**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Two Little Travellers
by [?]

The first of these true histories is about Annie Percival,–a very dear and lovely child, whose journey interested many other children, and is still remembered with gratitude by those whom she visited on a far-off island.

Annie was six when she sailed away to Fayal with her mother, grandmamma, and “little Aunt Ruth,” as she called the young aunty who was still a school-girl. Very cunning was Annie’s outfit, and her little trunk was a pretty as well as a curious sight, for everything was so small and complete it looked as if a doll was setting off for Europe. Such a wee dressing-case, with bits of combs and brushes for the curly head; such a cosey scarlet wrapper for the small woman to wear in her berth, with slippers to match when she trotted from state-room to state-room; such piles of tiny garments laid nicely in, and the owner’s initials on the outside of the trunk; not to mention the key on a ribbon in her pocket, as grown up as you please.

I think the sight of that earnest, sunshiny face must have been very pleasant to all on board, no matter how seasick they might be, and the sound of the cheery little voice, as sweet as the chirp of a bird, especially when she sung the funny song about the “Owl and the pussy-cat in the pea-green boat,” for she had charming ways, and was always making quaint, wise, or loving remarks.

Well, “they sailed and they sailed,” and came at last to Fayal, where everything was so new and strange that Annie’s big brown eyes could hardly spare time to sleep, so busy were they looking about. The donkeys amused her very much, so did the queer language and ways of the Portuguese people round her, especially the very droll names given to the hens of a young friend. The biddies seemed to speak the same dialect as at home, but evidently they understood Spanish also, and knew their own names, so it was fun to go and call Rio, Pico, Cappy, Clarissa, Whorfie, and poor Simonena, whose breast-bone grew out so that she could not eat and had to be killed.

But the thing which made the deepest impression on Annie was a visit to a charity-school at the old convent of San Antonio. It was kept by some kind ladies, and twenty-five girls were taught and cared for in the big, bare place, that looked rather gloomy and forlorn to people from happy Boston, where charitable institutions are on a noble scale, as everybody knows.

Annie watched all that went on with intelligent interest, and when they were shown into the play-room she was much amazed and afflicted to find that the children had nothing to play with but a heap of rags, out of which they made queer dolls, with ravelled twine for hair, faces rudely drawn on the cloth, and funny boots on the shapeless legs. No other toys appeared, but the girls sat on the floor of the great stone room,–for there was no furniture,–playing contentedly with their poor dolls, and smiling and nodding at “the little Americana,” who gravely regarded this sad spectacle, wondering how they could get on without china and waxen babies, tea-sets, and pretty chairs and tables to keep house with.

The girls thought that she envied them their dolls, and presently one came shyly up to offer two of their best, leaving the teacher to explain in English their wish to be polite to their distinguished guest. Like the little gentlewoman she was, Annie graciously accepted the ugly bits of rag with answering nods and smiles, and carried them away with her as carefully as if they were of great beauty and value.

But when she was at home she expressed much concern and distress at the destitute condition of the children. Nothing but rags to play with seemed a peculiarly touching state of poverty to her childish mind, and being a generous creature she yearned to give of her abundance to “all the poor orphans who didn’t have any nice dollies.” She had several pets of her own, but not enough to go round even if she sacrificed them, so kind grandmamma, who had been doing things of this sort all her life, relieved the child’s perplexity by promising to send twenty-five fine dolls to Fayal as soon as the party returned to Boston, where these necessaries of child-life are cheap and plenty.