Our Darlings Day 7: The Lost Jemima Anne :: The Frog’s Adventure :: The Plank

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The Lost Jemima Anne

“That’s the very last stitch!” said  Janie briskly, and she cut off the thread with a snap of her bright scissors.

“Now, Jemima Anne, put on your new outdoor clothes and come up the hill with me and meet Daddy!”

“My dear!” said Mummie, ” it is far too wet under foot for you to drag that great doll out of doors!”

“Excuse me, Mummie!” said Janie, “but the wind has dried everything up. Jemima Anne is company for me. I am distracted with loneliness without her, now that the two boys go to school!”

Mummie laughed. It was indeed a funny house now that Dick and George were weekly borders at the Grammar School.

Janie dressed Jemima Anne and then herself, and toiled up the hill beyond the home. At the top you could see the white road for a couple of miles, and Daddy’s motor would come along like a fly walking on a white ribbon.

Jemima Anne was heavy to carry up hill, and was no hand at walking.

No motor was in sight, and Jemima Anne was a troublesome burden to stand about with. Janie propped her against a post and ran up and down on the short Down grass, keeping one eye open for early daisies and the other open for Daddy’s motor.

Ah! there it was! The resemblance of a fly walking on a strip of white ribbon occurred to Janie again, and then a new idea came into her ever busy brain. Surely there was time for her to run down the hill to meet Daddy before the motor reached the place where Daddy changed the gear to mount the hill.

And so the remembrance of Jemima Anne went to sleep in Janie’s head, and never woke till bedtime.

Oh dear! Oh dear! What a wailing there was! Jemima Anne out on the hilltop, alone in the dark night and not even a star shining to cheer her! And nobody offered to go out and find her and bring her back! And Janie couldn’t explain just where she left her either! and she would not be comforted.

That night the wind that had brought the thaw came back from a visit to the North Pole and brought snow with him.

The wind whirled snow all over the Downs in drifts and in the morning there was a smooth white world, and the low bushes and Jemima Anne had all disappeared.

“You’ll find her when the thaw comes,” said Daddy. That was not much comfort!

“You must make up a Fairy Story and think that Jemima Anne has gone to stay with the Snow Queen in her Palace!” said Mummie.

That was more comforting because it was rather interesting.

The most comforting thing was the arrival of Dick and George on Friday afternoon, and their appearance on Saturday morning armed with their garden spades and wrapped up in mittens and scarves.

“We are going to dig out Jemima Anne! ” they announced. “We are shepherds digging out lost sheep, we are robbers in the Snow Queen’s Palace!”

They were gone an hour. They came back shouting and singing. They brought back Jemima Anne.

Jemima Anne was heavy to carry
Jemima Anne was heavy to carry

The Frog’s Adventure

“I want to go into the world and have an adventure,” said the young Frog.

“A Frog he would a-wooing go, whether his mother would let him or no!” said Mr. Frog. “Is that the idea my son?”

“Not at all,” replied Froggy, and he grinned.

“It is easier to get into an adventure than to get out again,” said Mr. Frog.

“Don’t people always get out?”

“I heard some children singing on the bridge above the stream this morning; they were singing, ‘this year, next year, sometime, never!'” said Mr. Frog. “It is like that with getting out of adventures.”

“Let’s hope it will be this year with me,” laughed Froggy, and the way he swam.

Presently he climbed onto a stone and looked about.  A few yards farther on was a rustic bridge, and beyond it a silent pond, shadowed by trees on one side and bordered on the other by a sunny lawn.

Froggy determined to seek an adventure on the sunny lawn. It looked so inviting.

He had scarcely stepped ashore when a child’s voice said: “Oh! here’s  a frog!” and a small hand lifted him up.

“Oh, Edith! how horrible! ”

“How silly you are, Mabel!” Edith was turning the frog over so that his legs stuck-up skywards, and he felt very uncomfortable.

“I say! ” Edith went on, “let’s do it up in a piece of paper and give it to Nurse and pretend it is a piece of cake! I’ve got some paper. You hold it while I wrap it up!”

“No, that I won’t. I should scream if I touched it. Nurse will be as cross as anything!”

Mabel stood by giggling with amusement while Froggy was set down on the lawn, and he was rolled over and over and found himself in darkness.

“Here’s Nurse coming, ” whispered Mabel in a scared voice.

“Nurse!  would you like a piece of cake?” said Edith. Froggy wasstories put into a large hand which gripped him firmly. He struggled faintly, and feeling the supposed cake moving under her hand, nurse gave us scream and Froggy felt himself falling down, down, down.

“This year, next year, sometime, never.” The words floating dreamily through his mind as he fell. Then he landed on the grass, feet downwards, and he hopped away for his life.

Up in the nursery, Edith, Mabel and little Grace sat in a row on the floor and nurse in a low chair sat in front of them.

“Why did you do this, children?”

“To surprise you,” said Edith.

“Yes! you did that. What about deceiving me?”

“It was only fun. We didn’t tell a lie! We didn’t say it was cake!” protested Edith.

“No! you did not say what was not true but you made me believe what was not true!”

There was a pause. Then nurse said, “Come and kiss me, dears!”

Up scrambled the children and hugged her tight. They went back to the garden to play. Froggy had hopped into the pond and was swimming home. Grace was too little to remember, but Edith and Mabel never forgot that Frog.

32


On the next page, there is a random picture of a Native American on a horse. It’s glued to brown constructing-like paper, and has nothing to do with the surrounding stories. Full color,  though! There are a few pictures like that. Most are really cute!Indian Picture


The Plank

Father and mother had gone abroad so the four boys, Bobby the youngest, Jack, Tom and Edward, had been sent to the country to stay with an aunt. It was in the summer, and they were not fond of climbing trees, in which Bobby could not join being only five years old. The hay making season had begun, but they had got rather tired of riding the hay wagons, and rolling on the hay cocks.

They had taken their meals to the hay fields for the day, and after their dinner they started off for a ramble across the field while their aunt settled herself to sleep.

“We have never been in this field before,” said Jack as he crawled through a hole in the hedge.

“Oh! look at that fallen tree trunk,” said Tom, “let’s go and get up late and make a see-saw.”

“I saw one in the other field,” said Jack.

In a minute the plank had been found and dragged through the hedge and Jack and Edward were pulling it across the field to the tree – trunk.

They stayed there until they saw the sun setting, and they set off home at a run. The next day the four boys got up early, determining to go to the see-saw, but when they had arrived the hole in the hedge had been stopped with their plank.

“Let’s pull it out again,” suggested Jack.

“No, that would not be fair on the farmer because his sheep would stray,” said Edward.

“Look! There is the farmer going to take his sheep out of the field, let us go and see where he puts them,” said Tom.

So after scrambling under some barbed wire they ran across the field, and found that the farmer had shut them up in a pen, and was taking them out one by one and dipping them in a big bath. They had soon forgotten about the see-saw in the interest of watching the sheep dipped and went home quite happy.

They stayed there until they saw the sun set.
They stayed there until they saw the sun set.
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