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milly mushroom.

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

Start of Story

She was very tiny at first, and quite brown. Her mother laid her gently on the ground and said: "Creep down into the warmth and grow." So Milly crept down into the warmth, and grew into a little white girl as thin as a thread. For a year she stayed under the ground with her brothers and sisters; then they all put on their best velvet hoods and puffed themselves out to go up into the world. Billy Button sprang up first. He called down to Milly: "Come up, little sister. The sun is shining through a silver mist and everything is glorious." "I am not quite ready," said Milly Mushroom. "I must grow bigger first." She puffed herself out as fast as she could, and at last was ready to go up. She tied her hood over her face to keep the wind off her soft cheeks. Then she too sprang up. "Oh, dear," she said, "how strange it feels up here!" "You will soon grow used to it," said Billy Button. "Hurry up and grow, and turn pink like me." Milly grew and grew and turned pink like Billy Button. Then she untied her hood and peeped out, showing her soft cheeks and pretty white collar. "What a great world it is!" she said. "It is all so wide and high. I am a little afraid." "This is only a bit of the world," said Billy Button. "I know, for the Flying Beetle told me. He has travelled far, and has seen wonderful sights. Ah! how I should like to travel!" "I would rather stay at home," said Milly. She was trembling a little; everything seemed strange up here in the strong light.



"Grow close to me," said a friendly Thistle. "I will shelter you with my long arms." She stretched out one of her arms, and Milly nestled beneath it and was comforted. All that day and night she and Billy Button grew so fast that when the next morning came they hardly knew one another. "How big you are, Billy!" said Milly. "So are you," said Billy. "You are quite a mushroom lady now. But goodness gracious! Whatever is that? What a monster! And how it shakes the ground!" A boy was walking over the field with a basket in his hand. He was gathering mushrooms. He stooped and pulled Billy Button from the ground. "Oh, the cruel monster! Oh, poor, poor Billy!" sobbed Milly Mushroom. But Billy was not at all frightened. "Hurrah! I am going to travel at last!" he cried. "Good-bye, Milly. I shall see the world now." He was popped into the basket and carried off, while Milly was left shivering under the thistle's arm. She soon forgot her fright, however, though she often wondered what happened to Billy Button, and whether he enjoyed his travels. She grew taller and bigger every day, and changed her hood for a big flat hat so wide and shady that the little field-mouse could sit under it and talk to her. And the thistle covered her from sight with its friendly arms, so no monster ever found her to put her in his basket and carry her off.

       



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