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Somebody stole softly up behind him; two paws blindfolded his eyes

"All aboard for Pond Lily Lake!" he cried gaily

The heavy furniture cart was pulled down the last hill

"Will you walk into my parlor, Dr. Whiskers?"

Dr. Whiskers worked deftly away, setting the broken limb

Webbie Spider raised his paw

They worked bravely with Uncle Squeaky for captain

The little band began to play Silvy's Waltz

Dr. Whiskers twisted and pulled upon the hook

It was long past midnight when tired old Grand-daddy pulled off his boots.

"Fetch that creoline bottle, Silvy," repeated Grand-daddy sternly.

"Hold your breath, now"

They had good fun picking the brown nuts from the soft, silky linings of
the burrs.

Sure enough, next morning poor Buster could hardly see out of his eyes.

"And so," explained Uncle Squeaky, "he went on a hop, skip and jump like

He folded his paws as Mammy had taught him long ago, tossed his head high
and sang merrily.




Nimble-toes Field-mouse trotted briskly along the dark subway and up the
steep attic stairway in Mr. Giant's house. He had travelled a long way
from his woodland home and it was getting late. The door of the cosy attic
where Cousin Graymouse lived was ajar. Nimble-toes paused to get his
breath and peep in at the busy, happy family.

Mother Graymouse sat in her rocking-chair singing to little Squealer.
Tiny, Teenty and Buster Graymouse were playing upon the floor near by with
their cousins, Wink and Wiggle Squeaky. Aunt Squeaky and Uncle Hezekiah
were busy around the stove. Grand-daddy and Granny Whiskers sat in the
chimney corner waiting patiently for their supper.

From the pantry came Silver Ears Graymouse and Dot Squeaky, bringing food
to the table.

"I hope Limpy-toes Graymouse and Scamper Squeaky have not gone away,"
thought Nimble-toes.

Somebody stole softly up behind him; two paws blindfolded his eyes.

"It is Limpy-toes," he guessed, trying to be brave in that dark, strange

"Right you are, Nimble-toes," laughed Limpy-toes. "Scamper and I have been
over to the store to get some cheese. I thought you were a burglar, just
at first. Push open the door and trot in."

"It is Cousin Nimble-toes!" cried a noisy chorus of little mice.

"It is Nimble-toes Field-Mouse, sure as I'm a mouse!" declared Uncle
Squeaky. "Welcome to our attic, my lad."

[Illustration: Somebody stole softly up behind him, two paws blindfolded
his eyes.]

"You must be hungry after your long tramp, Nimble-toes," said Mother
Graymouse. "Supper is all ready."

The little mice crowded around their cousin from the Pond Lily Lake
country. They all talked at once, squealing excitedly and asking all sorts
of questions, until poor Nimble-toes was bewildered.

At last he climbed upon a little red stool and shouted in Uncle Squeaky's

"I've a message for Grand-daddy Whiskers. Please make 'em be still a
minute, Uncle Hezekiah."

Uncle Squeaky rapped smartly upon the floor with his cane. At once there
was silence.

"Fetch your little stools and sit down to supper, every last mouse of
you!" he commanded. "Let your victuals fill your mouths and stop your
noise. Nimble-toes has brought a word for Grand-daddy."

In a twinkling they were all seated around the long table. Nimble-toes sat
beside Grand-daddy, so he could talk with him easily, for Grand-daddy's
left ear had been torn in a trap and he was somewhat deaf.

"Now we are as still as mice," chuckled Grand-daddy. "Speak out,

"I have a message from our woodfolk, Grand-daddy," began Nimble-toes. "No
one could write a letter, so they told me what to say. I've said it
forty-'leven times, lest I forget. The message is from Pa Field-Mouse,
Squire Cricket, Sir Spider, Daddy Grasshopper, Mr. Hop Toad, and Mr. Jack
Rabbit. They bade me say this:

"Dr. Grand-daddy Whiskers -

"We woodfolk are sometimes sick; we need a doctor. We wish our children to
have a teacher. They must learn to read and write. Our wives must learn to
cook and sew. We wish to be civilized. We miss Uncle Squeaky's band.
Please come to Pond Lily Lake and help us."

"We'll come, all right, Nimble-toes," interrupted Wiggle.

"We'll surely come," promised Wink. "Hurrah for another summer at Pond
Lily Lake!"

"Hush! hush!" cried Mother Graymouse.

"You will put your noses in a dark corner instead of eating supper, if you
interrupt again," warned Uncle Squeaky, scowling at his excited twins.

"Are there many sick ones?" asked Grand-daddy.

"Squire Cricket has a sore throat, Lady Spider is ailing, and almost
everyone is sneezing," replied Nimble-toes.

"They really need you, Grand-daddy," advised Aunt Belindy Squeaky.

"Our kiddies need the country sunshine after being shut up all winter in
this attic," added Mother Graymouse.

"Limpy-toes shall help Grand-daddy, I'll be his nurse, and Dot will make a
lovely school teacher," planned Silver Ears.

"I'd love to teach the little Spider, Cricket and Grasshopper kiddies,"
smiled Dot Squeaky.

"Ah, there's lots of goodies down by the Lake!" reminded Buster. "There's
strawberries, blueberries, apples, potatoes, sweet corn - let's go right
away, Grand-daddy."

Granny Whiskers sat silently rocking while the others chattered eagerly.
Grand-daddy watched her as she wiped away a tear and sighed wearily.

"What do you say, Granny? You enjoyed last summer's vacation at the Lake,
didn't you?" he asked.

"Ah, Zenas, it was pleasant enough; pleasant enough, to be sure! But I
cannot bear to think of leaving our dear attic home. You went away last
winter with Hezekiah and Scamper. And what happened? Why, we nearly
fretted our hearts out, waiting for your return. Something was always
happening at the Lake. Baby Squealer got lost, Wiggle 'most got drowned,
Limpy-toes came near burning to death, and the barn burned to the ground.
If you listen to me, Zenas Whiskers, you'll tell Pa Field-Mouse and his
neighbors that you cannot be their doctor. Let us stay safely in our attic
where there is nothing to harm us."

Grand-daddy looked sadly disappointed.

"I always wanted to live in the country and be a doctor, Granny," he

"Bless my stars, Granny," laughed Uncle Squeaky, "we found Squealer
without much fuss; Nimble-toes fished Wiggle out of the pond, and
Limpy-toes didn't get even the patch on his trouser's knee scorched. To be
sure, the barn did burn down. Lucky we were at the Lake, I'm thinking.
Just take a nap, Granny, and forget your notion that this attic is the
safest spot in the world. Nimble-toes' coming has stirred up my Gipsy
blood. It is summertime again and the country is the place for your Uncle
Hezekiah. We'll start for the Lake as soon as we can pack our belongings,
Nimble-toes. Let me give you some more pudding."

"I really feel called to go, Granny," argued Grand-daddy earnestly. "Just
think of those kiddies who cannot read or write. You can help Betsey and
Belindy teach their mothers how to make these delicious puddings and
cookies. You can help me brew medicines. Think of those poor kiddies, as
sweet and good as our own pretty ones, and they may be having the colic,
or the tooth-ache, the whooping-cough or the measles, and never a doctor
to dose 'em with peppermint and cure-all salve. I see that you and I are
needed at the Lake."

Granny began to look interested.

"I suppose so, Zenas, I suppose so. I know you are a good doctor, a grand
doctor, indeed. But it's a big risk to leave our cosy attic home and
travel amid dangers."

"We will go, Granny," decided Grand-daddy. "I promise you solemnly that
Hezekiah and I will take good care of our big family and bring you all
back, safe and sound, before snow flies."

Granny still looked worried.

"Ah well, Zenas, we shall see! Ah yes, we shall see!" she sighed as she
sipped her tea.

After supper the little mice had to show Nimble-toes all the wonderful
toys that Uncle and Grand-daddy had brought from the city.

Uncle Squeaky began to pull out boxes and bags in which to pack his shirts
and neckties.

"Hurrah, Grand-daddy!" he cried. "I'm as excited as the kiddies. Bless my
stars, but they are giving Nimble-toes a jolly good time! Pond Lily Lake
until snow flies ah, but it's a great country down there!"

"I'm a-thinking if I do much doctoring and we fetch greedy Buster, little
Squealer, and those mischievous twinnies of yours home safe and sound,
that it will not be all vacation fun between now and snow-time," said
Grand-daddy. "Better tuck the kiddies into the blankets early, Hezekiah.
We have a busy day ahead of us on the morrow."



Their attic home was a bare-looking place by the next evening. All day
long the little mice had trotted down the dark subway, carrying their
treasures to the entrance near Mr. Giant's back doorstep. Here was hidden
the cart which Grand-daddy had made from a stout box and four big spools.
It was piled high with furniture, boxes of food and clothing, and all
sorts of supplies.

Dot and Silver Ears had rummaged in Mrs. Giant's trunk and chosen pretty
pieces of cloth from which they could make dainty summer gowns. Aunt
Squeaky and Mother Graymouse had spent the day baking ginger cookies,
jelly tarts, and other goodies. Granny Whiskers had helped Grand-daddy
make a stout bag and packed it with his precious medicines.

Near their furniture cart stood the wonderful automobile which Limpy-toes
had invented and built in the long winter evenings. He had taken the
wheels and springs from an old clock in the attic. The whole family was
quite proud of Limpy-toes' automobile. Early the next morning, he meant to
make a trial trip and take Dr. Grand-daddy to the Lake.

"Please let me ride with you and Grand-daddy, Limpy-toes?" begged Buster.

"Better not, Buster Boy," grinned Uncle Squeaky. "There's a whole load of
goodies on our cart. Mammy and Aunt Belindy baked lots of good stuff to

"Mammy will give me some cakes in my pocket. I want to ride in the
automobile. Please let me, Limpy?"

"All right," agreed Limpy-toes good-naturedly. "Cousin Nimble-toes may
ride also."

Nimble-toes opened his eyes wide.

"Excuse me, if you please, Limpy-toes," he said quickly. "I will help
Uncle Squeaky pull the cart. I'm sort of scared of a cart that'll go
without pulling or pushing. It may run away with you."

"And it may have to be pushed or pulled," teased Uncle Squeaky.

"It is every bit as good as Mr. Giant's automobile," insisted Buster. "I'm
not the leastest bit scared. I know it will go whizzing. Ah, what sport we
will have!"

"Grand-daddy will start very early, for he must find a house near his
patients. If you wish to ride with Limpy-toes, you must trot off to bed
right now, Buster," decided Mother Graymouse. "Aunt Belindy and I are
going down cellar to say good-by to Polly Scrabble and her babies."

Next morning, while the Giant family were sound asleep, Grand-daddy,
Limpy-toes and Buster tip-toed softly down to the entrance.

"Do not make too much noise cranking your automobile, Limpy-toes,"
whispered Grand-daddy. "We do not wish to disturb Mr. Giant." Limpy-toes
pushed in the key and began to wind the stiff spring.

"See if you can turn it any more, Grand-daddy. Perhaps your paws are
stronger than mine."

Grand-daddy gave it several twists. Then Limpy-toes hopped upon the seat
and grasped the wheel.

"All aboard for Pond Lily Lake!" he called gaily. Grand-daddy and Buster
scrambled in. The automobile made a dash through the chrysanthemum bushes
into the driveway. On and on they sped, past the new barn, by the poultry
houses and the sweet apple tree. Grand-daddy pulled his cap closer.

"Ah!" cried Buster, "this is fun. But is it running away, Limpy-toes?"

"Oh, no, I am steering it and can stop any minute," answered Limpy-toes.

"A wonderful invention," praised Grand-daddy. "Now if any creature is
sick, Dr. Whiskers will be there in a jiffy. Ah! What is the trouble,

The automobile had come to a sudden stop at the edge of Mr. Giant's

"It has stopped," explained Limpy-toes.

"So I see," chuckled Grand-daddy.

[Illustration: _"All aboard for Pond Lily Lake!" he called gaily._]

"I'll crank it up." So Limpy-toes pushed in the key and wound, and wound,
and wound. Then they started on again.

"Runs fine," said Grand-daddy.

"'Most takes my breath away," gasped Buster. "Say, Limpy-toes, why are we

"Run down again, I guess," sighed Limpy-toes.

"Must we stop every few minutes and wear our paws out cranking it up
forty-'leven times?" grumbled Grand-daddy.

Again they were off - and again they stopped. This time they were in the
middle of Mr. Giant's clover field.

"Sakes alive, Limpy-toes! Suppose I was on my way to see a sick mouse?
He'd die maybe, or else be all cured, before I could ever get there."

"Automobiles need lots of twistity," argued Buster. "Mr. Giant has to
twist his automobile. I heard Robert Giant say there was twistity in the

"Why doesn't it go this time?" demanded Grand-daddy.

"The key must have bounced out when we struck that big stone near the ash
heap," said Limpy-toes. "I will trot back and find it."

"And I'll take my stout cane and my own strong legs and trot toward the
Lake, if you don't mind," decided Grand-daddy. "You and Buster can finish
your pleasure trip a little at a time, but I have business to look after
and a house to hire before the rest of the family catch up with us."

He started off at a brisk pace. Buster sat on the front seat and nibbled
ginger cookies, while Limpy-toes limped back to find the lost key.

By-and-by, Buster's cookies were all eaten, so he strolled off to help

"Never mind, Limpy," he said, looking up into his big brother's sad face.
"It is a fine automobile, if you do have to twist it often. We can have
nice rides around the Lake."

But Limpy-toes would not be comforted.

"I wanted an automobile that would fetch Dr. Grand-daddy to his patients
very quickly. I must study until I make better power than this clock
spring. Ah, here is the key! We must hurry, or Uncle Squeaky will catch up
and laugh to find us by the roadside."

Grand-daddy and Pa Field-Mouse were standing on the bungalow steps talking
earnestly together when Limpy-toes drove up.

"A fine automobile, Pa Field-Mouse," said Grand-daddy, waving his paw. "My
grandson is a great inventor; he will be famous some day."

"Ah!" cried Buster, "how good our Gray Rock Bungalow looks! See the pretty
hemlocks and sweet ferns, Limpy."

"Wait until you see the fine house the neighbors have built for me!"
exclaimed Grand-daddy. "They felt sure that I would come. Silvy would call
it Wild Rose Cottage. It is a real bower of roses. Here come our folk,
now. Wait and I'll tell you all about it."

The heavy furniture cart was pulled down the last hill and stopped at the
door of Gray Rock Bungalow. Grand-daddy held up his paw and hushed the
merry chatter of the travellers.

[Illustration: _The heavy furniture cart was pulled down the last

"Listen!" he cried. "Do not unload my belongings. These kind woodfolk have
made me a splendid house right at the center of their village. I want
Limpy-toes to be my helper and stay with me. If Dot teaches school, she
must come with us, for her scholars live near by. Granny needs Silvy to
help with the housework. She and Dot can be together and when I need a
nurse, Silvy will be right handy."

"A fine plan," agreed Uncle Squeaky, "only our family at the Gray Rock
will be rather small."

"Limpy-toes will fetch us all over in the automobile every evening,"
smiled Silver Ears. "I shall love to help Granny and be with Dot. May
Limpy-toes and I go, Mammy? You will not mind?"

"Surely you may go, dearie," smiled Mother Graymouse bravely. "You will be
happiest where you can do the most good, and Granny needs you just now."

"With such a small family, Betsey and I can manage the work nicely," said
Aunt Squeaky.

"Ah, it is good to get back to our woodland home!" cried Uncle Squeaky.
"Many paws will soon set our rooms in order. Then we will trot over to
Wild Rose Cottage and help Dr. Whiskers get his pine-needle beds ready
before moon-rise."



"Good-morning to you, Grand-daddy!" said Uncle Squeaky cheerily the next
morning. "How are all the folk at Wild Rose Cottage?"

"Nicely, Hezekiah, nicely," grinned Dr. Whiskers. "Dot and Silvy are
helping Granny make our rooms cosy, and I am going to visit my first

"I want Limpy-toes to go over to Polly-Wog Bridge and help get my boat
afloat upon the Lake. I mean to catch some fish and have Belindy fry 'em
for dinner."

"Limpy-toes has gone with Nimble-toes to fetch a load of wood. They will
soon be at home. It is only a short walk to Sir Spider's house; I shall
not need Limpy-toes this morning."

[Illustration: _Will you walk into my parlor Dr. Whiskers?"_]

"Is Sir Spider ill?" asked Uncle Squeaky.

"Lady Spider has been cleaning her parlor. She is overtired and ailing and
wishes to see me."

"Hm!" said Uncle Squeaky thoughtfully, "I heard Ruth Giant sing a song one

'Will you walk into my parlor,
Said the Spider to the fly.'

"If I remember aright, that fly came to grief in Lady Spider's parlor.
Better watch out, Dr. Grand-daddy."

"Don't worry, Hezekiah, and good-day to you, for I must be on my way. I
will keep out of Lady Spider's parlor."

Dr. Whiskers rapped upon Sir Spider's door. Lady Spider opened it.

"Will you walk into my parlor, Dr. Whiskers?" she said sweetly, as she
held aside the cobweb draperies of her spick-and-span parlor.

Dr. Whiskers wanted to run away. Those were the very words that Uncle
Squeaky had recited!

"Ah, well," he decided quickly, "as I am not a fly and have my stout cane
in my paw, I'll be a brave doctor mouse and try to cure Lady Spider. Maybe
she is not so sly as some folk think."

So he entered her pretty parlor, admiring the beautiful silken draperies.

"I am glad that you have come to our village, Dr. Whiskers," began Lady
Spider, sitting beside him on the moss green divan. "We've had a hard
time. Sir Spider lost one of his legs a while ago; but would you believe
it - a new one has begun to grow! He feels better and is building a bridge
across our brook. I'm just worn out with the Spring cleaning and spinning,
and the care of my big family. My eyes ache all the time, Dr. Whiskers."

"Ah, yes! Spring fever, I've no doubt. I have been told that you are very
busy, - a skillful weaver and splendid housekeeper. But my dear Lady
Spider, health is better than silk draperies. I fear you strain your many
eyes searching for dust and dirt. When my one pair of eyes get tired, I
have a headache; with your many eyes, you must suffer much pain. But cheer
up. I will give you some medicine and you will soon feel like a new
Spider. Please fetch a glass of water."

Dr. Whiskers took a bottle of dried checker-berries from his bag. He
dropped ten of them into the water.

"These red pills are a splendid tonic. Take a sip of the medicine several
times each day and your many eyes will stop aching."

"I will follow your directions carefully, Dr. Whiskers," smiled Lady
Spider. "Is there really to be a school where my little Webbie, Spinnie,
Tony, and Patty can be taught the civilized ways of your learned family?"

"We have just arrived at the Lake and are hardly settled. There will soon
be a school. My grand-daughter, Dot Squeaky, will be the teacher. A sweet
young lady mouse she is, if I am her grand-daddy and maybe ought not to
boast of her smartness. I must bid you good-day, Lady Spider. I will come
in next week and see if you are better."

"A very pleasant call," thought Dr. Whiskers, as he trotted along the
country road. "Lady Spider does not seem to be a harmful creature. Hello!
Here I am at Squire Cricket's gateway. I must cure his sore throat."

Squire Cricket came to the door. He wore a red flannel around his neck and
his voice was hoarse as he greeted Dr. Whiskers.

"Nimble-toes said you needed some medicine," began Dr. Whiskers. "I see
you are wearing the red flannel that Granny sent. She believes that red
flannel will cure almost anything."

"It's no good," croaked Squire Cricket. "I've worn it ever since
Nimble-toes fetched it, and I'm still as hoarse as Grandpa Bull Frog."

"Ah well, if Mistress Cricket will fetch a glass of water, I will fix a
gargle that will help you."

He sprinkled some salt into the water which Mistress Cricket brought.

"Now, Squire Cricket, if you will use this mixture, a spoonful every hour,
and rub a little cure-all salve under your red flannel at night, we'll
soon have your voice as clear as a lark's, and the soreness all gone. How
many kiddies shall you send to my grand-daughter's summer school, Mistress

"Our two children, Sammie and Fidelia, must go. I hope Miss Squeaky will
teach music. Our children love to fiddle. We all enjoyed Mr. Squeaky's
band last summer. It was good news when we heard that you were coming back
to the Lake."

Just then, Sammie Cricket hopped excitedly in.

"Oh, Dr. Whiskers, old Daddy Longlegs has had an accident! He wants you to
come at once," cried Sammie.

Dr. Whiskers snatched up his bag and rushed across the fields to Daddy
Longleg's home.

"I've broken one of my legs, Dr. Whiskers," cried Daddy Longlegs. "Can you
mend it for me, or must I limp on a cane the rest of my days?"

"Mend it? Of course I can," laughed Dr. Whiskers. "Let me catch my breath.
I hustled some and am puffing considerable. Now then for some splints and
a stout string. If you were younger, I'd rub in some cure-all salve and
wait for another leg to grow, as Sir Spider's has done. We'll take no
chances, however; I'll mend your broken leg."

Dr. Whiskers worked deftly away, setting the broken limb and wrapping it
neatly in splints and a white bandage. Now and then he whistled a bit of
Mammy's Lullaby, for he was happy in his work.

"It feels 'most as good as new; just a bit stiff," declared Daddy
Longlegs. "I don't know how we have managed all these years without a
doctor. Welcome to our village, Dr. Whiskers!"

"A beautiful village it is," replied Grand-daddy. "I like to spend my
summers near Pond Lily Lake. Now I must say good-day. Don't use that leg
for a few days and it will mend all right. No crutches for old Daddy
Longlegs this time."

That evening the whole family gathered at Gray Rock Bungalow. Dr. Whiskers
had many stories to tell of his first day's practice in the Lake village.

[Illustration: _Dr. Whiskers worked deftly away, setting the broken

Uncle Squeaky brought out his fiddle and all the little mice stood around
his arm-chair and sang their merry songs.

"Come, Dr. Whiskers," called Granny at last, "we must start home. You have
had a busy day and Dot wants Limpy-toes to build her school-room tomorrow.
Good-night, folkses. Yes, Limpy-toes, I suppose I can ride in your
automobile. But do be careful and not break your old Granny's neck. We
must all help Grand-daddy to keep his promise to fetch us all safely to
our dear attic home before snow flies."



The spot which Dot chose for her schoolroom was down in a lane behind Wild
Rose Cottage.

Uncle Squeaky helped Scamper and Limpy-toes set four strong corner posts
and made a roof of green boughs to shelter the kiddies when it rained; but
there were no walls to shut out the fresh air and sunshine. There were
rows of green mossy seats and a desk in which Dot could keep her books and

Tiny, Teenty and Buster gathered wild flowers to decorate their pretty

Pete and Dickie Grasshopper stopped on their way home from the Lake.

"May we come to school, Miss Dot?" asked Dickie.

"Surely; any one who wishes to learn to read and write may come. But you

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Online LibraryNellie Mabel LeonardGrand-Daddy Whiskers, M.D → online text (page 1 of 3)