BY Clara Ingram Judson
ILLUSTRATED BY Frances White
THE BROKEN DOLL
DON'T CRY OVER SPILLED SUGAR
HELPING THE ROBINS
MARY JANE PLAYS SCHOOL
AUNT EFFIE COMES TO VISIT
KEWPIE AND THE WASHING
JUNIOR'S SHOWER BATH
LEARNING TO SEW
MAKING READY FOR THE PICNIC
THE PICNIC UP CLEARWATER
THE PAPER DOLL SHOW
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
A LETTER AND A TRIP
Her little fists were clinched and even her perky plaid hair ribbon seemed
to show amazement
"Here's one that's me!" exclaimed Mary Jane suddenly
She sat down on the biggest rock close by the edge of the creek
There's no need to tell of all the good times at that party
THE BROKEN DOLL
Mary Jane stood on the curbstone and stared into the middle of the street.
Her face was white with fright and the tears which had not as yet come were
close to her big blue eyes. Her little fists were clinched and even her
perky plaid hair ribbon seemed to show amazement.
And wasn't it enough to make any little girl stare? Her big, beautiful
doll, the one that came at Christmas time, lay crushed and broken in the
middle of the street! Its glossy brown hair matted in the dust; its dainty
pink dress torn and dirty and its great brown eyes crushed to powder!
For a full minute Mary Jane stared at the wreck that had been her doll.
Then she turned and ran screaming toward the house.
Mrs. Merrill heard her and met her at the front steps.
"Mary Jane! Dear child!" she cried, "what _is_ the matter? Tell mother what
"My doll! My beautifulest doll!" sobbed Mary Jane, "my Marie Georgianna is
all run over!"
"Surely not, surely not, Mary Jane," said her mother as she picked up the
little girl and sat down, with her on her lap, on the porch steps, "dolls
don't get run over."
"My doll did," said Mary Jane positively, "see?"
Mrs. Merrill looked out into the street and there, sure enough, was the
wreck of the doll.
"Tell me how it happened, dear," said Mrs. Merrill and she gathered her
little girl tighter in her arms as she spoke for she knew that if a doll
had been run over, Mary Jane herself had not missed an accident by so very
much for the doll and the little girl were always close together.
Mary Jane wiped her eyes on her mother's handkerchief, snugged cozily in
the comfortable arms and told her story.
"I was going over to play with Junior like you said I could," she began
(Junior was the little neighbor boy who lived across the street in the big
white house), "and just as I got into the middle of the street I heard a
big, _big_ noisy 'toot-t-t-t-t' way down by Fifth Street - and you _know_,
mother" (and here Mary Jane sat up straight) "that you always told me if an
automobile was as far away as Fifth Street it was all right - so I went on
across. But this automobile didn't just come; it hurried fast, oh, so very
fast and by the time I was half way across the road it was so close I just
turned around and ran back to the curbstone and I was in such a hurry I
guess I must have dropped my Marie Georgianna!"
"And the automobile ran over her, poor dolly," finished mother, with a
thrill of fear as she realized Mary Jane's narrow escape. Then she wiped
off the teary blue eyes and smilingly said, "Listen, Mary Jane, and I'll
tell you a secret."
"A secret about a doll?" asked Mary Jane eagerly.
"A secret about a doll," replied mother. "Marie Georgianna has a twin."
"Not a really truly twin?" demanded Mary Jane and she sat up straight and
opened her eyes wide. "A really, truly, for surely enough twin?"
"Yes, she has," said mother nodding her head emphatically, "a really,
truly, for surely enough twin - I saw her down at the store only yesterday
and I think we'll have to go down town and bring her home, don't you think
"But how'll we go so early?" asked Mary Jane, for she knew that mother
always liked to do her morning work before they went on errands.
"I think father is still here," replied mother; "you smile up your face and
run around to the garage. I think you'll find him there working on his car.
If you do, tell him all about what happened and tell him he's going to mend
your doll by finding her twin!"
Mary Jane slipped down from her mother's lap and hurried around the house
toward the garage. As soon as she was out of sight, Mrs. Merrill went out
to the street and rescued the wreck of the doll from the dusty road. Yes,
Mary Jane was right when she said that the doll was all gone - it would take
considerable work to put even the dress in order and the doll itself was
broken beyond all mending. Hastily Mrs. Merrill pulled off the dirty dress
and dropped the doll into the covered trash basket where Mary Jane would
not see it again and be reminded of the accident.
"What are we going to do about that speeding on our road?" demanded father
as he hurried up to the back porch just as the lid was back on the trash
basket. "Did you hear about Mary Jane's narrow escape?"
"We're going to do this about it," said mother positively, "Mary Jane isn't
to go over to Junior's again by herself. If she has to go over, one of us
will take her. And now the important thing is to find Marie Georgianna's
twin. And Mary Jane," she added as the little girl came running toward the
steps, "this twin of Marie Georgianna's is afraid of automobiles, very
afraid of them, and she doesn't like to cross the street unless some grown
up person is with her."
"That's a good thing," said Mary Jane with a big sigh, "because I don't
like to either. Next time I go over to Junior's I'm not going over. And
what shall I name Marie Georgianna's twin, mother?"
"We'll decide that later," laughed mother; "you must hurry quick and wash
your hands and face and slip on a clean frock so you can go to the store
It doesn't take long to tidy a little girl who wants to help so it wasn't
five minutes before Mary Jane was sitting, clean and tidy and straight,
beside her father in the front seat of his automobile. She loved to get in
while the car was still in the garage and then, when he backed it out, to
hold the wheel while he locked the doors and climbed back into the driver's
The Merrills lived in a charming home on the edge of a small city; a home
surrounded by trees and garden and plenty of space for playing; and at the
same time, only about ten minutes' ride from the stores in the center of
the city. So a very short ride brought Mr. Merrill and Mary Jane to the
store where Marie Georgianna's twin was to be found. In the meantime, Mrs.
Merrill had telephoned to the store and had told the saleswoman in the doll
department just which doll to have ready for Mary Jane.
When Mr. Merrill and his little girl walked into the toy department, there,
with her arms outstretched in greeting, was a beautiful big doll. For
a moment Mary Jane said nothing - the doll was so like her dear,
broken-to-pieces Marie Georgianna that she could hardly believe her eyes!
She walked up close to the counter; looked hard at the doll and then
exclaimed, "It is! It is, Daddah! It _is_ a twin just as mother said it
was! And is it for me to take home?"
Mr. Merrill assured her that the doll was to go home with them and then
he asked about clothes. "Are you sure you have enough at home? Were the
clothes spoiled too?"
"While mother was washing me ready to come down town, she told me she could
fix the dress and Marie Georgianna didn't wear her hat when she was run
over," said Mary Jane, "so I guess her twin doesn't need anything new." But
she looked so regretfully at the cases of pretty clothes that father bought
a pink parasol - "just for fun" he said.
"She doesn't want to wear _just_ hand-me-down clothes of her sister's even
if she _is_ a twin," he explained, "and I always like to buy doll clothes
for little girls who don't tease for new things. But there's one thing sure
about this parasol," he added, "it's not to go over to Junior's!"
"It won't!" laughed Mary Jane happily, "because I won't and parasols can't
go places by themselves!"
All the way back home Mary Jane sat very still and held the new doll close
up to her. Mr. Merrill thought perhaps she was thinking about the accident
and tried to get her to talking - that shows how little even good fathers
understand! Mary Jane wasn't thinking about any accident, dear me no! She
was naming her doll.
Just as they got out of the car at their own front walk, she announced
solemnly, "I've named her Marie Georgiannamore because a twin is more than
DON'T CRY OVER SPILLED SUGAR
All the rest of the day after Marie Georgiannamore came into the family,
Mary Jane played dolls. Mother helped her fix a play house out on the front
porch in the warm sunshine and there Mary Jane and her family had a very
happy time. Evidently Marie Georgiannamore liked her new home for she
seemed very content with the other members of Mary Jane's numerous family.
There was the sailor doll and the rag doll, Mary Jane, Jr., and small bears
and dolls and kewpies too many to count. And of course each doll had its
own chair and bed so there was quite a household out on that sunny front
When father came home in the evening he helped carry in all the furniture
and in the morning he helped move it back again.
"I tell you, Mary Jane, these moving days keep us husky and strong, don't
they?" he said as he picked up three chairs and two beds at one time.
Mary Jane laughed and, just to show that she was strong too, carried
out _three_ doll beds (to be sure they were for the very littlest,
two-for-a-nickel dolls but then they were three beds just the same) and a
washing machine at one time! Then she thanked her father for his good help
and he went to work and she settled down for a morning's house keeping.
About ten o'clock Mrs. Merrill came to the front door.
"Do you know any little girl who is big enough to run down to the grocery
and get me some sugar?" she asked.
"'Deed, yes, mother!" answered Mary Jane promptly, "I can bring you
ten-fifty pounds! See how strong I am?" And she doubled up her arm as she
had seen her big, basketball-playing sister do to show her muscle. "See?
And I could move more beds at one time than Daddah could this morning."
"Well, you are strong!" exclaimed mother admiringly; "you have more muscle
than you need for sugar getting because I want only three pounds this time.
I'm making cake and pies and cookies and I've run out of sugar and don't
want to leave my work to get more. Can you leave your family now?" she
added, for she was always particular to treat Mary Jane's duties or play as
politely as she expected Mary Jane to treat hers.
"Yes," replied Mary Jane, "I can go this very minute, mother, because all
my children are taking their morning nap. Do I have to dress up?"
"Not a bit!" laughed mother; "just go down to Shaffer's at the corner then
you won't have to cross any street. Here is the money and here is the paper
that tells what you want - three pounds of granulated sugar. Thank you for
Mary Jane tucked the slip of paper and the money into her pocket under her
handkerchief, kissed her mother good-by and ran down the walk.
It didn't take long to do the errand because she ran right by her friend
Doris's house without even stopping to call "Hu-uu-oo!" as she usually did;
and because Mr. Shaffer seemed to have been expecting a call for three
pounds of sugar - he had the parcel all ready.
On the way back Mary Jane looked longingly into Doris's house and there,
sure enough, her little playmate was standing on the front porch.
"Come on in!" called Doris.
"Can't now," answered Mary Jane; "I'm doing an errand for mother, a real
important errand," and she held the package of sugar tightly in her arms
and walked straight along.
Now whether the paper in the bag was not very good to begin with; or
whether Mary Jane held the parcel too tightly or what - it would be hard to
say - but - Mary Jane had not gone five steps past Doris's house before she
felt a funny little movement in the bag under her arm. She looked and what
do you suppose she found had happened? That sugar bag had sprung a leak.
Yes, a really for sure leak and the sugar was dribbling, dribbling down to
the sidewalk! Quick as a flash Mary Jane turned the bag other side up and
stopped the leak but, even so, there was a little white mound of sugar
there on the sidewalk.
"I wonder what I ought to do now?" she said thoughtfully. "Should I pick up
the sugar and put it back into the bag?" She tried that, but she soon found
that sugar is very slippery. She could pick only a few grains at a time and
even some of those few slid out of her hand before she could tuck them into
the leak in the bag. It was very puzzling. She bent low over the pile of
sugar and in that way she was hidden from the houses by the high hedge that
grew along the walk.
"I wonder, I wonder - " she said, and then she noticed that she had company.
Two busy ants had found that pile of sugar and were moving it away as fast
as ever they could. "This must be moving day for them too," said Mary Jane
laughingly. "I wonder where they are going? I guess I'd better see."
She sat down beside the pile, being very careful to hold her bag of sugar
leaky-side up, and watched and watched. If you have ever seen ants moving
grains of sugar you know how very interesting it is and you won't wonder
that she forgot all about taking the parcel home to her mother. And there
is no telling when she _would_ have remembered if she hadn't, just then,
heard her mother's voice.
"Mary Jane! Mary Jane! Mary Jane!" called Mrs. Merrill.
"Coming, mother," answered Mary Jane and she scrambled to her feet and
hurried home. "'Cuse me, mother, for being so long," she said breathlessly,
"but it leaks and please may I go back by Doris's and see the ants?"
Mrs. Merrill took the bursting bag and thanked Mary Jane for the errand.
Her mind was on her delayed baking and she thought Mary Jane meant to go to
see Doris's aunt. So, without a question, she replied, "Yes, you may, dear,
but don't stay too long." And so Mary Jane ran back to her ants.
By careful watching she found where they were going. They had a whole
colony of tiny holes out in the grass plot between the sidewalk and the
curbing and they seemed to be moving the sugar into these holes.
"I think I ought to help them, they're such little things," said Mary Jane
to herself, "and I think Doris would want to help them too." She went to
Doris's gate and called and her little friend came out to watch ants too.
"See what they are doing?" explained Mary Jane. "They're moving the sugar
into their pantry and we ought to help them like my father helps me when I
move my doll house things."
But somehow the plan which sounded so well, didn't work. Maybe the ants
didn't understand that help was being given them; for really, the more the
little girls "helped" the more scurrying and confusion there was in that
company of ants. And even when Mary Jane picked up a grain of sugar and
actually dropped it into a hole ready for them to put away, that didn't
seem to be the right thing either!
Just then, when the little girls were getting tired of bending over so long
and trying to do something that didn't work, the noon whistles began to
blow, and, a minute later, Mr. Merrill came riding by in his car.
"Do you know where I could find two little girls to ride around to the
garage with me?" he asked as he pulled up by the curbing.
"Right here they are," cried Mary Jane and she and Doris climbed into the
car in a jiffy.
"What were you people doing there on the sidewalk?" asked father as they
drove around the corner.
"Helping ants store sugar in their holes but they didn't like it," said
Mary Jane disgustedly.
"I don't blame them," laughed Mr. Merrill. "When we get into the house I'll
show you how those holes are made and then you'll understand why the ants
didn't want help." So Doris came into the house too and Mr. Merrill got
down a big book and showed the two girls pictures of ant houses and told
them all about how ants make their homes and store their food.
"My, but I'm glad that sugar bag leaked!" sighed Mary Jane when the big
book was finally shut up and put away, "because I had fun watching the
ants; and I was out front ready for a ride; and now I've had a story - all
because sugar spilled! Mother, is lunch ready? May Doris stay? We're
HELPING THE ROBINS
All the afternoon after she learned about ants and their ways, Mary Jane
was very quiet. Mrs. Merrill thought perhaps she was disappointed because
Doris had had to go home right after lunch so she tried to be very sociable
and kind to make up for the absent playmate.
"How would you like to make a new dress for Marie Georgiannamore?" she
"Make it now, instead of taking my nap?" asked Mary Jane who sometimes
disliked the hour of quiet that her mother had her take every afternoon. Of
course she didn't really nap, that is, sleep; girls as big as she didn't
need to Mrs. Merrill thought. But she did have to stay quietly in her own
room and look at pictures or rest which ever she wished to do. Usually Mary
Jane enjoyed the hour but sometimes she wished she could play straight
through the day.
"Oh, no," replied Mrs. Merrill smiling, "you will want to take your rest
the same as you always do. But when you get up, then we'll make Marie
Georgiannamore a new dress."
"And while we're making it," asked Mary Jane, "will I have to stay in the
"Why, of course, Mary Jane," replied Mrs. Merrill, "how funny you are! You
wouldn't enjoy my making a doll dress while you were out doors, would you?"
"No-o-o," said Mary Jane doubtfully, "maybe I wouldn't. Only I 'pect I'd
like it after it was done."
"Well," said Mrs. Merrill laughingly, "if you don't want a doll dress any
more than _that_, you don't want one very badly - that's certain! You run
along up to your room now and then, after you're dressed, I'll take my
bag of darning out on the front porch - I think it's plenty warm enough
to-day - and you may play in the yard. Would you like that, dear?"
"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "that's just what I want to do. And may I
take the ant book upstairs?"
Mrs. Merrill said she could and helped her pull the big book out from the
"If this is what you are going to look at," she said as she handed the book
to Mary Jane at the foot of the stairs, "better fix some pillows real comfy
fashion in the window seat where the light is good." And Mary Jane promised
The book proved more than usually interesting and Mrs. Merrill had to call
the third time before Mary Jane heard her and realized that her hour was
"Wash your face and put on your pink smock, dear," called Mrs. Merrill,
"and then come out to the porch. There's a robin in the front yard and
you'll like to watch him."
Mary Jane scrambled her very fastest, which was pretty fast as you can
guess, and in about three minutes was out on the porch inquiring for the
There he was, big as life and busy as could be hunting his afternoon tea.
"Doesn't he know it isn't time for dinner till Daddah comes home?" asked
"He doesn't pay much attention to time," laughed Mrs. Merrill, "he likes to
eat all the day long. It makes no difference to him whether he eats in the
morning or afternoon."
Mary Jane watched him curiously as he pecked and dug and then she suddenly
exclaimed, "But he didn't eat it, mother! I know he didn't eat it! I saw
him fly away with it!"
"Then I expect he's carrying it to his babies," said Mrs. Merrill.
"Where are his babies?" demanded Mary Jane as she sat down on the porch
step to hear more.
"I'm sure I don't know, dear," said her mother. "I didn't notice which
direction he went, did you?"
"Yes, he flew around toward the back yard," answered Mary Jane quickly, "I
saw him. Does his whole family live in a nest like you've told me about or
does he have a hole and a city and everything like the ants in the book?'
"His whole family live in one nest," replied Mrs. Merrill, "the father
robin and the another robin and all the little robins - sometimes several of
them. It's pretty crowded perhaps, while the robin babies are growing, but
they like it. I expect if you go around to the back yard and watch, you may
see what tree Mr. Robin goes to with his worms. That will tell you what
tree his nest is in."
Mary Jane ran around to the back yard and that was the last Mrs. Merrill
saw of her till she called her to get ready for dinner some time later.
Mr. Merrill was late to dinner, but when he came Mary Jane asked him all
the questions that her mother had been unable to answer.
"Wait a minute!" exclaimed he. "Where did you see this robin that you're
"In the front yard and in the back yard," said Mary Jane, "both of them."
"Then I'll venture to guess that it's the very same robin whose nest I
discovered this morning," said Mr. Merrill. "I meant to tell you about it
but was in such a hurry to get away I forgot."
"Oh, did you see his nest?" exclaimed Mary Jane excitedly; "his really
truly for sure nest, Daddah?"
"That I did," replied her father, "and I'll show it to you."
"Let's go now," cried Mary Jane. "Won't you please excuse us, mother?" And
she slipped down from her chair.
"Too late now," said her father, "might as well climb back and finish your
dinner. You can't find a bird's nest after dark - and you can see that it's
almost dark now. You wait till morning and I'll show you that nest first
"As soon as I'm dressed, Daddah?" asked Mary Jane.
"Before you're dressed," promised her father, with a twinkle in his eye,
"you just see!"
Mary Jane was so excited she could hardly go to sleep that night and Mrs.
Merrill laughingly said that her dreams would likely be a circus of ants
and robins. But she must have been mistaken, because little girls who wake
up as bright and early as Mary Jane did that next day, don't waste their
"Daddah!" she called to her father in a loud whisper, "are you waked up?
"Um-m," said her father sleepily, "what is it?'
"Did you forget the nest," asked the little girl, "it's light now."
"To be sure," replied her father, who by now was wide awake; "put on your
slippers and come over by my bed and look."
Mary Jane reached down from her bed, picked up her dainty slippers and put
them on; then she threw back the covers and hurried over to her father's
At the back of the Merrill home, upstairs, was a broad sleeping porch,
sheltered by wide eaves and completely screened. There, each in his or
her own little bed, father and mother and Alice and Mary Jane slept every
night. Of course each had their own room in the house, with a comfortable
bed for daytime rests, and stormy nights and the like; but almost every
night in the year all four of them slept out of doors. Just behind the
sleeping porch was an old apple tree and it was to this tree that Mr.
Merrill now pointed.
Mary Jane looked and looked and then, suddenly, she saw the nest! Set way
back among the leaves it was and on it was sitting the mother bird.
"I expect the father bird is getting breakfast for the family," said
Mr. Merrill, "and the mother is keeping the babies warm till they have
something to eat. You better get dressed now, little girl," he added,
"but you may come up here after breakfast and I guess that, if you watch
quietly, you can get a glimpse of the babies."
As quickly as breakfast was over, Mary Jane hurried back up the stairs to
the sleeping porch and, sure enough, the mother bird and the father bird
were both gone and those cunning baby robins - four of them - were stretching
way out of the nest! Mary Jane almost gasped at first she was that
surprised; but she didn't call out, no, indeed! She kept very still and
watched - and watched. And the longer she looked the more certain she became
that something was wrong.
"They do open their mouths so funny," she thought to herself. "I know, I
just _know_ they wouldn't open their mouths so wide if something wasn't
She thought a few minutes and then an idea occurred to her. The robin
babies were thirsty - of course!
"I know how I felt that time we took too long a ride and I got thirsty,"
she thought, "and their mother don't know and their father isn't here
either. I'll just _have_ to get them a drink!"
But how to get a drink to four baby robins in the old apple tree - that was