By some management, however, I arranged that Merton and Junior should have a fine swim in the creek, by Brittle Rock, while Mousie, Winnie, and Bobsey waded in sandy shallows, further down the stream. They all were promised holidays after the fruit season was over, and they submitted to the necessity of almost constant work with fairly good grace. The results of our labor were cheering.
My wife and Mousie left the table standing, and, hastening to the raspberry field, helped Winnie and Bobsey and the other Bagley child to pick the ripest berries. We all worked like beavers till the vivid flashes and great drops drove us to shelter.
"Perhaps some things are like " she began, almost dancing along by his side, so relieved that she could have poured out a song for joy. "What do you do nowadays?" he asked presently. "You are more of a live mouse than you used to be! I can't call you Mousie any more, only for the sake of old times." "I like it," said Marjorie. "But what do you do nowadays?"
"If she looks down now, and sees that alligator, she'll surely be so afraid that she'll faint, and maybe fall into the water, and then I'll have to jump in to save her, and the alligator will get us both. What shall I do?" Well, the mousie girl was just going to look down, and she would surely have seen the 'gator, when Curly Tail cried: "Don't look! Don't look! Oh, lobster salad! don't look!"
As a result, we soon had several rows of radishes and beets sown, fourteen inches apart. We planted the seed only an inch deep, and packed the ground lightly over it. Mousie, to her great delight, was allowed to drop a few of the seeds. Merton was ambitious to take the fork, but I soon stopped him, and said: "Digging is too heavy work for you, my boy.
He was not as shy as Marjorie, but he was not easy and at home with her, and never once dared to address the maiden who had so suddenly sprung into a lovely woman with the old names, Mousie, or Goosie. Indeed, he had nearly forgotten them, he could more readily have said: "Miss Marjorie."
Over each was the name of the occupant, all blood animals of the purest breed, with a pedigree which might put to shame many newly rich people displaying coats-of-arms. The children went into ecstasies over the pretty, innocent faces of the Jersey calves, and Mousie said they were "nice enough to kiss."
"We've had such good fortune in accomplishing our early work, and you have helped so nicely, that you shall try your hand at melons. Drive your mother and Mousie down to the village this morning, and get some seeds of the nutmeg musk-melon and Phinney's early watermelon.
She smiled and said, "I've been thinking about him to-day, and wanting to tell him how changed I am." "What has changed you?" he asked. Her eyes filled before she could answer him. In a few brief sentences, sentences in which each word told, she gave him the story of her dark year. "Poor little Mousie," he said tenderly. "And you bore the dark time all by yourself."
Mousie, "I'll call on Dickey Meadowmouse." So Uncle Lucky and Billy Bunny hopped into the automobile and drove off, while Mrs. Cow tinkled her bell and sang: "Moo, moo, moo. I'm glad I helped you two. One good turn deserves another. When you see your bunny mother, Tell her how your car I took Safely from the Babbling Brook."