Little Women Chapter 11
The Kings go on vacation for the season, and Meg does not have to tend to their children. Aunt March is gone as well, so Jo is free. The girls ask to take time off from their housework for a week, too, as an experiment. "'You may try your experiment for a week and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work and no play,'" their Mother says. Chapter 11, pg. 127 They spend the whole week being lazy and playing. By the end of the week they are tired of it and glad the week is over.
Their mother wants to help them learn the lesson more, so she takes a vacation, too, and gives Hannah the day off. She stays in her room the whole morning and leaves her girls to take care of themselves. The girls are relieved to have a little work and decide to make breakfast for their mother. They work hard and bring it up to her, but the breakfast is horrible. After her daughters leave, their mother throws it away and laughs.
The girls decide to make dinner, and Jo invites Laurie over to eat with them. Meg is in charge of decoration, and Jo is in charge of cooking. Beth is crying over her pet canary, which died because she didn't feed it for the whole week. Jo starts cooking, gets the fire going, and goes out to buy a few groceries. She thinks she is getting a good deal on her purchases, but what she buys is old and doesn't taste good. Jo works hard cooking her things, but makes a horrible mess. Meg is with Sallie Gardiner, who came to visit, and the two of them laugh at Jo.
Their mother leaves the house, but peeps into the kitchen to see what is going on. Unexpectedly, Mrs. Crocker, an old spinster who loves to gossip, stops by and invites herself to dinner. Laurie comes as well. The dinner turns out to be a disaster; no one will eat it. The guests have a funeral for the canary before they all leave.
The girls clean up after the event. Their mother asks if they want another week off, and they all agree to go back to doing their work.