Honey at the
Phone by Mrs. A. E. C. Maskell
Honey's mama had gone to market, leaving her home with nurse. Nurse was
up-stairs making beds, while little Honey, with hands behind her, was
trudging about the sitting-room looking for something to do.
There was a phone in the house, which was a great mystery to Honey when it
first came. She could hear voices talking back to mama, yet could not see a
person. Was some one hidden away in the horn her mother put to her ear, or
was it in the machine itself?
Honey never failed to be on hand when the bell rang, and found that her
mother generally talked to her best and dearest friends, ladies who were
such frequent callers that Honey knew them all by name.
Her mama wrote down the names of her friends, with the number of their
phones, and, because the child was so inquisitive about it, she very
carefully explained to her just how the whole thing worked, never thinking
that Honey would sometime try it for herself; and, indeed, for a while
Honey satisfied herself by playing phone. She would roll up a piece of
paper, and call out through it, "Hullo!" asking and answering all the
One day, on finding herself alone, she took down the receiver and tried to
talk to one of her mama's friends, but it was a failure. She watched mama
still more closely after that. On this particular morning, while mama was
at market, she tried again, commencing with the first number on her mama's
Taking down the receiver, she called out, "Hullo!" the answer came back,
"Hullo!" "I wants A 215," said Honey, holding the receiver to her ear.
"Yes," came the reply.
"Are you Miss Samor?" asked Honey.
"Yes," was the reply.
"We wants you to come to our house tonight to supper, mama and me."
"Who's mama and me?" asked the voice.
"Honey," was the reply.
"Honey, through the phone, eh?" laughed the voice. "Tell mama I will come
Honey was not only delighted, but greatly excited. She used every number on
her mother's list, inviting them all to supper.
About four o'clock in the afternoon the guests began to arrive, much to
mama's amazement and consternation, especially when they divested
themselves of their wraps, and proceeded to make themselves comfortable.
What could it mean? She would think she was having a surprise party if
every one had not come empty-handed. Perhaps it was a joke on her. If so,
they would find she would take it pleasantly.
There was not enough in the house to feed half that crowd, but she had the
phone, and she fairly made the orders fly for a while.
When her husband came home from his office, he was surprised to find the
parlors filled with company. While helping the guests, he turned to his
wife, saying, "Why, this is a sort of surprise, is it not?"
Mama's face flamed, and she looked right down to her nose without saying a
"Why did you not tell me you were going to invite them, and I would have
brought home some flowers?" said Honey's papa.
Honey, who sat next to her papa, resplendent in a white dress and flowing
curls, clutched his sleeve, and said: "It's my party papa. I 'wited 'em
frew the phone. Honey likes to have c'ean c'o'es on, and have comp'ny."
It was the visitors' turn now to blush, but Honey's papa and mama laughed
so heartily it made them feel that it was all right even if Honey had sent
out the invitations. And not one went home without extending an invitation
to her host and hostess to another dinner or supper, and in every one Honey
"Just what she wanted," said her papa, as he tossed her up in his arms and
kissed her. Then, turning to his wife, he said, "Never mind, mother, she
will learn better as she grows older."
Mrs. A. E. C. Maskell.