“No, please don’t!” laughed Mother Blake. “One bath a day is enough. Besides, I think it’s time to take the cake out, Mab.”
When the chocolate had been spread on, and Hal had scraped out the dish, giving Mab a share even though she had said she did not want any, the front door was heart to shut.
“Here comes Daddy!” cried Mab.
“Oh, I wonder if he brought anything?” said Hal, racing after his sister.
Daddy Blake did have a package in his arms, and he was smiling. He put the bundle down on the table and caught up first Mab and then Hal for a hearty kiss.
“Well, how are you all to-day?” he asked.
“I just baked a cake,” answered Mab.
“And the dough went all over Roly-Poly, and I made believe he was a submarine ship in the bath tub,” added Hal. “We had lots of fun.”
“Before that we didn’t thought,” spoke Mab. “We wanted to play something new but we didn’t know what. Did you bring us anything, Daddy?”
“Yes, I brought you and Hal a new game.”
“A new game? Oh, goody! May we play it now?”
“Well, you can start to look at it now, but it takes quite a while to play it. It takes all Spring, all Summer and part of the Fall.”
“Oh, what a long game!” cried Hal. “What is it?”
“It is called the Garden Game,” said Daddy Blake, smiling. “And after supper I’ll tell you all about it.”
“The Garden Game,” murmured Mab.
“It must be fun,” said Hal, “else Daddy wouldn’t laugh around his eyes the way he does.”
“Yes, I think you’ll like this new game,” went on Mr. Blake. “And whoever learns to play it best will get a fine prize!”
“Oh! Oh! Oh!” cried Hal and Mab in delight. They could hardly wait to find out all about it.
MAKING A GARDEN
“Now children,” began Daddy Blake, as the table was cleared of the dishes, when supper had been finished, “I’ll start to tell you about the garden game we are going to play.”
“Oh, are you going to play it, too?” asked Hal in delight “Won’t that be fun, Mab?”
“Lots of fun!”
Anything Daddy Blake did was fun for Hal and Mab, whether it was playing a game, or taking them somewhere.
Eagerly the two children watched while their father opened the package he had brought up from down town when he came home to supper.
“Is it some kind of a puzzle?” Hal wanted to know.
“Does it go around with wheels?” asked Mab, as she heard something rattle inside the paper.
“How many can play it?” asked Hal.
“Oh, as many as care to” answered Daddy Blake. I’m going to play it, and so is your mother, I think; and Uncle Pennywait, and Aunt Lollypop, and—no, I guess we can’t let Roly-Poly play the garden game, but you two children can.”
“Oh, it must be a fine game if so many can play,” laughed Hal. “Hurry, Daddy, and show us what it is.”