Author of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, The Wish Express, "King, King! Double King!", etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 1919.
This story was told to me by a bird. So it must be true! Once - there was a little bit of an orphan dutch boy whom nobody wanted. Perhaps his name was too long. You see it began with Peter Ludwig Vandervechten Hohenbrummer Pam - and went on for several minutes. One dark night his foster father carried him to the top of the tall wind mill and left him there.
"He will fall out," muttered the wicked old man. But the mill held its wings steady and called to the wind not to blow and morning found the little boy safe and sound asleep. THEN -
Who should come along but a friendly stork:
"Hello!" whistled he - "A lost bird!" So he took the band of Peter Ludwig's broad breeches in his bill. Off flew two little wooden shoes. Whack! Whack! right down on that wicked foster father's head. He had come out to look at his tulips. His best pipe crashed to the flags and away he clumped down the street as if goblins themselves pursued him. And may they! But up, up and up circled the stork carrying Peter to its nest in the chimney tops of one of the finest mansions imaginable.
The young storks obligingly made room for him and the mother stork stroked him kindly with her wing. Living in a nest is terribly cozy and when father stork found his new little bird would not eat the fish and frogs so delicious to his own family, he fetched a huge cheese from the market and bags of dutch bread from the doorsteps in the morning.
Peter learned the stork language in all of its branches and went to sleep on one leg with his head under his arm and everything was all right 'till mother stork tried to teach Peter to fly. (Oh I say!)
The baby storks managed famously but Peter stood on the edge of the chimney and refused to budge. Then mother stork gave him a push. "Flap your wings!" she cried excitedly. But Peter had disappeared down the tall chimney.
"Wife! Wife come quickly!" called Mynheer Van Veckt, "a great good fortune has come to us!" and what do you 'spose it was? Dear little Peter himself, and as the old couple had many golden guilders and no children of their own, he lived very happily ever afterward. But Peter had one habit that annoyed them vastly. He would stand for hours upon one leg.
THE FORGETFUL POET
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 17, 1918.
With the Allies roasting Turkey and all the other exciting things going on this promises to be a record-breaking Thanksgiving. The Forgetful Poet says he supposes you are too busy to answer any difficult riddles, so he'll just put in a few easy ones.
Why don't little boys like pie?
Why don't little girls like turkey?
Why is a street like a crab?
Why is some butter kept in barns?
After that he says:
Pray, always know your a-b-c's,
And always dot your i's;
And if you mind your p's and q's
The world will count you y's!
Last week's answers were:
1.Ham. 2.Swallow. 3.Canary. 4.Robin. 5.Chicken.
Be not a procrastinator.
Study now means profit later!
[Answers next time.]
Copyright © 2009 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.