Patty's First Day At School by
Patty was only four years old, but she was just crazy to go to school.
Her three older brothers and sisters all went, and why couldn't she? So,
as much to quiet her teasing as anything, her mother fixed her off to
school with the rest, one winter morning more than thirty years ago.
Miss Dobbs, the teacher, was very strict and made the scholars learn
well, but I'm afraid they did not love her as much as if she had been
more gentle with them. But it was the fashion in those days for teachers
to be severe, and whip the scholars whenever they needed it.
The school-room was a new place to little Patty's round eyes, and for
the first hour she kept very still, looking about in wonder at all she
saw and heard. She sat with her oldest sister, Anna, and felt very well
pleased with everything.
By-and-by she wanted something else to do, and spoke up promptly, in her
sharp little voice, "Anna, I want to see the pictures in your Dogathy!"
Of course all the scholars laughed.
Miss Dobbs rapped on the desk sharply with her rule. "Silence!" The
house became quiet.
"You must not speak out loud in school again," she said, sternly, to
Patty. "I shall punish you if you do."
Patty was very angry. "What right had Miss Dobbs to speak so to her?"
She began to be afraid of Miss Dobbs, but she was sure Anna would not
let any harm come to her little sister. She slipped down quietly off the
seat, and sat down on the floor under the big desk. There Miss Dobbs
could not see her, and she could free her mind. So again her clear voice
rang out, "Miss Dobbs is drefful cross, isn't she, Anna?"
The scholars laughed again, but Miss Dobbs walked quickly up to the
desk, pulled out little Patty, and boxed her ears soundly. Then sitting
her down hard on the seat, she left her with a stern "Now see if you can
Patty was too scared to cry. She found Miss Dobbs was to be minded, and
for the rest of the winter she went to school and was as good a little
girl as you could wish to see.