Lady Bug & Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, by Jeannette Marks

The Cheerful Cricket and Others

"Well," said Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, "it's a pity such things have to go on. What those horrid black Road-worms mean by eating up all the apple leaves is more than I can see."

Lady Bug listened to this outburst quietly, as if she had been accustomed to such words from her kinswoman. Finally she said:

"Really, I can't see that they do any more harm than—"

"Crack! Crack! Crack!" spluttered Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, forgetting entirely the dignity of a hyphenated name; "hum! why, there won't be a single leaf on a single apple tree left to shade me and my family by time July comes. Hum, indeed!"

"Yes, my dear," said Lady Bug, who was always reasonable as well as gentle, "I understand all you say, but you know yourself that we eat leaves."

"Huh!" sniffed Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, "I can't see that it's the same thing at all. What good's a leaf to a Potato, now, just tell me that!"

"I only know this," replied Lady Bug, "last year Mrs. Cricket overheard Farmer Hayseed say that if he could get rid of the Poe Tato-Bug family he'd live twenty years longer. He said we ate up the leaves and made the roots good for nothing. I presume he meant our family"

"For a quiet body you can say the meanest things," exclaimed Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug. Just then Mrs. Cricket, head down, went hurrying by and said as she passed,

"You'd better go home. Farmer Hayseed is pouring white stuff all over your houses. Most of your folks have left, but I saw little Poe and Tato still there."

"Dear me! O! O!" they both cried, "those children will be choked to death!" No two mothers could have hurried home faster. Lady Bug tried to give a little comfort on the way.

"I think," said she, "that Rose Bug will help the children, for all she lives in such a beautiful new home. Rose is so fond of Poe and Tato; and then, too, Bush Manor is not so far away."

Not one word did Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug say, but flying and jumping she hurried home. Her red speckled wings kept cracking louder and louder as she hurried along faster and faster.

"I wish you would not hurry so fast," said Lady Bug, gently, "really I am quite out of breath; and see! there is Farmer Hayseed way up at the other end of the patch. He hasn't reached our home yet."

Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug looked eagerly, and sure enough, there was Farmer Hayseed with a big box marked "Paris Green" in one hand, and in the other a sieve through which he was sifting fine white powder.

"Dear me!" sighed Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, "this is such a relief. Here we are." At once she began scurrying around over every leaf of her home, but not a sign of little Poe and Tato could she find.

"Gracious!" said Lady Bug, "how very unfortunate. Where do you suppose they are?"

"I don't suppose, but I guess I know," replied Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug, as off she scurried toward the Rose Bush in the old fashioned garden near by.

And as they hurried toward the bush they could see Rose Bug with her wings around little Poe and Tato. She was singing a lullabye, trying to keep them quiet or put them to sleep, and this was the lullabye she sang:

_Lullabye Lake

Quietly_

  Lullabye Lake
  Is a place I know
  Where the tree tops sing,
  And the breezes blow,
  Where the treetops sing
  And the breezes blow.

  The moon shines dim
  With a silver light
  And the ripples dance
  And the stars are bright,
  And the ripples dance
  And the stars are bright.

  The glow worm burns
  On the misted green
  And scatters his lights
  For the Faery Queen,
  And scatters his lights
  For the Faery Queen.

Mrs. Poe Tato-Bug listened carefully to the song. At last she exclaimed:

"That Rose Bug always did sing strange songs. I hope my children will not remember any such unpractical nonsense. The Poe-Tato family never was given to notions. What in the world can she mean by the Faery Queen? I dare say some romantic tale!"