The Life of the Spinning-Wheel, the Rocking Horse, and the Rabbit (1920)

This, Barbara’s first long story, was inspired by the spinning-wheel Mr. Oberg sent to the Folletts in February 1920. She followed it with a sequel, “Mrs. Spinning-Wheel, Mr. Rocking-Horse, and Mr. Rabbit Go Traveling“, which she completed on June 14, 1921.


Chapter I

Once upon a time, though I can’t say exactly when, there lived in a far-off country a spinning-wheel, a rocking-horse, and a rabbit. They knew many of the people in that country. They lived in a house with many pretty things in it, such as I am going to tell you about: amethysts, turquoises, opals, pearls, diamonds, and rubies, and precious stones of all kinds.

One day when Mrs. Spinning-Wheel had her head stretched out of the window looking down upon the glorious garden of flowers, she was saying to herself, humming a low, sweet little song—”Oh dear! how I wish Mr. Horse were white!”

Mr. Rabbit was hiding in a corner behind the door, and he heard what Mrs. Spinning-Wheel had said. “Ha! Ha!” said Mr. Rabbit to Mrs. Spinning-Wheel, with a wiggle of his nose, “Mr. Horse shall be white, as white as you want him to be!”Read more

A Mother Goose Circus (ca. 1920)

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted more of Barbara’s stories and other writings. I have several items to add, and I’ll try to arrange them in chronological order. Unfortunately most are undated, including this early verse that I think Barbara wrote around 1920, when she was six. Barbara was probably inspired by one of her picture books: my guess would be “The Real Mother Goose”, illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright and published in 1916 by Rand McNally & Co.

A Mother Goose Circus (ca. 1920)


Oh you should see the sign
on the billboard down the street!
A mother Goose Circus is coming!
said Allan to Joe.
Hurrah!, Joe exclaimed.
Perhaps, if we are good we may go.
You have never seen better boys
than Allan and Joe were all that week.
They remembered to shine their shoes.
They did not once forget to say
Thank you and If you please.
They were very very good
that their mother began to worry
that they were ill.
Father knew better than that
for he had once been a boy himself.

At last Circus Day arrived
and the boys started for the show.
How fine the canvas tents looked in the grass field!… Read more