“You haven’t been away long enough to stop and talk with anyone on the road!” laughed Mamma. “Are you sure you have not been dreaming?” Marjorie wondered if it really had only been a dream, but the next morning when the golden sunshine peeped through her bedroom curtains, Marjorie did as Merry Chuckle had told her the day before. First of all she woke up and cried, “Oh what a lovely day this is going to be!” Then she took three long, deep breaths and then she jumped out of bed quickly, right on her toes. And, sure enough, old Witchy Crosspatch had to go back to Make-Believe Land and hide her head, so Marjorie spent a lovely, happy day with Merry Chuckle.
“I hope all children will hear of my recipe for a joyous day,” said Merry Chuckle, “so that each day for them can be filled with sunshine and happiness!”
GRANDFATHER SKEETER-HAWK’S STORY
It was a beautiful day in the late summer. Tommy Grasshopper, Johnny Cricket and Willy Ladybug were playing on a high bank of the river, and watching the little fish jumping after tiny flies and bugs that fell upon the surface of the stream.
“Let’s go up higher so that we can see them better,” Willy Ladybug said.
“Yes, let’s climb up on the tall reeds so that we can look right down in the water,” Johnny Cricket said. “But we must be very careful and not fall, for the fish would soon swallow us, and that would not be very much fun!” he laughed.
So Tommy Grasshopper and Johnny Cricket caught hold of Willy Ladybug’s four little hands and helped him to climb up the tall reeds, for Willy was not as old as the other Bug Boys, and might fall in the water if they did not help him.
From the tall reeds the three Bug Boys could look down in the water and see the pretty little sun fish and the long slim pickerel darting around and turning their shiny sides so that the sun would reflect its rays on them, just as if they were looking glasses.
The Bug Boys watched the fish until they grew tired, and they were just starting down the tall reed when a great big dragon fly flew upon the top of the reed and called to them.
Of course all the Bug Boys knew old Gran’pa Skeeterhawk—for it was he—so the three returned to the reed and sat down again to pass the time of day with Gran’pa.
Presently Willy Ladybug saw a strange fish in the water.
“What kind of a fish is that, Gran’pa Skeeterhawk?” he asked.
“That’s a catfish!” Gran’pa replied. “Queer looking fish, the catfish are; they do most of their feeding at night since Omasko, the elk, flattened their heads.”
“Dear me! Are their heads flat?” Johnny Cricket asked.
“Flat as a pancake!” Gran’pa Skeeterhawk replied, and then told them this story:
“I’ve heard my Gran’pa tell that once the catfish had heads that were shaped like sunfish,” Gran’pa Skeeterhawk said, “and they thought that they were not only the most beautiful fish but the fiercest fighters in the world, although they would always swim away as fast as they could whenever anything came near them. You see, they really were not even a teeney, weeney bit brave.