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Title: Jimmy Crow

Author: Edith Francis Foster

Release Date: December 28, 2007 [EBook #24061]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Jason Isbell, Mark C. Orton, Christine D. and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was made using scans of
public domain works in the International Children's Digital


[Pg 1]

Jimmy Crow


Edith Francis Foster

Published by
Dana Estes & Co.

[Pg 2]

[Pg 3]


Charming tales told in rebus form for wee men and women




Oblong quarto. Bound in cloth with separate cover design for each volume

Estes Press, Summer Street, Boston

[Pg 4]

[Pg 5]




[Pg 6]

Copyright, 1899-1900
By S. E. Casino Company

Copyright, April, 1902
By Dana Estes & Company

All rights reserved


Colonial Press
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co
Boston, Mass., U. S. A.

[Pg 7]


[Pg 8]

[Pg 9]

How Jack Found Jimmy Crow9
The Christmas Candles15
After the Snow Storm21
"The Rose Is Red"27
Dropping Stitches33
April Fool39
Jack's Circus Money45
Jimmy's Circus51
A Whole Bunch of Crackers57
Jimmy Crow's Birthday Party63
In School69

[Pg 11]


[Pg 12]


Jimmy Crow belongs to Jack. Jack is a little boy. Jimmy is a big crow. Jack wears a white suit. Jimmy wears black feathers. Jack says "Good Morning," and "Yes, sir," and "Thank you." Jimmy can say only "Caw, caw." Jack thinks Jimmy is a funnier pet than a cat or a dog.

O ne day, last[Pg 13] summer, Jack was picking low berries in the pasture, when he saw a young crow hopping in the bushes. The little crow was lame in one leg. He had fallen from the nest. He was too young to fly far, so Jack caught him. He carried him home in his berry-basket. Then Jack took a hammer and nails and wood and built a cage. He named his new pet "Jimmy Crow."[Pg 14]

J ack took good care of Jimmy Crow. He caught crickets for him to eat, and gave him fresh water in a tin cup. Jimmy's lame leg soon got well. His wings grew big, and he could fly. When Jack called, Jimmy would fly to him and perch on his hand or head.

J immy Crow liked mischief. He liked to hide things and see people hunt for them. Once when Jack was getting ready for school,[Pg 15] he could not find his top. He hunted till Mama said he must put on his rubber boots and be off. One of those boots would not go on. There was something in the toe. Jack held it up and shook it, and out fell—the top! Jimmy Crow flapped his wings and cried "Caw, caw!" That was his way of laughing. Jack laughed too, as he took his books and hat and hurried off. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 17]


[Pg 18]


Grandma lives at Jack's house. She has a bird, too. Grandma's bird is a green parrot. The parrot's name is "Pepper." Jack loves Grandma, but Jack's crow does not love Grandma's parrot.

P epper can talk like a man, mew like a cat, bark like a dog. She can cry[Pg 19] and laugh. When Jimmy says "Caw, caw!" Pepper says "C-a-w, c-a-w!" and then laughs. Jimmy crow doesn't like to be laughed at. Once he flew at Pepper, and pushed her off her perch. But Pepper scratched him with her talons and pulled out a tail-feather with her beak. Now Jimmy keeps away from her, unless he wants to steal her crackers.

O n Christmas Eve children came[Pg 20] to Jack's Tree. Mama had trimmed it with popcorn and candles, and hung ornaments everywhere. When she went with a match to light the candles, they were gone! "Where are the candles?" cried Mama. "Somebody has carried them off, and I can't light the tree." Betty, the littlest girl, began to cry—two tears ran down her cheeks. Pepper sat on her perch cracking a nut. When she heard the outcry, she dropped it and screamed[Pg 21] "Jimmy Crow, Jimmy Crow! Oh, oh! Oh, oh!" "Oh, naughty Jimmy Crow!" said Mama. "He has hidden them. Pepper is telling tales. Run, children, and hunt! We'll play a new game, 'Hunt the candle.'"

E ight pairs of feet ran "up stairs, down stairs, in my lady's chamber." At last Betty tipped over a basket, and out rolled the candles. The littlest girl had won! So Mama held her up, and she lit the Christmas Tree. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 23]


[Pg 24]


Just after Christmas there was a great snow storm. The drifts were higher than the fence. When it cleared off, Jack put on his cap and reefer, mittens and rubber boots, and went out. Jimmy Crow went with him. First, Jack took shovel and broom and made a wide clean path to the gate. This[Pg 25] was "working for Mama." Jack likes to work for Papa and Mama.

T hen friends came to play with him, and they had a fine frolic. They rolled big snowballs, and built a snowman. They put an old hat on his head and the shovel over his shoulder. Then Jack rang the bell, and Mama came to the door. "Here is a man with a shovel," he said. "Don't you want him to shovel paths for you?"[Pg 26]

I might," laughed Mama, "but somebody has been ahead of him—and here are four hot donuts for that smart somebody." Jack gave the other boys donuts, and they all sat down on the steps to eat them. Jimmy Crow sat on the fence post. He begged till each boy gave him a piece.

T hen they made a pile of snowballs to throw at the snowman. Just as Bob threw one, Jimmy Crow lit on the shoulder of the snowman,[Pg 27] and the snowball knocked him off into a deep drift! Jimmy Crow was not hurt, but he was angry. He flew at Bob, and carried off his cap in his beak, and dropped it into that same deep snowdrift. Then Bob had to wade through snow over his boots, to get his cap again. And Jimmy Crow perched on Jack's head, flapped his wings, and laughed "C-a-w, c-a-w, c-a-w!" Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 29]


[Pg 30]


Tomorrow is St Valentine's day," said Jack. "Whom can I send a card to, Mama?" "Who is the nicest little girl you know?" asked Mama. Jack tried to think. "I guess it's the one in the big brick house," he said. "Her hair is curly, and she gave me an apple when I climbed the tree for her kitten. Her name is Kitty,[Pg 31] too, and that's a pretty name."

S o Mama took a sheet of paper and painted flowers all around it, with two little doves at the top; and Jack wrote a verse in the middle, with pictures—like this story. "Dear Kitty; The rose is red, the violet blue—I like kittens so I like you. Yours truly, J." Then he put it in an envelope and went out to send it. Jimmy Crow went too.

O f course Jack could not carry it himself, or Kitty[Pg 32] would know who sent it. So he tied it around Jimmy Crow's neck. When they reached Kitty's house he set him down on the steps and rang the bell. Then he ran and hid behind the gatepost.

T he door opened quickly, for Kitty was just coming out with her sled. She looked all around but she could only see Jimmy Crow, busy picking a bone her kitten had left there. Then she caught sight of the envelope, and untied[Pg 33] it. She dropped her sled rope and the sled slid down the steps and away to the gate. Jack jumped out and caught it. "Oh, what a pretty card!" cried Kitty. "Thank you, Jack." "No, no!" said Jack in a hurry. "You mustn't know it's me." "Well, then, thank you, Jimmy," laughed Kitty. "Now let's go sliding." "All right," said Jack. He put Jimmy Crow on the sled and off they all went. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 34]


[Pg 36]


One day, Grandma sat down to knit on Jack's stocking, and found one needle was gone. "Oh dear, that's too bad!" said she. "All the stitches dropped!" Pepper giggled, "Too bad, too bad!"

G randma looked into her basket, and under the table—and when she got up two needles were gone. "Dear, dear!" said[Pg 37] she. "Where do they go?" Pepper giggled louder, and called, "Dear, dear! Too bad!"

G randma looked behind her chair, and under the rug—and when she came back three needles were gone. "Dearie me!" she cried, and held up both hands. Pepper giggled and giggled, and shrieked, "Dearie me! Jimmy Crow!" "Why, yes," cried Grandma, "Jimmy Crow is the thief, of course. Now where has he hid them?"

J ust then he flew[Pg 38] down and tried to pull out the last needle. Grandma saw him, and called Jack. Jack looked in the coal scuttle, he crawled under the couch, he climbed on a chair and reached into the vases on the mantle. Jimmy Crow hopped about him and chuckled softly, "Caw, caw!"

T hen Pepper giggled and cried out, "Jimmy-Jimmy wants a cracker!" "Oh, yes," said Jack, "let's give Jimmy a cracker, and see where he takes it."[Pg 39] Jimmy carried the cookie to the top of the cupboard. "That's the place. I'll get the ladder," Jack laughed. When he had climbed to the top, he shouted, "Grandma! Here are the needles—and all the other things we have lost—your pouch, and the spoon, and my mitten—and—lots of things!" As he came down with both hands full, Jimmy fluttered about his head, and Pepper giggled and shrieked. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 40]


[Pg 42]


Jack's Mama was making pies. "Please, Jack," said she, "get me some cold water." Jack took his pail and went out to the pump. Jimmy Crow went too. He sat on Jack's shoulder, bouncing up and down as Jack worked the handle.

T hen Jack took the cup which hung on a nail and filled it at[Pg 43] the pump. But as it touched his lips, Jimmy reached round and snatched it, and flew up into the big cherry tree. "April-Fool!" called out Pepper from Grandma's window.

J ack was vexed. "Bring that back!" he shouted—but Jimmy Crow only chuckled. Jack jumped on a barrel, and began to climb the tree. Just as he reached up to grab Jimmy's leg Jimmy hopped to the next branch[Pg 44] higher, tipping the cup, and all the water splashed down into Jack's face. "April-April-Fool!" cried Pepper from the window. Jack felt more vexed than ever. He dropped his hat and hurried, but Jimmy hopped as fast as Jack climbed, till they reached the top of the tree. Then, just as Jack thought he had him, Jimmy Crow dropped the cup, bang! on his nose, and flew off to the rooftop of the house.

O h, you bad Jimmy!"[Pg 45] cried Jack, and started to climb down again. And all the way Pepper screamed, "April-April-Fool!" and giggled and giggled till Jack had to laugh too.

T hen he carried in the pail of water, and told Mama all about it. "I didn't mean to get fooled once today," said he, "but Jimmy Crow has fooled me three times already."

T hey both laughed, and Mama gave him a whole little apple pie, baked in a dish. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 47]


[Pg 48]


The circus was coming! Jack wanted to go, but he had spent all his money for candy and a kite.

S hall I give you twenty-five cents now," asked Mama as she took out her wallet, "or will you earn it?" "I'll earn it, with my own hands," said Jack. "It's more fun to spend money you have worked for." "Then you[Pg 49] may weed the onions and carrots for me," said Mama.

J ack put on his jacket and went into the garden. Jimmy Crow went too. Jimmy Crow ate beetles and a caterpillar, and then perched on the lawn mower and watched Jack work.

W hen the job was done Mama paid him his quarter. First he sat on the wheelbarrow and spun the coin like a top. Then he began to toss it up in the air, and catch it in his hat as it fell.[Pg 50]

T he second time he didn't catch it—but Jimmy Crow did, and flew off with it. Jack ran after him, shouting, "Stop thief!" He chased him through the berry-bushes and across the strawberry-bed, to the orchard wall. There Jimmy sat till Jack came up, then he dropped the quarter into a crack between the stones. Jack heard it rattle down to the ground.

T en Jack had to work hard! He pulled away the[Pg 51] stones till he could see it, between two big rocks, but couldn't get his hand in. So he took a stick and poked. At last, out rolled the quarter—and out hopped a toad! Jack laughed, but Jimmy Crow was so surprised he flapped his wings and croaked.

J ust then Bob came up. "Did your mother give you that?" he asked. "No," said Jack, "I earned it, for the circus—and Jimmy Crow made me earn it over again!" Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 53]


[Pg 54]


Such a fine circus! Jack and Bob went, but Jimmy Crow was left at home. The two boys bought peanuts and fed the elephant and monkeys. Jack put his hand full of nuts between the bars, and a little brown monkey pulled his fingers open and picked out the peanuts.

T hen they saw the grand parade in the big tent—the[Pg 55] elephant, the camel, the giraffe, the zebra, the cages with lions, and tigers, the hippopotamus and the bear. Then a pretty lady rode a white horse, standing up on the saddle and waving a flag. Other horses ran races, and jumped, and walked upright. The funny clown tried to ride a little donkey, and kept tumbling off.

A t the last, all the animals marched round again, and a funny thing happened. A big black crow[Pg 56] came flying into the tent and lighted right on the elephant's back. He spread his wings, and danced up and down in time to the marching band. The people thought he was part of the circus, and clapped their hands and laughed, but Jack ran out into the ring, crying, "Oh, he's mine, he's mine! Please let me have him!"

T he clown got a ladder and climbed up the elephant, but Jimmy Crow kept out of his reach, and everybody laughed. So[Pg 57] he came tumbling down again, and told Jack to try it. Jack climbed up and crept along to the elephant's head—and then Jimmy flew up on his shoulder, and the audience clapped louder still.

When Jack came down, the clown fished a penny out of his pocket, and offered to buy Jimmy Crow. "No, sir!" said Jack. "Not for a hundred dollars! I'd rather have my crow than this whole circus." Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 59]


[Pg 60]


HURRAH for the Fourth! Jack was out of bed before the sun rose. He could not wait for breakfast, but drank a cup of milk, and ran out to find the other boys. Jimmy Crow went too. Bob and Russell came up just then, with their pockets full of firecrackers, and they all began firing[Pg 61] them on the lawn. Jimmy Crow liked the little red things, and begged for some, but the boys only laughed at him.

P retty soon Jack lighted a whole string of firecrackers, and threw it down, and all the boys ran away. Then Jimmy Crow saw his chance, and he seized the bunch of crackers and flew in at Grandma's open window!

H e lighted on Pepper's perch. Pepper tried to bite him, but bang! went a firecracker![Pg 62]

Both birds jumped, and Jimmy dropped the bunch on the carpet. Bang! went another firecracker, and bang! bang! went two firecrackers. Then a dozen flew out, banging, over the floor.

C aw! Caw!" screamed Jimmy Crow. "Fire! Fire!" screamed Pepper. "Jack! Jack!" screamed Grandma. She was trying to pick up the bunch with the fire tongs, when Jack ran in. He threw a rug over the string of firecrackers, gathered them up in it, and threw all out[Pg 63] of the window. Grandma sat down in her arm-chair very pale. Jack kissed her. "I'm sorry we scared you so," he said. "Now you rest while I clear up."

H e brought the brush and dustpan, and swept up the litter. Then he gave Pepper a peanut and took Jimmy Crow under his arm. "Pepper didn't 'want a cracker,' that time, did she, Grandma?" said he. "Now we'll go further away." But just then the breakfast bell rang. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 65]


[Pg 66]


It was a year ago today I found Jimmy Crow," said Jack. "He must have a 'birthday' party." So Jack invited the children he and Jimmy liked best to "Jimmy's picnic."

T hey all went up to the berry-pasture where Jack found Jimmy Crow. First there was little Ibelle, carrying Jimmy Crow in her arms. Next came her big brother Alden, who had a basket[Pg 67] with six pears in it. Louise had six sticks of candy in a bag, and Bob brought six donuts in a box. Russell carried six cookies in a parcel, and last came Jack with a tin bucket. Nobody knew what was in it. That was Mama's "surprise."

T ey sat down under a shady tree and divided the goodies. Jimmy Crow sat in the middle, and they each gave him a piece. After they had all eaten a stick of
candy and a donut and a pear and a cookie, Jack opened the bucket. The children all put[Pg 68] their heads close together to see, and as the lid came off they shouted, "Oh, oh! Ice-cream!"

T hen they sat down again in a circle, Jack in the middle, with a spoon. He gave each one a spoonful of ice-cream in turn. Oh, how good it tasted!

B ut Jimmy Crow wanted some, and when Jack would not let him eat from the spoon, he grabbed it in his beak and flew away. The children chased him until he dropped it, and then gave him a taste of[Pg 69] the ice-cream. He didn't like it, so the children ate it all.

T hen they picked berries, until Alden's basket and Bob's box and Louise's bag were all full.

J ust as they were starting home, a little tired after all the fun—"Hurrah!" shouted Russell. "Here comes Uncle Charlie, with his wagon. He will give us a ride." So kind Uncle Charlie tossed them up into the hay, one by one—little Ibelle first—and they all rode home on the hay. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 70]


[Pg 72]


The first day Jack went to school in the fall, Jimmy Crow was very lonesome. The school was near by, and about noon he flew over and hopped in at the open window.

A ll the children were bending over their desks, writing, but Jimmy knew Jack's back as well as his front, and lighted on his head. The children laughed at[Pg 73] that, and the teacher laughed too.

T hen she said, "If Jimmy Crow does not disturb anyone, he may stay, as it is nearly noon." The children promised not to be disturbed, and the pencils went to work again. Jimmy Crow behaved beautifully, though at first he tried to walk on Jack's paper and to bite his pencil. Jack pushed him away, and he flew to the teacher's desk where he walked about quietly, looking[Pg 74] at the books and vase of flowers.

W hen the lesson was finished, the teacher said, "Jack may collect the pencils." He got the pencil box and began, but Jimmy flew ahead of him, and picked up a pencil. Jack took it, and put it in the box. Then Jimmy Crow brought another. The children were delighted. They held their pencils in their hands, and Jimmy Crow collected them all.

T hen the bell rang and the children marched out for hats [Pg 75] and jackets. When they came back, Jimmy Crow was gone! Jack looked under the desks and in the waste-basket. Then the teacher looked in her closet, and there he sat on a clothes-hook. He had found her lunch-basket, and eaten a whole bunch of grapes. Jack was very sorry, but the teacher only laughed.

T hat afternoon Jimmy did not go to school, but Jack brought her a big red apple and said it was from Jimmy Crow. Edith Francis Foster

[Pg 76]


[Pg 78]


One bright, frosty, October morning Jack went up to the walnut tree in the pasture to gather nuts. Jimmy Crow went too. Jack drew his little cart, and Jimmy Crow rode on the seat. Jack picked up all the nuts on the ground, then climbed the tree and shook down more, still in their thick, green husks.

W hen he came[Pg 79] down, Jimmy Crow was busily picking up the nuts and dropping them into a hole in the tree. "Stop that!" cried Jack. "These are my nuts. The squirrels can pick for themselves." "Caw, caw!" said Jimmy Crow.

J ack took home a cart-load. Then he brought a ladder and spread the nuts out on the roof of the barn to dry the husks.

T oward night Jack took Mama out to look at his nuts. Half of them were gone! "Oh dear!"[Pg 80] said Jack, "It is Jimmy Crow again. Now where has he put them all?" Just then he saw Jimmy's tail feathers disappear into the barn. He ran after, but could see no nuts—only an old wagon. He climbed up on the wheel, but found no nuts inside—only a barrel, lying on its side. He reached into the barrel and felt nothing but a basket. He pulled it out and peeped into it—and at last he had found the nuts! And Jimmy Crow perched[Pg 81] on his shoulder and laughed, "Caw, caw!" When the nuts had all been carried back to the barn, and Mama had praised Jack's work, she said, "Now we must hurry in to supper. The sun has set and it is getting late and cold. Let us run, to keep warm." So she and Jack took hands and ran all the way back to the house. Then they went in to their supper—and Jimmy Crow went too.[Pg 82]

[Pg 83]


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