The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Nursery, June 1877, Vol. XXI. No. 6

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Title: The Nursery, June 1877, Vol. XXI. No. 6

Author: Various

Release date: February 20, 2009 [eBook #28134]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Emmy, Juliet Sutherland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at




A Monthly Magazine

For Youngest Readers.




Arthur's New Sloop161
A True Story164
Playing Soldier167
Madie's Visit at Grandma's168
What I overheard170
The Encounter173
Jamie's Letter to a Little Uncle      174
The Disappointed Kitty175
The Mare and her Colt177
The Fisherman's Return180
More about Crickets183
Fifth Lesson in Astronomy185


Tot's Turnover163
The Kingfisher166
Kissing a Sunbeam179
The Puppy and the Wasp      182







OW, boys," said Uncle Martin, "if you were at sea in a vessel like this, what should you do when you saw a squall coming up?"

"I should take in all sail, and scud under bare poles," said Arthur.

"But what if you did not want to be blown ashore?"

"Then I should leave out the first reef, so as to catch as much wind as I could risk, and steer for the sea, the sea, the open sea."

"Well, that's pretty well said, though not just as a sailor would say it. Look here, Henry, where is the stern?"

"You have your left hand on it, sir."

"That's true. And where's the rudder?"

"Your little finger is resting on it."

"What sort of a craft do you call this?"

"I call it a sloop; for it has but one mast."

"If you were holding the tiller, and I were to say, 'Larboard' or 'port,' what should you do?"

"If I stood looking forward, I should move the tiller to the left side of the vessel."

"That's right; and, if I said 'Starboard,' you would move the tiller to the right side.—Now, boys, which of you can tell me the difference between a tiller and a helm?"

"I always thought," said Arthur, "that they meant pretty much the same thing."

"No: the difference is this," said Uncle Martin: "A tiller is this little bar or handle by which I move the rudder. The helm is the whole of the things for steering, consisting of a rudder, a tiller, and, in large vessels, a wheel by which the tiller is moved. So a tiller is only a part of the helm."[163]

"Yes, now I understand," said Arthur. "How jolly it is to have an Uncle Martin to explain things!"

"You rogue, you expect me to be at the launch, eh?"

"Yes, uncle: I've got a bottle of hard cider to smash, on the occasion. It ought to be rum, by the old rule."

"The best thing to do with rum is to pour it into the sea," said Uncle Martin. "But what's the name of the new sloop?"

"Ah! that you will hear at the launch," said Arthur.

"It's the 'Artful Dodger,'" whispered brother Henry.

Alfred Selwyn.
Tot's Turnover


Sugared and scalloped and cut as you see,
With juicy red wreath and name, t-o-t,
This is the turnover dear little Tot
Set in the window there all piping hot:
Proud of her work, she has left it to cool:
[164]Benny must share it when he's out of school.
Prince stealing
Scenting its flavor, Prince happens that way,
Wonders if Tot will give him some to-day.
Benny is coming, he's now at the gate—
Prince for himself decides not to wait.
Oh, pity! 'tis gone, and here you and I
See the last that Tot saw of that pretty pie.
M. A. C.


Once, when I lived in the country, some robins built a nest in a lilac-bush in the garden. One day I looked in the nest, and saw one little green egg. Two or three days after, I saw three more little green eggs, and pretty soon what did I see there but four little cunning baby-birdies?

The old birds seemed so happy as they fed their little ones, who opened their mouths wide to take the food in, that I loved dearly to watch them.

One night there came a terrible storm of wind and rain. When I awoke in the morning, and opened my window,[165] there were the old robins flying about the garden in great distress, making such a dreadful cry, that I went out to see what was the matter. What do you think I saw?

The pretty nest was on the ground, torn in pieces by the wind; and the little baby-birds lay in the cold wet grass, crying pitifully. The old birds were flying about, and beating the grass with their wings.

I ran to the house, and found an old tin pail. I lined this with nice hay from Billy's stable, picked up the poor little robins, and put them in the warm dry hay. Then I hung the pail on a branch of the bush, tied it firmly with some twine, and went into the house to watch the old birds from my window.

They looked first on one side, then on the other, to see that there was nobody near. At last they flew to the old pail, and stood on its edge. Pretty soon they began to sing as if they were just as happy as they could be.

I think they liked the old pail just as well as their pretty nest; for they lived in it till the little baby-birdies were able to fly, and to feed themselves.

One day I looked in the pail, and it was empty. The birdies had grown up, and had flown away.

Hannah Paulding.
Baby birds



The Kingfisher

Where the white lilies quiver
By the sedge in the river,
I fly in and out,
I hunt all about;
For I am the daring kingfisher,

Rod and line have not I,
But, a fish when I spy,
From the tree-top I start,
And down, down, I dart;
For I am the daring kingfisher, kingfisher!

My dinner I make,
My pleasure I take,
And the fish must be quick
That would parry my trick;
For I am the daring kingfisher, kingfisher!

Now summer is near,
And the boys will be here;
But I fly or I run,
When I look on a gun,
Tho' I am the daring kingfisher, kingfisher!

Emily Carter.



Playing Soldier


Little Mary lives in Boston. She has no brothers or sisters to play with her, and no mother. But her papa plays with her a great deal.

There is one game she has with him that is very entertaining to others who are looking on. At least so her aunts and uncles thought on Thanksgiving evening, when it was played for their amusement. I have called the game "Playing soldier." Mary was the captain; and her papa was the soldier.

This is the way it was done: Mary went to her papa, who was standing, and placed herself in front of him, with her back against him. "Shoulder arms!" shouted the little captain; and her tall soldier immediately put her on his left shoulder, in imitation of the real soldier, who holds his musket or gun against that place.[168]

"Forward march!" shouted our little captain again; and her soldier marched forward with a quick step.

"Halt!" cried she after he had marched back; and he stopped at once.

"Ground arms!" was the next command; and the soldier put his captain down on the floor in front of him just as she had stood before—and the play was over.



Madie is a dear little girl who lives in a pretty village in the State of New York. Every summer she goes to visit her grandmother, whose home is at Bay View, near a beautiful body of water called Henderson Bay, a part of Lake Ontario.

She is very happy at Bay View; for, besides grandma, there are an uncle and two aunts, who are never too busy to swing her in the hammock, out under the maples, or play croquet with her on the lawn.

Sometimes she drives out with her uncle behind his black ponies; and, if the road is smooth and level, he lets Madie hold the reins. But she likes better to go with him on the water, in his fine sail-boat, "Ildrian," which is a Spanish name, and means "fleet as lightning."

When the weather is fine, and the water is calm, her aunts take her out rowing in their pretty row-boat, "Echo." As they row along by the shore, stopping now and then to gather water-lilies, Madie looks at the pretty cottages and white tents nestled among the green trees, where the city people are spending their summer.

They pass many boats on the way, filled with ladies and[169] gentlemen, who give them a gay salute; and Madie waves her handkerchief in one hand, and her little flag in the other, as they go by. Sometimes they go ashore in a shady cove; and Aunt Clara fills her basket with ferns and moss, while Madie picks up shells and gay-colored stones on the beach.

Madie waves

But these lovely summer-days go by quickly. October comes, and with it Madie's mamma, to claim her little girl, who is so tanned and rosy, that mamma calls her, "Gypsy," and thinks papa will hardly know his little "sunbeam" now.

So Madie kisses everybody "good-by" a great many times,—even the bay-colt in the pasture, and the four smutty kittens at the barn,—and goes back to her own home. But, when the sweet June roses bloom again, she will go once more to Bay View, which she thinks is the nicest place in the world.

Merle Armour.



One day last summer, at the great Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, I overheard a conversation that interested me very much. The subject of it was a queer little animal called a "gopher," which sat stuck up in a case with its comical little head perched up in the air; for it wasn't even alive, but was a poor little stuffed gopher.

In front of the case I noticed two farmers, who were talking about my little friend in a very earnest way: so I listened to their remarks.

"Yes," said one, "I tell you he is a dreadful creature to dig. Why, he makes us a sight of trouble out our way! can't keep anything that he can dig for, away from him."

"Is that so?" said the other man.

"Yes. Why, I pay my boys five cents for every one of 'em they catch; and it's lively work getting 'em, I tell you! See his nose, now! doesn't that look sharp? I tell you, when that fellow gets hold of a job, he keeps right at it! There is no giving up in him."

"Dear me!" thought I, "how nice of little gopher! Ugly as he is, I quite fall in love with him." And I drew nearer, and showed, I suppose, my interest in my face; for the speaker turned around, and addressed me.

"Yes, ma'am, he steals my potatoes, and does lots of mischief. Just look at those paws of his! Doesn't he keep them busy, though!"

"Are gophers so very industrious, then?" I asked.

"Industrious, ma'am! Well, yes: they've got the work in them, that's true; and, if they begin any thing, they'll see it through. They don't sit down discouraged, and give up; but they keep right on, even when there's no hope. Oh, they're brave little fellows!" And the honest old[171] farmer beamed in admiration upon the stiff, little unconscious specimen before us in the case.

"It is very interesting," I said, "to know of such patience in a little animal like this."

"Yes, ma'am," he responded: "you would think so if you could see one. Why, working is their life. If they couldn't work, they'd die. I know, 'cause I've proved it. Once, we caught one, and I put him in a box, and my boys and I threw in some sand. The box was considerably big, and the little fellow went right to work. He dug, and threw it all back of him over to the other side; then back of him again, till he went through that sand I don't know how many times. Well, he was as lively as a cricket, and, to try what he would do, I took away the sand, and 'twas but a few hours before he was dead. Yes, dead, ma'am! just as dead as this one, here!" pointing with his finger to our friend in the case, who preserved a stolid indifference to the fate of his gopher-cousin.

I stopped to take a further look at "little gopher," with whom I felt pretty well acquainted by this time.

H. M. S.


Baby is going to Bye-lo-land,
Going to see the sights so grand:
Out of the sky the wee stars peep,
Watching to see her fast asleep.
Swing so,
[172]Over the hills to Bye-lo-land.

Oh the bright dreams in Bye-lo-land,
All by the loving angels planned!
Soft little lashes downward close,
Just like the petals of a rose.
Swing so,
Prettiest eyes in Bye-lo-land!
Rocking baby
Sweet is the way to Bye-lo-land,
Guided by mother's gentle hand.
Little lambs now are in the fold,
Little birds nestle from the cold.
Swing so,
Baby is safe in Bye-lo-land!
George Cooper.




Mr. Jones.—Good-morning, madam. It is a fine day. Are you going out for a walk?

Mrs. Smith.—I was just taking my little Aldabella out for an airing. Poor child! She has been kept in the house so long by the bad weather, that she has lost all her color.

Mr. Jones.—Be careful, and don't let her catch the whooping-cough.

Mrs. Smith.—O sir! you alarm me. Is it much about?

Mr. Jones.—Yes, ma'am: so is the measles. I know[174] two gentlemen who were kept away from their base-ball last Saturday afternoon by the measles.

Mrs. Smith.—What an affliction! Is that horse of yours safe? Does he ever kick?

Mr. Jones.—I never knew him to kick in my life; but, as you see, he is a little restive: he may step on your toes.

Mrs. Smith.—Oh, pray hold him in, Mr. Jones! Don't let him be so gay.

Mr. Jones.—Madam, my horse seems to be of the opinion that we have talked long enough: so I will wish you a very good-morning.

Mrs. Smith.—Good-morning, Mr. Jones. Pray don't run over any little boys in the street.

Mr. Jones.—Little boys must not come in my way. Good-by, Mrs. Smith! Good-by, Miss Aldabella!



My dear little Uncle,—You see I have not forgotten that long ago you wrote me a letter. My mamma told me to-night that she would answer it for me, because something happened yesterday that I want you to know.

You remember it was May-day. Mamma said, "Jamie, you are too little a boy to go out in the fields and woods Maying." That made me feel badly, because the sun was shining so brightly, and the grass looked so green, that I was sure there were plenty of flowers hidden away in the fields.

So I thought, "What can a little boy do? I am so little, I can't walk. I am so little, I can't talk much. I can creep, but when I get to a nice bit on the floor and put it into my mouth, mamma jumps, and takes it away,[175] and says, 'No, no, baby!' What can I do? what can I do to please everybody?"

At last I thought of something. I was sitting in mamma's lap, when, all at once, she called out, "Aunt Fanny, come here and put your thimble in the baby's mouth. I'm sure that's a tooth." And, sure enough, one little tooth had just peeped out. Then everybody said, "Baby has a tooth!" I didn't tell them that I went Maying all by myself, and found that little tooth; but I tell you as a secret, little uncle.

Dear little uncle, I am growing very big. Next summer I can run on the beach with you, and dig in the sand.

Now you must kiss my grandmamma for me; give her a kiss on her right eye, her left cheek, her nose, and her lips, and whisper in her ear that I love her very much; then pull my grandpapa's whiskers, and give him two kisses; then give a kiss to all my uncles and aunts, and take one for yourself from your little nephew,




The name of my kitten is Breezy. I gave her that name because she is never quiet. When she cannot frolic, she mews; but, as she is frolicking all the time when she is not asleep, she does not make much of an outcry, after all.

It has been the height of Breezy's ambition to catch a mouse. The other day, I was sitting in my little arm-chair, studying my spelling-lesson, when what should come forth from under the cupboard but a wee mouse not much bigger than the bowl of a teaspoon.[176]

Breezy, for a wonder, was asleep on the rug. Mousie looked around, as if in search of some crumbs. I put down my book, and kept very still. Which did I favor in my heart,—Mousie, or Breezy?

To tell the truth, my sympathies were divided. The little bright-eyed mouse was so cunning and swift, that I thought to myself, "What a pity to kill such a bright little fellow!" But then I knew how disappointed poor Breezy would be, if she should wake, and learn somehow that a mouse had run over the floor while she was indulging in inglorious slumber.

Out came mousie quite boldly, and, finding some crumbs under the table, nibbled at them in great haste. Poor little fellow, if I had had a bit of cheese, I should have been tempted to give it to him, there and then.

But, all at once, Breezy woke, and saw what was going on. Mousie, however, had not been so stupid, while making his meal, as not to keep one eye open on his enemy. Quick as a flash he ran for the little crack that led under the cupboard, and thus made his escape.

Poor Breezy! She seemed really ashamed of herself. She had her nose at that crack a full hour after mousie had escaped. It seemed as if she could not get over her disappointment. Every day since then she has patiently watched the cupboard. Will mousie give her another chance? That remains to be seen.

Fanny Everton.
Nose at the crack





Here is a picture of the mare and her colt. The old mare is almost white; but the colt is jet black. He is a bright little fellow, and I am sure that his mother is proud of him.

Our Willie likes to stand at the bars of the pasture and look at the colt. He often comes so near that the little boy pats him on the head.

Willie has named the colt "Frisky," because he is so very lively. He is so nimble with his heels, that it is not safe for a small boy to go very near him now; but Willie expects to ride him by and by.

A. B. C.




Little Baby Brown-Eyes
Sitting on the floor,
Every thing around him
Ready to explore,
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes
Sitting on the floor!

Flutters in a sunbeam
Through the open door,
Like a golden butterfly
Silently before
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes
Sitting on the floor.

See his little fingers
Eager for a prize,
And the hungry gladness
Laughing in his eyes!
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes
Capturing a prize!

Plucking at the sunbeam
With his finger-tips,
Tenderly he lifts them
To his rosy lips;
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes
[180]Kissing the pink tips!

Brother of the sunbeam,
With your browny eyes,
Greet your silent sister,
Stealing from the skies;
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes
Kiss her as she flies!

Mamma catches sunbeams
In your laughing eye,
Hiding in your dimples,
Peeping very sly:
Plumpy, dumpy, roly-poly,
Pretty Baby Brown-Eyes,
She'll kiss them on the fly!
George S. Burleigh.


"Father is coming! Father is coming!" was little Tim's cry, as he sat at the window of the little house by the seashore.

"How do you know he is coming?" said mother, who was tending the baby, and at the same time trying to sew up the seams of a dress for Miss Bella, the second child.

"I know he is coming, because I can see him in his boat," cried Tim. "Hurrah, hurrah! I'll be the first one at the landing."

Mamma was by this time satisfied that her husband, Mr. Payson, was indeed in sight. He was a fisherman, and had been absent, on a trip to the Banks of Newfoundland, more than six weeks. There had been many storms during that time, and she had passed some anxious moments.

But now there he was before her eyes, safe and sound. "Come, Bella," she said, "let us see if we can't get the first kiss."

"No, no, I'll get it!" cried Tim, starting on the run for the landing-place.

Sure enough, Tim got the first kiss; but mother's and[181] baby's and Bella's soon followed; and so there was no complaint.

Fisherman's return

Mr. Payson had made a prosperous trip. His schooner lay off the point, and he had sold his fish at a good profit.

How glad he was to get home, and find his family well! Tim brought him his primer, and proudly pointed to the pages he could read. Bella showed her first attempts at sewing; and, as for baby, she showed how well she could crow and frolic.

"I've found the first violet, papa," cried Bella.

"But I saw it first," said Tim.

"And I smelt of it first," said mother.

"And baby pulled it to pieces first," added Bella.

It was a happy meeting; and father and mother agreed that to come home and find all the little ones well and happy was better even than to sell his fish at a good price.

Uncle Charles.



I was asleep As asleep I was lying,
My ear on the ground,
A queer thing came flying
And humming around.
Humming and coming
Close to my ear:
Shall I never be quiet?
O dear, and O dear!
You bold little teaser,
Now take yourself off;
Of your buzzing and fussing
I've had quite enough.
You will not? Tormentor,
I mean to rest here,
So mind how you vex me,
And come not too near.
Do not come too near
With my paw uplifted You dare to defy me?
You come all the bolder?
I'll punish you, rash one,
Ere I'm a breath older.
With my big paw uplifted
I'll crush you to dust:
Shoo! What a dodger!
Leave me—you must!
I'll bite you, I'll kill you,
I snap and I spring:
If I only could catch you,
You rude saucy thing!
If you were not so little,
So cunning and spry,
I'd punish you quickly,
Pert wretch! you should die.[183]
I'll bite you
Oh, woe! It darts quick as lightning,—
O woe, and O woe!
On the nose it has stung me:
O, it burns and smarts so!
It pains like a needle,
It gives me no rest;
Oh, the wasp is a creature
I hate and detest.
He knows he has hurt me,
Away now he darts;
Oh, poor little puppy!
It smarts and it smarts!
To think such an insect
Should worry a dog!
He could not have hurt me,
If I'd been a log!
Poor little puppy


We keep crickets in a box, and find them very interesting. They are very active, and occupy themselves in laying eggs, digging holes, eating, singing, and running. Only the males sing, and their wings are very rough, and curiously marked.

Crickets have four different kinds of wings,—yellow, brown, black, and brownish-red. Those that have yellow wings seem to be less hardy than the others. They do not sing so well, but lay and eat more.

The brown-winged crickets are quite common, but not so common as the black-winged, which are the most common of all kinds. Brownish-red crickets are very rare. Those[184] that are black with yellow spots where the wings come out, sing the best.

The eggs are yellow, about an eighth of an inch long, and of an oval shape.

When we were in Lynn, a very handsome yellow-winged singer came into the box, and ate three crickets. We put him in another box with his mate, which he brought with him. In the same box were a large female, and a common sized white-winged cricket, both of which he ate.


Afterwards we found in his place a black-winged singer, somewhat smaller than the yellow-winged one was; but his mate remained the same as before.

Some spiders make holes in the ground, and, when the crickets go into them, the spiders eat them.

The male crickets fight with each other, singing all the while; and the one that beats sings on, all the louder.

There is another kind of cricket that is a great deal smaller, and sings much longer, in an undertone. Its wings are always yellow or brown; but we do not know much about crickets of this kind, except that their habits are similar to those of the large ones, and that they are very numerous.

Herbert and Ella Lyman.


Fifth Lesson in Astronomy


"A little boy was dreaming,
Upon his nurse's lap,
That the pins fell out of all the stars,
And the stars fell into his cap.

So, when his dream was over,
What should that little boy do?
Why, he went and looked inside his cap—
And found it wasn't true."

If that little boy had been wide awake, and out of doors, with his cap on his head, instead of dreaming in his nurse's lap, don't you think he might really have seen a star fall out of the sky? Haven't you all seen one many a time?

But you would never dream that those blazing suns, the stars, are pinned into the sky, and that they might tumble into your cap if the pins fell out. You know better than[186] that; but do you know what does happen when a star falls?

We say, "A star falls," because what we see falling looks to us like a star; but it really is no more like a star than a lump of coal. If we should see a piece of blazing coal falling through the air, we might be foolish enough to think that, too, was a star. And what we call a shooting star is, perhaps, more like a lump of coal on fire than like any thing else you know of.

Sometimes these shooting stars fall to the ground, and are picked up and found to be rocks. How do you suppose they take fire? It is by striking against the air which is around our earth. They come from nobody knows where, and are no more on fire than any rock is, until they fall into our air; and that sets them blazing, just as a match lights when you rub it against something.

These meteors, as they are called, do not often fall to the ground; only the very large ones last until they reach the earth; most of them burn up on their way down. I think that is lucky, because they might at any time fall into some little boy's cap and spoil it, and might even fall on his head, if they were in the habit of falling anywhere.

That little boy who thought the stars were only pinned in their places must have felt very uneasy. I don't wonder that he dreamed about them.

Once in a great while, a shower of meteors rains down upon the earth; and sometimes many of them can be seen falling from the sky, and burning up in the air.

The fall of the year is the best time for meteors; but you will be pretty sure to see one any evening you choose to look for it, and, perhaps, on the Fourth of July one of them will celebrate the day by bursting like a rocket, as they sometimes do.

M. E. R.




The pretty flowers have come again,
The roses and the daisies;
And from the trees, oh, hear how plain
The birds are singing praises!

The grass is fresh and green once more;
The sky is clear and sunny;
And bees are laying in a store
Of pure and golden honey.

The little modest buttercup,
The dandelion splendid,
Their heads are bravely holding up,
[188]Now winter's reign is ended.

How charming now our walks will be
By meadows full of clover,
Through shady lanes, where we can see
The branches bending over!

The flowers are blooming fresh and bright
In just the same old places,
And oh, it fills me with delight
To see their charming faces.

The air is sweet, the sky is blue,
The woods with songs are ringing;
And I'm so happy, that I, too,
Can hardly keep from singing.
Josephine Pollard.

Transcriber's Notes

Transcriber's Notes: The January edition of the Nursery had a table of contents for the first six issues of the year. This table was divided to cover each specific issue. A title page copied from the January edition was also used for this number.