Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic’s closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe.
The house wife’s, spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly,
Held out to lure thy roving eye.
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide.
Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements we descry—
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner snugly fill.
Quinces when ripe,
Have an excellent flavor.
The Rose when presented,
Is a sign of favor.
Strawberries in dish,
With sugar and cream.
Tomatoes as fine
As ever were seen.
The name of the bear is Jack. I fetched him from the West India Import Dock on the 5th of November, 1870. He was running about with another bear on board ship, but the job was to catch him. After many attempts we at last put a strong collar round his neck, to which was attached a long chain, and then we got him into a large barrel and fastened the head on with hoop-iron, lowered him over the side of the vessel into a boat, and then pulled to the quay, and hauled him up into a cart. For a time the little fellow was quiet enough, but he got very inquisitive when being driven towards the city, and wanted to have a look round. I managed to quiet him by giving him pieces of lump-sugar. He arrived safely at the Crystal Palace, and has lived in an aviary till the beginning of last month, when he was put into his new bear-pit. The little fellow has grown twice the size he was when he first came. He is very playful, but sometimes he shows his teeth when he is teased.
The lessons are learned, and now we all join hands, and march to the play-ground. And a nice play-ground we have, and every day when it is fine we enjoy ourselves very much. Some like to swing round the great pole, others join hands and form a large ring, and then we try to see which side of the ring can pull the hardest. Others like to run a race, and try who will run three times round the play-ground first. When it is wet we march round our large school-room, keeping time with our feet. And then we have such splendid fun playing “Tag,” first one, and then the other, racing round over benches, and under and around the desks, until we are fairly tired out. Then we hear the bell ring, and we march in, two by two, to commence our lessons again.