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THE BABY QUEEN
Annie Hamilton Donnell. Copyright by "The Youth's Companion."
 SHE was born, once on a time, in a palace swarming with
busy folks—or, anyway, some of them were busy; though,
I am sorry to say, a few were very lazy indeed and made
the others do all the work.
She was such a queer little baby, lying very still in
her little white dress! Her mother was altogether too
busy to take care of her and the other babies, for, you
see, the baby had a great many sisters and brothers.
If it hadn't been for their many kind nurses, I am
afraid they would never have grown up at all. But the
nurses watched over them very tenderly and carefully,
and fed them on bread and milk all day long.
They never had to wait for something to eat. Their
nurses fed them between meals, and at all times, so
they grew ever so much faster than real babies do.
Why, some of them doubled in size in only half a day!
So, you see, their bread and milk agreed with them
I think the nurses must have loved this one special
baby I am telling you about more than all the rest.
Anyway, they soon began to give her better food than
they gave the other babies. She had beautiful, rich
"royal jelly" to eat, while the others had only coarse
yellow "bread" mixed with a drop of honey.
After all, the queerest thing about this queer little
queen was that the thing which made her a queen was the
food she ate. It wasn't because she was first heir to
the throne, but just and solely because she had "royal
jelly" for dinner and the other babies didn't!
 Who ever heard of any other queen who owed her crown to
She had a tiny room all to herself—so did most of the
babies, for that matter. It was a cozy little room
with six walls, and the door was always open till the
baby queen was about nine days old. Then the nurses
shut the door tight and locked it, after they had given
her a good big meal of "royal jelly."
For twelve long days the baby lived all alone in her
little, locked-up room. Nobody came to see her, or
took any notice of her.
At first she seemed to enjoy being alone, and never
thought of wondering why her nurses didn't bring her
any dinner or supper. She was very busy growing and
putting on a suit of beautiful new clothes. As the
door was kept locked so tightly, nobody could look in
to see how the new suit was made, or how the wee baby
put it on all by herself.
By and by, when the dress was all donned, the royal
baby—though she wasn't much of a baby then—concluded
she did not care to live alone any longer, and,
besides, she was very hungry.
So she began to turn slowly round and round, and cut a
small round hole in her door with her strong little
"teeth" —for she had cut all her teeth by that time.
When the circle was nearly completed—pop!—the bit of a
round door flew open like a lid to a coffeepot! The
little queen poked out her head and looked at things
with a good deal of wonder.
What do you suppose she thought of it all—the long rows
of six-walled rooms, the crowds of busy workers
bustling about bringing in new supplies of food and
piling them into the rooms, and the lazy loungers, here
and there, doing nothing at all?
 It must have surprised her, but she was too
dignified to let any one know. Indeed, she was a very
quiet little lady, and called out only something that
sounded like "zeep, zeep, zeep" once in a while.
She popped her head down again and went back to her own
little room to rest and think about it all, maybe.
After that she peeped out of the door several times and
finally boldly walked out. She was too hungry, just
then, to wait for ceremony, so she walked about among
the little food rooms helping herself.
Nobody objected at all. They all knew that she was a
young queen, and a queen may do what she wishes. From
that time she was perfectly at home in the busy palace,
and began her ruling with quiet dignity.
Haven't you guessed who the little queen was? Why, she
is alive this minute, and lives in our backyard! Put
on your hat, dear, and we'll go out to the beehive, and
I'll introduce you to her Majesty!