How the merry breezes blow!
Blue skies, blue eyes,
Baby, bees, and butterflies,
Daisies growing everywhere,
Breath of roses in the air!
Dollie Dimple, swing away,
Baby darling, at your play.
Title: The Nursery, July 1881, Vol. XXX
Release date: February 22, 2013 [eBook #42156]
Credits: Produced by Emmy, Juliet Sutherland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Music
transcribed by Veronika Redfern.
|Hide and Seek
|Flowers for Mamma
|The Fuss in the Poultry-Yard
|More about "Parley-voo"
|The old Pump
|Winter on Lake Constance
|The Man in the Moon
|The Boy and the Cat
|Rosie and the Pigs
|Under Green Leaves (with music)
"No answer. Hark! I hear a noise up in that tree. Can that be Charley? Oh, no! It is a bird. 'Little bird, have you seen a small boy with curly hair? Tell me where to look for him.'
"The bird will not tell me. I must ask the squirrel. 'Squirrel, have you seen a boy with rosy cheeks?' Away goes the squirrel into a hole without saying a word.
"Ah! there goes a butterfly. I will ask him. 'Butterfly, have you seen a boy, with black eyes, rosy cheeks, and curly hair?' The butterfly lights on a bush. Now he flies again. Now he is off without making any reply.
"Dear me! what shall I do? Is my little boy lost in the woods? Must I go home without him? Oh, how can I live without my boy!"
Out pops a laughing face from the bushes.
"Here I am, mamma!" says Charley. "Don't cry. Here I am close by you."
"Why, so you are. Come out here, you little rogue, and tell me where you have been all this time."
"I have been right behind this tree, and I heard every word you said," says Charley.
"What a joke that was! Why, Charley, you must have kept still for as much as three minutes. I never knew you to do that before."
Suddenly, however, the rooster saw him and flew, in a great fright, to the top of the wall.
The fox could not get him there, and he knew it: so he came out from his hiding-place, and addressed the rooster thus: "Dear me!" he cried, "how handsomely you are dressed! I came to invite your magnificence to a grand christening feast. The duck and the goose have promised to come, and the turkey, though slightly ill, will try to come also.
"You see that only those of rank are bidden to this feast, and we beg you to adorn it with your splendid talent for music. We are to have the most delicate little cock-chafers served up on toast, a delicious salad of earthworms, in fact all manner of good things. Will you not return then with me to my house?"
"Oh ho!" said the rooster, "how kind you are! What fine stories you tell! Still I think it safest to decline your kind invitation. I am sorry not to go to that splendid feast; but I cannot leave my wife, for she is sitting on seven new eggs. Good-by! I hope you will relish those earthworms. Don't come too near me, or I will crow for the dogs. Good-by!"
Zip had a long, low body, covered with stiff yellowish hair. His nose was pointed, and his eyes were bright as buttons. His paws were regular little hands, and he used them just like hands.
He was very tame. He would climb up on Isabella's chair, and scramble to her shoulder. Then he would comb her hair with his fingers, pick at her ear-rings, and feel of her collar and pin and buttons.
Isabella's mother was quite ill, but sometimes was able to sit in her chair and eat her dinner from a tray on her lap. She liked to have Zip in her room; but, if left alone with her, Zip would jump up in the chair behind her, and try to crowd her off. He would reach around, too, under her arm, and steal things from her tray.
Once the cook in the kitchen heard a brisk rattling of tin pans in the pantry. She opened the door, and there, on a shelf, was Zip. There were two pans standing side by side. One had Indian-meal in it, and the other nice sweet milk. In front of the pans stood Zippy.
He had scooped the meal from one pan into the milk in the other pan, and was stirring up a pudding with all his might. He looked over his shoulder when he heard the cook coming up behind him, and worked away all the faster, as if to get the pudding done before he was snatched up, and put out of the pantry.
Zip was very neat and clean. He loved to have a bowl of water and piece of soap set down for his own use. He would take the soap in his hands, dip it into the water, and rub it between his palms; then he would reach all around his body, and wash himself. It was very funny to see him reach way around, and wash his back.
One day, Isabella, not feeling well, was lying on her bed. Zippy was playing around her in his usual way. Pretty soon he ran under the bed, and was busy a long while reaching up, and pulling and picking at the slats over his head. By and by he crawled out; and what do you think he had between his teeth? A pretty little red coral ear-ring that Isabella had lost several weeks before. Zip's bright eyes had spied it as he was playing around under the bed. So you see Zip Coon did some good that time.
When Zip grew older, he became so cross and snappish, that he had to be chained up in the woodshed in front of his little house. On the door of his house was printed in red letters, "Zip Coon: he bites."
But if we could look round a corner, and take a view of the other side of the barnyard, we should see something quite exciting.
The trouble was made by three hens of foreign breed. They felt so proud because they had big tufts on their heads, that they looked down on the native barn-yard fowls. One old white hen they never cease to pick upon.
Now, the old white hen, although plain, was very smart. If there was a good fat worm to be found anywhere, she was sure to scratch it up. This was what caused the fuss.
Old Whitey scratched up a worm. Three tufted hens at once tried to take it away from her. There was a chase all around the barnyard. Old Whitey, with the worm in her mouth, kept the lead.
Out she dashed through an opening in the fence. Down she went, down the hill back of the barn. The three tufted hens, like three highwaymen, were close upon her.
Well, what was the end of it? They didn't get the worm; I can tell you that. But there was a fight, and I can't say that poor Whitey got off without being badly pecked.
Why does Miss Prim;
So stylish and slim,
Hold up her head so high?
What does she see?
A bird in the tree?
Or is it a star in the sky?
And here is young Jane
In bonnet so plain:
And why is she looking up too?
Do they seek at high noon
For the man in the moon?
Now, really, I wish that I knew?
What I am going to tell happened one spring day. It was warm and beautiful out, and the doors and windows of the house were left open for the fresh air to circulate freely. Charley was turned into the front-yard to nibble the green grass for a while. It must have seemed good to him after eating straw and hay all winter.
He ate and ate until he had eaten all he wanted, and probably felt as boys and girls sometimes do when they have room for nothing more, except pie, or pudding, or whatever the dessert may be.
In the house dinner was over, and the table was waiting for Katy to come from the kitchen to clear it off. The family had gone into the sitting-room, and were busy talking about a ramble in the woods for flowers, which had been promised us children for that afternoon.
All at once we heard the tramp of heavy feet passing through the hall into the dining-room. "Run, Willy," said mother, "and see what is making such a noise."
Willy ran out, and came back laughing so he could hardly speak. "It's old Charley," said he. "He's in the dining-room." We all rushed to the door, and, sure enough, there stood Charley by the table, eating what he could find on the platters and children's plates.
Oh, how we all laughed to see him standing there, as sober as if it were his own stall and manger! We were willing that Charley should have what we had left; but it seemed hardly right that a horse should be in the house; besides, we feared that he might push the dishes off.
So Willy took him by the mane, and led him out of the house. He went off chewing what he had in his mouth, and nodding his head, as much as to say, "That pie-crust and salt are pretty good. If you please, I'll call again."
[A] Peet-weet is the common name of the spotted Sandpiper, derived from its note.
"Where's Parley-voo?" asked aunt Tib one afternoon. "I haven't seen him for a long time."
"Where can he be?" said mamma, looking concerned.
"Where can he be?" echoed the French nurse, throwing down her sewing, and going in search of him. "Where can he be? Le méchant!" (She meant "The naughty little boy.") Then she ran down the walk, calling out, "Parley-voo, Parley-voo, Parley-voo!" But not a sound came back.
She went down the lane to the house of the tailoress, where Parley-voo had sometimes been known to go. "Have you seen our little boy to-day?" she asked anxiously of the tailoress, who sat at the window, making a vest.
The tailoress looked up over her glasses, and laughed. "Why, yes: he's here," said she; "and I don't know what his mother will say when she sees him."
The nurse went up to the window, and looked in. There sat Parley-voo on a little wooden cricket, and ever so much of his bright, pretty hair—as much as he could get at—lay on the floor beside him.
When Parley-voo saw the nurse, he ran into a corner, and hid his face. The poor nurse was so amazed, that she could hardly speak. How came the child in such a plight?
The tailoress told the story as follows. She had gone out to pick some peas in the garden, leaving her husband, a blind man, in the room with Parley-voo. He heard the little boy about the room, and, fearing that he might be in some mischief, told him that he "must not meddle."
But pretty soon the blind man heard the sound of shears going across the table. Parley-voo was certainly doing something with the shears.
"Little boy, you must not meddle," said the blind man again. The noise stopped. "Ah! the boy does not dare to disobey me," thought the blind man.
All of a sudden the noise began again; but it was a very different noise. It was not on the table. The shears went together every little while with a sharp click.
The blind man felt very uneasy. "I do wish," he thought, "my wife would come in and see what the little chap is up to."
To console himself, the blind man opened his snuff-box and took a pinch of snuff. What do you think the little chap did? He slyly put in his finger and thumb, and took a pinch too. And then how he did sneeze!
The tailoress heard him sneeze, and came in. She saw at once what had been going on. Parley-voo had been cutting his hair.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed mamma, when the nurse brought him home.
"Dear, dear!" cried aunt Tib, "what a looking child!"
Then the bonne told where she found him, and they looked at his hair, and talked so much about it, that Parley-voo wished he could sink through the floor out of sight. And he thought to himself that he would never again touch any thing he had been told not to.
The nurse took him up to the nursery, and dressed him all fresh and nice before his father came home. But the pretty yellow hair was two or three months growing out.
This is the pump that stands in the field near our house. The well is very deep, and the water is pure and cold. There is a trough at which the cows and horses often come to drink.
Bridget goes to the pump two or three times a day to get a pail of water. It is quite a task to bring it so far. But Bridget's arms are quite strong. She takes all the care of the hens and cows and pigs.
People came from far and near to see it and to skate on it. The lake was black with skaters who were gliding over its surface.
Men, women, and children alike shared the fun. There had not been such skating before for fifty years, and it is no wonder that they made the most of it while it lasted.
In January a warm wind blew for two days: the huge masses of snow melted, and the little brooks were once more set running down the mountain-sides. But winter was soon back again with redoubled severity, bringing fresh snow and severer frost, and thus keeping the lake frozen.
On Candlemas Day (the second day of February) there was a grand festival on the ice. The peasants came from far and near. There were thousands of them there. In the evening there was a grand illumination, and after that there were fireworks, and then a dance on the ice.
In summer the water of Lake Constance is of a dark green color. The River Rhine enters it at the western end, and flows out at the eastern end. The lake is about forty-four miles long and nine miles wide.
The view of the frozen lake from the mountains is said to have been very fine. As you looked down on its smooth glittering surface, the skaters moving over it appeared like mere specks, while the houses in the village were like doll-houses.
Some miles from London, on one of the most beautiful parts of the River Thames, a great number of swans are kept, which are owned by the Dyers' and Vintners' Companies.
The owners value them so highly, and take such care of them, that they have about as nice a time as any birds could wish to have. I fancy that these Thames swans hold their heads higher, and feel prouder, than any other swans in England.
They build their nests in the osier-beds, by the side of the river, but out of the reach of the water. These nests are compact, handsome structures, formed of osiers, or reeds.
Every pair of swans has its own walk, or district, within which no other swans are permitted to build. Every pair has a keeper appointed to take the entire charge of them.
The keeper receives a small sum for every cygnet that is reared; and it is his duty to see that the nest is not disturbed. Sometimes he helps these lordly birds by building the foundation of the nest for them.
Once a year, in August, the swans are counted and marked. This is called "swan-upping," and a good time it used to be. In gayly decorated barges, with flags flying, and music playing, the city authorities came up the river to take up the swans and mark them.
The "upping" began on the first Monday after St. Peter's Day. But, before the swans could be taken up, they had to be caught. This was no easy matter; for the swans are strong; and often they would lead the uppers a hard chase among the crooks of the river.
The mark of the Vintners' Company is two nicks: hence came the well-known sign on so many inns in England, "The Swan with Two Necks," a corruption from "two nicks."
These "Thames swans" are very beautiful birds, and well worth a trip up the river to see: so I hope, that, if ever the little readers of "The Nursery" take a trip to England, they will visit Hurley in Bucks, and there they will find "The Swans with Two Nicks."
Then I get into the rocking-chair, take Helen on one knee and Lewis on the other, and as they lean on my breast, with their eyes shut, I rock and talk to them thus:—
"Here we are up in the sky on the moon. Oh, how high we are! Below us see the clouds blown about like feathers. Here we are safe and sound in the moon. Look down, and see the trees on the earth. There's where the birds are going to bed. Do you see that streak that looks like a silver ribbon? That is a river flowing to the sea. Now we are over the ocean. You can see our moonlight like great plates of silver all over it. See! there comes a ship all white. It looks as if it had its nightdress on.
"Here we are over a town. How beautiful the streets look with gas-lamps burning! And see all the pretty things in the shop-windows. I know what Helen is looking at. It is the big doll dressed in silk and satin. I know what Lewis is looking at. He is looking at the ginger-bread.
"Oh! now we are just over a little white house. I can see through the window a man with two children in his lap. Oh, dear! he's going to do something dreadful with them."
"What's that?" asks Helen. "Put them to bed," I say. But Lewis says nothing. He is fast asleep.
He is looking out of the window. He sees a cat on the sill outside. It is an old strange cat.
The little boy is fond of kittens; but he does not like cats. He is not polite to the strange cat.
"What do you want here?" he says. "Why do you stare at me so? Do you want to eat me? I'm not a mouse. Go away!"
The cat answers with one word, "Mew!"
"What do you say?" asks the boy. "Are you cold? Do you want to come in? Do you want some milk?"
And all that the cat says is, "Mew!"
"Go away!" says the boy again. "My mother does not like strange cats. I do not like strange cats. If you are hungry, go and catch a rat. You can't come in here."
The cat does not budge an inch. But still she answers with a pitiful "Mew!"
Cats cannot talk; but they can think. This cat looks in at the window and sees the boy. This is what she thinks.
"That boy looks like a boy that I knew when I was a kitten. I was a pet then. Now I am a cat without any home. Nobody cares for me. I go from house to house; but nobody takes me in. I wonder if I can't make that little boy take pity on me. I will try.
"Ah! he treats me like everybody else. He tells me to go away. Pretty soon he will say, 'Scat!' and throw water on me. No: he will not do that. He is so much like the little boy who used to pet me when I was a kitten, that I will not run away from him. I will beg to be let in."
So the cat sat still and said, "Mew!"
And the cat did not make a mistake. The little boy did take pity on her at last. He toddled off to his mother as fast as his legs would carry him, and got a pan of milk, which he set on the floor.
His mother opened the window for him, and the strange cat came in. How eagerly she lapped up the milk! She was really a very nice cat. The little boy soon began to make a pet of her.
And the cat was happy, and the boy was happy; and I don't know which was the happier of the two.
The original text for the July issue had a table of contents that spanned six issues. This was divided amongst those issues.
Additionally, only the July issue had a title page. This page was copied for the remaining five issues. Each issue had the number added on the title page after the Volume number.