LOCK WILLOW, 12th July
How did your secretary come to know about Lock Willow? (That isn't a rhetorical question. I am awfully curious to know.) For listen to this: Mr. Jervis Pendleton used to own this farm, but now he has given it to Mrs. Semple who was his old nurse. Did you ever hear of such a funny coincidence? She still calls him `Master Jervie' and talks about what a sweet little boy he used to be. She has one of his baby curls put away in a box, and it is red-- or at least reddish!
Since she discovered that I know him, I have risen very much in her opinion. Knowing a member of the Pendleton family is the best introduction one can have at Lock Willow. And the cream of the whole family is Master Jervis-- I am pleased to say that Julia belongs to an inferior branch.
The farm gets more and more entertaining. I rode on a hay wagon yesterday. We have three big pigs and nine little piglets, and you should see them eat. They are pigs! We've oceans of little baby chickens and ducks and turkeys and guinea fowls. You must be mad to live in a city when you might live on a farm.
It is my daily business to hunt the eggs. I fell off a beam in the barn loft yesterday, while I was trying to crawl over to a nest that the black hen has stolen. And when I came in with a scratched knee, Mrs. Semple bound it up with witch-hazel, murmuring all the time, `Dear! Dear! It seems only yesterday that Master Jervie fell off that very same beam and scratched this very same knee.'
The scenery around here is perfectly beautiful. There's a valley and a river and a lot of wooded hills, and way in the distance a tall blue mountain that simply melts in your mouth.
We churn twice a week; and we keep the cream in the spring house which is made of stone with the brook running underneath. Some of the farmers around here have a separator, but we don't care for these new-fashioned ideas. It may be a little harder to separate the cream in pans, but it's sufficiently better to pay. We have six calves; and I've chosen the names for all of them.
1. Sylvia, because she was born in the woods.
2. Lesbia, after the Lesbia in Catullus.
4. Julia--a spotted, nondescript animal.
5. Judy, after me.
6. Daddy-Long-Legs. You don't mind, do you, Daddy? He's pure Jersey and has a sweet disposition. He looks like this--you can see how appropriate the name is.
I haven't had time yet to begin my immortal novel; the farm keeps me too busy. Yours always, Judy
PS. I've learned to make doughnuts.
PS. (2) If you are thinking of raising chickens, let me recommend Buff Orpingtons. They haven't any pin feathers.
PS. (3) I wish I could send you a pat of the nice, fresh butter I churned yesterday. I'm a fine dairy-maid!
PS. (4) This is a picture of Miss Jerusha Abbott, the future great author, driving home the cows.