A FARMYARD TALE
RALPH AND BETSY
What a funny sight it is to see a brood of ducklings with a hen! Listen to the story of Jemima Puddle-duck, who was annoyed because the farmer’s wife would not let her hatch her own eggs.
Her sister-in-law, Mrs. Rebeccah Puddle-duck, was perfectly willing to leave the hatching to some one else — “I have not the patience to sit on a nest for twenty-eight days; and no more have you, Jemima. You would let them go cold; you know you would!”
“I wish to hatch my own eggs; I will hatch them all by myself,” quacked Jemima Puddle-duck.
She tried to hide her eggs; but they were always found and carried off. Jemima Puddle-duck became quite desperate. She determined to make a nest right away from the farm.
She set off on a fine spring afternoon along the cart-road that leads over the hill. She was wearing a shawl and a poke bonnet.
When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a wood in the distance. She thought that it looked a safe quiet spot.
Jemima Puddle-duck was not much in the habit of flying. She ran downhill a few yards flapping her shawl, and then she jumped off into the air.
She flew beautifully when she had got a good start. She skimmed along over the tree-tops until she saw an open place in the middle of the wood, where the trees and brushwood had been cleared.