The Visit by Maud Lindsay
The children went back to spend Thanksgiving at grandfather's
farm. They got into some trouble and were afraid that they would
miss their dinner.
EARLY one morning Grandmother Grey got up,
opened the windows and doors of the farmhouse,
and soon everybody on the place was stirring. The
cook hurried breakfast, and no sooner was it over than
Grandfather Grey went out to the barn and hitched the
two horses to the wagon.
"Get up, Robin and Dobbin!" he said, as he drove
through the big gate. "If you knew who were coming
back in this wagon you would not be stepping so
The old horses pricked up their ears when they heard
this, and trotted away as fast as they could down the
country road until they came to town. Just as they
got to the railway station the train came whizzing in.
"All off!" cried the conductor, as the train stopped;
and out came a group of children who were, every one
of them, Grandfather and Grandmother Grey's grandchildren.They had come to spend Thanksgiving Day
on the farm.
There was John, who was named for grandfather and
looked just like him, and the twins, Teddie and Pat,
who looked like nobody but each other; their papa
was grandfather's oldest son. Then there was Louisa,
who had a baby sister at home, and then Mary Virginia
Martin, who was her mamma's only child.
"I tell you," said grandfather, as he helped them into
the wagon, "your grandmother will be glad to see you!"
And so she was. She was watching at the window for
them when they drove up, and when the children spied
her they could scarcely wait for grandfather to stop the
wagon before they scrambled out.
"Dear me, dear me!" said grandmother, as they all
tried to kiss her at the same time, "how you have
"I am in the first grade," said John, hugging her with
all his might.
"So am I," cried Louisa.
"We are going to be," chimed in the twins; and then
they all talked at once, till grandmother could not hear
Then, after they had told her all about their mammas
and papas, and homes, and cats and dogs, they wanted to
go and say "how do you do" to everything on the place.
"Take care of yourselves," called grandmother, "for
I don't want to send any broken bones home to your
"I can take care of myself," said John.
"So can we," said the rest; and off they ran.
First they went to the kitchen where Mammy 'Ria
was getting ready to cook the Thanksgiving dinner;
then out to the barnyard, where there were two new red
calves, and five little puppies belonging to Juno, the
dog, for them to see. Then they climbed the barnyard
fence and made haste to the pasture where grandfather
kept his woolly sheep. "Baa-a!" said the sheep when
they saw the children; but then, they always said that,
no matter what happened.
There were cows in this pasture, too, and Mary Virginia
was afraid of them, even though she knew that
they were the mothers of the calves she had seen in the
"Silly Mary Virginia!" said John, and Mary Virginia
began to cry.
"Don't cry," said Louisa. "Let's go to the hickory-nut
This pleased them all, and they hurried off; but on
the way they came to the big shed where grandfather
kept his plows and reaper and threshing machine and all
his garden tools.
The shed had a long, wide roof, and there was a
ladder leaning against it. When John saw that, he
thought he must go up on the roof; and then, of course,
the twins went, too. Then Louisa and Mary Virginia
wanted to go, and although John insisted that girls
could not climb, they managed to scramble up the ladder
to where the boys were. And there they all sat in a
row on the roof.
"Grandmother doesn't know how well we can take
care of ourselves," said John. "But I am such a big
boy that I can do anything. I can ride a bicycle and
go on errands——"
"So can I," said Louisa.
"We can ride on the trolley!" cried the twins.
"Mamma and I go anywhere by ourselves," said
"Moo!" said something down below; and when they
looked, there was one of the cows rubbing her head
against the ladder.
"Don't be afraid, Mary Virginia," said Louisa.
"Cows can't climb ladders."
"Don't be afraid, Mary Virginia," said John. "I'll
drive her away."
So he kicked his feet against the shed roof and called,
"Go away! go away!" The twins kicked their feet, too,
and called, "Go away! go away!" and somebody, I don't
know who, kicked the ladder and it fell down and lay in
the dry grass. And the cow walked peacefully on,
thinking about her little calf.
"There, now!" exclaimed Louisa, "how shall we ever
"Oh, that's nothing," said John. "All I'll have to do
is to stand up on the roof and call grandfather. Just
watch me do it."
So he stood up and called, "Grandfather! Grandfather!
Grandfather!" till he was tired; but no grandfather
Then the twins called, "Grandfather! Grandmother!"
"Baa," said the sheep, as if beginning to think that
somebody ought to answer all that calling.
Then they all called together: "Grandfather! Grandfather!
Grandfather!" and when nobody heard that,
they began to feel frightened and lonely.
"I want to go home to my mother! I wish I hadn't
come!" wailed Mary Virginia.
"It's Thanksgiving dinner time, too," said John, "and
there's turkey for dinner, for I saw it in the oven."
"Pie, too," said Louisa.
"Dear, dear!" cried the twins.
And then they all called together once more, but this
time with such a weak little cry that not even the sheep
The sun grew warmer and the shadows straighter as
they sat there, and grandmother's house seemed miles
away when John stood up to look at it.
"They've eaten dinner by this time, I know," he
said as he sat down again; "and grandfather and grandmother
have forgotten all about us."
But grandfather and grandmother had not forgotten
them, for just about then grandmother was saying to
grandfather: "You had better see where the children
are, for Thanksgiving dinner will soon be ready and I
know that they are hungry."
So grandfather went out to look for them. He did
not find them in the kitchen nor the barnyard, so he
called, "Johnnie! Johnnie!" and when nobody answered
he made haste to the pasture.
The children saw him coming, and long before he had
reached the gate they began to call with all their might.
This time grandfather answered, "I'm coming!" and
I cannot tell you how glad they were.
In another minute he had set the ladder up again
and they all came down. Mary Virginia came first
because she was the youngest girl, and John came last
because he was the biggest boy. Grandfather put his
arms around each one as he helped them down, and
carried Mary Virginia home on his back. When they
got to the house dinner was just ready.
The turkey was brown, the potatoes were sweet,
The sauce was so spicy, the biscuits were beat,
The great pumpkin pie was as yellow as gold,
And the apples were red as the roses, I'm told.
It was such a good dinner that I had to tell you about
it in rhyme!
And I'm sure you'll agree,
With the children and me,
That there's never a visit so pleasant to pay
As a visit to grandma on Thanksgiving Day.