Emilie Poulsson.

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

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"Hurrah!" cried Father Time, " that's right I But have you
also the book of American history?" '' Here it is," said July;
"these things were fastened to it, so I brought them all along

" Right again," said Father Time. " Flags and fireworks
wouldn't be of much account without that. Now, August, see
what you would like from the storehouse."

August returned with golden sheaves bound upon his back,
and carrying a great flower-decked basket.

•' In the basket I have put as much fruit as I can possibly
carry," said August; "and yet there is so much left that who-
ever takes the rest will have a rich load."

" That shall be you, September," said Father Time. " Noth-
ing would suit you better, I am sure, with your warm heart and
your strong arms."

September accordingly loaded himself with beautiful fruits —
apples, pears, peaches, grapes — not a whit less delicious than
those which August had brought.

October was next called. He was a gay, breezy fellow. " Ha,

136 IN THE child's WORLD.

ha!" he laughed. ''Who will be welcomed more than I, with
these ripe nuts and these beautiful colored leaves! "

" My faith!" said Father Time, '' I fear my storehouse has no
more treasures, each one of you has taken so much. Go and
look, November."

November came forward rather sadly, but looked cheerful
enough after his return from the storehouse. He fairly staggered
under the weight of the golden pumpkins and the big fat tur-
keys which he carried. " What do you say to these?" said he,
triumphantly. " But the best thing is in my pocket — a paper
which tells that Thanksgiving Day belongs to me."

" True enough," assented Father Time. "And now, Decem-
ber," said he, turning to the last waiting figure, "you, I know,
will find no warbling birds nor budding flowers; yet are you,
above all others, a joy bearer."

December disappeared in the storehouse; but soon stepped out
transfigured. No warbling birds had she, indeed, but lacked not
for music; for snatches of gladdest carols burst from her lips from
time to time. No fresh flowers bloomed for her in beauty and
fragrance, but holly berries gleamed brightly among glossy green
leaves and a delicious odor came from a little fir tree which Dec-
ember carried over her shoulder. Looking up, one could see a
large star which shed its silvery rays upon her.

But the wondrous light that shone all about was not from
star or moon or sun, but from a picture in her hand upon which
she fixed her gaze. The picture was of a baby lying in a manger.

Father Time's eyes softened as he looked upon it, and his voice
Avas full of love as he said: " Ah! the best of days and the best of
gifts is thine, December. Fitting it is that thou should'st be the
last and that the love and joy which thou bearest should be left
to the earth as the last memory of 1894. For so it shall be;
1894 shall stay no longer than to thy last day. And now, fi-iends
all," said Father Time, " will you kindly form in a procession so
that each may know certainly when his turn will come?"

The twelve laden friends did as Father Time requested and
filed slowly past him. He called their names as they went by,
that there should be no mistake: (January, February, J\larch,
etc.) All were in their right places.

Father Time's Procession

138 IN THE child's WORLD.

"The hour draws near," said Father Time. ''Hark! it is
striking! Here, January, take the little New Year in your arms.
Farewell!" And lo! at the instant that the clock finished strik-
ing the midnight hour, January and 1894 appeared upon the

And all the other friends laden with their beautiful gifts went
back into the Palace of the Future and are only awaiting their
turn to come and bless the earth with their bounty.

Emilie Poulsson.


Two little boys were at play one day when a fairy suddenly
appeared to them and said: "I have been sent to give you a
New Year present.''

She lianded to each child a package, and, at the same instant,
was gone.

Carl and Philip opened the packages and found the same thing
in each— a beautiful book with white pages, as pure, white, and
beautiful as the snow when it first falls.

After a long time, the fairy came again to the boys. " I have
brought you each a new book," she said, "and will take back the
others to Father Time, who sent them to you."

"May I not keep mine a little longer?" said Philip; "I have
hardly thought about it lately. I'd like to paint something on
that last page that lies open."

"No," said the fairy, "I must take it just as it is."

" I wish I could look through mine just once! " said Carl. " I
have only seen one page at a time; for when a leaf turns over, it
sticks fast, and I never can open the book at more than one

"You shall look over your book," said the fairy, " and Philip
his." And she lit for each of them a little silver lamp, by the
light of which they saw the pages as she turned them.

The boys looked in wonder. Could it be that this was the same
fair book she had given them a year ago? Where were the pure

IN THE child's WORLD. , lo'J

white pages, as pure, white, aud beautiful as the snow when it
first falls? Here Avas a page with ugly black blots aud scratches
upon it; while the very next page had a lovely little picture.
Some pages were decorated with gold and silver and gorgeous
colors, others with beautiful flowers, and others still with a rain-
bow of softest, most delicate brightness. Yet even on the most
beautiful of the pages there were those ugly blots and scratches.

Carl and Philip looked up at the fairy at last.

"Who did this?" they asked. ''Every page was white and
fair as we opened to it; yet now there is not a single blank place
in the whole book!"

" Shall I explain some of the pictures to you?" said the fairy,
smiling at the two little boys. ^' See, Philip, the spray of
roses blossomed on this page when you let the baby have your
playthings; and this pretty bird which looks so cunning and as
if it were singing with all its might, would never have been on
this page if you had not tried to be kind and pleasant the other
day instead of quarreling."

" But Avhat makes this blot?" asked Philip.

"That," said the fairy sadly, "that came when you told an
untruth one day; and this when you did not mind mamma. All
these blots and scratches, that look so ugly both on your book
and on Carl's, were made when you were naughty in any way and
did not obey your mamma or papa or your teacher. Each pretty
thing in your books came on the page when you were good, and
each blot when you were naughty."

"Oh! if we could only have the books again," said Carl and

"That cannot be," said the fairy. "See! they are marked
^ 1893 ' and they must now go back into Father Time's bookcase;
but I have brought you each a new one. Perhaps you can make
these more beautiful than the others."

So saying, she vanished, and the boys were left alone; but each
held in his hand a new book open at the first page.

And on the back of this book was " 1894." It was the book
of the New Year.

Emilie Poulsson.


To THE Teacher: —

The choice of the cat as the first animal to be studied in the kinder-
garten scarcely needs justification, since the cat is the most universally
familiar of all animals to the children, and therefore one by which we can
le.id to the notice of others. Being so familiar, most of the items of
description should be obtained from the children, the teacher only sup-
plementing their observations.

A live cat is so easily obtainable that one ought certainly to be present
when the talk is given.

The other members of the cat family being so far outside the experience
of most of the kindergarten children, and there being so much to talk
about in this one individual member, I omitted mentioning them, although
I should prefer to call attention to them if the children are ready for it;
showing them that the lion, the tiger, the leopard, lynx, etc., have the
same characteristics which Pussy manifests, that they are light, stealthy,
silent of foot, quick of ear and eye, swift to attack, — " carnivorous, beauti-
ful and often terrible."


(In the New Year's talk the subject of growth was touched upon
and might therefore be used as the point of counectiou between
last week's talk and this one.)

We spoke of the New Year bringing us chances to grow. Can
the children tell other things that grow besides little boys and
girls? (They will probably think first of plants, since their atten-
tion has been called to them so often and the fact of a plant's
growth is so evident; but a little suggestive questioning will bring
animals to mind.)

Which children have pussy cats at home? Who has a big cat?
Was it always a big cat? No, it has grown from a wee, baby
kitten. What can you tell about the cats you have at home or

IN THE child's WOULD. 141

have seen tinywhere? (Question the children separately, appeal
to the quiet ones sometimes, as well as receiving what the talkative
ones offer.)

Pussy has four legs, a long tail, — what kind of a coat? Fur
coat of different colors, made of hairs growing very, very close
together. How smooth it is when you stroke it! As you pass
your hand along her back you can feel something hard, can you
not? That is Pussy's backbone. When you look at Pussy's head,
whab do you see? Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, whiskers.

Can Pussy see well? How does she find the mice in the dark
night? (Call attention to the little round, black si)ot in peoi)le's
eyes. The children might observe it in each others' eyes.)
That little black spot is a window which lets the light in so that
we can see. In Pussy's eye the window is of a different sliape.
(In addition to letting the children observe the cat's eyes, have
two pictures drawn on the blackboard representing the cat's
eye in daylight and in darkness.) When Pussy is in the dark
the window in her eye stretches out into so much larger a win-
dow that she gets light enough to see by where we could scarcely
see at all.

How many ears has Pussy? Are they like our ears? No, they
stand up above her head and have pointed tips. Where are
Pussy's whiskers? They are feelers to help her in the dark.
What has Pussy in her cunning little red mouth? Sharp teeth
and a tongue. Her tongue is a wonderful thing. Pussy can
make it like a spoon when she wants to lap milk with it. Did
you ever notice how she will take up every drop of milk in the
saucer? But Pussy's tongue is something else besides a spoon.
Haven't you seen her wash herself and make her fur coat all
smooth? What does she do it with? This same little red tongue.
If you feel of it you will find it is very rough. That is because
it is covered with tiny hooks, so small you cannot see them. But
there are a great many of them and when Pussy draws her tongue
over her fur, these little hooks comb the fur nicely down and
make it all clean and smooth. What she cannot reach with her
tongue, she does with her paws, first wetting the stiff' hairs on
the end of them.

Pussy has four feet, you told me. Does she make much noise



when she walks? No, she can go along very, very quietly because
she has little cushions on her feet. By and by we will play
"Kitty White" and see who can walk as quietly as a real
Pussy does.

If you tease Pussy and hurt her, what will she do? Yes, she
will scratch you, for she does not like to be hurt.

What does she scratch with? Sharp claws. A little girl who
was playing with a cat once said, "Oh! Pussy has pins in her feet."

Underside ^Kow'in^ _cl^v/5.

Of course it was Pussy's claws that the little girl felt. But if you
are always gentle and kind when you play with Pussy she will
not scratch you. She will pull her claws in and hide them
so that you would never know she had any claws at all.

Did you ever see a mother cat with her little kittens? How
she loves them and watches them and teaches them, doesn't she?
Before they can walk the baby kittens get milk from the mother,
but they soon learn to drink milk from a saucer. The mother
cat washes and combs the fur of her baby kittens, too, with her
rough little tongue.

(Speak of the usefulness of the cat in frightening away from
our houses the rats and mice which would otherwise be so trouble-
some. Also speak of the cat's love of home, and affectionate

The Cat.

144 IN THE child's WORLD.


Natural History, - - - - - - J. G. Wood

Winners in Life's Eace (Cliap. IX), - - Arabella Buckley

An Object of Love, - - - - - - M. E. Wilkins

Agrippina, ...... Agnes Repplier

The Kitten at Play, - - - Wordsworth

The Retired Cat (A Story), - - - Cowper

The Glove, - - - - B. Browning


Pussy's Class, - - - Manj Jilapes Dodge

Purring when you're pleased, - - . - Mrs. Gatty

Dick Whittington and his Cat, . - - - Old Story

Mrs. Chinchilla ("The Story Hour"), - - - K. D. Wiggin

Belling the Cat, - - - - ^Esop



I am afraid Jet was a little cross at times; yes, I am sure he
was, and I — one of his most intimate friends — ought to know.

It was when I was a little girl, that we had this cat called Jet, a
great, shining black creature. I loved Jet, oh! very much indeed!
and I think he liked me a little; but he was never so fond of me as
he was of my mother. I liked to hold Jet in my lap, and to smooth
his soft fur, but he would soon tire of me and jump down. 1
never tried to hold him after he was tired, for he had a very bad
habit of growling and showing his teeth.

Jet was not at all fond of company either, which troubled me
greatly, because I was always pleased to have visitors come to the
house. He would run away and hide, and if I tried to coax him
out of his hiding place he would growl and put up his back and
say: " Sex! sex!"

And if another cat came into our yard — oh! you should have

IN THE child's WOULD. 145

seen Jet then! He did not wait to put up his back, but, taking
one look at the stranger, darted away in full chase after him.
All the cats of the neighborhood soon learned that they must
never do more than run across our back fence, and the more
swiftly they could run across the better for them.

But by and by all this changed. I never understood just how
the acquaintance began, but a poor, forlorn old cat, with one ear
gone and a part of his tail missing, came to live with Jet. Yes!
Jet, who had never allowed another cat within fifty feet of our
house, took this friendless stranger under his care, let him share
his bread and milk, and even permitted him to sleep in the soft
bed which had been made especially for Jet's own use in a box
under the back porch. Little by little Jet's nature changed,
until he became so gentle that he would lie sleepily on the
door- mat and only wink when other cats wished to cross the yard.

I used to think that as the tramp cat and Jet lay together after
dinner in the sunshine, old Tramper would chat between naps with
his younger friend. He would tell Jet how glad he ought to be
that he had always had such a good home, and that he ought to be
getting wiser as he grew older; and that wise people do not like
to growl and to be cross and quarrelsome. They are cheerful
and happy, and like to see others have good times.

I felt sure that Tramper, as I called him, used to talk in this way
to Jet, although I never could catch him saying anything; when-
ever I came near they would both doze or pretend to be fast asleep,
or, at any rate, not talk so that I could understand. How-
ever that may be, I do know that Jet was better as an old cat
than ever he was as a kitten; and that his growing better
dated from the time when he was kind to poor, friendless

M. V. GiLLi]sr.


See my Kitty, —

Little Dot;—
Very pretty.

Is she not?
Soft and silky


Is her fur;
If you stroke it

She will purr.
Dot won't hurt you

With her claws;
Keeps them hidden

In her paws.
She's all white but

One wee spot,
That is why her

Name is Dot.
Often when my

Grandma knits,
Close beside her

Kitty sits.
Watching, watching

Grandma's ball,
Wishing she would

Let it fall.
When it does drop,

Oh! the- fun!
You should see how

Dot can run !
Dot has never

Caught a rat;
She's too little

Yet for that;
She is only

Good at play.
But she'll catch the

Rats some day.

Emilie Poulsson.


Once we had a beautiful cat with Wue eyes and a coat of soft
fur which was entirely white, except for a black tip on the tail
and a black spot over each eye. We called her Spotty, and she
was a great pet in the household.

When my brother played on the violin in the evening, Spotty,
who was always in the parlor at that time, would try to catch
the shadow of his bow on the door. Why she could not catch it
puzzled her greatly; but, of course, she never did.

At meal-times she was allowed to sit in my brother's lap, but she

IN THE child's WORLD. ■ 147

never lifted her head above the table, even when he was eating
fish, of which, you know, eats are very fond.

Spotty had four kittens. One was white, one black, one gray,
and one looked just like Sjaotty. She kept them on a carpet bed
under the front doorstep. When Spotty chose this place she
thought it would be very safe and comfortable for her babies,
but it did not prove so. One day, before the kittens were old
enough to open their eyes, there came a cold rainstorm. Down
poured the water through a crack between the doorstep and the
house, and poor Spotty found that her babies were getting wet.
I suppose she said to herself: " Mew! Mewl AVhat shall I do?
It is not good for such little babies to be wet. Let me see —
Whitie, I'll put you into this little corner where the rain does
not come. Blackie, I '11 wrap you in the carpet. Graylie, I can
cover you with my body. But what shall I do with my poor
little Spotty? I know you are uncomfortable, dear child, but
what can I do? xVh! I know! I will call the master; he will
take care of my babies! "

I suppose that is what Spotty said to herself; at any rate, as
we sat in the parlor we heard a loud mewing. My brother ran
out and found Spotty and her family just as I have described
them to you, under the doorstep in the wet. He took up the
kittens and carried them into the house. Spotty followed, jnirr-
ing loudly and rubbing against his leg, which was her way of
saying: "Thank you, master, for saving my babies."

Although poor Spotty's fur was wet through, she paid no atten-
tion to herself, but stood and watched while we rubbed the kit-
tens dry, wrajiped them up in warm flannel and laid them by the
stove. Then she went to the stove also, and began to lick her
fur. Before long the heat of the fire and the use of her tongue
had dried her coat nicely, so that she could lie down beside her
babies. They nestled up to her as if they were very glad to have
their mother again.

After the storm was Over my brother made another bed for
them in a place where the rain could not come, and Spotty had
no more trouble in bringing up her family.

Josephine Jarvis.

Cobden, 111.


To THE Teacher: —

We cannot, of course, make anything
like an exhaustive study of any subject
which we take up. Agassiz's whole life-
time and all his intellectual power were
inadequate to the one creature — the fish —
to which he devoted them; and the Greek
professor who had been absorbed in the
study of Greek grammar all his life regret-
ted on his death-bed that he had not con-
fined himself closely to one of the Greek
particles !
Hopeless indeed would be our task if the
only result aimed at were the actual knowledge which the children could
formulate after our talks Bvit we can hope to increase their interest in
the wonders that surround them and to train them to observant habits of
mind. So, although we must take all manner of pains to have our knowl-
edge accurate and thorough, in order that whatever impression i.s made
upon the children shall be correct, we must ever remember that our
object is to lead to observation, not to formulation.


(Begin the talk with a few review questions on the cat, so that
some of the salient points will be fresh in the children's minds.
These points would be that the cat has a backbone, gives milk to
its little ones, has four feet, ears that stand up, eyes that can see
in the dark, skin covered wath hair, and is affectionate and

Having thus established a basis for comparison of the two ani-
mals, let some child go to the window and tell what animal he
sees. If a dog is spoken of, notice the same points, though not
dwelling at length upon this animal.

A horse will doubtless soon be spied from the window. Let

IX THE child's AVORLD. U9

the description be given by different children, each child con-
tributing uii item.

As the items are given, lead to comparison, noticing both like-
nesses and differences.) Tlie horse has four feet. Is that like
the cat? like the dog? like a man? like a bird?

When Pussy walks does she make much noise? Suppose one
of those horses out in the street should come into the kindergar-
ten and walk about, could we hear him? What makes the
dift'erence? Yes; the horse is so big and heavy, that is one rea-
son; and another reason is that he has iron shoes on his feet
instead of just little soft cushions. Those little cushions grow
on Pussy's feet; do the iron shoes grow on the horse's feet? Who
makes the horse's shoes? If the horse had no shoes on, could he
step as softly as Pussy? No; because he is heavier, and because
his hoofs are hard and would make a noise. What are his hoofs?
(Probably none of the children have seen a horse's foot without
a shoe on. If a picture can be obtained, show it while making
the explanation.)

Look at the ends of your fingers. What do you see there?
Yes, finger-nails. And what does Pussy have on her feet besides
the cushions? Y'es, sharp claws. Now the horse's hoof is some-
thing like our finger-nails and Pussy's claws, only very much
]arger and thicker and harder and stronger. So, if the horse
should walk into the kindergarten, even without his iron shoes
on, we could hear him because of his hard hoofs.

What is the shape of the horse's face? Where are the horse's
eyes? He can see in front, at the side, and far back at the side;
and can see in faintest twilight also, though his eyes are not like
Pussy's. Instead of feeling about with whiskers, tlie horse feels
with his lips — can pick up even shortest grass by their help.

What is the horse's tail made of? Is it of any use? Where is
his mane? Is that of any use? What does the horse eat?
Fresh green grass, hay, oats, bran, etc. Where do they come
from? Yes, they grow. Who plants the oats? Who cuts the
grass? Does the horse do anything for the farmer? AVhat other
work can horses do? Watch the horses in the street and see
what you can find out to tell us about them — what color they
are, what kind of work they are doing, how they are fastened to

150 IX THK child's world.

the carts and wagons which they draw; perhaps your mamma or
pajaa will tell you a story about a horse.

(Draw the children's attention to the intelligence of the horse
by telling how the wild horses go in troojDS, little colts and
weaker ones in the center, and big, strong horses on the outside,
the biggest and strongest of all being the leader. Tell how obe-
dient all are to the leader, and how much safer and happier they
are because of that obedience.

As regards kind and unkind treatment of horses, something
should be said, but our efforts should mainly be directed toward
establishing such sympathetic feeling as will effectually dictate
kind treatment.

The discomfort of check-reins and blinders, the unwarranta-
ble mutilation of the dock-tail and the cruelty of whipping
should be discountenanced, of course; but better than much
inveighing against these things, especially with little children,
is the relating of stories suggestive of kind deeds.

For instance, tell of a child who prevented an accident by
picking up a big piece of paper which was blowing about the
streets and frightening the horses; or tell of the little girl who
lived on a hilly street and was sorry for the poor horses who
slipped so in going up and down, and how she used to go out
and sprinkle ashes on the slippery places.)

IN THE child's WORLD. 151


Winners in Life's Race (Chap. X), - - . Arabella Buckle]/

Online LibraryEmilie PoulssonIn the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes → online text (page 9 of 29)