"Mr. Grasshopper Faces the Winter"
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, The Wish Express, "King, King! Double King!", etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 16, 1919.
His children had all married and jumped over the garden fence, all the flowers were dead and he hadn't seen a fairy for weeks. The wind had swept off his favorite toadstool, and the poor old fellow was blown hither and thither by the rude fall winds till he fairly panted for breath.
"Dear me! Dear me!" gasped the old gentleman; "so this is winter!"
"This is only fall," chirped a rude sparrow. "Wait till Jack Frost gets you and then you'll have something to fuss about!"
Mr. Grasshopper was so overcome at this unkind remark that he crept under a pile of leaves and fell to moaning and rubbing his poor rheumatic old knees. He must have fallen asleep, for the next thing he knew a delicious warmth crept into his stiff old joints.
"Why, I believe I could jump," thought the old fellow, and 'tis mighty fortunate that he did jump, for he was among the crackling twigs of a little gnome's fire.
The most tantalizing fragrance arose from the kettle, and the little room was so snug and cozy that Mr. Grasshopper thought he must surely have arrived in Heaven. He twinkled his whiskers and sniffed with delight. The little gnome watched him with great interest.
"Must have carried him in with the twigs! Feelin' better?" he asked cheerfully.
Mr. Grasshopper almost jumped back into the fire, he was so alarmed. He had not noticed the gnome before. "Do you eat insects?" he quavered tremulously.
"My, no!" chuckled the gnome "'specially not when they're thin as you!"
Well, honeys, that little gnome took care of Mr. Grasshopper the whole winter and got him a good place in the Fairy Orchestra as a fiddler besides; so he had all the tobacco he could smoke. Many a long winter evening he whiled away for his crooked little benefactor with funny stories and lively tunes, so that the gnome felt more than repaid for his board and lodging.
"We can't all be useful," he chuckled to himself when his friends twitted him on taking in a lazy old grasshopper. "And being entertaining and cheerful is worth something!" And so it is, honeys; so it is!
Give the grasshopper a chance
THE FORGETFUL POET
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 2, 1919.
The Forgetful Poet and His Riddles
Tumbler, fork, and shoe were the answers to the riddles for last time, and this week he is sure you will not be able to solve his puzzles at all. I'm not betting with him because--well, I hate to see him lose out. He loses enough things anyway. The first one does sound rather hard:
How could a man have three hands on one arm?
What is a plantigrade carnivorous quadruped?
When is an ant as tall as a hill?
Something carried by men and grown by planters in the South, and something used to summon people will give two Bible characters.
March is the housecleaning month of the -------,
She sweeps and she dusts till the whole world is -------
She don't mind the March wind, it's only her -------.
And she's sweeping the world just as we'd sweep a -------.
For the neatest and most correct list the Forgetful Poet will have a surprise. He's rather slow about sending things through, and the lucky person will not receive it till three weeks afterward. Wonder who'll be the lucky one?
[Answers next time. Sorry, no surprise will be given.]
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