A Stir – About
“I have been quiet for a wonderful time,” said the Wind. “I’ve been lazy long enough.” “What are you going to do?” asked the Moon. “The World would be a funny sort of place without me!” He laughed, and his laugh was like a shrill whistle down the chimneys.
“The same might be said of all of us!” remarked the Moon. The Wind’s laugh had disturbed a cloud, and it ran across the sky and came down exactly between the Moon and the snowy fields below, so that they looked cold and dreary instead of shining white and beautiful.
“The Wind is rising and the clouds are coming up; there will be a thaw!” The people who loved skating spoke sadly.
“There is a change in the weather!” The people whose bones felt the frost spoke joyfully. “You can’t please everybody, that’s certain,” said the Wind.
“I should tell the people so!” said the Moon, peeping out from behind the cloud.
The Wind shook his head, and when he did that the trees in the forest and woods and parks bent this way and that and flung out their arms and sighed.
“No!” said the Wind, ” If people live long enough, Life will teach them that.”
All night the Wind blew, and when the Sun came up in the morning the clouds would not let him have a single peep hole.
“Here! Move along! Move along!” said the Sun. He had often heard the expression from Policemen.
But the Wind had jammed and the clouds, and they lifted their eyebrows and smiled at the Sun. “We would if we could, but we can’t,” they said politely.
“I’m going skating while there is a chance,” said Dick.
“The wind is so high!” Janie stood undecided. At last she remembered she had promised to return Diana’s book, and she might as well go skating up the river as walking up the road.
The Wind saw them coming. He was having a grand run down the smooth ice on the river. “My dears!” said he, “You had better had stayed at home!”
Away went Dick’s hat, away went Janie’s book, and over went George like a ninepin.
He got up laughing. Janie and Dick were inclined to be cross.
“Don’t lose your tempers, my dears!” said the Wind “they are not so easily picked up as books and hats!”
He waited a bit to see if they did lose their tempers, but they both burst out laughing. “It’s rather fun!” said Janie, picking up her book.
“It’s lots of fun,” agreed Dick, jamming his hat on more firmly.
“That’s the way to go through Life!” said the Wind, “take the troubles cheerily!”
That evening Dick, Janie and George sat around a glowing fire. They were talking about the Wind.
The Wind was sitting on the chimney-pot listening to their talk.
“The Wind has lulled,” people were saying. They did not know what the Wind was doing.
“I wonder where the Wind comes from?” Dick was saying.
“Nobody knows that,” replied the Wind.
“What makes the Wind blow?” said Janie.
“The Earth whirling round, for one thing,” said the Wind, “and another thing is that hot air always rises, and when hot air rises, cold air fills in behind it, and there’s a general stir round. That’s the Wind!
“What is the good of the Wind?” said George.
“The good of the Wind?” repeated the Wind briskly, “lots of good, my son! I help to keep the world clean! I sweep out the corners and the alleys, I scatter the things that bring sickness, I carry the seeds of the trees and flowers, I sing songs in the dark night.”
I like this next one because one of the Twins has a shortened form of my name!
Wanted—An Alarm Clock
They had all overslept. Every one of them, from Cook and Jane to Mummie, Daddy, Jim, Mary, Jess and Dorrie.
Of course it was Cook’s fault. She did not make any secret of that! She was the family Alarm Clock, and if she did not go off (or get up) nobody else thought about the time, especially in the dark mornings of January.
The Railway people and the School people had not overslept. Daddy’s train would not be one half a minute behind time, and the Church Clock would strike nine, and the Grammar School and High School went by the Church Clock, and their clocks would jangle out nine strokes quite careless of any unfortunates who had overslept themselves.
No wonder that Cook and Jane and Mummie, Daddy, Jim, Mary, Jess and Dorrie were in a fever of scramble, putting on their clothes and laying breakfast, and frying bacon, and heating up porridge. Nobody thought of toast or warm boots. It was just a question of getting some breakfast inside them.
“You and Jane and Cook are lucky, Mummie!” said Jim. “You can sit and eat as long as you like!”
“And warm your feet,” put in Dorrie.
They were fairly shoving their breakfast into their hungry mouths when Mary cried out, “Oh, I say, what about the Twins! We meant to have breakfast ever so quickly and take our presents before School!”
Now, the Twins were their cousins, and lived a mile away, and though they were but little people, they were thought an immense deal of by the four Grigsons.
This was the Twins’ birthday.
Quite a shock went round the hurrying table-ful. Mummie got her breath first.
“It is impossible to go now,” she said; “You must go at twelve o’clock!”
The children were not expected to grumble at Mummie’s decisions. They did not say a word, but Mummie knew it was a disappointment. “Take your presents with you, and it won’t seem long till half-past twelve,” she said.
There was no time to look for paper and string and do their presents up respectably. They must take them as they were and hide them in their jackets in the dressing – room.
And really it did not seem long before the four had met again at the Grammar School gates and could set off for the Twins’ home.
“In a way!” said Dorrie, “we have longer now than if we had gone before.”
The Twins, Kit and Kate, were on the snowy path outside their house skipping with a little neighbour and a new rope.
Directly the Grigson family caught sight of them they stopped, unbuttoned their coats and hid their presents. At the same moment the Twins saw them and stopped their rope.
“What are they doing?” said Kit.
“Let’s run and see!” said Kate.
“Quick! Quick! they are coming!” cried Jess. Not one of the four could stoop to kiss the Twins! And they were laughing so much they could hardly speak, but the twins were always brimful of talk, and on a birthday morning doubly brimful, and they noticed nothing, not even the stout appearance of the Grigsons, nor the way they had one hand firmly across their chests.
“Oh! I thought some of you would be coming,” cried Auntie, welcoming in them in.
“Take off your clothes,” ordered Auntie, when they got inside the warm dining-room.
So they did, and out came Mary’s gollywog and Jim’s whip, and Jess’s paintbox and Dorrie’s painting book.
Kit and Kate were speechless for once. When they found words they both said the same thing.
“What a bit of luck!” It was their favourite expression.
The Snow-man, the next story, includes a word that I simply loathe. I think you’ll figure out which one I’m talking about. That I don’t mind censoring, so I’m going to just put stars there so we don’t have to look upon its ugliness.
“Why don’t you ask that little girl next door to come in and have a game with you?”
Frank shook his head with a good deal of energy. “No thanks,” he said. “I don’t want girls messing around! Simpering little stupids, most of them! That’s the third time you suggested that idea, Mother, and I assure you it’s no use worrying me to say ‘No’ four times.”
He stood moodily leaning against the window – frame, staring out over the snow covered hill side with sparkles in the sunshine with a myriad twinkles. If only a boy who lived next door, or two or three, what a time they could have had out in the snow!
He was very quiet for some time, so quiet that his mother, busily writing at the table, had nearly forgotten his existence, when he said, “Little Donkey! There’s not enough snow there!”
He was no longer leaning against the window frame, but looking out with a decided interest expressed in the back of his head and the set of his square shoulders.
Craning her neck, his mother caught a peep of a busy little figure in the next-door garden, who, with her back to them, was shovelling up snow into a pile with tremendous energy, only stopping now and again to pay and shape it.
Evidently a Snow – man was in the making.
Suddenly, with a muttered “Excuse me, Mother,” Frank threw up the window and leant out. “Hi!” he shouted, “Hi! ”
The little girl next door stood up and turned an astonished and cheerful face.
“There’s not enough snow there!” shouted Frank, ” come out on the hillside and I’ll help you make a proper one!”
The theme of the light in the girls face was quite enough answer! Frank called once again. ” I’ll be round in a tick! I haven’t got my boots on!”
He slammed down the window and disappeared from the room, and his mother was left alone. She chuckled a little bit to herself as he began to write her letters again.
Three minutes later the front door banged, and very soon she saw the two walking up the hillside in front of the house. She saw Frank hold out his hand for the girl’s shovel, and she smiled again.
” I’ll take that, Sissie,” Frank was saying. “Thank you, Brother!” Sissie said. There was no simpering about Sissie. She worked like a n***** and chattered like a magpie, and yet she was as interested in his interests as if she had five bouncing brothers at Boarding School.
Frank inquired for these brothers in a polite manner, and was astonished to hear that she was an only child. ” I suppose!” Said he, carefully inserting a pipe into the snow-man’s mouth, ” I suppose you can’t play bagatelle?”
” Oh, yes, I can! Once I made fifty-three in one turn. Grandma has a lovely Bagatelle board – – – only it’s a trifle warped. Daddy says it must be, for he never makes a good score on it.”
” yours was luck, no doubt!” said Frank laughing;” will you come in and try our board? It isn’t warped, I can promise you!”
” You know,” replied Sissie, ” the warp might be in Grandma’s table. It’s pretty old, I expect.”
“Well, said Frank, ” will you come and have a game?”
“Of course I will,” said Sissie, ” if Mummie doesn’t mind!”
Meantime Frank’s Mother had watched the growing Snow – man with great interest, and so had Sissie’s Mummie. Just at identically the same minute the two mother’s, in goloshes, and shawls over their heads, came out of their front doors to go and inspect the Snow – man. By the time they had climbed the hillside they have become very friendly.
Blackberry afternoon the two mothers had tea together, while Frank and Sissie played bagatelle.
That one had no picture, but couldn’t you really see that one in your head as if there were a picture? I love these little stories!