They went to the January house,
A house made all of snow,
With windows of ice, and chandeliers
Of icicles all in a row.
The trim young master was dressed in fur
And didn’t seem cold at all–
A red-cheeked, rollicking, frolicking chap,
Who offered each caller an ermine wrap,
And let them skate in his hall.
While they were skating round the hall, Amos’s feet flew from under him
and he sat down hard on the ice.
“Did you break anything?” asked the January boy. “I hope not, indeed,” he
added earnestly, “because so many things are broken here.”
“What kind of things?” Amos wanted to know.
“Mainly resolutions,” answered January with a wry face. And then he
further said: “So many of _them_ get broken that sometimes I think I’ll
move into another house.”
“But then,” put in little Ann, “we shouldn’t have any New Year. And oh,
how we’d miss New Year–“
A square-faced clock on the hall-landing struck one just as Ann said she’d
miss New Year.
“Oh!” said Ann with a gasp. “Now I’ve got to say a rhyme beginning–‘miss
New Year.’ What shall I say?
“Miss New Year, miss New Year–” Then all at once, to her intense
surprise, she found herself reciting:
“Miss New Year dressed herself in white,
With crystal buttons shining,
A spangled scarf, all lacy-light
About her shoulders twining;
A bunch of pearly mistletoe,
A twig of ruddy holly,
She tucked among her curls, and oh,
She was so sweet and jolly!
“She tapped upon my window-pane
And waked me, bright and early.
‘Come, come,’ she cried, ‘the sun’s outside,
The winds are gay and whirly!
‘Neath winter frost and summer sky,
In spring or autumn weather,
Come out, dear child, and you and I
Will be good chums together!'”
J. M. was the next one to get caught. January had just asked the three to
stay to lunch.
“Wish we could,” said the Journeying Man, “but in spite of all these
clocks there is no time. I can smell your stew cooking, January–, such
A clock struck eight just as the Journeying Man said “such stew.” Without
hesitation he went on:–
“‘Such stupid days!’ said Willie Green
With long and doleful face.
‘Suppose to-night the whirling globe
Should drop us into space:
Hooray! I’d ride the moon astride,
And, if a cloud sailed up,
Pretend it was a feather-bed,
And dive right in, kerplup!’
“‘What if the moon went in eclipse?’
Said little Johnny Brown;
‘Or if the clouds turned into rain
And sent you drizzling down?
Or if a thunder-bolt went off
And knocked you rather flat?’
“‘Now that’s the truth,’ said Willie Green,
‘I hadn’t thought of that!’
“But, ‘Earth’s so poky,’ still he mused;
‘It must be finer far
To play _I Spy_ across the sky,
And skip from star to star.’
“‘Stars fall, sometimes,’ quoth Johnny Brown,
‘To where, nobody knows.’
“‘Oh, dearie me!’ cried Willie Green,
‘I only said _Suppose_!'”
Amos had a question to ask as the travelers turned to leave the January
“Don’t you keep any pets?” he said.
January grinned. “It would have to be a cold kind of pet,” he replied.
“And I don’t like seals and walruses. The very animal that I want I can’t
have: the alligator has always been my favorite.”
“The alligator?” echoed Amos and Ann.
“Yes,” said January, firmly. “Always the al–“
But a little nickel clock caught him just there, so he remarked instead:–
“Always the alphabet to me
Is like a happy family.
They work in groups, they work in pairs,
But each one has his little airs:
R runs and romps, and so does S,
And Z is full of foolishness;
H always smiles, and A is jolly;
G’s somehow sort of melancholy.
Q sticks his tongue into his cheek
And always waits for U to speak;
D’s fat and lazy; so is C;
And O makes funny mouths at me.
Among the pleasant alphabet
It’s hard to pick and choose–and yet,
When all is said, I can’t deny
(You’ll understand), my choice is I!”
(Nancy Byrd Turner)
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Based on Keywords: frolicking, chandeliers, caller, romps, year-, red-cheeked, feather-bed, thunder-bolt, whirly, poky, beginning-
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