“Mother, what can we do now?”
“Tell us something to play, please! We want to have some fun!”
As Harry and Mabel Blake said this they walked slowly up the path toward the front porch, on which their mother was sitting one early Spring day. The two children did not look very happy.
“What can we do?” asked Hal, as he was called more often than Harry.
“There isn’t any more fun,” complained Mab, to which her name was often shortened.
“Oh, my!” laughed Mother Blake. “Such a sadness! What doleful faces you both have. I hope they don’t freeze so and stay that way. It would be dreadful!”
“It can’t freeze,” said Hal. “It’s too warm. Daddy told us how cold it had to be to freeze. The ther—ther—Oh, well the thing you tell how cold it is—has to get down to where it says number 32 before there’s ice.”
“You mean the thermometer,” said Mab.
“That’s it,” agreed Hal. “And look, the shiny thing—mercury, that’s the name of it—the mercury is at 60 now. It can’t freeze, Mother.”
“Well, I’m glad it can’t, for I wouldn’t want your face to turn into ice the way it looked a little while ago.”
“But there’s no fun, Mother,” and Mab, whose face, as had her brother’s, had lost its fretful look while they were talking about the thermometer, again seemed cross and unhappy. “We can’t have any fun!”
“Why don’t you play some games?” asked Mrs. Blake, smiling at the two children.
“We did,” answered Hal. “We tried to play tag, but it’s too muddy to run off the paths, and it’s no fun, staying in one place. We can’t play ball, ’cause Mab can’t throw like a boy, and I’m not going to play doll with her.”
“I didn’t ask you to!” said Mab quickly. “I was going to play doll by myself.”
“Yes, but you’d want me to be a doctor, or something, when your doll got sick—you always do.”
“I should think that would be fun,” said Mother Blake. “Why don’t you play doll and doctor?”
“I’m not going to play doll!” declared Hal, and his face looked crosser than ever.
“Oh, it isn’t nice to talk that way,” said his mother. “You ought to be glad if Mab wanted you to be a doctor for her sick doll. But perhaps you can think of something else—some new game. Just sit down a moment and we’ll talk. Then perhaps you’ll think of something. I wonder why it is so warm to-day, and why there is no danger of anything freezing—not your faces of course, for I know you wouldn’t let that happen. But why is it so warm; do you know?”
“’Cause it’s Spring,” answered Hal. “Everybody knows that.”
“Oh, no, not everybody,” replied his mother. “Your dog Roly-Poly doesn’t know it.”
“Oh, yes, Mother! I think he does!” cried Mab. “He was rolling over and over in the grass to-day, even if it was all wet like a sponge. He never did that in the Winter.”