“No, I sha’n’t name him nothin’ out’n the Bible,” said Diddie, “because that’s wicked, and maybe God wouldn’t let him live, just for that; I b’lieve I’ll name him Christopher Columbus, ’cause if he hadn’t discovered America there wouldn’t er been no people hyear, an’ I wouldn’t er had no father nor mother, nor dog, nor nothin’: an’, Dumps, sposin’ you name yours Pocahontas, that was er beau-ti-ful Injun girl, an’ she throwed her arms ‘roun’ Mr. Smith an’ never let the tomahawks kill ’im.”
“I know I ain’t goin’ to name mine no Injun,” said Dumps, decidedly.
“Yer right, Miss Dumps; now yer’s er talkin’,” said Riar; “I wouldn’t name ’im no Injun; have ‘im tearin’ folks’ hyar off, like Miss Diddie reads in de book. I don’t want ter hab nuffin ’tall ter do wid no Injuns; no, sar! I don’t like dem folks.”
“Now, chil’en, de dogs is ’sleep,” said Mammy, yawning and rubbing her eyes; “go ter bed, won’t yer?”
And the little girls, after laying the puppies in the box and covering them with an old shawl, were soon fast asleep. But there was not much sleep in the nursery that night; the ungrateful little dogs howled and cried all night. Mammy got up three times and gave them warm milk, and tucked them up in the shawl; but no sooner would she put them back in the box than they would begin to cry and howl. And so at the breakfast-table next morning, when Dumps asked her papa to tell her something to name her puppy, Diddie gravely remarked,
“I think, Dumps, we had better name ‘um Cherubim an’ Seraphim, for they continually do cry.”
And her papa was so amused at the idea that he said he thought so too; and thus the puzzling question of the names was decided, and the little woolly poodles were called Cherubim and Seraphim, and became great pets in the household.
Christmas on the old plantation.
Christmas morning, 1853, dawned cold and rainy, and scarcely had the first gray streak appeared when the bolt of the nursery was quietly turned, and Dilsey’s little black head peered in through the half-open door.
“Chris’mus gif’, chil’en!” she called out, and in a twinkling Diddie, Dumps, and Tot were all wide awake, and climbing over the side of the bed. Then the three little sisters and Dilsey tip-toed all around to everybody’s rooms, catching “Chris’mus gif’;” but just as they were creeping down stairs to papa and mamma two little forms jumped from behind the hall door, and Riar and Chris called out, “Chris’mus gif’!” and laughed and danced to think they had “cotch de white chil’en.”