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upsetting three plants. The window was His back was turned towards Peter, and too small for Mr. McGregor, and he beyond him was the gate! was tired of running after Peter. He Peter got down very quietly off the went back to his work.
wheelbarrow, and started running as Peter sat down to rest; he was out fast as he could go, along a straight walk of breath and trembling with fright, behind some black currant-bushes. and he had not the least idea which way Mr. McGregor caught sight of him to go. Also he was very damp with at the corner, but Peter did not care. sitting in that can.
He slipped underneath the gate, and After a time he began to wander about, was safe at last in the wood outside the going lippity-lippity-not very fast, garden. and looking all around.
Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket He found a door in a wall; but it was and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten locked, and there was no room for a the blackbirds. fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath. Peter never stopped running or looked
An old mouse was running in and out behind him till he got home to the big over the stone doorstep, carrying peas fir-tree. and beans to her family in the wood. He was so tired that he flopped down Peter asked her the way to the gate, upon the nice soft sand on the floor of but she had such a large pea in her the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mouth that she could not answer. She mother was busy cooking; she wondered only shook her head at him. Peter what he had done with his clothes. It began to cry.
was the second little jacket and a pair Then he tried to find his way straight of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight! across the garden, but he became more I am sorry to say that Peter was not and more puzzled. Presently, he came very well during the evening. to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled His mother put him to bed, and made his water-cans. A white cat was star- some camomile tea; and she gave a doze ing at some goldfish; she sat very, very of it to Peter! still, but now and then the tip of her "One table-spoonful to be taken at tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter bed-time.” thought it best to go away without But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail speaking to her; he had heard about had bread and milk and blackberries cats from his cousin, little Benjamin for supper. Bunny. He went back towards the tool-shed,
387 but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe, --scr-r-ritch
The next selection illustrates well the kind
of stories in the Bedtime Story series of scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter Scut
twenty volumes by Thornton Waldo tered underneath the bushes. But pres
Burgess (1874-). The books of this ently, as nothing happened, he came
series are entitled Adventures of Johnny out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow
Chuck, Adventures of Buster Bear, Adrenand peeped over. The first thing he tures of Ol' Mistah Buzzard, etc. These saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. books and the Old Mother West Wind series
of eight volumes by the same author are As they passed the great hollow tree enjoyed by children in the second and third | Bobby Coon put his head out. “Where grades. Mr. Burgess is an American
are you going in such a hurry?” asked author who has been editor of several
Bobby Coon. American magazines. (The following selec
“Down in the Green Meadows to tion is from Old Mother West Wind, by per
find the Best Thing in the World!" mission of the publishers, Little, Brown & Co., Boston.)
shouted Striped Chipmunk and Peter Rabbit, and both began to run faster.
“The Best Thing in the World," said JOHNNY CHUCK FINDS THE
Bobby Coon to himself, "why, that must BÈST THING IN THE WORLD
be a whole field of sweet milky corn! I THORNTON W. BURGESS
think I'll go and find it.” Old Mother West Wind had stopped So Bobby Coon climbed down out of to talk with the Slender Fir Tree. the great hollow tree and started down
“I've just come across the Green the Lone Little Path through the wood Meadows,” said Old Mother West Wind, as fast as he could go after Striped "and there I saw the Best Thing in the Chipmunk and Peter Rabbit, for there World.”
is nothing that Bobby Coon likes to Striped Chipmunk was sitting under eat so well as sweet milky corn. the Slender Fir Tree and he could n't At the edge of the wood they met help hearing what Old Mother West Jimmy Skunk. Wind said. “The Best Thing in the "Where are you going in such a World—now what can that be?” thought | hurry?” asked Jimmy Skunk. Striped Chipmunk. “Why, it must be “Down in the Green Meadows to find heaps and heaps of nuts and acorns! the Best Thing in the World!” shouted I'll go and find it."
Striped Chipmunk and Peter Rabbit and So Striped Chipmunk started down the Bobby Coon. Then they all tried to Lone Little Path through the wood as
run faster. fast as he could run. Pretty soon he "The Best Thing in the World," said met Peter Rabbit.
Jimmy Skunk. “Why, that must be "Where are you going in such a hurry, packs and packs of beetles!" And for Striped Chipmunk?" asked Peter Rabbit. once in his life Jimmy Skunk began to
“Down in the Green Meadows to hurry down the Lone Little Path after find the Best Thing in the World," Striped Chipmunk and Peter Rabbit replied Striped Chipmunk, and and Bobby Coon. faster.
They were all running so fast that “The Best Thing in the World,” said they did n't see Reddy Fox until he Peter Rabbit, "why, that must be a jumped out of the long grass and asked: great pile of carrots and cabbage! I "Where are you going in such a hurry?" think I'll go and find it."
“To find the Best Thing in the World!" So Peter Rabbit started down the shouted Striped Chipmunk and Peter Lone Little Path through the wood as Rabbit and Bobby Coon and Jimmy fast as he could go after Striped Chip- Skunk, and each did his best to run munk.
“The Best Thing in the World," said the leaf of a cabbage. Bobby Coon Reddy Fox to himself. “Why, that must had n't found the tiniest bit of sweet be a whole pen full of tender young milky corn. Jimmy Skunk had n't seen chickens, and I must have them." a single beetle. Reddy Fox had n't
So away went Reddy Fox as fast as heard so much as the peep of a chicken. he could run down the Lone Little Path And all were as hungry as hungry after Striped Chipmunk, Peter Rabbit, could be. Bobby Coon and Jimmy Skunk.
Half way up the Lone Little Path By and by they all came to the house they met Old Mother West Wind going of Johnny Chuck.
to her home behind the hill. “Did you "Where are you going in such a find the Best Thing in the World?" hurry?” asked Johnny Chuck.
asked Old Mother West Wind. “To find the Best Thing in the “No!" shouted Striped Chipmunk World,” shouted Striped Chipmunk and and Peter Rabbit and Bobby Coon and Peter Rabbit and Bobby Coon and Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox all Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox.
together. “The Best Thing in the World,” said "Johnny Chuck has it,” said Old Johnny Chuck. “Why I don't know Mother West Wind. “It is being happy of anything better than my own little with the things you have and not wanting home and the warm sunshine and the things which some one else has. And it beautiful blue sky."
is called Con-tent-ment." So Johnny Chuck stayed at home and played all day among the flowers with the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West Wind and was as happy as
Albert Bigelow Paine (1861–), an Ameri
can author at one time connected with could be.
the editorial department of St. Nicholas But all day long Striped Chipmunk
Magazine, has for more than twenty years and Peter Rabbit and Bobby Coon and
been knotun as the biographer of Mark Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox ran this Twain. He is a popular writer of stories for way and ran that way over the Green children. Pupils in the fifth grade like Meadows trying to find the Best Thing his story The Arkansaw Bear. Some of in the World. The sun was very, very
his books suitable for the third and fourth warm and they ran so far and they ran grades are Hollow-Tree Nights and Days, so fast that they were very, very hot
The Hollow Tree, and The Deep Woods. and tired, and still they had n't found
“(Mr. Possum's Sick Spell” is from Hol
low-Tree Nights and Days, and is used by the Best Thing in the World. When the long day was over they
permission of the publishers, Harper &
Brothers, New York.) started up the Lone Little Path past Johnny Chuck's house to their own homes. They did n't hurry now for
MR. 'POSSUM'S SICK SPELL they were so very, very tired! And
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE they were cross oh so cross! Striped Once upon a time, said the Story Teller, Chipmunk had n't found a single nut. something very sad nearly happened in Peter Rabbit had n't found so much as the Hollow Tree. It was Mr. 'Possum's
turn, one night, to go out and borrow a life and in his state of flesh his trouble chicken from Mr. Man's roost, and com- might go hard with him. ing home he fell into an old well and lost So Mr. Crow went back into the his chicken. He nearly lost himself, too, kitchen and made up a lot of herb tea for the water was icy cold and Mr. and kept it hot on the stove, and Mr. 'Possum thought he would freeze to 'Coon sat by Mr. 'Possum's bed and death before he could climb out, because made him drink it almost constantly, the rocks were slippery and he fell back which Mr. 'Possum said might cure him several times.
if he did n't die of it before the curing As it was, he got home almost dead, commenced. and next morning was sicker than he He said if he just had that chicken, had ever been before in his life. He had made up with a good platter of dumplings, pains in his chest and other places, and he believed it would do him more good was all stuffed up in his throat and very than anything, and he begged the 'Coon scared. The 'Coon and the Crow who and fish it out, or to catch another lived in the Hollow Tree with him were one, and try it on him, and then if he did scared, too. They put him to bed in die he would at least have fewer regrets. the big room down-stairs, and said they But the Crow and the 'Coon said they thought they ought to send for some must do as Mr. Owl ordered, unless body, and Mr. Crow said that Mr. Owl Mr. 'Possum wanted to change doctors, was a good hand with sick folks, because which was not a good plan until the he looked so wise and did n't say much, case became hopeless, and that would which always made the patient think probably not be before some time in the he knew something.
night. Mr. 'Coon said, though, there So Mr. Crow hurried over and brought
reason why that nice chicken Mr. Owl, who put on his glasses and should be wasted, and as it would still looked at Mr. 'Possum's tongue, and be fresh, he would rig up a hook and felt of his pulse, and listened to his line and see if he could n't save it. So breathing, and said that the cold water he got out his fishing things and made seemed to have struck in and that the a grab hook and left Mr. Crow to sit by only thing to do was for Mr. 'Possum Mr. 'Possum until he came back. He to stay in bed and drink hot herb tea could follow Mr. 'Possum's track to the and not eat anything, which was a very place, and in a little while he had the sad prescription for Mr. 'Possum, because fine, fat chicken, and came home with it he hated herb tea and was very partial and showed it to the patient, who had to eating. He groaned when he heard a sinking spell when he looked at it, it and said he did n't suppose he'd ever and turned his face to the wall and said live to enjoy himself again, and that he he seemed to have lived in vain.
. might just as well have stayed in the Mr. Crow, who always did the cooking, well with the chicken, which was a great said he'd better put the chicken on right loss and doing no good to anybody. away, under the circumstances, and then Then Mr. Owl went away, and told the he remembered a bottle of medicine he Crow outside that Mr. 'Possum was a
seen sitting on Mr. Man's very sick man, and that at his time of window-sill outside, and he said while
the chicken was cooking he'd just step feel like sitting down to dinner right over and get it, as it might do the patient away, and pretty soon when they thought good, and it did n't seem as if anything Mr. 'Possum was asleep they slipped now could do him any harm.
softly up to his room to see how sad So the Crow dressed the nice chicken it would seem without him. and put it in the pot with the dumplings, Well, they had only been gone a and while Mr. 'Coon dosed Mr. 'Possum minute when Mr. 'Possum woke up, for with the hot herb tea Mr. Crow slipped the smell of that chicken and dumpling over to Mr. Man's house and watched a coming in from Mr. Crow's kitchen was good chance when the folks were at too much for him. When he opened dinner, and got the bottle and came back his eyes and found that Mr. 'Coon and with it and found Mr. 'Possum taking a Mr. Crow were not there, and that he nap and the 'Coon setting the table; for felt a little better-perhaps because of the dinner was about done and there Mr. Man's medicine— he thought he was a delicious smell of dumplings and might as well step out and take one last chicken, which made Mr. 'Possum begin look at chicken and dumpling, anyway. talking in his sleep about starving to It was quite warm, but, being all in a death in the midst of plenty. Then he sweat, he put the bed-sheet around him woke up and seemed to suffer a good deal, to protect him from the draughts and and the Crow gave him a dose of Mr. went out to the stove and looked into Man's medicine, and said that if Mr. the pot, and when he saw how good it 'Possum was still with them next morn looked he thought he might as well ing they'd send for another doctor. taste of it to see if it was done. So he
Mr. 'Possum took the medicine and did, and it tasted so good and seemed so choked on it, and when he could speak done that he got out a little piece of said he would n't be with them. He dumpling on a fork, and blew on it to could tell by his feelings, he said, that cool it, and ate it, and then another piece, he would never get through this day and then the whole dumpling, which he of torture, and he wanted to say some sopped around in the gravy after each last words. Then he said that he wanted bite. Then when the dumpling was gone the 'Coon to have his Sunday suit, which he fished up a chicken leg and ate that, was getting a little tight for him and and then a wing, and then the gizzard, would just about fit Mr. 'Coon, and that and felt better all the time, and pretty he wanted the Crow to have his pipe soon poured out a cup of coffee and drank and toilet articles, to remember him by. that, all before he remembered that he He said he had tried to do well by them was sick abed and not expected to since they had all lived together in the
Then he happened to think, Hollow Tree, and he supposed it would and started back to bed, but on the way be hard for them to get along without there he heard Mr. 'Coon and Mr. Crow him, but that they would have to do talking softly in his room and he forgot the best they could. Then he guessed again that he was so sick and went up he'd try to sleep a little, and closed his to see about it. eyes. Mr. 'Coon looked at Mr. Crow Mr. 'Coon and Mr. Crow had been and shook his head, and they did n't quite busy up in Mr. 'Possum's room.