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The Troubles of Biddy A pretty little story   By: (1870-1938)

The Troubles of Biddy A pretty little story by Isabel C. (Isabel Coston) Byrum

First Page:

Transcriber's Note

Illustration captions in {brackets} have been added by the transcriber for reader convenience.

[Illustration: THE TROUBLES OF BIDDY {Girl playing with ducklings.}]

No. 25

[Illustration: The Troubles of Biddy {Chicken, duckling, and duck.}]

A Pretty Little Story by Isabel Byrum DRAWINGS BY MARGARET EVANS PRICE [Illustration: {Logo.}]


The Troubles of Biddy

"Oh dear," sighed old Biddy, just under her breath, "I really am troubled and worried to death! For months I have thought of a family, dear, To gladden my heart, and to live with me here.

"But daily I find that my plans are upset, And all I can do is to sit here and fret I haven't a sign of an egg in my nest, Though some I have laid are as good as the best.

"I scolded last night when my mistress came near, But though she was bitten, she seemed not to fear; She only said, 'Biddy, what are you about?' And then through the doorway she simply passed out.

[Illustration: {Girl gathering eggs.}]

"I don't understand it; I cannot see why; For surely to be a good mother I'd try; Although I would see that they did as I said!" And Biddy, in sorrow and grief hung her head.

[Illustration: {Girl with eggs next to nest.}]

[Illustration: {Girl placing eggs in nest.}]

So deep was the longing of poor Biddy's heart, She felt that with life she was ready to part; But glancing about in her trouble and pain She saw that her mistress was coming again;

And noting the basket she held in her hand Old Biddy thought quickly "she can't understand," And "what is she doing?" exclaimed in surprise; For out of the nest Biddy felt herself rise.

As Biddy stood resting her poor weary legs, She saw that the basket contained shining eggs; And mistress with care placed them all in the nest For Biddy to snuggle beneath her warm breast.

Now Biddy was happy; her burden was gone, Her troubles had vanished, she felt she had none: And, planning away in her little straw bed, No thoughts of complaining came into her head.

[Illustration: {Girl feeding hen in nest.}]

[Illustration: {Shed.}]

She looked from the window each morning at dawn, And pictures of rapture were constantly drawn, For, out on the lawn near a little old shed, Were dishes and troughs where the chickens were fed.

And Biddy thought wisely, "These things I shall use; The largest and neatest are what I shall choose." But never a thought did this wise mother take Of danger, or trouble, in St. Mary's lake.

How happy she was when the first sounds were heard, And the bright downy heads her soft feathers stirred! "But what is the matter with each little nose?" She said in amazement, "And what ails their toes?"

"They are not like chickens at all, I am sure! I wonder whatever such strange things will cure?" And Biddy once more was in trouble most deep; For none of her children could really say peep.

[Illustration: {Girl picks up duckling from nest.}]

[Illustration: {Girl pumps water into pond for ducklings.}]

"I think that my babes for a walk ought to go;" One morning said Biddy, "I'll lead them just so; I'll watch every minute lest danger arise: For they'll not be safe when from under my eyes."

At the word every downy ball hustled about, And ere Biddy knew it, they all had jumped out Of the nest, and were darting about in the sun, For bugs, and for grass blades, and simply for fun... Continue reading book >>

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