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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY XXIV NEDDIE AND BECKIE AT A PARTY
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 One day, when Neddie and Beckie Stubtail, the little boy and girl bear, came home from school, where they had said their lessons, each one getting a good mark for not whispering—one day, as they ran in the house to get a honey cake, they saw two little white envelopes lying on the dining-room table. “Hello!” exclaimed Neddie, looking at them. “Here’s some post-office mail mamma has forgotten to open.”
“I’ll take it to her,” spoke Beckie, as she put her school books on the sideboard; “I think she’s in the kitchen. And while I’m out there I’ll get the honey cakes.”
“Good!” cried Neddie, as he wiggled his little tail. “And while you are about it, get as many honey cakes as you can, Beckie.”
“I will,” answered the little bear girl. Bears are very fond of sweet cakes, you know, especially if they have honey in them.
But when Beckie took up the tiny envelopes 192she gave a little squeal of surprise, just like a baby piggie under a gate, and she said:
“Why, Neddie! These are for us—they are letters, with our names on!”
“Are they?” asked Neddie. “Sure enough!” he cried as he looked. “I wonder who can be writing to us?”
“The best way would be to open them and find out,” suggested Aunt Piffy, the fat old lady bear, as she came up from down cellar, where she had gone to keep the apples from getting lonesome. Oh, Aunt Piffy was the kindest old lady bear you ever heard of. She was even kind to the apples and potatoes, and all things like that.
“Open your letters,” she said to Neddie and Beckie, “and then you can tell whom they’re from.”
Beckie began to tear open her envelope, but Neddie, after looking at his for a moment, said:
“Oh, ho! I know. This is a joke of Uncle Wigwag’s! I’m not going to let him fool us!”
Uncle Wigwag, you know, was an old gentleman bear who was always playing tricks, or jokes, on Neddie and Beckie, and sometimes on Aunt Piffy, too.
Just then in came Mr. Whitewash, the Polar bear gentleman.
193“Has anybody seen my cake of ice?” he cried. “I can’t find it. Some one must have my cake of ice!”
You see, being a white Polar bear, from the North Pole, Mr. Whitewash always used to sit on a cake of ice to keep cool, and he often mislaid it, or couldn’t find it, just as Grandma CluckCluck, the old lady hen, used to lose her glasses.
“Where is my cake of ice?” asked Mr. Whitewash, as he looked all around the bear cave-house.
“Oh, my goodness me sakes alive and some horseradish-mustard!” cried Aunt Piffy. “I think I put your cake of ice under the stove, to have it out of the way while I swept, and by this time——”
“Yes, by this time it must be all melted!” cried Mr. Whitewash, as he rushed out to the kitchen. And, as luck would have it, just then, through the door, came Mrs. Stubtail, the mamma bear, and in her hand she had a plate of honey cakes, that she had just baked. Of course Mr. Whitewash rushed right into her, but he didn’t mean to. Down went Mrs. Stubtail, down went the honey cakes—down went Mr. Whitewash, and such a mix-up you never saw in all your life!
But no one was hurt, I’m glad to say, though 194some of the honey cakes were broken. But that did not hurt them, and Neddie and Beckie picked them up and their mamma let them eat the pieces.
Then Mr. Whitewash managed to find his cake of ice under the stove. It was not quite all melted, but nearly. However, there was enough left for him to sit on and keep cool, until the ice man came with another cake.
Then when everything was quiet Neddie took up his envelope again, and said:
“Look, Mr. Whitewash, Uncle Wigwag is trying to play another joke on us.”
“No, I do not think so,” answered the white Polar bear gentleman. “He has not been in the house in some time. He and Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, are playing a game of hop butterscotch on the duck pond. I think your letters are no joke.”
“Then I’m going to open mine!” exclaimed Beckie, and when she had done so and had read the writing inside, she called out:
“Oh, Neddie! It’s an invitation to a party! Kittie Kat, the little pussy girl, is giving a party and she’s asked me to come to it. Is yours an invitation, too?”
“Why, yes, it is,” said Neddie slowly. “I guess I’ll go.”
195“Go? Of course we’ll go!” cried Beckie. “I wonder what dress I’ll wear?”
“Oh, that’s just the way with............
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