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woollymoolly.

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

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Woollymoolly blamed the sweet-peas and sunflowers and gold and purple pansies; but I blame Woollymoolly for not doing as he was told. He never would do what he was told, and that caused all the trouble. When he was only a few weeks old he jumped down from the railway truck, away from his mother; and though she called him and called him and called him, he just ran and ran and ran till he was lost. Then a big kind lady found him and took him home and fed him; and he became a Pet Lamb. At first she gave him milk, but as soon as he could eat grass he was tethered to a peg in the back garden and allowed to nibble for yards and yards and yards all round. That should have been enough, for there was plenty of grass; and if he tired of grass there was clover; and if he tired of clover there were soft sow-thistles and milky chickweed. But after the first week he never was content with the back, for through a hole in the fence he could see in the front the sweet-peas and sunflowers and gold and purple pansies. His peg was moved from day to day, to give him fresh choice of the grass and clover and soft sow-thistles and the milky chickweed, but he would not be content. He raced round and round and tugged at his rope, until one day the peg came out. Then with a rush he was on his way to the front garden, dragging rope and peg behind him. But his mistress heard the patter, patter, patter of his naughty little hoofs, and she ran fast and caught him, and hammered the peg in again. Then she told him plainly what to do. "Stay where you are tied," she said. "This is your garden, all amongst the grass and the clover and the soft sow-thistles and the milky chickweed. You must never, never go into the front to eat my sweet-peas and sunflowers and gold and purple pansies."



She was good to him. She brought him juicy turnips, and he grew big and fat and strong. One day she let him wander in the road, and at once he thought of the forbidden front. The little gate was shut and latched, but through the picket fence he could see the shining of the flowers, the sweet-peas and sunflowers and gold and purple pansies. So he waited and he waited and he waited, till at last that careless, lazy, good-for-nothing butcher boy forgot to shut and latch the little gate. Then in crept Woollymoolly, and all the sunny day, while his mistress forgot him in her household work, he gobbled up the sweet-peas and the sunflowers and the gold and purple pansies. At last his mistress thought of him, and went to bring him in. She searched up the road and down the road and back and forth across the road, and at last she found him gobbling in her garden. "Oh, you wicked, wicked lamb!" she cried. "You have eaten all my flowers. You have pulled and smashed and trampled all my pretty garden. You have greedily gobbled up my sweet-peas and sunflowers and gold and purple pansies." The next day came the careless, lazy, good-for-nothing butcher boy again, but this time when he went he carried with him in his cart the lamb who would not do as he was told. "I have done with him!" his mistress cried. What happened to him afterwards I will not say, though maybe you can guess. At any rate, he never disobeyed again, nor walked amongst the sweet-peas and the sunflowers and the gold and purple pansies.

       



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