A Bit of Sunshine by Unknown
A BIT OF SUNSHINE.
NEW YORK: DODD, MEAD &COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
COPYRIGHT, 1879, BY DODD, MEAD &CO.
A BIT OF SUNSHINE.
Mam-ma, said Kate, as she stood at the door, which she had o-pened
to let puss in, may I not go out and play? the clouds are all gone and
the sun shines bright and warm.
But the grass must be quite soaked af-ter all the rain, said
mam-ma. I will tell you what to do; run to pa-pa, and ask him if he
will not take us to drive.
Pa-pa was just go-ing out, and had his hat in his hand, but he sat
down at once to hear what Kate had to say, and prom-ised that he would
take them in half an hour, and so Kate ran up-stairs to ask nurse to
put her wraps on. By the time the hors-es were at the door she was all
read-y, and took her place with great glee.
What a bright af-ter-noon it was; the long rain had made all the
grass and leaves look bright and green, and they were rust-ling in the
fresh breeze. A-way out at sea the ships were fly-ing be-fore the wind,
look-ing like great white birds. Kate's home was at the sea-side, and
their drive this af-ter-noon would take them for a time on the beach.
The waves, pa-pa said, would be ve-ry wild, for the wind was just
right to make a heav-y surf. Soon they be-gan to come to the fish-ing
vil-lage. The hous-es were small, and on the beach close to each was
drawn up a fish-ing boat. On one of these a man was hard at work. He
was down on his knees in his shirt-sleeves, with some sort of a tool in
his hands, and was so in-tent on what he was do-ing that he did not
raise his head as they passed.
In the boat it-self was a boy. He was lean-ing o-ver the side and
look-ing down at his fa-ther. His hat had blown off, and he looked like
such a nice boy that Kate smiled at him as they went by. He laughed
back and made her a lit-tle bow, but the hors-es went by so fast that
she saw him for a min-ute on-ly.
What was the name of that boat, pa-pa? she asked.
Phil-lis, said pa-pa.
Why, that's a girl's name, said Kate.
Just at that mo-ment they passed by a small house. The door stood
wide o-pen, and in it sat a young girl. She had a pil-low in her lap
and was work-ing o-ver it, Kate thought, with a nee-dle. She is
mak-ing lace, said mam-ma. It is hard work, be-cause one has to sit
still bent o-ver. I sup-pose she is glad to have the bright sun-shine
to sit in, for no doubt she has been kept in the house by the rain. I
won-der if that is her lit-tle broth-er who is lean-ing a-gainst the
side of the house whit-tling.
Kate stretched her head out to look, and cried, Why, he is mak-ing
a boat; what a clev-er boy! See, the hull is done, and two masts are in
place. What fun it would be to have a boat to sail on our lit-tle
Our pond is too deep for it to be safe for you to play a-bout it,
said pa-pa; but when you are old-er you shall have a boat with-out
The road now left the vil-lage be-hind and ran a-long the top of
some high cliffs. At their feet the sea came in in great waves that
were topped with foam, and that broke in a mass of spray. There were
two or three per-sons on the beach, and they were walk-ing a-bout and
hold-ing up their skirts to keep them from get-ting wet. It looked like
such fun that mam-ma asked pa-pa if he would not stop and let her and
Kate have a short run on the sands.
So the hors-es were brought to a halt, and they got down and made
their way through a break in the cliffs to the beach. Then, af-ter they
had walked a while, they sat down on a great mass of rock and watched
the waves as they rolled and broke at their feet. Kate was much
in-ter-est-ed in a piece of board that the waves were tos-sing a-bout.
She played that it was a ship, and real-ly felt quite bad-ly when it
was dashed a-gainst the rocks. How long they would have stayed there I
do not know, but they heard pa-pa shout-ing that he was tired of
wait-ing. And so they made haste to climb up to where he was and take
their seats. Then he spoke to the hors-es and on they went. They had
not gone far when they found them-selves in a green lane. Com-ing
to-ward them were a lit-tle girl and boy. They were on their way home
from school, as the bag in the girl's hand showed, for it had books in
it. As they drew up by the fence to let our par-ty pass, Kate said:
Their mam-ma lets them walk out though the grass is wet; but I
would much rath-er ride this way than walk at a-ny time, or play
ei-ther, and so would they, I know.
I am a-fraid the rain is not all o-ver yet, said pa-pa. That
black cloud a-head will give us a wet-ting, I fear. I will drive
Soon the drops be-gan to fall, but their car-riage had a top, and
they had with them rugs, so that they were not hurt at all. Kate, as
she peeped out, saw that all were not so safe. A girl and a boy were
crouched close un-der a bush by the road-side.
They will not get ve-ry wet, said mam-ma, for the cloud is
near-ly passed by, and the sun shines once more.
Are we not near home? she said to pa-pa, it is get-ting late, I
think. There goes a girl with her pail to drive the cows to the yard to
be milked. Kate must have her sup-per when we get back, and her
bed-time is sev-en o'clock, you know.
It is on-ly five now, said pa-pa; we can have a good hour more,
and Kate won't mind, I fan-cy, if she is a lit-tle late for once.
No, in-deed, said Kate; I think a-ny way I am get-ting much too
big to go to bed at sev-en.
There is a lit-tle girl, said mam-ma, as she looked in at the door
of a house that they were pass-ing, that thinks bed-time is not far
She's on-ly a ba-by, said Kate with great in-dig-na-tion, and I
am quite a large lit-tle wo-man.
Pa-pa and mam-ma both laughed at Kate's tone. She did not like to be
laughed at at all, and so, to change the sub-ject, as they went by a
house, called out, Why, what are that boy and girl do-ing at that
Fish-ing, said pa-pa so-ber-ly.
In a hogs-head! said Kate. Who ev-er caught fish in such a place?
No, they must be sail-ing chips. Yes, she went on, as she stretched
her short neck up as far as she could, that is what they are do-ing; I
can see the chips.
Just then pa-pa called out, What in the world is this com-ing down
the road? Whoa! my boys, stead-y, he said to his hors-es as they
be-gan to prick up their ears. The next min-ute they saw what it was. A
dog came to-ward them at full speed, howl-ing with fright, while close
at his heels was a cat wild with rage. Her ears were laid back, and she
meant to catch and scratch the dog if she could. But he was too fleet
for her, and as they looked they saw puss give up the chase and climb
up on a fence.
Well, said pa-pa, I think that dog has had a les-son. He will not
trou-ble that cat a-gain, I am sure. I won-der what he did to make her
so an-gry. Per-haps he teased her kit-tens.
There, said Kate, a few min-utes la-ter, there is a dog that is
not go-ing to be driv-en by a cat. Just look, mam-ma, he wants to get
some of that ba-by's sup-per. Mam-ma looked up, and on the porch of a
house saw just what you see in this pic-turea fat small boy with a
slice of bread and but-ter, while a dog al-most as big as the boy
looked on wait-ing for a bite.
Just at the side gate of the house stood an old cart half full of
hay. It had not been used for some time, and a pair of birds had made
their nest in it and had two or three young birds, which they were just
feed-ing with a worm.
Oh, how sweet! cried Kate, Pa-pa, dear, do stop a min-ute. So
pa-pa drew in his hors-es, and they watched them for a lit-tle while.
The birds did not seem to mind them at all.
There are no bad boys here-a-bout, said pa-pa, that is ve-ry
I am quite sure, said mam-ma, that it must be time for us to be
home. The sun is near-ly set-ting.
Yes, said pa-pa, it is ten min-utes of six. I will take a new way
home, and we can be there in a ve-ry short time. So he turned off
in-to a lane close at hand. The hors-es seemed to know that their work
was near-ly done, and went on so brisk-ly that just as the hall clock
struck six they stopped in front of the door.
Nurse was wait-ing on the pi-az-za to meet them, and she jumped Kate
out of the car-riage and took her right up to the nur-se-ry, where in a
ve-ry short time her tea was all read-y. How hun-gry she was; it seemed
to her that bread and milk nev-er tast-ed so good be-fore, and she had
her bowl filled three times. At last she pushed back her chair and said
she had had e-nough. Then she be-gan to tell to nurse all she had
seenthe boys, and the dogs, and all the pleas-ant sights; and all the
time that nurse was get-ting her read-y for bed, her small tongue
wagged with-out stop-ping. I am get-ting now to be such a big lit-tle
wo-man, she said to nurse, that I don't think I shall go to bed a-ny
more till eight; I on-ly just lay a-wake for an hour when I go at
sev-en. But that night when mam-ma came up, at five min-utes past
sev-en, to kiss her good-night, she found her lit-tle girl so fast
a-sleep that she did not know at all that she had come. Ha, ha!
laughed mam-ma softly, I think we will not change the hour for Kate to
go to bed just yet.
The next day was bright and fair, and Kate was glad to get out once
more. She found that the rain, which had seemed so use-less to her, had
been of great ser-vice. Her flow-ers were all look-ing fresh and green,
and ev-ery bud was nod-ding its head in the sun-light.