“She can’t go home,” said her older sister Janey, “mamma’s cookin’ for company!”
Kyzie patted the baby’s tangled hair and sent Janey to get her some water.
“I’ll go,” spoke up Jack Whiting, aged seven. “Janey isn’t big enough. Besides the pail leaks.”
“I’m so glad Edith isn’t here,” thought Kyzie, “or we should both get to giggling. There, it’s time now to call them out to read. Let me see, where is the best crack in the floor for them to stand on? Why didn’t I bring a quarter of a dollar with a hole in it for a medal? Oh, the medal will be for the spelling-class; that was what Grandma Parlin said.”
It seemed a “ling-long” forenoon, and the little teacher rejoiced when eleven o’clock came. The family at home looked at her curiously, and Uncle James asked outright, “Tell us, Grandmother Graymouse, how do the scholars behave?”
“Well, I suppose they behaved as well as they knew how; but oh, it makes me so hungry!”
She could not say whether she liked teaching or not.
“Wait till Friday night, Uncle James, and then I’ll tell you.”
“Well said, Grandmother Graymouse! You couldn’t have made a wiser remark. We’ll ask no further questions till Friday night.”
But when Friday night came they were all thinking of something else, something quite out of the common; and “Grandmother Graymouse” and her school were forgotten.
THE ZEBRA KITTEN
It began with Zee. By this time her young mistress had become very much attached to her; and so indeed had all the “Dunlee party.” Even Mrs. Dunlee petted the kitten and said she was the most graceful creature she had ever seen, except, perhaps, the dancing horse, Thistleblow. Eddo loved her because “she hadn’t any pins in her feet” and did not resent his rough handling. The “little two” loved her because she allowed them to play all sorts of games with her. They could make believe she was very ill and tuck her up in bed, and she would swallow meekly such medicine as alum with salt and water without even a mew.
“She is so amiable,” said Edith. “And then that wonderful tail of hers, mamma! ’Twould bring, I don’t know how much money, at a cat fair. It’s a regular prize tail, you see!”
An animal like this merited extra care. She was not to be put off like an everyday cat with saucers of milk and scraps of meat; she must have the choicest bits from the table.
“Mrs. McQuilken says the best-fed cats make the best mousers,” said Edith.
“Is that so, Miss Edith? Then the mice here at Castle Cliff haven’t long to live!” laughed good-natured Mr. Templeton, as he handed Zee’s little mistress a pitcher of excellent cream.
Edith was very grateful to Mrs. McQuilken for this remarkable kitten. She had taken much pains with her pencil drawing of a cherub in the clouds, intending it as a present for the eccentric old lady.