BUTTERCUP GOLD AND OTHER STORIES
BUTTERCUP GOLD AND OTHER STORIES
ELLEN ROBENA FIELD
Copyrighted 1894 by the Bangor (Maine) Kindergarten Association
This book is lovingly dedicated to the dear kindergarten
children and particularly to my little friend Alice Caro Wing.
"Children are God's apostles day by day sent forth preach of
love and hope and peace."--Lowell.
"Come to me O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.
Ye are better than all the ballads
That were ever sung or said;
For ye are living poems
And all the rest are dead."--Longfellow.
"And Nature the old nurse took
The child upon her knee
Saying: 'Here is a story-book
Thy Father has written for thee."--Longfellow.
The Little New Year
One cold morning Maurice awoke from his dreams and sat up in bed
and listened. He thought he heard a knock at his window; but
though the moon was shining brightly Jack Frost had been so
busily at work that Maurice could not see through the thickly
painted panes. So he crept sleepily out of bed and opened the
window and whispered: "Who is there?"
"I am" replied a tinkling voice. "I am the little New Year ho!
ho! And I've promised to bring a blessing to everyone. But I am
such a little fellow I need somebody to help me distribute them.
Won't you please come out and help?"
"Oh it's so cold!" said Maurice; "I'd rather go back to my warm
bed; " and he shivered as Jack Frost who was passing tickled
him under the chin with one of the frosty paint brushes.
"Never mind the cold" urged the New Year; "please help me."
So Maurice hurried into his clothes and was soon out in the
yard. There he found a rosy-cheeked boy a little smaller than
himself pulling a large cart which seemed to be loaded with good
things. On one side of this cart was painted the word "Love" and
on the other "Kindness." As soon as the New Year saw Maurice he
said "Now please take hold and help me pull;" and down the
driveway and up the hill they travelled until they came to an old
"Here is where I make my first call" said the New Year. Maurice
looked wonderingly at him. "Why nobody lives here but an old
colored man who works for us; and he hasn't any children!" "He
needs my help" said the New Year; "for grown people like to be
thought of just as much as children do. You shovel out a path to
his door while I unload some of my blessings; and the little
hands went busily at work piling up warm clothing wood and a
new year's dinner the New Year singing as he worked:-
"Oh I am the little New Year; ho! ho!
Here I come tripping it over the snow
Shaking my bells with a merry din;
So open your door and let me in."
Old Joe hearing some noise outside came to the door and when
he saw all the nice gifts the tears ran down his cheeks for
gladness; and as he carried them into the house he whispered:
"The dear Lord has been here to-night."
"Where am we going now?" asked Maurice as they ran down the
hill. "To take some flowers to a poor sick girl" answered the
Soon they came to a small white house where the New Year
stopped. "Why Bessie our sewing girl lives here" said
Maurice. "I didn't know she was sick." "See" said the New Year
"this window is open a little; let us throw this bunch of pinks
into the room. They will please her when she wakes and will make
her happy for several days."
Then they hurried to other places leaving some blessing behind
"What a wonderful cart you have" said Maurice; "though you have
taken so much out it never seems to get empty." "You are right
Maurice there is never any end to love and kindness. As long as
I find people to love and be kind to my cart is full of
blessings for them; and it will never grow empty until I can no
longer find people to help. If you will go with me every day and
help me scatter my blessings you will see how happy you will be
all the long year."
"A happy New Year!" called some one; and Maurice found himself in
bed and his sister standing in the doorway smiling at him. "Have
you had a pleasant dream dear?" she asked.
"Why where is the little New Year?" said Maurice; "he was just
here with me."
"Come into Mamma's room and see what he has brought you"
answered his sister. There in a snowy white cradle he found a
tiny baby brother the gift of the New.Year. How happy Maurice
was then! But he did not forget his dream. Old Joe and Bessie had
their gifts too and Maurice tried so hard to be helpful that he
made all his friends glad because the happy New Year had come.
Mother Nature's House Cleaning
One morning Mother Nature stood at the door of her house looking
out over the world. King Winter's reign was over and he had gone
back to his home at the North Pole; and Spring was coming over
the hill with her three little helpers to make Mother Nature a
Let us see who these helpers were. First there was roguish March
with his rosy cheeks and his curly hair flying in the winds that
blew all about him. Next came Baby April with her apron full of
violets daffodillies and green grasses. Part of the time she
smiled sweetly and part of it she frowned till the big tear
drops chased each other down her cheeks. Last came May playing
tag with the sunbeams wandering knee-deep in flowers and
calling to the birds that sang around her:
Mother Nature watched them coming and murmured "Such a dirty
world as King Winter has left behind him! It must be cleaned up
before the little girls April and May come but March I am sure
will want to help me do it."
She beckoned to the frolicsome boy who came racing down the hill
to see what she wanted. "I must have some rain to wash away all
this dirty snow" she said; so March whistled to the East Wind
who blew together the rain-clouds and soon the tiny rain drops
were busy at work washing the floors of the world and in a short
time the snow was all gone. Then Mother Nature wanted the sky
ceilings cleaned so this time March whistled to the West Wind
who began to sweep away the cloud cobwebs from the sky till the
cheery old sun smiled again and shone Mother Nature a bright
"Now March" said she "there is one more thing you can do to
help. You must start the work for Baby April." Then March with
the South Wind to help him awoke the seeds whispered to the
trees to begin to bud started the brooks singing and called the
robins back from the South.
When his visit was over Mother Nature thanked him for helping her
so well on all of the thirty-one days he had spent with her and
told him she would send for him again when her next cleaning day
How the Raindrops and Sunbeams Helped
One morning Mother Nature looked about her and said: "My
children have had such a nice long rest and it will do them good
for they have a busy summer before them. It is time to go to work
now and as some of the babies just won't wake up till they have
to I must send for my helpers at once." The long days carried
her messages which in our language would have read something
My Dear Helpers Sunbeams and Raindrops:--
You are needed down here on eurth. It is time to dress my plant
children and give them work to do. The birds must be called back
from the South and the cocooons must be opened so that my
butterflies can come out. I shall have to make good soil and get
my clover beds ready for the honey makers. Come at once as some
have been sleeping too long already. Whisper to the trees as you
pass that it is time they were budding Be gentle with all for
they are my children and I love them.
Good-bye from your
This she directed to the Sunbeams at Blue Sky Park and the
Raindrops at Cloud Land. When the message reached these little
helpers they started off at once to obey the call and the sun
gave such a merry laugh that Grandma came to the door of the
farm house and remarked: "How warm it is today quite like
spring; I believe I will set out my geraniums." But just then a
silvery voice said: "Wait a little while longer till we make the
ground soft" and pop came a raindrop upon the dear old lady's
nose and she hurried into the house saying "What queer weather
we are having! first sun and then rain." Then the Raindrops and
Sunbeams smiled at each other and danced more merrily for they
knew what good work they were doing to the great brown house
where the flowers dwell.
The tap tap of the Raindrops wake them up and when they raised
their sleepy heads and felt the warm kisses of the Sunbeams they