HOME, SWEET HOME
But at home in the Darling household all this time there was deep sorrow. Mr. Darling, as a punishment to himself for taking their guardian Nana away, had vowed that he would live in the kennel till his children's return. For months now he had lived in it, and had been carried to business in it every morning, much to the disgust of the prim little housemaid Liza. Mr. Darling had become quite a celebrity, and great ladies, leaders of society, found him so interesting and touching, that they all cried out as he passed by, "Oh, do come to dinner at our house, do come in the kennel!" All the newspapers had asked him to write the cricket and football news for them, and his picture postcards were to be seen in every shop window.
But it happened one evening, when he returned from business, carried as usual in the kennel, he was taken up to the now desolate nursery, where Mrs. Darling spent most of her time mourning for her lost children, while the faithful Nana tried in vain to cheer her up. "George, George, I believe you are beginning to like that kennel," she said reproachfully, as he crawled out. He denied the charge, however, and tried to comfort Mrs. Darling, who never for one moment forgot the little empty beds and the silence and cheerlessness of the nursery. Then he left her, and sitting down by the fire, Mrs. Darling was alone with her sad thoughts.
Scarcely, however, had she closed
her eyes when three little figures flew in at the window and nestled cosily in
their beds. Then softly Wendy called to her mother. But when Mrs. Darling
looked round she simply couldn't believe that the children were really there.
So many times before she had dreamt of their return, that it was not till they
all three crowded round her that she realised that they had indeed come home.
Oh! what joy to feel once more those dear faces, cool and fresh from the flight
through the night air, pressed against hers, hot with tears; to hear once more
the sound of those sweet voices as they all talked at once. At last, when she
was a little calm, Wendy began telling her about Peter Pan and the Lost Boys,
who with Peter Pan himself were all waiting outside. Directly Mrs. Darling saw
them, and heard that they had no mothers, she instantly adopted them all.
Though the house would be rather crowded, she
could easily put up extra beds in the drawing-room, she said, and with a screen on her "At Home" days, all could be comfortably managed.
The only difficulty lay with Peter. Much as at first sight he loved Mrs. Darling, much as he loved Wendy, he couldn't consent to grow up. So at last it was arranged that he should fly back alone to the Never-Never-Never Land, and that once a year Mrs. Darling would allow Wendy to go and stay with him for a whole week to do his spring cleaning.
THE TREE TOPS
High in the tree tops of the Never-Never-Never Land, Tinker Bell placed the little house that was built for Wendy. The tree tops are soft as velvet, and in the evening at twilight are all bejewelled with tiny mauve, and white, and blue lights. The mauve ones are boy fairies, the white, girl fairies, and the blue lights are darling little sillies who are not quite sure what they are.
And the still air is filled with the singing of birds and the ringing of hundreds of little fairy bells. But the sweetest sound of all is the fluting of Peter Pan's pipe as he sits outside the little house and calls to the spring to make haste, because with the spring comes Wendy.