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Scene 46
Jenny Strong's Visit

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  Jenny Strong is come to visit us. She came in the morning of today. She came on the logging train . She brought her bags with her. The mamma did send me to meet her at the meeting of the roads . The bags, they were heavy to carry, and my arms got some tired. As we did go along, inbetween times I did look looks at Jenny Strong. There is so much of interest about her. The gray curls about her face did have the proper look she wants them to have. To get that proper look she does them up on curl-papers. I have seen her so do when she was come to visit us before. And this morning her plump cheeks were roses. And all her plumpness did most fill the gray dresses she was wearing. Jenny Strong has little ruffles around the neck of that dress, like the little ruffles that was around the neck of the man with the glove when Titian made his picture. Those ruffles on the neck of the gray dress of Jenny Strong did look like it was their joy to cuddle up against the back of her black bonnet.
  That black bonnet has a pink rosebud on it, and every time that Jenny Strong does give her head a nod, that pink rosebud does give itself a nod. It must be interest to be a pink rosebud on a black bonnet that Jenny Strong wears. When we were come to the gate Jenny Strong did hold her cape and her gray dress up in a careful way. She had blue Stockings on, and they was fastened up with pink ribbons. She went on while I did shut the gate. I did come after. I could not come after in a quick way because the bags was heavy. Pretty soon Jenny Strong did have seeing I was not there beside her, and she did wait waits for me a little while, and I did come to where she was.
  We went on. The way was dampness near the singing creek and Jenny Strong did take dainty steps as we did go along. Lars Porsena of Clusium did come to meet us. And so came Brave Horatius . And Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back. We went on. The pink rosebud on the black bonnet of Jenny Strong did nod itself twelve times as we did go along. When we were come near unto the house, there was a rooster by our front door. He was strutting along. He was that same rooster that I tied a slice of bacon around his neck this morning because he had queer actions in the throat. When Jenny Strong saw him strutting along with the bacon wrapped around his throat, she did turn her head to the side with a delicate cough.
  After Jenny Strong took off her cape and her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it, I did pull the best rocking-chair out in the middle of the room for her. She sat down in it and she did start to have talks with the mamma . I did go to teeter the baby on the bed as the mamma did say for me to do. Jenny Strong did rock big rocks in that rocking-chair while she did talk. One time she did almost rock over. She breathed a big breath. Then, that she might not rock over again, I did put a stick of wood under the rocker. That helped some. But, too, it did keep her from rocking. She went on talking. I went back to the bed to teeter the baby.
  While I did teeter the baby I did look looks out the window. In a bush that I do tie pieces of suet to, there was a little gray bird with a black cap and his throat it was black. He was a fluffy ball and he almost did turn himself upside down on that branch. Then he went a go-away. Only a little way he went. Then he was with more like himself. They went on together.
  By and by the mamma's baby did go to sleep, and I climbed off the bed and made a start to go to the nursery . Jenny Strong did ask me where I was going. I did tell her. She said she thought she would like to go with me. We did go out the door. Then I ran a quick run back to get her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it. I brought it to her. She said, being as I did bring it to her, she would wear it, but she had not in tent chuns to when we started. She had forgot it. But I didn't have forgets. I do so like to see that pink rosebud nod itself.
  We went on. We went a little way down the path. Then I did go aside. Jenny Strong did follow after me. She came over the little logs in a slow way. I did make stops to help her. The pink rosebud on the black bonnet did nod itself fifteen times on the way. I did count its times. When we were come to the nursery , first I did show her the many baby seeds I did gather by the wayside in the falltime. I did tell her how I was going to plant them when come springtime. She did nod her head. Every time she so did, the pink rosebud on the black bonnet did nod itself
  After I told her most all about the seeds, I did show her the silk bags with spider eggs in them. Then I did show her all the cradles the velvety caterpillars did make at falltime. I did give her explainings how butterflies and moths would be a-coming out of the cradles when springtime was come. She looked concentration looks at them. She gave her head some more nods and the pink rosebud on the black bonnet gave itself some more nods. I moved on to where the wood-mouse folks are. I was just going to show her what a nice nose and little hands Nannerl Mozart has, and what a velvety mouse Felix Mendelssohn is. When I did turn about to so do, there was Jenny Strong going in funny little hops over the logs. She was going in a hurry way to the house.
  I did have a wonder why was it she so went. I gave Felix Mendelssohn more pats and I put him in my apron pocket. And Nannerl Mozart did curl up in the bed I have fixed for her in the nursery . Then I did sing a lullaby song to all the wood-mice in the nursery. And they are a goodly number . I did sing to them the song La Nonette sings as it goes on its way to Oise.
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