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How pleasant the early spring days are!
Now the bees come out of their hives, and hum, and look about.
What are the bees looking for?
Do the bees know that it is time for the flowers to be here?
Oh, yes! the little green plants will soon peep up through the old dry grass; and the early flowers will bloom when the weather is warm enough.
Then the children, and the bees, and all other flower-lovers, will go into the fields and woods to seek flowers.
Many people always go out the first day of May to gather flowers.
They call it "going a-Maying."
English people do this oftener than Americans.
English children often have Mayday parties.
They choose one little girl for. a queen. The others crown her with flowers and dance around her.
They wait upon their queen, and try to please her in every way during the party.
Sometimes they set up a pole and hang ribbons and wreaths of flowers upon it.
They call this pole a May-pole.
Hundreds of years ago the grown people too, all over England, used to celebrate May-day.
They went out early in the morning to gather flowers. They brought them home and trimmed the doors and windows of their houses with them.
They carried bouquets to their friends.
In every village stood a May-pole. It was as tall as the mast of a ship.
All the young people met together and hung wreaths of flowers upon this pole, and danced around it.
They built a throne for their queen under a bower of green branches.
She sat on her green throne and watched the rest while they played merry games.
The milk-maids put on their best caps and aprons and drove their cows about the streets. The cows wore garlands of flowers on their horns.
The village people spent the whole day in feasting and dancing.
Sometimes the King and Queen of England went a-Maying, too, and joined in the common sports.
But this was several hundred years ago.
After a time these things went out of fashion, and the May-poles were taken down.
May-poles are not often seen in England now.
Yet many people in both England and America still go out to gather flowers early on May-day morning.