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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY XXIII NEDDIE PLAYS THE PIANO
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 “Come, Neddie!” cried Mamma Stubtail, the lady bear, one day, as she went to the door of the cave-house and looked out in front where Neddie, the little boy bear, was playing football. “It’s time to practice your music lesson, Neddie.” “Oh, dear!” cried the little bear boy. “I wish I was a player-piano!”
“What a funny wish!” said Beckie, who was taking her doll, Elizabeth Jane Huckleberrypie, out for a walk.
“Why do you want to be a player-piano, Neddie?”
“Then I wouldn’t have to practice my music lesson,” said the little bear boy.
However, since his mamma had called him, Neddie started to go in. Then Tommie and Joie Kat, the kitten boys, and Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys, called to him:
“Where you going, Neddie?”
184“I have to practice my music lesson,” he answered, and he went into the cave-house, but he didn’t feel very happy. He sat down to the piano, and he began to play:
“Tinkle-tinkle tinkle-tink!
Dum-te dum-dum dum-dum doo!
Plinko-plunko smasho-bang!
How I wish that I was through!”
That’s the kind of a tune Neddie had to play for his exercise music practice lesson, and really he didn’t do it well at all. For you see he was anxious to go back to play football with the boy animals.
And that’s often the way it is when real boys and girls have to practice music lessons. I wish it were not so, for there is nothing nicer in this world than music, and in order to play it well you have to practice. And some day, if you take music lessons, you’ll be glad that you did run up and down the piano keyboard with your fingers when you had much rather be out having games with your friends. For it is very nice to be able to play tunes.
But Neddie didn’t think so as he sat on the piano stool, drumming away, and looking at the clock, every now and then to see when his time 185would be up, so that he could go out and play with his animal friends.
Finally the clock struck five and Neddie finished his practice with a bang. It wasn’t music at all, but he did not care.
“Hurray!” he cried. “Practice is over. Now I can have some fun!”
Out of doors he rushed and more than ever he wished he were a player-piano, so that all he’d have to do would be to jump up and down with his feet when he wanted music. That is a good way to make nice sounds, too, on the player-piano, and I can play one or two pieces myself, that way. But, oh, how I wish I could play by hand!
However, Neddie’s friends were glad to see him come out again. They played football and nearly broke the window in Mrs. Wibblewobble’s duck pen, so that she had to run out and call to them:
“Now, boys, you must go right away from here. Play football somewhere else.”
So Neddie, the little bear boy, and his friends had to move along and look for a vacant lot where they could kick around their football without breaking any windows.
That night, when Mr. Stubtail, the bear papa, came home, he asked Neddie:
186“Did everything go all right in school to-day?”
“Yes, sir,” answered Neddie politely.
“And when you came home did you practice your music lesson?”
“Yes, sir,” answered Neddie, and he was glad he had not skipped it, as he sometimes did.
“Very good,” said Mr. Stubtail. “Then on Saturday afternoon I will take you and Beckie to a nice moving picture show.”
“Oh, joy!” cried Beckie, clapping her paws.
“Oh, happiness!” said Neddie, and he was glad again that he had not missed his music practice.
Well, that night, after Neddie had finished his home school-work, he wanted to sit up a little longer to read a fairy story. His mamma let him do this, but when it came time for Neddie to go to bed, he had not finished the story. So he begged:
“Oh, can’t I stay up just a little longer, mamma?”
Then, as he had been such a good boy, Mrs. Stubtail said that he might, so Neddie settled down into the deep-cushioned easy chair, and read all about how the pink fairy turned herself into a pumpkin and rolled down hill so the giant couldn’t make a Jack-o’-lantern of her.
And then quite a lot of things happened. Mrs. 187Kat, the mother of Tommie and Joie and Kittie Kat, came in ............
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