Thursday, November 1, 2018


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Captain Salt in Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc. 

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, January 23, 1916.

“I’m that disappointed I could just cry!” Mrs. Solomon Squirrel rocked jerkily backwards and forwards in the kitchen rocker, dabbing her eyes with the corner of her apron. Solomon was still peering through his spectacles at a telegram that had just been left by a sparrow messenger boy. “Ice unsafe, cannot cross the pond sorry to miss the party, Suzanne Squirrel.” “Couldn’t we postpone it, my dear?” ventured Solomon timidly. “Postpone it!” wailed Mrs. Squirrel throwing up her paws. “With all the nuts cracked and all the cakes and pies made—how you do talk, Solomon!” “It was only a suggestion, my dear!” Solomon reached apologetically for his hat and muttering something about “business appointment” hurried out of the house—I mean tree. He could not bear to see Mrs. Squirrel unhappy. She had worked so hard over the party, too, and here Suzanne, her husband and six children were not going to get there.

He was so worried and upset that he hardly spoke to Jack Rabbit’s Uncle John as he passed his door and the poor old rabbit gentleman was quite hurt, for Solomon always stopped and told him all the tree news and he told Solomon all the ground news. He had a choice bit this morning, too, about Henry Hedgehog’s new waistcoat. But Solomon was thinking of everything else but waistcoats just then. He whisked along down to the pond to see for himself whether the ice had broken up. “What in the world did Suzanne want to live on the other side of the pond for? Hadn’t he often offered to find her a tree near them?” He tapped the ice sharply with his cane, then shading his eyes with the newspaper, stared across. Sure enough, there was a great crack in the centre and a big sign reading, “Danger! Keep off!”

The sight was very depressing and the more he thought of the cupboard full of cakes and the pantry full of nuts and pies the worse he felt. “We’ll be eating ’em for the rest of the winter, for Sarah will never allow ’em to be wasted!” he reflected sadly. “Eating what for the rest of the winter?” said a voice behind him so suddenly that Mr. Squirrel dropped his cane with a crash. “Ha! Ho! Ho! Ha!” laughed two jolly voices and Solomon’s cousins, Benjamin and Jonathan Beaver, slapped him heartily upon the back. Solomon was so relieved to see some one to whom he could tell his troubles that he cheered up wonderfully.

“To (sic) bad! Too bad!” sympathized Benjamin when they had heard all about it. “Shouldn’t wonder if the thaw lasted a considerable spell!” observed Jonathan, squinting at the sun knowingly. “Come along, Ben, we’ve a deal of wood to cut today.” Benjamin didn’t answer for he was staring across the pond as if he saw something mighty interesting over there. “What is it?” questioned Solomon, shading his eyes with the paper again. “An idea!” chuckled Benjamin, rubbing his paws together. Then giving Solomon a poke in the ribs that left him breathless, he pointed to the tree under which they were standing. Still Solomon looked mystified. But Jonathan seemed to know immediately what the idea was. “Fine!” he exclaimed, pulling off his coat!

Then Benjamin got on one side of the tree and Jonathan on the other and they gnawed and gnawed with their sharp teeth till, my goody two shoes, down it came with a crash and fell across the pond, making the finest bridge you ever saw! And Solomon Squirrel was so delighted he threw his hat up in the air and cheered for dear life. Then he shook paws with both his cousins, clapped his hat on again and scampered across to tell Suzanne and the family that they could come to his wife’s party.

All in a flutter he rushed back again to tell Mrs. Solomon Squirrel the good news. So they both put on aprons and all the little Solomon Squirrels put on aprons and in three whisks of a tail the table was set and everything was right again. At 2 o’clock Suzanne Squirrel and her family, all dressed in gray fur coats, might have been seen stepping daintily over the beavers’ bridge on their way to the party. And I’m very glad it all turned out so happily, aren’t you!

By Ruth Plumly Thompson  
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, April 17, 1921

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

The Forgetful Poet surely mixed himself up last week with a wakesap instead of a knapsack and tame flowers ’stead of wild flowers and woods overhead and sky underfoot. Then he used sang for trudged and trudged for sang, and left out today entirely—but for all of that it was a very fine poem HE says.
[This is the final installment of "The Forgetful Poet." There won't be any answers next time. Look for a NEW continuing feature: Supposyville Stories!]

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