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Little Mittens for The Little Darlings Being the Second Book of the Series

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Only to think! A letter from Aunt Fanny to the little ones, which begins in this fanny way:

"You Darling Kittens—"

All the small children looked at Mary O'Reilly—who sat staring at the fire, with her whiskers sticking up in the air, and then felt their faces with their little fat hands. They did not find the least scrap of a whisker anywhere on their round cheeks; and Pet said—"But I a ittle girl; I not a kitty"—at which all the family laughed, and ran to kiss her—and she thought she had been very smart, I can tell you; and clapped her hands and said again—"No! I not a kitty!" and all the rest of the little ones said they were not kittens, and for two minutes there was such fun, everybody mewing like cats, and patting each other softly for play. The little mother said they must all have been to Catalonia; and that might be the reason why Aunt Fanny called them "kittens;" or perhaps it was because she loved them.

So she began again:

Darling Kittens—

You must have stories as well as the rest—of course you must. If I should forget to write some for such sweet little monkeys as you, that I know and love so dearly, and some other sweet little monkeys that I don't know, but love very much; why, Mr. Appleton, who has sweet little monkeys of his own, would say to me with a grave face—"Aunt Fanny! I'm surprised at you! What do you mean by such conduct? What has become of that big room in your heart, which you keep brimful of love for babies and little bits of children? Do you want them to sit humdrum on rainy days, when they are tired of playing with dolls, and tops, and kittens, and have no story book for their kind mammas to read to them? This will never do, Aunt Fanny. Please to begin right away!"

Oh! what a dreadful thing it would be, for any one to suppose that I did not love you any more. I could not bear it; so here I am beginning "right away," and the very first thing that comes into my mind is a story about kittens. What do you think of that! you lovely little red, white, and blue darlings! with your pretty red cheeks, pure white skins, and sweet blue eyes! The bright hazel, gray, and black eyes are like the stars; so no wonder we love the "star-spangled banner," when such precious little ones as you wear the very same colors as the dear old flag. Then—

"Hurrah for the children forever,And three cheers for the red, white, and blue."

And now for the kitten story.


One cold, bright day in the middle of last winter, a lady came to see me. She brought with her two little girls with the roundest and rosiest faces; even their dear little noses were red as roses for a minute or two, till they got warm, because Mr. Jack Frost had been pinching them all the way from their house to mine. But he couldn't get at their fingers, for they were covered with pretty white mittens, and they had on such warm coats and nice fur tippets, and so many cunning little flannel petticoats about a quarter of a yard long, that they looked as round as dumplings....