224 At the Back of the North Wind
crying, she came into Diamond's room that his father might not hear her. She thought Diamond was asleep, but he was not. When he heard her sobbing, he was frightened, and said—
" Is father worse, mother?"
" No, Diamond," she answered, as well as she could; " he's a good bit better."
"Then what are you crying for, mother?"
" Because my money is almost all gone," she replied.
" O mammy, you make me think of a little poem baby and I learned out of North Wind's book to-day. Don't you remember how I bothered you about some of the words?"
"Yes, child," said his mother heedlessly, thinking only of what she should do after to-morrow.
Diamond began and repeated the poem, for he had a wonderful memory.
A little bird sat on the edge of her nest;
Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as tops; That day she had done her very best,
And had filled every one of their little crops. She had filled her own just over-full, And hence she was feeling a little dull.
"Oh dear!" she sighed, as she sat with her bead
Sunk in her chest, and no neck at all, While her crop stuck out like a feather bed
Turned inside out, and rather small; "What shall I do if things don't reform? I don't know where there 's a single worm.
" I 've had twenty to-day, and the children five each,
Besides a few Hies, and some very fat spiders: No one will say I don't do as I preach—