free ebooks

Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

That every school in our country has a gymnasium


"My

folks came near forgetting there was any one living here this summer," the strange boy said. "They only thought about it last night, but they very much wish you to come."

He stayed only a few moments, as he had been told to return at once.

"There is plenty to do, you know, to get ready for a party," he said. "Besides, it will take me a good hour to go back by the shortest path around the slope, it winds up and down so much. But you will come, won't you?"

Carl's father and mother were as much pleased by the invitation as were the boys. The milking was done earlier than usual, and the cows were locked up in the stable before the sunset light had coloured the snowy tops of the distant mountains.

It was quite a long tramp for Carl's mother, but she only thought how nice it would be to join in dance and song again. The wrestling match took place in the afternoon. The father would not have missed that for a good deal, so he left home three hours, at least, before the others. The boys stayed behind to help the mother in the milking and to show her the way to the village afterward.

The party was a merry one. They drank cup after cup of coffee, and all the good old songs of Switzerland were sung with a will. Carl's mother showed she had not forgotten how to dance. Carl and Franz were too shy to join in the dancing,

but it was fun enough for them to watch the others. Oh, yes, it was a merry time, and the moon shone so brightly that it lighted the path homeward almost as plainly as though it were daytime.

"Next week we return to our own little village in the valley," said Rudolf, as the family walked back after the party. "Our old friends will be glad to see us as well as the fine store of cheese we shall bring. Then for another merrymaking. Carl, you must show us then what you learned at the gymnasium last year."

The boy's father was proud of Carl's strength and grace. "How fine it is," he often said to himself, "that every school in our country has a gymnasium, so that the boys are trained in body as well as in mind. That is the way to have strong men to defend our country and to govern it. I will buy Carl a rifle for his very own. The boy deserves it, he has worked so hard and so well all summer. He can shoot well already, and I will train him myself this winter, and in a year or two more he can take part in the yearly rifle match. I am very glad I have a son."

CHAPTER VI.

THE MARMOT

IT was the week after Carl got back to the village. What a busy day it had been for his mother! You would certainly think so if you had looked at the wide field back of the house. A great part of it was covered with the family wash. Sheets, sheets, sheets! And piece after piece of clothing! What could it all mean?

And did this little family own so much linen as lay spread out on the grass to-day? It was indeed so. In Carl's village it is the custom to wash only twice a year. Of course, chests full of bedding are needed to last six months, if the pieces are changed as often in Switzerland as they are in our country.

When Carl's mother was married, she brought enough linen to her new home to last for the rest of her life. Carl's grandmother had been busy for years getting it ready for her daughter. A Swiss woman would feel ashamed if she did not have a large quantity of such things with which to begin housekeeping.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us