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a trip into the country.

From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Age Rating 2 to 4.

Start of Story

"Always do what I tell you, and you are sure to be right," said Mr. Bantam. "Chukitty-chuk; Biddy Bantam, don't make eyes at me. Chukitty-chukitty-chuk. I see a fine new perch across the yard. Let us all go and stand on it." "I would rather stay here," said Biddy Bantam. "Besides, I don't think that new perch is safe." "Nonsense! It's as strong as strong," said Mr. Bantam. "Come on. Bessy Bantam too." He strutted round the two little hens and hustled them across the yard. "I don't like the look of it," said Biddy crossly. "It came in on these two big wheels this morning, and a horse was pulling it. How do we know it won't go out again?" "You can easily jump off if it does, can't you?" cried Mr. Bantam. "Chukitty-chukitty-chuk! What a fuss you make! Follow me and you will be quite safe." He flew up and settled himself on the perch. "It is certainly cool in the shade of that big box on top," said Bessy. She flew up beside Mr. Bantam. "Oh, well, since you are both up, I suppose I may as well come," said Biddy, and she too flew up. It was very hot and still in the yard. The bantams put their heads under their wings and went to sleep. They slept on, not knowing how time was passing, till dark.

Now the perch they were on was the axle of a farmer's cart, and the "big box," as Bessy called it, was the cart itself. After dark the farmer put his horse in again and drove away home, not knowing that there were three little bantams fast asleep on his axle. It was a drive of four miles, but the bantams never woke till the glare of a lantern made them open their eyes and blink. The farmer was taking his things out of the back of the cart. When he saw the bantams he whistled with surprise. "Well, of all the funny things!" he cried. "These must be Nellie White's bantams. They have evidently perched on my axle and ridden home with me. I must take them back to-morrow, or Nellie will think they are lost." He took them gently off the perch and put them in a box. "What did I tell you, Mr. Bantam?" said Biddy. "Here we are, shut up in a horrid dark box; nobody knows what will happen to us next. And all because we followed your advice." "Never mind," said Bessy. "It is snug and warm in here, and we can sleep comfortably till morning, anyway." Mr. Bantam had nothing to say. The next day the farmer took them back to Nellie White. She was delighted to see them again, and they were delighted to be back in their own yard. "I really thought we were going to be killed and eaten," said Mr. Bantam. "Never talk to me about new perches again," said Biddy. "The fright I have had!" "Well, after all, no harm has come to us," said Bessy, "and we can all say we have had a trip into the country, even if we were asleep when we went."


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