Do you wish to know who little Frankie was, and where he lived? Come and sit down in your pretty chair by my side, and I will tell you. Frankie was not the real name of this little boy. When he was a tiny baby, not much larger than black Dinah, his father came home one night from his store, and asked, “Have you named the baby yet, mamma?”
“No,” she answered, “I have not; but I have been thinking that if you are pleased, I should like to call him Frank.”
“Frank, Frank, Frankie,” said his father, repeating it over and over again, to hear how it would sound. “Yes, I like the name; and then my friend, Mr. Wallace, is called Frank. Yes, Frank it shall be.”
“While he is a baby, we will call him Frankie,” said his mamma. So that was the way he obtained so pretty a name.
About a week after this, there came one day a man on horseback riding up to the front door. He jumped briskly down upon the wide stone step, and rang the bell with a loud, quick jerk, which seemed to say, I am in a hurry. Margie, the errand girl, ran to the door, when the man gave her a box wrapped nicely in a piece of yellow paper, and tied with a small red cord. Then he sprang upon the saddle, and galloped away down the avenue into the road.
Margie carried the box into the parlor, and gave it to her mistress. Mamma looked at the name on the paper, and her bright, loving eyes grew still brighter. She took her scissors and cut the cord which held the paper around the box, then pulled off the cover, and what do you think was there? Why, a large piece of pink cotton nicely folded about a beautiful silver cup, on one side of which was marked the name Little Frankie.
Mamma laughed as she read it, and felt sure the pretty present came from Mr. Wallace. She ran gayly up stairs into the nursery, where the baby was sitting in the lap of his nurse, shaking his coral bells. “Here, my darling,” she said; “see what a nice cup has come for you; look! it is so bright I can peep at your rosy face in it.”
Baby crowed and stretched out his tiny hands, but he could not quite reach it; and if he could he would have tried to crowd it into his mouth. So mamma took him in her arms, and squeezed him very tight, and kissed him ever so many times, until the little fellow was quite astonished. Then she held him off a little to look at him; and her eyes were so brimful of love that Frankie was never tired of gazing into them.
Papa admired the present very much, and said that his friend, Mr. Wallace, was a noble fellow, and he should be glad if their little Frankie made as good a man. Then papa danced around the room, “to give his boy a little exercise,” he said, “and make him grow.” But mamma screamed, and was afraid so much shaking would take away her baby’s breath.
“Come, then,” said papa, “we will sit down and trot a little.” He seated the little fellow on his knee, and began, “This is the way the lady rides, trot, trot, trot, trot. This is the way the gentleman rides, de canter, de canter, de canter, de canter. This is the way the huntsman rides, de gallop, de gallop, de gallop.”
Frankie laughed and cooed, and as soon as his papa stopped, kicked his little feet to have it go again.
Categories: English Literature