"After all," Anne had said to
Marilla once, "I believe the
nicest and sweetest days are
not those on which anything very
splendid or wonderful or exciting
happens but just those that bring
simple little pleasures, following
one another softly, like pearls
slipping off a string."
Life at Green
Gables was full of just such
days, for Anne's
adventures and misadventures,
like those of other people, did
not all happen at once, but were
sprinkled over the year, with
long stretches of harmless, happy
days between, filled with work
and dreams and laughter and lessons.
Such a day came late in August.
In the forenoon Anne and Diana
rowed the delighted twins down
the pond to the sandshore to
pick "sweet grass" and paddle
in the surf, over which the wind
was harping an old lyric learned
when the world was young.
In the afternoon Anne walked
down to the old Irving place
to see Paul. She found him stretched
out on the grassy bank beside
the thick fir grove that sheltered
the house on the north, absorbed
in a book of fairy tales. He
sprang up radiantly at sight
"Oh, I'm so glad you've come,
teacher," he said eagerly, "because
Grandma's away. You'll stay and
have tea with me, won't you?
It's so lonesome to have tea
all by oneself. YOU know, teacher.
I've had serious thoughts of
asking Young Mary Joe to sit
down and eat her tea with me,
but I expect Grandma wouldn't
approve. She says the French
have to be kept in their place.
And anyhow, it's difficult to
talk with Young Mary Joe. She
just laughs and says, `Well,
yous do beat all de kids I ever
knowed.' That isn't my idea of
"Of course I'll stay to tea," said
Anne gaily. "I was dying to be
asked. My mouth has been watering
for some more of your grandma's
delicious shortbread ever since
I had tea here before."
Paul looked very sober.
"If it depended on me, teacher," he
said, standing before Anne with
his hands in his pockets and
his beautiful little face shadowed
with sudden care, "You should
have shortbread with a right
good will. But it depends on
Mary Joe. I heard Grandma tell
her before she left that she
wasn't to give me any shortcake
because it was too rich for little
boys' stomachs. But maybe Mary
Joe will cut some for you if
I promise I won't eat any. Let
us hope for the best."
"Yes, let us," agreed Anne,
whom this cheerful philosophy
suited exactly, "and if Mary
Joe proves hard-hearted and won't
give me any shortbread it doesn't
matter in the least, so you are
not to worry over that."
"You're sure you won't mind
if she doesn't?" said Paul anxiously.
sure, dear heart."
"Then I won't worry," said
Paul, with a long breath of relief, "especially
as I really think Mary Joe will
listen to reason. She's not a
naturally unreasonable person,
but she has learned by experience
that it doesn't do to disobey
Grandma's orders. Grandma is
an excellent woman but people
must do as she tells them. She
was very much pleased with me
this morning because I managed
at last to eat all my plateful
of porridge. It was a great effort
but I succeeded. Grandma says
she thinks she'll make a man
of me yet. But, teacher, I want
to ask you a very important question.
You will answer it truthfully,
"I'll try," promised
"Do you think I'm wrong in
my upper story?" asked Paul,
as if his very existence depended
on her reply.
"Goodness, no, Paul," exclaimed
Anne in amazement. "Certainly
you're not. What put such an
idea into your head?"
. .but she didn't know I heard
her. Mrs. Peter
Sloane's hired girl, Veronica,
came to see Mary Joe last evening
and I heard them talking in the
kitchen as I was going through
the hall. I heard Mary Joe say,
`Dat Paul, he is de queeres'
leetle boy. He talks dat queer.
I tink dere's someting wrong
in his upper story.' I couldn't
sleep last night for ever so
long, thinking of it, and wondering
if Mary Joe was right. I couldn't
bear to ask Grandma about it
somehow, but I made up my mind
I'd ask you. I'm so glad you
think I'm all right in my upper
"Of course you are. Mary Joe
is a silly, ignorant girl, and
you are never to worry about
anything she says," said Anne
indignantly, secretly resolving
to give Mrs. Irving a discreet
hint as to the advisability of
restraining Mary Joe's tongue.
"Well, that's a weight off
my mind," said Paul. "I'm perfectly
happy now, teacher, thanks to
you. It wouldn't be nice to have
something wrong in your upper
story, would it, teacher? I suppose
the reason Mary Joe imagines
I have is because I tell her
what I think about things sometimes."
"It is a rather dangerous practice," admitted
Anne, out of the depths of her
"Well, by and by I'll tell
you the thoughts I told Mary
Joe and you can see for yourself
if there's anything queer in
them," said Paul, "but I'll wait
till it begins to get dark. That
is the time I ache to tell people
things, and when nobody else
is handy I just HAVE to tell
Mary Joe. But after this I won't,
if it makes her imagine I'm wrong
in my upper story. I'll just
ache and bear it."
"And if the ache gets too bad
you can come up to Green Gables
and tell me your thoughts," suggested
Anne, with all the gravity that
endeared her to children, who
so dearly love to be taken seriously.
"Yes, I will.
But I hope Davy won't be there
when I go because
he makes faces at me. I don't
mind VERY much because he is
such a little boy and I am quite
a big one, but still it is not
pleasant to have faces made at
you. And Davy makes such terrible
ones. Sometimes I am frightened
he will never get his face straightened
out again. He makes them at me
in church when I ought to be
thinking of sacred things. Dora
likes me though, and I like her,
but not so well as I did before
she told Minnie May Barry that
she meant to marry me when I
grew up. I may marry somebody
when I grow up but I'm far too
young to be thinking of it yet,
don't you think, teacher?"
"Rather young," agreed
"Speaking of marrying, reminds
me of another thing that has
been troubling me of late," continued
Paul. "Mrs. Lynde was down here
one day last week having tea
with Grandma, and Grandma made
me show her my little mother's
picture. . .the one father sent
me for my birthday present. I
didn't exactly want to show it
to Mrs. Lynde. Mrs. Lynde is
a good, kind woman, but she isn't
the sort of person you want to
show your mother's picture to.
YOU know, teacher. But of course
I obeyed Grandma. Mrs. Lynde
said she was very pretty ut kind
of actressy looking, and must
have been an awful lot younger
than father. Then she said, `Some
of these days your pa will be
marrying again likely. How will
you like to have a new ma, Master
Paul? ' Well, the idea almost
took my breath away, teacher,
but I wasn't going to let Mrs.
Lynde see THAT. I just looked
her straight in the face. . .like
this. . .and I said, `Mrs. Lynde,
father made a pretty good job
of picking out my first mother
and I could trust him to pick
out just as good a one the second
time.' And I CAN trust him, teacher.
But still, I hope, if he ever
does give me a new mother, he'll
ask my opinion about her before
it's too late. There's Mary Joe
coming to call us to tea. I'll
go and consult with her about
As a result
of the "consultation," Mary
Joe cut the shortbread and added
a dish of preserves to the bill
of fare. Anne poured the tea
and she and Paul had a very merry
meal in the dim old sitting room
whose windows were open to the
gulf breezes, and they talked
so much "nonsense" that Mary
Joe was quite scandalized and
told Veronica the next evening
that "de school mees" was as
queer as Paul. After tea Paul
took Anne up to his room to show
her his mother's picture, which
had been the mysterious birthday
present kept by Mrs. Irving in
the bookcase. Paul's little low-ceilinged
room was a soft whirl of ruddy
light from the sun that was setting
over the sea and swinging shadows
from the fir trees that grew
close to the square, deep-set
window. From out this soft glow
and glamor shone a sweet, girlish
face, with tender mother eyes,
that was hanging on the wall
at the foot of the bed.
"That's my little mother," said
Paul with loving pride. "I got
Grandma to hang it there where
I'd see it as soon as I opened
my eyes in the morning. I never
mind not having the light when
I go to bed now, because it just
seems as if my little mother
was right here with me. Father
knew just what I would like for
a birthday present, although
he never asked me. Isn't it wonderful
how much fathers DO know?"
was very lovely, Paul, and
you look a little like
her. But her eyes and hair are
darker than yours."
"My eyes are the same color
as father's," said Paul, flying
about the room to heap all available
cushions on the window seat, "but
father's hair is gray. He has
lots of it, but it is gray. You
see, father is nearly fifty.
That's ripe old age, isn't it?
But it's only OUTSIDE he's old.
INSIDE he's just as young as
anybody. Now, teacher, please
sit here; and I'll sit at your
feet. May I lay my head against
your knee? That's the way my
little mother and I used to sit.
Oh, this is real splendid, I
"Now, I want to hear those
thoughts which Mary Joe pronounces
so queer," said Anne, patting
the mop of curls at her side.
Paul never needed any coaxing
to tell his thoughts. . .at least,
to congenial souls.
"I thought them out in the
fir grove one night," he said
dreamily. "Of course I didn't
BELIEVE them but I THOUGHT them.
YOU know, teacher. And then I
wanted to tell them to somebody
and there was nobody but Mary
Joe. Mary Joe was in the pantry
setting bread and I sat down
on the bench beside her and I
said, `Mary Joe, do you know
what I think? I think the evening
star is a lighthouse on the land
where the fairies dwell.' And
Mary Joe said, `Well, yous are
de queer one. Dare ain't no such
ting as fairies.' I was very
much provoked. Of course, I knew
there are no fairies; but that
needn't prevent my thinking there
is. You know, teacher. But I
tried again quite patiently.
I said, `Well then, Mary Joe,
do you know what I think? I think
an angel walks over the world
after the sun sets. . .a great,
tall, white angel, with silvery
folded wings. . . and sings the
flowers and birds to sleep. Children
can hear him if they know how
to listen.' Then Mary Joe held
up her hands all over flour and
said, `Well, yous are de queer
leetle boy. Yous make me feel
scare.' And she really did looked
scared. I went out then and whispered
the rest of my thoughts to the
garden. There was a little birch
tree in the garden and it died.
Grandma says the salt spray killed
it; but I think the dryad belonging
to it was a foolish dryad who
wandered away to see the world
and got lost. And the little
tree was so lonely it died of
a broken heart."
"And when the poor, foolish
little dryad gets tired of the
world and comes back to her tree
HER heart will break," said Anne.
"Yes; but if dryads are foolish
they must take the consequences,
just as if they were real people," said
Paul gravely. "Do you know what
I think about the new moon, teacher?
I think it is a little golden
boat full of dreams."
"And when it
tips on a cloud some of them
spill out and fall
into your sleep."
Oh, you DO know. And I think
are little snips of the sky that
fell down when the angels cut
out holes for the stars to shine
through. And the buttercups are
made out of old sunshine; and
I think the sweet peas will be
butterflies when they go to heaven.
Now, teacher, do you see anything
so very queer about those thoughts?"
dear, they are not queer at
all; they are strange
and beautiful thoughts for a
little boy to think, and so people
who couldn't think anything of
the sort themselves, if they
tried for a hundred years, think
them queer. But keep on thinking
them, Paul . . .some day you
are going to be a poet, I believe."
When Anne reached home she
found a very different type of
boyhood waiting to be put to
bed. Davy was sulky; and when
Anne had undressed him he bounced
into bed and buried his face
in the pillow.
"Davy, you have forgotten to
say your prayers," said Anne
"No, I didn't forget," said
Davy defiantly, "but I ain't
going to say my prayers any more.
I'm going to give up trying to
be good, 'cause no matter how
good I am you'd like Paul Irving
better. So I might as well be
bad and have the fun of it."
"I don't like Paul Irving BETTER," said
Anne seriously. "I like you just
as well, only in a different
"But I want you to like me
the same way," pouted Davy.
like different people the same
way. You don't like
Dora and me the same way, do
Davy sat up and reflected.
"No. . .o. . .o," he admitted
at last, "I like Dora because
she's my sister but I like you
because you're YOU."
"And I like Paul because he
is Paul and Davy because he is
Davy," said Anne gaily.
"Well, I kind of wish I'd said
my prayers then," said Davy,
convinced by this logic. "But
it's too much bother getting
out now to say them. I'll say
them twice over in the morning,
Anne. Won't that do as well?"
No, Anne was positive it would
not do as well. So Davy scrambled
out and knelt down at her knee.
When he had finished his devotions
he leaned back on his little,
bare, brown heels and looked
up at her.
gooder than I used to be."
"Yes, indeed you are, Davy," said
Anne, who never hesitated to
give credit where credit was
"I KNOW I'm gooder," said Davy
confidently, "and I'll tell you
how I know it. Today Marilla
give me two pieces of bread and
jam, one for me and one for Dora.
One was a good deal bigger than
the other and Marilla didn't
say which was mine. But I give
the biggest piece to Dora. That
was good of me, wasn't it?"
and very manly, Davy."
"Of course," admitted Davy, "Dora
wasn't very hungry and she only
et half her slice and then she
give the rest to me. But I didn't
know she was going to do that
when I give it to her, so I WAS
In the twilight Anne sauntered
down to the Dryad's Bubble and
saw Gilbert Blythe coming down
through the dusky Haunted Wood.
She had a sudden realization
that Gilbert was a schoolboy
no longer. And how manly he looked
-- the tall, frank-faced fellow,
with the clear, straightforward
eyes and the broad shoulders.
Anne thought Gilbert was a very
handsome lad, even though he
didn't look at all like her ideal
man. She and Diana had long ago
decided what kind of a man they
admired and their tastes seemed
exactly similar. He must be very
tall and distinguished looking,
with melancholy, inscrutable
eyes, and a melting, sympathetic
voice. There was nothing either
melancholy or inscrutable in
Gilbert's physiognomy, but of
course that didn't matter in
himself out on the ferns beside
and looked approvingly at Anne.
If Gilbert had been asked to
describe his ideal woman the
description would have answered
point for point to Anne, even
to those seven tiny freckles
whose obnoxious presence still
continued to vex her soul. Gilbert
was as yet little more than a
boy; but a boy has his dreams
as have others, and in Gilbert's
future there was always a girl
with big, limpid gray eyes, and
a face as fine and delicate as
a flower. He had made up his
mind, also, that his future must
be worthy of its goddess. Even
in quiet Avonlea there were temptations
to be met and faced. White Sands
youth were a rather "fast" set,
and Gilbert was popular wherever
he went. But he meant to keep
himself worthy of Anne's friendship
and perhaps some distant day
her love; and he watched over
word and thought and deed as
jealously as if her clear eyes
were to pass in judgment on it.
She held over him the unconscious
influence that every girl, whose
ideals are high and pure, wields
over her friends; an influence
which would endure as long as
she was faithful to those ideals
and which she would as certainly
lose if she were ever false to
them. In Gilbert's eyes Anne's
greatest charm was the fact that
she never stooped to the petty
practices of so many of the Avonlea
girls -- the small jealousies,
the little deceits and rivalries,
the palpable bids for favor.
Anne held herself apart from
all this, not consciously or
of design, but simply because
anything of the sort was utterly
foreign to her transparent, impulsive
nature, crystal clear in its
motives and aspirations.
But Gilbert did not attempt
to put his thoughts into words,
for he had already too good reason
to know that Anne would mercilessly
and frostily nip all attempts
at sentiment in the bud -- or
laugh at him, which was ten times
"You look like a real dryad
under that birch tree," he said
"I love birch trees," said
Anne, laying her cheek against
the creamy satin of the slim
bole, with one of the pretty,
caressing gestures that came
so natural to her.
"Then you'll be glad to hear
that Mr. Major Spencer has decided
to set out a row of white birches
all along the road front of his
farm, by way of encouraging the
A.V.I.S.," said Gilbert. "He
was talking to me about it today.
Major Spencer is the most progressive
and public-spirited man in Avonlea.
And Mr. William Bell is going
to set out a spruce hedge along
his road front and up his lane.
Our Society is getting on splendidly,
Anne. It is past the experimental
stage and is an accepted fact.
The older folks are beginning
to take an interest in it and
the White Sands people are talking
of starting one too. Even Elisha
Wright has come around since
that day the Americans from the
hotel had the picnic at the shore.
They praised our roadsides so
highly and said they were so
much prettier than in any other
part of the Island. And when,
in due time, the other farmers
follow Mr. Spencer's good example
and plant ornamental trees and
hedges along their road fronts
Avonlea will be the prettiest
settlement in the province."
"The Aids are talking of taking
up the graveyard," said Anne, "and
I hope they will, because there
will have to be a subscription
for that, and it would be no
use for the Society to try it
after the hall affair. But the
Aids would never have stirred
in the matter if the Society
hadn't put it into their thoughts
unofficially. Those trees we
planted on the church grounds
are flourishing, and the trustees
have promised me that they will
fence in the school grounds next
year. If they do I'll have an
arbor day and every scholar shall
plant a tree; and we'll have
a garden in the corner by the
"We've succeeded in almost
all our plans so far, except
in getting the old Boulter house
removed," said Gilbert, "and
I've given THAT up in despair.
Levi won't have it taken down
just to vex us. There's a contrary
streak in all the Boulters and
it's strongly developed in him."
"Julia Bell wants to send another
committee to him, but I think
the better way will just be to
leave him severely alone," said
"And trust to Providence, as
Mrs. Lynde says," smiled Gilbert. "Certainly,
no more committees. They only
aggravate him. Julia Bell thinks
you can do anything, if you only
have a committee to attempt it.
Next spring, Anne, we must start
an agitation for nice lawns and
grounds. We'll sow good seed
betimes this winter. I've a treatise
here on lawns and lawnmaking
and I'm going to prepare a paper
on the subject soon. Well, I
suppose our vacation is almost
over. School opens Monday. Has
Ruby Gillis got the Carmody school?"
wrote that she had taken her
own home school,
so the Carmody trustees gave
it to Ruby. I'm sorry Priscilla
is not coming back, but since
she can't I'm glad Ruby has got
the school. She will be home
for Saturdays and it will seem
like old times, to have her and
Jane and Diana and myself all
Marilla, just home from Mrs.
Lynde's, was sitting on the back
porch step when Anne returned
to the house.
"Rachel and I have decided
to have our cruise to town tomorrow," she
said. "Mr. Lynde is feeling better
this week and Rachel wants to
go before he has another sick
"I intend to get up extra early
tomorrow morning, for I've ever
so much to do," said Anne virtuously. "For
one thing, I'm going to shift
the feathers from my old bedtick
to the new one. I ought to have
done it long ago but I've just
kept putting it off. . . it's
such a detestable task. It's
a very bad habit to put off disagreeable
things, and I never mean to again,
or else I can't comfortably tell
my pupils not to do it. That
would be inconsistent. Then I
want to make a cake for Mr. Harrison
and finish my paper on gardens
for the A.V.I.S., and write Stella,
and wash and starch my muslin
dress, and make Dora's new apron."
"You won't get half done," said
Marilla pessimistically. "I never
yet planned to do a lot of things
but something happened to prevent