Reggie’s mother must have understood, for she gave Dan a good supper, and he slept right soundly till morning.
Bringing home the holly.
With hearts as light as snow-flakes
With cheeks like sunset glow,
And ringing shouts of joy and fun,
Away the children go.
Away! to where the holly-tree,
With berries gleaming bright,
Stands like a shivering giant in
Its glistening cloak of white.
There’s Roy, to take
the sledge in hand
And pilot through the snow.
“The girls don’t understand,” he says.
(Just like a boy, you know!)
Then back they bring the loaded
With fingers pricked and sore.
But what care they? They’ll go again
To-morrow for some more.
For children love the Christmas-time,
When everything is jolly;
And all must help to deck the house
In mistletoe and holly!
And then comes good St. Nicholas,
With loads of books and toys.
Yes, Christmas is the dearest time
For happy girls and boys.
[Illustration: BRINGING HOME THE HOLLY.]
“What little darlings we are!” said the children one day.
They were all sitting fluffed up into one little downy ball on the top of a long stem.
“It is very nearly time for us to go into the world,” said they. “O, how wide and how sunny it is, and what fun it will be! Our wings are all ready to fly, and we are so light and happy! Then the whole world will be ours, and we can choose our own place in which to take root and grow.
“I will grow in a lovely garden,” said one.
“I mean to be seen, wherever I am,” another declared.
“Well, there’s plenty of time before us to choose,” remarked a third.
But the mother dandelion shook her leaves and said: “Children, don’t boast. Others don’t always think as much of us as we do of ourselves!”
“O, but they must,” said the little ones; “we are darlings!”
“Very well,” said the wind. “Now you may go—puff!” And away flew some of the seeds, just as they do when you blow the dandelion “clocks.”
“Puff! puff!” away went the others—all but one.
“Let me stay here, wind,” she begged. “If I can grow as large and as beautiful as my mother I shall be content.” So the wind just loosened her gently, and down she dropped close to her mother’s side.
“You are a wise child,” said the field-mouse. “Under this hedge you will grow in peace. Neither scythe nor spade ever comes here. But you won’t be seen, and you won’t see the world like your brothers and sisters.”