HAPPY LITTLE EDWARD,
AND HIS PLEASANT
RIDE AND RAMBLES
IN THE COUNTRY.
AND HIS PLEASANT,
RIDE AND RAMBLES
IN THE COUNTRY.
Come, little children, wake from sleep, And into the country take a peep; Happy Edward leads the way, So haste to the country, haste away!
HAPPY LITTLE EDWARD.
Edward Jones was about four years old. He was a good, and of course a happy little boy, and he lived in a beautiful city in Connecticut, with his kind parents, and his brothers and sisters, and a dear good aunt, who took care of him.
Edward's mother had a sister living in Massachusetts, who was the wife of a farmer, and one beautiful Spring morning, Mr. and Mrs. Jones determined to pay her a visit, and to take Edward with them.
The little fellow was much pleased to hear this, you may be sure; and when the carriage drove up to the door, he could hardly wait for aunt Mary to dress him, comb his hair, and get him ready for the journey.
At first Edward's attention was taken up with the motion of the carriage, and the sight of the horses, as they rode swiftly on their journey; but after a while he began to notice the different objects which presented themselves, as the road led through the green woods, and on the banks of the broad river, or swept by the pretty villages which lay in their route.
About noon they stopped at a retired and shady spot on the banks of the river, to give the horses time to get a little rest and refreshment.
So Edward and his mother seated themselves on the green bank; and she let him take off his cap and dip his fingers in the clear bright stream, which she told him was running to swell the waters of the great ocean. It was a lovely day; the air was full of the sweet scent of the early flowers, and the grass was green and bright with the freshness of Spring.
"What is that running up the tree, mother?" asked Edward; "see what bright quick eyes it has, and a bushy tail;—there he goes, mother!"
"That is a squirrel, my dear; a brown squirrel. They are not all like this one. There are black and gray squirrels; and in some very cold countries, white ones. But hark! my son; what sound is that?"
Edward listened, and heard something like the sound of a little hammer against a tree. He ran into the wood, and there he saw a little bird knocking with its bill against the trunk of a tree, just as if it wanted some one to open the door! Soon he saw it draw out of the bark of the tree, a little worm, which hung upon the end of its tongue as if it had been a hook! His mother told him this little bird, was called a woodpecker, and this was the way it took its food.
Edward's father now put him in the carriage, and they proceeded on their journey. For the first few miles Edward could think of nothing but the squirrel, the bird, and the pleasant spot where he had been looking at them. Then he began to think of the friends he was going to see, and wondered what his cousins would say, and how they would look when they saw him.
A short time before sunset, they stopped before a neat and pretty cottage, with a large yard before it; in which two rosy boys and a sweet little girl were playing together.
"There, Edward," said his mother, "are your cousins, William, George, and Ann, all clapping their hands with joy at seeing us; and there is aunt Harriet just coming to the door with her baby in her arms."
Oh, what a joyful time these little cousins had. Edward told all the wonders he had seen, and William and George told of many more that they would show him. George said he should ride on his little pony, and William promised to show him all his pet rabbits, while Ann insisted that he would be delighted to see her pretty chickens, and to go to her play-room, and see her dolls.
Before dark, Edward's aunt called the children to supper, and they all sat down to the table, where Mrs. Wilson gave them some nice new bread, and fresh butter, with some beautiful honey in the honey-comb, such as Edward had never seen before. He was quite hungry, as well as much fatigued with his day's ride, and as soon as he had finished his supper, he went into the parlor, and kissing his parents, he bade them and all his friends good night, and retired to rest. But before he got into bed, he knelt down and thanked GOD for taking care of him through the day, and prayed that He would protect and care for him through the night.
The next morning the children were all up early, and Edward went out with his cousins to see William's rabbits. He was delighted with the beautiful little animals, and asked a great many questions about them, which William kindly answered. He admired them so much that he could hardly be persuaded to leave them, till Ann told him he would not be as obedient as the young rabbits were, if he did not go in at once, for her mother had twice called them to go in and get their breakfasts.
Just as Edward had finished his breakfast, he looked out and saw a beautiful bird sitting on the branch of a young apple-tree, eating the tender buds, and singing most sweetly.
"There is that mischievous bullfinch again," said Mr. Wilson; "if I do not drive him away, I shall never have an apple on that favorite young tree of mine." Then he took down his gun and went into the garden, followed by the children. But Mr. Wilson was a kind man and would not harm a living thing. So he pointed the gun away from the bird and fired. The loud report not only frightened the bird, but startled little Edward also, which made his cousins laugh heartily. The children all thought they had rather lose the apples than such a pretty bird, and were not quite satisfied with Mr. Wilson for sending him away. To divert their minds, he told them to put on their hats, and take a ramble in the fields with him, and perhaps he would walk with them up the high hill near his farm, if their little visitor thought his legs were strong enough to climb so high. Edward thought they were; so they set off, shouting and racing through the fields, while Mr. Wilson followed leisurely in the road.
They found it rather hard work to climb the hill, which was very steep, but when they got to the top, they were well paid for all their trouble. They could see many pretty towns, with the beautiful river gliding along through them, and many high hills, like the one they were on, far away in the distance. Mr. Wilson pointed out and told them the names of the different villages which were in sight, and thus amused and instructed them till they were all well rested. Then they started down the hill, and except a few tumbles, reached the foot of it in safety.
Mr. Wilson then led the way for a walk over his large farm. In one of the fields they stopped to see a flock of sheep. Among them were a great number of pretty white lambs, skipping and jumping about, kicking up their little legs, wagging their tails, and looking so innocent and happy, that Edward could not bear to leave them. But his cousins, who were accustomed to these things, were impatient to be gone, and Edward was soon scampering after them, from field to field;—first to see the men plowing, where George mounted one horse and William another, and rode before the plows for a few minutes; then, leaving Mr. Wilson there, they chased the butterflies, and picked the early flowers, as they ranged through other fields, until they came to a pleasant little piece of woods, where they stopped to look at the old hollow oak, in which all four could just crowd in. Here they stopped to rest a little, and to watch the labors of a a pretty bird building its nest on the branch of a neighboring tree.
Then they wandered down in a meadow to get a drink of water from a fine spring near the foot of a huge old tree, and having refreshed themselves, turned their steps homewards. On their way, the cousins showed Edward a shining little brook of clear water, which ran murmuring through their farm, and pointed out a great many objects which were quite new to him. It was a pleasant and joyful ramble to them all; but Edward was well tired when they reached home.
The next day Edward and his parents started for home. He was sorry to leave his cousins, but he began to wish to see his brothers and sisters once more. It was a pleasant morning, and Mr. Jones decided to take a different route from the one they had traveled before. Edward was delighted with the fine scenery which this new route opened to his view. In the afternoon they came to the river side, where there was a ferry. A large boat was there, for the horses and carriage, and a small one in which Edward and his parents seated themselves and were soon rowed across; The sun had not yet set, but threw a bright yellow light on the water, that made it look like gold. Edward did not wonder that the geese and ducks were so fond of swimming about on it, and he felt sorry when they reached the opposite shore, and his pleasant sail was over. Then he and his mother sat down on the green bank to look at the beautiful sight before them, while the horses and carriages were coming across. There was the river all smooth and shining like gold, and beyond it were the high mountains, looking like purple clouds, and opposite, the sun was setting in all the rich splendor of a summer evening.
Soon the carriage drove up, and they all got in and continued their journey. Edward saw nothing that pleased him so much as that river, and often wished that he could sail over it again in the little boat. But soon they drew near home, and then he began to think of the joyful meeting he should have with his brothers and aunt Mary.
The first thing they saw as they came near the house, was Edward's dog, Romeo, who came running up to the carriage, barking, wagging his tail, and looking as much pleased as Edward was.
I need not tell you how happy the children were, nor what they said the night Edward got home; nor how delighted he was in telling of all the sights he had seen. But I think he learned enough during this pleasant journey, to make him a somewhat wiser, if not a happier little boy.
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