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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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Aunt Mai's Budget

by Mrs. Francis F. Steinthal
Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 142-150


MY DEAR CHILDREN,--We have again got into the full swing of work, and I should like to take this opportunity of saying how pleased I am to welcome new nieces, and how delighted I am that so many of my old nieces have joined new competitions. The voting is decidedly in favour of a waif, and had it not been for our old enemy--influenza--I should have gone to St. Chad's Home to see the waif, and would have told you her name and history and all about her. One kind mother has written that her little girls want to know all this, and also that she would like the little waif to spend a few days with them in the summer, so that she gets a holiday, and they get to know the little girl they are working for. Next month you shall know everything,

Your loving
AUNTIE MAI

COMPETITIONS

MY DOLLIE'S WARDROBE

These are open to all the children of readers of the Parents' Review. There is no entrance fee, but stamps must be sent for return postage. Each article must have a label on it, with name, address and age clearly written. "My Dollie's Wardrobe" (see Advt.) will be used for patterns, and the clothes when made fit a doll 26 inches long.

In April the top petticoat will be taken. To be sent before the 30th to Aunt Mai, Wharfemead, Ilkley.

Class I. Age 11 to 15--Isabel Bird (13) and Freda Hollis (14) have won books. Good work has been sent by Emily Mackenzie (11), Dorothy Sayer (11) and Violet Mackintosh (14).

Class II. Age 10 and under--Mary Priestman (9), Ellie Hollis (10), Cicely Wicksteed (9) have won prizes. Careful work has been sent by Judy Henderson (10), Sybil Baker (9), Ellie Hollis (10), Cicely Wicksteed (8), Muriel Mackintosh, Ruth Gabain (8), and Marian Lander.

Honora Sneyd sent a very well-worked petticoat in December, but forgot to put on her address. Would she kindly forward it to Aunt Mai?

LITTLE WORKERS' SOCIETY

Founder: MRS. EDMUND STRODE

The work to be sent before June 30th is a print dress for a little child known to the worker. Marks are given for sewing, neatness and button-holes. An older class has been formed this year for girls over ten years of age.

DORCAS SOCIETY

For directions see the Budget in March.

In April make a pair of flannelette knickers, which will fit a poor little girl you know.

Cecelia Coote won a case of scissors for her work this month.

OUR ART CLUB

This flourishes so exceedingly well that I regret no new members can be received unless they pay an entrance fee of 10s for the year.

The following members have sent drawings this month, and as the majority have sent four each, my readers will understand the length of time the criticisms required:--

Rachel Barclay (10), Freda Rope, Mary Andon, Kathie (7), Cecile (7), and Tom Parke (5), Brian Crichton (8), Maud Baumann, Archie Baumann (7), Eleanor and Margaret Simon, Lacy Scott Moncrieff, Enid Pease Robinson, Marjory and Gladys Rimmington, Maud Bowyer, Lorna and Grace Lawrence, Dorothy Senior, Marguerite Dowding (15), Cicely Cholmondeley, Phyllis Sayer, Marjory Webb, Evelyn and Marjorie Powys, Katharine Marriott, Kathleen Bird, Vera Dawson, Dorothea (11) and Eric Steinthal, May and Clinton Lewis, Guy and Ethel Lomas, Daisy and Nina Johnstone Douglas (14), M. Broadwood, Marjory Dunthorne, Madgie B. Crook, Winifred Grice, Willie Harvey, Phoebe Rennell, and Madge Franklin.

The rules of the club are as follows:--

1.--That all drawings must be sent flat, and not rolled.

2.--That no drawing must exceed 12 by 12. Pg. 144, Aunt Mai's Budget

3.--That all illustrations must be coloured.

4.--That the illustrations must be entirely original.

Subjects for April:--

I. In Brush-drawing--Your favourite spring flower.

II. One Illustration from the "Pied Piper of Hamlyn.

To be sent to Aunt Mai before the 30th.

QUEENS OF ENGLAND

Lucy Scott Moncriegg wins a silver thimble for Queen Edith Matilda.

Vera Dawson and Dorothea Steinthal have also dressed Her Majesty.

In April, dress Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I.

"Jack and Jill"

Rhoda Goddard's name was omitted by mistake from the prize winners of Div. II.

Eva Dixon and Dorothy Gabain have joined this month.

The following members have sent answers and received marks accordingly:--

Div. I.--Alexander Colles, two papers (10); Madeline Graham Watson (5); Iole MacDonnell, two papers (10); Bernard Ward, two papers (12); Joan Campion (6); Jessie Vickers, two papers (10); Maud Vickers, two papers (10); Clare Pelly (6); Dorothy Cave, two papers (11); Winifred Grice, two papers (11); Susan Venables (6); Elsie Alexander (6); Kathleen Bird, two papers (12).

Div. II.--Rhoda Goddard, two papers (11); Cecily Foster (5); Eva Dixon (4); Eva Hudson, two papers (12); Dorothy Senior, two papers (12); Esme Graham Watson (4); Janet Brooke, two papers (12); Lilian Cave, two papers (8); Hawthorne Robertson (6); Grace Laurence, two papers (9); Kathleen Hosking (4).

Div. III.--Helen D. Duff, two papers (9); Lorna Laurence, two papers (10); Ethelwyn Robertson (6); Kathleen Colles (6); Dorothy Mayall (5); Joyce Reid (6); Dorothy Yeo, Hampstead, two papers (8); Kenneth Yeo, two papers (9); Olive Cave, two papers (9).

"Jack and Jill papers are sent to every member on the first day of the month. Entrance fee 1s., to be sent to Miss Phoebe Allen, Iledon, Bonchurch, I. Of Wight.

DEAR AUNT MAI,--I read in the article on guinea pigs that you did not know if rats would go near guinea pigs. I find that they will. They come and eat my guinea pigs' food, and make holes under the hutch. I leave a saucer of bread and milk every day for my guinea pigs, and I have seen the rats eating out of the same saucer with them and carry away bits of bread. I have two guinea pigs, a large one and a small one. The small one ran away some time ago and spent a month out in the bushes, therefore the small one is not so tame as the other, which will stand still and let me feed it out of my hand. They are both yellow. We had a black and white one, but our little dog killed it, and bit the other one, which had a big lump on its side for a long time. Their names are Jenny, the biggest one, and Minnie, the little one.

Yours sincerely,

Lily Crofton

OUR COT.

Eleanor, Marguerite and Mary Dowding sent one guinea to the Cot at Pendlebury.

Our Little Cooks.

I. Maggie's Chocolate Caramel,--Ingredients: One cup each of golden syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, milk, and ground chocolate, and a lump of butter the size of a walnut. Pour all into a pan, and boil quickly. When it is ready it will get hard on being put on to a plate; in this way one can try a little to see whether it is quite done enough. When finished pour into a buttered dish to set.

II. Gooseberry Fool.--Take the tops and tails from the gooseberries, and put them into a stewpan, with a cupful of cold water and half a pound of sugar to a pound of fruit. Let them stew gently, until quite soft. Put them through a coarse sieve with the back of a wooden spoon, so that the pulp only goes through the sieve. When the pulp is quite cold, mix with it gradually cold milk to make the pulp the thickness of cream, and add more sugar if required; a little cream can also be added, which will be a great improvement.

THE SQUIRREL.

There cannot be a prettier or more amusing pet than the Squirrel. It is interesting to watch him either scampering up and down the branches of the trees when in a wild state, or spinning round and round in his cage when in captivity. As the squirrel, like the dormouse, sleeps all winter when in a state of nature, the best time to purchase your pet is in September, when he will be in prime condition, with his glossy coat and bushy tail.

Do not expect him to be tame all at once, that will come in time, with patience and kindness. You must obtain a regular squirrel's cage, the center of which is composed of a cylinder of wire, which revolves as the squirrel runs round in it. At one end of the cage must be a dark box or sleeping compartment, with wadding for the squirrel to roll up in when so disposed, and where he can sleep quietly.

In choosing a squirrel see that his coat is glossy, feet free from disease, eyes bright, and, most of all, teeth white and regular. Yellow, broken teeth denote an old animal, who might either pine if freshly caught, or prove bad tempered and hard to tame. In a wild state, the food consists of shoots of trees, nuts (of which he lays in a store for winter use), and even sometimes a tiny bird out of a nest. In captivity, any kind of nut, bit of biscuit, bread, or piece of ripe apple, he will take in his fore paws and sit up and eat daintily. Bread and milk makes a welcome change. If you are gentle with your squirrel he will soon get to know you and come and take his food out of your hand when called. When quite tame, he may be trusted to run about the room when doors and windows are closed. He shows his appreciation of his liberty by running up and down the curtains and perching on the picture frames or cornice poles. Do not try this experiment till you are sure of your pet.

THE FROG WHO CEASED TO CROAK

"Croak!" cried the frog as he sat among the sedges which bordered the great lake.

"So you are complaining again, are you?" remarked a stout carp, popping up her nose for a moment above the sleepy ripples, "Always croaking and grumbling! What is your grievance, I'd be glad to know?"

"It's my environment that principally worries me," replied the frog, as he drew down the corners of his wide mouth and looked as miserable as might be, "This lake is so large, in the first place. There's so much monotony in largeness, you see--especially when it's too large for one to swim to the other side of it."

"But I don't want to swim to the other side of anything, so long as there are plenty of nice red worms on my side of it," said the carp, placidly.

"You're different," contemptuously retorted the frog. "You have no ambition--no unsatisfied cravings. You're a groveling groundling, in fact, and, consequently, you can't sympathise with a person constituted as I am." He paused to pull down his yellow waistcoat, which had been crumpled by much croaking, and added:--"And the largeness of the lake isn't the only thing that is objectionable about this region of ours. It is frequented by numbers of horrid, long-legged herons, and I'm informed, on very good authority, that herons like frogs."

"Don't you like to be liked?" asked the carp.

"Not by herons," said the frog, with a slight shudder.

"Well, herons or no herons, it's my opinion one might easily find oneself in a worse locality," murmured the carp, as she allowed herself to sink out of sight beneath the water.

"What a dull, unimaginative creature she is, to be sure," grumbled the frog, when he was alone again.

He was so deeply disgusted by the stupidity of his friend the carp, that he felt impelled to croak harder than ever for the remainder of the day. But, next morning, he grew silent, for he had formed a mighty resolution.

"I will go out and see the world," he said to himself, "I will travel about and have adventures, which will be less boring than living for ever in this same old lake. And as I shall pass through many countries while I am on my travels, I shall doubtless light upon some spot in which I can take up my residence and really enjoy myself for the remainder of my existence, without having to constantly keep my eye open for herons."

So he gathered a large leaf of marsh-mallow to serve him as a parasol during sunshiny weather, and forthwith set out through the sedges, for they flourished thickly near the water's edge. But, presently, the tall green stems thinned a little, and he was able to make more rapid progress. At length the mud was left behind and the sedges with it, and the frog hopped out into a meadow in which dappled cows were grazing peacefully.

"I must have traveled at least a thousand miles since I started," he said. "The world appears to be a very extensive place, but it is well worth seeing for all that."

"Yes, and it tastes even better than it looks," cried a sharp voice near at hand. "Try some of it--there's plenty for both of us, to say nothing of those greedy cows."

It was a big grey grasshopper who had spoken. It took a spring and alighted by the frog's side, where it set voraciously to work to masticate a juicy blade of grass.

"You seem to be satisfied with your surroundings, at all events," observed the frog.

"I am," creaked the grasshopper. "They suit me down to the ground."

"No doubt they do," observed the frog, thoughtfully, "for I notice that you have left nothing of that blade of grass except its root."

Just then one of the browsing cows passed by, and thump!--it set a heavy hoof upon the grasshopper. The frog himself had a narrow escape, but a quick jump to the left placed him out of danger for the nonce.

"Well, I shall not settle down here, at any rate," he said, as he resumed his journey. "Cows, I think, are even more objectionable than herons."

It was now high noon, and the sun's rays beat fiercely on the meadow. The frog's marsh-mallow parasol had withered, and, instead of standing out crisply on all sides, it drooped upon its stalk, affording but a meager shelter from the torrid glare.

"Oh dear," panted the frog, "this heat is almost unbearable. I must go on to where there is a shadow."

But, as it fell out, he only went on to where there was a dog. It was a terrier dog, with rough hair and dreadfully white teeth, and when it caught sight of the frog hopping languidly along, it bounded forward with barks which made the weary traveler drop his parasol and tremble all over like a jelly. As good luck would have matters, however, his next jump brought him to a large flat stone, and beneath this he managed to conceal his whole person with the exception of one limp hind leg, which he forgot to pull after him into his hiding place. The dog barked more wildly than ever at the hind leg, and the noise he made soon attracted the attention of the little boy to whom he belonged--or who belonged to him, for there was occasionally some speculation as to the relationship in which the pair stood to one another. So the little boy came scampering up with a flushed brown face.

"It's a frog," he shouted gleefully, "I'll take it home and put it into Aunt Jenny's aquarium. Won't it startle those solemn old goldfish, that's all!"

Without more ado he dropped the poor frightened frog into his jacket pocket, which contained an odd variety of articles. These included a peg-top, a piece of string, a rusty tenpenny nail, and a very sticky lump of butterscotch.

"I prefer cows and herons to dogs, but even dogs are less objectionable than little boys," sighed the imprisoned frog. "If the world contains many little boys, I, for my part, have no desire whatever to see any more of it."

In short, he was feeling extremely uncomfortable. He was half stifled to commence with, and the peg-top would keep rolling over and bumping him. The string tangled itself up with his limbs, and the tenpenny nail chafed his tender skin. To render his misery complete, the lump of butterscotch got upon his back and stuck there like a limpet.

Meanwhile the little boy was jogging homeward in a leisurely manner, with the terrier capering before him. On their way they had to cross a rustic stone bridge which spanned a narrow stream.

"I'm rather tired," said the little boy, " so I will sit down here upon the parapet and take a rest."

The frog heard the chatter of the streamlet as it swept along over its pebbly bed, and an intense longing to escape from his disagreeable quarters took possession of him. Suddenly he climbed upon the peg-top, which had left off rolling about, and, from that unsteady coign of 'vantage, he made one desperate upward spring at the narrow slit of light above his head. His spring carried him clear of the little boy's pocket, and there was a loud flop as he tumbled head foremost into the hurrying current.

"That clever frog has got away, Dash," remarked the little boy laughing, "We shall have to find another one if we want to startle Aunt Jenny's goldfish this afternoon."

The dog barked excitedly. But the frog paid no sort of heed to his outcries. He just lay still on the surface of the streamlet, and allowed it to bear him whither it would. The stream emptied itself into the great lake, so he soon began to recognize his bearings. Paddling along he eventually reached his own familiar clump of sedges. He had never felt to happy and contented in his whole life before.

"The lake is by no means too large, and as for the herons, they are a mere trifle," he thought aloud, as he squatted on the soft mud. "Nobody shall ever hear me croaking again."

The stout carp popped her blunt nose above the ripples as she had done once before.

"That's capital news," she said, "you used to be a regular nuisance with your grumblings, when I wanted to digest my worms in peace and quietness. But where have you been lately?"

"I've been exploring the whole world," answered the frog, proudly, "It is a wonderful place."

"But is it nice?" asked the carp.

"One is happier here by the lake," he evasively replied.

Then, seeing the carp's round eyes fixed in wonder on the lump of butterscotch, which had not yet melted off his back, he added, in some embarrassment, "That is a curiosity I picked up on my travels. A traveler should never return home empty-handed, you know."

Felix Leigil