HOW THE HOME WAS BUILT
Maud Lindsay, in "Mother Stories." Copyright 1900 by the Milton Bradley Co.
 ONCE there was a dear family—Father, Mother, big
Brother Tom, little Sister Polly, and the baby, who had
a very long name, Gustavus Adolphus—and every one of the
family wanted a home more than anything else in the
They lived in a house, of course, but that was rented;
and they wanted a home of their very own, with a sunny
room for Mother and Father and Baby, with a wee room
close by for the little sister; a big, airy room for
Brother Tom; a cozy room for the cooking and eating;
and, best of all, a room that Grandmother might call
her own when she came to see them.
A box which Tom had made always stood on mother's
mantel, and they called it the "Home Bank," because
every penny that could be spared was dropped in there
for the building of the home.
This box had been full once, but it had been emptied to
buy a little piece of ground where the home could be
built when the box was full again.
The box filled very slowly, though, and Gustavus
Adolphus was nearly three years old when, one day,
 the father came in with a beaming face and called the
family to him.
Mother left her baking, and Tom came in from his work;
and after Polly had brought the baby, the father asked
them very solemnly: "Now, what do we all want more
than anything else in the world?"
"A home!" said mother and Brother Tom.
"A home!" said little Sister Polly.
"Home!" said the baby, Gustavus Adolphus, because his
mother had said it.
"Well," said the father; "I think we shall have our
home, if each one of us will help. I must go away to
the forest, where the trees grow so tall and fine. All
winter long I must chop the trees down, and then I
shall be paid in lumber, which will help in the
building of the home. While I am away, mother will
have to fill my place and her own, too, for she will
have to go to market, buy the coal, keep the pantry
full, and pay the bills, as well as wash and cook, and
sew, and take care of the children, and keep a brave
heart until I come back again."
The mother was willing to do all this and more, too,
for the dear home; and Brother Tom asked, eagerly:
"What can I do?—what can I do?" for he wanted to begin
work right then, without waiting a minute.
"I have found you a place in the carpenter's shop where
I work," answered the father. "And you will work for
him, and all the while be learning to saw and hammer
and plane, so that you will be ready in the spring to
help build the home."
Now, this pleased Tom so much that he threw his cap in
the air, and hurrahed, which made the baby laugh; but
little Polly did not laugh, because she was
she was too small to help. But, after a while, the
father said: "I shall be away in the great forest
cutting down the trees; mother will be washing and
sewing and baking; Tom will be at work in the
carpenter's shop; and who will take care of the baby?"
"I will, I will," cried Polly, running to kiss the
baby, "and the baby can be good and sweet."
So it was all arranged that they would have their dear
little home, which should belong to every one, because
each one should help; and the father made haste to
prepare for the winter. He stored away the firewood,
and put up the stoves; and when the wood-choppers went
to the forest he was ready to go with them.
Out in the forest the trees were waiting. Nobody knew
how many years they had been growing there, every year
becoming stronger and more beautiful for the work they
had to do. Every one of them had grown from a baby
tree to a giant; and when the choppers came, there
stood the giant trees so bare and still in the wintry
air that the sound of the axes rang from one end of the
woods to the other. From sunrise to sunset the men
worked; and, although it was lonely in the woods with
the white snow on the ground and the chill wind
blowing, the father kept his heart cheery.
Nobody's ax was sharper than his or felled so many
trees, and nobody was gladder than he when spring came
and the logs were hauled down the river.
The river had been waiting, too, under its shield of
ice, but, now that the snows were melting, and all the
little mountain streams were tumbling down to help, the
river grew very wide and strong, and dashed
snatching the logs when the men pushed them in, and
carrying them on with a rush and a roar.
So they went on their way to the sawmills, where they
were sawed into lumber to build houses; and then father
When he came there, he found that the mother had baked,
and washed, and sewed, and taken care of the children,
as only such a precious mother could have done.
Brother Tom had worked so hard in the carpenter's shop
that he knew how to hammer and plane and saw. Sister
Polly had taken such good care of the baby that he
looked as sweet and clean and happy as a rose in the
garden; and the baby had been so good that he was a joy
to the whole family.
"I must get this dear family into their home," said the
father; and he and Brother Tom went to work with a
will. And the home was built, with a sunny room for
Father and Mother and Baby; a wee little room close by
for good Sister Polly; a big, airy room for Brother
Tom; a cozy room for the cooking and eating; and, best
of all, a room for the dear Grandmother, who came to
live with them all the time.