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The Grasshopper Stories   By:

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The Grasshopper Stories

BY Elizabeth Davis Leavitt

WITH Illustrations by Maude Dewey Doan

Copyright 1912 by Elizabeth Davis Leavitt


[Illustration: Heigho! Little girls and boys who are good!]

Come, read these tales with me! For the secrets they tell You will understand well If you're good as good can be!


"Come, Billy!"

Billy dropped his tin soldier on the ground and ran in to help his mother wipe the dishes. She gave him a nice, fresh towel and he began to rub the tin plates as fast as he could. He never put one down until he could see himself in it. As for the tin cups, his mother sometimes thought he would rub them entirely away! But he never did quite that. You see, Billy's mother allowed him to dry only the tin dishes because he was so very little, she thought he might break the china ones.

Now, on this particular morning, Billy's mother ran to the front gate to buy the dinner from the vegetable man. While she was gone, he finished all the tin dishes on the draining tray. There was still a beautiful, white, china cup to be dried.

"I believe I'll wipe just that one!" said Billy. He reached up, caught hold of the cup and was carefully bringing it down to his other hand, when "Crash!" the cup lay on the floor in pieces.

Billy was very frightened. He looked out of the door to see if his mother was coming. But she was still talking to the vegetable man. Then he did a strange thing. He pushed all the pieces of the broken cup under the table and ran out the back door to his toys. But he did not play with them. He sat down on a stone, chin in hand. The little tin soldier looked up at him as if to say, "Come on, Billy, let's march!" The little horse and wagon stood ready to start, as if saying, "Come on Billy, let's go travelling!" The little Teddy Bear, with his head on one side, seemed to say, "Come on Billy, let's have a romp!"

[Illustration: "Crash!" the cup lay on the floor, in pieces.]

But Billy did not stir. He just sat there thinking. Suddenly, something said right out loud, "Why what's the matter, Billy?"

Billy jumped. Looking around, he saw a grasshopper sitting on a blade of grass.

[Illustration: "Why, what's the matter, Billy?"]

"What is the matter this morning, Billy?" the grasshopper asked.

"I'm afwaid I'm afwaid I'm a bad boy," answered Billy.

"Why, how is that?" exclaimed the grasshopper.

"Well I was going to wipe one of my mother's china cups this morning and it hit the floor and bwoke!" confessed Billy.

"What did you do then?" said the grasshopper, putting his head on one side.

Billy turned very red. He hated to tell the grasshopper what he had next done.

"If you tell me, perhaps I can help you," said the grasshopper, by way of encouragement.

"Well," said Billy, "I hid the pieces under the table and came out here to think!"

"Why do you not go and tell your mother all about it?" asked the grasshopper.

"O," gasped Billy, "I could not do that! I'm afwaid!"

"Why should you be afraid," continued the grasshopper. "Doesn't your mother love you?"

"O yes," cried Billy, "a million bushels!"

"And don't you love your mother?" said the grasshopper.

"O yes, a hundwed million bushels!" answered Billy.

"Then go and tell her you broke the cup! You will be happy if you do!"

"I can't," said Billy, "I just can't!"

"Mercy on us!" cried the grasshopper, jumping over to another blade of grass... Continue reading book >>

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