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Scene 67
Singing While Working

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  I went to the house. I climbed in the window again. I took off my nightcap and my nightgown. I did get dressed in a quick way. The little girl was romping in the bed. I helped her to get her clothes on. Then we went to the kitchen for our breakfast. The mamma was in the cellar. She did hear me come into the kitchen. She came in. With her came a kindling and a hazel switch .
  After she did spank me, she told me to get the mush for the little girl's breakfast. It was in a kettle. I spooned it out into a blue dish that came as premium in the box of mush when they brought it new from the mill town . After we did eat our mush and drink our milk, the mamma told me to clear the table and go tend chickens. I carried feed to them. I scattered it in shakes. The chickens came in a quick way. Fifteen of those chickens I did give names to, but it's hard to tell some of them apart. Most of them have about the same number of speckles on them. I counted all the chickens that were there. There weren't as many there as ought to be there. Some came not. These were the hens setting in the chicken-house. I went in. I lifted them off. They were fidgety and fluffy and plucky. I did carry them out to the feed.
  While they were eating breakfast I counted their eggs. I made a discovery. Minerva hadn't as many eggs as the others. That meant she wouldn't have as many children as the others would have. I did begin to feel sorry about that, because already I had picked out names for her fifteen children and there in her nest there were only twelve eggs. I didn't know what to do, and then I had a think what to do. I did it. I took an egg from each nest of the three other setting hens. That fixed things.
  Then I thought I would go on an exploration trip and to the nursery , and there I would give the folks a talk on geology. But then the mamma called me to scour the pots and pans. That is something I do not like to do at all. So all the time I'm scouring them I keep saying lovely verses that helps so much and by and by the pots and pans are all clean. After that all day the mamma did have more works for me to do. There was more wood to bring in. There was steps to scrub. There was cream to be shaked into butter . There was raking to do in the yard. There was carpet strings to sew together. In-between times there was the baby to tend .
  And all the time all day long I did have longings to go on exploration trips. The fields were calling. The woods were calling. I heard the wind. He was making music in the forest. It was soft music. It was low. It was an echo of the songs the flowers were singing. Even if there was much works to do, hearing the voices helped me to get the works done in the way they ought to be done.
  The most hurry time of all was the time near eventime , for there was going to be company to eat at the table. The mamma was in a hurry to get supper. So I helped her. She only had time to give one shake of salt to the potatoes, so I gave them three more. She did not have time to put sauce on the peas, so I flavored them with lemon extract, for the mamma is so fond of lemon flavoring in lemon pies. When she made the biscuits, she was in such a hurry she forgot to set them on a box back of the stove for an airing, as usual, before putting them in the oven. Being as she forgot to do it, while she was in the cellar to get the butter I did take the pan of biscuits out of the oven and put them under the stove so they would not miss their usual airing. Then I did go to the woodshed for more wood. When I did put it in the woodbox the mamma reached over for me. She jerked me. She spanked me with her hand and the hairbrush and the pancake-turner. Then she shoved me out the door. She said for me to get out and stay out of her way.
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