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Scene 7
Larry and Jean

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  By-and-by, after a long time, the mamma called me to come out from under the bed. She told me to put on my coat and her big fascinator on my head. She fastened my coat with safety-pins, then she gave me a lard-pail with its lid on tight. She told me to go straight to the grandpa's house for the milk, and to come straight home again. I started to go straight for the milk. When I came near the hospital , I went over to it to get the pet mouse, Felix Mendelssohn . I thought that a walk in the fresh air would be good for his health. I took one of the safety-pins out of my coat. I pinned up a corner of the fascinator. That made a warm place next to my curls for Felix Mendelssohn to ride in. I call this mouse Felix Mendelssohn because sometimes he makes very sweet music.
  Then I crossed to the cornfield. A cornfield is a very nice place, and some days we children make hair for our clothes-pin dolls from the silken tassels of the corn that grow in the grandpa's cornfield. Sometimes, which is quite often, we break the cornstalks in getting the silk tassels. That makes bumps on the grandpa's temper .
  Tonight I walked zigzag across the field to look for things. Into my apron pocket I put bits of little rocks. By a fallen cornstalk I met two of my mouse friends. I gave them nibbles of food from the other apron pocket. I went on and saw a fat old toad by a clod . Mice and toads do have such beautiful eyes. I saw two caterpillars on an ear of corn after I turned the tassels back. All along the way I kept hearing voices. Little leaves were whispering, "Come, petite Françoise ," over in the lane . I saw another mouse with beautiful eyes. Then I saw a man and woman coming across the field. The man was carrying a baby.
  Soon I met them. It was Larry and Jean and their little baby. They let me pat the baby's hand and smooth back its hair, for I do so love babies. When I grow up I want twins and eight more children, and I want to write outdoor books for children everywhere.
  Tonight, after Larry and Jean started on, I turned again to wave good-bye. I remembered the first time I saw Larry and Jean, and the hit of poetry he said to her. They were standing by an old stump in the lane where the leaves whispered. Jean was crying. He patted her on the shoulder and said: "There, little girl, don't cry, I'll come back and marry you by-and-by."
  And he did. And the angels looking down from heaven saw their happiness and brought a baby real soon, when they had been married most five months; which was very nice, for a baby is such a comfort and twins are a multiplication table of blessings . And Felix Mendelssohn is yet so little a person, and the baby of Larry and Jean is growed more big.
  On the day I did hear him say to her that poetry -- it was then I did find Felix Mendelssohn there in the lane near to them. He was only a wee little mouse then. And every week that he did grow a more week old, I just put one more gray stone in the row of his growing . And there was nineteen more gray stones in the row when the Angels did bring the dear baby to Larry and Jean than there was stones in the row when they was married. And now there are a goodly number more stones in the row of Felix Mendelssohn's weeks of growing old.
  I have feels that there will be friendship between the dear mouse Felix Mendelssohn and the dear baby of Larry and Jean . For by the stump where he did say that poetry to her was the abiding place of Felix Mendelssohn when I did have finding of him. This eventime he did snuggle more close by my curls. I have so much likes for him. I did tell him that this night-time he is to have sleeps close by. When we were gone a little way, I did turn again to wave good-bye to the baby of Larry and Jean.
  After I waved good-bye to the dear baby, I thought I'd go around by the lane where I first saw them and heard him say to her that poetry. It is such a lovely lane. I call it our lane. Of course, it doesn't belong to Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and I and all the rest of us. It belongs to a big man that lives in a big house, but it is our lane more than it is his lane, because he doesn't know the grass and flowers that grow there, and the birds that nest there, and the lizards that run along the fence, and the caterpillars and beetles that go walking along the roads made by the wagon wheels . And he doesn't stop to talk to the trees that grow all along the lane.
  All those trees are my friends. I call them by names I have given to them. I call them Hugh Capet and Saint Louis and Good King Edward I ; and the tallest one of all is Charlemagne , and the one around where the little flowers talk most is William Wordsworth, and there are Byron and Keats and Shelley . When I go straight for the milk, I do so like to come around this way by the lane and talk to these tree friends. I stopped tonight to give to each a word of greeting. When I got to the end of the lane, I climbed the gate and thought I had better hurry straight on to get the milk.
  When I went by the barn, I saw a mouse run around the corner and a graceful bat came near unto the barn door. I got the milk. It was near dark time, so I came again home by the lane and along the corduroy road . When I got most home, I happened to remember the mamma wanted the milk in a hurry, so I began to hurry.
  I don't think I'll print more tonight. I printed this sitting on the woodbox, where the mamma put me after she spanked me after I got home with the milk. Now I think I shall go out the bedroom window and talk to the stars. They always smile so friendly. This is a very wonderful world to live in.
Chapter Day Scene Paragraph
3 4 7 30


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