Effie had been playing with her dolls one cold December morning, and

Lill had been reading, until both were tired. But it stormed too hard to

go out, and, as Mrs. Pelerine had said they need not do anything for two

hours, their little jaws might have been dislocated by yawning before

they would as much as pick up a pin. Presently Lill said, "Effie, shall

I tell you a story."

"O yes! do!" said Effie, and she climbed up by Lill in the large

rocking-chair in front of the grate. She kept very still, for she knew

Lill's stories were not to be interrupted by a sound, or even a motion.

The first thing Lill did was to fix her eyes on the fire, and rock

backward and forward quite hard for a little while, and then she said,

"Now I am going to tell you about my _thought travels_, and they are apt

to be a little queerer, but O! ever so much nicer, than the other kind!"

As Lill's stories usually had a formalintroduction she began: "Once

upon a time, when I was taking a walk through the great field beyond the

orchard, I went way on, 'round where the path turns behind the hill. And

after I had walked a little way, I came to a high wall--built right up

into the sky. At first I thought I had discovered the 'ends of the

earth,' or perhaps I had somehow come to the great wall of China. But

after walking a long way I came to a large gate, and over it was printed

in beautiful gold letters, 'Santa Claus Land,' and the letters were

large enough for a baby to read!"

How large that might be Lill did not stop to explain.

"But the gate was shut tight," she continued, "and though I knocked and

knocked and knocked, as hard as I could, nobody came to open it. I was

dreadfully disappointed, because I felt as if Santa Claus must live here

all of the year except when he went out to pay Christmas visits, and

it would be so lovely to see him in his own home, you know. But what was

I to do? The gate was entirely too high to climb over, and there wasn't

even a crack to peek through!"

Here Lill paused, and Effie drew a long breath, and looked greatly

disappointed. Then Lill went on:

"But you see, as I was poking about, I pressed a bell-spring, and in a

moment--jingle, jingle, jingle, the bells went ringing far and near,

with such a merry sound as was never heard before. While they were still

ringing the gate slowly opened and I walked in. I didn't even stop to

inquire if Santa Claus was at home, for I forgot all about myself and my

manners, it was so lovely. First there was a small paved square like a

court; it was surrounded by rows and rows of dark green trees, with

several avenues opening between them.

"In the centre of the court was a beautiful marble fountain, with

streams of sugar plums and bon-bons tumbling out of it. Funny-looking

little men were filling cornucopias at the fountain, and pretty little

barefoot children, with chubby hands and dimpled shoulders, took them as

soon as they were filled, and ran off with them. They were all too much

occupied to speak to me, but as I came up to the fountain one of the

funny little fellows gave me a cornucopia, and I marched on with the


"We went down one of the avenues, which would have been very dark only

it was splendidly lighted up with Christmas candles. I saw the babies

were slyly eating a candy or two, so I tasted mine, and they were

delicious--the real Christmas kind. After we had gone a little way, the

trees were smaller and not so close together, and here there were other

funny little fellows who were climbing up on ladders and tying toys and

bon-bons to the trees. The children stopped and delivered their

packages, but I walked on, for there was something in the distance that

I was curious to see. I could see that it was a large garden, that

looked as if it might be well cared for, and had many things growing in

it. But even in the distance it didn't look natural, and when I reached

it I found it was a very uncommon kind of a garden indeed. I could

scarcely believe my eyes, but there were dolls and donkeys and drays and

cars and croquet coming up in long, straight rows, and ever so many

other things beside. In one place the wooden dolls had only just

started; their funny little heads were just above ground, and I thought

they looked very much surprised at their surroundings. Farther on were

china dolls, that looked quite grown up, and I suppose were ready to

pull; and a gardener was hoeing a row of soldiers that didn't look in a

very healthy condition, or as if they had done very well.

"The gardener looked familiar, I thought, and as I approached him he

stopped work and, leaning on his hoe he said, 'How do you do, Lilian? I

am very glad to see you.'

"The moment he raised his face I knew it was Santa Claus, for he looked

exactly like the portrait we have of him. You can easily believe I was

glad then! I ran and put both of my hands in his, fairly shouting that I

was so glad to find him.

"He laughed and said:

"'Why, I am generally to be found here or hereabouts, for I work in the

grounds every day.'

"And I laughed too, because his laugh sounded so funny; like the brook

going over stones, and the wind up in the trees. Two or three times,

when I thought he had done he would burst out again, laughing the vowels

in this way: 'Ha, ha, ha, ha! He, he, he, he, he! Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi!

Ho, ho, ho, h-o-oo!'"

Lill did it very well, and Effie laughed till the tears came to her

eyes; and she could quite believe Lill when she said, "It grew to be so

funny that I couldn't stand, but fell over into one of the little chairs

that were growing in a bed just beyond the soldiers.

"When Santa Claus saw that he stopped suddenly, saying:

"'There, that will do. I take a hearty laugh every day, for the sake of


"Then he added, in a whisper, 'That is the reason I live so long and

don't grow old. I've been the same age ever since the chroniclers began

to take notes, and those who are best able to judge think I'll continue

to be this way for about one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six

years longer,--they probably took a new observation at the Centennial,

and they know exactly.'

"I was greatly delighted to hear this, and I told him so. He nodded and

winked and said it was 'all right,' and then asked if I'd like to see

the place. I said I would, so he threw down the hoe with a sigh, saying,

'I don't believe I shall have more than half a crop of soldiers this

season. They came up well, but the arms and legs seem to be weak. When I

get to town I'll have to send out some girls with glue pots, to stick

them fast.'

"The town was at some distance, and our path took us by flower-beds

where some exquisite little toys were growing, and a hot-bed where new

varieties were being prop--_propagated_. Pretty soon we came to a

plantation of young trees, with rattles, and rubber balls, and ivory

rings growing on the branches, and as we went past they rang and bounded

about in the merriest sort of a way.

"'There's a nice growth,' said Santa Claus, and it _was_ a nice growth

for babies; but just beyond I saw something so perfectly splendid that I

didn't care about the plantation."

"Well," said Lill impressively, seeing that Effie was sufficiently

expectant, "It was a lovely grove. The trees were large, with long

drooping branches, and the branches were just loaded with dolls'

clothes. There were elegant silk dresses, with lovely sashes of every


Just here Effie couldn't help saying "O!" for she had a weakness for

sashes. Lill looked stern, and put a warning hand over her mouth, and

went on.

"There was everything that the most fashionable doll could want, growing

in the greatest profusion. Some of the clothes had fallen, and there

were funny-looking girls picking them up, and packing them in trunks and

boxes. 'These are all ripe,' said Santa Claus, stopping to shake a tree,

and the clothes came tumbling down so fast that the workers were busier

than ever. The grove was on a hill, so that we had a beautiful view of

the country. First there was a park filled with reindeer, and beyond

that was the town, and at one side a large farm-yard filled with

animals of all sorts.

"But as Santa Claus seemed in a hurry I did not stop long to look. Our

path led through the park, and we stopped to call 'Prancer' and 'Dancer'

and 'Donder' and 'Blitzen,' and Santa Claus fed them with lumps of sugar

from his pocket. He pointed out 'Comet' and 'Cupid' in a distant part of

the park; 'Dasher' and 'Vixen' were nowhere to be seen.

"Here I found most of the houses were Swiss cottages, but there were

some fine churches and public buildings, all of beautifully illustrated

building blocks, and we stopped for a moment at a long depot, in which a

locomotive was just _smashing up_.

"Santa Claus' house stood in the middle of the town. It was an

old-fashioned looking house, very broad and low, with an enormous

chimney. There was a wide step in front of the door, shaded by a

fig-tree and grape-vine, and morning-glories and scarlet beans clambered

by the side of the latticed windows; and there were great round

rose-bushes, with great, round roses, on either side of the walk leading

to the door."

"O! it must have smelled like a party," said Effie, and then subsided,

as she remembered that she was interrupting.

"Inside, the house was just cozy and comfortable, a real grandfatherly

sort of a place. A big chair was drawn up in front of the window, and a

big book was open on a table in front of the chair. A great pack half

made up was on the floor, and Santa Claus stopped to add a few things

from his pocket. Then he went to the kitchen, and brought me a lunch of

milk and strawberries and cookies, for he said I must be tired after my

long walk.

"After I had rested a little while, he said if I liked I might go with

him to the observatory. But just as we were starting a funny little

fellow stopped at the door with a wheelbarrow full of boxes of dishes.

After Santa Claus had taken the boxes out and put them in the pack he

said slowly,--

"'Let me see!'

"He laid his finger beside his nose as he said it, and looked at me

attentively, as if I were a sum in addition, and he was adding me up. I

guess I must have come out right, for he looked satisfied, and said I'd

better go to the mine first, and then join him in the observatory. Now I

am afraid he was not exactly polite not to go with me himself," added

Lill, gravely, "but then he apologized by saying he had some work to do.

So I followed the little fellow with the wheelbarrow, and we soon came

to what looked like the entrance of a cave, but I suppose it was the

mine. I followed my guide to the interior without stopping to look at

the boxes and piles of dishes outside. Here I found other funny little

people, busily at work with picks and shovels, taking out wooden dishes

from the bottom of the cave, and china and glass from the top and sides,

for the dishes hung down just like stalactites in Mammoth Cave."

Here Lill opened the book she had been reading, and showed Effie a

picture of the stalactites.

"It was so curious and so pretty that I should have remained longer,"

said Lill, "only I remembered the observatory and Santa Claus.

"When I went outside I heard his voice calling out, 'Lilian! Lilian!' It

sounded a great way off, and yet somehow it seemed to fill the air just

as the wind does. I only had to look for a moment, for very near by was

a high tower. I wonder I did not see it before; but in these queer

countries you are sure to see something new every time you look about.

Santa Claus was standing up at a window near the top, and I ran to the

entrance and commenced climbing the stairs. It was a long journey, and I

was quite out of breath when I came to the end of it. But here there was

such a cozy, luxurious little room, full of stuffed chairs and lounges,

bird cages and flowers in the windows, and pictures on the wall, that it

was delightful to rest. There was a lady sitting by a golden desk,

writing in a large book, and Santa Claus was looking through a great

telescope, and every once in a while he stopped and put his ear to a

large speaking-tube. While I was resting he went on with his


"Presently he said to the lady, 'Put down a good mark for Sarah

Buttermilk. I see she is trying to conquer her quick temper.'

"'Two bad ones for Isaac Clappertongue; he'll drive his mother to the

insane asylum yet.'

"'Bad ones all around for the Crossley children,--they quarrel too


"'A good one for Harry and Alice Pleasure, they are quick to mind.'

"'And give Ruth Olive ten, for she is a peacemaker.'"

Just then he happened to look at me and saw I was rested, so he politely

asked what I thought of the country. I said it was magnificent. He said

he was sorry I didn't stop in the green-house, where he had wax dolls

and other delicate things growing. I was very sorry about that, and then

I said I thought he must be very happy to own so many delightful things.

"'Of course I'm happy,' said Santa Claus, and then he sighed. 'But it is

an awful responsibility to reward so many children according to their

deserts. For I take these observations every day, and I know who is good

and who is bad.'

"I was glad he told me about this, and now, if he would only tell me

what time of day he took the observations, I would have obtained really

valuable information. So I stood up and made my best courtesy and


"'Please, sir, would you tell me what time of day you usually look?'

"'O,' he answered, carelessly, 'any time from seven in the morning till

ten at night. I am not a bit particular about time. I often go without

my own meals in order to make a record of table manners. For instance:

last evening I saw you turn your spoon over in your mouth, and that's

very unmannerly for a girl nearly fourteen.'

"'O, I didn't know _you_ were looking,' said I, very much ashamed; 'and

I'll never do it again,' I promised.

"Then he said I might look through the telescope, and I looked right

down into our house. There was mother very busy and very tired, and all

of the children teasing. It was queer, for I was there, too, and the

_bad-est_ of any. Pretty soon I ran to a quiet corner with a book, and

in a few minutes mamma had to leave her work and call, 'Lilian,

Lilian, it's time for you to practise.'

"'Yes, mamma,' I answered, 'I'll come right away.'

"As soon as I said this Santa Claus whistled for 'Comet' and 'Cupid,'

and they came tearing up the tower. He put me in a tiny sleigh, and away

we went, over great snow-banks of clouds, and before I had time to think

I was landed in the big chair, and mamma was calling 'Lilian, Lilian,

it's time for you to practise,' just as she is doing now, and I must


So Lill answered, "Yes, mamma," and ran to the piano.

Effie sank back in the chair to think. She wished Lill had found out how

many black marks she had, and whether that lady was Mrs. Santa

  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • formal [´fɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.正式的;外表的   (初中英语单词)
  • introduction [,intrə´dʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.介绍;引言;引导   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • opening [´əupəniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开放;开端 a.开始的   (初中英语单词)
  • marble [´mɑ:bəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大理石 a.大理石的   (初中英语单词)
  • fountain [´fauntin] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.泉水;源泉;根源   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • healthy [´helθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.健康的   (初中英语单词)
  • whisper [´wispə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.耳语 n.低语;沙沙声   (初中英语单词)
  • observation [,ɔbzə´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.观测;注意;意义   (初中英语单词)
  • rubber [´rʌbə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(摩)擦的人;橡皮   (初中英语单词)
  • weakness [´wi:knis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.虚弱;弱点,缺点   (初中英语单词)
  • pointed [´pɔintid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尖(锐)的;中肯的   (初中英语单词)
  • scarlet [´skɑ:lit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猩红色 a.猩红的   (初中英语单词)
  • addition [ə´diʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.加;加法;附加物   (初中英语单词)
  • polite [pə´lait] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有礼貌的;温和的   (初中英语单词)
  • gravely [´greivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.庄重地,严肃地   (初中英语单词)
  • interior [in´tiəriə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.内部地(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • delightful [di´laitful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.讨人喜欢的   (初中英语单词)
  • conquer [´kɔŋkə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.征服;克服;抑制   (初中英语单词)
  • magnificent [mæg´nifisənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.壮丽的;豪华的   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • responsibility [ri,spɔnsə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.责任(心);职责;任务   (初中英语单词)
  • reward [ri´wɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.报答;报酬;奖赏   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • gardener [´gɑ:dnə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.园艺家;园林工人   (高中英语单词)
  • portrait [´pɔ:trit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肖像;相片;雕像   (高中英语单词)
  • hearty [´hɑ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热忱的;强健的   (高中英语单词)
  • exquisite [ik´skwizit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精巧的;敏锐的   (高中英语单词)
  • perfectly [´pə:fiktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.理想地;完美地   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • elegant [´eligənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.文雅的;优美的   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • fashionable [´fæʃənəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.流行的,时髦的   (高中英语单词)
  • nowhere [´nəuweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无处;不知道   (高中英语单词)
  • courtesy [´kə:tisi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.礼貌;殷勤;好意   (高中英语单词)
  • carelessly [´kɛəlisli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.粗心地;疏忽地   (高中英语单词)
  • telescope [´teliskəup] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.望远镜   (高中英语单词)
  • jingle [´dʒiŋgəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使)叮当响   (英语四级单词)
  • uncommon [ʌn´kɔmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.非常的,非凡的,罕见的   (英语四级单词)
  • delighted [di´laitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.高兴的;喜欢的   (英语四级单词)
  • warning [´wɔ:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警告;前兆 a.预告的   (英语四级单词)
  • reindeer [´reindiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.驯鹿   (英语四级单词)
  • beautifully [´bju:tifəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.美丽地;优美地   (英语四级单词)
  • busily [´bizili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.忙碌地   (英语四级单词)
  • luxurious [lʌg´zjuəriəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奢侈的;豪华的   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • sleigh [slei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.雪橇 vi.坐雪橇   (英语四级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • splendidly [´splendidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.光彩夺目地;辉煌地   (英语六级单词)
  • seethe [si:ð] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.沸腾;骚动   (英语六级单词)
  • observatory [əb´zə:vətəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天文台;气象台   (英语六级单词)
  • mammoth [´mæməθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.庞大的   (英语六级单词)
  • calling [´kɔ:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.点名;职业;欲望   (英语六级单词)
  • asylum [ə´sailəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.避难所,收容所   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:11:17
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