CHAPTER I. [Chapter 12]


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SUSY said she didn't care if it did rain, she should be very happy playing with her baby-house with Robbie. She said this when she heard her mamma say that Frank and Charlie could not come to visit her if it should rain. It did not rain, but it snowed, and the wind blew, and by and by Susy's aunt sent her a little note which you shall see.

I am sorry that Frankie and Charlie can not spend the day with you to-day, as they have both bad colds. If it does not snow too hard, suppose you come and spend it with them? Give my love to your mamma, and tell her we want you very much. Frank sends you a little chair, with his love, and Charlie sends a book that he thinks you will like.
Your affectionate aunt,

Susy was delighted with this note, and delighted with the chair, and delighted with the book. She said she was afraid she should go crazy if she had any more presents. Her mamma thought there was going to be a real snow storm, and that Susy had better not go to her aunt's; and Susy thought so too, for she did not like to go and leave her new baby-house so soon. So her mamma wrote a little note, excusing her, and she and Robbie began to play. She told Robbie he must come to see her, and make believe he was a little gentleman, who wanted to engage a cook. On hearing this, Robbie's nurse said, "Wait a minute!" And she took him into another room and dressed him in his new clothes, so that when he came back he looked indeed like a little man. He came holding down his head, and smiling, and putting both hands into his pockets. Susy was astonished enough; she forgot all about her play, and ran to call her papa, who came running in, fearing something was the matter. But when he saw Robbie in his white trowsers, he began to laugh, and he said he never saw any thing so funny, and that he hoped his little boy had done now with girl's clothes for ever. Susy thought she would run down into the kitchen and tell Sarah to come and see Robbie; so away she went, and when she reached the kitchen, she saw a little pie on the hearth, which made her forget all about Robbie. She caught it up with both hands, but let it drop quickly, for it was very hot, as it had just been drawn form the oven. Susy was so ashamed of herself for getting burned so carelessly, that she would not cry, and Sarah brought a bowl of cold water, and told her to put both hands in. Susy did, and her fingers soon began to feel better, and she thought she would go and tell her mamma that she had burned them, but that they were now quite well. So she went first to the parlor but no mamma was there; then to her mamma's room, but she was not there. She knew now she must be in the nursery, and just as she reached the door, oh! how her fingers began to smart again! She ran in, crying, and holding up her hands, and when Robbie saw her, he began to cry too.



WHEN her mamma saw that Susy's fingers were burned, she went to her big bag in which she kept all sorts of things, to be used in sickness, and took from it an old soft handkerchief, and asked nurse to bring something from the closet which she would find in the right-hand corner. While nurse was looking for it, Susy held up her fingers, and her mamma saw that all were burned but one. Nine little white blisters were pretty hard to bear, and Susy could not help crying while they were being dressed. So her mamma was very sorry for her little darling, and she took her in her lap and began to talk to the fingers, to make Susy laugh and forget her pain.

"Come, Mr. Thumb," said she "and have a white cap on! And Miss Little-Finger! don't get in my way while I dress your sister! Why, Mrs. Fore-Finger! how you do behave!"

This nonsense amused Susy, and while she listened to it, she felt a little relieved, and began to smile in the midst of her tears. When the fingers were all nicely dressed, her mamma began to sing, and that made Susy forget all about her burns, and laugh outright. This is what was sung:
"Susy Miller, she burnt her little finger
Susy Miller, she burnt her little finger;
Susy Miller, she burnt her little finger.
One little finger burnt;
One little, two little, three little fingers,
Four little, five little, six little fingers;
Seven little, eight little, nine little fingers--
Nine little fingers burnt!"

This amused Susy a long time; her mamma kept singing it over and over and over; and when she got tired of doing that, she sung other songs about Susy's dolls, and about Robbie, till he drew near, riding on a stick, to listen and admire too, with his little face all covered with smiles of delight.

While they were all busy in this way, the door opened, and Susy's dear Aunt Lizzy came in. As soon as she saw the little row of burned fingers, she said she must repeat something funny to them, that would make them feel well. She did not know that Susy's mamma had been trying the same plan. So she laid aside her cloak and furs, and made Susy come and sit in her lap. Then she began,
Dance away, thumbkin, dancey; 
Dance away, merry men all,
But thumbkin, he can dance alone!

Dance away, foreman, dancey; 
Dance away, merry men all,
But thumbkin, he can dance alone!

Dance away, middleman, dancey; 
Dance away, merry men all,
But thumbkin, he can dance alone!

Dance away, ringman, dancey; 
Dance away, merry men all,
But thumbkin, he can dance alone!

Dance away, little man, dancey; 
Dance away, merry men all,
But thumbkin, he can dance alone!
This made Susy and Robbie laugh well, I can tell you, and Aunt Lizzy and their mamma laughed too; and Robbie said he knew something funny that his great-grandmother used to say to his mamma's toes when she was a little baby.

"What is it?" said Aunt Lizzy.

After a little coaxing, Robbie took Aunt Lizzy's hand, and beginning with her little finger, and so going on to her thumb, he said:

"Peedy, Peedy; Pally, Ludy; Lady Whistle; Lody Whostle; Great Odomondod!"

Oh, how Aunt Lizzy laughed! And she said she should go right home and tell it to her baby's toes, and see what they would say! So she kissed them all, and put on her cloak and furs, and went home, smiling all the way. By this time, Susy's fingers felt so well that she thought she would go and play with Robbie. She said they would make visits to each other. So she went to live in one corner of the room and Robbie in the other, and she said he might begin the play.

So Robbie came to visit her.

"How do you do, Mr. Miller?" said Susy. "Won't you take a seat?"

"I tan't very well," said Mr. Miller, who could not pronounce the letter c.

"How is your wife, Sir?" asked Susy.

"Oh, she's pretty well. She's dot a pain in her hand, I believe."

Well, Sir! you may go now. You've behaved very well, and I'll call to see you."

So she walked over to Robbie's corner, and knocked.

"Tome in!" said Robbie. "How do you do, Mrs. Miller?"

"Very well, I thank you, Sir. But one of my children is sick with lame legs. She fell from the table, and broke off her legs."

On hearing this, Robbie began to laugh.

"You mustn't laugh, Sir, when you hear that people's legs are broken off. Good-bye, Sir! I hope you will call soon."

Just then the bell rang for dinner.

"Oh, Robbie! don't you want to sit at the table with us?" said Susy.

She ran and asked leave, and his mamma said he might come, so they all went joyfully down together.



AFTER dinner, Susy went back to the nursery with Robbie, and they played with the baby-house together. She was very kind to Robbie, and let him take down all the chairs and tables and he was so pleased, that he kept stopping to kiss her, and say,

"My Susy! my Susy!"

Pretty soon their mamma came in, and told them it had done snowing, and there would be time for a little bit of a walk before dark. So nurse bundled them up in all their warm clothes, and away they went. Little children have a great deal done for them. Every little child who reads this book has to be dressed three hundred and sixty-five times every year; and undressed three hundred and sixty-five times. And every year they must have the same number of breakfasts, dinners, and suppers. And I hope they thank God for His kindness to them, at least as often as He provides some dear mother or nurse to do this dressing, undressing, and feeding for them. Do you, Ellie? Do you, Willie?

Susy and Robbie had a nice walk. Their mother took them to a book-store, where she bought a book for a sick child whom they were going to see, and while it was being tied up neatly, she took up another book and read a short story in it. It was a German story, and she repeated it to Susy and Robbie as they walked home:

"Two boys were once playing under a tree, when a nut fell from it, near them. One of them picked it up. The other boy said,

"It is my nut, for I saw it fall."

"No, it is mine," said the other, "for I picked it up."

Just then a larger boy came along, and he said,

"What are you disputing about?"

The little boys told him.

"Give it to me, " said he; "I will decide your quarrel for you."

So he cracked the nut, and gave one half the shell to one boy, saying, "This is for you, because you saw the nut fall." He then gave the other half shell to the second boy, saying, "This is yours, because you picked up the nut."

Then putting the kernel into his own mouth, he said, "And this is for my trouble in cracking it."

"Oh, what a naughty boy!" said Susy.

Robbie smiled, but did not say a word. I am sure he would not have done so.

"Susy," said their mother, "the little girl for whom I bought this book was born on the very day you were, so this is her birthday too. And I thought I would send her a present because she is sick, and poor too."

"How much did it cost, mamma?"

"Three shillings, I believe."

"Mamma, haven't I three shillings of my own?"

"Yes, dear."

"And mayn't I pay for this book, and send it to the little girl?"

"I thought you were saving your money to buy a Bible?"

"Yes, mamma, but I can wait till I learn to read better. And I should like to give my money to that little girl."

"Her mamma was very willing. She only wanted Susy to think a minute, before she decided to give up the Bible.

Robbie said, "I'll dive that little dirl my orange!"

His mamma smiled, and as soon as they got home, she sent the book and the orange to the little sick child, who had been lying still, all day, in bed, with no birthday presents, and who was made very happy by means of Susy and Robbie.

On to chapter 15

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