“Do you play sides?” Mab inquired.
“Yes, you can play sides,” her father answered with a smile. “As I told you I’m going to give a prize to whoever plays the game best. I’ll tell you about it. Now here’s the first part of the garden,” and, as Mr. Blake opened the paper fully, out rolled a small parcel. The string came off it, and Hal and Mab saw a lot of beans.
For a moment they looked very much disappointed.
“Oh, Daddy Blake!” cried Hal. “This isn’t a new game at all! We’ve got a bean-bag one!”
“And we got tired of playing it to-day,” went on Mab, in disappointed tones.
“This isn’t exactly a bean-bag game,” said Mr. Blake with a smile, “though you can make it one if you like. It’s ever so much more fun than just bean-bags, for there are many other different parts to the garden game. Now if you’ll sit down I’ll tell you about it.”
Hal and Mab saw some brightly colored pictures, among other things, in the big bag that had held the beans, and they thought perhaps they might have fun with the garden game after all.
Some of you have met Hal and Mab Blake before, on one or more of their many trips with Daddy, so I do not need to tell all of you about the children. But to those of you who read this book as the beginning of the Daddy Series I may say that the first volume is called “Daddy Takes Us Camping.” In that I told you how Daddy and the two children went to live in a tent, and how they heard a queer noise in the night and—
Well, I’ll leave the rest for you to find out by reading the book. Hal and Mab lived with Daddy and Mother Blake in a nice house in a small city, and with them lived Uncle Pennywait and Aunt Lollypop.
These were not their real names. Uncle Pennywait was called that because he so often said to Hal and Mab:
“Wait a minute and I’ll give you a penny!”
Aunt Lollypop was more often called Aunt Lolly, and the reason she had such a queer name was because she was always telling the children to buy lollypops with the money Uncle Pennywait gave them. Lollypops, the children’s aunt thought, were the best kind of candy for them, and perhaps she was right.
Then there was Roly-Poly, the funny little poodle dog, and once when Daddy Blake took Hal and Mab skating, as you may read in that book, Roly slid under the ice and was lost for a long, long time.
Hal and Mab just loved to go places with Daddy, to learn about the birds, trees and flowers. They had gone to the circus with him, had gone coasting, and had hunted birds with a camera to take pictures of them. There is a book about each one of the different trips Hal and Mab took with their father. They had many adventures each time they went out, and they learned many things.
Just before the story I am going to tell you now, Daddy Blake had taken the children to the woods, telling them about the different kinds of trees.