Emilie Poulsson.

In the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes online

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(Ask the children to look at the clock, and lead them to describe-
the face, hands, pendulum and case. The mechanism is too
complex to be explained to little children, although they will be
interested and impressed with a sight of the many little wheels
in motion.)

Did you ever see papa or mamma wind the clock? Why
must it be wound? Can you show me how the wheels move?'
How does the pendulum swing? Why do we have clocks?

(The children can give instances of the clock's usefulness.)'



The clock tells when it is time for mamma to get up and get break-
fast, and for papa to go to his work ; and it tells when thechildrea
should go to kindergarten, and when they should go home.

All the children who. came to kinder-
garten in good time this morning may stand.
JShall I tell you how you can all be in time
to-morrow? Ask your mamma to please
look at the clock and to let yon start as soon
as the clock points both hands out this
way. (Show a quarter before nine ])y using
a card clock-face or old clock, or blackboard
picture.) Perhajissomeof the big boys and
girls will notice for themselves when the
clock at home says " time to go to kinder-

Where have you seen clocks besides at
home and at kindergarten? On churches,
i-;iilroad stations, etc., etc. Have yon seen
anything else which shows the time?

Long ago people had no clocks or

watches. What do you suppose they did

then? They used to tell the time by notic-

iiig the sunlight and the shadows. (De-

j ■ scribe the sundial and show the jjicture.)

I The sundial was of no use at night, how-

^ ever, nor on stormy and cloudy days when

the sun was hidden ; so people found other ways of measuring

time. (Show an hourglass.) Sometimes water was used instead

of sand (in an instrument called the clepsydra) and time was

measured by the falling of drops of water.

None of these ways were very convenient, however, and men
were constantly trying to make something better for telling the
time, but they had to think and study and work and try very
hard, over and over again, before they succeeded in making clocks
and watches as good and useful and wonderful as these which
we have now.

The Sundial.

"30 IN THE child's WORLD.


"History of the Clock, Encyclopcedia

Frccbel's Explanation of the Clock or Tic-tac Play,

Mother'' s ISoyigs, Plays and Stories
The Clock on the Stairs, - - - Lomj/ellow

A Petition to Time, - - - Barry Cornwall

Time's Cure (Anonymous), - - Dana's Household Hook of Poetry

Active and Passive, - - - Margaret Gatty


Frances Keeps her Promise, - - - - Jane Taylor

•Cinderella at the Ball.



Dolly Dimple sat on a rug by the hall fire, thinking. I doubt
•whether you have overseen a great old-fashioned hall like the one
where Dolly was sitting, for such halls are not built nowadays.
This one was part of a great, rambling house which was more
than a hundred years old. Dolly Dimple was born there and
Dolly Dimple's mother and grandmother had lived in it a long
time. They had left their home across the water and come to
this one when Dolly's mother was a tiny child. Dolly was certain
there had never been another such house, and this hall was her
!?pecial delight. It was square, and had a shining oak floor, half
covered with furry rugs. The walls were made of the same dark
wood, and at the end was the cheery open fireplace where mossy
logs roared and crackled all winter long, lighting up the dark
■corners and telling wonderful stories of the summer-time and of
.their lives in the foi-est. Near by -was a broad staircase, on the

IN THE child's WORLD. 37

first landing of which stood a clock, and it was about this clock
that Dolly Dimple was thinking so deeply that wonderful night.

It was a very tall clock, — taller than Dolly's papa, — and it had
a long glass door through which she could see the weights and
the pendulum which never moved now. Above this was the
round, good-natured face which Dolly was morally certain looked
very different at different times ; when she was good it smiled
sweetly upon her, but when she was cross — and I am sorry to say
Dolly was cross sometimes — it looked at her so sorrowfully! It
could sympathize, too; for Dolly said that when she was in trouble
she had seen the tears streaming down the old clock's face ; but
since she was looking through a mist of tears herself at such times
I should not like to say that this was really true.

But the strangest thing of all about this clock was that it would
strike. Now maybe all you wise little ones do not think it a very
strange thing for a clock to strike; but when I tell you that this
clock did so in spite of the fact that its wheels had not moved for
many years, that will surely make you wonder !

And then it would strike at the strangest times ! No one ever
knew when it was going off, and it had been known to strike as
many as seventeen! Dolly couldn't understand it at all, and as
no one explained it to her, it had puzzled her a great deal. That
night she was more mystified than ever ; for at daybreak the
clock had struck five, and how could the clock have known
that it was her fifth birthday ?

She lay curled up on the soft rug, thinking about it, until she
began to grow drowsy. The crackling of the wood sounded
farther and farther away; the shrill chirp of the cricket which
lived at the back of the fireplace grew fainter and fainter.

Suddenly a voice — a very cracked voice — broke the silence.
''Dolly! Dolly Dimple!" it said.

Dolly jumped up so hastily that the startled cricket sprang
backward nearly into the fire. \Yhere had the voice come from?
Dolly peered carefully about the hall until her eyes rested upon
the old clock, when she was surprised to see that a new look had
crept over its face, — a look which told Dolly that it was the clock
that had spoken. And, sure enough! as she was gazing at it, it
spoke again.

38 ■ IX Tilt: child's avohld.

" Would you like to hear a story, Dolly?"' it asked.

Now there was nothing Dolly liked better than a story; and
forgettiug her surprise, in her eagerness to hear what the clock
had to say, she answered quickly : •'*' Yes inde?d, clock ; canyon
tell me one?"

" That I can," said the clock. " I'll tell you the story of my

Dolly felt sure that now the mystery was to be solved, and
curled herself up more comfortably to listen ; the busy cricket
straightened her cap and folded her hands to show her deep
attention ; the fire gave out a warmer glow, and the clock
began : —

" Perhaps, Dolly Dimple, you will understand better what a
wonder I am if I tell you that once upon a time there wasn't a
clock upon the face of the earth I "

" Why-ee ! What asto — ," began the cricket, and then stoi)ped;
but it was quite plain that she did not believe a word of it.

" No clocks!" cried Dolly, " why, how did little girls know
when it was school-time, or dinner-time, or — or — anything?"

" They had other ways of telling time," answered the clock:
" one of the first things by which they measured it was a stick, —
a straight stick!"

"A stick!" exclaimed Dolly.

*'A straight stick!" murmured the cricket; "I kneio that
clock was crazy."

" / was brought up to think that it Avas impolite to interrupt,"
said the clock.

'' Of coarse it is," said Dolly, "we will not breathe another
word, will we, cricket?"

" But a stick!" groaned the cricket, shaking her head.

" Yes," said the clock, " try it for yourself! Go out of doors
the next sunfly morning and plant a little stick in the ground.
If it is early, the shadow will be agreatdeallonger than the stick
itself, and will look as if hiding from the sun ; as noon draws near,
you will find the shadow creeping up and up, until Just at noon,
the stick seems to swallow it; and then, as the sun moves on
toward the west, the shadow peeps out and creeps off on the other

IN Till-: child's world. 39

side of the stick until night, wlieu shadow and stick are both
swallowed in darkness.

" Now don't you see how you could tell time by the stick and its
shadow? And it was this which made somebody think of a sun-

"A sundial,*' broke in the cricket, who could not keep still;
"What is that?"

*' It looks like a doll's table with a little piece of metal standing
up in the center; and on the table top is marked the length of
the shadow which this piece of metal casts at different hours of
the day."

" Was that the only clock they had?" asked Dolly.

" If your pussy had lived in those days they would have used
her for a timepiece," said the clock.

The cricket evidently thought this too foolish a story to be
noticed at all, and even Dolly looked shocked; but the clock
knew what it was talking about and went right on.

"If you look at Kitty's eyes when she first wakes in the morn-
ing, you will find that the dark place in the middle of the eye is
very big and round ; but soon you will notice that it is growing
narrow, until by noon it is as fine as a hair ; and then it will
slowly grow larger again, until, when night comes, it will be as
big and round as it was in the morning."

"What a bother it must have been to tell time in these ways!"
said Dolly.

"Yes, I think so myself," replied the clock, "and people be-
gan to think that they ought to have something better to depend
upon. So about five hundred years ago, some one invented a
clock, — not a big, handsome one like myself, but a very plain
affair that had no pendulum and could not strike."

" Poor thing I" sighed Dolly.

" Better not strike at all than strike as some clocks do,"
observed the cricket rather spitefully.

"But it was a clock, and considered a very wonderful thing in
those days," continued the clock; "and people must have been
pretty well satisfied, for they did not add a pendulum for several
hundred years."


'•' Are you very old?" asked Dolly.

"Yes, I am very, very old. It must be over a hundred years
since my hands began to move. — x\h! that was a proud day for
my maker I Every tiny, shining wheel was as perfect as perfect
could be, and my case was a beautiful sight. On the day that I
was finished the little clockmaker was the happiest man alive.
He examined me in every part with the greatest care, and my
perfection delighted him. Then he took a big ke}', and wound
me up, touched my pendulum, and with a 'tick-tack, tick-tack,'
I started out on my life-work. The little clockmaker did not
long have me to admire, however, for very soon an old lady
bought me, and I was carried away across the blue rolling water
and placed in this hall. I am worn-out and useless now, but then
I was of the greatest importance. Nothing was done without
consulting me. Ever and ever so many bright-eyed children have
raced up and down the stairs and curled up by the fire just as you
are doing. I have loved them all and tried to show them that it
was only by keeping our hands busy working for others, and by
doing right, that we could be happy and make our friends love
us. They may have thought that all I said was ' tick-tack, tick-
tack,' but really I have always said as plainly as plainly could
be,—' Do right, do right.'"

"Dear old clockl" murmured Dolly; and even the cricket
turned her head and wiped away a tear.

" Before I stop," said the clock, " I must speak of one thing that
others besides yourselves have noticed;" and the clock glanced at
the cricket, who looked as if she wanted to sink through the floor.

"You must know that a great while ago my hands refused to
move another minute. It was a sorry day for me, and sometimes
my feelings overcome me even now when I think of the past.
At such times it is a great relief to me to strike."

" You dear old clock," cried Dolly; "you shall strike as often
as you please, and if the cricket ever dares — "

"Dolly! Dolly Dimple!" Harry was calling.

Dolly sat up and rubbed her eyes. " What is the matter?" she

" That's what I'd like to knovvl Why, the very idea of a little
girl with a birthday sleeping as if it were any other day!"

IN THE child's "WOULD. 41

'•'Sleeping! I haven't slept a wink! Why, the clock has been
talking, and the cricket, and, — "

" Very likely! As if I'd believe that when I've knocked over
the poker and the shovel and the tongs, and you never so much
as winked."

Dolly looked up at the old clock, but n6ver a word did it say.
The broad, good-natured face beamed down upon her the same as
ever, but she fancied it wore a wise expression that said as plainly
as so many words: ''Keep quiet; boys are not half so wise as
they think they are. Don't mind him, but remember all I have
told you, and try to learn something every day from everybody.
Be glad that you have clocks to tell you the time and to remind
yon to keep your hands busy and to ' do right, do right.' "

"Dolly! Dolly! Why do you keep staring at that old clock?
I declare you are half asleep yet!"

Dolly rubbed her eyes and stared at her laughing brother, and
then again at the now silent clock. She was glad that she had
been warned to keep quiet, for she did not feel like telling the
whole story then ; but when she grew up she used to tell little
children " What the Clock told Dolly."

Minnie G. Clark.


An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen
without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one sum-
mer's morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.
Upon this, the dial plate (if we may credit the fable) changed
countenance with alarm; the hands made a vain effort to continue
their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise; the
weights hung speechless; each member felt disjjosed to lay the
blame on the others. At length the dial instituted an inquiry as
to the cause of the stagnation, when hands, wheels, weights, with
one voice, protested their innocence.

But now a faint tick was heard below from the pendulum,
who thus spoke : " I confess myself to be the sole cause of the


present stoi^page, and I am willing, for the general satisfaction,
to assign my reasons. The truth is, that I am tired of ticking. '*
Upon hearing this, the old clock became so enraged that it was
on the very point of striking.

"Lazy Avire!" exclaimed the dial plate, holding up its hands.

" Very good !" replied the pendulum; " it is vastly easy for you.
Mistress Dial, who have always, as everybody knows, set yourself
up above me — it is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other
people of lazinessl You, who have had nothing to do all the days
of your life but to stare people in the face, and to amuse yourself
with watching all that goes on in the kitchen! Think, I beseech
you, how you would like to l)e shut up for life in this dark closet,
and to wag backwards and forwards year after year, jis I do."

"As to that," said the dial, "is there not a window in your
house for you to look througli?"

"For all that," resumed the pendulum, "it is very dark here,
and, although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an
instant, to look out at it. Besides, I am really tired of my way
of life; and if you wish, I'll tell you how I took this disgustatmy
employment. I happened this morning to be calculating how
many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next
twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you above there can give me
the exact sum."

The minute-hand, being quick at iigures, replied, "Eighty-
six thousand four hundred times."

"Exactly so," replied the pendulum. "Well, I appeal to
you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue
one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by
those of months and years, really it is no wonder if I felt dis-
couraged at the prospect; so, after a great deal of reasoning and
hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop."

The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this
harangue, but, resuming its gravity, thus replied: " Dear Mr.
Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious
person as yourself should have been overcome by this sudden
suggestion. It is true, you have done a great deal of work in
your time; so have we all, and are likely to do, which, although
it may fatigue us to think of , the question is, whether it will

I .V 'ihp: child's wdkld, 4:}

fatigue us to du. Will you now give about lialf a dozen strokes
to illustrate my argument?''

The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual
pace. " Now," resumed the dial, '' may I be allowed to inquire
if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?"

''Not in the least," replied the, pendulum; " it is not of -six
strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions."

" Very good," replied the dial, " but, recollect that, though
you may tJiink of a million strokes in an instant, you are required
to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter
have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in."

" Then I hope," resumed the dial plate, " we shall all imme-
diately return to our duty, for the maids will lie in bed if we
stand idling thus."

Upon this the weights, who had never been accused of light
conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed;
when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands
began to move, and the pendulum began to swing; while a red
beam of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the
kitchen, shining full upon the dial plate, it brightened up as if
nothing had been the matter. When the farmer came down to
breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared
that his Avatch had gained half an hour in the night.

Jane Taylor.




To TLiK Tkaciip:!!: —

Bring all of nature that is possible into the kindergarten — colored
leaves, autumn flowers, deserted nests, chrysalides, bare twigs, etc.
Ask the children to bring, during the week, whatever they can find
which shows that autumn has come. To revive the memories of summer
and contrast summer and autumn, is the special aim of this talk. Reach
back to spring and forward to winter incidentally.

The thought of autumn as the harvest time and the time of prejiaring
fcr winter should run through all the talks at this season of the year.


Who can remember the first day we came to kindergarten this
year? What can you remember before that? Why did we not
have kindergarten then? What do we call that time of year
when the weather is so warm? Tell me something about the
summer. If the children have been to the city parks or gar-
dens or playgrounds, speak of the beauty and advantages of such
places, not forgetting to give credit to the city for providing
them. Did any of you go to the seashore? Tell us about it.

Did any of you go into the country? to a farm? W^hat was
the farmer doing? Taking care of what he had planted in the
spring — cutting the grass, raking and taking in the hay, hoeing
corn and potatoes, weeding the garden, etc. Tell me what some
of the animals were doing in the summer. Farm horses work-
ing, cattle enjoying the pasture, squirrels, birds and insects
playing merrily in the woods and fields.

(Contrast all these summer activities with the autumn doings



at the farm and in the woods.) Is it summer now? Let us see
how many signs we can think of which show that autumn is here.
Once upon a time some little children had been talking about
the signs of autumn just as we have, and they asked a friend of
theirs to write some autumn verses for them. They told her
just what to put into the verses. Suppose I tell you what she
wrote. Listen carefully and see whether we had thought of all
the signs of autumn which the verses mention. (Read or recite
slowly "An Autumn Song.")


Change of Seasons ('' Sun, Moon and Stars"), - - Ar/nes Giberne

November's Wild Flowers, I ,u cu„,... T7,.^<, '»\ tir tt /^,-i,„„„

The Autumn Pipers, ( < ^^^'^^ ^ ^^^^ >' " " ^^ ' ^- ^'^'^'^

The Sleei>ing Flowers, . - _..- Emily Dickinson

The Pomegranate Seed, - - - - Hawthorne

TheHuskers, I ........ Whittier

Song of Harvest, \ yv/nmer

Times go by Turns, .-_...- Robert Southwell

In Time's Swing, ..... - - Lucy Lar com

An Indian Summer lleverie, - Lowell

Fringed Gentian, '......... Brvant

Death of the Flowers, \ aryani

On the Grasshopi^er and Cricket, - - - Leigh Hunt

On the Grasshopper and Cricket, - - - Keats

The Eeaper, - - _.-. - Wordsworth

Autumn (From " The Seasons "), - - - Thomson


The Maple Leaf and the Violet (" The Story Hour " ), K. D. Wirjgin

The Anxious Leaf, I ("Kindergarten Stories and

The Little Harvest Mouse, i Morning Talks "), - S. E. Wiltse

Two Bunnies (" Stories for the Kindergarten and Home"),

M. L. Van Kirk

IM THE child's WORLD. 47



The warm summer had gone and autumn had come with its
cooler winds, when, one day, the hickory tree said to its leaves:
" My pretty yellow leaves, you need not take care of the baby-
buds any more, as it is time for them to put on their winter
clothes. But I think the flower seeds would like to have you
help them now. Are you willing to go down to the ground in
order to help them?"

" Yes," said the leaves, " we would like to help the dear little
seeds to be flowers." So they dropped to the ground, and cov-
ered it, that the little seeds might not freeze in their winter
home in the earth, but might live to make plants and flowers in
the spring.

Then the hickory tree said: " Baby-buds, it is time for you to
put on your winter clothes, so that you can keep warm all winter
and open into leaves in the spring." " We are all ready," said
the buds; so the tree gave them their coats. The outside coat
of each bud was a gum coat to keep out the wet. " Why, that
was a waterproof coat ! How funny for the buds to have water-
proof coats." Yes, it is strange, but if you learn how to look,
you will find out a great many strange things.

After the little side-buds had been given their winter clothes,
the tree said: ''My little end-buds, you are so much more
exposed to the cold than the other buds that you must be dressed
more warmly than they are." So the little end-buds put on one
coat after another, till you would have thought, to look at them,
that they were at least twice as large as the side-buds, and their
gum coats had to be a great deal bigger than those of the others.

I saw an end-bud of a hickory tree once that had twelve coats
on it.

Then all the baby-buds said: " Thank you, dear tree, for our
winter clothes. Now we can keep warm till spring."

Josephine Jarvis.

Cobden, III.

48 IN THE child's world.


The song-birds are Hying

And southward are hying,
No more their glad carols we hear.

The gardens are lonely, —

Chrysanthemums only
Dare now let their beauty appear.

The insects are hiding, —

The farmer providing
The lambkins a shelter from cold.

And after October

The woods will look sober
Without all their crimson and gold.

The loud winds are calling,

The ripe nuts are falling.
The squirrel now gathers his store.

The bears, homeward creeping.

Will soon all be sleeping
So snugly, till winter is o'er.

Jack Frost will soon cover

The little brooks over;
The snow-clouds are up in the sky

All ready for snowing ;

— Dear Autumn is going!
We bid her a loving " good-bye."

Emilie Poulssox.

^Kindergarten Magazine.'


It was almost time for winter to come. The little birds had all
gone far away, for they Avere afraid of the cold. There was no
green grass in the fields, and there were no pretty flowers in the
gardens. Many of the trees had dropped all their leaves. Cold
winter, with its snow and ice, was coming. At the foot of an old
oak tree some sweet little violets were still m blossom. "De:ir



old oak," said they, "winter is coming; we are afraid that we
shall die of the cold."

''Do not be afraid, little ones," said the oak, "close your yel-
low eyes in sleep, and trust to me. You have made me glad many
a time with your sweetness. Now I will take care that the winter
shall do you no harm."

■ So the violets closed their pretty eyes and went to sleep; they
knew that they could trust the kind, old oak. And the great tree
softly dropped red leaf after red leaf upon them, until they were

Online LibraryEmilie PoulssonIn the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes → online text (page 3 of 29)