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Kate Tannatt Woods
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Copyright, 2017 by e-Kitap Projesi
All rights reserved. No part of this book shell be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or by any information or retrieval system, without written permission form the publisher.
HOW TOOTS WENT TO BED.
TOOTS AT THE KINDERGARTEN.
THE HAPPY HOUR.
PAUL'S VIEWS AT EIGHT YEARS OF AGE.
MAX THE MEDDLER.
A BUBBLE PARTY.
SEWING A SEAM.
A FOUR-FOOTED FRIEND.
OLIVER TWIST AT HOME.
MRS. WHITE'S FAMILY.
BUD AND BUNNIE.
A TIRED VISITOR.
MR. SMITH'S FAMILY.
WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH BABY?
THE STORY OF THE CUCKOO.
MAJOR AND BENJAMINA.
THE COMMODORE'S GUESTS.
TOOTS is our baby. He is a queer one too; up early, and always in dread of bed-time. One morning, not long ago, we heard him singing, and on looking for him, found the little rogue in the very middle of our best bed in the guest chamber, where he was playing hand-organ with a long hairpin put through the pretty pillow covers which had just come home from the laundry. There he sat singing a droll medley of "Uncle Ned," "Blessed Desus," and "Down in the Coal Mine." He had been watching two soldiers with a hand-organ, and Toots likes to do everything he sees done. While we were putting the guest-room in order, Toots marched out as a blind man, with his eyes shut and a cane in his hand. This brought him to grief, for he was picked up at the foot of the stairs with two large bumps on his pretty white brow. Toots was quiet then for a little while, a very little while, for as soon as we decided that his bones were all sound and a doctor need not be called, he "played sick," and asked for "shicken brof" and toast.
One night mamma was imprudent, for she said to a visitor, who was praising the little fellow, "Oh, yes, Toots is always lovely and gentle at bed-time." That very night while mamma was resting on the lounge, and her friend was chatting, both ladies heard a mysterious clicking. "It can't be Toots," said mamma; "his eyes were closed when I left him." Then the clicking came again louder than ever, and suddenly a crash as of breaking glass. Mamma sprang up at once, and there was Toots seated on a bath-tub driving for dear life with two of his best sashes for reins. He had fastened one on each side of the mirror, and in his eagerness to drive fast, had tumbled down toilet-bottles, cushions, and all the pretty things his mamma loved to see. Toots was playing circus. Barnum had been in town the day before, and Toots had made a grand procession with chairs, books, bottles, pictures, and everything his little hands could reach. Such a happy, beaming face was never seen before. "Why, Toots, I thought you were asleep," said mamma. "No, I hab too much to do, my 'cession is coming up street fast."
When he was quite small, Toots used to spend hours in the garden safely fastened into the standing stool which his grandpa had when a little boy. The little fellow's face was so bright, and his large eyes so full of innocent fun, that no one could be angry with Toots even when he did very strange and unexpected things.
WHEN Toots was old enough to enter a little school, his mamma said he must go to a Kindergarten, which, you all know, is a delightful place for all children. Our good German friends first thought of it for their little people, and here in America we have found it an excellent fashion to follow. Block building, song singing, and drawing with pretty things in needlework, and forms in clay, not only teach the children to think but to do, and good thinking must always come before well doing, Toots' mamma knew a kind German lady who understood teaching the little ones, and after some delay a school was opened and Toots was a pupil. He cried hard at first. He was afraid of strangers, and he dreaded to speak aloud before them, although he was such a rogue at home. His mamma bought him a pretty lunch basket and put in it some little cakes for his lunch, and then they rode away in the horse car to the schoolroom. After the first day Toots was always ready to go. "It is only play," he said. But it was more than play, for every night Toots had something new to tell; sometimes he had watered the plants in the school-room, sometimes he talked of cubes and triangles, sometimes he sang a little song. Toots was learning without knowing it, and all the time he was very happy. No one was allowed to say a naughty word, no one was ever rude or unkind, and all the little eyes and hands were trained.
When Toots told his grandma about the seed germ of a plant and how it grew she said, "Ah, I wish I could have gone to such a school; the children are very fortunate now a days." One day Toots brought his grandma a pretty book-mark he had worked, and he could tell the names of all the colors in it and the names of the stitches. Such pretty things as he made in clay, such dainty shapes and forms, it really was quite wonderful to see them and hear the little fellow in kilt skirts talk about them. One day Toots did not come home from the Kindergarten as usual. His favorite car driver shook his head as he passed the house. Toots had not come out to ride home with him. Grandma was much worried. "Never mind," said mamma, "he is quite safe, perhaps they are all out for walk, or studying the trees or flowers in the garden; he will come in the next car, for his teacher always puts him on herself." When the next car came, there was the little boy, smiling and happy. The children had taken a long walk with their teacher, and when they returned Toots had fallen asleep, so the kind teacher would not disturb him, and the little fellow was well rested.
After dinner he had a long story to tell about the lungs of plants and the edges of leaves, which were like little saws, and a pretty pitcher-plant he had seen. When his story was complete he added, "All my children shall go to a Kindergarten, for it is the nicest place in the world 'cept mamma's room."
VERY night just before bedtime Toots and his mamma had a happy hour together.