Children’s Hour

carlton_alfred_smith2c_1893_-_the_first_lesson

Grasshopper Green

Grasshopper Green is a comical chap;
He lives on the best of fare.
Bright little trousers, jacket, and cap,
These are his summer wear.
Out in the meadow he loves to go,
Playing away in the sun;
It’s hoppety, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.

Grasshopper Green has a quaint little house;
It’s under the hedge so gay.
Grandmother Spider, as still as a mouse,
Watches him over the way.
Gladly he’s calling the children, I know,
Out in the beautiful sun;
It’s hoppety, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.
~Author Unknown

Minnows

. . . Swarms of minnows show their little heads,
Staying their waxy bodies ‘gainst the streams,
To taste the luxury of sunny beams
Tempered with coolness. How they ever wrestle
With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle
Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand.
If you but scantily hold out the hand,
That very instant not one will remain;
But turn your eye, and they are there again.
The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses,
And cool themselves among the em’rald tresses;
The while they cool themselves, they freshness give,
And moisture, that the bowery green may live.
~John Keats

Mice

I think mice
Are rather nice

Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven’t any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white,
They run about
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn’t touch
And no one seems
To like them much

But I think mice
Are nice
~Rose Fyleman

The City Mouse and the Garden Mouse

The city mouse lives in a house;-
The garden mouse lives in a bower,
He’s friendly with the frogs and toads,
And sees the pretty plants in flower.

The city mouse eats bread and cheese;-
The garden mouse eats what he can;
We will not grudge him seeds and stocks,
Poor little timid furry man.
~Christina Rossetti

Subscribe Form

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

A Cold Attic Discussion

For those who love The Williams House. . .

The Williams House; Chapter 8: The Cold Days of February; Pgs. 153-157

.     Once the holiday season ended, snow continued to fly and the days continued to become colder and colder. School resumed, and the days of January tolled slowly by. Timothy found that his Latin much improved, and Will found he could now recite the entire Declaration of Independence. Lilly and Ann found the higher math and sciences to be challenging, but they studied it with new found rigor and interest. Johnathon could play the piano better than any of his siblings (and even Will eventually had to admit it), and Margaret was improving much on her spelling and grammar. Susan was learning a lot too, and would have qualified for a first grader—and Maria for kindergarten.
.     The days and nights passed into February, and still the temperature dropped. It was now so cold that the children were very seldom let out, and when they were, it was normally to shovel the driveway or the sidewalk leading to their barn. A snow plough would every once in a while come along the road and dig it out. And of course, when this would happen, the plough would fling a lot of snow back onto the Williamses’ driveway, and the children would have to shovel some of it again. And so, with all the hard work outdoors and in school, the month of February became one of those months that just slowly lumbered by.
.     One of these days, Will was sitting by the back door with textbook, paper and pencil in hand. It was mid-afternoon, and the house smelled mostly of stale food, schoolwork, and wood burning from their fireplace. (I can’t describe how a house can smell of schoolwork, and you will have to imagine it unless you do school often in your house too—then you will know what I mean.) Gray clouds had completely covered the sky, and everything was relatively quiet. The grandfather clock in the upstairs hall could be heard ticking as its pendulum swung. It was altogether a very dull day.
.     “Is there going to be another blizzard, Mother,” Will asked as he looked at the clouds.
.     “Whatever you say, dear,” Mrs. Williams answered haphazardly from the schoolroom. Will could hear her teaching someone, though he didn’t know who. He sighed and ploughed back into his schoolwork, though he was thinking all the time, How slow the time can go these days.
.     The evenings seemed to be the great relief during these times. All the children would go up to the attic, schoolwork being completely done for the day, and spend hours and hours holding meetings together, playing, reading, and telling stories. The warm stone chimney and furnace did wonders to keep the large room warm, and only if they put their hands on the window glass could they feel the cold of the outdoors.
.     This particular evening, chaos seemed to be erupting, everyone feeling tired and rowdy after the school day. Timothy was going back and forth from pounding on the piano to chasing the youngers and making them scream. Lilly and Ann were trying to manage the situation, but it was clear that they were quite put out themselves and not engaging fully. Johnathon was doing his best to ignore and was playing the same song on the flute over and over again.
.     “Attention, everyone,” said Will. He was the only one sitting on one of the sofas, and his head was bowed to his chest and his fingers laced on his lap as his fedora was pushed down to his eyebrows.
.     Everyone paused and looked at him, eager for any change.
.     “I propose we hold a discussion,” said Will. “We could have it right here, as usual, with me presiding as moderator.”
.     “Yes, let’s,” said Lilly in a relieved voice.
.     “Very well, then,” said Will. “Gather around.”
.     The youngers perked up now that something was really happening, and they crowded around the sofas and cushioned chairs, waiting for the meeting to begin. The windows were dark, but they knew that snow was falling and could see several white flakes come up to some of the windows in the wind. It was a soft wind, though, and they couldn’t hear it. Everything seemed to be quiet and still, their breathing being the only audible noises until Will spoke.
.     “We all know of the trials these days are,” said Will, “and I think, personally, that we have done a very good job at trudging through them. But I say let’s take stock and see where we are.” He paused to gain affirmations from the others.
.     “Very well,” said Lilly and Johnathon. And after a moment, everyone started nodding their heads and saying “yes,” “good idea,” and even a “hear, hear!” from Timothy. Ann added, “Proceed.”
.     “So ordered,” said Will. “It seems as though this bitter weather could continue for several more weeks, even though it has lasted for several already. We have come up with many ideas over these past weeks, reading stories and playing exploration and writing poems and songs. Many thanks to everyone for the brilliant work we have all done in selling several of the poems and short stories we have made. But now, where from here? I propose that we do something with the money we will hopefully gain from our work—I mean something that will actually help Father and Mother somehow.”
.     Everyone thought this a splendid idea, and there were many remarks about how good it would be to surprise their parents. “But how?” Johnathon finally asked.
.     “Well,” said Will, “Perhaps we should just give it to them, and then they can decide what to do with it.”
.     “Do we know when the money is coming?” asked Margaret.
.     “The check for the stories should have been sent out by now,” said Lilly. “It might even be in today’s mail, though poor Mother is too covered up with our school papers to have checked yet.”
.     “Well then,” said Will, “is it decided? We shall give the money to them, keeping none for ourselves. They’re sure to do something grand with it, whatever that might be, and it might even surprise us when we find out.”
.     “Let’s vote,” said Johnathon. “I’m in favor.”
.     “Aye,” said everyone simultaneously.
.     “Good,” said Will, “then that’s settled.”
.     “Perhaps we could read a story now,” said Margaret.
.     “Or perhaps Mother could,” said Susan.
.     “She can’t,” said Lilly. “And anyway, she already read to us late this afternoon.”
.     Will cleared his throat, looking sharply as though the discourse was out of order.
.     “Then how about Lilly and Ann read,” said Margaret. “They have great reading voices, and I’m in the mood to listen.”
.     “Attend, everyone,” said Will, clapping his hands. “The meeting has not come to a close yet. Is there any other business?”
.     No one had any, and so Will was forced to close the meeting, calling out “adjourned.”
.     “Now Lilly and Ann can read to us,” he added.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 157-160

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

Subscribe Form

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Quick Writing Update – Sneak Peek Preview!

Hello everyone,

I’m continuing to write the first draft of my third novel. As previously stated, it is a historical fiction novel set around the turn of the century. This draft I plan to have completed around mid-December. There is a YouTube video close to being published that gives a little tid bit of information on one of the scenes I’ve written, yet I thought I would post a story snippet also below! This comes from Chapter 3, and keep in mind, it’s a first draft!

.     Breakfast consisted of hot popovers, a dish called “toad in the hole”, toast, and mushrooms. It would have ordinarily been a wonderful breakfast, yet the children were anxious to be finished and making their way outside.
.     “Hurry up, Ellsworth,” said Brent half an hour later. “I was done ages ago.”
.     “I’m doing the best I can,” said Ellsworth. “Before we reach the seaside, you’ll all be wishing you had taken longer about breakfast.”
.     “I wonder if Father, Mother, and the others have reached the hospital yet,” said Heather.
.     “They probably have by now,” said Allison.
.     No one else said much about Mother and Father, as they were saying their prayers as instructed, and there wasn’t much else to say, and the more they could think about the outdoors, the less they would worry.
.     Breakfast finished, and a few last remarks said to the servants in an attempt to be polite, the children headed outside through the front door and into the gardens, taking a path that would lead them out to the hill country, and eventually to the seaside. Birds were singing close by, and the garden beds and flowers kept growing as though they hadn’t inkling about Mother’s illness. A few puddles still lay about from the previous night’s rain, yet they were quickly drying up, and most of the grass was now dry except for those areas that had remained in shade.
.     “I’m glad you talked the servants into packing a few sandwiches for our lunch,” said Christopher to Ellsworth. “It means we have all afternoon to be out, until tea-time, I suppose.”
.     “I rather think they don’t want us about,” said Ellsworth.
.     “There were very impolite to us if you ask me,” said Allison. “They treated us just as if we were all two years old.”
.     “Oh, it doesn’t matter,” said Ellsworth. “We should be fine until teatime, anyway.”
.     Bridget was feeling the bark of one of the garden trees, and Brent was trying to climb up its lowest branches. They stood for a few minutes there in the flower gardens, listening to the fountain splashing in the distance. Moss had grown around the base of the tree, and Bridget was just starting to pull at it when Ellsworth spoke up again.
.     “Let’s get started toward the seaside,” he said. “It will take us a few hours to get there, especially if we take a few breaks throughout. Besides,” lowering his voice a little, “I see that gardener in the distance, and he always seems grumpy around us – thinks we’re always messing up the garden beds.” He glanced at Bridget’s bit of work with the moss and began to wonder if the gardener was partially right. “Don’t pull the moss, Bridget,” he said aloud. “He might see it later and be annoyed with us all the more.”
.     They set out from the gardens, walking first at a very brisk pace. That is, it was the fastest Bridget could go without running, and it was somewhere around a comfortable, headstrong walk for Ellsworth, and somewhere in-between for the others. The gardens quickly disappeared behind them and looked much smaller, and before long, they were starting to ascend a few hills.
.     “At least we’re taking a more direct path this time,” said Ellsworth, and so they continued.
.     They stopped to rest three times along the way, and their last rest seemed to take some time, though as none of them had remembered to take a pocket watch along, they didn’t know for sure. All they could see was the sun slowly rising in the sky, though they had been instructed in times past not to look directly at it. There were a few streams that ran across the path they took, and they splashed their faces and waded their feet before moving on.
.     The smell of the sea eventually drew nearer, and finally, after crossing a ridge, they could see the sandy shore stretching out far below them. They found the same path they had gone down before and quickly descended, taking in the fresh sea air with deep, even breaths.
.     “Any sign of the others?” asked Heather as they came to the edge of the sand, taking their shoes and stockings back off to feel the sand with their toes.
.     “They don’t appear to be here, yet,” said Allison, “but those look like ships in the distance.”
.     “I think they wanted us to come to the harbor,” said Ellsworth, “but as I didn’t know how to get there, I thought we could follow it in from the beach.”
.     The sound of the waves could be heard lapping against the sandy shore, and they walked over to where they could pick up pebbles and rocks. They tried skipping them a few minutes and found that Ellsworth and Heather were the only two who were any good at it. Then, they set out to their right, keeping the beach to their left and walking along the sand. In the far distance, they could see many things that must have been the docks, and out at sea other small things that must have been the fishing ships, some of them probably quite large close up.
.     “It must be close to noon, now,” said Christopher. “I say, Ellsworth, what about that lunch that was packed us? We don’t have enough to share with the others, and I’m sure they’ll be eating something else on the docks.”
.     “Well, if you’re all ready for it,” said Ellsworth, “then I suppose we can have our dinner here.”
.     They opened the packs that had been sent them by the servants and divided the food up. There was enough for two sandwiches each, with extra bread and cheese and apples for any who needed more. After walking all that way and splashing their faces in water and playing in the sand, they were all quite hungry. Before they could stop themselves, they finished everything that they had brought along.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe Form

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!