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25.09.13Mary’s Little Lamb, by Edith Francis Foster
Mary’s Little Lamb – A Picture Guessing Story for Little Children
MARY’S LITTLE LAMB
When little Mary Moffett’s mother asked her to go up to the Clover Farm for some fresh , Mary felt a little sorry, for she was very busy making her a , but she laid down her and and , tied on her pink , and set off up the hill, with her little on her . As she was coming home she heard a queer little patter, patter, behind her. She looked back and saw something white! felt a wee bit afraid, and began to run but her struck a and down she tumbled on her ! Before she could get up something soft and woolly was rubbing gently against her , saying “Ba-a-a!” “Oh you darling lamb!” cried Mary, hugging it—and the little snuggled close, and said “Ba-a-a! Take me home with you, little Mary.” was astonished.
“Whose lamb is it?” she asked. “Oh Mother, I think it’s just a wild lamb! Mayn’t I keep it?” begged . But Mother said she must ask Farmer Clover if it was one of his , first. So back they went, and found Farmer Clover mending his and Mary asked him. But there were two big tears in her —she did so want that dear —and the kind old saw them. “Well, yes,” he said, “that’s my lamb—but it’s an extra one, that I haven’t any room for. If I knew anybody who would be willing to take it and treat it well—” “Oh, Mr. Clover!” cried , her eyes dancing, now, and her dancing, too. “I’d be willing! I’d treat it well! May I have it?” So Mary and the little went dancing home together. And kind old watched them and laughed till his danced in his , and his danced on his .
“Mother! Mother!” cried little Mary, running into the . “Mr. Clover says he doesn’t need this —it’s extra—and I may have it for my very own!” Yes, now it was Mary’s little lamb—and how they loved each other! They went together everywhere—in the and the , and over to Grandfathers, to play with little Aunt Hannah. Mary’s Aunt Hannah was only three years older than herself and they played together all the time. The two little thought the was beautiful, but it was not very clean. “I don’t want a dirty, dusty little lamb,” said Mary; “I want a nice, clean, white lamb.” “Then we must wash it.” said little . “Father washes all his in the every spring.” Out by the stood the with the big wooden
drank. The was full of water, standing in the
. Mary leaned over the edge and dipped her . “It’s nice and warm,” she said. “Now, dear little jump right in!” But the lamb wouldn’t jump—so Mary and little Aunt Hannah lifted him, and dropped him into the . Then they rubbed him with , and squeezed his with their . The poor little lamb didn’t like it, and kept trying to get out—till, as tried to hold him her slipped and in she fell, first! Oh, how she screamed! And screamed, too, and the cried “Ba-a-a!” as loud as he could. Little Aunt Hannah’s mother came running from the fished them out of the water, and carried them into her one under each
. There she rubbed them dry, wrapped them both in and set them by the , to get warm.
Mary’s lamb was too young to eat , as old do. He wanted milk, but he did not know how to drink from a . He was just a baby sheep, you see. So Mary’s found an old tin and filled it with warm new milk. Then she tied a over the , and held it while the little sucked up every drop of the milk. Three times a day they filled the , and he drank it all, while Mary tilted it up for him. One day and little went up Clover to pick for their mothers to put in . They took their luncheon in the berry- , and each had a tin to pick into. Mary’s went too, and of course he would want his luncheon, so
carried the old in a . When the and were full of , they started home. Along the roadside grew white , and they made a for the lamb’s . Then Mary said “The shines so, he must be hot. He shall wear my .” So they tied it snugly over his . Then they sat under a to finish their luncheon, and afterward Mary gave the the rest of his milk. Two came past, in a low , and they laughed to see the little lamb drinking from the teapot. Mary did not notice that one held up a little black leather and pointed it at her. But next week a flat, square came from the postoffice marked “For the Little Girl and Lamb who live near Clover Hill.”
cut the with her , and unfolded the —and what did she find inside it? A beautiful photograph of herself, feeding her by the roadside!
Mary didn’t like to go to school and leave her lamb at home. She knew he would not be happy all alone; and how could she study her and do sums on her , without her dear little woolly close beside her? But schooltime came, and she had to start. If she had looked back, she would have seen the trotting along behind, all so pretty, with a blue on his . He loved to follow little Mary, and he didn’t know mustn’t go to school. Before he caught up with her, the rang, the all ran in, and the was shut; but he stood on the door- and heard them singing. Then the arithmetic class began, and the said: “Mary, if you had three , and gave one to Hannah, how many would you have left?” Mary was not thinking of . “Four,” she said, “but please teacher, did you know I had a ?” and the lamb heard her voice and called “Baa!” outside the , as loud as he could. “Why, there he is!” cried . “He must go home,” said the teacher; and she opened the to send him away. But the little came right in, and ran to , so glad to see her again! “Oh, please let him stay!” said she: “I am sure he will be good!” But all the other laughed—it was so funny to see a lamb in school—and the had to turn him out. But the would not go home. He wanted to stay near Mary; So he waited on the and every time he heard her voice he cried “Ba-a-a!” At last the said must take him home; so she put away her , and the little jumped and danced, he was so happy, as they ran home together.
All the week the little lamb had to stay at home while Mary went to ; but on Saturday they had such good times! First, had her tasks to do. She wiped all the and and , dusted the and made her own . Then she went out to play. The nicest place to “play house” was the of a by the . Mary and little Aunt Hannah climbed up by the , with their and but the couldn’t climb. They tried to carry him, but he was too heavy—and he kicked, too. So they took him up on the in the and dropped him out of a onto the . Then they all had a good time playing “party”, with some caraway
and a little of milk. But at noon, when Mary’s Mother blew the dinner- , the lamb couldn’t get down! They couldn’t lift him up to the , and he was afraid to jump to the ground. Little Aunt Hannah stood on the , but could not reach him. Then they brought out armfuls of and made a big soft and stood on the and tried to push him off into the but he wouldn’t budge. “Come to dinner, children,” called Mary’s . “It is getting cold.” “Oh dear!” said little Mary, almost crying. “He’ll have to stay up here and starve! But he’s had three , anyway.” At last big brother came out to find them. He laughed when he saw the and the but he went for a , and very quickly brought the little safely down to the ground. Then they all went in and had their dinner together.
“When my lamb is big enough” said Mary to little Aunt Hannah, “my father will shear him with the , like the old and Mother will teach me to spin, and knit the wool; and so my little lamb will give me my and .” “Let’s shear him now.” said . “I can teach you to knit.” “Well.” said Mary. “He is very little—but we will only take a little of his .” So she got the , and they cut some wool from his . But they found it must first be spun into —and they didn’t know how: so they went to ask Mary’s . She laughed at the poor little with the big bare spots in his pretty white . “If you are in such a hurry for and ,” she said, “we will begin them at once. First, you must learn to spin.” So she brought out the big and some tiny soft of wool and showed her how to spin the rolls into . Mary liked to walk backward and forward, and twirl the great with a ; but her yarn was all uneven, and kept snarling and breaking. Soon she grew tired—and cross, too, and then the snarled worse than ever. As last gave the a great whirl, as hard as she could, and ran off to the . There she hid in the and cried, until the little found her and rubbed his against her . Then she stopped crying to laugh, his ragged looked so funny! Pretty soon she went back to the and said she was sorry for being cross. Then gave her a nice of yarn and some and taught her to knit a
When the time really came to wash and shear the , Mary’s said the lamb wasn’t big enough to spare any more —but he did get washed in the . Mary and little Aunt Hannah went down in the meadow to gather cowslips—not for the pretty but to boil in a for dinner. They took off their and and splashed about in the wet , filling their with . They picked some tall blue too, and pulled sweet-flag to eat. To get the sweet , they had to cross a little over the brook. The followed them, but he stepped on a loose , and it tipped him off into the water! It wasn’t deep enough to be over his , but he waded the wrong way and scrambled out on a little in the middle of the . They couldn’t coax him to wade ashore;—he didn’t like water, and would only shake his and say “Ba-a-a! No-o-o!” “We must build a for him” said . “No,” said “we will get the boat. The keep it at the mill.” They followed the brook up to the and untied the . There were no , but they found a long and pushed it along to the . The little was very glad to jump in with them. But they could not push the ashore, for the water ran too fast. So they floated along, dipping their in the water, and watching the little swimming below, till they ran into a across the brook. Then they climbed ashore and went back for their and . “Oh, you funny lamb!” said Mary, “What good times you do make us have!”
Dollabella, Mary’s biggest doll, had had the measles, but she was getting better. “When people get better” said , “they always go to ride.” So she tried to give her a ride on the ‘s back, but he danced up and down and she fell off. Then Mary took a and tied her on, so when the danced again he couldn’t shake off. He didn’t like that, so he thought he would run away from her, and off he went! The was shut, but he squeezed through a gap in the , and tore Dollabella’s on a . Mary squeezed through the gap, too, and her caught on the , and tore a great big three-cornered . The ran across a field and jumped over a into the and Mary ran after him, laughing. Dollabella’s fell off her , and so did Mary’s . The of the caught her and tangled them and almost pulled the from the lamb’s back. At last they came out into a field and saw Farmer Clover at work with his . “Hello!” said he. “Who’s running away—you or your lamb?” “Oh, we aren’t running away,” said , all out of breath. “We are just giving my a ride. She is sick!” “Well, that’s a pretty fast ride for anybody that’s sick!” said . “Now I am going to the , to get a of molasses. Don’t you want to ride home in my ?” Mary and the were tired, and glad to have a ride—and I think the poor sick must have been just as glad. But when they got home had to take a and out of her and mend her and Dollabella’s too.
As the lamb grew big and strong he got very frisky, too. He found out that when he ran at things with his hard little down and bunted them, the things would fall down. He thought that was funny, so he bunted everything. In the he bunted over and the and , and nobody dared set a or on the floor. Outdoors, he ran at the and , to see them flutter and scream. Once he bunted little Aunt Hannah’s —but she didn’t fall down; she stood up and cuffed him with her , and scratched him! But fell down when he bunted her, and so did , although they were bigger than the . One night he ran at Mary’s father, bringing in the , and spilled all the milk over his . Then Mary’s said if the didn’t stop bunting he must be tied up. So tried to teach him better, but he didn’t understand it was naughty, and kept right on bunting. At last one day, he bunted the which was tied to the by a long . Now Bossy liked to bunt, too; so when the ran at her she put her down and ran at him! And she was the biggest, so it was the little himself that fell down that time! First he flew right over the and fell on his ,—then he rolled over and over into the duck- . All the began to flap their and quack, and the big gray hissed at him and chased him. The poor naughty little was so frightened that he ran to , all wet and muddy, and hid his in her . After that, he didn’t bunt things any more!
One day Mary and her lamb were playing in the . He would lie still as a while she buried him in the , but when she clapped her he jumped up and ran to her like a . Then began to pull out from the mow, and made a deep hole where they could both creep in out of sight. After supper they played hide-and-seek with . So many nice hiding-places—under the -bushes, behind the rain- , and around the by the . At last remembered her hole in the and crept in, with the which followed her everywhere. Then they waited, keeping very still, till by and by grew sleepy—for it was almost -time. She laid her on the ‘s soft neck, as they cuddled down together in their , and before they knew it they were fast asleep! hunted and hunted, till she thought must have gone in the , to play a trick on her; so she went into her own a little vexed. -time came and her came to the to call Mary in. “I guess she’s gone home with Hannah,” said , as he came from the with his . The often slept together, and Mary’s mother didn’t hear the “I guess,” so she only said “It is naughty to go without telling me. She mustn’t again.” So nobody knew where was, all night! But next morning she didn’t come home—she was not at ‘s—and how frightened everybody was! They hunted everywhere, and at last started to drive to the neighbor’s . The noise of the and of the trampling on the waked Mary—and how astonished everybody was, when she and the came creeping out of the
Once little Mary and her lamb really did get lost—and something dreadful almost happened! They had been picking in the up Clover , and couldn’t find the way out. The was setting, and thought of and ! She was tired and hungry, too. She was eating from her , and crying, and the , who would not eat and wanted his milk in the old was crying, too—”Ba-a-a!”—when a big, tall with a in his broke through the bushes behind them. He sat down on a and stared at them, looking so white and scared that felt sorry for him. “Did a chase you?” she asked. “Oh no,” said he, “It’s only I’m so glad you are alive!” He didn’t dare tell her he had mistaken her little brown bobbing among the , for a , and raised his to shoot it when he saw a little white bobbing beside it and stopped to look closer! So her little had saved Mary’s life—but she never knew it. “Now how came you up here?” the boy asked. “Are you lost?” “Oh no,” said , winking away the , and smiling; “We aren’t exactly lost—only we can’t just find our . And we want our supper, too.” “You shall have it!” said the . “You are little Mary—I know your —and I’m going to carry you there, quicker than a can trot!” So he took in one and the in the other, and the he left hidden in the under a . Then he quickly found the (it was close by, after all,) and in ten minutes they were safe home again; and Mary’s thanked the big and gave them all some supper.
Now Mary and the big with the became great friends. He used to bring her in his ; once he took her out in his to gather ; and he promised to take her to the County Fair. Early on that day he came for her with his and . Mary was all ready, in her new , with on her . “Where is the ?” he asked. ” says he mustn’t go,” said Mary sadly, “so I shut him up in the “. “Oh but he must go!” cried the . “He’s entered—they expect him.” didn’t understand that, but she was very glad to take her dear with her. They walked about the Fair grounds and saw the and and and in the ; and visited the where the and were, in their . And everywhere 79 that went the kept close beside her; and all the looked at them and smiled. At last the said, “Now we are going into the so we will leave our in this nice little beside all the other to wait for us.” They looked at the and and the and in the . Then they found Marys and and had dinner together; and afterward they saw the race, and the go up, and heard the play. It was a long time before they went for the . Some were looking at him, and just as Mary ran up they fastened a blue on his . “Oh, thank you! How pretty!” she said. “Hurrah!” cried the . “Our has won first prize! That means he’s the best
in town!” “Of course!” said little . “He’s the best in the whole !”
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