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HOW WE FIRST CAME TO HAVE UMBRELLAS
C. S. B.
THIS is how we first came to have umbrellas.
One sunny morning in April a wee brownie started out
for a walk. He wore a brown jerkin, and brown
breeches, and brown pointed shoes, and a little brown
pointed cap, as all brownies should, quite new and
quite fresh. He carried his basket over his arm, for
 he had a bit of marketing to do by the way; and
he skipped along, dodging the beetles, and peeping in
the doors of the ant hills, as merry as any brownie
could be on a sunny morning in April.
He bought him a jar of butter at a buttercup shop, and
a jar of honey from a wandering bee. He stopped a
green measuring worm to see if he had grown tall in the
night, but he had not a bit. He was just going home
again, when—"Bless me! What's that?" said the brownie.
The sunny April day had changed to a showery April day,
and it was raining!
It is quite bad enough to be a child and out of doors
when it rains, but think of being a tiny, wee little
mite of a brownie, with fresh new clothes, and every
raindrop as full as a bucket, because you are so tiny!
He ran so fast that the jar of honey and the pot of
butter rattled like a pair of kettledrums. He crept
under the tallest blades of grass, and tried to cover
himself with a plantain leaf; but it was of no use—the
raindrops fell thicker and faster, and he grew more
drenched every minute.
At last he saw, just a little way ahead, a fine, broad
toadstool. That would make a good roof! He ran as
fast as his little legs would carry him, nearly
dropping his basket in his haste to get under the
But, ah! some one else needed shelter from the
weather, too. The brownie ran straight into a huge,
fat, gray dormouse, who lay safe and dry under the
toadstool, winking and blinking at the drops trickling
through the grass.
Poor little brownie! He trembled with fright. The
dormouse looked, to him, as large as a bear, and he was
so afraid. But it was warm and dry under the
 toadstool, and very wet outside. The dormouse did not
see him, and he kept on the other side of the stalk,
just peeping out now and then.
He began tugging a bit at the toadstool. It was very
heavy; but never mind. Tug, tug—up it came, and off
scampered the brownie with the toadstool over his head,
and the dormouse left out in the rain.
"Off scampered the brownie with the toad stool over his head."
"See the brownie!" cried the crickets, and the beetles,
and the grasshoppers, and the ants; "see the brownie
with a toadstool over his head to keep off the rain!"
By and by, a large, grown-up person, with very sharp
eyes, saw the brownie, too. And the grown-up person
went off at once and made himself a larger toadstool
from iron and wood and cloth to hold over his head when
it rained. So that is how we first came to have