THE FIRST LITTLE PET BOOK, WITH TEN SHORT TALES, IN WORDS OF THREE AND FOUR LETTERS.
BY AUNT FANNY, Author of "Night Caps," "Mittens," "Wife's Stratagem," etc., etc.
"I LOVE GOD AND LITTLE CHILDREN."—RICHTER.
NEW YORK: JAMES O'KANE, PUBLISHER. 1867.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by W. H. KELLEY AND BROTHER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New-York.
THIS LITTLE PET BOOK IS DEDICATED TO Charlotte, Mary, and Willie, THREE DEAR LITTLE CHILDREN, ABOUT WHOM I TOLD FUNNY STORIES IN TWO OF THE "MITTEN" BOOKS.
PREFACE TO MOTHERS.
Many and many a time mothers have come to the author with the piteous plaint: "O Aunt Fanny! we are perfectly worn out with your 'Nightcaps,' 'Mittens,' and 'Socks;' we have read them to our little children, who have not yet conquered the compound mysteries of the alphabet, until we know them by heart; do, do write some books in words of one syllable, which they can read for themselves."
Now, I wonder if these good mothers can conceive what it is to write a story in words of one syllable, and make it interesting, sensible, and grammatical? If they can not, I entreat them to try a page or two of this utterly distracting style of composition; they will very soon have a realizing sense of the pleasing emotions of a lunatic confined in a strait-jacket. Above all, let them try a tale of joy or woe, all in words of three letters and less. Mother Goose could never have made her precious "high-diddle-diddle" nonsense in this way. I have tried frantically to spell "jolly" in three letters and "darling" in one syllable. How I have succeeded the books are submitted to show.
The mothers have wanted them, and I have written them—begging pardon of Mother Goose and Mr. Murray—and entreating that all short-comings, which in this case will mean all words too long, will be set down to want of power, not want of will, to delight and amuse the dear little darlings, the writing for whom is so rare a comfort to their loving
THE BAD OLD APE, 11
MOP, THE PET CAT. A POEM, 19
SAM, THE BAD BOY, 28
BEN AND SUE, AND THE SEE-SAW, 35
THE HEN AND FOX. A POEM, 43
BEN AND BOB, 50
THE OLD GRAY RAT, 64
POOR WILL, WHO WAS SHOT IN THE WAR, 96
ANN, THE GOOD GIRL, 130
JOE, WHO DID NOT MIND, 157
BAD OLD APE.
One day Ned got a pie to eat. It was too hot, so he put it out in the air, on the lid of a big tin pot.
And now he ran off to see his dog who had a pup, and his cat who had a kit.
The pup lay in a box. Ned had got hay to put in the box for a bed; the pup lay on the hay, and the kit lay on a bit of rug.
Ned did pat the pup on his ear, and say: "O you pet! let me hug you." By and by, he did pat the kit too, and say: "Kit, kit, kit, can you eat pie—can you? Let me go and get you a bit." So he ran to his pie—but, O my! it was not on the lid of the big tin pot.
"Why, who can it be who has got my pie?" Ned did say. "Did it fly up in the air?"
"Why, Hal! did you get my pie?"
"No, not I. It is a tom-tit you see—not a pie."
"O yes! so it is, a wee tom-tit. If I can get my pie, the tom-tit, and you and I can eat it."
He got up on top of the tin pot to see far off, and he did cry out: "O my! I see it now! I see my pie! The sly old ape has got it, and he has eat a big bit out of it, too! Oh! oh! he will eat it all up! How can I get at him?"
And now the sly old ape, who had the pie in his paw, saw Ned, and Ned did say: "Now for a run!" So he did run, and the sly old ape did run, and the dog did run, and the cat did run, and the pup did run, and the kit did run, and all did run, and it was fun.
The ape did say, "Che! che!" and ate the pie as he ran. Ned did say: "O you bad old ape! O you bad old ape!" The dog did say: "Bow wow! Bow wow!" The cat did say: "Mew, mew!" The pup did say: "Yap! yap!" and the kit did cry: "Eee, eee!" Was it not a big run?
And now, was it not too bad in the sly old ape? for you see he ate the pie all up. Ned did not get one bit, and the kit did not get one bit. O my!
Let me say to you, if you get a pie, and it is too hot to eat, do not put it on the top of a big tin pot, in the air, and go off to see a cat or a dog, for if you do, may be a sly old ape may get at the pie, and eat it all up.
MOP, THE PET CAT.
O Ned! the sun Is in the sky, And you in bed— O fie! O fie!
Get up, get up, And go and run Out in the air, For it is fun.
Sit in my lap, As you may do, So I can tie The bow for you.
Now get the cap, The new red top, And let us go To see old Mop,
My old pet cat, Who has one eye— For one is out, Let me say why.
One day a dog, A bad old cur, Did fly at Mop, He bit her fur.
He bit her ear; How she did mew! And all her leg, He bit it too.
He dug his paw Way in her eye, And put it out, And she did cry.
"Oh! mew, mew, mew! Fit! fit! ee! eeeee! My eye is out! I can not see!
"And I may die; Say, can it be?" And up she got To mew to me.
Oh! I was mad, And I was sad, For my pet cat Was bit so bad.
But off I ran, And in a bag, Of old and new, I got a rag:
And I did say: "Let me, I beg, Tie the old rag On the bad leg."
My old pet cat So sad did lie, And I did say: "Oh! she may die!"
Her eye was out, And all the day Up in my lap My cat did lay.
She had a nap, She had a sup, And, by and by, She did get up.
And now her leg And fur are new, And she can run To me and you.
The bad old dog Did go a-way, And in a pit He hid all day.
As out he ran, A man sat by— He had a gun— The dog did die!
For the big man Was sad for Mop, And so his gun Did go off—pop!
And now my Mop All day can run, And get her nap Out in the sun;
Or eat all day; And now you see She is as fat As fat can be.
We can let Mop Go to and fro, For the bad dog, Who bit her so,
Did get a pop; It was not fun, For he did die, By the pop gun.
Now Mop and you And I can go To spy a rat, All in a row.
But by one eye Old Mop can spy A rat as far As you or I.
SAM, THE BAD BOY.
A boy was out one day. It was Sam. He had his new hum top. He did say to his mam-ma: "Oh! see my top! Can I go out and try my new hum top?"
"Yes, my son, but do not go into the old hut."
"Oh! no, mam-ma," Sam did say; and out he ran in the air.
By and by, a big boy did run up to him and say: "Sam, let me try the top? oh! do."
Sam let the big boy try, and, O my! how the top did go! and did hum, hum, hum so, Sam did say it was a big bee.
But, oh! sad to say, the big boy did let the top fly off in-to the hut; and Sam did not do as he was bid, for he ran in to get it.
He saw an ax in the hut.
"Oh! see the ax," Sam did say, "I can try it on the old log, out in the lot; yes, I can see if it can cut."
Was he not a bad boy to say so? for his mam-ma did say to him one day: "You are but a bit of a boy; so you can not do as a big man can do. Do not get the ax; if you do, you may cut off a leg or an arm, and you may die; so do not go to the hut at all, and to-day, too, she did say: "Do not go to the hut."
But the bad boy got the ax, and ran out to the old log.
And now, oh! oh! I am sad to say the ax did not cut the log. No! it cut off Sam's big toe!
How he did cry and hop! His mam-ma ran out, and saw her boy out by the log; the ax was by him, and his big toe was off.
It is no fun at all to get a big toe cut off, for Sam had to lie in bed, and cry all day; and the pig ate up his big toe.
He can not buy a new toe. He has but one big toe now. So you see how bad it is not to do as you are bid.
BEN AND SUE,
AND THE SEE-SAW.
"Can you go out to the see-saw to-day?" Sue did say to Ben.
"O yes, yes! Let me see if mam-ma will let us. Yes, we can go: so you put on a hat, and let me get my cap, and we can run all the way."
Ben got his cap off of the peg, and Sue got her hat out of a box; and the two ran off. Tip, the big dog, ran too.
On the top of the see-saw sat an old cat; she sat on it, to try to spy out a rat, who had hid. The cat did not see Tip; and, I am sad to say, he was now a bad dog; for he ran at her, and bit her in the leg.
The cat put up her paw to hit Tip, and Tip bit her in her ear; and the cat had to run off with a m-e-w! O my! was not Tip a bad dog?
And now Sue and Ben got on the see-saw. Sue did go up, up, up, and Ben did go up, up, up. And it was fun! Was it not?
Tip had his fun too, for he saw the rat. It had hid in a box by the see-saw, and the cat did not see it; but Tip did; and oh! how he did fly at it! He got it in his paw and bit it, so it did die. The rat did not say it was fun to be out at the see-saw, as Ben and Sue did. O no! It was no fun at all to be bit, and to die. Was it?
And now the sun was hot, and Ben and Sue got off the see-saw and ran up to the old red cow, to see her eat hay, and out to the pig sty to see the old fat pig, who ate all day.
"O my!" Sue did say, "see how fat the pig is! All she can do is to eat all day. I can not eat all day; can you Ben?"
"Why, no," Ben did say, "but I can eat one big pie in a day."
"Oh! so can I! Let us go in and ask mam-ma for a pie to eat now."
So the two ran, and Tip ran. And mam-ma had a pie; she cut it up for Sue and Ben to eat, and they did hop for joy and eat it all up.
"Did they? No! I can not say so, for Ben gave Tip, the dog, a big bit; and Sue did too. Ben was not a pig, and Sue was not a pig. So, you see, the two did not eat as the pig did; no! for Tip had his bit too.
Out on the log The sly old cat Did sit all day, To get a rat.
But Tip, the dog, Did run at her, And in his paw He got her fur.
She had to fly, The sly old cat; And now the dog Has got the rat.
THE HEN AND FOX.
My own fat hen Did go one day Out in the lot, An egg to lay.
The day was hot; A cow sat by, And in her ear Was a big fly.
"Buz, buz, buz, buz," The fly did go, In the cow's ear, And bit it so.
The cow did say, "O moo! O moo! Do go a-way, O do! O do!
"Go to the pig, You bad old fly, Get out! get out! O moo! O my!"
It did not go, The bad old fly; And now it lit In the cow's eye.
Up she did hop! And ran a-way; And now my hen Her egg did lay.
But oh! oh! oh! A sly red fox, Who was all hid In an old box,
Did get my hen And get her egg, Tho' she did cry, And she did beg.
But the red fox, O me! O my! He bit and bit, So she did die.
He ate her up In his old den: He ate her up, My own fat hen.
And I so sad All day, did spy To see the bad Red fox go by.
I set a net, And oh! I saw The bad red fox Put in his paw.
Now he did cry, And he did beg, But no! I had Him by the leg.
To let him go Was not to be, And our old Dan Did say to me:
"O the bad fox! As I say 'one,' I'll hit him—pop! Out of my gun."
The fox did die, And my new hen Can lay an egg, Or two, or ten.
For now no fox Can eat my hen, Or get her egg, Or two, or ten.
BEN AND BOB.
One day Ben did go up to his pa-pa, and say: "O pa-pa! my cap is so old, it is not fit to be put on; do buy me a new one!"
His pa-pa did say: "If you are not bad all day, I can say 'yes' to you, but if you are bad, the old cap will do for a bad boy."
But Ben was not bad; so his pa-pa got him the cap. It had fur on it. Ben put it on; and as it fit him, he ran out in the air, and did cry as he ran: "See my new cap! see my new cap!"
Far off, by an old log, he saw a fat hen. She was by her nest. In it was an egg. Ben ran up to her, and he did cry, "Sho! sho! sho!" till she did fly off. So he got the old hen's egg, and put it in the top of his cap. As he did so a boy ran up to him. It was Bob. "Hal-lo," Bob did say. "How do you do, Ben?" and he hit him a tap on the top of his cap. He did not see Ben put the egg in his cap; and, O my! the egg did go pop!! and it ran in his ear and his eye, and all on him from top to toe. His new cap was all egg too.
So you see how bad it was in him not to let the old fat hen and her egg be.
But he did not care a bit; for he and Bob ran off to see the men mow the hay. It lay in the hot sun to dry.
Bob lay on the hay, and the sun was so hot, that the end of his nose got red, and a big dog who was by the men saw the end of his nose, and ran and made a snap at it to eat it. But Ben did hop up, and he and Bob ran off.
Ben did go in to his mam-ma and say: "O mam-ma! we are so hot and so dry! do let us get a pie to eat and a big tin mug of wa-ter; and oh! may we put a big bit of ice in the tin mug?"
His mam-ma did say, Yes; and so Ben and Bob did eat the pie and had a lot of fun; for Ben bit his pie to look like a cat who had one leg, and Bob bit his pie in-to a dog who had one ear. He ate it all up; and Bob did say he had a dog-pie, and Ben had a cat-pie. Was it not fun?
But his pa-pa did say to him: "Why, Ben, how did you get all the egg on you?"
O how red Ben was! But he did not say a lie. O no! He did say: "Pa-pa, I got an egg and put it in the top of my new cap, but Bob did not see it, and he did tap the top of my cap, and the egg did go pop! all on me, and the top of my new cap is all egg. How can I get it off?"
His pa-pa was full of joy, as his son did not say a lie, and he did try to get all the egg off of the new cap. And now Ben and Bob ran off, and Ben had a lot of fun, for he was not bad; O no! he was a boy who did not say a lie, and so he had joy and fun all day. If you are not bad, you can have joy and fun too. You are my pet, so I get all the wee wee w-o-r-d-s I can, to put in-to this book for you; and if I can see you one day and kiss you, I can have joy
Too, too, too; If I can see you, you, you: [A]Will you come? Oh! do, do, do!
I will let you hop, hop, hop, Run or spin your top, top, top, Get a gun and pop, pop, pop.
Go out in the sun, sun, sun, With my kit to run, run, run: Will we not have fun, fun, fun?
You can see my cat, cat, cat, And her soft fur pat, pat, pat— She is on the mat, mat, mat.
Out on the old rug, rug, rug, Is my pet dog Pug, Pug, Pug— Give him a good hug, hug, hug.
If you stub your toe, toe, toe, When to him you go, go, go, You will come to woe, woe, woe.
It will hurt you so, so, so, You will cry: "Oh oh! oh oh! Is my toe off?" "No, no, no;
"For I see it yet, yet, yet; Here it is, my pet, pet, pet; But your face is wet, wet, wet.
"O my dear! don't cry, cry, cry; Kiss me now, and try, try, try To be good as pie, pie, pie.
"I will wipe your eye, eye, eye, Make it nice and dry, dry, dry, Just like the blue sky, sky, sky.
"Do not look so shy, shy, shy, As your hat I tie, tie, tie; O dear me! oh! why, why, why
"Must you go? O my! my! I Want you till I die, die, die. Mam-ma, let me buy, buy, buy
"My dear pet." "O fie! fie! fie! How you talk! Can I, I, I Give her up, and hie, hie, hie
"To my home, to sigh, sigh, sigh, With no dear pet nigh, nigh, nigh, In my arms to lie, lie, lie?
"No; come, pet, be spry, spry, spry; Give a jump up high, high, high; Kiss, and say, Good-by, by, by."
[Footnote A: Some of the words in rhyme have four letters.]
OLD GRAY RAT AND HIS WIFE,
AND HIS NINE BOY-RATS.
Once on a time an old gray rat did live in a hole in the wall, with his wife and his nine wee rats, all boys. It was a hole by the side of the fire; and as snug and nice and warm as you like.
You may be sure that the pa-pa and mam-ma rats got the wee ones lots to eat, for they were all so fat, and full of fun and play.
But one sad day, all the bits of pie and cake were gone. Not as much as a bit the size of a pin's head was left in the hole.
So the wee rats all got in a row, and held up two paws each, and in a sad tone did cry: "O pa-pa! O mam-ma!
"We want some cake, We want some tea, We want some pie, Eee! eee! eee! eee!"
Then a tear came out of each eye, and ran down each nose, and made the hole as damp as a bath-tub.
"O my poor dear boys!" said the old rat, "do stop! You will make me cry too;" and he put his paw to his eye. "I will go and see what I can get you for your tea e-e-e-e. Come, give me a hug, and kiss me for good-by, for that big cat I told you of may get hold of me, and bite my head off. If she does so, this is the last you will see of your poor pa-pa."
At this all the nine boy-rats set up a cry, and gave him such hard hugs, that the old rat had to slap one or two to make them stop. Then, with a hop, skip, and jump, he was up at the top of the hole.
"No one here," he said; so he gave one hop more, and was out in the room.
It was a big room, but nice and warm. The sun had set, and it was dark; but the old rat saw by the fire that no one was in it. The cook had gone out in the yard to get more wood to put on the fire, and the cat had gone out in the yard too, to have a talk, on the top of the wall, with the gray cat who came from next door. And now the old rat did hear the two cats say:
"M-e-w! m-i-a-u! M-i-a-u! m-e-w! Ffts! ffts! ffts! How are you!"
"Bless me!" said the old rat, "why, how they talk! how they snap and spit! Why! the gray cat next door will bite off our cat's nose in no time at all, if they go on this way! I hope he will bite it off, for, you see, if she has no nose she can not find me out."
The old rat gave a wink of his eye, and a slap of his tail, as he said this; and then it was high time to poke his nose in and out of the pots and pans, to see what was in them.
By and by, that nose of his took off the lid of a box. "Now for a peep to see what is in-side," said the old gray rat. "Now let us see what I can put my paw on this time."
My! what eyes he made when he saw ten new laid eggs in the box.
"Why! here is one for each of my nine boys, and one more," he said. "What fun to suck them! But I must get them into my hole as soon as you can say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or the cook will come in, and the cat too."
And now he had a hard time; for when the rat did try to take an egg up in one paw, it was so big that, pop! it went with a roll back in the box.
Then he did try to take it in two paws, and hop on his hind legs; but he soon had to stop that. Then he did try to roll it to his hole, but the egg went all to one side, as much as to say: "How dare you try to roll me into your hole? I am not your egg. Let me be, you bad old rat!"
Yes, he was a bad old rat, for he took what was not his. Mind you do not do so, my dear pet. Do not take a pin, or a bit of cake, or pie, but ask your mam-ma if you can have it; then you can eat it with joy.
But the old gray rat did not know it was so bad. You know, but the rat had no one to tell him as you have.
"E-e-e-e!" said the ten wee rats in the hole:
"We want our tea, Eee-ee! ee-ee!"
"O dear!" said the old gray rat, "if I had some one to help me! O dear!" He put his paw on the end of his nose, and then all at once gave a jump for joy in the air. "Good! good! good!" he did cry; "I have it! I can get all the eggs in the hole."
"Come here, Bet!" he said to his wife. "Come out, all of you, and help me."
Up they came with a hop, skip, and jump, all ears and eyes, and each tail gave a slap on the side of the wall, it came out with such a jerk.
"Here we are, my dear," said old Bet, the rat's wife. "Come; go to work as fast as you can. I hear the cat."
"Well, you and I must go out to the mill, to get a wisp of hay to tie my legs with."
"Tie your legs!" said his wife, "Why! what do you mean?"
But she was a good wife, and knew how to mind; so she went with the old rat, and they got a fine long wisp of hay, and ran back to the eggs and the nine rat-boys.
And now the old rat-wife and the nine rat-boys soon knew what a dear, good pa-pa they had; for, sure as you live! he made a cart of him-self. Down he went flat on his back with all four paws up in the air.
"Now, my dear," he said to his wife, "lay an egg in-side of my legs, then tie my paws up with the wisp of hay, so the egg can not fall out; then you and all the boys take hold of my tail, and drag me and the egg to the hole."
"Oh! what fun!" said all the nine rats; "let's give the egg a good ride. Now, then,
"Oh! pull, boys, pull! Eee-ee! eee-ee! We'll get our nine eggs Home for tea."
So each one took a bit of the long tail in his lips, and did try not to bite his pa-pa, and as they sung, "Pull, boys, pull," they drew the egg in high glee to the edge of the hole.
But Nip, the one who was at the end, did try so hard to pull, that, all at once, snap! he had bit off the end of his pa-pa's tail.
"Ki-i! kii!! e-e-e!!!" said the poor old gray rat, "you bad, bad boy, to bite me so! Now you can not have a bit of egg. You must go with-out your tea."
"O pa-pa! I did not mean to! O my!" Nip did say.
"Go down in the hole and stay till we come. You must not help one bit more."
So the wee rat had to go; but, O dear! what will you say, when I tell you that he ate up the end of his pa-pa's tail, and then gave a snap of his lips, as much as to say: "Dear me! that was nice! How I do wish I had some more!"
The rest did pull, till the egg was at the hole. Then old Bet, the wife, went down, and the rest took off the wisp of hay, and gave the egg a push, so that it fell in her fore-paws. Then they all went back for more, till, at last, the nine eggs were safe in the hole.
What fun it was!
Just as the last of the nine rat-boys had gone with a hop, skip, and jump, down the hole, the old cook came back in the room.
"Oh!" she said, "how nice the fire does burn! I will fry some of the eggs the hens have just laid for tea." She went to the box and saw that the lid was off, and all the eggs were gone!!!
She did look in the box, as if the eggs were out for a walk, and were to come back in half an hour, and it was time for them to come now. But no eggs did she see; and the old cook did cry out at last: "Why, who in all the land has been at my eggs? I put them in the box, I am sure."
Then she did look in all the jars and cups; in the big blue bowl, and the four tin pans, and the new red pail; but not an egg did she find.
Down in the hole the rats had a good time, I can tell you! Yes, all of them; for the old gray rat, when he got safe home, laid the end of his tail on a bit of soft wool, so that it did not hurt him much, and then he gave the rat-boy Nip, who had bit it off, a kiss, and said he did not mean to take away his tea now, as he was so sad. Then the rat-boy said: "Oh! I am so glad, I will jump up to the moon for joy." And so they all had a fine time.
The old gray rat made a hole in the big end of an egg, and gave it to his wife to suck. Not a drop came out! "Why, how is this?" she said, "it is as full as it can be!"
"Try a hole here," said the old gray rat, and he took the egg and made one on the top of it. Oh! then it came out as fast as you like, and you may be sure that Bet, the rat-wife, soon ate it all up.
Then the wise old rat made two holes in each egg, and all his nine boys gave him one suck out of each, and ate the rest, and had a real good time.
Now if you have a mind, and your mam-ma will let you, just try to suck an egg with one hole in it: you will find that none will come out; but if you make two, one at each end, you will get it all. A wise man told me this, so it must be true; but I do not like to try it, for raw egg is not good.
The old gray rat was wise too; but as for the poor old cook she does not know, from that day to this, who took all her nice eggs. If I were you, I'd go and tell her it was the old gray rat.
When you go, won't you take me with you, dear pet? We will peep in the hole, and try to see the old rat and his wife and his nine boys.
That is all this time; so, good-by.
WHO WAS SHOT IN THE WAR.
It is a fine warm day in June. Out of the town the air is soft and pure. Bird and bee flit from tree to tree, from blue-bell to rose, till at sun-set they hie away to nest and hive.
Bell and Lou were at play in a nice room in a home out of the town. They came to this dear home each year when it grew warm. Bell was hard at work with some bits of wood. "See, Lou," she said, "see my log hut; when it is done, your doll Fan can come and live in it."
"Oh! do not let it fall, Bell, for poor Fan is sick. She has got fits in her ear and all her ten toes. I have just put her in bed. Put your arm in the bed, my pet," she said to the doll in a kind tone; "you will get cold; and here, take this blue pill, dear. Do not make such a face. Poor soul! so sick! Has my pet got fits? So she has! O my!" So she gave Fan a kind pat, and then went with a soft step to look out at the door.
Soon she ran back and said: "O Bell! do come here! Come and look at the poor old man at the door. Why, I do not know how it is, but I can see but one arm. O dear! if he has but one, how sad it is! Come, look!"
Bell laid down her bits of wood, tho' her log hut was 'most done, and ran with Lou.
The out-side door had not been shut, for it was such a warm day. The soft west wind blew in, and the sun lay hot on the wide door-step.
"Come here, poor man," said Bell, "come to Lou and me; we want to talk to you."
He came with a slow, sad step. His face was thin and pale, his eyes were dim, and the long gray hair that fell on each side, made him look so sad! But it was a kind, good face, and Lou and Bell did not fear to call him to them.
"Have you been to the war?" said Lou.
"Did you lose your arm in the war?"
"Yes, it was shot off; but, O miss! I do not mind my arm. It is my boy, my dear Will, I want back, my own dear son. Oh! why did I let him go?"
"Why did you?" said Bell, "you did not want a boy to go to the sad wars to be shot, did you? Why did you not take care of him?"
A big tear came out of the poor man's eye, as Bell said this. It fell down his thin face. He put up the back of his hand and took the tear off. Then he said: "I have been cold; I know what it is to have no food to eat; I have had no bed to lie on: I can bear all this with-out a sigh; but, oh! I can not bear the loss of my Will, my dear boy!"
"Poor man!" said Lou, "come sit down by us, and tell us how your boy came to go to the war; tell us all."
"Well, miss, if you wish to hear such a sad tale, I will tell you. When the war came I had to go and help on our side. Then Will said: 'Oh! if you go, I must go too. You know I can beat the drum, if I can not beat the bad men, who will try to do all they can to hurt us.'"
"Then I said: 'O no! Will; I can not let you go. They will kill you.'
"'Why, who can want to kill a boy like me? Come, dear pa-pa, do let me go; I want to be with you, I love you so much. If you get hurt, I can take care of you, and then I can beat the drum, or play on a fife. Do, dear pa-pa, let me go with you; I will keep out of the way of the big guns. Oh! I want to go.'
"At last I said: 'Well, Will, you may go.' He was so glad, he gave a leap of wild joy. I was glad too, for I did love him so much. I felt that I had no one to love or care for but him. My wife was dead, and my Will was my all. If I went with-out him, he was to go and live with an old aunt whom he did not know. So I said: 'Will, you can be with me in my tent, and we will not part at all.'"
"How old was he?" said Lou.
"He was ten, but tall of his age." Then the poor man gave a deep sigh and went on: "Oh! he was so glad; but it made me sigh to look at my boy. He was in a glow all the time; he was sure we would win, and come back to our home full of joy.
"They gave him a drum, and a cap, and a blue coat with a big cape like the rest of us, and in his belt they put a dirk. When Will put them on, he felt as fine as a new pin. Said he: 'I mean to pull out my dirk, and poke it at all the bad men who try to get a shot at you. Then I will get up in a tree, and beat my drum as hard as I can, to call our men out to help me kill them. See if I don't! Oh! what fun it will be!'
"My dear boy! he did not know what fear was."
Each day, as soon as he was out of bed, he came to kiss me, and tell me how glad he was that I had let him go with me; 'for I love you,' he said, 'I can love no one else as I love you. Oh! do take care of your-self; do try not to get shot or hurt: if you die, I must die too.'"
Here Bell and Lou saw a big tear roll down on each side of the poor man's face; they had hard work not to cry too. Lou said in a low, soft tone: "Poor man, we are so sad for you!"
"You are a good girl," said the old man; "and tho' it will give me so much pain, I will tell you the rest.
"We went to the war, and Will was with me in my tent. All the men did love him, he was so good, and just as full of glee as a bird. He sang all day, and beat his drum so well, that the men said he was as good as a band.
"One day we were told to load our guns, and not to say a loud word. We knew then that the time was come; that bad men were on our path to kill us. I took Will to the back of the camp. I put my arm on his neck; I gave him a kiss full of love, and I said: 'O my dear son! do not come near the guns; they will kill you if you do. You know you can beat your drum out here. Good-by, and God bless and keep you safe.' Then I gave him one more kiss, and he gave me a hug and a kiss—the last but one I had from my dear boy, the last kiss of my Will. Oh! why did I let him come?
"All that day we did load and fire our guns, and the bad men did fire at us. The dead lay at our feet. We did not take them up; we had no time; but when the sun had set, we went out to find our men who had died, to wrap them in our flag, and lay them down in the last rest. We knew our men, for the pale, sad moon lit up each face. As we took them up, we did pray to God for each soul that had gone. We did pray that each one who had died for his dear land was in joy with Him.
"As we went on, one of the men gave a low cry, and said: 'Why here is a poor boy! O dear! he has been shot; he is dead! How did such a boy come here?' I did not dare to go up and look; but one of our own men went near; he gave one look, and then said in a low, sad tone: 'It is our Will.'
"Oh! then I ran and fell down by my boy, my dear dead boy. He lay on his face; he did not stir.
"I took his hand in mine, and did turn his dear face so that I could see it. With sobs I took him up in my arms. He was yet warm, and a hope rose in me that he was not dead. Yes, the good God did not let him die then, for he gave a low moan of pain, tho' his eyes were yet shut.
"And so I took him to my tent, and laid him down on my bed, and sat by him in the dark. All I could do was to wet his lips, and sob and pray to God for my boy.
"At last, at dawn of day, I saw that his blue eyes were open, and he said with a sigh: 'Pa-pa, is that you?' Oh! what joy I felt! but my joy was not for long, for my boy was so weak, he said but a word or two from time to time. I will tell you what he said, 'Pa-pa, I did stay back just as you told me, but a shot from a big gun flew in the air, and went in here,' and he put his hand on his left side. 'I fell down, and all at once it grew dark to me, and I knew I must die.
"'Then I did try to get to you to bid you good-by, and to give you one last good kiss. The shot fell like rain; they made a buzz, buzz in the air. I went from end to end of the line of men to find you, but I did not see you; then the guns did not fire, for the sun had set; but I was so weak I fell down. I did lift my arms up to the sky, and pray: O God! let me see my own dear pa-pa, to kiss him, and tell him that I did do as he had bid me. I can not get back to the camp; I must die here. And then I knew no more. But God did hear me; and now I can bid you good-by, and beg you not to cry for me when I am gone.'
"'O Will!' I said with a sob, "you must not die. I will not let you. Oh! do you hear? I will not let you go from me.'
"Just then the kind doc-tor came in; for it was now Will's turn. He did look at his side; he felt his brow and his cold hand; then he gave me a look, a sad, sad look—it said: 'It is no use to try, I can not save him.'
"And now my Will's face grew pale and pale; his head sank down; his blue eyes were dim. He put his hand out to me, for now he did not see me; I took it, and laid it on my neck. He drew my face, all wet with big tears, down to his, and I could just hear him say: 'I love you, O how I love you! But God calls me; I will wait for you at His feet. Good-by.' Then he gave me his last kiss, and then—he was dead."
The poor old man hid his face in his hand. His sobs were so sad to hear, that Bell and Lou felt as bad as the poor man, and did cry and sob with him, and wish the war had ne-ver come, to give all this woe and pain to a good man.
At last the old man got up to go. Then Bell said to Lou in a low tone: "Let us give this poor man the gold coin we have had so long. It will buy him a new coat."
"O yes, yes!" said Lou. So she ran in and got it, and then they both said: "Here, good old man, take this; it will not make you less sad for the loss of your dear boy, but it will buy you food or a coat; we beg you to take it."
With a look of love at those dear ones who were so kind, the old man took the gold. "May God bless you!" said he. "You are His own lambs. I will pray for you; and when you die and I die, may we all meet my own dear Will, who is now with Him, safe from the pain and sin of this life."
Then he bade them good-by, and went with slow and sad steps down the road.
ANN, THE GOOD GIRL;
IS IT BEST TO MIND OR NOT TO MIND?
"O dear! dear!" said Ann, in a fret, "how it does rain! It is just pour, pour all the time. When will it stop? Why must it rain when I want to go out? The sky is like a big gray pan up-side down, and so low it will fall on top of the hill, if it does not mind. What is the use of rain? O my! I do wish the sun was out."
"Come here, my dear," said her mam-ma, in a soft, kind tone, "will you help me with this blue yarn? I want to wind it, and then knit it into mitts for the good men who have gone to the war."
"O dear! yes, mam-ma, I am glad to do that; to be sure I will."
You see Ann was not a bad girl; but she had no work to do, and she did not want to play just then with Miss Kate June, her new doll. Ann had been born in June, and just as sure as each new June came, she got a new doll for a gift from her mam-ma.
Miss Kate June made six dolls that she had; so you can tell by that how old she was.
And now she held the blue yarn, and mam-ma soon made a big ball of it. She had just got to the end, when down fell the ball out of her hand. A gray kit was on the rug; and when the ball fell, she was sure it was for her to play with; so she flew to get it, and Ann flew to get it too; and both had such fun, and a real good romp!
Dear me! how the ball did roll! and how the kit did jump! and how Ann did run to get it! and what a nice time they both had! Ann's blue eyes were full of glee, and let me tell you, she did not look out once at the rain.
At last she got the ball away from the kit, and gave it to her mam-ma, with a kiss.
Then mam-ma said: "Do you care for the rain now?"
"Not a bit."
"Will you do some more work for me?"
"O yes! mam-ma, I like to work for you;" and a soft look of love came into her blue eyes.
"Well, my dear, I like to have you. And now, for fear the kit will want to jump up in my lap to get at my ball, just tie this bit of tape to this cork, and hang it on that nail in the wall. Now, give it a toss to and fro, and you will see kit jump at once to bite it, and tap it with her paw."
Ann did as she was bid. She gave the cork a toss in the air, when up flew the kit like a shot. She hit it with both paws; she did jump up with all four of her legs high in the air; and you may be sure that she had no end of fun and play.
Just then, old Aunt Peg, the cook, came in. She was a good old soul, tho' her face was so dark, and her hair was made of wool. She was so fond of Ann, she did just what the wee girl told her to do. If Ann went to Aunt Peg, and put her soft hands on the neck of the old cook, and laid her head on her dark hand, and said, "O dear Aunt Peg! do make me a pie to-day, and I will love you so much," then, let me tell you, Aunt Peg set to work at once, and a fine pie was made in less than an hour.
Well, this day, Aunt Peg said: "What am I to cook, ma'am?"
"Oh!" said mam-ma, "we will have some ham and eggs, and peas, and rice, and——"
"Pie!" said Ann. "O yes! you must make me a big pie, Aunt Peg, or you will get your head shot off."
"O good-y! I hope not, Miss Ann," said Aunt Peg. "If you cut my head off, I shall hop up and down like the poor hen who flew in our yard from next door with her head off; and then all the pies you will get will be the dirt pies you make your-self; and they are not as good to eat as mine, are they?"
"Oh! I was in fun, dear Aunt Peg," said Ann. "You must not have your dear old head cut off;" and she ran up to the cook, and took her hand, and gave it two soft, kind pats.
Then the good old soul went off to make the pie, and fry the ham and eggs, and boil the peas and rice.
Ann sat down to make a red silk bag for her mam-ma, to keep her ball of blue yarn in. It was not more than half done, when all at once the rain did stop, and a sun-beam came like a dart in the room, and lit on the end of Ann's nose. "Why! look at the sun!" said she with a cry of joy, and ran to the door.
The sky was blue; the sun's rays made each drop of rain look like a gem; and when a bird flew past Ann with a wild song of joy, Ann sang too, she was so glad. The bees went to work with a will, to make up for the time they had lost by the rain; and they flew home to the hive with bags full of food, you may be sure.
Then Ann came in to get her hat, and flew out once more, as gay as a lark, when her mam-ma said: "Come back, come back, my dear; it is too wet; you must wait till the sun has been out some time. If you get your feet wet, you will take cold."
O dear me! Ann did not like this a bit; but, as I have told you, she was a good girl and did as she was bid. She did not say, "What for?" or "Why must I do so?" No; she came in at once, and sat down to work at her bag.
And now you will see how good it is to mind.
Ann had not sat long, when all at once a loud cry came to her ears. She held up her head and said: "Hush! hush! what was that?" Then she ran to look out, as if she had six pair of eyes, when a howl and a bark, and a loud roar, made her jump, and then a boy ran past like the wind. His hair was on end; his face was pale with fear. As he ran he said: "O save me! O help! help! Save me from the MAD DOG!"
The dog was at the poor boy's heels, and four or five men, each with a big club, did run and try to get at the mad dog to kill him.
And now the boy ran for his life. He was in such fear, he did not see a log of wood that was in his path; so he fell down on it, and then, O sad to tell! the mad dog, with a howl of rage, made a dash at his leg and bit it.
The men got at the dog, and hit him on the head till he died. But it was too late! it was too late! the poor boy had been bit, and he must die too.
Then mam-ma took her dear girl in her arms, and gave her a kiss, and said: "Oh! how glad I am you did not go out to play! God has kept my dear pet from harm, and He has made you a good girl. If you had run out when I told you not to go, and the mad dog had bit you too—O dear! I can not bear to think of it."
"But must the poor boy die?" said Ann, as a big tear came out of her blue eye; "Oh! must he die, mam-ma?"
"I fear he will. They will try to save his life. They will cut a big hole in his leg where the dog bit him, and put him to sad pain. But the bite of a mad dog is so hard to cure, I fear it will be of no use."
"O mam-ma! will you let me take him some of Aunt Peg's nice cake? It may do him good. Do let me!"
Her mam-ma said yes, tho' she knew it was of no use; for the poor boy was too much hurt to eat. She did not tell Ann so, for she did not wish to make her more sad.
So some cake was made, and Ann went with a good lad who knew the way.
Oh! how sad it was! The poor boy lay in bed. His face was pale, and his eyes were shut. He did not say one word, but just lay on his bed, as if he were dead.
Ann gave the cake to his mam-ma, who did cry and sob, and look so sad, that Ann had to cry too.
She went home and told her mam-ma all this bad news; and all the rest of the day she felt sad, and her kind face was pale.
When it was time to go to bed, Ann did pray to God for the poor boy. She did beg the good God to save his life, and she did beg Him to make her a good girl, and to love her and love her dear mam-ma, and take care of them both. She did pray that God would make her good and kind to poor old Aunt Peg, and to all she knew, and to let her be His lamb, to live with Him when she died.
Then her mam-ma gave her a kiss, and saw that she lay warm in her nice, soft bed, and went out of the room. She left Ann in the dark. But let me tell you she did not care for that; no, not a bit! Ann had no fear, for she knew that God took care of her; she knew that God did love a good girl.
JOE, WHO DID NOT MIND.
"O my! what a cold day!" said Tom; "I am sure the pond is all ice. What fun it will to run my sled on it! Come, Joe, get your sled, and I will race home and get mine, and we will have a real good time."
"O no! I can not," said Joe; "pa-pa told me not to go on the pond to-day; he said the ice was too thin."
"Stuff! the ice is two feet deep, I know. Come, it will not hurt you, and then you need not tell. Don't be such a gump. Go, get your sled, I tell you. Come; one! two! three! Why don't you run?"
"W-e-ll," said Joe in a slow way, "if the ice is as deep as you say, I will just try it; that can do no harm, I am sure."
"Yes, and you need not say a word when you come back," said Tom.
Do you not see what a bad boy this was? If a boy or girl tells you not to mind your pa-pa or mam-ma, I beg you to run away from them as if they were a bear or a wild cat, come to bite your head off; for, let me tell you, a bad boy or a bad girl will do you more harm than a wild bear or cat; they will make you bad too; and you will be sure to come to harm, just as Joe did.
For he got his sled and Tom got his, and they ran off to the pond.
It was full of boys, and for an hour or two, our two boys had fine fun. They all slid down the pond in a long line; and if one fell down and hit his nose, he did not mind it a bit, but got up and went on, with a grin on his face. Then they got each sled in a line, and with a cry of one! two!! three!!! ran a race; and were just as full of fun and glee as an egg is full of meat.
At last a fat boy, who did not like to run so fast, said: "See here, boys, I have got a big kite home; I will go and get it, and then you will see fun! for the wind and my kite will give me a ride on my sled."
"O dear, yes! won't that be nice!" said all the boys, as the fat one ran off with a hop, skip, and jump.
As he did not have far to go, he soon came back with his big kite; and then he sat down on his sled and let his kite out, and, whoo!! how he flew down the pond! He had to hold the cord as hard as he could. His face was full of joy at such a fine ride; and the rest of the boys ran and slid, first on one foot, and then on two; but they did not go half so fast as the fat boy on his sled.
He was a good, kind boy, and let them all have a ride with the kite in turn. When Joe's turn came, he was in such joy, that he did not care a snap for what his pa-pa had said to him. "Oh!" he did cry, "what fun! I want to stay here all day. I tell you what! I mean to make a big kite, and come here some time, and ride on my sled all day long."
He held the fat boy's kite then, and his sled went down the pond like the wind.
Snap! snap!! what was that? snap! snap!! snap!!!
The boys made a rush to the spot; a wild cry rose in the air of "Save me! O save me!" and down went poor Joe thro' a hole in the ice. The cord that held the kite flew out of his hand; a great lump of ice sank for a time; and then all that was seen of Joe was his cap, and his sled that came, up-side down, to the top of the pond.
All the boys grew pale with fear. They did not know what to do.
As they did look with wild, sad eyes at the dark hole in the ice, Joe's head came up, and his hand took hold of the edge of the ice. With a grasp and a cry of "Save me!" he drew him-self up till his face was out of the wa-ter; but that was all. Oh! how he did wish he had done as his pa-pa had bid him! With a wild look up at the cold blue sky, he did try to pray. He knew that God saw him. He knew how bad he had been. He held fast by the edge of the ice, with his face up, and his head back, to keep his face from the cold edge that cut him; and his cry was: "Save me! O save me!"
The boys came as near to him as it was safe to go—all but Tom. He ran off. He did not try to help the one he had told to be so bad. Oh! do you not see that a boy like this will do you more harm than good? If you know such a boy or girl, do not play with them; give them up this day.
Well, here was poor Joe, and God did hear his cry for help; for just then it was His will that two men came by with a sled full of wood. The boys did call them: "Come here, oh! do come here! or Joe will die!"
It was time; for the poor boy had sunk down, down to his eyes. He was so cold, he had to let go of the ice.
The good men ran to the pond, and then ran back and took a long rope, that they had used to tie the load of wood. Then, with care, one of them went on the ice near the hole. Snap! snap! it did go; but it did not sink. The man threw out the rope, and told Joe to take hold of the end. He was so cold he could not hold it; but he put the end un-der his arm, and in this way the man drew him out so far that he took hold of his hand, and got him safe on the hard ice.
Then poor Joe gave one gasp, shut his eyes, and sank down as if he was dead.
No time was to be lost. "Take the wood off the sled," said one of the men. The boys flew to do it. The wood fell this side and that; and then poor Joe was laid on the sled, with his head on the good man's lap. He took off his coat, and laid it on the poor boy; and then the sled went off so fast, that they were at Joe's house in time to save him.
But, oh! what a sad time it was! How long it took! They put him in a warm bed, and they did rub and roll him for an hour; but still his eyes were shut, and his face was so pale, they all said he was dead. But his mam-ma did cry: "O do not stop! try once more! My dear boy must not die! Oh! do not give him up!" So they went on; his pa-pa with the big tears in his eyes; and the kind men they did rub and roll him, and his mam-ma sat by, with a pale, sad face, to help, and she did not give up hope; she did pray to God all the time to save her boy's life.
Hark! what was that? A low moan came from Joe's lips, then a sigh, then a gasp; then he said in a low tone: "How did I come here in bed? Oh! what pain I am in!—oh! how I ache!"
All at once the pond and his fall thro' the ice came back to his mind, and then the pain of his mind was, oh! so hard to bear! and he said: "O my dear pa-pa! my dear mam-ma! do not be kind to me! I am a bad, bad boy. I did not do as you bid me; I went on the pond, and I fell in. Oh! you can not love me! I have been so bad! I wish you had let me die! Oh! how can you be kind to such a bad boy?"
"My dear son," said his pa-pa, "God does not wish you to die. He will give you back your life, so that you may try to be good all the rest of your days."
"But are you glad to get me back? Will you and mam-ma love me? If you can not love me, I want to die."
His mam-ma took him in her arms, and gave him a kiss, and told him she did love him, and that he must not wish to die, but try to be good. He must pray to God to help him, and he must not go with bad boys; and she did look so kind, that Joe put his arms on her neck, and felt glad.
He was ill a long time, for he took a sad cold. But he did what he was bid. He did not fret a bit, but had a kiss and a kind word for all who took care of him.
When he got well, he did not go near that bad boy, Tom, who had made him to sin, and then when he was in such a sad way, and like to die, ran off. For you know when Joe sank down thro' the hole in the ice, Tom did not help him, but, like a bad, mean boy, ran away. All bad boys and girls act so; they will get you to sin, and then when you are in pain, and want to get rid of your sin, they will not help you. Not they! So keep far away from all such, if you wish to lead a good life. Do not go with bad boys or girls, who will tell you not to mind your pa-pa and mam-ma, who are sure to know what is best for you.
Joe got well, and he grew up a good boy and good man. He is a man now, and when he is told to do what is bad, he says to him-self: "This is like Tom; this will get me into a hole, like the hole in the ice; I will not do it."
Do you do as you are bid? Oh! I hope so. If you do not—mind what I now tell you—take this book back to your mam-ma, and tell her, I do not wish a bad boy or girl to have it; and beg her to keep it till you are good; and when you are so, ask for the book, and then do come and give me a kiss, and it will make me sing for joy.
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* The footnote has been moved to the end of the relevant chapter.
* Pg ix Replaced "4" with "v" located in "PREFACE, 4".
* Pg 28 Added period after "Sam" located in "It was Sam".
* Pg 28 Added period after "top" located in "his new hum top".
* Pg 29 Added period after "29" located in "—P. 29".
* Otherwise, archaic and inconsistent spelling and hyphenation retained.]