Mother Hubbard’s House Party
WRITING THE INVITATIONS
“Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding,” chimed the old clock on the mantel above the fireplace.
“My, my,” said Mother Hubbard to her dog, “here it is six o’clock and tea time and the kettle not on yet! How this afternoon has flown!” The little old lady hastily folded her sewing, placed it carefully on a shelf in her cupboard, and hurried to the kitchen.
“How would you like some nice hot biscuit with honey for your tea, Pom?” asked Mother Hubbard of her dog, who was pretending to be asleep in his corner behind the stove.
“Bow-wow-wow!” he barked, jumping up and wagging his tail. He was a very polite dog and was trying his best to say, “Thank you, Mother Hubbard, I would like that very much.” Then he ran around the table in the old-fashioned kitchen, watching his mistress prepare the tea, and, in is own way, trying to help her.
How good the steaming, flaky biscuits were! And the honey! Pom had a choice bone with his dessert and Mother Hubbard had a large slice of gingerbread with her tea.
When the tea things had been cleared away, Mother Hubbard took the lamp, and with Pom at her side, made a good-night trip over the house, closing the bed-room windows upstairs and making sure that the shutter and door fastenings were secure for the night.
“My! it’s a cold night tonight, doggie. I am thankful that we both have such a warm, cozy home this winter,” spoke Mother Hubbard, peering out of the front door and down the snow-covered walk to the road.
“This will be a cold, snowy Christmas, without a doubt, “went on Mother Hubbard to her dog, who was looking out of a nearby window,” and I am afraid it will be a lonely one for us, old doggie, out here in the country.”
“Bow-wow-wow!” Pom barked, a little sadly, for he was thinking of the happy, merry Christmases they had had before his mistress and himself had moved out to this old farmhouse, which had been left to Mother Hubbard by some grandfather in the Hubbard family.
Later, Mother Hubbard settled herself in her big high-back rocking-chair and made the knitting-needles go click, click through the bright-colored worsteds in her lap. Pom was lying contentedly before the blazing log fire.
“Why can’t we think of a way to make this Christmas one of the very best we have ever had, doggy, old friend?” asked Mother Hubbard. “Here is the big house, with plenty of food in the cupboard and plenty of fuel in the shed.”
“Bow-wow-wow!” and if ever a dog laughed, Pom did then. He ran over to Mother Hubbard, danced round and round in front of her, and barked loudly in his excitement. He was trying his best to make his mistress understand his doggish thoughts. He must have succeeded, for that very second Mother Hubbard dropped her knitting and sat up straight in her chair so suddenly that her spectacles slipped right down her nose to the very tip and nearly flew off.
“We are going to have a party, that’s what! A real Christmas party, and we will ask every one to come for the whole Christmas week. Oh, doggy, aren’t you glad we thought of it?” Mother Hubbard clapped her wrinkled little hands so hard that her side curls bobbed merrily up and down.
“But how many days before Christmas?” questioned Mother Hubbard, running to the calendar. “Why, Pom,” she gasped in astonishment, “there are only seven more days until Christmas. Just think this time next week we will be hanging up our stocking! We did not think of this party a moment too soon, I tell you. There will be just time enough for us to send the invitations so that our guests may arrive next Tuesday. My, but we will have to hurry!
And hurry they did, for what do you think?—they wrote those invitations that very night, so that Pom might get an early start to the village next morning.