The Nursery, February 1877, Vol. XXI. No. 2 - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse



A Monthly Magazine




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.


IN PROSE. PAGE "Christmas Presents made here" 33 My Dog Jack 37 Bertie's Steamer 40 A Story about Squirrels 41 What a Little Boy in England says 42 First Lesson in Astronomy 46 Papa's Birthday Present 47 Drawing-Lesson 49 The Rescue 50 The Young Sheep-Owner 52 Emma's Choice 55 Help one another 57 Billy and the Pig 61 Jocko, the Raven 62


The Petition of the Sparrows 35 Ensign Johnny 39 The Froggies' Party 45 The Faithless Friend 59 Chipperee Chip (with music) 64


BOUT a year ago, Edwin had a Christmas present of a jig-saw. If Santa Claus brought it, then Santa Claus did a good thing for himself; for last Christmas his pack was loaded down with presents of Edwin's manufacture.

Nice little brackets to set up against the wall, nice little bedsteads, book-shelves, toy-houses, frames for pictures, card-baskets,—these are but a few of the great variety of things that Edwin makes with his jig-saw.

Many little articles he gives away, for he is a generous boy: but he wants books, and his mother cannot always afford to buy him the books he wants; for she has two children, besides himself, to provide for.

So one day when Mr. Topliff, who keeps a great toy-shop, said to Edwin, "I'll pay you well for as many of these toy-houses as you can make," Edwin replied, "I'll go to work just as soon as I have finished this bracket; for a little money is just what I want."

Edwin had by practice learned to use his saw with great skill, and he took pains always to do his work well. Gradually he learned to do the finer sort of cabinet-work; and then he puzzled his wits to invent new varieties of toys, and other things often sought for as Christmas presents.

Mr. Topliff said, "You can earn a living by this kind of work, if you choose, Edwin." But no! Edwin had made up his mind to go to college; and so he replied, "If I can pay my college expenses by working at odd hours, Mr. Topliff, I mean to do it—and I think I can."

"So do I," said Mr. Topliff. "You've got the knack. Well, my lad, don't forget the firm of Topliff & Co. Bring us all your pretty things."



NOW girls and boys of Chester Square, Pray give us of your meals a share. Just have the kindness to remember That this is chilly, bleak December; That snow has covered long the ground Till really nothing's to be found: So throw us out a crumb or two, And, as you would be done by, do.

In those snug little cottages That you have placed among the trees, We all were hatched, and so, you see, Are members of the family. Hunger and frost are hard to bear: So, girls and boys of Chester Square, Just throw us out a crumb or two, And, as you would be done by, do.

We know bad things of us are told: They call us English upstarts bold; Say we drive off the snow-birds dear, And fight the Yankee sparrows here; That we make havoc in the spring With all the sweet-pea's blossoming: Still throw us out a crumb or two, And, as you would be done by, do.

We're not as bad as they declare, O girls and boys of Chester Square! Be sure some little good we do, Even though we pilfer buds a few. Don't grudge them, since your trees we clear Of vermin that would cost you dear: So throw us out a crumb or two, And, as you would be done by, do.

Dear girls and boys of Chester Square, We, too, partake the Father's care; And to your kindly hearts he sends The impulse that our race befriends: We know that you, while Winter reigns, For our relief will take some pains; Will throw us out a crumb or two, And, as you would be done by, do.



I WANT to tell the readers of "The Nursery" about my dog. My mamma bought him for me when he was very young. He is a Newfoundland dog, and is very large. He is black, with a white face and neck. His name is Jack.

Jack is very useful in keeping tramps out of our orchard, and is also very kind and playful. I do not like to play with him; for he is so rough, that he sometimes tumbles me over, and hurts me: but I have a good time with him in other ways.

He draws me about in a little cart into which I harness him. He minds a pull on the reins, and will go just as I wish him to. But he will insist on chasing pigs whenever he sees them. He does not like pigs.

One day, when I was harnessing him, he spied a pig, and away he ran after it—cart and all. He broke one wheel of the cart, and came back panting and wagging his tail, as if he had done something good; but I scolded him well.

Jack will sit on his hind-legs, and catch bits of bread or cake in his mouth when I throw them to him. One summer, we went to the seashore, and took him with us. He is a splendid swimmer; and when we took a stick, and threw it into the water, he would plunge through the waves, and bring it back in his mouth.

Sometimes an old fisherman took me out sailing, and as there was not room in the boat for Jack, the good old dog would lie on the wharf and wait patiently till I came back. When he saw the boat coming in, he would jump up and bark in great delight; and one day he leaped into the water, and swam out to meet us.

Once my cousin and I were sitting in a cleft in the rocks, gathering shells and pebbles, when a great black creature jumped right over our heads. We were much frightened, but soon found that it was only our good friend Jack. He had seen us from the top of the rock, and had jumped down full fifteen feet to get to us.



THIS is Ensign Johnny: See him armed for fight! Mice are in the garret; Forth he goes to smite. Ready for the battle, He is not afraid; For the cat, as captain, Will be by to aid.

Now, good-by, my Johnny! Soldiers must be brave: While puss does the fighting, You the flag can wave. Do not, like a coward, From the field retreat: Forward, Ensign Johnny, And the mice defeat!



BERTIE has taken much pleasure in hearing me read about the different ways in which the little "Nursery" people amuse themselves. He is very anxious that they should, in return, know about the steamboat which his uncle brought him from the Centennial,—a real little steamboat.

It is nearly a foot long, made of brass, with a "truly" boiler, as Bertie says, and a little alcohol lamp to convert the water in the boiler into steam.

The older folks were as much interested in its trial trip as Bertie. The biggest tub was brought up, and half filled with water. The little boiler was also filled, and the lamp lighted; and we all waited patiently for the steam to start the little wheel. A stick was put across the tub, and a string fastened from its centre to the end of the steamer, to keep it from running against the side of the tub. The rudder was turned to guide the boat in a circle, and soon the steamer started.

But it did not run easily. Could it be that it would prove a failure? Bertie's face began to put on a disappointed look.

"Can't Uncle Nelson fix it?" said he. "Uncle Nelson can do most any thing."

So Uncle Nelson took the delicate machinery apart, and found some particles of dirt, which prevented the piston from working smoothly. Then he cleaned and oiled it, put it together again, and once more it started. This time it was a complete success. How Bertie clapped his hands, as the steam hissed, and the boat went round and round, as if it were alive!

It was half an hour before the water in the little boiler gave out.



FREDDIE is a bright little boy six years old. He goes with his papa and mamma every summer to stay a few months at a nice place in the country. In front of the house, near the fence, stands a large elm-tree, which is the home of many little squirrels.

One day Freddie got his papa to build him a small shelf on the tree, about four feet from the ground, so that he could put nuts on it to feed the squirrels. At first the little fellows were very shy, and would not come near the shelf, but sat on the branches of the tree; and we fancied that we heard them saying to each other, "Do you think that little boy would hurt us, if we should run down, and take one of those nuts?"

But, after a while, they came down, one by one, took the nuts, and went scampering up to the top branches; and in a few minutes down came the empty shells. They grew so tame before the summer was over, that if we put any thing on their shelf, and took a seat a few steps away, they would come down quite boldly, and get their breakfast.

One day we put a small ear of sweet-corn on the shelf. Pretty soon a little squirrel came after it; but it was too heavy for him: so he sat down on the shelf, as though quite at home, ate off about half of the kernels of corn, to make his burden lighter, and, after trying many times, finally got it up to his hiding-place. Presently we saw all the squirrels running to that part of the tree, and we thought he might be having a squirrel-party in his best parlor.

There was a large pond not very far away; and we often saw the squirrels go from tree to tree, jump a fence here and there, and run down behind a stone wall to the pond to get a drink, and then run home again. If they had only known as much as some squirrels we read about, what a nice sail they might have had by jumping on a piece of wood, and putting their bushy tails up in the air for a sail! Wouldn't it look funny to see a squirrel yacht-race?

As we sit in our warm rooms this cold weather, we often wonder what the little fellows are doing, and if they are eating any of the nuts they stored away last summer.



MY grandfather and grandmother live in the country. Everybody in their house is very fond of birds, and very thoughtful for the comfort of all dumb creatures.

Among the birds that flock about grandfather's house are the bright little tom-tits. They fly very quickly, and look very pretty, darting in and out of a tall evergreen-tree that grows in front of the dining-room window.

In winter, my Aunt Emily has a pole, about four feet high, stuck in the ground near this tree. Across the top of the pole, a light bamboo stick is fastened, not quite as long as the pole is high. On strings tied at the ends of the bamboo stick, netted bags, filled with fat or suet, are hung.

Now, tom-tits are, I think, the only birds in England that can cling to a thing with their heads hanging down; and they are very fond of fat. So they come to aunty's bags, cling to them as they sway to and fro in the wind, and eat to their little hearts' content. We watch them from the windows, and see what is going on.

Sometimes other birds try very hard to get a share of the feast, particularly when the weather is very cold, and they cannot find much else. Then they will stand on the ground, looking at the bags, and now and then make an awkward spring at them, sometimes snatching a piece of suet, but generally failing to reach it.

A tiny robin (an English robin is not at all like an American one) has practised so much, this cold weather, that he can not only get a taste of the suet by darting at it, but, better still, will sit on the top of the bag, and get at it in that way. But he seems very much afraid of falling off, and I think the tom-tits would laugh at him: perhaps they do, in bird fashion.

When they cling, they do not mind where it is, and often seem to take the very bottom of the bag by choice, and hang there, with their heads down, so long, that it seems as though they would surely get the headache.

I have often seen two, and sometimes three birds on a bag at a time.



THE frog who would a-wooing go Gave a party, you must know; And his bride, dressed all in green, Looked as fine as any queen. Their reception numbered some Of the best in Froggiedom. Four gay froggies played the fiddle,— Hands all round, and down the middle.

In the room were stern old croakers, Yellow vests and snow-white chokers. Froggie belles with rush-leaf fans, Froggie beaux in green brogans, Flirted in the bowers there, Hidden from the ball-room's glare. Three old froggies tried a reel,— Twist 'em, turn 'em, toe and heel.

One young miss was asked to sing; But she had a cold that spring. Little frogs were sound asleep, Late hours—bad for them to keep. Each one wished the couple joy; No bad boys came to annoy. This next fall,—the news is spreading,— They will have their silver-wedding!



"Twinkle, twinkle, little star: How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky!"

I AM going to tell all the wondering children just what that little star is, and I want them to go to the window this minute, and take a good look at it.

Have you been? And was it "up above the world so high"? Some of you are laughing at me, perhaps, because it is broad daylight, when stars do not show themselves. But do not laugh yet. If the sun is out, you can certainly see a star.

To be sure you cannot take a good look at it, it is so bright; but there it is,—the star that gives us light and heat,—the sun himself. Now, were you ever told before, that the sun is a star, just like the little diamonds you see in the sky before you go to bed?

Why shouldn't it look like a star then? Because it is not "up above the world so high" as all the rest of the stars are. It is near enough to us to keep us warm, and make every thing grow.

But what is more wonderful than that our sun is a star, is, that all the stars are suns. They keep the worlds that are near them warm and bright, just as our sun does this world. They are great globes of fire that never go out.

Some are red fire, some are blue, some yellow, and some white, like ours. How should you like to have it all red, or blue, or green, out doors, instead of white? It would seem a good deal like fireworks to us, I think.

Now look out of the window again, and try to pick out a red star. I know one you can all see before you go to bed, unless you are too sleepy to see any thing. It is nearly overhead about supper-time. If you find it, write a little letter to "The Nursery," and tell me.

M. E. R.


HARRY is a little boy six years old. He always wants to be doing something; and many funny pictures he makes, both on his slate and with a lead pencil on paper. Mamma saves all the blank pieces of paper she can to give him. When he is tired of pictures, he plays with his blocks, and makes boats, and cars and bridges, and towers and churches.

Harry lives on the west bank of the Mississippi River, where there is a bridge right in sight from his home. He often watches the cars go across the bridge, and the boats go through the draw. He is an observing little fellow, and he notices that just before the cars get to the bridge they stop, and then go over very slowly. Then they start up faster and faster; and soon the bridge is left behind, and the cars are out of sight.

The cars always have to wait for the boats to go through the bridge; and Harry thinks that is too bad; for the cars would not keep the boats waiting half as long as the boats keep them. So mamma tells him that the river was there first, and the boats have the first right.

But about the present. There had been a week of rain; but papa's birthday was pleasant, and Harry was glad to get out of doors. He ran till he was tired, and then, as he sat down to rest, he thought he would get some clay, and make something to show mamma.

So he began. First he made a round ball like a marble, then a larger ball; then he put them together, and thought, "I will make a man, and this little ball shall be his head." He put a stick in to hold the head to the body, and put clay around the stick, and that made the neck. Then he made a long piece for the legs, and cut out between them with a knife to form two. Then he made the arms, and joined them to the body.

He was very much pleased with his work so far; but to complete it was the most fun. He got little stones, and stuck them into the clay for eyes, nose, and buttons; made a cut for the mouth; and, for a head-dress, made use of the green spikes from a pine-tree. This made the figure look so much like an Indian, that Harry danced with joy.

Then he took it to mamma, who was so pleased that she told him to put it on papa's study-table to dry, and said that it would do for papa's birthday present.

Papa thinks so much of it, that he has locked it up in his curiosity cabinet. This is a true story.



JANE is a bright little girl, about six years old, who lives not far from a wharf in a seaport town, where her father is employed in a junk store. She has an elder sister named Susan, a baby-brother named Charlie, and a doll named Anna Maria.

One pleasant summer day Susan took the baby in her arms, Jane took Anna Maria in her arms, and all together, and all bareheaded, they took a stroll down the wharf. It was not a safe place for young children; and Susan ought to have known better than to take them there.

They wandered about, enjoying the cool sea-air, and pretty soon stood on the very edge of the wharf, looking down into the water. Just then, by some accident (I don't know exactly how it happened), Anna Maria slipped out of Jane's arms, and fell overboard.

Well, this was not so bad as if Jane herself had fallen over; but it was almost as bad to poor Jane. She burst into tears, and raised a cry of distress. There was her dear little Anna Maria in the water, beyond her reach, and she could do nothing to save her.

Now there happened to be a smart boy, named Tom Williams, not far off. He heard Jane's outcry, and came running down the wharf to see what was the matter; and another bright boy, named Sam Brown, came with him. The two saw what the trouble was in a moment.

They lay down on the wharf, and tried to reach Anna Maria. But it was of no use. Their arms were not long enough. Poor Jane's heart sank within her. She cried and sobbed, and was in more distress than ever.

"Don't cry," said Tom. "Crying's of no use. Wait a minute: I know how to do it." And off he ran into the old junk shop. In a moment he came back, bringing a pair of tongs. "Now I'll show you!" said he. Down he lay again, with his bare feet sticking up, as you see in the picture, reached over the side of the wharf, took Anna Maria in the tongs, just as she was near floating under the wharf, and placed her, all wet and dripping, in Jane's arms.

How happy the little girl was to get her darling safe back again! And how thankful she was to Tom, for coming to the rescue so bravely! Anna Maria soon got over the effects of her bath: she did not even catch cold.

But I hope that both Jane and Susan will learn a lesson from her mishap, and not go so near the edge of the wharf another time.



SEVERAL years ago, on the Island of Nantucket, lived a little boy named Frank Simmons. His grandfather, with whom he was a great favorite, owned about two hundred sheep. Many other persons on the island owned sheep at that time; and there was a broad plain of open ground, over which all the flocks roamed in common.

Every year, in the month of June, all the sheep were driven into a large enclosure near a pond, in which they were washed until their wool was white and clean. This was the preparation for shearing, or taking off their heavy coats of wool.

Each separate flock was marked by a little cut made in the ears. The ears of one flock, for instance, were clipped at the ends; of another, notched at the sides; of another, marked by a slit.

This last was the mark which Frank looked for when he went with his grandfather to catch his sheep. Frank thought it was cruel to cut the ears so; but, when his grandfather told him it was the only way by which each owner could know his own sheep, he was satisfied.

Whenever he caught one, he would lead it along to his grandfather's pen, where a man was waiting to take it on his back, and carry it into the pond. After being washed, the sheep were left to find their own way to the shore, which they did very quickly.

It took two days to wash all the sheep on the island. The washing was finished on Saturday. The sheep were allowed to rest and dry themselves on Sunday; and on Monday morning, bright and early, Frank was ready to start with his grandfather to catch the sheep for the shearing.

The shearing occupied two days more; and, after their heavy coats were off, the sheep would feel so smart, that they would frisk about like young lambs; and some of them would jump five or six feet up in the air.

During all this time, their poor little lambs had been kept apart by themselves. They must have felt lonely enough without their mothers; but, as soon as the shearing was over, all the sheep and lambs were set at liberty. Such a bleating and baa-ing as there was! The sheep ran round for the lambs, and the lambs for their mothers; and away they skipped over the plains like children at play.

Frank had made himself so useful in catching the sheep, that his grandfather gave him two sheep and two lambs as a reward, and put a new mark on them for him. So Frank became a young sheep-owner, and, the next year, had his own sheep to catch.



THREE young children, Emma, Charles, and Arthur Payson, had been left to the care of their old grandfather, through the death of their parents.

Grandpa Payson was not rich: he was a day-laborer, and had to work hard for the support of a family, which would have been large enough without the addition of three hungry little ones.

But grandpa's heart was large enough to take them all in; and they proved such good and lovable children, that he soon became very much attached to them.

Little Emma was his especial favorite; and one December day he said to her, "What shall I get you, darling, for a Christmas present? A nice pair of shoes would be just the thing, I'm thinking."

"Oh, no, grandpa! Give me a book—a book with pictures in it: that will be better than new shoes. By going barefoot, I can make my old shoes last me a year longer."

Well, in the shop where Grandpa Payson bought a beautiful bound copy of "The Nursery" for his darling, he happened to mention to the shopkeeper the fact that Emma had preferred a new book to a new pair of shoes.

An old lady who stood near could not help hearing the conversation. That evening, while Grandpa Payson, Emma, and the two boys, were gathered around the table, feasting their eyes on the new book, there was a knock at the door, and a package was left, directed to "Miss Emma Payson."

"Dear me! What can it be? I never had a package left for me before in all my life," cried Emma.

She opened the package, and there found several pairs of shoes, and a note, telling her to select two pairs that would fit her, and to send the rest to the shopkeeper.

In the note the old lady wrote: "You must not only fill your head with knowledge, but keep your feet warm, if you would preserve your health. If your brothers will go to Mr. Lane's to-morrow, he will fit them both to new shoes, a gift from me. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!"



ONE day, passing through a meadow, I saw a sheep much troubled by flies. Presently I saw it walk to a small pond where there were some young ducks, and stand there quietly. Soon the ducks took notice of the flies, and, coming out from the water, began snapping them up, as if to punish them for worrying the poor sheep.

By and by a starling, from a tree near by, flew down, lighted on the sheep's back, and helped in the good work of ridding her of the flies.

This, thought I, is a clear case of putting into practice the golden rule of "Help one another." Perhaps you will say, that the ducks and the starling wanted to make a meal of the flies; but I like to think that some less selfish motive was mingled with their work.



MY little lamb, in early spring, Was but a timid, weakly thing: His old sheep-mother did not own him: He would, no doubt, have soon been dead, If I had not some pity shown him, And seen that he was warmed and fed. I was the only friend he knew, And fond of him each day I grew; And, as I stroked his woolly head, "Wherever you may be, I know, my little lamb," I said, "You will remember me."

But, when the fields grew green in May, They sent my little pet away To pasture, where the brooks were flowing Through yellow beds of cowslip flowers, Where purple violets were growing, And scented blossoms fell in showers From off the shading chestnut-trees, And daisies nodded in the breeze: And many mates my lambkin found, As young and gay as he, And all day long they frisked around And gambolled full of glee.

But when the robin-redbreasts flew, And loud and shrill the north-winds blew, Back from the pastures hard and frozen, Through winter in the barn to keep, The little lamb that I had chosen They brought with all the other sheep; And, oh! how glad my face to see, I thought, my pretty pet will be! But when to meet him I went out, And tried to coax and call, He drew away, and turned about, And would not come at all.

With his white fleece and playful ways, My lamb now all about me praise; But dearer far to me the sickly, Poor, shivering thing he used to be; When to my call he came so quickly I thought that he was fond of me! But if I pet him now, I know He'll take my gifts, and off he'll go; For I, to my regret, have found I can no more depend On one who will go frisking round, And quite forget a friend.



HERE is another story about my father's wise old horse, Billy.

One day, when my father wished to go away to the mill, he sent my brother Robert down to the pasture to catch Billy. Robert brought the horse up to the house, tied him to the fence in the backyard, and gave him some oats in a pail.

In a pen back of the house we kept three pigs: two of them were white; and the other was spotted,—black and white. These pigs had got out of the pen by pushing off a board from one side of it.

Soon after Billy began to eat his dinner, the two white pigs came running through the yard. They saw Billy eating his oats; and, thinking it would be nice for them to have some as well as he, they ran up to his pail, and without as much as saying, "By your leave," began to help themselves.

Billy had no idea of sharing his dinner with such company as this: so he lopped back his ears, looked as cross as he possibly could, snapped at the pigs fiercely with his teeth, raised his hind-feet from the ground, as if to kick them, and at last succeeded in frightening them away.

Scarcely had they left the yard, however, before the spotted pig got his eye upon the pail of oats; and he at once ran for it with all his might.

Billy tried to scare him as he had the others; but Spotty was not so easily frightened. He took no notice of any thing but the oats.

Finding that threats were of no use, Billy seized him by the back of the neck, raised him about two feet from the ground, shook him a little, and then let him drop.

Spotty was satisfied. He lost his appetite for oats, and ran squealing out of the yard.



THE raven is a sly bird, and has not many friends. He will steal from you, if he can. He can crow like a cock, mew like a cat, and bark like a dog; and sometimes he will imitate the sound of the rattle with which the farmer tries to frighten him away from the corn.

The raven, like the parrot, can learn to talk a little. He is even capable of learning a little Latin. Dr. J. Franklin's raven, which was named Jocko, pronounced the word aqua (water) distinctly; but he much preferred wine to water. Sad to say, Jocko was a toper.

"One day," says the doctor, "my housekeeper placed a glass of red wine on the table: in an instant the bird plunged in his beak, and began sucking up the wine, drop by drop. The housekeeper, fearing he would break the glass, took it away; but at this Jocko was very angry, and tried to peck at her face.

"If three glasses are placed on the table,—one of water, another of beer, and the third of wine,—Jocko will leave the first two, and will pay his respects only to the glass of wine."

The raven has a strong memory, great prudence, and some capacity for reasoning. The keen watchfulness with which he will regard a man armed with a gun has often been noticed.

A traveller in the arctic regions relates that he once saw some ravens outwit a dog. While the dog was at his dinner, they would make him angry, and entice him away in pursuit of them; and, when they had led him some distance, they would fly quickly back, and snatch up the best bones, before he could prevent it.

That was hardly honest, was it? The raven, you see, does not set a good example. He drinks wine, he fights, and he steals. But I suppose he knows no better, and has not been taught, like you and me, that to do such things is very wrong.



Words by G. COOPER. Music by T. CRAMPTON.


I once knew a couple that liv'd in a wood,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! And up in a tree-top their dwelling it stood,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! The summer it came and the summer it went,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! And there they lived on though they never paid rent,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip!


When winter came on with its frost and its snow,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! They cared not a bit when they heard the wind blow,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! For wrapp'd in their feathers they lay down to sleep,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! But oh, in the spring, how their bright eyes did peep,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip!


Their parlor was lined with the softest of wool,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! Their kitchen was warm and their pantry was full,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! And four little babies peep'd out at the sky,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip! You never saw darlings so pretty and shy,— Chipperee, chipperee, chip!

* * * * *

Transcriber's Notes:

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


Home - Random Browse