Abby Morton Diaz.

The Jimmyjohns, and other stories online

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spring. Don t you remember? (Sings.)

" The north- wind doth blow, and we shall have snow;
And what will the robin do then, poor thing ?
He will sit in the barn, and keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing! "

(Others join in the song, one or two at a time; and, at
the dose, all are singing.)


MARY. Yes : he comes up close to our back-door
and eats the crumbs, and perches on the apple-tree
boughs. Mother says it seems as if he were one of
the family.

DEBBIE. Now, I should a great deal rather be a
swallow, and fly away. Then I could fly away down
South where the oranges grow, and figs and sugar
cane, and see all the wonderful sights ; and I d go to
the beautiful sunny islands away over the seas.

JOHNNY. You d get tired, maybe, and drop down
into the water.

JOE. No. He d light on vessels topmasts : that s
the way they do.

DEBBIE. Twould be a great deal better than living
in a barn all winter.

DORA. Oh, this morning I saw the prettiest bird I
ever saw in all my life ! Oh, if he wasn t a pretty
bird ! Father said twas a Baltimore oriole. Part of
him. was black, and part of him red as. fire. Oh, he
was a beauty I If ever I am a bird, I ll be an oriole !

ARTHUR. Uncle Daniel calls him the fire hangbird.

FREDERIC. That s because his nest hangs down
from the bough like a bag.

CAROLINE. Don t you know what that s for?
Where they first came from, way down in the torrid
zone, they build their nests that way, so the monkeys
and serpents can t get their eggs.

ARTHUR. I ve got a hangbird s egg.

EDITH. Do they have red eggs? (Bays smile.)

FRED. No: black-and-white. Father calls him the

CAROLINE. I ll tell you what I d be, a mocking-


bird. And I ll tell you why : because a mocking-bird
can sing every tune he hears. It does vex me so when
I hear a pretty tune, and can t sing it ! Sometimes I
remember one line, and then I can t rest till I get the
whole. Mother says I ought to have been born a

FRED. Of course, Caroline would want to carol.

(Groans and " Fred!" by the crowd.)

CAROLINE. Mother says he can whistle to the dog,
and chirp like a chicken, or scream like a hawk, and
can imitate any kind of a sound, filing, or planing,
or any thing.

MARY. And he can sing sweeter than a nightin

ARTHUR. I d be a lark ; for he goes up the highest.

FRED. Pie has a low enough place to start from.

CAROLINE. I know it, way down on the ground,
mongst the grass.

DEBBIE. No matter what a low place he starts from,
so long as he gets up high at last. Don t 3-011 know
Lincoln ?

JOE. I know what I would be, some kind of a
water-fowl : then I could go to sea.

JOHNNY. You d better be a coot.

FRED. Or one of Mother Carey s chickens.

JOE. No. I d be that great strong bird, I forget
his name, that flies and flies over the great ocean, and
never stops to rest, through storms and darkness right
ahead. He doesn t have to take in sail, or cut away
the masts. I d be an albatross ! Gugs, what do you
think about it ?


Guss. Well, I think I ll be an ostrich : then I can
run and fly both together.

ARTHUR. And you wouldn t be afraid to eat things.

Guss. That s so ! They swallow down leather,
stones, old iron ; and nothing ever hurts them.

DEBBIE. I heard of one swallowing a lady s para

JOHNNY. But they d pull out your feathers.

Guss. No matter ! The girls need them for their

JOHNNY. I know what I d be. I d be an owl:
then I could sit up nights.

HITTIE. You d be" scared of the dark !

JOHNNY. Twouldn t be dark if I were an owl.

MARY. Can t you play enough daytimes ?

JOHNNY. Oh! daytime isn t good for any thing.
They have all the fun after we ve gone to bed, I and

FRED. Twon t do for little boys to hear every
thing that goes on.

Guss. You little fellers are apt to make a noise, and
disturb us.

HITTIE. Mother says, if I weren t a chatterbox, I
could stay up later. I ll choose to be a parrot ; for
parrots can talk just when they want to, and have blue
wings, and green wings, and red and yellow," and ah 1

EDITH. I should rather be a canary-bird, cause
they have sponge-cake and sugar-lumps every day.

HITTIE. Oh, I wouldn t be a canary-bird, shut up in
a cage !

DORA. I should rather live on dry sticks.


MINNIE. My mamma s got a cana^-bird; and he
sings, and he s yellow.

HITTIE. Parrots are the prettiest.

MARY. Why doesn t somebody be a flamingo? He
is flame-colored.

ARTHUR. I should think some of you girls would
want to be a peacock.

DEBBIE. Now, what do you say girls for? Boys
think as much of their new clothes as girls do.

DORA and MARY. Just as much !

FRED. I know who seems like a peacock, Nannie
Minns. I saw her stepping off the other day just as
proud! about seventeen flounces, and yellow kids,
and 3 ellow boots, and curls and streamers ! first look
ing at her dress, and then at her boots, and then at her
gloves, and then at her curls, this way. (Imitates
Nannie Minus s walking.)

DEBBIE. Well, if some girls are peacocks, so are
some boys hawks. I saw that great Joshua Lowe
come pouncing down among a flock of little boys yes
terday, and do every thing he could think of to em,
just to show he could master them.

MARY. And, if you want a crow-fighter, take Andy
Barrows : he s always picking a quarrel.

DORA. I know it. I ve heard him. " Come on ! "
he says, " come on : I ll fight ye ! "

CAROLINE. I think, as a general thing, girls behave
better than boys. What do you think about it, little
Minnie? You don t say much.

MINNIE (looking up from her flowers) . I d be a
humming-bird. ,

EDITH. She thinks you re talking about birds.


CAROLINE. And what would you be a humming-bird

MINNIE. Cause they re so pretty, and so cunning !

HITTIE. So they are, Minnie.

MINNIE. And they keep with the flowers all the
time, and eat honey.

ARTHUR. They eat the little mites of insects as
much as they do honey.

EDITH. My brother found a humming-bird s nest.
Oh, the inside of it was just as soft as wool ! and
little bits of white eggs, just like little bits of white

DORA (looking at EVA, and taking her hand) . Now,
here s a little girl sitting still all this time, and not
sajing a word.

CAROLINE. I know it. Isn t she a dear little girl?
(Stroking her hair.)

MARY. She ought to be a dove, she s so gentle and

DEBBIE. You dear little pigeon-dove, what bird
would you be ?

EVA (looking up) . Sparrow.

MARY. You would? And what would you be a
sparrow for ?

EVA. Cause my mamma said not a sparrow falls
to the ground.

(The girls look at each other.)

DEBBIE (softly). Isn t she cunning?
MARY and DORA (softly) . I think she s just as cun
ning as she can be.

JOE. Fred hasn t said what he d be yet.


FRED. Eagle. He s the grandest of all. He can
fly right in the face of the sun.

JOHXNY. Eagles can beat every other bird.

JOE. Of course, Fred wouldn t be any tiling short
of an eagle.

FRED. No: nor any thing short of the American

ALL THE BOYS. Three cheers for the American
eagle !

ALL TOGETHER. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah !

(Curtain falls. Or, if there be no curtain, a boy
rushes in to tell them the organ-man is coming, and
they all rush out.)





SCENE. A shop. Tables are placed at one end of
the stage to represent counters. Upon these are dis
played toys, confectionery, boxes, or any thing which
will indicate a shop. Advertisements of patent medi
cines and of other things might be hung up. Wliite
pebbles may pass for sugar-plums. Sticks whittled
out and colored will do for sticks of candy. A little
boy of seven or eight may be dressed up to represent
a smart clerk or storekeeper (with a pen behind his
ear). The other actors should be younger. CELIA
and ANNIE, two very little girls, enter at one end of
the stage.

CELIA. O Annie ! did your mother give you a cent?

ANNIE. Yes. See ! (Holds it out.)

CELIA. Want me to go with you to spend it ?

ANNIE. Yes, come. There s the shop.



CELIA. Will you let me taste?

ANNIE. If you won t taste very big.

CELIA. I will only take just a little teenly teenty
mite. (They cross over.)

ANNIE. Here s the shop.

CLERK. "Well, my little girls, what will you have?

CELIA. She wants to spend her cent.

CLERK. That s right. This is the place.

ANNIE. I want a stick of candy.

CLERK. Red candy?

ANNIE. No, sir. Mamma says white candy is best
for little girls.

(CLERK wraps stick of candy in paper, and takes the
cent. Little girls walk away, hand in hand. ANNIE
lets CELIA taste. CELIA and ANNIE go out.)

(Enter MRS. HIGHFLY, fashionably dressed, with trail,
veil, waterfall, reticule, parasol, &c.)

CLERK (with polite bow). Good-morning, Mrs.

MRS. HIGHFLT. Have you any canary-seeds ? I
wish to get some for my bird.

CLERK. We have all kinds of flower-seeds, ma am.

MRS. HIGHFLY. Those won t do. Have you nice
prunes ?

CLERK. We don t keep prunes. We have some
very nice squashes, ma am. (Takes long-necked squash
from behind the counter.)

MRS. HIGIIFLY. What do you ask?

CLERK. Six cents a pound.

MRS. HIGHFLY. I ll take half a one. My family is
quite small.

A 1C JL ^f *


CLERK. Can t cut it, ma am. It sells by wholesale.
MRS. HIGHFLY. I ll try some other store.

[Exit MRS. HIGHFLY in displeasure.

(Enter nice OLD LADY, dressed in black; white cap-frill
sJiows under her bonnet : she carries a work-bag, and
wears spectacles (without glasses) ; makes a little

OLD LADY. Good-morning, sir. I ve come to town,
and I want to buy some sugar-plums for my grand

CLERK. Large or small kind?

OLD LADY. Which are the best?

CLERK. Large ones are better for large children,
and small for the small ones.

OLD LADY (counts her fingers). Let me see.
There s Sarah Emeline and Polly and Jemima and John
Alexander and Hiram, five. I ll take five cents
worth, mixed. (Takes out from her bag Jive old-fash
ioned cents.)

CLERK. Yes m. (Attempting to wrap them in
paper, OLD LADY watching him.) Twill come to just
five cents.

OLD LADY (opening bag) . Drop them right in here.
(CLERK drops them in.)


(Enter MR. JONES with tall hat, overcoat or dress-coat,
cane, stand-up dicky, &c.)

CLERK. Good-morning, sir. Wish to trade to-day ?
MR. JONES. I wish to buy some toys for my chil


CLERK. How old are your children?

MR. JONES. All ages.

CLERK. Would you like a whip, sir? (Shows one,
snapping it.)

MR. JONES. Well, a whip isn t a very good thing to
have in the house.

CLERK. Would you buy a ball? These will every
one bounce. (Shows various kinds.)

MR. JONES. No, sir. I m about tired of setting

CLERK. These are warranted not to break windows.
But here s a trumpet. A trumpet is a very pleasing
toy. (Shows one, blowing it.)

MR. JONES (with a wave of the hand) . Don t show
me anj thing that will make a noise.

CLERK. How would a hoop suit you? (Shewing

MR. JONES. I couldn t think of spending money for
hoops. A barrel-hoop drives just as well.

CLERK. Have they got marbles ?

MR. JONES. Yes, plenty. My Sammy got one in
his throat, and came very near being choked.

CLERK. Try a jumping-jack. (Holds one up, pull
ing the string.)

MR. JONES. Oh ! they d soon break the string.

CLERK. How would a knife please them ? (SJiows

MR. JONES. Well enough. But they d be sure to
lose it, or cut themselves. Jemmy s got six fingers
tied up now.

CLERK. Are they supplied with boats ? (Showing


MR. JONES. I never let my children sail boats, for
fear of their being drowned.

CLERK. How is it about a kite ?

MR. JONES. Kites are likely to blow away.

CLERK. Perhaps you d like something useful.

MR. JONES. M} 7 children don t like useful things.

CLERK. Here s a good hatchet. (Shows hatchet.)

MR. JONES. They d hack my fruit-trees.

CLERK. A hammer ?

MR. JONES. Nails would be driven in everywhere.

CLERK. Buy a doll for 3 r our little girl. (Shows doll.)

MR. JONES. She has a houseful now.

CLERK. A silver thimble ?

MR. JONES. A pewter one does as well to lose.

CLERK. You are a hard customer, sir.

MR. JONES. Not at all. Your wares don t suit me.

CLERK. We expect a new lot of to} T s in soon.

MR. JONES (going). I ll call again. Good-morn

CLERK. Good-day, sir.

[Exit MR. JONES.

NOTE. If the part of the clerk is too long for one small boy
to remember, another one dressed as the storekeeper, with gray
whiskers and wig (made of curled hair), might come in and
take his place when Mr. Jones enters. In this case the clerk
should sit down and look over his account-books, and appear
to write. If the conversation with Mr. Jones is too long, part
of it may be omitted ; and, if the articles mentioned are not at
hand, others may be substituted.



ARTHUR, William Tell. NED, the Tyrant. TOMMY, TelVs
Girls are dressed in white, with bright sashes, and have little
flags. GEORGE has a larger Jlag.

SCENE. Room in residence of NED, POLLY, and
TOMMY. Lunch-baskets, &c., on chairs. POLLY
sits, holding her hat, shawl, and sack. TOMMY is
seated on the floor, playing with marbles. NED, a
much larger boy, leans over a chair-back.

NED (dolefully) . We shall have to give it up, Polly.
No May-party to-day. (Goes to window.)

POLLY (earnestly). Oh ! don t you think the clouds
will blow over ?

NED. The whole sky will have to blow over. It s
all lead-color.

POLLY (sighing). Oh, dear, dear, dear!

(Voices heard outside. Enter, with a rush, CAROLINE,



kets, tin pails, &c. The boys hats are trimmed with
evergreen, the girls with wreaths and posies. Tlie
girls have baskets of flowers. TOMMY leaves off play
ing with his marbles to watch the new-comers.)
GEORGE (throwing down a long coil of evergreen) .

Here we come !

LUCY (almost out of breath, and speaking fast).

Yes, here we come, pell-mell ! It s going to pour !
CAROLINE (speaking just as LUCY finishes) . Oh, how

we have hurried ! I felt a great drop fall on my nose.
ANNA (speaking just as CAROLINE finishes). And

think of our dresses ! span-clean white dresses !

KATE (speaking just as ANNA finishes) . No proces
sion to-day ! no dancing around the May-pole !

(ARTHUR throws up his hat, and catches it. GEORGE

does the same.)

LUCY. They got all that evergreen to trim the

Maypole ; and George brought his flag.

NED. If it had only been pleasant to-day, I d have

let it rain a week afterward.

GEORGE (stepping to the window) . There ! it

pours ! It s lucky we hurried.

POLLY. Now all of you stay here and keep May
day with us (clapping hands) . Do, do !
CAROLINE. Will your mother like it?
POLLY. *I H go ask her. (Huns out.)
NED. Anyway, you can t go till it holds up.

(Girls go to the windotv.)
ARTHUR. That may not be for a week. (Enter

POLLY in haste.)

POLLY. She says we may do any thing but make



NED. The last time we made it, father said he
found some in his slipper- toes.

(Girls take off hats and shaivls, which, ivith baskets,
&c. , are placed in a corner. Some take seats with
some confusion; others remain standing.)

ARTHUR. Now what shall we do with ourselves ?

NED. Let s get up an entertainment. Tickets ten
cents ; grown folks, double price.

KATE. So I say; and call ourselves a u troupe,"
or a " family/ or something.

GEORGE. Something that has a foreign sound.

ARTHUR. How would " Yotopski "do?

CAROLINE, LUCY, and ANNA. Splendid !

ANNA. Let s call ourselves The Yotopski Family.

LUCY. But what shall we have for our entertain

POLLY. I think tableaux are perfectly splendid.

ANNA. Oh, I ll tell you ! Have the kind that winds

GEORGE. Why, all entertainments wind up when
they are done.

ANNA. I mean, have each one wound up with a
key, and then they move.

ARTHUR. She means Mrs. Jarley s Wax-works.

NED. All right. We ll have the winding kind.

CAROLINE. What wax-works shall we have ?

NED. We might have William Tell shooting the
apple, for one.

TOMMY. I ve seen that! Twill take three to do
that, Mr. Tell, and his son, and the cross tyrant.

GEORGE. And the apple makes four.


ANNA. Who ll be Mr. Tell ? you, Ned ?

NED. No ; I d rather be the cross tyrant : I feel
just right for that. Arthur ll be Mr. Tell.

ARTHUR. Oh, yes ! I ll be Mr. Tell ; and Tommy
can be the boy. (TOMMY moves toward the door.)
Where are -you going, Tommy?

TOMMY (going out). After my bow n arrow.

LUCY (bringing an apple from her basket). Here s
the apple.

CAROLINE. What shall we do for a feather? Mr.
Ten s hat must have a feather.

KATE. Twist up a piece of newspaper. (Turns
ARTHUR S hat up at one side, and fastens it with a
twist of paper, left open at the top.) There you have
it ! And Polly s sack, turned wrong side out, will do
for a tunic.

(ARTHUR puts on hat and sack. Sack is lined with a
bright color, or with different colors.)

POLLY. He ought to have a wide sash.

LUCY (taking off hers)-. Here, take mine !

POLLY. Not that kind of a sash !

ANNA. Oh, that won t do !

CAROLINE. It should be a scarf.

NED (tying sash at the side, around ARTHUR S waist).
Oh ! never mind, we re only rehearsing.

LUCY. How must the cross tyrant be dressed?
Who knows ?

ANNA. The tyrant I saw had a cape hung on one
shoulder. A shawl will do -for that. (Brings shawl,
which NED hangs over his left shoulder.) Now, what
must he wear on his head ?


LUCY. I should think a tyrant ought to wear a tall

POLLY (going). I ll get father s.

ANNA (to POLLY) . And something bright to put on
it. I remember that part plainly.

GEORGE (calling after POLLY) . And something long,
for a sword. (Exit POLLY.)

CAROLINE. If the boys do that, can t we girls make
ourselves into wax-works ?

ANNA. Let s be a May-day wax-work, singing and
dancing round a May-pole.

GEORGE. I ll be the pole.

CAROLINE. But you re not long enough.

GEORGE (mounting a chair) . Now I am !

GIRLS (laughing and clapping). Oh, yes; oh, yes!
He ll do ! Trim him up ; trim him up !

NED (to GEORGE). Yes. Come down and be
trimmed up.

(GEORGE steps down, stands erect, arms close to his
body. GIRLS hand garlands. NED winds them
around GEORGE.)

KATE, Shall we hoist the flag?

NED. Oh, yes ! bring the flag. And here s a
string (taking ball of string out of pocket) to fasten it
on with. (NED fastens the Jlag -stick to GEORGE S head
by winding the string around, then helps him mount
the chair.) Three cheers for the flag ! Now, One,
two, three ! (All cheer and clap.)

(Enter POLLY with an old hat and a poker.)

POLLY. Won t this hat do? Mother can t have
father s good one banged about.


GEORGE. Oh ! that s good enough. We re only re
hearsing. Did you get something bright ?
(NED puts on hat.)

POLLY (taking out yellow bandanna handkerchief).
Mother said this was quite bright.

ANNA. Why, I meant something shiny, like a clasp,
or a buckle.

KATE. No matter : we re only rehearsing.

(NED ties handkerchief round the hat, so that the cor
ners hang down.) %

POLLY (hands the poker). Here s your sword.
That s the longest thing I could find.

(All laugh. NED seizes poker, and strikes a military
attitude. Enter TOMMY with bow and arrow.)

TOMMY. Where shall I stand up ?

ARTHUR. Come this way (leads TOMMY to one side
the stage; NED follows). Ned, you must scowl and
look fierce. Tommy, fold your arms, and stand still
as a post.

(Puts apple on TOMMY S head, and takes aim with
bow and arrow.)

TOMMY. Oh, I m afraid ! Look out for my eyes !
The arrow might go off !

ARTHUR. I ll put the apple in the chair.

(TOMMY stands motionless. ARTHUR aims at apple in
the chair. NED stands by with drawn sword; then
all three resume their former position.)

KATE. Now, we girls must stand around the May
pole (they gather around the pole) . Who ll wind?


THE GIRLS. You, you, you !

POLLY. What a little circle ! I wish we had more

KATE. So do I. ( To ANNA.) How shall I wind
up the wax-works ?

ANNA. The ones I saw all stood on a string, and
the string led to a box ; and, when the box was wound
up, the wax- works began to act their parts. A door-
key will do to wind with.

KATE. We ll manage in the same way.

(Lays a long string on the floor, passes it under the

feet of the wax-works, and drops the end of it in a

work-box upon the table.)

ARTHUR. Don t you think you girls ought to be
holding your posies, and your flags, and your flower-
baskets, and wearing your wreaths? They ll make
your wax-work look handsomer.

CAROLINE. So they will.

(Girls get their posies, little flags, and baskets, take
wreaths from hats, and put them on their heads.)

ANNA. You must take a key, and pretend to wind
up the machinery. What song shall we sing ?

LUCY. "The merry month of May" is perfectly

CAROLINE. I wonder if we know the words. Let s
try. (They sing a May-song.)

KATE. That s a good song. Now then! All
ready! Stand in your places (gets the door-key).
Arms folded, Tommy ! When I ve done winding up,
Arthur will begin to take aim, Ned will begin to scowl
and to hold up his sword, and you girls will begin to


sing and dance around. Can t you hold your hands
high, so the flowers and flags will show? (Girls raise
their hands.) That s prettier. Now all stand just as
still as real wax-works till the machinery is wound up ;
then begin. We ll play, that, when I throw up my
handkerchief, the curtain falls. Now !

(KATE winds the machinery, the actors remaining quiet.
When the winding stops, they begin to perform their
parts. When the dancers have danced twice around
the circle, KATE throws up her handkerchief.)


(If desirable, more singing and dancing can be intro
duced under pretence of practising.)

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Online LibraryAbby Morton DiazThe Jimmyjohns, and other stories → online text (page 13 of 13)