Title Thumbnail

Children of the Arctic

Marie Ahnighito Peary

311 pages
Library of Alexandria
If any one had invited AH-NI-GHI´-TO to go back to the Snowland the day after her return to her Grossmamma’s house, she would not have listened a moment; for there was so much to tell, and do, and see, and learn that in her opinion she could not possibly spare time for another visit to the far-away land. Yet, the next summer, when her father went off again in the great black ship, to the land where all AH-NI-GHI´-TO’S queer fur-clad friends lived, there was a big lump in her throat, and something that looked very much like tears in her eyes, when she found that she and mother were going to remain at home this time. But she was nearly five years old now, and father said she must soon go to school and learn a great deal by the time he returned; and if she would be a very good girl, and do just what mother said, he would tell Santa Claus to bring her a sister. AH-NI-GHI´-TO was much pleased. She wanted a playmate very much and promised to do all she was told; and father sailed away. All through that summer AH-NI-GHI´-TO roamed about on a farm, where everything was new to her. She had bunnies to pet; chickens to feed; nests to hunt; cows to be driven to pasture in the morning and brought back in the evening; butter to be churned; flowers to be gathered and arranged; and really so many things to be done of which she had never even heard, that the days were hardly long enough. The summer came to an end quickly and AH-NI-GHI´-TO returned to her “Grossy’s” home and to her kindergarten, of which she was very fond. Then Christmas came bringing many pretty toys for her, and soon afterward, coming home from the kindergarten one day, AH-NI-GHI´-TO found the dearest little sister waiting for her. At first she thought father had brought her, and was quite disappointed to learn that she had been sent, but as sister brought a letter from “dear old Dad” in which he told AH-NI-GHI´-TO that she must be very good so that she might set sister a good example, she began at once to take the part of elder sister. All through the winter and spring and well into the summer AH-NI-GHI´-TO was a happy little girl. Each day sister grew to be more of a playmate, and the two little girls had merry times together; sometimes on the bed, sometimes on the floor, and often on the white, warm sand of the seashore. But one morning sister was not well and did not care to frolic with AH-NI-GHI´-TO. She would lie still and only smile a little sometimes, too sick to enjoy the fun. The next evening she went to sleep and even AH-NI-GHI´-TO’S kisses could not awaken her. Poor AH-NI-GHI´-TO, this was her first grief and she was nearly heart-broken. It was a long time before she could believe it was better for sister to be an angel in heaven where she would have no pain and where AH-NI-GHI´-TO would rejoin her some day and they would never be separated again.