FUN IN THE WOODS
"Dinner served in the dining car!" called Bert through the woods,
the call of the porter on the Pullman car.
"All ready!" echoed the other boys, banging on an old boiler like
do, instead of ringing a bell.
"Oh, how pretty!" the girls all exclaimed, as they beheld the
"feast in the
forest," as Nan put it. And indeed it was pretty, for at each place
a long plume of fern leaves with wood violets at the end, and what could
more beautiful than such a decoration?
"Potatoes first!" Harry announced, "because they may get
cold," and at this
order everybody broke the freshly roasted potatoes into the paper napkins
and touched it up with the extra butter that had come along.
"Simply fine!" declared Nan, with the air of one who knew. Now,
readers will remember how Nan baked such good cake. So she ought to be an
authority on baked potatoes, don't you think?
Next came the sandwiches, with the watercress Harry and Bert had gathered
before breakfast, then (and this was a surprise) hot chocolate! This was
brought out in Martha's cider jug, and heated in a kettle over the boys'
"It must be fun to camp out," Mabel Herold remarked.
"Yes, just think of the dishes saved," added Mildred Manners,
who always had
so many dishes to do at home.
"And we really don't need them," Nan argued, passing her tin cup
on to Flossie.
"Think how the soldiers get along!" Bert put in.
"And the firemen'" lisped Freddie, who never forgot the heroes
of flame and
Of course everybody was either sitting on the grass or on a "soft stump."
These latter conveniences had been brought by the boys for Aunt Sarah and
"What's that!" exclaimed little Flossie, as something was plainly
under the tables cloth.
"A snake, a snake!" called everybody at once, for indeed under
linen was plainly to be seen the creeping form of a reptile.
While the girls made a run for safety the boys carefully lifted the cloth
and went for his snakeship.
"There he is! There he is!" shouted Tom Mason, as the thing tried
under the stump lately used as a seat by Mrs. Bobbsey.
"Whack him!" called August Stout, who, armed with a good club,
for the stump.
"Look out! He's a big fellow!" Harry declared, as the snake attempted
The boys fell back a little now, and as the snake actually stood on the
of his tail, as they do before striking, Harry sprang forward and dealt
a heavy blow right on the head that laid the intruder flat.
"At him, boys! At him!" called Jack Hopkins, while the snake lay
in the grass; and the boys, making good use of the stunning blow Harry had
dealt, piled on as many more blows as their clubs could wield.
All this time the girls and ladies were over on a knoll "high and dry,"
Nan said, and now, when assured that the snake was done for they could
hardly be induced to come and look at him.
"He's a beauty!" Harry declared, as the boys actually stretched
out to measure him. Bert had a rule, and when the snake was measured up
was found to be five feet long!
"He's a black racer!" Jack Hopkins annpounced, and the others
guessed he was.
"Lucky we saw him first!" remarked Harry, "Racers are very
"Let's go home; there might be more!", pleaded Flossie, but the
the snake hunt was the best fun at the picnic.
"Goodness!" exclaimed Harry suddenly, "we forgot to let the
and so saying he ran for the basket of birds that hung on the low limb of
pretty maple. First Harry made sure the messages were safe under each
bird's wing, then he called:
Snap! went something that sounded like a shot (but it wasn't), and then
flew the pretty birds to take the messages home to John and Martha. The
shot was only a dry stick that Tom Mason snapped to imitate a gun, as they
do at bicycle races, but the effect was quite startling and made the girls
"It won't take long for them to get home!" said Bert, watching
the birds fly
"They'll get lost!" cried Freddie.
"No, they won't. They know which way we came," Nan explained.
"But they was shut up in the basket," argued Freddie.
"Yet they could see," Nan told him.
"Can pigeons see when they're asleep?" inquired the little fellow.
"Maybe," Nan answered.
"Then I'd like to have pigeon eyes," he finished, thinking to
fine it would be to see everything going on around and be fast asleep too.
"Oh, mamma, come quick!" called Flossie, running along a path
at the edge of
the wood. "There's a tree over there pouring water, and it isn't raining
Everybody set out now to look at the wonderful tree, which was soon
discovered where Flossie had found it.
"There it is!" she exclaimed. "See the water dropping down!"
"A maple tree," Harry informed them, "and that sap is what
they make maple
sugar out of."
"Oh, catch it!" called Freddie, promptly holding his cap under
"It would take a good deal to make a sugar cake," Harry said,
"but maybe we
can get enough of it to make a little cake for Freddie."
At this the country boys began looking around for young maples, and as small
limbs of the trees were broken the girls caught the drops in their tin cups.
It took quite a while to get a little, but by putting it all together a
cupful was finally gathered.
"Now we will put it in a clean milk bottle," Mrs. Bobbsey said,
we can make maple syrup cake to-morrow."
"Let's have a game of hide-and-seek," Nan suggested.
In a twinkling every boy and girl was hidden behind a tree, and Nan found
herself "It." Of course it took a big tree to hide the girls'
Nan had no trouble in spying Mildred first. Soon the game was going along
merrily, and the boys and girls were out of breath trying to get "home
"Where's Roy?" exclaimed Tom Mason, the little boy's brother.
"Hiding somewhere," Bessie ventured, for it only seemed a minute
the little fat boy who was Freddie's companion had been with the others.
"But where is he?" they all soon exclaimed in alarm, as call after
brought no answer.
"Over at the maple tree!" Harry thought.
"Down at the spring," Nan said.
"Looking for flowers," Flossie guessed.
But all these spots were searched, and the little boy was not found.
"Oh, maybe the giants have stoled him!" Freddie cried.
"Or maybe the children's hawk has took him away," Flossie sobbed.
Meanwhile everybody searched and searched, but no Roy could they find.
"The boat!" suddenly exclaimed Tom, making a dash for the pond
along at the foot of a steep hill.
"There he is! There he is!" the brother yelled, as getting over
the edge of
the hill Tom was now in full view of the pond.
"And in the boat," called Harry, close at Tom's heels.
"He's drifting away!" screamed Bert. "Oh, quick, save him!"
Just as the boys said, the little fellow was in the boat and drifting.
He did not seem to realize his danger, for as he floated along he ran his
little fat hand through the water as happily as if he had been in a steam
launch, talking to the captain.
"Can you swim?" the boys asked Bert, who of course had learned
art long ago.
"She's quite a long way out," Tom said,
"But we must be careful not to frighten him. See, he has left the oars
here. Bert and I can carry one out and swim with one hand. Harry and Jack,
can you manage the other?"
The boys said they could, and quickly as the heaviest clothes could be
thrown off they were striking out in the little lake toward the baby in
boat. He was only Freddie's age, you know, and perhaps more of a baby than
the good-natured Bobbsey boy.
"Sit still, Roy," called the anxious girl from the shore, fearing
upset the boat as the boys neared him. It was hard work to swim and carry
oars, but our brave boys managed to do it in time to save Roy. For not a
great way down the stream were an old water wheel and a dam. Should the
boat drift there what would become of little Roy?
Mrs. Bobbsey and Aunt Sarah were worrying over this as the boys were making
their way to the boat.
"Easy now!" called Bert. "Here we are," and at that
moment the first pair of
swimmers climbed carefully into the boat, one from each side, so as not
tip it over. Jack and Harry were not long in following, and as the boys
sat in the pretty green rowboat with their white under-clothing answering
for athletic suits, their looked just like a crew of real oarsmen.
"Hurrah, hurrah!" came shout after shout from the bank. Then as
heard the rumble of wheels through the grove they all hurried off to gather
up the stuff quickly, and be ready to start as soon as the boys dressed
again. The wet under-clothing, of course, was carried home in one of the
empty baskets that Freddie ran back over the hill with to save the tired
boys the extra walk.
"Here they are! Here they are!" called the girls as the two little
Roy and Freddie, with the basket of wet clothes between them, marched first;
then came the two pairs of athletes who proved they were good swimmers by
pushing the heavy oars safely to the drifting boat.
"And all the things that happened!" exclaimed Flossie, as John
into the hay wagon.
"That made the picnic lively!" declared, John, "and all's
well that ends
well, you know." So the picnic was over, and all were happy and tired
enough to go to bed early that night, as Nan said, seeing the little ones
falling asleep in hay wagon on their way home.
Top of Page
Room | The
Bobbsey Twins in the Country