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Nursery-Rhymes-Fun News, Issue #142 --
October 30, 2018
At last, having been away all the day, when the little rascal turned to go back to his home he felt really very tired. On his way back to the wood he passed by a cozy-looking farmhouse. The door of the dairy was open. The Sprite thought this would be a very nice cool place in which to rest for a few moments. So he slipped into the dairy barn, and curled himself up underneath the bench to have a nice little doze.
He was so weary that once he had fallen asleep he did not wake up again until it was quite dark, when just then he was disturbed by two young ladies who had come into the dairy barn.
One was carrying a candle in her hand, and by its light the pair saw a big bowl of cream on the shelf. The naughty girls thought that they might drink it for supper. They could only find one spoon on the shelf, so they decided they would each have a spoonful in turn. Little Jean took the bowl and carried it to a bench in the corner, and Little Meg followed it with the candle. No sooner had the two girls settled themselves than the Sprite, who was now wide awake, and who was himself feeling that some supper might not be out of place, crept up behind them and blew out the candle.
The girls at first were very much concerned at being in the dark; nevertheless they determined they would drink the cream, all the same.
Little Jean filled the spoon with the rich delicacy. She was about to raise it to her lips when the naughty Sprite poked his head over her shoulder, and lapped it out of the spoon before it had reached her mouth. Little Meg, believing that Little Jean had already swallowed some cream while she had had none, stretched out her hand to take away the spoon from her friend. Little Jean was not willing to give it up, since she said she had not yet tasted any cream. Little Meg was unwilling to believe her, for she declared she had heard her lapping the cream.
Without waiting for Little Jean to explain, she snatched the spoon out of her friend's hand. She filled it with cream from the bowl, and was about to raise it to her lips when the Sprite jumped from behind Little Jean, and settling himself behind Little Meg's shoulders, poked forward his head, and again lapped up the cream from out of the spoon.
Little Jean in her turn snatched back the spoon from Little Meg. Thus they went on, for every time one or the other raised the spoonful of cream to her lips it was lapped up by the Sprite. This continued until the bowl was emptied, at which time the Sprite was full of cream, but the poor girls had not so much as tasted one drop, although each believed the other had drunk it all.
The girls were still quarreling when the door of the dairy was opened, and the farmer's wife entered, carrying a lighted candle in her hand. The moment that she did so the Sprite hopped under the bench and the girls stood still guiltily looking from one to the other.
The farmer's wife caught sight of the empty basin. She was very angry with them indeed. When they tried hastily to explain, each blaming the other, the farmer's wife would not listen, but only grew more angry. She told them that, since they had supped so well already, they should have none of the scones and eggs which she had prepared for their evening meal.
When the farmer's wife had entered she had left the door open, so while she was busily scolding the girls the Sprite slipped out from under the bench and made his escape. As he ran chuckling down the road, he could still hear her angry voice drowning the attempted explanations of the bewildered girls. When the little rascal curled himself up some time later in the tree trunk he was still laughing.
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