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Six Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 9379

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"Where are they?" asked Daddy Bunker, looking at his wife.

"They must be in the bathroom," she answered. "Oh, do go and look please, and see what is happening."

"What is it? May I go and see?" cried Vi, going toward the bathroom without waiting to have her questions answered.

Mr. Bunker ran down the hall. The bathroom door was open and within he saw a strange sight.

Mun Bun and Margy had, somehow or other, got the big dog Alexis to jump into the bathtub. Perhaps the dog had done it before. Anyhow he was in it now, and, as he stood there, Margy and Mun Bun were having a sort of tug of war to see who should pull the handle of the chain that worked the shower bath.

Margy had her chubby fists on the handle, and she was pulling, but Mun Bun was trying to pull her hands away so he could take hold of the chain himself. So the pull of the two children was enough to make the water spurt out from the overhead shower. Down the water came, splashing on Alexis, but he seemed to like it. He barked, but not too loudly, and wagged his tail.


Six Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's.-Page 53

"Mun Bun! Margy! What in the world are you doing?" cried their father. Of course he could see, perfectly well, what they were doing, but, somehow or other, that seemed the most natural thing to ask.

"What are you doing?" he cried.

"We're splashing Alexis," said Margy.

"It's my turn to do it, but she won't let me," complained Mun Bun. "She's splashed him a lot, and now I want to."

"You mustn't either of you splash Alexis any more like this!" exclaimed Mr. Bunker, wanting to laugh at the funny sight, but really not daring to, lest the children try it again some time.

"Stop it at once," he said. "Turn that water off, Mun Bun!"

"I'm not pulling it-it's Margy!" said the little boy.

"Both of you stop!" commanded their father. "Come here, Alexis!" he called, and the big dog jumped out of the bathtub. Luckily the floor of the room was of white tile, so the water that dripped on it from the dog did no harm. But when he gave himself a shake, as dogs always do when they come out of water, the drops splashed on the two children and also on Mr. Bunker.

"Oh! Oh!" cried Mun Bun. "I'm-I'm all wet!"

"So'm I!" added Margy. She had let go of the shower-bath chain, and the water no longer ran out.

"Alexis got me wet, too," said Daddy Bunker. "But you children should not have done this. It was very wrong."

"But Alexis was very hot," said Margy. "His tongue was stickin' out of his mouth just like Grandma's dog Zip's used to, and so we wanted to cool him off; didn't we, Mun Bun?"

"Yes, we did," answered the little boy. "So I told him to get into the bathtub, and we pulled the chain and the water splashed out on him."

"I should say it did splash!" exclaimed Mr. Bunker, trying not to laugh. "I don't know what Aunt Jo will say."

"Well, she said she wanted us to have fun," went on Margy, "and we did have fun, and Alexis liked it."

"Perhaps he did," said her father, for the dog did not seem to mind being wet. "But it was very wrong to do it. You children are very wet."

"Did anything happen?" asked Mrs. Bunker, as she came down the hall toward the bathroom, with Russ, Rose and Laddie.

"Well, lots happened, but nothing very bad," said her husband. "Alexis had his bath, that's all."

"Oh, my dears!" cried Mrs. Bunker, when she saw the splashed bathroom and how wet the two children were. "How could you do it?"

"I'll show you how to do it!" exclaimed Mun Bun, not exactly knowing what his mother meant. "This is how!" and he reached for the handle of the shower-bath chain. But his father caught him just in time to stop him from splashing any more water about.

"It is a good thing I changed their clothes," said Mrs. Bunker. "Poor Alexis! Did you think it was raining?" she asked, as she patted the dog's wet head.

But the Great Dane did not seem to mind. He wagged his tail joyfully, and, after all, the day was a hot one.

"Don't mind about a little water, as long as the children are all right," said Aunt Jo, when she heard what had happened. "Alexis loves to get a bath, but he is generally washed out in the garage by William, the man who attends to the car. I had never put him in a bathtub, but I suppose he liked it."

"He waggled his tail like anything," said Mun Bun.

"Well, then that's a sure sign he was pleased," said Aunt Jo.

Margy and Mun Bun had been partly dried off in time for lunch, and the six little Bunkers, with the rest of the family, were now at table.

"What we going to do this afternoon?" asked Vi.

"What would you like to do

?" inquired her aunt with a smile.

"Well, I'd like to see something," Russ put in.

"I want to see some cows and sheep," added Laddie. "Maybe I could think up a riddle about them if I was to see some. We had some at Grandma Bell's."

"And he gave 'em sugar 'stid of salt," said Russ with a laugh.

"Well, they liked it," Laddie declared. "Only the old ram-he wasn't nice!"

"I'm sorry, but there aren't any sheep or cows around here," said Aunt Jo with a smile. "You must remember that this is a city, and not the country. But there are many things to see here. We can go to visit Bunker Hill Monument, and we can go on excursions to Nantasket Beach-oh, we can do lots of things to have fun!"

"That's good!" murmured Rose. "I think I'd like to go for a walk, and see things."

"So would I," agreed her mother. "If you like, Rose, you and I will take a walk. I want to get a few things from the store."

"Well, you can do that," said Daddy Bunker, "and I'll stay here with Aunt Jo and look after the children. I'm afraid even five little Bunkers will be too much for her to manage."

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Aunt Jo. "I love children!"

She had never had any of her own, being unmarried, but no mother could have been more kind nor have loved children any more than did Aunt Jo.

"Well, if mother and Rose go downtown for a walk, we'll stay here and look around a bit," said Daddy Bunker.

"And maybe I can find something to make," said Russ, as he walked about, whistling his shrillest. Russ was not quite happy unless he was making something, whether it was whittling a sword out of a piece of wood, or building an airship.

So, while Daddy Bunker took the children out into Aunt Jo's back yard-and she had a large one, for which the boys and girls were very glad-Mrs. Bunker and Rose got ready to go shopping.

At one end of the yard was the garage for the automobile. The reason she had not sent it to the dock to meet her brother and the children when the boat came in was that she did not know at just what hour they would arrive.

Working around the garage was William, the chauffeur, who also helped about the house, taking out the ashes in winter and cutting the grass in summer.

"We've a man named Jerry Simms who does that at our house," said Russ, when he learned what William did for Aunt Jo. "Jerry is a soldier, or he was. Are you a soldier, Mr. William?"

"No, but I may be, some day," he answered.

"Have you got any corn shuckers here?" asked Laddie.

"A corn shucker? No. What's that?"

"Well, it's a thing, and you put ears of corn in a spout and turn a wheel and the kernels of corn come out of one end, and the empty cob comes out of the other end. Grandma Bell's got one."

"And we put Rose's doll in and shucked off all her buttons," added Russ.

"That's what they did," said Daddy Bunker. "I'm glad you haven't one here, William. Rose didn't like it when all the buttons came off her doll."

"But it was lots of fun," added Laddie. "Maybe I could think up a riddle about a corn shucker, if I tried real hard."

"Oh, look! Here's a hose!" cried Russ, as he saw one with which William had been washing the automobile. "May we squirt it?"

"I'm afraid you'll get wet," said the chauffeur, with a look at Mr. Bunker.

"A little water won't hurt them," said the children's father. "They have on their old clothes. But perhaps you don't want them to take it."

"Oh, I was going to water the lawn, anyhow," said William; "and I'd just as soon they would do it if you don't mind."

"Hurray!" cried Laddie.

"I'm going to have first turn at squirting!" insisted Russ.

Their father settled this little dispute by saying that Vi and the two older boys might have the hose for five minutes at a time, and he would stay near by to see that everything was fair. So Laddie and Russ and Vi began to sprinkle the lawn, while Margy and Mun Bun found a pile of clean sand near the garage, where they could play.

And now I must tell you something that happened to Rose and her mother. They were walking down one of the Boston streets, after having bought some things in one of the stores, when Rose, who was walking a little ahead of her mother, suddenly called:

"Look! Look, Mother!"

"What is it?" asked Mrs. Bunker.

"It's a pocketbook," went on Rose, pointing to one on the sidewalk. "And it looks as if it had money in it. Shall I pick it up, Mother?"

"Yes. Why not?" said Mrs. Bunker, glancing about, and seeing no one who might have dropped it. "Why shouldn't you pick it up, Rose?"

"'Cause maybe it's an April fool one, and somebody will pull it away with a string," the little girl answered.

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