Tiger Tales #105 - Father Time's Nursery

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"Father Time's Nursery"
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, The Wish Express, "King, King! Double King!", etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 2, 1919.

Up in the high nurseries of Father and Mother Time all the little day children were playing together. They hadn't any name, for not until the big sun knocks at the door and calls for them do they receive them. One at a time they slip through the gateway that leads down to the earth; then away they are hurried to the Land of Yesterdays, and yesterdays are all grown-ups and can never return to the beautiful dream palace in the sky.

But the nursery is always full, for the baby hours grow into days as fast as the days grow into yesterdays. Well, as I have said, all the days were playing together and wondering when they should be called and what the world would be like.

"I hope I shall be a happy day on earth!" said one.

"I had rather be a grand and famous day. Mother - " the little day ran up to Mother Time and pulled at her skirt - "shall I be a famous day, do you think?"

Mother Time shook her head. "I cannot tell. Run off and play with your brothers and sisters, for who knows when you will be called, and then you can never come back to us." The little day hung his head, but was soon whispering to another day.

"Just the same, I shall be famous and not have to live forever in the dusty old past. I shall have a vacation every year from the Kingdom of Yesterday, and the world will remember me long after you are forgotten!"

"Will you tell me all about it when we are together in the past?" the little day who had wished to be a happy one asked anxiously.

"I won't have much time to associate with just common, everyday days. We famous days will all be together, you know But maybe I'll tell you!" the pompous little fellow remarked as he went. But the other day ran after him.

"How do you know you will be a great day?" she asked curiously. Just then there was a knock at the door, and all the little days sprang expectantly to their feet.

It was a big purple cloud.

"Sun's not going to get up today! Sent me to fetch one of you. Here, you with the black hair!" He pointed to the little day who was sure he was to be famous.

"Come along! We're late already!" The day drew back.

"What, me? I don't want to be a rainy day; a horrid old rainy day!" he ran to Mother Time, but she sorrowfully pushed him forward, and the dark cloud, grumbling some more about being late, gathered him in its arms and whirled away.

"Don't cry," implored the little sister day to whom he had been talking. "Rainy days are very useful and I'll be down with you soon!"

The little day who thought he was going to be famous heard, but he was too mortified and disappointed to answer.

"No one will be glad to see me!" he mourned as the clouds set him rudely on a mountain top and disappeared. And I am sorry to say no one was. Little boys and girls looked crossly out of the window and pouted:

"What a horrid rainy day. Oh, dear!"

And, worse than that, not a single famous thing happened, and when the messengers of the night came to bear him away to the Land of Yesterdays he was so forlorn that they tried to cheer him up.

"There are hundreds and hundreds of days just like you, and they're an awfully jolly set. Besides, you never can tell, perhaps some one born during your stay will turn out to be a great man. Then you'll be famous after all. Cheer up!"

The little rainy day had never thought of that, and would you believe it, my dears, he spends all his time hunting up the records of babies born during his stay, and he is watching them closely, I want to tell you, for he is determined to be famous yet. And maybe he will! But what about the other little day?

Old Father Time heard her say, "I hope I shall be a happy day on earth!" And he smiled a wonderful smile, and on a bright morning in November sent the sun to fetch her. And what day to you suppose it was? Peace Day, November 11, when half the world laid down its arms!

By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 9, 1919.

The Forgetful Poet--His Rhymes and His Riddles

The Forgetful Poet sends you his heartiest greetings, which are very appropriate under the circumstances. He says he quite agrees with St. Valentine that people's hearts need exercising. After all, the heart is a muscle, so will the hearts all please stand up in a row and expand themselves. That's right. As for last week's answers, here they are: Naturally, if the King went fishing he was a bird--a kingfisher, of course. The others are nosegay, tomato, legacy and footman.

As for this week's puzzles, here they are:

What can be stolen
Without fear
Of punishment,
My duck and dear?

I know some drums
That never beat--
Not ear drums--
Neither are they sweet?

Made up of cells,
But not a dungeon.
Often have 'em
For our luncheon?

He says he knows luncheon does not rhyme with dungeon, but a poor poet must take some liberties.

[Answers next time]

Copyright © 2009 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

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