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From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Start of Story
Age Rating 2 to 4.
She was very tiny at first, and quite brown. Her mother laid her
gently on the ground and said: "Creep down into the warmth and grow."
So Milly crept down into the warmth, and grew into a little white girl
as thin as a thread. For a year she stayed under the ground with her
brothers and sisters; then they all put on their best velvet hoods and
puffed themselves out to go up into the world.
Billy Button sprang up first. He called down to Milly: "Come up,
little sister. The sun is shining through a silver mist and everything
"I am not quite ready," said Milly Mushroom. "I must grow bigger
She puffed herself out as fast as she could, and at last was ready to
go up. She tied her hood over her face to keep the wind off her soft
cheeks. Then she too sprang up.
"Oh, dear," she said, "how strange it feels up here!"
"You will soon grow used to it," said Billy Button. "Hurry up and
grow, and turn pink like me."
Milly grew and grew and turned pink like Billy Button. Then she untied
her hood and peeped out, showing her soft cheeks and pretty white
"What a great world it is!" she said. "It is all so wide and high. I
am a little afraid."
"This is only a bit of the world," said Billy Button. "I know, for the
Flying Beetle told me. He has travelled far, and has seen wonderful
sights. Ah! how I should like to travel!"
"I would rather stay at home," said Milly. She was trembling a little;
everything seemed strange up here in the strong light.
"Grow close to me," said a friendly Thistle. "I will shelter you with
my long arms." She stretched out one of her arms, and Milly nestled
beneath it and was comforted.
All that day and night she and Billy Button grew so fast that when the
next morning came they hardly knew one another.
"How big you are, Billy!" said Milly.
"So are you," said Billy. "You are quite a mushroom lady now. But
goodness gracious! Whatever is that? What a monster! And how it
shakes the ground!"
A boy was walking over the field with a basket in his hand. He was
gathering mushrooms. He stooped and pulled Billy Button from the
"Oh, the cruel monster! Oh, poor, poor Billy!" sobbed Milly Mushroom.
But Billy was not at all frightened. "Hurrah! I am going to travel at
last!" he cried. "Good-bye, Milly. I shall see the world now."
He was popped into the basket and carried off, while Milly was left
shivering under the thistle's arm.
She soon forgot her fright, however, though she often wondered what
happened to Billy Button, and whether he enjoyed his travels. She grew
taller and bigger every day, and changed her hood for a big flat hat so
wide and shady that the little field-mouse could sit under it and talk
to her. And the thistle covered her from sight with its friendly arms,
so no monster ever found her to put her in his basket and carry her off.
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