| For the Children's Hour|
|by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey|
|A choice collection of stories for the preschool child, carefully selected, adapted, and arranged by two veteran kindergarten teachers. Includes nature stories, holiday stories, fairy tales and fables, as well as stories of home life. Emphasis is placed on fanciful tales for their value in the training of the imagination and on cumulative tales for developing a child's sense of humor and appealing to his instinctive love of rhyme and jingle. Ages 4-7 |
Mary L. Branch. Copyright by "The Youth's Companion."
EVER so many years ago, there was a little girl named
Polly who lived out on a beautiful farm, where there
were plenty of cows, and pigs, and chickens, and apple
trees, and daisies.
Polly's grandmother lived in the town, in an old
house—older than you ever saw, maybe, for it had been
built more than two hundred years.
It had the great fireplace and chimney that used to be
the fashion; and a great square parlor, with a
wonderful fireboard; it had a pantry, where there were
sure to be plenty of pies and seed-cookies; and it had,
best of all, a nice, sunny "keeping-room," with
deep-seated windows, where a little girl could play
 all day, and with grandmother's bed in the
corner, hidden by great flowering chintz curtains that
reached from the tester to the floor.
Polly loved the curtains more than anything else at
grandmother's, for they were covered with bunches of
roses, and little boy-angels sitting on clouds and
playing on harps.
Once a week the farm horse was harnessed, and Polly and
her mother went to see grandmother. But Polly never
felt that she stayed long enough. She would just have
started housekeeping in the window, perhaps; or have
just reached the middle of a cooky; or have just caught
the kitten, when her father would come in to say that
his business was done, and they must go home before
"O, mother, do let me stay all night!" Polly would
say, but she never did stay, until one particular
afternoon that I am going to tell you about.
"Where's Polly?" asked father, when he came in to hurry
"Where's Polly?" asked mother, getting her little shawl
and hood all ready.
"Why, here she is on my bed," said grandmother, as she
looked behind the curtains, "and she's fast asleep! It
is too bad to wake the lamb up. Do let her stay for
Mother came to look, and she smiled a bit as she noticed
a twitch in the eyelids, but it was snowing
out-of-doors, and she thought, maybe, Polly would
better stay, after all; so she said, cheerfully:
"Very well; we'll leave her, and her father can come
for her to-morrow night."
So they went, and no sooner had the wagon fairly
started than there was a shout, and a great peal of
 laughter, and a rush, as Polly jumped off the bed,
and flew to grandmother to give her a big hug.
"You're a little rogue," said grandmother, giving her a
"May I have jelly for supper?" asked Polly.
Of course she had jelly, and everything else she
wanted, and after supper grandmother held her in her
lap, and told her an old, old fairy story. Then
grandmother undressed her, and loaned her one of her
own nightgowns to sleep in, and Polly settled down in
the great feather-bed, and knew no more until morning.
When she awoke, there were all the little angels
looking at her, and the sun was shining in, and she
could hear grandmother in the kitchen. In a minute
Polly was there, too, watching the biscuit in the tin
baker before the fire.
After breakfast she had a splendid time. First she
went up to the garret with grandmother after the
quilting-frame, and she hid inside the old clock for as
much as five minutes, just for fun; and then she got a
whole handful of dried peppermint to nibble.
While grandmother was getting her quilt in, downstairs,
Polly kept house in the small window, and had all the
broken bits of an old saucer for a tea set. By and by
she moved to a new house, and where do you suppose it
was? Under the great flower-basket quilt that was
stretched upon the frame, and you haven't any idea,
unless you have tried it, what a lovely house it makes.
There Polly gathered her dishes, her rag baby and the
cat, and was as happy as a queen.
Presently Mrs. Clark and Miss Avery came in with their
thimbles to help grandmother to get her quilt done, and
they all three talked and stitched, and forgot all
 For a long time she watched the pretty diamonds as
they appeared, one after another, on the roof of her
house; and when she was tired of that there were Miss
Avery's scissors, which she had dropped on the floor,
and never missed. Now, Polly's mother scarcely ever
let her take scissors, because Polly wasn't quite five
yet, and might do mischief. But this time there was
nobody to say "No, no!"
Those dear little boy-angels! How often she had wished
she might take one home to play with! She crept out
from under the quilting-frames, and no one noticed, for
they were all too busy talking about the best way to
At last Miss Avery needed her scissors, and she pushed
back her chair to look for them. "Where can they be?"
she asked, and then she exclaimed, "Why, there they
are—and Polly's in mischief!"
"Why, Polly!" said grandmother, getting up as quickly
as she could. Polly had just finished cutting out the
second angel, and there they were, smiling in her lap.
"Your nice chintz curtains," said Mrs. Clark, "and
you've had them only a year!"
"She's cut them all zig-zag," said Miss Avery.
"Why, Polly!" said grandmother, and she really could
not think of anything else to say.
So Polly gave back the dear little boy-angels, and Mrs.
Clark and Miss Avery went to work laying pieces under,
and darning down till, at last, you would never have
known, unless you had looked twice, that the little
winged boys had ever left the clouds.
"I know they wanted to go home and play with me," said
Polly, when she told her mother all about it that
 Well, they did come to live with her at last, but
not until many years after, when grandmother had gone
to live with the real angels. Sometimes Polly, who is
a grown-up mother, now, takes them out of their box and
unfolds them, and looks at them, and the two mended
places make her feel as if she were a little girl
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