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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A CHILDREN'S THANKSGIVING

They had got "way through," as Terry said, to the nuts. It had been a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner so far. Grandmother's sweet face beamed down the length of the great table, over all the little curly grand-heads, at Grandfather's face. Everybody felt very thankful.

"I wish all the children this side of the North Pole had some turkey, too, and squash, and cranberry - and things," Silence said quietly. Silence was always thinking of beautiful things like that.

"And some nuts," Terry said, setting his small white teeth into the meat of a big fat walnut. "It wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving without nuts."

"I know somebody who would be thankful with just nuts," smiled Grandfather. 

"Indeed, I think that he would rather have them for all the courses of his Thanksgiving dinner!"

"Just nuts! No turkey, or pudding, or anything?" The curly grand-heads all bobbed up from their plates and nut pickers in amazement. Just nuts!

"Yes! Guess who he is." Grandfather's laughing eyes twinkled up the long table at Grandmother. "I'll give you three guesses apiece, beginning with Heart's Delight. Guess number one, Heart's Delight."

"Chip." Heart's Delight had guessed it at the very first guess.

"Chip!" laughed all the little grand-boys and girls. "Why, of course! Chip! He would rather have just nuts for his Thanksgiving dinner."

"I wish he had some of mine," cried Silence.

"And mine!" cried Terry, and all the others wished that he had some of theirs. 

What a Thanksgiving dinner little Chip would have had!

"He's got plenty, thank you." It was the shy little voice of Heart's Delight. A soft pink color had come into her round cheeks. Everybody looked at her in surprise, for how did Heart's Delight know that Chip had plenty of nuts? Then Terry remembered something.

"Oh, that's where her nuts went to!" he cried. "Heart's Delight gave them to Chip! We couldn't think what she had done with them all."

Heart's Delight's cheeks grew pinker - very pink indeed.

"Yes, that's where," said Silence, leaning over to squeeze one of Heart's Delight's little hands. And sure enough, it was. In the beautiful nut month of October, when the children went after their winter's supply of nuts, Heart's Delight had left all her little rounded heap just where bright-eyed, nut-hungry Squirrel Chip would be sure to find them and hurry them away to his hole. And Chip had found them, she was sure, for not one was left when she went back to see the next day.

"Why, maybe, this very minute - right now - Chip is cracking his Thanksgiving dinner," Terry laughed.

"Just as we are! Maybe he's come to the nut course - but they are all nut courses. And maybe he's sitting up at his table with the rest of his folks, thanksgiving to Heart's Delight," Silence said.

Heart's Delight's little shy face nearly hid itself over her plate. This was dreadful! It was necessary to change the conversation at once, and a dear little thought came to her aid.

"But I'm afraid Chip hasn't got any grandfather or grandmother at his Thanksgiving," she said softly. "I should think it would be hard to give thanks without any grandfather and grandmother."

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