The Story of Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart I

MARCH, 1920

[OPAL WHITELEY was born about twenty-one years ago—where, we have no knowledge. Of her parents, whom she lost before her fifth year, she is sure of nothing except that they loved her, and that she loved them with a tenacity of affection as strong now as at the time of parting. To recall what manner of people they were, no physical proof remains except two precious little copybooks, which held their photographs, and wherein her mother and father had set down things which they wished their little daughter to learn, both of the world about her and of that older world of legend and history, with which the diarist shows such capricious and entertaining familiarity. These books, for reasons beyond her knowledge, were taken away from Opal when she was about twelve years of age, and have never been returned, although there is ground for believing that they are still in existence.

The only other clue to the identity of her father and mother comes from the child’s frequent use of French expressions and of scientific terms. It is, perhaps, a fair inference that her father was a naturalist by profession or native taste, and that either he or her mother was French by birth or by education.

After her parents’ death, there is an interlude in Opal’s recollection which she does not understand, remembering only that for a brief season the sweet tradition of her mother’s care was carried on by an older woman, possibly a governess, from whom, within a year, she was taken and given to the wife of an Oregon lumberman, who had lately been parted from her first child, — Opal Whiteley, — whose place and name, for reasons quite unknown, were given to the present Opal.

From some time in her sixth year to the present, her diary has continued without serious interruption; and as successive chapters are printed in the Atlantic, we shall see that her life, apart from the gay tranquillity of her spirit, was not a happy one. Her friends were the animals and everything that flies or swims; her single confidant was her diary, to which she confided every trouble and every satisfaction. The diary itself was written on scrap paper of all sorts — in large part on wrappingpaper, and strips torn from bags once containing butcher’s meat and given her by a friendly neighbor.

When Opal was over twelve years old, a foster-sister, in a tragic fit of childish temper, unearthed the hiding-place of the diary, and tore it into a thousand fragments. The work of years seemed destroyed, but Opal, who had treasured its understanding pages, picked up the pitiful scraps and stored them in a secret box. There they lay undisturbed until, after many adventures, she happened to come to the Atlantic office to talk about a publication of a very different character. The editor learned her story, bit by bit, and, growing interested, asked her to telegraph for the box, which, since she had left the lumber camps, and her home had been broken up by the death of Mrs. Whiteley, had been stored in California. It came, with its myriad fragments, and since then the diarist has spent her days piecing it together, sheet by sheet; each page a kind of picture-puzzle, lettered on both sides in colored chalks, the characters, printed with a child’s unskillfulness of hand, nearly an inch high.

The labor of putting the diary together may fairly be described as enormous. To those who have read the daily entries as each page, scrap by scrap, has been fitted, pieced, and pinned into position, the task has seemed worth the pain.

Opal Whiteley’s entire manuscript comprises more than 150,000 words. There are upwards of 45,000 which can be ascribed with certainty to the end of her sixth and to her seventh year. Only a selection can, of course, be printed in the Atlantic, but the variety and the sustained level of interest render the choice of passages difficult. No editing has been done or changes made, other than omissions and the adoption of adult rules of capitalization (the manuscript has nothing but capitals), and punctuation (of which it affords no single trace). The spelling — with the exception of occasional characteristic examples of the diarist’s individual style— has been amended, lest the journal seem precocious, rather than beautifully natural and interpretive of the Spirit of Childhood. — E. S.]

INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR

OF the days before I was taken to the lumber camps there is little I remember. As piece by piece the journal comes together, some things come back. There are references here and there in the journal to things I saw or heard or learned in those days before I came to the lumber camps.

There were walks in the fields and woods. When on these walks, Mother would tell me to listen to what the flowers and trees and birds were saying. We listened together. And on the way she told me poems and other lovely things, some of which she wrote in the two books and also in others which I had not with me in the lumber camps. On the walks, and after we came back, she had me to print what I had seen and what I had heard. After that she told me of different people and their wonderful work on earth. Then she would have me tell again to her what she had told me. After I came to the lumber camps, I told these things to the trees and the brooks and the flowers.

There were five words my Mother said to me over and over again, as she had me to print what I had seen and heard. These words were: What, Where, When, How, Why. They had a very great influence over all my observations and the recording of those observations during all the days of my childhood. And my Mother having put such strong emphasis on these five words accounts for much of the detailed descriptions that are throughout my diary.

No children I knew. There were only Mother and the kind woman who taught me and looked after me and dressed me, and the young girl who fed me. And there was Father in those few days when he was home from the far lands. Those were wonderful days — his homecoming days. Then he would take me on his knee and ride me on his shoulder and tell me of the animals and birds of the far lands. And we went for many walks, and he would talk to me about the things along the way. It was then he taught me comparer.1

There was one day when I went with Mother in a boat. It was a little way on the sea. It was a happy day. Then something happened and we were all in the water. Afterward, when I called and called for Mother, they said the sea waves had taken her and she was gone to heaven. I remember the day because I never saw my Mother again.

The time was not long after that day with Mother in the boat, when one day the kind woman who taught me and took care of me did tell me gently that Father too had gone to heaven while he was away in the far lands. She said she was going to take me to my grandmother and grandfather, the mother and father of my Father.

We started. But I never got to see my dear grandmother and grandfather whom I had never seen. Something happened on the way and I was all alone. And I did n’t feel happy. There were strange people that I had never seen before and I was afraid of them. They made me to keep very still and we went for no walks in the field. But we traveled a long, long way.

Then it was they put me with Mrs. Whiteley. The day they put me with her was a rainy day and I thought she was a little afraid of them, too. She took me on the train and in a stagecoach to the lumber camp. She called me Opal Whiteley, the same name as that of another little girl who was the same size as I was when her mother lost her. She took me into the camp as her own child, and so called me as we lived in the different lumber camps and in the mill town.

With me I took into camp a small box. In a slide drawer in the bottom of this box were two books which my own Mother and Father, the Angel Father and Mother I always speak of in my diary, had written in. I do not think the people who put me with Mrs. Whiteley knew about the books in the lower part of the box, for they took everything out of the top part of the box and tossed it aside. I picked it up and kept it with me, and, being as I was more quiet with it in my arms, they allowed me to keep it, thinking it was empty. These books I kept always with me, until one day I shall always remember, when I was about twelve years old, they were taken from the box I kept then hid in the woods. Day by day I spelled over and over the many words that were written in them. From them I selected names for my pets. And it was the many little things recorded there that helped me to remember what my Mother and Father had already told me of different great lives and their work; and these books with these records made me eager to be learning more and more of what was recorded in them. These two books I studied much more than I did my books at school. Their influence upon my life has been great.

Ages can be fixed with reasonable definiteness, owing to the birthdays of the Whiteley children, and to a number of small events which can be ascribed to precise periods of Opal Whiteley’s life. The diarist’s comprehensive knowledge of the names of the good and great she undoubtedly owes to the notebooks left by her real parents, which she read constantly.

Six Years Old

To-day the folks are gone away from the house we do live in. They are gone a little way away, to the ranch-house where the grandpa does live. I sit on our steps and I do print. I like it — this house we do live in being at the edge of the near woods. So many little people do live in the near woods. I do have conversations with them. I found the near woods first day I did go explores. That was the next day after we were come here. All the way from the other logging camp in the beautiful mountains we came in a wagon. Two horses were in front of us. They walked in front of us all the way. When first we were come, we did live with some other people in the ranch-house that was n’t all builded yet. After that we lived in a tent, and often when it did rain many raindrops came right through the tent. They did fall in patters on the stove and on the floor and on the table. Too, they did make the quilts on the beds some damp — but that did n’t matter much because they soon got dried hanging around the stove.

By and by we were come from the tent to this lumber shanty. It has got a divide in it. One room we do have sleeps in. In the other room we do have breakfast and supper. Back of the house are some nice wood-rats. The most lovely of them all is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. By the woodshed is a brook. It goes singing on. Its joy song does sing in my heart. Under the house live some mice. I give them bread-scraps to eat. Under the steps lives a toad. He and I — we are friends. I have named him. I call him Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil.

Between the ranch-house and the house we live in is the singing creek where the willows grow. We have conversations. And there I do dabble my toes beside the willows. I feel the feels of gladness they do feel. And often it is I go from the willows to the meeting of the road. That is just in front of the ranch-house. There the road does have divides. It goes three ways. One way the road does go to the house of Sadie McKinzie. It does n’t stop when it gets to her house, but mostly I do. The road just goes on to the mill town a little way away. In its going it goes over a hill. Sometimes — the times Sadie McKinzie is n’t at home — I do go with Brave Horatius to the top of the hill. We look looks down upon the mill town. Then we do face about and come again home. Always we make stops at the house of Sadie McKinzie. Her house — it is close to the mill by the far woods. That mill makes a lot of noise. It can do two things at once. It makes the noises and also it does saw the logs into boards. About the mill do live some people, mostly men-folks. There does live the good man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice.

Another way, the road does go the way I go when I go to the school-house where I go to school. When it is come there, it does go right on — on to the house of the girl who has no seeing. When it gets to her house, it does make a bend, and it does go its way to the blue hills. As it goes, its way is near unto the way of the rivière that sings as it comes from the blue hills. There are singing brooks that come going to the rivière. These brooks — they and I — we are friends. I call them Orne and Loing and Yonne and Rille and Essonne.

Near unto the road, long ways between the brooks, are ranch-houses. I have not knowing of the people that do dwell in them. But I do know some of their cows and horses and pigs. They are friendly folk. Around the ranchhouses are fields. Woods use to grow where now grows grain. When the mowers cut down the grain, they also do cut down the cornflowers that grew in the fields. I follow along after and I do pick them up. Of some of them I make a guirlande. When the guirlande is made, I do put it around the neck of William Shakespeare. He does have appreciations. As we go walking down the lane, I do talk with him about the one he is named for. And he does have understanding. He is such a beautiful gray horse, and his ways are ways of gentleness. Too, he does have likings like the likings I have for the hills that are beyond the fields — for the hills where are trails and tall fir trees like the wonderful ones that do grow by the road.

So go two of the roads. The other road does lead to the upper logging camps. It goes only a little way from the ranch-house and it comes to a rivière. Long time ago, this road did have a longing to go across the rivière. Some wise people did have understandings and they did build it a bridge to go across on. It went across the bridge and it goes on and on between the hills — the hills where dwell the talking fir trees. By its side goes the railroad track. Its appears are not so nice as are the appears of the road, and it has got only a squeaky voice. But this railroad track does have shining rails — they stretch away and away, like a silver ribbon that came from the moon in the night. I go a-walking on these rails. I get off when I do hear the approaches of the donkey engine. On this track on every day, excepting Sunday, comes and goes the logging train. It goes to the camps and it does bring back cars of logs and cars of lumber. These it does take to the mill town. There engines more big do take the cars of lumber to towns more big.

Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has been waiting in my sunbonnet a long time. He wants to go on explores. Too, Brave Horatius and Isaiah are having longings in their eyes. And I hear Peter Paul Rubens squealing in the pig-pen. Now I go. We go on explores.

To-day was a warm, hot day. It was warm in the morning and hot at noon. Before noon and afternoon and after that, I carried water to the hired men in the field in a jug. I got the water out of the pump to put into the jug. I had to put water in the pump before any would come out. The men were glad to have that water in the jug.

While I was taking the water in the jug to the men in the field, from her sewing basket Lars Porsena of Clusium took the mamma’s thimble, and she did n’t have it and she could n’t find it. She sent me to watch out for it in the house and in the yard and everywhere. I know how Lars Porsena of Clusium has a fondness for collecting things of bright colors, like unto my fondness for collecting rocks, so I ran to his hidingplace in the old oak tree. There I found the mamma’s thimble, but she said the pet crow’s having taken it was as though I had taken it, because he was my property; so I got a spanking with the hazel switches that grow near unto our back steps. Inside me I could n’t help feeling she ought to have given me thanks for finding the thimble.

Afterwards I made little vases out of clay. I put them in the oven to bake. The mamma found my vases of clay. She threw them out of the window. When I went to pick them up, they were broken.

I felt sad inside. I went to talk things over with my chum, Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He is that most tall fir tree that grows just back of the barn. I scooted up the barn door. From there I climbed on to the lower part of the barn roof. I walked up a ways. Up there I took a long look at the world about. One gets such a good wide view of the world from a barn roof. After, I looked looks in four straight ways and four corner ways. I said a little prayer. I always say a little prayer before I jump off the barn into the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael, because that jump is quite a long jump, and if I did not land in the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael, I might get my leg or neck broken. That would mean I’d have to keep still a long time. Now I think that would be the most awful thing that could happen, for I do so love to be active. So I always say a little prayer and do that jump in a careful way. To-day when I did jump, I did land right proper in that fir tree. It is such a comfort to nestle up to Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael when one is in trouble. He is such a grand tree. He has an understanding soul.

After I talked with him and listened unto his voice I slipped down out of his arms. I intended to slip into the barn corral, but I slid off the wrong limb in the wrong way. I landed in the pig-pen on top of Aphrodite, the mother pig. She gave a peculiar grunt. It was not like those grunts she gives when she is comfortable.

I felt I ought to do something to make up to her for having come into her home out of the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael instead of calling on her in the proper way. I decided a good way to make it up to her would be to pull down the rail fence in that place where the pig-pen is weak, and take her for a walk. I went to the woodshed. I got a piece of clothes-line rope. While I was making a halter for the mother pig I took my Sunday-best hair-ribbon — the blue ribbon the Uncle Caleb gave to me. I made a bow on that halter. I put the bow just over her ears. That gave her the proper look. When the mamma saw us go walking by, she took the bow from off the pig. She put that bow in the trunk; me she put under the bed.

By-and-by — some time long it was — she took me from under the bed and gave me a spanking. She did not have time to give me a spanking when she put me under the bed. She left me there until she did have time. After she did it she sent me to the ranch-house to get some milk for the baby. I walked slow through the oak grove, looking for caterpillars. I found nine. Then I went to the pig-pen. The chore boy was fixing back the rails I had pulled down. His temper was quite warm. He was saying prayer words in a quick way. I went not near unto him. I slipped around near Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. I peeked in between the fence rails. Aphrodite was again in the pig-pen. She was snoozing, so I tiptoed over to the rain-barrel by the barn. I raised mosquitoes in the rain-barrel for my pet bats. Aristotle eats more mosquitoes than Plato and Pliny eat.

On my way to the house I met Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen, with her family. She only has twelve baby chickens now. The grandpa says the other one she did have died of new monia because I gave it too many baths for its health. When I came to the house one of the cats, a black one, was sitting on the doorstep. I have not friendly feelings for that big black cat. Day before day that was yesterday I saw him kill the mother humming-bird. He knocked her with his paw when she came to the nasturtiums. I did n’t even speak to him.

Just as I was going to knock on the back door for the milk, I heard a voice on the front porch. It was the voice of a person who has an understanding soul. I hurried around to the front porch. There was Sadie McKinzie with a basket on her arm. She beamed a smile at me. I went over and nestled up against her blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it. The freckles on Sadie McKinzie’s wrinkled face are as many as are the stars in the Milky Way, and she is awful old — going on forty. Her hands are all brown and cracked like the dried-up mud-puddles by the roadside in July, and she has an understanding soul. She always has bandages ready in her pantry when some of my pets get hurt. There are cookies in her cookie-jar when I don’t get home for meals, and she allows me to stake out earthworm claims in her back yard.

She walked along beside me when I took the milk home. When she came near the lane she took from her basket wrapping-papers and gave them to me to print upon. Then she kissed me good-bye upon the cheek and went her way to her home. I went my way to the house we live in. After the mamma had switched me for not getting back sooner with the milk, she told me to fix the milk for the baby. The baby’s bottle used to be a brandy bottle, but it evoluted into a milk bottle when they put a nipple on to it.

I sit here on the doorstep printing this on the wrapping-paper Sadie McKinzie gave me. The baby is in bed asleep. The mamma and the rest of the folks is gone to the ranch-house. When they went away, she said for me to stay in the doorway to see that nothing comes to carry the baby away. By the step is Brave Horatius. At my feet is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I hear songs — lullaby songs of the trees. The back part of me feels a little bit sore, but I am happy listening to the twilight music of God’s good world. I’m real glad I’m alive.

The colic had the baby to-day, and there was no Castoria for the pains; there was none because yesterday Pearl2 and I climbed upon a chair and then upon the dresser and drank up the new bottle of Castoria; but the bottle had an ache in it and we swallowed the ache with the Castoria. That gave us queer feels. Pearl lay down on the bed. I did rub her head. But she said it was n’t her head — it was her back that hurt. Then she said it was her leg that ached. The mamma came in the house then, and she did take Pearl in a quick way to the ranch-house.

It was a good time for me to go away exploring, but I did n’t feel like going on an exploration trip. I just sat on the doorstep. I did sit there and hold my chin in my hand. I did have no longings to print. I only did have longings not to have those queer feels. Brave Horatius came walking by. He did make a stop at the doorstep. He wagged his tail. That meant he wanted to go on an exploration trip. Lars Porsena of Clusium came from the oak tree. He did perch on the back of Brave Horatius. He gave two caws. That meant he wanted to go on an exploration trip. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus came from under the house. He just crawled into my lap. I gave him pats and he cuddled his nose up under my curls. Peter Paul Rubens did squeal out in the pig-pen. He squealed the squeals he does squeal when he wants to go on an exploration trip.

Brave Horatius did wait and wait, but still those queer feels would n’t go away. Pretty soon I got awful sick. By and by I did have better feels. And to-day my feels are all right and the mamma is gone a-visiting and I am going on an exploration trip. Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Peter Paul Rubens are waiting while I do print this. And now we are going the way that does lead to the blue hills.

Sometimes I share my bread and jam with Yellowjackets, who have a home on the bush by the road, twenty trees and one distant from the garden. To-day I climbed up on the old rail fence close to their home, with a piece and a half of bread and jam and the half piece for them and the piece for myself. But they all wanted to be served at once, so it became necessary to turn over all bread and jam on hand. I broke it into little pieces, and they had a royal feast there on the old fence rail. I wanted my bread and jam, but then, Yellowjackets are such interesting fairies — being among the world’s first paper-makers; and baby Yellowjackets are such chubby youngsters. Thinking on these things makes it a joy to share one’s bread and jam with these wasp fairies.

When I was coming back from feeding them I heard a loud noise. That Rob Ryder was out there by the chute, shouting at God in a very quick way. He was begging God to dam that chute right there in our back yard. Why, if God answered his prayer, we would be in an awful fix. The house we live in would be under water, if God dammed the chute. Now I think anger had Rob Ryder or he would not pray kind God to be so unkind. When I came again to the house we live in, the mamma was cutting out biscuits with the bakingpowder can. She put the pan of biscuits on the wood-box back of the stove. She put a most clean dish-towel over the biscuits, then she went to gather in clothes. I got a thimble from the machine drawer. I cut little round biscuits from the big biscuits. The mamma found me. She put the thimble back in the machine drawer. She put me under the bed. Here under the bed I now print.

By-and-by, after a long time, the mamma called me to come out from under the bed. She told me to put on my coat and her big fascinator on my head. She fastened my coat with safety-pins, then she gave me a lard-pail with its lid on tight. She told me to go straight to the grandpa’s house for the milk, and to come straight home again. I started to go straight for the milk. When I came near the hospital, I went over to it to get the pet mouse, Felix Mendelssohn. I thought that a walk in the fresh air would be good for his health. I took one of the safety-pins out of my coat. I pinned up a corner of the fascinator. That made a warm place next to my curls for Felix Mendelssohn to ride in. I call this mouse Felix Mendelssohn because sometimes he makes very sweet music.

Then I crossed to the cornfield. A cornfield is a very nice place, and some days we children make hair for our clothes-pin dolls from the silken tassels of the corn that grow in the grandpa’s cornfield. Sometimes, which is quite often, we break the cornstalks in getting the silk tassels. That makes bumps on the grandpa’s temper.

To-night I walked zigzag across the field to look for things. Into my apron pocket I put bits of little rocks. By a fallen cornstalk I met two of my mouse friends. I gave them nibbles of food from the other apron pocket. I went on and saw a fat old toad by a clod. Mice and toads do have such beautiful eyes. I saw two caterpillars on an ear of corn after I turned the tassels back. All along the way I kept hearing voices. Little leaves were whispering over in the lane. I saw another mouse with beautiful eyes. Then I saw a man and woman coming across the field. The man was carrying a baby.

Soon I met them. It was Larry and Jean and their little baby. They let me pat the baby’s hand and smooth back its hair, for I do so love babies. When I grow up I want twins and eight more children, and I want to write outdoor books for children everywhere.

To-night, after Larry and Jean started on, I turned again to wave good-bye. I remembered the first time I saw Larry and Jean, and the bit of poetry he said to her. They were standing by an old stump in the lane where the leaves whispered. Jean was crying. He patted her on the shoulder and said, —

‘There, little girl, don’t cry,
I’ll come back and marry you by-and-by.’

And he did. And the angels looking down from heaven saw their happiness and brought a baby real soon, when they had been married most 5 months, which was very nice, for a baby is such a comfort and twins are a multiplication table of blessings.

After I waved good-bye to the dear baby, I thought I would go around by the lane where I first saw them and heard him say to her that poetry. It is such a lovely lane. I call it our lane. Of course it does n’t belong to Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and I and all the rest of us. It belongs to a big man that lives in a big house, but it is our lane more than it is his lane, because he does n’t know the grass and flowers that grow there, and the birds that nest there, and the lizards that run along the fence, and the caterpillars and beetles that go walking along the roads made by the wagon wheels. And he does n’t stop to talk to the trees that grow all along the lane. All those trees are my friends. I call them bynames I have given to them. I call them Hugh Capet and Saint Louis and Good King Edward the I, and the tallest one of all is Charlemagne, and the one around where the little flowers talk most is William Wordsworth, and there are Byron and Keats and Shelley. When I go straight for the milk, I do so like to come around this way by the lane and talk to these tree friends. I stopped tonight to give to each a word of greeting. When I got to the end of the lane, I climbed the gate and thought I had better hurry straight on to get the milk.

When I went by the barn, I saw a mouse run around the corner and a graceful bat came near unto the barndoor. I got the milk. It was near dark time, so I came again home by the lane and along the corduroy road. When I got most home I happened to remember the mamma wanted the milk in a hurry, so I began to hurry.

I don’t think I’ll print more tonight. I printed this sitting on the wood-box, where the mamma put me after she spanked me after I got home with the milk. Now I think I shall go out the bedroom window and talk to the stars. They always smile so friendly. This is a very wonderful world to live in.

In the morning of to-day, when I was come part way to school, when I was come to the ending of the lane, I met a glad surprise. There was my dear pet pig awaiting for me. I gave him three joy pats on the nose, and I did call him by name ten times. I was so glad to see him. Being as I got a late start to school, I did n’t have enough of time to go around by the pig-pen for our morning talk. And there he was awaiting for me at the ending of the lane. And his name it is Peter Paul Rubens. His name is that, because the first day I saw him was on the twenty-ninth of June. He was little then — a very plump young pig with a little red-ribbon squeal and a wanting to go everywhere I did go. Sometimes he would squeal and I would n’t go to find out what he wanted. Then one day when his nose was sore he did give such an odd pain squeal. Of course, I ran a quick run to help him. After that, when he had a chance, he would come to the kitchen door and give that same squeal. That Peter Paul Rubens seemed to know that was the only one of all his squeals that would bring me at once to where he was.

And this morning, when I did start on to school, he gave that same squeal and came a-following after. When he was caught up with me he gave a grunt and then he gave his little red-ribbon squeal. A lump came up in my throat and I could n’t tell him to turn around and go back to the pig-pen. So we just went along to school together.

When we got there, school was already took up. I went in first. The new teacher came back to tell me I was tardy again. She did look out the door. She saw my dear Peter Paul Rubens. She did ask me where that pig came from. I just started in to tell her all about him from the day I first met him. She did look long looks at me. She did look those looks for a long time. I made pleats in my apron with my fingers. I made nine on one side and three on the other side. When I was through counting the pleats I did make in my apron, I did ask her what she was looking those long looks at me for. She said, ‘I’m screwtineyesing you.’ I never did hear that word before. It is a new word. It does have an interest sound. I think I will have uses for it. Now when I look long looks at a thing, I will print I did screwtineyes it.

After she did look more long looks at me, she went back to her desk by the blackboard. She did call the sixth grade fiziologie class. I went to my seat. I only sat half-way in it. I so did so I could have seeing of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. He did wait at the steps. He looked long looks toward the door. It was n’t long until he walked right in. I felt such an amount of satisfaction having him at school.

Teacher felt not so. Now I have wonders about things. I wonder why was it teacher did n’t want Peter Paul Rubens coming to school. Why, he did make such a sweet picture as he did stand there in the doorway looking looks about. And the grunts he gave, they were such nice ones. He stood there saying: ‘I have come to your school. What class are you going to put me in?’ He said in plain grunts the very same words I did say the first day I came to school. The children all turned around in their seats. I’m sure they were glad he was come to school — and him talking there in that dear way. But I guess our teacher does n’t have understanding of pig talk. She just came at him in such a hurry with a stick of wood. And when I made Interferes, she did send us both home in a quick way.

We did have a most happy time coming home. We did go on an exploration trip. Before we were gone far, we did have hungry feels. I took the lid off the lard bucket that my school lunch was in. I did make divides of all my bread and butter. Part I gave to Peter Paul Rubens, and he did have appreciations. He did grunt grunts for some more. Pretty soon it was all gone. We did go on. We went on to the woods. I did dig up little plants with leaves that do stay -green all winter. We saw many beautiful things. Most everything we did see I did explain about it to Peter Paul Rubens. I told him why — all about why I was digging up so many of the little plants. I did want him to have understanding that I was going to plant them again.

When I did have almost forty-five and it was come near eventime, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium did come to meet us. When I did have forty-five plants, we all did go in the way that does lead to the cathedral, for this is the homing day of Girolamo Savonarola. And in the cathedral I did plant little plants as many years as he was old. Forty-five I did so plant. And we had prayers and came home.

(To be continued)

  1. French: to compare, to classify. — EDITOR.
  2. A foster-sister.