144 At the Back of the North Wind
His mother did not speak much during their dinner. After it was over she helped him to walk about a little, but he was not able for much and soon got tired. He did not get fretful, though. He was too glad of having the sun and the wind again, to fret because he could not run about. He lay down on the dry sand, and his mother covered him with a shawl. She then sat by his side, and took a bit of work from her pocket. But Diamond felt rather sleepy, and turned on his side, and gazed sleepily over the sand. A few yards off he saw something fluttering.
" What is that, mother?" he said.
u Only a bit of paper," she answered.
" It flutters more than a bit of paper would, I think," said Diamond.
" I'll go and see if you like," said his mother. " My eyes are none of the best."
So she rose and went and found that they were both right, for it was a little book, partly buried in the sand. But several of its leaves were clear of the sand, and these the wind kept blowing about in a very flutter-ful manner. She took it up and brought it to Diamond.
" What is it, mother?" he asked.
"Some nursery rhymes, I think," she answered.
" I'm too sleepy," said Diamond. " Do read some of them to me."
"Yes, I will," she said, and began one.—" But this is such nonsense!" she said again. " I will try to find a better one."
She turned the leaves searching, but three times, with