THE NUT GATHERERS
NE fine autumn day, Willie and Nettie went to gather nuts.
They walked out into the woods, where they knew they
would find a great many; but when they got there, they
found the nuts were too high on the tree, and they
could not reach them.
"What shall we do?" said Nettie. Just then the wind
blew very hard and shook the tree, and down came a
shower of nuts on their heads. They both laughed gaily,
and ran to pick them up. They were fine, large walnuts,
with green hulls on them.
"We will take of the hulls," said Willie, "and then put
the nuts in the sun to dry; half of them will be mine,
and the other half yours." They sat down on the ground
and counted them, so they could make an equal division.
There were twenty-four. "That will be twelve for each
of us," said Willie, for he had been to the
kindergarten, and knew how to count and divide. Nettie
thought twelve nuts a great many.
"Now," said Nettie, "we will leave them here until
to-morrow, and the sun will dry them off; we will then
take them home." The nest day they started with their
baskets for the woods. But when they reached the spot,
not a nut was to be seen. Nettie opened her big blue
eyes with wonder, and said: "Where have they gone?"
"Well," said Willie, "I know they did not walk off. I
should like to know who took them!" Just then they
heard a loud noise and chattering over their heads, and
looking up saw two brown squirrels, each eating a
walnut, which they seemed to be enjoying very much.
"I do believe," said Nettie, "that those are our
walnuts: they look like them."
"I wonder where they put the rest of them?" said
Willie. "I see them here in the hollow of this tree. I
suppose they wanted them for their winter store, but
they did not know they were ours. I think, dear sister,
we will let them keep the nuts." And Nettie thought so,