And a number of people who were working in the fields ran out to see what had happened, and you may be sure that they were surprised to see these strange dolls. And they spoke a strange language which neither Kernel Cob nor Sweetclover could make out.
“I wonder where we are,” said Sweetclover, “and who these people can be?”
“They’re very funny,” laughed Kernel Cob, “I never saw shoes like those before. They look like boats.”
“They’re made of wood,” said Sweetclover.
And just then a little Dutch girl—for you have guessed that they were in Holland—came over and picked them up and carried them off into her house.
And little Antje, for that was her name, played with them all day, and, when night was come, she put them to sleep in a chair before the fireplace where it was nice and warm and cosy.
And, in the middle of the night, a cricket came out on the hearth stone and began to chirp.
“Chirp, chirp, chirp,” sang the cricket, and Kernel Cob woke up and rubbed his eyes and listened.
“Hello, Mister Cricket,” shouted Kernel Cob peering over the side of the chair.
And the Cricket hopped over to where Kernel Cob was lying.
“Who are you?” he chirped.
“I’m Kernel Cob. And Sweetclover and I are looking for Jackie and Peggs’ motheranfather,” said Kernel Cob, “Have you seen them?”
“Never heard of them,” chirped the Cricket. “What’s their names?”
“Just Jackie and Peggs’ motheranfather; that’s all.”
And just then Sweetclover woke up and sat on the side of the chair.
“I’m sure that there isn’t anybody by that name,” chirped the Cricket, “but I’ll soon find out.”
“How?” asked Kernel Cob.
“I’ll send a chirp to all the crickets in this house and garden, and they’ll send a chirp to all the crickets in the next house and garden, and so on, and so on, and so on, all through this country, and in a little while I’ll be able to tell you if they’re here or not.”
“How’ll you ever get the message back?” asked Sweetclover.
“I’m the King of all the Crickets,” chirped he, “and when I give an order you may be assured that it will be obeyed,” and he stretched himself with so much pride that you could have heard his jacket crackle.
“I’m sure you are very kind,” said Sweetclover, “and Kernel Cob and I are very much obliged to you,” and she said this so very sweetly and so prettily that the Cricket lost no time in sending the message.
“Crick-a-crick-a-crick,” he chirped, and it sounded just like a telegraph instrument. “Crick-a-crick-a-crick. There,” he chirped, “I’ve told them to make a search and we’ll soon have an answer.”
And while they waited, the cricket told them of the strange country they were in and all about the canals and the windmills and the skating in the winter and the curious wooden shoes that the people wore. And when he had done, Kernel Cob and Sweetclover told him about Jackie and Peggs, their wonderful visit to the Moon, and how they came down in the field and were picked up by little Antje.