Here to return to
“HELP! help!” Rusty Wren called loudly to his wife.
“What’s wrong V’ she screamed. Since she was inside the house, and Rusty was outside, with Chippy, Jr., blocking the doorway, of course she was alarmed — for she couldn’t see her husband.
“This boy’s stuck fast in our door,” Rusty cried. “And you must help me move him.”
“Very well!” she answered in a frightened tone. “But if we can’t stir him, I don’t know what we’ll do.” And she began to shriek.
“Don’t worry!” Rusty shouted. “Just say when you’re ready.”
“I’m ready now,” she replied.
“One, two, three — all together!” Rusty Wren commanded. And he seized the head of Chippy, Jr., and began pulling as hard as he knew how.
Chippy, Jr., at once let out a frightened cry.
“Stop! stop!” he begged. “I don’t know what the trouble is, but I feel as if I should break in two!”
“Well! well!” exclaimed Rusty Wren. And then to his wife he said: “Were you pushing or pulling?”
“Pulling!” she explained. “I was tugging on his coat-tails.”
“Ah! That was the trouble,” Rusty told poor Chippy, Jr., who looked quite distressed. “I was trying to pull you out; and she was trying to pull you in. But you mustn’t mind a little mistake like that.”
“Very well!” said Chippy, Jr., meekly. “But please don’t do it again!”
“Now” Rusty directed his wife, so that she might understand clearly what was required of her — ”now you must push while I pull.”
All their efforts, however, failed to move the unfortunate Chippy, Jr. He remained wedged tightly in the doorway. And at last Rusty declared that they might as well stop trying to get him through it.
“What you must do now,” he directed his wife, “is to pull on Chippy, Jr.’s, coattails, while I push against his head. Arid in that way we may be able to clear our doorway.”
That plan worked better. In a short time Mr. Chippy’s unlucky son suddenly slipped backward, knocking Mrs. Rusty Wren flat on her back. And Rusty himself tumbled into the house and fell on top of the heap.
As soon as they had picked themselves up,. Rusty Wren and his wife and Chippy, Jr., looked at one another for a few moments without saying a single word.
Mrs. Rusty was the first to break the silence — if a house may be said to be silent when there are six children in it, all clamoring for something to eat.
“I knew we should have some sort of trouble if we took a stranger into our home,” she wailed.
“Why, what’s the matter now?” Rusty inquired in surprise.
“Matter?” she groaned. “Here’s this great lout of a boy inside our house! And we’ll never be able to get rid of him. Instead of his helping us to feed our children, we shall have to feed him! And now we are worse off than we ever were before.”