Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little-town. She was a good little girl—only she was always losing her pocket-handkerchiefs!
One day little Lucie came into the farm-yard crying—oh, she did cry so! “I’ve lost my pocket-handkin! Three handkins and a pinny! Have you seen them, Tabby Kitten?”
The Kitten went on washing her white paws; so Lucie asked a speckled hen—
“Sally Henny-penny, have you found three pocket-handkins?”
But the speckled hen ran into a barn, clucking—
“I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot!”
And then Lucie asked Cock Robin sitting on a twig.
Cock Robin looked sideways at Lucie with his bright black eye, and he flew over a stile and away.
Lucie climbed upon the stile and looked up at the hill behind Little-town—a hill that goes up—up—into the clouds as though it had no top!
And a great way up the hill-side she thought she saw some white things spread upon the grass.
Lucie scrambled up the hill as fast as her stout legs would carry her; she ran along a steep path-way—up and up—until Little-town was right away down below—she could have dropped a pebble down the chimney!
Presently she came to a spring, bubbling out from the hill-side.
Some one had stood a tin can upon a stone to catch the water—but the water was already running over, for the can was no bigger than an egg-cup! And where the sand upon the path was wet—there were foot-marks of a very small person.
Lucie ran on, and on.
The path ended under a big rock. The grass was short and green, and there were clothes—props cut from bracken stems, with lines of plaited rushes, and a heap of tiny clothes pins—but no pocket-handkerchiefs!
“Lily-white and clean, oh!
With little frills between, oh!
Smooth and hot—red rusty spot
Never here be seen, oh!”