They’re very good, but
they’re only wood,
So they have to be shown
The step to take and the bow to make—
They cannot dance alone!
Quadrille, gavotte, and I don’t know what,
They soon will clever be!
So, dolls who sigh to be dancers, try
Our Dolls’ Academy!
[Illustration: A JOLLY RIDE.]
When Dorothy’s and Oliver’s father and mother had arranged to go abroad for six weeks, the question arose: “What shall we do with the children?” They had many aunts and uncles who would willingly take care of them, but their mother wanted them to be in the country; so, in the end, it was decided to send them with their nurse to stay at a farm, the mistress of which had once been a nurse to their mother, and who was sure to take good care of them.
There was a great deal of excitement and bustle, but at last all was ready, and the day came for them to say good-bye for a short time to their home. Their ponies had already been sent on, and the terrier Patch was to go with them.
Their mother was going with them, and their father saw them off at the station.
When they arrived at the Dale Farm there was a warm welcome for them. Their mother and her old nurse had a lot to talk about, and then they went into the quaint farm-parlour for tea, and how they all enjoyed the honey and cream and hot scones!
After tea they had to say good-bye to their mother, for she had to be driven back to the station.
The following morning the children were wakened by the crowing of the cocks and the cackling of the hens and other noises unfamiliar to them. After breakfast, they went on a tour of inspection round the farm places. They also went to greet their ponies, who seemed quite rejoiced to hear their voices in this strange land. Then they went to see Mrs. Farmer feed her poultry; and what a noise there was among the turkeys, and geese, and ducks, and hens!—all so hungry for breakfast, and all pushing round without the slightest regard for good manners. After them there were the calves to feed. Six long-legged shaky little things—they wondered they could ever grow into anything to be afraid of. Before they had half finished looking round nurse called them to get ready for their ride.
Everything was different from what it was at home, for they were to take their rides without a groom, and across the common, a big place covered with short crisp grass, with occasional clumps of rushes and thistles; and here they could canter, or gallop, or race without fear of harm.
People and animals seemed to do as they liked on the common. Donkeys browsed sleepily, and when the children came near lifted their heads as if to say: “Who are these strangers? They’re not donkeys, so what do they want on our ground?”