| Among the Meadow People|
|by Clara Dillingham Pierson|
|Delightful stories of field life for young children, relating incidents in the lives of birds, insects, and other small creatures who make the meadow their home. Each chapter features the story of one animal in its daily activities and interactions with the other animals inhabiting the meadow. Ages 5-7 |
 ONE day there crawled over the meadow fence a jolly young
Measuring Worm. He came from a bush by the roadside, and
although he was still a young Worm he had kept his eyes open
and had a very good idea how things go in this world.
"Now," thought he, as he rested on the top rail of the
fence, "I shall meet some new friends. I do hope they will
 pleasant. I will look about me and see if anyone is in
sight." So he raised his head high in the air and, sure
enough, there were seven Caterpillars of different kinds on
a tall clump of weeds near by.
The Measuring Worm hurried over to where they were, and
making his best bow said: "I have just come from the
roadside and think I shall live in the meadow. May I feed
The Caterpillars were all glad to have him, and he joined
their party. He asked many questions about the meadow, and
the people who lived there, and the best place to find food.
The Caterpillars said, "Oh, the meadow is a good place, and
the people are nice enough, but they are not at all
fashionable—not at all."
"Why," said the Measuring Worm, "if you have nice people and
a pleasant place in which to live, I don't see what more you
"That is all very well," said a black and
 yellow Caterpillar, "but what we want is fashionable society. The
meadow people always do things in the same way, and one gets
so tired of that. Now can you not tell us something
different, something that Worms do in the great world from
which you come?"
Just at this minute the Measuring Worm had a funny idea, and
he wondered if the Caterpillars would be foolish enough to
copy him. He thought it would be a good joke if they did, so
he said very soberly, "I notice that when you walk you keep
your body quite close to the ground. I have seen many Worms
do the same thing and it is all right if they wish to, but
none of my family ever do so. Did you notice how I walk?"
"Yes, yes," cried the Caterpillars, "show us again."
So the Measuring Worm walked back and forth for them,
arching his body as high as he could, and stopping every
 while to raise his head and look haughtily around.
"What grace!" exclaimed the Caterpillars. "What grace, and
what style!" and one black and brown one tried to walk in
the same way.
The Measuring Worm wanted to laugh to see how awkward the
black and brown Caterpillar was, but he did not even smile,
and soon every one of the Caterpillars was trying the same
thing, and saying "Look at me. Don't I do well?" or, "How
You can just imagine how those seven Caterpillars looked
when trying to walk like the Measuring Worm. Every few
minutes one of them would tumble over, and they all got warm
and tired. At last they thought they had learned it very
well, and took a long rest, in which they planned to take a
long walk and show the other meadow people the fashion they
had received from the outside world.
 "We will walk in a line," they said, "as far as we can, and
let them all see us. Ah, it will be a great day for the
meadow when we begin to set the fashions!"
The mischievous young Measuring Worm said not a word, and
off they started. The big black and yellow Caterpillar went
first, the black and brown one next, and so on down to the
smallest one at the end of the line, all arching their
bodies as high as they could. All the meadow people stared
at them, calling each other to come and look, and whenever
the Caterpillars reached a place where there were many
watching them, they would all raise their heads and look
around exactly as the Measuring Worm had done. When they got
back to their clump of bushes, they had the most dreadful
backaches, but they said to each other, "Well, we have been
fashionable for once."
And, at the same time, out in the grass, the meadow people
 "Did you ever see anything so ridiculous in
your life?" All of which goes to show how very silly people
sometimes are when they think too much of being fashionable.
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