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FIVE LITTLE FRIENDS

[Illustration]

BY
SHERRED WILLCOX ADAMS

_ILLUSTRATED BY_
MAUD AND MISKA PETERSHAM

=New York=
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1922

_All rights reserved_




COPYRIGHT, 1922,

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

* * * * *

Set up and electrotyped. Published December, 1922.

Printed in the United States of America.




CONTENTS


PAGE

THE FIVE LITTLE FRIENDS AT SCHOOL 1

THE FIVE LITTLE FRIENDS IN VACATION 53

[Illustration: THE GOLDFISH]




THE FIVE LITTLE FRIENDS AT SCHOOL


Bob and Betty, Paul and Peggy and little Dot are five little friends.
They go to the same school. Many other children go to the school too,
but these five little friends are the ones this story is about.

Bob is the tall boy in the brown suit. Betty is the girl in the checked
dress. Paul is the boy with the white blouse. Peggy is the girl with
curls. Little Dot is the tiny child with bobbed hair.

Bob and Betty, Paul and Peggy and little Dot have a very fine teacher.
She is called Miss West. Many other children are in Miss West's room
too. But the five little friends are the ones this story is about.

One morning when the children came to school Miss West had a surprise
for them. On her desk was something large and round. It was all covered
with paper.

"Guess what this is, children," said Miss West.

"It is a balloon," said Bob.

"I think it is a football," said Paul.

"No, no, you are both wrong," said Miss West. She took the paper off.
What do you think it was?

It was a big glass bowl. In it were six goldfish. They were swimming
about in the water.

"Little folks," said Miss West, "these are our school pets. We must feed
them and give them fresh water. Then they will live a long time and we
can have fun watching them."

The children stood around the bowl. They watched the fish swim and
float. They laughed when one fish chased another round and round the
bowl. He looked very funny with his big mouth wide open.

Soon Miss West showed the children how to feed the fish. After that they
took turns in caring for them. Paul and Peggy had the first turn. Next
Bob and Betty had their turn. After that little Dot took care of the
fish all by herself. The other children had turns too. But this story is
about the five little children whose names you know.

One day Miss West said to the children, "How many of you little girls
and boys have pets of your own?"

A great many hands were raised.

"I have!" said Bob.

"I have!" said Paul.

"I have," "I have," "I have," said Betty and Peggy and little Dot.

"I have thought of a fine plan," said Miss West. "Each day one child may
tell the other children about his pet."

"What fun!" said Betty; and all the other children thought, "What fun
that will be!"

"Who will have the first turn?" asked Bob.

"We will play a game to see," said Miss West.

[Illustration]

So Miss West wrote the names of all the children on slips of paper Then
she put all the slips in Paul's cap. Next she blindfolded Peggy. Peggy
put her hand in the cap and drew out a slip. What name do you think was
on this slip? The name was _Dot_.

So the next day little Dot told about her pet. This is what she said:

"My pet is a white cat. Her name is Snowball. She is as white as snow.
When she curls up in front of the fire she is round like a ball.

"One day my daddy could not find his hat. He looked and looked and
looked for it. At last he found it in a dark corner under the stairs.

"There was something in the hat. First Daddy saw two bright eyes. Then
he saw Snowball all curled up in the hat. By her side were two little
baby kittens. They were just like their mother. We named them Fluff and
Muff. Now we have a happy cat family.

"Daddy never got his hat back. At first the kittens slept in it. Now
Fluff and Muff are so big they sleep in a box. But they like Daddy's hat
to play with. Fluff gets on one side and Muff on the other. Then they
pull and pull. Daddy's hat is almost worn out now."

The children liked little Dot's story very much. They laughed when they
thought of Fluff on one side and Muff on the other and Daddy's hat in
the middle.

The next day Betty was blindfolded. She put her hand in the cap and drew
a slip. This time _Paul_ was written on the slip. So it was Paul's turn
to tell about his pet. This is what he said:

"My pet is a big collie dog. His name is Hero. When my mother goes to
market she takes Hero with her. He trots by her side and carries a
basket in his mouth.

"Sometimes my mother sends Hero home with the meat and bread for dinner.
He goes right along. He does not stop or look around. When he comes to
our house he sets the basket down. Then he watches it until Mother
comes. If anyone calls, 'Here, Hero,' he pricks up his ears, but he will
not move from his place.

"One day I tried to coax him away with a big bone. I know the bone
looked and smelled good to Hero. He sniffed the air and looked at the
bone with hungry brown eyes, but he never moved from the basket.

"Last summer we went to the seashore. We took Hero with us. One day I
was on the beach, playing in the sand. Hero was lying asleep in the
sun. I was making a sand fort and my back was toward the sea.

"Suddenly a big wave dashed in and knocked me down. Then another big
wave came and carried me out into the water. As I did not know how to
swim, I was very much frightened. I tried to call out, but my mouth was
full of sea water. I could make only a little frightened sound; but Hero
heard me. What do you think he did? He jumped into the water and swam
out to me. I was too nearly drowned to catch hold of him. So he took my
clothes in his mouth and began to swim with me to the shore.

[Illustration: THE RESCUE]

"I was heavy, and Hero was almost worn out before he got there. But he
never once let go. He kept right on until he dropped me on dry land.
Then he lay panting on the sand.

"Just then Mother came to see where I was. When she saw what had
happened she hugged me hard. Then she hugged Hero hard too. The next day
she bought Hero a new collar with his name on it in big letters - HERO.
That night Hero had a big bone with lots of meat on it for his supper."

The children enjoyed Paul's story as much as they had Dot's. They
thought Hero was a fine name for such a brave dog. They said Paul was a
lucky boy to have a pet like that.

On another day little Dot was blindfolded. The slip of paper she drew
had this name on it - _Betty_. So it was Betty's turn to tell about her
pet. This is what she told:

"My pet is a pigeon. He is not just a common pigeon like the ones on the
church roof. He is a carrier pigeon. My Uncle Fred brought him from
France. He calls him the living airplane. Can you tell why?

"He is named Arrow. In France Arrow used to carry messages to the
soldiers. These messages were written on tiny slips of paper and tied
around Arrow's neck.

"When Uncle Fred came home he taught Arrow to go from my grandmother's
house to our house and straight back again. It was a ten mile trip.

"This is the way Uncle Fred did it. Almost every day he would feed Arrow
at both places. It was easy for him to do this as he used to ride over
to our house a great deal. When he took Arrow away from one place he
would leave some grain there. Arrow knew this. So when he was let loose
he would fly straight to the grain. He never seemed to lose his way or
stop in the wrong place.

"On Valentine's Day, Uncle Fred wanted to surprise me. He turned Arrow
loose at Grandmother's house with something tied around his neck by a
ribbon. Uncle Fred did not tell anyone what it was.

"Arrow flew straight to our house. When I saw him I ran out to his
feeding place. I spied the ribbon and untied it. I found a tiny gold
heart with my name on it. I liked this Valentine best of all."

[Illustration]

The boys and girls in the class enjoyed the story of Arrow. They liked
it so much that Betty said she would ask Uncle Fred to come to school
and tell about what Arrow did in France.

Another day when one of the pupils was blindfolded and drew a slip of
paper, the name on the slip was _Bob_. So at last it was Bob's turn.
This is the story Bob told:

"My pet is a pony named Dandy. Grandfather bought him for me. He got him
from a man who had a pony show. This man had taught Dandy many tricks.

"When I say, 'Dandy, how old are you?' Dandy lifts his right front foot
and brings it down three times. This is how he says that he is three
years old. When I say, 'Make a bow, Dandy,' he puts his front feet out
and bows his head almost to the ground. His mane hangs over his eyes and
he looks very funny.

"Dandy can play 'Hide-and-Go-Seek' too. This is the way he does it. I
take an ear of corn and show it to him. Then I run and hide it. I call,
'Come, Dandy, come.' He comes and looks all around for the corn. When he
finds it, he takes it in his mouth and trots around and around with it.
When I say, 'Bring it to me, Dandy,' he comes to me with the ear of corn
in his mouth. But when I try to take the corn, he shakes his head and
trots away again.

"One day I tried to play 'Hide-and-Go-Seek' with a handkerchief instead
of an ear of corn. Dandy did not like it this way. He looked at the
handkerchief. Then he sniffed at it. At last he shook his head and
turned away. He seemed to say, 'A game like that may be fun for a boy,
but it isn't fun for a pony. I am not going to play.'"

Everyone liked the story of Dandy. Some of the children asked to hear
some more about him. But Miss West said it was time for recess. So the
children went out into the school yard and played "Pony" and
"Hide-and-Go-Seek."

Another day someone drew Peggy's name on the slip of paper. And this is
what Peggy told:

"My pet is a big green and red parrot. She has a cage in the living
room. Mother calls her 'the General' because she likes to give orders.
When we sit down Polly calls out, 'Get busy! Get busy! Get busy!' If we
are too busy and do not notice Polly she rolls over on her back in the
bottom of the cage and cries, 'Come quick! Come quick! Polly's sick!
Polly's sick!' In the evening we put a cloth over Polly's cage to keep
her quiet. When the cloth is taken off in the morning she begins to
shout, 'Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!'

"One evening we forgot to put the cloth over Polly's cage. That night,
quite late, my big brother went down into the living room to find a book
he had been reading. When he turned on the light, Polly thought it was
day. She began to scream, 'Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!'

"Everyone _did_ wake up. At first we were frightened. But when we found
out what had happened we laughed and laughed. We laughed more when we
heard a voice croak, 'Come quick! Come quick! Polly's sick! Polly's
sick!'"

The girls and boys all laughed at the story of Polly. Paul wrote a poem
about her. This is what he wrote:

Upon my word,
Poll's a funny bird.

The children went around at recess saying this. They said some of
Polly's speeches too.

One day Miss West told the children a true story that was very, very
sad. It was about a blind man who sold papers. He had owned a little
dog that used to lead him to his work and watch him all day; but the
little dog had died. Now the poor man had no one to lead him. So he
could not sell his papers.

The children were very sorry for him. They wanted to do something to
help.

"Wouldn't it be fine," said Betty, "if we could buy him another dog?"

"But how can we get the money?" said Paul.

"We could give all our pennies, but that wouldn't be enough," said
little Dot.

"I know, I know!" cried Bob. "Let's give a show and have our pets for
the show animals."

[Illustration]

The children thought this was a fine plan. Miss West thought so too. She
let them plan for the show.

Then she let them make tickets. Each child made two tickets. They were
like the funny picture in the middle of this page.

Everyone who came had to pay for a ticket. Even the children who had
pets in the show had to pay.

When the big children heard about the Pet Show they bought tickets too.
Then they helped the five little friends get ready for the show.

The school yard was the show ground. The big boys made a gate for the
people to come through. They made pens for all the animals. Next they
printed some big signs to put on the pens. The signs were like these
only much, much bigger.

[Illustration: THE SIGNS WERE LIKE THESE ONLY MUCH, MUCH BIGGER]

At last it was the day of the Pet Show. Bob and Betty, Paul and Peggy
and little Dot came early with their pets. Soon the other children came
too. There were big children, and middle-sized children, and little wee
children.

When they stopped at the gate who do you think the ticket man was? It
was Hero with a basket in his mouth. The children dropped their tickets
into the basket. They patted Hero's shaggy head and called him "Good
dog" and "Brave old fellow."

He looked very kind but very, very solemn.

[Illustration: THEY DROPPED THEIR TICKETS INTO THE BASKET]

They went to all the pens to see the show pets. Dandy stood in his pen.
He looked very wise and very plump and shaggy. He poked his head out and
let the children stroke his mane.

In Polly's pen nothing could be seen but a big cage with a black cover
over it. Not one bright feather showed. Not a single sound came from the
cage.

Snowball and her kittens were curled up in their box. They were as quiet
as mice. All three had red and blue ribbons around their necks.

The pen with Arrow's name on it was empty. On the ground some grain was
scattered. By the grain were three light gray feathers. But no living
airplane could be seen. "Where can he be?" the children asked.

Just then Bob came out in front of the children. He was dressed like a
real showman. He had on a high hat and a long coat. "Ladies and
gentlemen," he said, in a funny deep voice, "the big show is about to
begin. Will you please find seats in the show tent?" The children
laughed and sat down on the ground.

[Illustration: HE WAS DRESSED LIKE A REAL SHOWMAN]

Bob went on talking like a showman. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said,
"you are now to see Dandy, the trick pony." When he had said this, Bob
went to the pen and brought Dandy out.

"Now Dandy," he said, "tell the ladies and gentlemen how old you are."
Dandy lifted his right foot and brought it down three times. The
children clapped their hands.

"Make a bow to the ladies and gentlemen, Dandy," said Showman Bob. Dandy
put his front feet out. Then he bowed his head almost to the ground. His
mane fell over his eyes and he looked very wise and funny.

Next Bob took an ear of corn from his pocket. He held it in front of
Dandy's nose. "Dandy, do you see this?" he said. Dandy nodded his head.
His mane fell over his eyes. He looked very funny and full of mischief.

"Now Dandy," said Showman Bob, "shut your eyes." Dandy winked and
blinked. Then he shut his eyes tight. "Keep your eyes shut till I call
'Come,'" said Bob. Then Bob started off with the ear of corn.

[Illustration: BOB HID THE EAR OF CORN BEHIND A BOX]

Dandy kept his eyes shut just one little minute. Then he opened them and
began to peep. He peeped very slyly to see where Bob was hiding the
corn. The children shouted with joy! Then Showman Bob came back. The
corn was still in his hand. He pretended to be angry. He made Dandy hide
his eyes once more.

Again Dandy peeped slyly to see where Bob was hiding the corn. At last
Showman Bob took little Dot's hat and tied it over Dandy's eyes. How the
children did laugh! Dandy looked so funny with a little girl's hat on.

Then Bob hid the ear of corn behind a box. He called, "Come, Dandy,
come!" Dandy shook his head very hard. The hat rolled on the ground.
Then Dandy began going round the show grounds. He stopped and sniffed at
everything. "Oh see!" said Peggy, "Dandy is looking with his nose!" Soon
Dandy sniffed at the box and found the ear of corn.

"Come, Dandy, come!" called Showman Bob. Dandy came trotting up with the
ear of corn in his mouth. But when Bob put out his hand for the corn
Dandy kicked up his heels and away he went. He ran round and round like
a pony in a circus.

The children clapped their hands and shouted. Dandy went faster and
faster. It was very exciting. At last Dandy stopped running. Then Bob
led him back to the pen. There the little pony munched the corn happily.

[Illustration]

Next it was Peggy's turn to show Polly. Showman Bob brought out a table.
Then he helped Peggy put Polly's big cage on it. Peggy lifted the black
cloth. There was Polly! She was the greenest, reddest, funniest parrot
you ever saw. She winked her eyes, shook her feathers, and called out,
"Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!" The children laughed; but they did not get
up. So General Polly sang out, "Get busy! Get busy! Get busy!" The
children soon knew what they must "get busy" about. Polly began to say
in her most coaxing voice, "Polly wants a cracker! Poor Poll! Pretty
Poll! Poor Polly wants a cracker!" This sounded so funny that everybody
laughed.

Peggy had some crackers in her pocket. She took them out and let the
children feed Polly. They poked bits of cracker through the wires of her
cage. Polly was not very polite. She pecked and grabbed and talked to
herself. But everything she did was so funny that the children enjoyed
it.

At last Polly had all the crackers she wanted. Then she grew tired and
cross. She began to scream, "Bad boy! Go away! Go away! Go away!" The
children ran back to their seats. General Polly was left all alone.

For a time she liked this. She swung on her perch and made queer noises
to herself. Then she grew tired. She threw herself on the bottom of the
cage and began to moan, "Come quick! Come quick! Polly's sick! Polly's
sick!" Then Peggy came with the black cloth, and General Polly was taken
to her pen.

[Illustration]

Next it was little Dot's turn to show her cat family. She was too shy to
play showman as Bob had done. She just came out in front of the
children and stood there. Snowball was in her arms and Fluff and Muff
were on her shoulders. She put Snowball down. Then she gave her
shoulders a shake and Fluff and Muff scrambled down to the ground.

Next Dot took two red balls from her pocket. Each ball had a long rubber
fastened to it. It would bounce high without rolling away. Dot put a
ball near each kitten's paws. Just as Fluff and Muff sprang to get the
balls, Dot pulled the rubber. You never saw such surprised kittens! They
sat still and looked with wide-open eyes. These were queer balls indeed
that flew up into the air instead of rolling on the floor. This was
something new and strange.

The next time Dot bounced the balls Fluff and Muff were ready. Up they
jumped, with their paws raised, but the balls sprang out of reach. "The
kittens are trying to be living airplanes, too," said Paul.

Next Dot went to the pen and brought something back. She held it up and
said shyly, "This is Daddy's hat. It used to be the kittens' bed. Now it
is their plaything."

[Illustration]

When she had said this she threw the hat on the ground. Quick as a wink
Fluff was on one side of it and Muff was on the other. Then they began
to paw and pull. Fluff pulled one way. Muff pulled the other. It was a
real pulling match. Some of the children cried, "I think that Fluff
will win." Others cried, "Hurrah for Muff."

Just then a queer noise was heard. Can you guess what it was? It was the
brim of Daddy's hat. It had torn all the way around - _rip, rip, rip_.
Off it came so suddenly that both little kittens rolled over backward.

All the children clapped their hands and laughed aloud. This frightened
Fluff and Muff. They scampered to their mother as fast as their little
white feet could carry them. This ended the act of the cat family.

Next it was Betty's turn to show Arrow. But Arrow's pen was still
empty. Betty whispered to Miss West. Miss West rose and said, "While we
are waiting for the next act, let's sing together." She started a song
everyone knew. All the children joined in.

Just as they were singing a second song, something happened. A light
speck was seen moving through the air. It came nearer and nearer. At
last it circled round the pen, where the grain was scattered. Then it
flew slowly to the ground. It was Arrow, the living airplane.

The children crowded about the pen to see. "Look," said one of them.
"There is something around Arrow's neck!" Betty bent over and looked.
Yes, there _was_ something. She untied it quickly. On a piece of paper
was written, "This is Arrow's gift to the blind man." In the paper was a
bright five dollar gold piece.

Betty read aloud what was on the paper. Then she held up the five dollar
gold piece. How the children did shout and clap their hands. "Hurrah for
Betty's Uncle Fred!" they cried. "Hurrah for the living airplane!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" When the last shout had been given, Showman
Bob stepped out. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said in his deep showman's
voice, "we thank you for coming to the Pet Show. We know the blind man
will thank you too when he gets his new dog. The show will now close
with a grand parade!"

Then Bob made a showman's bow and went behind the schoolhouse. Soon a
drum began to beat - _tum, tum, tum_. The parade was coming! First
marched Showman Bob beating the drum. Behind him was Betty carrying a
big American flag. On her shoulder was Arrow, the living airplane. Next
came brave old Hero pulling a little cart. In the cart were Snowball,
Fluff, and Muff and what was left of Daddy's hat. Dot marched beside the
cart. After them came Dandy. Paul was walking by his side and holding
something on his back. It was Polly's cage with the black cover off.

[Illustration]

Pretty Poll was peeping from behind the wires. She looked surprised and
a little bit frightened. Suddenly she rolled on her back at the bottom
of the cage. The last thing the children heard as the parade passed out
of sight was, "Come quick! Come quick! Polly's sick! Polly's sick!"

I wish the children who read this book could hear about the blind man
and his new dog but that is another story.

[Illustration: THE LUNCH WAS PACKED AND OFF THE CHILDREN WENT]




THE FIVE LITTLE FRIENDS IN VACATION


I

Soon after the Pet Show, school closed for the summer vacation. The
children said good-bye to each other and to Miss West.

For weeks everybody had been busy making plans for the summer.

Paul went to the seashore and you may be sure brave Hero was taken
along.

Bob and his family went to the seashore too; and, what was best of all,
they took a cottage not far from where Paul lived.

Dandy was sent out to the country.

Betty's mother said, "I want to have my little girl spend a summer on a
farm - a real farm," so they went to Mr. White's.

See if you can guess who went with them!

No, it wasn't Arrow. The living airplane was left with Uncle Fred at
Grandmother's. It wasn't Miss West. She went away on a long trip across
the ocean. It was a very nice little person whose name begins with _D_,
and it was another very nice little person whose name begins with _P_.

Peggy's mother went too, but Poll was sent to a bird shop. Little Dot's
mother stayed in the city with Dot's father and the cat family to keep
them from getting lonely.

Dot promised to be a good girl and to do just what the other mothers
told her.

It was a bright June afternoon when the three little girls and the two
mothers got off the train at a little country station. Mr. White came to
meet them. He and Billy, the hired man, piled all the trunks and bags in
a wagon. Then Billy climbed up on the high seat and cracked his whip,
saying, "Get-up! Get-up!" The horses pulled, the dust flew, and away
the wagon went. Then Mr. White packed the mothers and the little girls
into his automobile and away they also went to the farm.

The farm was the very nicest place in the whole world. At least that is
what the three little girls thought. Everything about it was nice. The
rooms were big and cool and low. The wide side porch was a lovely place
to eat dinner. The big low attic was splendid for rainy-day play; but
the very, very nicest of all the nice things at the farm was Mary
White.

Mary was nine years and she had lived on the farm all her life. She knew


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Online LibrarySherred Willcox AdamsFive Little Friends → online text (page 1 of 3)