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Little Folks Astray   By: (1833-1906)

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LITTLE FOLKS ASTRAY.

BY SOPHIE MAY

"To give room for wandering is it That the world was made so wide."

1872

TO

MY YOUNG FRIEND,

EMMA ADAMS.

"JOHNNIE OPTIC."

TO PARENTS.

Here come the Parlins and Cliffords again. They had been sent to bed and nicely tucked in, but would not stay asleep. They "wanted to see the company down stairs;" so they have dressed themselves, and come back to the parlor. I trust you will pardon them, dear friends. Is it not a common thing, in this degenerate age, for grown people to frown and shake their heads, while little people do exactly as they please?

Well, one thing is certain: if these children insist upon sitting up, they shall listen to lectures on self will and disrespect to superiors, which will make their ears tingle.

Moreover, they shall hear of other people, and not always of themselves. Fly Clifford, who expects to be in the middle, will be somewhat overwhelmed, like a fly in a cup of milk; for Grandma Read is to talk her down with her Quaker speech, and Aunt Madge with her story of the summer when she was a child. It is but fair that the elders should have a voice. That they may speak words which shall come home to many little hearts, and move them for good, is the earnest wish of

THE AUTHOR.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. THE LETTER

II. THE UNDERTAKING

III. THE FROLIC

IV. "TAKING OUR AIRS"

V. DOTTY HAVING HER OWN WAY

VI. DOTTY REBUKED

VII. THE LOST FLY

VIII. "THE FRECKLED DOG"

IX. MARIA'S MOTHER

X. FIVE MAKING A CALL

XI. "THE HEN HOUSES"

XII. "GRANNY"

XIII. THE PUMPKIN HOOD

LITTLE FOLKS ASTRAY.

CHAPTER I.

THE LETTER.

Katie Clifford sat on the floor, in the sun, feeding her white mice. She had a tea spoon and a cup of bread and milk in her hands. If she had been their own mother she could not have smiled down on the little creatures more sweetly.

"'Cause I spect they's hungry, and that's why I'm goin' to give 'em sumpin' to eat. Shut your moufs and open your eyes," said she, waving the tea spoon, and spattering the bread and milk over their backs.

"Quee, quee," squeaked the little mice, very well pleased when a drop happened to go into their mouths.

"What are you doing there, Miss Topknot," said Horace: "O, I see; catching rats."

Flyaway frowned fearfully, and the tuft of hair atop of her head danced like a war plume.

"I shouldn't think folks would call 'em names, Hollis, when they never did a thing to you. Nothing but clean white mouses!"

"Let's see; now I look at 'em, Topknot, they are white. And what's all this paper?"

"Bed kilts."

" In deed?"

"You knew it by fore!"

"One, two, three; I thought the doctor gave you five. Where are they gone?"

"Well, there hasn't but two died; the rest'll live," said Fly, swinging one of them around by its tail, as if it had been a tame cherry.

Just then Grace came and stood in the parlor doorway.

"O, fie!" said she; "what work! Ma doesn't allow that cage in the parlor. You just carry it out, Fly Clifford."

Miss Thistledown Flyaway looked up at her sister shyly, out of the corners of her eyes. Grace was now a beautiful young lady of sixteen, and almost as tall as her mother. Flyaway adored her, but there was a growing doubt in her mind whether sister Grace had a right to use the tone of command.

"'Cause I spect she isn't my mamma."

"Why, Fly, you haven't started yet!"

"I didn't think 'twas best," responded the child, sulkily, fixing her eyes on the mice, who were dancing whirligigs round the wheel.

"Come here to your best friend, little Topknot," said Horace. "Let's take that cage into the green house, and ask papa to keep it there, because the mice look like water lilies on long stems."

Flyaway brightened at once. She knew water lilies were lovely. Giving Grace a triumphant glance, she danced across the room, and put the cage in Horace's hands, with a smile of trusting love that thrilled his heart.

"Hollis laughs at my mouses, but he don't say, 'Put 'em away,' and, ' Put 'em away;' he says, 'Little gee urls wants to see things as much as anybody else,'" thought she, gratefully... Continue reading book >>




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