Friday, May 4, 2018


by Mattie Bell

Are the snow-flakes pearly flowers
That in the skies have birth,
And gently fall in gleaming showers
Upon this barren earth?

Or, are they fleecy locks of wool,
From sheep that wander by
The silver streams, that, singing, roll
Through valleys in the sky?

Or, are they downy feathers, cast
By little birds above,
And hurried earthward by the blast,
Bright messengers of love?

No, they are pearly blossoms, flung
From heaven's airy bowers,
To recompense us for the loss
Of summer's blooming flowers.

The Butterfly

The Butterfly
author unknown

"Don't kill me," caterpillar said,
As Clara raised her heel,
Upon the humble worm to tread,
As though it could not feel.

"Don't kill me- I will crawl away,
And hide me from your site,
And when I come, some other day,
You'll view me with delight."

The caterpillar went and hid
In some dark, quiet place,
Where none could look on what he did,
To change his form and face.

And then, one day, as Clara read
Within a shady nook,
A butterfly, superbly dressed,
Alighted on her book.

His shining wings were dotted o'er
With gold, and blue, and green,
And Clara owned she naught before
So beautiful had seen.

The Shadow

The Shadow
by Peter Parley

One sunny day a child went Maying-
When lo, while 'mid the zephyrs playing,
He saw his shadow at his back!
He turned and fled, but on his track
The seeming goblin came apace,
And step for step gave deadly chase!

Weary at last, with desperate might
The urchin paused and faced the fright,
When lo, the demon, thin and gray,
Faded amid the grass away!

'Tis thus in life-when shadows chase,
If we but meet them face to face,
What seemed a fiend in fear arrayed,
Sinks at our feet a harmless shade.

Babies Afraid of Their Shadows:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tear & Assemble A Simple Valentine Wreath

My daughter decided to make a rag wreath for her classroom from strips of fabric, a wire frame, and a bit of prefab trim. You may choose tear your fabric pieces randomly or in more uniform sizes. Cut each strip in approximately six inch pieces. Tie and knot these around your form adding more for a thick looking wreath or less for something simpler. 
The wreath is trimmed with one heart made from galvanized metal and wood.
The fabric selection up close. Natalie chose red patterns
and white solids for her version of this easy wreath craft.
Her younger sister made a lovely bauble ornament wreath
for our home a few years ago; you can see it here.

Here is the wreath being made by Someday Mama.
You can click directly on the video to visit her
YouTube channel and see more simple, elegant DIY.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mother Goose Auto Parade - mini book

Paper mini book by Harvey Peake, restored by kathy grimm. Front Cover
       This adorable mini book is by Harvey Peake. It comes with rhymes and illustrations of automobiles only found in the imagination of a child. Assemble it as a mini book or cut the patterns out and pin them into a boarder in your classroom. Either way, little ones are sure to enjoy coloring them in and learning their nursery rhymes.
Goosey, goosey gander
Whither do you wander?
Of your winged motor car
Are you growing fonder?
A frog he would a-wooing go
In a very stylish way,
So he bought a frogmobile, you know,
And the lady frog said "Yea!"
Jack be nimble!
Jack be quick!
Jack, jump over the candlestick!
Jack jumped when something
struck his wheel,
For his candlestick
was an automo-
The Man in the Moon,
Come down too soon,
And asked his way to Norwich.
In his crescent machine,
Made of cheese so green,
He drove off after his porridge.
Little Bo Peep had lost her sheep,
And didn't know where to find them;
But she turned them all to automobiles,
And now she rides behind them.
"Will you come into my auto?"
Said the spider to the fly.
"There is room in my Web-tonneau
And I'll join you by and by."
There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children
She didn't know what to do.
But she mounted the shoe
On a big motor car,
And now there is room
For them all without jar.
Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He made a car of the pumpkin shess,
And there he kept her very well.
There was an old woman lived under a hill
On auto'bile wheels that wouldn't stand still.
So she drove around selling her cranberry pies,-
And she's the old woman who never told lies.
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?''
"Oh, now that I have a car," she said,
"It grows twice as fast, you know."

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Mother Hubbard's Dog

"I'm Old Mother Hubbard's Dog, you know,
That's why I'm dressed in style."


SAID Tilly and Tim, "We'll speak to him now,
And hear what he has to say."
To the well-dressed dog they made a bow,
And said, in their pleasantest way:
" Doggy, pray how do you do ?
Grant us an interview;
We' re going the rounds
Of these wide-spreading grounds,
And we want to begin with you."

The dog arose, and, bowing low,
Said with a cordial smile,
"I'm Old Mother Hubbard's dog, you know,
That's why I 'm dressed in style."
"Oho!" said Tilly and Tim,
Greatly admiring him,
" Pray tell how you came
To live with the dame, -
Was it a frivolous whim?"

"Well," said the dog, "'twas thus, you see;
When I was a tiny pup,
Somehow it always seemed to me
I 'd be famous when I grew up.
In the dog-days I was born,
When the dog-star shone in the morn;
And what do you s'pose?
A little dog-rose
Did always my collar adorn.

"I lived in a dog-wood, dark and drear,
Where nothing to eat I spied
But a dog-berry now and then, or I fear
I frequently might have died.
When one fine day, by chance,
I saw Mother Hubbard advance.
To her then I ran,
And quickly began
To turn somersaults and dance.

"'Oho,' said the dear old dame, said she,
 'A dog like you, I think,
I 'd like to adopt to live with me.'
Said I as quick as a wink: 
'Oh, Mother Hubbard, pray do
Take me to live with you;
You'll certainly find
I 'm gentle and kind,
Faithful and honest and true.'

" 'To that,' said the old dame, 'I agree.'
She adopted me then and there,
And for many years she gave to me
The best and kindest care.
She bought me fruit and bread,
She bought me this jacket red;
She was satisfied,
And filled with pride
If I danced or stood on my head.

" She was always giving me beautiful things,
And buying me this and that;
She loaded me with dog-watches and rings,
And bought me a feathered hat.
She bought me fine stockings and
And neckties of various hues;
She bought me a wig
If I danced her a jig,
Which of course I would never refuse.

" But, alas and alack, it happened one day,
In spite of her thoughtful care,
That somebody stole all her food away
And left her cupboard bare ;
And rather than face the dame
Saddened with grief and shame,
The ocean I crossed,
Not a moment I lost,
But to Mother Goose I came.

"Cordially Mother Goose welcomed me,
And said, 'How do you do ?
I 'm sure in my spacious menagerie
I can find room for you'
So I stayed here, you see,
And I 'm happy as I can be;
For I'll be bound
That here I have found
The very best place for me.

" Of course I 've made in this good home
Many and excellent friends;
No more abroad I care to roam,
And so, - my story ends."
" But tell us," said Tilly and Tim,
As they narrowly looked at him,
" Why weren't you lost
When the ocean you crossed?
Are you a sea-dog? Can you swim? "

" Well," said the dog, " I came in a craft
That has never been seen by men.
It wasn't a steamer, a barge, or a raft."
Said Tilly and Tim,  "What, then?"
Said the dog, " I'll confide to you, -
A canoe brought me here to the Zoo."
"Birchbark? " they cried.
" No," he replied,
"I came in a dog-bark canoe"

Tim and Tilly

"Good-morning," said she, "children dear;"
"Good-day," said they, politely. 

TWO little children, once there were,
Whose names were Tim and Tilly.
His skin was brown and rosy; her
Fair face was like a lily.
And they were just as good as gold,
And always did as they were told.
Their pretty ways
Deserve much praise,
Dear little Tim and Tilly.

One summer morning, hand in hand
Along the roadside walking,
Tilly and Tim went singing, and
Occasionally talking,
When, being tired, they thought it best
Upon a stone to sit and rest.
To them there came
An aged Dame
Along the roadside walking.

"Good-morning," said she, "children dear;"
"Good-day," said they, politely.
Her dress was just a trifle queer,
Though not at all unsightly.
She wore a quilted petticoat,
A cap with buckles at the throat,
A peaked hat,
With brim quite flat,
But not at all unsightly.

"Perhaps, my dears, you don't know me;"
"No, ma'am," they answered, smiling.
"Why, I am Mother Goose," said she
(Her manner was beguiling).
"I'm on a journey to my Zoo,
I'm sure that it would interest you,
And if you 'd care
To visit there - "
"Yes, ma'am!" they answered, smiling.

"Jump on my broomstick, then," she cried,
"Dear little Tim and Tilly,
'Twill be a long and rapid ride,
I hope you won't be chilly."
They took their places nothing loth,
She wrapped her cloak about them both;
With wild delight
They held on tight
And were not even chilly.

After they'd gone a mile or three,
They reached their destination;
And Mother Goose said pleasantly,
"Welcome to my plantation."
Then every kind of sound was heard,
The purr of cat and song of bird,
The bark of dog
And croak of frog,
Around the whole plantation.

Joyfully Tim and Tilly spied
Animals of all ages;
Some walking with a stately stride,
And some shut up in cages.
In kennels, stables, stalls, and pens,
In coops and holes and caves and dens,
In ponds and brooks,
In nests and nooks,
Were creatures of all ages.

Now Tilly, as I must admit,
Was just a trifle fearful;
But Tim said, "I don't mind a bit,
They 're all so kind and cheerful."
And this was true. You never saw
Animals that inspired less awe;
Even the Bears
Sat in their lairs
With aspect kind and cheerful.

"Dear Mother Goose," then Tilly said,
" May we not interview them?
That dog, and lamb, and robin red,
I feel as if I knew them!"
Said Mother Goose, "No doubt you do;
I rather think they know you, too.
Just try and see
How glad they '11 be
To have you interview them."

So Tim and Tilly, hand in hand,
Into the Zoo went bravely;
They met a dog who nodded, and
Regarded them quite gravely.
A handsome dog, and so well-bred,
With big brown eyes and noble head.
Upon a mat
He calmly sat,
Regarding them quite gravely.

"I think, dear," Tilly said to Tim,
" We'll interview this fellow;
Somehow I like the looks of him
With his gay coat of yellow."
"All right," said Tim, " let's have a chat
With Mr. Dog upon his mat ;
We'll draw him out
And I've no doubt,
He'll prove a merry fellow."

Monday, March 5, 2018

United States Road Sign Graphics

       Print and cut out sheets of signs for road rugs. Glue a toothpick to the back of each sign and stick the lower end into a piece of clay so that the sign can stand on it’s own. Click on each sheet to download the largest size. There are more types at Wikipedia. I've included here the most common ones together in a collection in order to make printing them simpler.
       In the United States, road signs are, for the most part, standardized by federal regulations, most notably in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and its companion volume the Standard Highway Signs (SHS). There are no plans for adopting the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals standards. Read more...

1rst sheet of U. S. street signs.

2nd sheet of U. S. street signs.

3rd sheet of U. S. street signs.

NHTSA campaigns for child safety materials

       The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, pronounced "NITS-uh") is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation. It describes its mission as "Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes."
       As part of its activities, NHTSA is charged with writing and enforcing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as well as regulations for motor vehicle theft resistance and fuel economy, as part of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) system. NHTSA also licenses vehicle manufacturers and importers, allows or blocks the import of vehicles and safety-regulated vehicle parts, administers the vehicle identification number (VIN) system, develops the anthropomorphic dummies used in safety testing, as well as the test protocols themselves, and provides vehicle insurance cost information. The agency has asserted preemptive regulatory authority over greenhouse gas emissions, but this has been disputed by such state regulatory agencies as the California Air Resources Board.
       Another of NHTSA's major activities is the creation and maintenance of the data files maintained by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. In particular, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), has become a resource for traffic safety research not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Research contributions using FARS by researchers from many countries appear in many non-U.S. technical publications, and provide a significant database and knowledge bank on the subject. Even with this database, conclusive analysis of crash causes often remains difficult and controversial, with experts debating the veracity and statistical validity of results.
The Safety Dummies from the 1990's

       The following resources were produced for the 1991 awareness campaign for seat buckle safety by the United States NHTSA. Teachers may download and print the materials to use for lesson planning in their classrooms only.
Vince and Larry say: "Buckle up, someone cares." coloring page.
Buckle Up Helper Award from the NHTSA.

1991 Safety Seat Checklist.

Buckle Up Kids!

       Children present significant challenges in engineering and producing safe vehicles, because most children are significantly smaller and lighter than most adults. Additionally, children far from being just scaled down adults, still have an undeveloped skeletal system. This means that vehicle restraint systems such as airbags and seat belts, far from being effective, are hazardous if used to restrain young children. In recognition of this, many medical professionals and jurisdictions recommend or require that children under a particular age, height, and/or weight ride in a child seat and/or in the back seat, as applicable.
       Within Europe ECE Regulation R44 dictates that children below 150 cm must travel in a child restraint that is appropriate for their weight. Each country have their own adaptions of this Regulation. For instance, in the United Kingdom, children must travel in a child restraint until they are 135 cm tall or reach 12 years of age, which ever comes soonest. As another example in Austria the driver of passenger vehicles is responsible for people shorter than 150 cm and below 14 years to be seated in an adequate child safety seat. Moreover, it is not allowed for children below the age of 3 to ride in a passenger vehicle without "security system" (which in practice means the vehicle is not equipped with any seat belts or technical systems like Isofix), whereas children between 3 and 14 years have to ride in the back seat.
       Sweden specify that a child or an adult shorter than 140 cm is legally forbidden to ride in a place with an active airbag in front of it.
      The majority of medical professionals and biomechanical engineers agree that children below the age of two year old are much safer if they travel in a rearward facing child restraint.
       Child safety locks and driver-controlled power window lockout controls prevent children from opening doors and windows from inside the vehicle. 

Music at YouTube To Teach Little Ones, "Buckle Up!":

Visit And Read More About Transportation Safety:

Danger Rangers Teach Valuable Life Lessons

       Danger Rangers is a television program that aired on PBS Kids. From September 2011 to September 2012, the show was re-aired on CBS as part of Cookie Jar TV.
       Danger Rangers was originally created with its first pilot in 1999; however, the first Hollywood production was completed in 2003. The show was born from the cause of children's safety and was the first show to successfully put Disney quality productions into a quality curriculum. The Danger Rangers series was the most successfully distributed independent show on PBS Affiliates and was documented to have saved lives.
       Seven animal heroes called the "Danger Rangers," their robot Fallbot, and their artificial intelligence called SAVO teach children about safety through examples, such as environmental hazards and unsafe places.
 The Danger Rangers teach about safety rules.
Click on the video to see more of the 16 episodes
 of Danger Rangers at YouTube.

D.A.R.E. for Kids

       D.A.R.E. Primary is a life skills and drug education program for 9-11-year-olds. The course, consisting of 10 one-hour sessions, aims to provide children with knowledge, skills, and an opportunity to explore attitudes, to help them to make informed decisions, and to develop safe and healthy lifestyles. Topics covered include, tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, volatile substances, bullying, anti-social behavior, and different types of pressure. Children look at normative beliefs about alcohol and tobacco. The sessions are interactive and provide a range of learning opportunities through individual activities, teamwork, discussions, storyboards, and appropriate role play. DARE Primary can be delivered by:
  • DARE Officer (Serving or former Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer, or School Officer--- a school liaison officer)
  • Teacher and DARE Officer where the Officer attends every other week (called 50/50). It also becomes part of the Health Unit in most schools.
  • Teacher delivered (Teachers receive training from DARE)
       Each pupil is provided with a DARE workbook for use during the course. DARE Officers and Teachers (where the Teacher delivered option is chosen) are provided with session guides. An important part of the program is the graduation ceremony which is an opportunity for families and schools to celebrate the children's achievements.



There is a land where bunnies dance
While foxes play the flute,
Where puppy-dogs in polkas prance,
And bear-cubs swiftly shoot
In sledges o'er the slipp'ry ice,
Which isn't safe, though very nice.

There on their hind-legs kittens walk,
And elephants steal jam,
There lions sit at tea and talk,
As gentle as a lamb,
There rats at school long copies write,
While bears are put to bed at night.

And if you don't believe it, look
At all the pages in my book!

The Rain Regiment

The Rain Regiment
by Mathilda Schirmer

Across the city's many roofs
Comes a sound of heavy hoofs...
The Regiment of Rain
That beats the windowpane;
That floods each country lane;
That tramples the farmers' grain;
That tangles the horse's mane;
That teases the weather vane,
And angers the raging main!
There are none who can refrain
From admiring the Regiment of Rain.



Friendly, bright stars
Gleaming out
In the dark sky,
Above quiet trees
A jolly moon
For Company;
And to lure one
Far into sleepy-land,
Thee beguiling
Pillow-time tales
About other children's
Dream adventures.
Why, pillow-time
Is the happiest time
Of all the day!


by Albert Laighton.

The world puts on its robes of glory now;
The very flowers are tinged with deeper
The waves are bluer, and the angels pitch
Their shining tents along the sunset

Friday, March 2, 2018

Fireman's or woman's badge for playtime.

         Below are fireman's badges that teachers and parents may print, cut and laminate in order to give away to young children for play time after they have been visited by the local fire department. You can adhere special safety pins to the back side of the badges. I found a large pack at Amazon for little ones here. You could probably find them in your local craft store as well if you prefer.
        Individual graphics are included for parents who only need one or two. Four graphics are included on one sheet of badges for easier printing in the classroom. Enjoy!
       Fire Departments feel free to pass out these crafted fireman's badges too, if you would like. They are free from kathy grimm!
A fireman's badge including an "engine house" number.
A fireman's badge including an eagle.
A fireman's badge with a blank ribbon for teachers who wish to include a name.
A fireman's badge including the symbolic tools of the trade.
All four fireman's badges on one png. for those who need to print multiple quantities.

Animal Intelligence

       It is generally known that many animals possess in a greater or less degree the same senses that we ourselves have: sight, hearing, smell, touch, temperature and so on and that many of them experience such emotions as: anger, grief and joy; but it is not by any means so certain that they have even the elements of reason as we understand that term.
       The sense of touch in man is keenest in the finger tips, the lips and the tip of the tongue. In the lower animals the regions of greatest sensitiveness are often different, and in some animals special and very delicate touch organs have been developed; as, for example, the whiskers of the eat and the long hair on the rabbit's lip, by means of which these animals can readily find their way in the densest darkness. The wing of the bat is also very sensitive to touch.
       In man the sense of taste is keen and resides in the taste bulbs which cover the tongue and palate. In birds and reptiles the sense of taste is not very well developed. Insects recognize the difference between sweet and bitter, but do not seem to be affected by other flavors. Many animals show an instinctive dislike for certain foods, but it may be more from the sense of smell than from taste, for the two are very closely allied.
       In some animals the sense of smell is exceedingly acute. The dog can track his master through the crowded street; the deer recognizes the presence of an enemy very quickly. But birds have little sense of smell, and reptiles also are dull in this respect. Fish differ; it is said that the shark is almost entirely dependent on his sense of smell for his food. In insects this sense is most keenly developed.
       Most of the mammals and the birds have a keen sense of hearing. The astonishing manner in which some birds will imitate the songs of other birds testifies to the accuracy of their hearing; but fishes hear little, though it has been proved that they can hear to some extent. Certain insects hear and can distinguish sounds that are pitched higher than the human ear is able to recognize.
       The keenness of vision possessed by birds is most remarkable. The swift, flying high through the air, detects on the ground its minute food. The eagle sees his prey from long distances entirely beyond the range of the human eye. Some animals, such as frogs and toads, have keen vision only at short range, and fish seem to be entirely unable to distinguish prey at any great distance from themselves. It is known that certain insects distinguish between colors.
       That the higher animals have memory is very certain; a puppy, having been stung by a bee, will ever after avoid the insect, and may even flee at the sound of its humming. Dogs are known to have recognized their masters after years of absence, and they have been known to show strong resentment after many years against an individual who mistreated them.
       Animals certainly draw inferences from what they see, but apparently in purely instinctive manner. The best writers seem to doubt whether an animal can put together different facts and establish a conclusion. The extent to which the intelligence of animals goes in this direction, however, is a subject of dispute. Some writers maintain that animals really teach their young; others protest that nothing of the sort is ever done - that the actions of a bird in throwing her young from the nest are purely instinctive, and not with any thought of the young birds' welfare. Many modern writers have taken a different stand and have written exceedingly interesting accounts and imaginative histories of many animals.

A letter about Grandpa's childhood

Dear Children,
       Well, here I am again, writing a letter to Grandpa's Grandchildren. This time I am going to write about horses. Some little girls do not care very much for horses, but all boys love horses and dogs. Long years ago I was a little boy. My Papa had an old-fashioned pair of leather saddlebags. My Father attended to a large herd of cattle, and he salted these cattle every week, and counted them to see if any had got out of the pasture. Sometimes I would ride behind until I would fall asleep, and then he would place me around in front, and hold me on his lap. At one time after he had emptied all the salt out of one side of the saddlebags, he put me in the empty bag and covered me up. Then he rode up in front of our home, and Mother came out to see her little boy; but no little boy could be found. It was a hot summer day, and I began to feel about as warm as a setting hen. Mother was scared; yes, excited at the loss of her first-born little boy. I could see the tears streaming from her eyes, as I peeped through a small crack in the old saddlebags.
       Mother was crying and, at the same time, telling Father that he was cruel to punish her in that way. I couldn't stand it a minute longer; young as I was, I felt that a little fellow like me could have no better friend than Mother. Papa saw that I had poked my head out of the bag and was turning the horse around, so Mother could not see me; but the old Dollie mare seemed to almost understand the trick, and in turning around, made more of a turn than Papa expected, and I was brought squarely around in full view, and there I was right in full sight of Mama, sitting down in the old saddlebags, with my little black head just above the cover. Papa lifted me up, and I didn't wait to be helped any farther, but just jumped into Mother's arms. The next day Father was mowing the yard, and I was wearing my first pants. Down at the back end of the yard was a small pond of water, with a mud bottom. My Papa waded into it to show me that the water was not deep, and in this way got me to try my new breeches. I waded out and back again a few times until the water became very muddy. Finally, I fell down in the middle of the pond, and went clear under, and how much farther, I could not tell. I was not old enough to swim, but I was a wriggler, and I wriggled out, but Oh! such a sight. I was the color of mud, and my new pants! Both Father and Mother gathered me up, and I was put through some kind of a fresh-water scrubbing, and that night Mother sat up until a late hour, making me a new pair of pantaloons. I started out in this letter to write you something about horses, but I got to thinking of some things that happened to me when I was a little boy.
       I believe I am getting to be like some preachers, who always take a text, but never preach from it.

Love, Grandpa.

Story of A Mouse

       A very neat little Mouse once lived in the same house with an ill-natured old Cat. When this little Mouse left his bed in the morning, he always washed and brushed himself with great care, taking particular pains with his long tail, which he kept very sleek and pretty.
       One morning the untidy Cat had not been able to find her brush and comb, not having put them in their proper place the day before; and when the Mouse ran past her, she snapped his pretty tail quite off because she felt so cross. The little Mouse turned and said, " Please, Mrs, Cat, give me back my long tail!"
       Mrs. Cat answered, " I will give you your long tail if you will bring me a saucer of milk; I always like milk better than tails." The little Mouse had no milk in his pantry, but he took his tin pail and went to the Cow, saying -
       "Please, Mrs. Cow, give me some milk, and I will give Mrs. Cat some milk, and Mrs. Cat will give back my long tail."
       The Cow said, " I will give you some milk, but I must first have some hay." The little Mouse then took his wheelbarrow, and going to the farmer, said -
       "Please, Mr. Farmer, give me some hay, and I will give Mrs. Cow some hay; Mrs. Cow will give me some milk, and I will give Mrs. Cat some milk, and Mrs. Cat will give back my long tail."
       The farmer said, "I would be glad to give you some hay, but my barn door is locked; if you will go to the locksmith, and get me a key, I will unlock my barn, and give you all the hay you can carry on your little wheelbarrow."
       Then the little Mouse took his pocket-book, and went to the locksmith, saying, "Please, Mr. Locksmith, give me a key, and I will give the farmer a key, and the farmer will give me some hay, and I will give Mrs. Cow some hay, and Mrs. Cow will give me some milk, and I will give Mrs. Cat some milk, and Mrs. Cat will then give me back my long tail."
       The locksmith said, "I must have a file with which to make a key; if you will get me a file, I will make the key with great pleasure,"
       So the little Mouse took his satchel, and went to the blacksmith, and asked him, saying - "Please, Mr. Blacksmith, give me a file, and I will give Mr. Locksmith a file, and Mr. Locksmith will give me a key, and I will give the farmer a key, and the farmer will give me some hay, and I will give Mrs. Cow some hay, and Mrs. Cow will give me some milk, and I will give Mrs. Cat some milk, and Mrs. Cat will give me back my long tail." The blacksmith answered, "I need some coal to build a fire before I can make a file. If you will go to the miner, and get me some coal, I will be glad to make a file for you." So the Mouse took his little cart, and went down, down into the dark earth, until he saw a man, with a lantern on his hat, and when he spoke to the man, the man said, "Well done, little Mousie, how did you get so far without a light?"
       Mousie answered that he was quite used to playing in the dark, and now he must work night and day to get his tail again; and then he said-
       "Please, Mr. Miner, give me some coal, and I will give the blacksmith some coal, the blacksmith will give me a file, I will give the locksmith a file, the locksmith will give me a key, I will give the farmer a key, and the farmer will give me some hay, and I will give Mrs. Cow some hay, and Mrs. Cow will give me some milk, and I will give Mrs. Cat some milk, and Mrs. Cat will give me back my long tail."
       Then the miner filled the little cart with coal; and the Mouse trudged up to the blacksmith, who gave him the file, which he put in his little satchel, and then ran as fast as his feet would carry him to the locksmith, who gave him a key, which he put in his pocket-book, and carried to the farmer, who unlocked the barn door, and gave him all the hay he could pile upon his wheelbarrow. Mousie took the hay to Mrs. Cow, who filled his little tin pail with milk, which the Mouse carried to the cat, saying, "Now, Mrs. Cat, please give me back my long tail."
       Mrs. Cat said, " So I will, my dear; but where have I put it?"
       Then this untidy Cat called all the people in the house, saying, "Where could I have put that tail!" "Oh! now I think I know - I believe it is in the upper bureau drawer." But the tail was not in the upper bureau drawer, and the poor Mousie who had worked so hard was nearly ready to cry, and the milk was getting cold. Then Mrs. Cat said, "I must have put it in this closet," and she ran to the closet, pulling down dresses and boxes; but there was no tail there, and the little Mouse had to wink very
hard not to let the tears fall, and the milk was getting blue, when Mrs. Cat shouted, " Of course I put it in the second drawer" ;but she tumbled all the things out of the drawer and found no tail; then the little Mouse had to sing "Yankee Doodle" to keep from crying, and the milk was in danger of getting sour.
       Mrs. Cat now clapped her paws, and said, " Why, I know where it is - I ought to have thought before - I put it here in this lower drawer, in this very box, wrapped up so neatly in pink tissue paper. Yes; hurrah! here it is!" And the Mousie took his pretty, long tail, and ran home as fast as he could to get some glue to stick it on again; and Mrs. Cat ate her milk, thinking she would try hereafter to put things in their places.

Tom The Water-Baby

       Once upon a time there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom. That is a short name, and you have heard it before, so you will not have much trouble in remembering it. He lived in a great town in the North country, where there were plenty of chimneys to sweep. He could not read nor write, and did not care to do either; and he never washed himself, for there was no water up the court where he lived. He had never been taught to say his prayers. Tom and his master, Mr. Grimes, set out one morning for Harthover Place, where they were to sweep the chimneys. Mr. Grimes rode the donkey in front, and Tom and the brushes walked behind.
       Old Mrs. Earth was still fast asleep; and, like many pretty people, she looked still prettier asleep than awake. The great elm-trees in the gold-green meadows were fast asleep above, and the cows fast asleep beneath them; nay, the few clouds which were about were fast asleep likewise, and so tired that they had lain down on the earth to rest, in long white flakes and bars, among the stems of the elm-trees, and along the tops of the alders by the stream, waiting for the sun to bid them rise and go about their day's business in the clear blue overhead.
       Tom never had been so far into the country before; and longed to get over a gate, and pick buttercups; but Mr. Grimes was a man of business, and would not have heard of that.
       Soon they came up with a poor Irishwoman, trudgingalong with a bundle at her back. She had a gray shawl over her head, and a crimson madder petticoat. She had neither shoes nor stockings, and limped along as if she were tired and footsore; but she was a very tall, handsome woman, with bright gray eyes, and heavy black hair hanging about her cheeks. And she took Mr. Grimes's fancy so much, that when he came alongside he called out to her, "This is a hard road for a gradely foot like that. Will
ye up, lass, and ride behind me?"
       But, perhaps, she did not admire Mr. Grimes's look and voice; for she answered quietly, -
       "No, thank you; I'd sooner walk with your little lad here."
       "You may please yourself," growled Mr. Grimes, and went on.
       So she walked beside Tom, and asked him where he lived, and all about himself, till Tom thought he had never met such a pleasant-spoken woman.
       And she asked him, at last, whether he said his prayers; and seemed sad when he told her that he knew no prayers to say.
       Then he asked her where she lived; and she said far away by the sea that lay still in bright summer days, for the children to bathe and play in it; and Tom longed to go and see the sea and bathe in it.
       At last they came to a spring, bubbling and gurgling, so clear that you could not tell where the water ended and the air began.
       There Grimes stopped, got off his donkey, and clambered over the low road-wall, and knelt down, and began dipping his ugly head into the spring; and very dirty he made it.
       Tom was picking the flowers as fast as he could. The Irishwoman helped him. But when he saw Grimes actually wash, he stopped, quite astonished; and when Grimes had finished, and began shaking his ears to dry them, he said, 
       "Why, master, I never saw you do that before."
       "Nor will again, most likely. 'Twasn't for cleanliness I did it, but for coolness. I'd be ashamed to want washing every week or so, like any smutty collier-lad."
       "I wish I might go and dip my head in," said poor little Tom. "It must be as good as putting it under the town-pump; and there is no beadle here to drive a chap away."
       "Thou come along," said Grimes. "What dost want with washing thyself?"
       Grimes was very sulky, because the woman preferred Tom's company to his; and he began beating him.
       "Are you not ashamed of yourself, Thomas Grimes?" cried the Irishwoman, over the wall.
       Grimes seemed quite cowed, and got on his donkey without another word.
       "Stop!" said the Irishwoman. "I have one more word, Those that wish to be clean, clean they will be; and those that wish to be foul, foul they will be. REMEMBER"
       How many chimneys Tom swept at Harthover Place I cannot say: but he swept so many that he got quite tired, and lost his way in them; and coming down, as he thought, the right chimney, he came down the wrong one, and found himself standing on the hearth-rug in a room the like of which he had never seen before.
       The room was all dressed in white: white window-curtains, white bed-curtains, white chairs and white walls, with just a few lines of pink here and there.
       The next thing he saw was a washing-stand, with ewers and basins, and soap and brushes, and towels; and a large bath full of clean water. And then, looking toward the bed, he held his breath with astonishment.
       Under the snow-white coverlet, upon the snow-white pillow, lay the most beautiful little girl that Tom had ever seen. Her cheeks were almost as white as the pillow, and her hair was like threads of gold spread all about over the bed.
       She never could have been dirty, thought Tom to himself. And then he thought, "And are all people like that when they are washed?" And he looked at his own wrist, and tried to rub the soot off, and wondered whether it ever would come off. "Certainly I should look much prettier, if I grew at all like her."
       And looking round, he suddenly saw, standing close to him, a little, ugly, black, ragged figure, with bleared eyes and grinning white teeth. He turned on it angrily. What did such a little black ape want in that sweet young lady's room.'' And behold, it was himself reflected in a great mirror, the like of which Tom had never seen before.
       And Tom, for the first time in his life, found out that he was dirty; and burst into tears with shame and anger; and turned to sneak up the chimney again and hide, and upset the fender, and threw the fire-irons down, with a great noise.
       Under the window spread a tree, with great leaves, and sweet white flowers, and Tom went down the tree like a cat, and across the garden towards the woods.
       The under-gardener, mowing, saw Tom, and threw down his scythe, and gave chase to poor Tom. The dairy-maid heard the noise, jumped up and gave chase to Tom. A groom ran out, and gave chase to Tom. Grimes upset the soot-sack in the new-gravelled yard, and spoilt it all utterly; but he ran out, and gave chase to Tom. The ploughman left his horses at the headland, and one jumped over the
fence, and pulled the other into the ditch, plough and all; but he ran on and gave chase to Tom. Sir John looked out of his study-window (for he was an early old gentleman), and he ran out, and gave chase to Tom. The Irish-woman, too, was walking up to the house to beg; she must have got round by some by-way; but she threw away her bundle, and gave chase to Tom likewise.
       Tom ran on and on, and when he stopped to look around, he said, "Why, what a big place the world is;" for he was far away from Harthover, having left the gardener, and the dairy-maid, and the groom, and Sir John, and Grimes, and the ploughman all behind him.
       Through the wood he could see a clear stream glance, and far, far away the river widened to the shining sea, and this is the song Tom heard the river sing: 

"Clear and cool, dear and cool,
By laughing shallow, and dreaming pool;
Cool and clear, cool and clear.
By shining shingle, and foaming wear;
Under the crag where the ouzel sings.
And the ivied wall where the church bell rings,
Undefiled, for the undefiled;
Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.

Strong and free, strong and free,
The floodgates are open, away to the sea ;
Free and strong, free and strong.
Cleansing my streams as I hurry along ;
To the golden sands, and the leaping bar.
And the taintless tide that awaits me afar,
As I lose myself in the infinite main,
Like a soul that has sinned and is pardoned again.
Undefiled, for the undefiled ;
Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.

       Then he fell asleep and dreamed that the little white lady called to him "Oh, you're so dirty; go and be washed;" and then he heard the Irishwoman say: "Those that wish to be clean, clean they will be.'' And all of a sudden he found himself, between sleep and awake, in the middle of the meadow saying continually, "I must be clean, I must be clean." And he went to the bank of the brook and lay down on the grass and looked into the clear water, and dipped his hand in and found it so cool, cool, cool; and he said again, "I must be clean, I must be clean." And he put his poor, hot, sore feet into the water; and then his legs. "Ah," said Tom, "I must be quick and wash myself."
        And all the while he never saw the Irishwoman: not behind him this time, but before.
       For just before he came to the river-side, she had stepped down into the cool, clear water; and her shawl and her petticoat floated off her, and the green water-weeds floated round her sides, and the white water-lilies floated round her head, and the fairies of the stream came up from the bottom, and bore her away and down upon their arms; for she was the Queen of them all ; and perhaps of more besides.
       "Where have you been?'' they asked her.
       "I have been smoothing sick folk's pillows, and whispering sweet dreams into their ears; opening cottage casements, to let out the stifling air; coaxing little children away from gutters and foul pools; doing all I can to help those who will not help themselves: and little enough that is, and weary work for me. But I have brought you a new little brother, and watched him safe all the way here."
       But Tom did not see nor hear this, for he had not been in the water two minutes before he fell fast asleep, into the quietest, sunniest, coziest sleep that he ever had in his life. The reason of his delightful sleep is very simple: the fairies had taken him.
       Ah, now comes the most wonderful part of this wonderful story. Tom, when he woke, - for of course he woke; children always wake after they have slept exactly as long as is good for them, ‚ -found himself turned into a water-baby.
       And now happened to Tom a most wonderful thing; he came upon a water-baby.
       A real, live water-baby, sitting on the white sand, very busy about a little point of rock. And when it saw Tom, it looked up for a moment, and then cried, "Why, you are not one of us. You are a new baby! Oh, how delightful!"
       And it ran to Tom, and Tom ran to it, and they hugged and kissed each other for ever so long, they did not know why.
       At last Tom said, "Oh, where have you been all this while?"
       "We have been here for days and days. There are hundreds of us about the rocks."
       "Now," said the baby, "come and help me, or I shall not have finished before my brothers and sisters come, and it is time to go home."
       "What shall I help you at?"
       "At this poor, dear little rock; a great, clumsy boulder came rolling by in the last storm, and knocked all its head off, and rubbed off all its flowers. And now I must plant it again with sea-weeds, and I will make it the prettiest little rock-garden on all the shore."
       So they worked away at the rock, and planted it and smoothed the sand down round it, and capital fun they had till the tide began to turn. And then Tom heard all the other babies coming, laughing and singing and shouting and romping; and the noise they made was just like the noise of the ripple.
       And in they came, dozens and dozens of them, some bigger than Tom and some smaller, all in the neatest little white bathing-dresses; and when they found that he was a new baby, they hugged him and kissed him, and then put him in the middle and danced round him on the sand, and there was no one ever so happy as poor little Tom.
       "Now then," they cried all at once, "we must come away home, we must come away home, or the tide will leave us dry. We have mended all the broken sea-weed, and put all the rock-pools in order, and planted all the shells again in the sand, and nobody will see where the storm swept in last week."
       And this is the reason why the rock-pools are always so neat and clean; because the water-babies come in shore after every storm to sweep them out, and comb them down, and put them all to rights again.

Coming And Going

       There came to our fields a pair of birds that had never built a nest nor seen a winter. How beautiful was everything! The fields were full of flowers, and the grass was growing tall, and the bees were humming everywhere. Then one of the birds began singing, and the other bird said, "Who told you to sing?" And he answered, "The flowers told me, and the bees told me, and the winds and leaves told me, and the blue sky told me, and you told me to sing." Then his mate answered, "When did I tell you to sing?" And he said, " Every time you brought in tender grass for the nest, and every time your soft wings fluttered off again for hair and feathers to line the nest." Then his mate said, "What are you singing about?" And he answered,  I am singing about everything and nothing. It is because I am so happy that I sing."
       By and by five little speckled eggs were in the nest, and his mate said, " Is there anything in all the world as pretty as my eggs?'' "Then they both looked down on some people that were passing by and pitied them because they were not birds.
       In a week or two, one day, when the father-bird came home, the mother-bird said, "Oh, what do you think has happened?" "What?" "One of my eggs, has been peeping and moving!" Pretty soon another moved under her feathers, and then another and another, till five little birds were hatched! Now the father-bird sang louder and louder than ever. The mother-bird, too, wanted to sing, but she had no time, and so she turned her song into work. So hungry were these little birds that it kept both parents busy feeding them. Away each one flew. The moment the little birds heard their wings fluttering among the leaves, five yellow mouths flew open wide, so that nothing could be seen but five yellow mouths!
       "Can anybody be happier?'' " said the father-bird to the mother-bird. "We will live in this tree always, for there is no sorrow here. It is a tree that always bears joy."
       Soon the little birds were big enough to fly, and great was their parents' joy to see them leave the nest and sit crumpled up upon the branches. There was then a great time! The two old birds talking and chatting to make the young ones go alone! In a little time they had learned to use their wings, and they flew away and away, and found their own food, and built their own nests, and sang their own songs of joy.
       Then the old birds sat silent and looked at each other, until the mother-bird said, "Why don't you sing?" And he answered, "I can't sing - I can only think and think." "What are you thinking of?'' "I am thinking how everything changes: the leaves are falling off from this tree, and soon there will be no roof over our heads; the flowers are all going; last night there was a frost; almost all the birds are flown away. Something calls me, and I feel as if I would like to fly far away."
       "Let us fly away together!"
       Then they rose silently, and, lifting themselves far up in the air, they looked to the north: far away they saw the snow coming. They looked to the south: there they saw flowers and green leaves! All day they flew; and all night they flew and flew, till they found a land where there was no winter - where flowers always blossom, and birds always sing. by Henry Ward Beecher.

Mary Had A Little Lamb

       Mary had one little lamb. Mary's father had a hundred little lambs. Mary's lamb could not stay in the house with her all of the time; it stayed out in the meadow, with the other little lambs and sheep, most of the time. When Mary went to look at all the lambs playing together, she could not tell surely which was her own until she called, "Pet, Pet!" As soon as she spoke, her lamb would come bounding toward her, and would go with her wherever she ,went. When she had to go home to go to bed, she would shut the gate between her and her lamb, and then kiss the lamb's woolly head through the bars, telling him, "Good night; be sure to be awake when I go to school in the morning." A part of Mary's path to school was beside the meadow, and the lamb always went as far as he could with her; when she turned the corner so he could go no further, he always put his head through the fence for Mary to give him a good-by hug and a kiss, and as long as he could see her he would cry "baa, baa"; but when she was quite out of sight, he would go to play with the other lambs, no doubt thinking that a hundred lambs were almost as good playfellows as one little girl.
       One day all the sheep were taken from the meadow and driven down the road past the schoolhouse, the lambs being left alone. Mary was afraid something might happen to her lamb, left with so many frisky little creatures without a mother-sheep to tell them not to turn heels over head. Mary's father had told her she might bring her lamb down past the schoolhouse at noon and see what they were doing with the old sheep; so Mary let the lamb follow her to school in the morning, though her father did not mean she should do so. It really was no harm, and I am sorry "it made the children laugh and play," so that the teacher had to turn the lamb out of doors. But just as soon as school closed, Mary ran out, and hugging the woolly little lamb, said, "You dear, patient little Pet! now we will take a walk"; and away they went down the road toward the river. Very soon they heard all sorts of baas, big, coarse baas, pretty, soft baas, and coarse and soft baas all mingled together. (Children can easily produce the sound.)
       It was a strange sight that Mary and Pet saw. Some men were carrying the sheep into the water and were washing their warm woolly coats in the clear, cool river. Mary asked her father if she might wash her lamb, and her father said she might wash his face and see how he liked that. Mary took off her shoes and stockings and waded into the water. Mary's lamb splashed in after her, and when his face had been neatly washed, Mary's father said the day was so warm that she might wash all of her lamb's wool. What fun they had! The lamb enjoyed it quite as much as Mary did. Mary was afraid the dust would get into the damp wool and make her lamb look more untidy than if he had not been washed, so she took off her apron, and putting the lamb's fore-legs through the sleeves, started home ; but the lamb would not stir a step while dressed in that way, and Mary took the sleeves off his legs and tied them in a pretty bow-knot under his chin; this seemed to please him much better, for he now trotted briskly ahead of her a part of the way home. I wish you had been at that schoolhouse when Mary and her lamb went past; the teacher and all the children were eating their luncheon out under the trees, and they laughed as you or I would laugh, to see a lamb dressed in a girl's apron.
       When all the old sheep had been in the sunny meadow a few days after their bath in the river, their thick coats of wool had become quite dry, and they were taken to the barn, where the farmers cut off their wool every summer. Mary and her lamb went too. Mary said her lamb ought to be taught to keep very quiet while being sheared, and her father said the best-behaved lambs always made the best sheep; so Mary taught her lamb to keep its feet quite still while she played that she cut its wool all off to make herself a dress. Some of the wool from a mother-sheep was made into a ball for Mary to hang round Pet's neck so she could tell him from the other lambs, and Mary had a dress, a hood, a pair of mittens, and some stockings made from the wool that was cut from the sheep's backs that day. Mary took a pair of scissors and clipped a tiny lock of wool from Pet's back, and tying it with a blue ribbon, put it in a box marked : "Pet's first wool; washed and cut off by Mary."