be rich; but it turned out that he was so anxious to help and serve others, that he found the only way to do that was to get the means of helping: and so he became diligent, thrifty, and prompt in business, till at last he had the means he sought.
Edward's mother had not prayed that he might be handsome; but there was so much love and good-will manifest in his face, that people loved to look on it: and its expression made it handsome, for beauty attends love like its shadow.
The prayer had not been that he might be happy; but—dear me! how can there be love in the heart without happiness? Edward had no time for moping discontent, for revenge, or anger. He was too busy thinking what he might do for others; and, in seeking their happiness, he found his own.
But was he learned? Of course, when he found it pleased his parents to have him attend to his studies, he did his best: and though there were many boys quicker and apter than he, yet Edward generally caught up with them at last; for love made him attentive and earnest.
But last of all, though Edward loved others, did others love him? That is the simplest question of all. You must first give love if you would get it. Yes: everybody loved Edward, simply because he loved everybody. And so I advise those little boys and girls who think they are not loved, to put themselves the question, "But do you love?"
Cousin Charles said, "Come and see the sheep." So I went to where he was standing on the front porch, and calling "Co-nan, co-nan, co-nan!" The gate was open; and the sheep and lambs were coming into the yard.
I asked, "Why do you tell John to drive the sheep into the yard?" Charles answered, "Because it has been raining hard; and the brook in the meadow has grown so big, that I am afraid the sheep will get drowned in it.
"Last year we found a sheep lying dead in the brook. Her two lambs were standing near by, crying for her. We took them to the house, and fed them with milk. We named them Coosie and Carrie. Mother can tell you about them."
Then I ran to auntie, and said, "Oh! tell me all about Coosie and Carrie." So my aunt told me about them; and this is what she said:—
When the two little lambs were first brought in, Mary, the cook, made a nice bed for them in one corner of the kitchen. Then she put some warm milk in a bottle, and took one of the lambs up in her lap and fed it. Oh, how pleased it was! And the other lamb stood by crying until its turn came.
The lambs soon grew fat and strong, and ran about the yard. But they made themselves quite at home in the house; and we could not keep them out.
One day I went into my room; and there were Coosie and Carrie jumping up and down upon my spring-bed.
I sat down and laughed heartily; and the lambs kept on jumping, and looked as if they were trying to laugh too. But I could not have such saucy lambs about the house any longer: so they were driven to the meadow with the rest of the flock.
Auntie and I laughed again, to think of the lambs' frolic; and I said, "O auntie! how I wish they would eat out of my hand now! Do you think they will?"
"I am afraid not," said she. "They have been with the flock a whole year, and I suppose are no longer tame; but you can try. Take some apples to them."
So, with some apples in my hand, I went out, calling "Co-nan, co-nan!" The sheep were afraid, and walked away, crying "Baa-a-ah;" and the little lambs answered, "Baa-a-ah."
I followed slowly; and at last one sheep stood still. I went up close to her, calling "Coosie, Carrie!" for I knew it must be one or the other. She ate the apples out of my hand, and let me pat her head, and feel her soft wool.
The next time I went out with apples, two sheep came to my call. They looked exactly alike to me; but Mary told me which was Coosie, and which was Carrie. After that, they did not wait to be called, but came running up as soon as they saw me.
When the sheep were driven away into the meadow-lot again, I stood near the gate to see them go. The old sheep walked along quietly; but the lambs jumped and frisked about, and kicked up their heels in a very funny way. The sheep called out "Baa-a-ah!" and the lambs answered, "Baa-a-ah!" and sometimes it sounded like "Maa-a-ah."
Coosie and Carrie ran up, and licked my hand as I said good-by. Now, were they not dear little pets?
Fred.—Oh! look here, Bessy and Maggy: come and see the splendid Fourth of July cake that mother has made!
Bessy.—You must not touch it, Fred: mother will be displeased if you touch it.
Fred.—I want to see if she has salted it well. Look at the currants and the raisins!
Bessy.—And how nicely it is sugared and frosted!
Maggy.—Me see; me see!
Fred.—There! Maggy has put her whole hand in. What will mother say?
Bessy.—It will do no harm now for me to taste it.
Fred.—Isn't it nice?
Maggy.—Me want plum.
Bessy.—Maggy mustn't stick her hand in. She will spoil mamma's nice cake.
Maggy.—Me want taste. You and Fred taste.
Fred.—Hark! I hear mother's step on the stairs. Now scatter, all three! Lick your fingers clean, and run.
Bessy.—I wish we hadn't touched the cake.
Mother.—What's this? Who has been at my cake,—my cake that I took so much pains to make handsome?
Bessy.—Fred wanted to see if it was properly salted.
Mother.—Here's the mark of Maggy's hand! And here's a deep hole which Fred's naughty finger must have made! And here, Bessy, are your marks. I'm ashamed of you all. Meddling with my nice cake without leave.
Bessy.—I'm very sorry I touched it, mother.
Fred.—So am I; but I wanted to see if it was well seasoned.
Mother.—Well seasoned, sir? You deserve to be well seasoned with a rod. Now, your punishment shall be, not to taste a crumb of this nice cake, any one of you. I shall give it to the poor family opposite.
Fred.—Hoo-oo-oo-oo! Oh, don't!
Maggy.—Don't, mamma; don't!
Bessy.—Such a beautiful cake!
Mother.—The cake shall be given to the poor; and you must be contented with your bread and water.
Fred.—Forgive us this once, mother. Remember it's the Fourth of July,—a day when we all want to be jolly.
Mother.—They who would be jolly, must begin by being good. The cake goes to those who need it much more than we do.
What was the song of the meadow brook,
As under the willows his way he took?
Wouldn't you like to know?
"Let me play a while as I will:
By and by I must turn the mill,
As farther down I go.
"Daisies, hanging over my side,
Beautiful daisies, starry-eyed,
Kiss me for I must go!
But think of me as I turn the wheel,
Grinding the corn into powdery meal
And drifts of golden snow."
A. D. W.
There are fifty little boys and girls who go to the Blank street Primary School. Brown heads, black heads, yellow heads, all shades of heads, may there be seen studying their A, B, C. Some are very pretty, and some are very plain; but they are all good children. I think so, and I ought to know; for I am their teacher.
Well, they read and sing and spell; and some of the larger ones write a little. But we all get tired of doing the same thing day after day; and I felt that my little pupils needed a change.
So, one day, I said to them, "If you will each of you learn a little verse so as to say it very nicely, we will have a good time next Saturday morning. There shall be no lessons,—nothing but speaking and singing."
Some of the little children looked as if they did not know what I meant. But the older ones came to me, one after another, and said, "Please find a piece for me to learn."
So I undertook to find pieces for them all. I thought that was an easy thing to do; but, when I came to try it, it proved to be a hard task. I looked through all my books and papers, without finding much of any thing to suit me.
I was almost ready to give up the whole plan, when a bright little boy handed me a book with a green cover, and said, "I think there are some nice pieces in this."
I took the book, and looked it through. First I looked at the pictures; and they pleased me so well, that I turned back to the first page, and began to read. The more I read, the better I liked it; and, before I got to the end, I was delighted.
"Why, Johnny," said I, "I thank you for bringing me this. It is the very thing we want."
I sent out at once, and bought twelve back numbers of "The Nursery;" and, before Saturday morning came, each of the children had learned a piece from them by heart.
Since then "The Nursery" has been in regular use in our school; and we depend upon having a new number every month. Every one of the children wishes to be the owner of a copy: so I think we shall soon make up quite a large club.
When Willy was two years old, he lived in a red farmhouse with a yard in front of it. The dandelions were very thick there; so that the yard looked yellow, instead of green.
One bright morning Willy's mamma put on his straw hat, and sent him out in the yard to play. She knew the yard had a high fence; and he could not open the gate; so he was safe.
When it was time for him to have a nap, and mamma went to call him, she noticed that a great many of the dandelions were gone. She wondered where they were; but, as Willy could not talk much, she did not ask him about them.
A short time after, while Willy was asleep in his crib, his mamma went out to draw some water. When the bucket came up full of water, the top was all yellow with dandelions. Looking down into the well, she could see no water at all, only dandelions.
It was no wonder, then, where the blossoms had gone. Willy had been very busy trying to fill up the well!
Last summer little Josie, with her papa and mamma, went into the country to spend a few weeks with her grandmother. Grandmother lives on a farm; and Josie had many happy times, tumbling about in the hay, hunting hens' eggs in the barn, and watching the birds and squirrels.
One day her papa told her that he had found a bird's-nest in the orchard, with some queer little birds in it. Of course, Josie was very anxious to see it; but papa was too busy to go with her then: so mamma said that she would go.
Josie clapped her hands, and said, "Oh! you are a good mamma;" and they started at once for the orchard. A pair of kingbirds had built a nest on a low branch of an apple-tree; and in the nest were two little baby-birdies. As soon as the old birds saw Josie and her mamma coming, they began to scold, and fly about in great alarm.
I guess the father-bird said, "Oh, dear! here come some giants; and, if we are not very fierce, they will steal away our babies. So, mother-bird, you just sit here on this cherry-tree, and scream, while I stand ready on the apple-tree to fly at them if they come near our nest."
Josie and her mamma walked slowly along, not knowing how angry the kingbirds were getting, until they came to the apple-tree. "Here is the nest, Josie," said mamma; and they went close to the tree. But the mother-bird began to scream, and fly about, and seemed to feel so badly, that mamma said, "We will go away from the nest, Josie; for we are making the old bird unhappy." But Josie said, "Oh! do let me take just one peep at the little birdies. Do, mamma, hold me up to the nest just once!"
Now, all this time the father-bird had kept so still that they did not know he was on the tree just above their heads; but, as soon as mamma lifted Josie so that she might look into the nest, he flew straight down at them, pecked at Josie's hands, pulled mamma's hair, and beat her face with his wings. Josie was frightened, and began to cry; but mamma held her close in her arms, and ran away from the tree as fast as she could.
When they reached the gate, and stopped to rest, they heard the old birds talking it over. I guess the father-bird said, "There! I've driven those wicked thieves away. They'll never dare to come here again." And the little birds began to cry, "Tweet, tweet!" And the mother-bird sat down in the nest, and said, "There, darlings, just tuck your little heads under my wings and go to sleep. No one shall harm my dear babies."
Josie says, "I think they were real cross not to let a little girl just look at their babies." But I think they were brave birds to take such good care of their little ones. What do you think about it, little "Nursery" folks?
Well, now, do you call that good manners? My master shut the gate in my face, as much as to say, "Stay where you are, Bob." Then he goes in to dine and play chess with the parson, and leaves me here to watch and wait.
Three hours, I do believe, I have been here on the watch,—three long, long hours. And there he sits yonder with the folks in the summer-house. The roast meat seems to be deliciously done, if I may judge from the odor. Just one little bone for me, if you please, good master mine.
What do I see? He gives a bone to that scamp Fido; but for me, his trusty one, who, year in and year out, have guarded yard and stable so faithfully,—for me he has nothing, not even a mouthful! And here I sit hungering and thirsting till my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
But stop! I hear a whistle. Yes, it comes from my master. And there comes Betty with a whole plateful of bones in her hand! After all, there isn't a master like mine in all the world. I knew he wouldn't forget old Bob. Yes, here they come. Truly a patient waiter is no loser. Bow-wow!
Amy was a dear good girl in many things; but she had one bad habit: she was too apt to waste time in dreaming of doing, instead of doing.
In the village where she lived, Mr. Thornton kept a small shop, where he sold fruit of all kinds, including berries in their season.
One day he said to Amy, "Would you like to make some money?"
"Of course I would!" said Amy; "for my dear mother often has to deprive herself of things she needs, so that she may buy shoes or clothes for me."
"Well, Amy, I noticed some fine ripe blackberries along by the stone walls in Mr. Green's five-acre lot; and he said that I or anybody else was welcome to them. Now, if you will pick the ripest and best, I will pay you sixteen cents a quart for them."
Amy was delighted at the thought, and ran home and got her basket, and called her little dog Quilp, with the intention of going at once to pick the blackberries.
Then she thought she would like to find out, with the aid of her slate and pencil, how much money she should make, if she were to pick five quarts. She found she should make eighty cents,—almost enough to buy a new calico dress.
"But supposing I should pick a dozen quarts: how much should I earn then?" So she stopped and figured that out. "Dear me! It would come to a dollar and ninety-two cents!"
Amy then wanted to know how much fifty, a hundred, two hundred, quarts would give her; and then, how much she should get if she were to put thirty-two dollars in the savings bank, and receive six per cent interest on it.
Quilp grew very impatient, but Amy did not heed his barking; and, when she was at last ready to start, she found it was so near to dinner-time that she must put off her enterprise till the afternoon.
As soon as dinner was over, she took her basket, and hurried to the five-acre lot; but a whole troop of boys from the public school were there before her. It was Saturday afternoon. School did not keep; and they were all out with their baskets.
Amy soon found that all the large ripe berries had been gathered. Not enough to make up a single quart could she find. The boys had swept the bushes clean. All Amy's grand dreams of making a fortune by picking blackberries were at an end. Slowly and sadly she made her way home, recalling on the way the words of her teacher, who once said to her, "One doer is better than a hundred dreamers."
Annie and her baby-brother went to ride with their papa and mamma. They crossed the river on a long bridge; and beyond it they saw horses and cows feeding on the green prairie.
"What are all these heaps of dirt for?" said Annie.
"We are just entering 'dog-town,'" said her papa; "and those are the houses of the inhabitants. Do you see the two little fellows sitting up on that mound?"
"Yes," said Annie; "but they look like little fat squirrels; don't they, mamma?"
Baby pointed his little chubby finger, and said, "Ish!"
"They are prairie-dogs," said mamma; "but are sometimes called the 'wish-ton-wish' and 'prairie marmot,' and sometimes 'prairie marmot squirrel.' It is like the marmot because it burrows in the ground, and like the squirrel because it has cheek-pouches."
"Well, what do they call them dogs for?" said Annie.
"Let us stop and watch them," said her papa. "Hark! do you hear them bark?"
"Yes: it is a little squeaking bark," said Annie. "It sounds like 'chip-chip-chip.'"
"Now see," said her papa, "how funnily that little fellow sits up, with his fore-paws hanging down, and watches us."
Annie shook the whip; and the prairie-dog scampered into his hole. Up he popped his head again in a moment, and jerked his short tail, and barked.
This seemed a signal for the whole town. On almost every mound appeared two or three dogs; and they set up such a barking and jerking of tails, that everybody in the wagon laughed and shouted.
"Now we will ride up close to the mound," said papa, as he started up old Fox, and sung a bit of the old song:—
There were several bushels of dirt in the mound. In the centre of it was the hole, which was very large at the entrance. The earth all around was worn very smooth and hard.
Here the little dogs sit and bark and jerk, ready to dodge into their hole in a moment. They all looked fat and clumsy. Their color is reddish-brown. Owls and rattlesnakes are often found living with them; but Annie did not see any.
DEAR LITTLE MARY.
Dear little Mary,
Susan and Loo,
Jenny and Lizzie,
And Margaret too;
Now the sun's peeping,
Softly and sly,
In at the window,
Pets, where you lie!
Up, up, my darlings,
Up and away!
Out to the meadows
Sweet with new hay;
Out where the berries,
Dewy and red,
Hang in great clusters,
Two little girls, Annette and Lisette, went to California with their parents in 1849. There was no Pacific Railroad at that time; and the journey across the plains was a long and a hard one.
Annette and Lisette rode in the great wagon drawn by oxen. They thought that fine fun. At night they slept in a tent. On pleasant days they walked with their mamma for miles over the green prairies, plucking wild-flowers as they went along.
They saw great numbers of the funny little prairie-dogs sitting in the doors of their cunning houses; sometimes they caught sight of an antelope; and they often passed great herds of shaggy buffaloes.
They liked the prairie-dogs and the antelopes; but they were afraid of the buffaloes; and, when their papa went out to shoot one, they would almost cry for fear he would get hurt. But, when he came back with plenty of nice buffalo-meat, they had a real feast; for they had had no meat but salt-pork for many a day, and they did not like that very well.
Sometimes a storm would come up with fearful peals of thunder, and flashes of lightning. More than once the tent was blown down, and the rain came pouring on them; but the little girls put their heads under the bed-clothes, and crept close to their mamma, and never minded the storm.
After travelling in this way three or four months, they were still many, many days' journey away from California, and Annette and Lisette began to wish themselves back in their old home; for now the plains were no longer green and bright with flowers, but hot, sandy, and dusty, with only ugly little bushes, called "sage-bushes," growing on them.
Sometimes they would have to go all day without water; for the water was so warm and impure, that nobody could drink it,—not even the cattle. They saw several hot springs, so hot that they could not put their hands in them; but their mamma found them very nice for washing clothes.
Late in the fall they crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains; and, oh! how steep and narrow and rough the road was! Often their papa had to fasten logs of wood to the wagons to keep them from going down the mountains too fast. Sometimes a wagon would upset, and go rolling down hill.
Yet the children enjoyed being in the mountains; for they liked to play under the tall pine-trees, picking up the cones, and hunting for lumps of pine-gum, and hearing all the time the sweet music of the wind as it sang in the branches.
But in a few days the weather got very cold. Heavy snow-storms came on. One night twenty head of cattle were frozen to death; and as there were few oxen left, and the flour was almost gone, the little girls began to be very much afraid that they should perish too.
Luckily their papa shot some fat deer, which gave them plenty to eat; and, after many hardships, the whole party reached the Sacramento River in safety. Here they got on board of a flat-boat, and went to Sacramento City, where they lived in a tent for many months. I may some time tell you how they went to the mines.
A journey to California is a very easy matter now-a-days. You may go by railroad all the way, and have every comfort by day and night.
Annette and Lisette have made the journey more than once in a palace car; but they often think of the times when they were two happy little girls riding over the prairies in a baggage-wagon, or playing together under the mountain pines.
Salt-Lake City, Utah.
"Why, where are you going, Nelly?" asked Martin Ray of his sister, as, with a plate of pudding for him, she entered his chamber where he was confined to his bed.
Poor Martin had broken his leg by a fall from a tree, and he had to keep very still.
"We have made up a blackberry-party," said Nelly. "The girls and boys are waiting for me at the door; and I can only stop a minute to say that you must be good, and not fret while I am away."
"Don't be late in returning home," said Martin; "for mother is going to take me down stairs for the first time, this afternoon; and I want to see you before I go up to bed."
"All the sweetest berries I can find shall be saved for you," said Nelly, as she tied the little scarf about her neck, put on her hat, and kissed Martin for good-by.
Nelly's companions were waiting impatiently for her at the door; and, when she came, they raised a shout of "Here she is!" Then they set off, through a shady lane, on their walk to Squire Atherton's woods, along the borders of which the blackberries grew in great profusion.
Soon they came to a place where a brook crossed between two fields, with such a narrow plank for a bridge that some of the girls did not half like going over it; for the brook seemed to be quite full and deep.
"What a fuss you girls make about trifles!" cried Robert Wood. "Who but a girl would think of being frightened at a bridge like this?"
"Stop that, Robert," said Harry Thorp. "I will help them across in a way that will prevent all danger."
Harry plucked up a stout bulrush that grew near by, and held it out over the plank to the girls to serve as a kind of support for them to hold by. Susan Maples was the first to lay hold of the thick end of the bulrush, by which Harry led her across. Then the other girls followed; but, just as Nelly got on, Robert Wood shook the plank, and tried to scare her.
He did not succeed in this; for Nelly was thinking of her dear brother at home with his broken leg, and she felt that she would not be afraid of a much more dangerous crossing than that over the plank.
After a walk of a mile, they came to the edge of the wood. "Jewels of jet! Look here!" cried Harry Thorp. "See the bouncers! Here's sweetness! Here's blackness! Here's richness!"
And, true enough, there they were. Never were high-bush blackberries finer or riper; but the largest and ripest seemed always the hardest to get at. The boys cut hooked sticks, with which they pulled down the branches; and their mouths were soon black with the juice of the berries. Then the girls began filling their baskets.
The sun was low in the west when Nelly remembered her promise to Martin, and said, "Now for home!" to which the rest cried, "Agreed!"
But the girls had not gone far before they began eating the berries from their baskets, and offering them to one another,—all but Nelly Ray. She did not eat any of her blackberries, nor did she give any away; and yet she had the best basketful of all.
She had, besides, a branch of a bush, with berries on it, which she was carrying very carefully; so that she kept a few steps behind the other girls.
When Nelly reached home, she looked in at the open door, and saw Martin down stairs for the first time since his accident. He was wrapped in shawls; and Nelly said, as she put the full basket on his knees, and waved the branch before his eyes, "Why, brother, they have wrapped you up so, and your face is so pale, that you look like a girl."
"Looks are nothing: behavior is all," said Martin, laughing. "Why, Nelly, what a splendid feast we shall have! What big ones! Thank you, dear, dear sister."
As she heard those words, and saw his pleased looks, Nelly felt she was well repaid for all her trouble.
|2 "I don't like cold lamb;
Give me raspberry-jam:"
But old Mother Hubbard said, "No!
If a boy cannot eat
Such nice, wholesome meat,
To bed without food he must go."
|3 So little Jack Horner,
Who cried in the corner,
Was washed clean, and put into bed:
After sleeping all night,
He awoke fresh and bright,
And was glad to eat plain meat and bread.
This issue was part of an omnibus. The original text for this issue did not include a title page or table of contents. This was taken from the July issue with the "No." added. The original table of contents covered the second half of 1873. The remaining text of the table of contents can be found in the rest of the year's issues.