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LITTLE ENGLISH ETHEL
CHAPTER I. - THE DAY NURSERY.
Ethel is a little English girl.
She lives in the great city of London.
Her mother is Mrs. Ward. She has no father.
Mrs. Ward does not have much money.
She goes out every day to work to earn money.
They live in one small room.
Mrs. Ward cannot leave Ethel alone.
She cannot take her with her when she goes out to work.
So she leaves her at a Day Nursery.
She pays the people at the nursery two pence to take care of Ethel all day.
A great many other mothers leave their children at the nursery too.
Some of them are as old as Ethel.
Ethel is five years old.
Some of them are babies.
See them in the picture!
See the cunning baby in the bag! He is put there so he shall not fall.
The Day Nursery
There is Ethel playing ball.
Some of the babies are asleep in the cribs.
Are they not pretty cribs?
By and by they will all have dinner.
The dinner-table is made low, so as to fit the little folks.
They have a large play-room. They can run and play and shout in this play-room as much as they like.
They have swings. They can swing each other in these swings.
A thick mattress is put upon the floor for the babies to lie on.
There they roll about and kick. Such nice times as these babies have!
There is a railing around the mattress; so the babies cannot roll off on to the hard floor.
They have pretty toys and dolls to play with; they have picture-books to look at.
Should you not think Ethel would be very happy at the Day Nursery?
When Mrs. Ward gets through her work at night, she always comes for Ethel.
II. - ST. JAMES PARK.
There is another place where Ethel likes to go.
Some of you live in the country. You can run about in the fields when you like.
You can sail boats in the brooks. You can pick buttercups and dandelions.
But Ethel and her mother live in a narrow street.
There are no trees on the street, No birds ever go there.
They can see only a bit of blue sky from the window.
Mrs. Ward takes Ethel out to walk as often as she can.
"Where shall we go to-day?" she asks Ethel as they start out.
"O, mamma, to the park!" Ethel says.
It is a long walk from Mrs. Ward's home to St. James Park. But Ethel does not mind that. She goes all the way with a skip and a jump.
There is plenty of green grass in St. James Park. She plays on the grass.
There are great trees that make a fine shade.
There is one walk called Bird-cage walk. Is not that a pretty name?
On each side of Bird-cage walk are great trees so shady in summer.
A great, great many years ago there used to be bird-cages hung on these trees.
That was the reason it was called Bird-cage walk.
There are no bird-cages there now. But the trees are full of pretty wild birds.
They fly about from branch to branch and sing.
I think that is very much better than to have them shut up in cages; do not you?
Then there are ponds in St. James Park.
In these ponds are ducks and swans.
Ethel has never seen any thing in her life so pretty as these white swans that live in St. James Park.
She is never tired of looking at them as they swim to and fro.
They curve their long, graceful necks.
They thrust their heads under the water; they toss the bright drops over their soft downy feathers.
They beat the water with their great wings.
They can swim faster than Ethel can walk.
Ethel always carries some bits of bread in her pocket for the swans. They are very tame.
There is one that Ethel loves better than any of the others. She calls it "Mousie."
The Chaffinches that built in the Hawthorn Bush
That is a queer name for a swan, is it not?
But Ethel's mamma sometimes calls her "Mousie."
So Ethel loves the name, and has given it to her pretty swan.
She stands by the side of the pond and calls "Mousie!"
Then Mousie swims up to the bank and takes a bit of bread from Ethel's hand.
In one part of St. James Park Ethel sees the cows.
Mrs. Ward often carries a little tin cup, and buys it full of milk for Ethel.
Ethel likes to watch the milker as he fills the cup.
These are the only cows Ethel has ever seen.
I do not believe she ever saw a calf or a little lamb in her life.
One day her mamma showed her the nest of a chaffinch.
It was in a hawthorne bush. It was a lovely nest.
It was made of wool, and spiders' webs, and down.
It had a thick, warm lining of cows' hair.
Cows often rub themselves against the rough bark of the trees.
They leave a great many hairs sticking in the rough bark.
The chaffinches gather these hairs to line their nests.
In the chaffinches' nest were four pretty speckled eggs.
The next time Mrs. Ward and Ethel went to St. James Park there were four baby birds in the nest