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List Of Contents | Contents of The Dutch Twins, by Lucy Fitch Perkins
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three wooden shoes in a row beside Kit.

Then they ate their luncheon of bread and butter, cheese, and
milk, with some radishes from Father's garden. It tasted very
good, even if it was sandy. After lunch Grandfather said, "It
will never do to go home without any fish at all."

So by and by he went back to the pier and caught one while the
Twins played in the sand. He put it in the lunch-basket to carry
home.

Kat brought shells and pebbles to Kit, because he had to stay
covered up in the sand, and Kit built a play dyke all around.
himself with them, and Kat dug a canal outside the dyke. Then she
made sand-pies in clam-shells and set them in a row in the sun to
bake.

They played until the shadow of the dyke grew very long across
the sandy beach, and then Grandfather said it was time to go
home.

He helped Kit dress, but Kit's clothes were still a little wet in
the thick parts. And Kat had to go barefooted and carry her one
wooden shoe.

They climbed the dyke and crossed the fields, and walked along
the road by the canal. The road shone, like a strip of yellow
ribbon across the green field. They walked quite slowly, for they
were tired and sleepy.

By and by Kit said, "I see our house"; and Kat said, "I see
Mother at the gate."

Grandfather gave the fish he caught to Kit and Kat, and Vrouw
Vedder cooked it for their supper; and though it was not a very
big fish, they all had some.

Grandfather must have told Vrouw Vedder something about what had
happened; for that night, when she put Kit to bed, she felt of
his clothes carefully--but she didn't say a word about their
being damp. And she said to Kat: "To-morrow we will see the
shoemaker and have him make you another shoe."

Then Kit and Kat hugged her and said good-night, and popped off
to sleep before you could wink your eyes.



II

MARKET DAY WITH FATHER

One afternoon Kit and Kat were playing around the kitchen
doorstep, while their Mother sat on a bench by the door, peeling
some onions for supper. It was not yet supper-time, but Vrouw
Vedder was always ahead of the clock with the work.

Kit and Kat had a pan of water and were teaching their ducklings
to swim. They each had one little fat duckling of their very own.
The ducklings squawked when Kit lifted them over the edge of the
pan into the water.

"Don't do that, Kit," said Kat. "The ducklings don't like it. You
didn't like it when you fell into the water, did you?"

"But I'm not a duck," said Kit.

"Well, anyway, they're tired and want to go to their mother,"
said Kat. "Let's do something else! I'll tell you what! Let's go
out to the garden and help Father get the boat loaded for
market."

"All right," said Kit. "May we, Mother?"

"Yes," said Vrouw Vedder; "and you may ask Father if he will take
you to market with him to-morrow if it's fair. Tell him I said
you could ask."

"Oh, goody, goody!" said Kit and Kat, both at once; and they ran
as fast as their wooden shoes would take them out into the
garden.

They found their father cutting cabbages and gathering them into
piles. He was stopping to light his pipe, when they reached him.

"O Father!" said Kit and Kat both together. "May we go on the
boat to market with you to-morrow morning? Mother said we might
ask!"

Father Vedder blew two puffs from his pipe without answering.

"We'll help you load the boat," said Kit.

"Yes," said Kat, "I can carry a cabbage."

"I can carry two," said Kit. "We'll both be good," said Kat.

"Very well," said Father, at last. "We'll see how you work! And
to-morrow morning, if it's fair, I'll see! But you must go to bed
early to-night, because you'll have to get up very early in the
morning, if you go with me! Now you each take a cabbage and run
along."

Father Vedder went back to his work.

Kit and Kat ran to the cabbage-pile. Kat took one, and Kit took
two--just to show that he could.

"When Father says 'I'll see,' he always means 'yes,'" Kat said to
Kit.

Perhaps it seems queer to you that they should go to market in a
boat, but it didn't seem queer at all to the Twins.

Your see, in Holland there are a great many canals. They cross
the fields like roadways of water, and that is what they really
are. Little canals open into big ones, and big ones go clear to
the sea.

It is very easy for farmers to load their vegetables for market
right on a boat. They can pull the boat out into the big canal,
and then away they go to sell their produce in the town.

The canals flow through the towns, too, and make water streets,
where boats go up and down as carriages go here.

The Twins and their father worked like beavers, washing the
vegetables and packing them in baskets, until their good old boat
was filled with cabbages and onions and beets and carrots and all
sorts of good things to eat.

By that time it was nearly dark, and they were all three very
hungry; so they went home.

They found that Mother Vedder had made buttermilk porridge for
supper. The Twins loved buttermilk porridge. They each ate three
bowls of it, and then their mother put them to bed.

This is a picture of the bed! It opened like a cupboard right
into the kitchen, and it was like going to bed on a shelf in the
pantry.

The very next thing the Twins knew, it was morning, and there was
Vrouw Vedder calling to them.

"It's market day, and the sun is almost up. Come Kit and Kat, if
you want to go with Father," she said.

The Twins bounced out like two rubber balls. They ate some
breakfast and then ran to the boat.

Father was there before them. He helped them into the boat and
put them both on one seat, and told them to sit still. Then he
got in and took the pole and pushed off.

Vrouw Vedder stood on the canal bank to see them pass.

"Be good children; mind Father, and don't get lost," she called
after them.

Kit and Kat were very busy all the way to town, looking at the
things to be seen on each side of the canal.

It was so early in the morning that the grass was all shiny with
dew. Black and white cows were eating the rich green grass, and a
few laborers were already in the fields.

They passed little groups of farm buildings, their red-tiled
roofs shining in the morning sun; and the windmills threw long,
long shadows across the fields.

The blue blossoms of the flax nodded to them from the canal bank;
and once, they saw a stork fly over a mossy green roof, to her
nest on the chimney, with a frog in her mouth.

They went under bridges and by little canals that opened into the
main canal. They passed so close to some of the houses that Kit
and Kat could see the white curtains blowing in the windows, and
the pots of red geraniums standing on the sill. In one house the
family waved their hands to Kit and Kat from the breakfast table,
and a little farther on they passed a woman who was washing
clothes in the canal. Other boats filled with vegetables and
flowers of all colors passed them. And they were going to market
too. Only no other boat had twins in it.

"Good day, neighbor Vedder," one man called out. "Are you taking
a pair of fat pigs to market?"

By and by they came to the town. There were a great many boats in
the canal here, and people calling back and forth to each other
from them.

Kit and Kat saw a boat that the Captain's family lived in. It was
like a floating house.

The Twins thought it must be grand to live on a boat like that,
just going about from town to town, seeing new sights every day.

"We should never have to go to school at all," said Kit.

They wished their own boat were big enough to move about in; but
Father told them they must sit very, very still all the time.

There were houses on each side of the canal, in the town, and
people were clattering along over the pavement in their wooden
shoes.

The market-place was an open square in the middle of the town. It
had little booths and stalls all about it. The farmers brought
their fresh vegetables and flowers, or whatever they had to sell,
into these stalls, and then sat there waiting for customers.

Kit and Kat helped their father to unload the boat. Then they sat
down on a box, and Father gave them each some bread and cheese to
eat; for they were hungry again. They put the cheese between
slices of bread and took bites, while they looked about.

Soon there were a good many people in the square. Most of them
were women with market baskets on their arms. They went to the
different stalls to see what they would buy for dinner.

A large woman with a big basket on her arm came along to the
stall where Kit and Kat were sitting.

"Bless my heart!" she said. "Are you twins?"

"Yes, Ma'am," said Kit and Kat. And Kat said, "We're five years
old."

"O my soul!" said the large woman. "So you are! What are your
names?"

"Christopher aid Katrina, but they call us Kit and Kat for
short." It was Kat who said this. And Kit said,

"When we are four feet and a half high, we are going to be called
Christopher and Katrina."

"Well, well, well!" said the large woman. "So you are! Now my
name is Vrouw Van der Kloot. Are you helping Father?"

"Yes," said the Twins. "We're going to help him sell things."

"Then you may sell me a cabbage and ten onions," said Vrouw Van
der Kloot.

Father Vedder's eyes twinkled, and he lit his pipe. Kit got a
cabbage for the Vrouw.

"You can get the ten onions," he said to Kat. You see, really Kit
couldn't count ten and be sure of it. So he asked Kat to do it.

Kat wasn't afraid. She took out a little pile of onions in a
measure, and said to Vrouw Van der Kloot,

"Is that ten?"

Then Vrouw Van der Kloot counted them with Kat, very carefully.
There were eleven, and so she gave back one. Theca she gave Kat
the money for the onions, and Kit the money for the cabbage.

Father Vedder said, "Now Kit and Kat, by and by, when you get
hungry again, you can go over to Vrouw Van der Kloot's stall and
buy something from her. She keeps the sweetie shop."

"Oh! Oh!" cried Kit and Kat. "We're hungry yet! Can't we go now?"

"No, not now," said Father. "We must do some work first."

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