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| Home | Reading Room The Bobbsey Twins at School

The Bobbsey Twins at School
by Laura Lee Hope

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QUICKLY, after the first guests had arrived came the others. Nellie

Parks, Grace Lavine friends of Nan, and Willie Porter and his sister

Sadie, came first, and Freddie and Flossie let them in, the Porter

children being some of their bestliked playmates.

All the children wore their best clothes, and for a time they were a bit

stiff and unnatural, standing shyly about in corners, against the walls,

or sitting on chairs.

The boys seemed to all crowd together in one part of the room, and the

girls in another. Flossie and Freddie, Nan and Bert, were so busy

answering the door that they did not notice this at first.

But Aunt Sarah, their mother's sister, who had come over to help Mrs.

Bobbsey, looking in the parlor and library, saw what the trouble was.

"My!" she cried, with a goodnatured laugh, as she noticed how "stiff"

the children were. "This will never do. You're not that way at school,

I don't believe. Come, be lively. Mix up - play games. Pretend this

is recess at school, and make as much noise as you like."

For a moment the boys and girls did not know what to think of this

invitation. But just then Snap, the circus dog, came in the room, and,

with a bark of welcome, he turned a somersault, and then marched around

on his hind legs, carrying a broomstick like a gun - pretending he was a

soldier. Bert had given it to him.

Then how the children laughed and clapped their hands! And Snap barked

so loudly - for he liked applause that there was noise enough for even

jolly Aunt Sarah. After that there was no trouble. The boys and girls

talked together and soon they were playing games, and having the best

kind of fun.

For some of the games simple prizes had been offered and it was quite

exciting toward the end to see who would win. Flossie and Freddie

thought they had never had such a good time in all their lives. Nan and

Bert were enjoying themselves, too, with their friends, who were

slightly older than those who had been asked for the younger Bobbsey


"Going to Jerusalem," was one game that created lots of enjoyment. A

number of chairs were placed in the centre of the room, and the boys and

girls marched around them while Mrs. Bobbsey played the piano. But

there was one less chair than there were players, so that when the music

would suddenly stop, which was a signal for each one who could, to sit

down, someone was sure to be left. Then this one had to stay out of the


Then a chair would be taken away, so as always to have one less than the

number of players, and the game went on. It was great fun, scrambling

to see who would get a seat, and not be left without one, and finally

there was but one chair left, while Grace Lavine and John Blake marched

about. Mrs. Bobbsey kept playing quite some time, as the two went

around and around that one chair. Everyone was laughing, wondering who

would get a seat and so win the game, when, all at once, Mrs. Bobbsey

stopped the music. She had her back turned so it would be perfectly


Grace and John made a rush for the one chair, but Grace got to it first,

and so she won.

"Well, I'm glad you did, anyhow," said John, politely.

Other games were "peanut races" and "potato scrambles." In the first

each player had a certain number of peanuts and they had to start at one

end of the room, and lay the nuts at equal distances apart across to the

other side, coming back each time to their pile of peanuts to get one.

Sometimes a boy would slip, he was in such a hurry, or a girl would drop

her peanuts, and this made fun and confusion.

Nan won this race easily.

In the potato scramble several rows of potatoes were made across the

room. Each player was given a large spoon, and whoever first

took up all his or her potatoes in the spoons one at a time, and piled

them up at the far end of the room, won the game. In this Charley Mason

was successful, and won the prize - a pretty little pin for his tie.

The afternoon wore on, and, almost before the children realized it the

hour for supper had arrived. They were not sorry, either, for they all

had good appetites.

"Come into the dining room, children," invited Mrs. Bobbsey.

And Oh! such gasps of pleased surprise as were heard when the children

saw what had been prepared for them! For Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, while

not going to any great expense, and not making the children's party too

fanciful, had made it beautiful and simple.

The long table was set with dishes and pretty glasses. There were

flowers in the centre, and at each end, and also blooms in vases about

the room. Then, from the centre chandelier to the four corners of the

table, were strings of green smilax in which had been entwined

carnations of various colors.

The lights were softly glowing on the pretty scene, and there were

prettily shaded candles to add to the effect. But what caught the eyes

of all the children more than anything else were two large cakes - one

at either end of the table.

On each cake burned five candles, and on one cake was the name

"Flossie," while the other was marked "Freddie." The names were in pink

icing on top of the white frosting that covered the birthday cakes.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" could be heard all about the room. "Isn't that too

sweet for anything!"

"I guess they are sweet!" piped up Freddie in his shrill little voice,

"'cause Dinah put lots of sugar in 'em; didn't you, Dinah?" and he

looked at Dinah, who had thrust her laughing, black, goodnatured face

into the dining room door.

"Dat's what I did, honey! Dat's what I did!" she exclaimed. "If

anybody's got a toofache he'd better not eat any ob dem cakes, 'cause

dey suah am sweet."

How the children laughed at that!

"All ready, now, children, sit down," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Your names

are at your plates."

There was a little confusion getting them all seated, as those on one

side of the table found that their name cards were on the other side.

But Flossie and Freddie, and Nan and Bert, helped the guests to find

their proper places and soon everyone was in his or her chair.

"Can't Snap sit with us, too?" asked Freddie, looking about for his pet,

who had done all his tricks well that evening.

"No, dear," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Snap is a good dog, but we don't want

him in the dining room when we are eating. It gives him bad habits."

"Then can't I send him out some cakes?" asked Flossie, for Snap had

almost as large a "sweet tooth" as the children themselves.

"Yes, as it is your birthday, I suppose you can give him some of your

good things," said Mamma Bobbsey.

"Here, Dinah!" called Freddie to the cook, as he piled a plate full of

cakes. "Please give these to Snap."

"Land sakes goodness me alive!" cried Dinah. "Dat suah am queer.

Feedin' a dog jest laik a human at a party. I can't bring mahself to

it, nohow."

"I'll take 'em out to him," said her husband.

Then the feast began, and such a feast as it was! Mrs. Bobbsey, knowing

how easily the delicate stomachs of children can be upset, had wisely

selected the food and sweets, and she saw to it that no one ate too

much, though she was gently suggestive about it instead of ordering.

"Don't eat too much," advised Freddie to some of the friends who sat

near him. "We've got a lot of ice cream coming. Save room for that."

"That's so - I almost forgot," spoke Jimmie Black.

A little later Mrs. Bobbsey said to Dinah:

"I think you may bring in the cream now, and I will help you serve it."

"Yes, ma'am."

"Oh, goodie!" cried Freddie. "Ice cream's coming!" and he waved his

spoon above his head.

"Freddie - Freddie!" said his mother, in gentle reproof.

Dinah went out on the back stoop, looked around and came running back to

the dining room, where Mrs. Bobbsey was. Dinah's eyes were big with

wonder and surprise.

"Mrs. Bobbsey! Mrs. Bobbsey!" she cried. "Suffin's done gone an'


"What is it?" asked Mamma Bobbsey, quickly. "Is anyone hurt?"

"No'm, but dat ice cream freezer hate jest gone and walked right off de

back stoop, an' it ain't dere at all, nohow! De ice cream is all gone!"

The children looked at one another with pained surprise showing on their


The ice cream was gone!



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