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The Dunce Picks a Soft Place to Fall — Adventures of the Teenie Weenies by William Donahey

Every Sunday afternoon, when the weather was pleasant, the Teenie Weenies took a long walk. “It’s good for your health,” the General told them, “and, besides, it’s a good way to put in the Sabbath afternoon.”

One Sunday while they were out on their walk they stopped near a house to chat a bit with a couple of sparrows, and as the little party talked the General happened to see the Dunce crawl up a vine onto a window sill and disappear through the open window.

“Mr. Policeman,” said the General, “I wish you would follow that foolish Dunce and see what he is up to.”

The Policeman quickly followed the Dunce through the window, but presently he appeared on the sill and motioned the General to come up. The General climbed the vine, followed by the rest of the Teenie Weenies, and crossing over to the inside of the window sill he saw a most alarming thing. Right below him stood a table and on the table stood the Dunce, almost knee deep in a piece of custard pie.

“Well, sir,” cried the General sternly, while the rest of the Teenie Weenies tried to keep from laughing, “haven’t I told you not to meddle with things when you go into people’s houses? What do you mean by disobeying me this way?”

“J-J-J-Just a minute, G-G-G-General, and I’ll explain,” shouted the Dunce, waving his dripping hands at the General. “It’s all an accident, you see, and this is the way it-it-it all happened. While you all were down there talking to those sparrows I happened to see this window was open and I thought I’d climb down here on the table, and j-j-just then I-I-I-somethin’ told me I-I-I was about to have a fall, and—and as long as I had to have a fall I thought I might just as well fall into the pie. You see, it being a custard pie, I knew that it was s-s-soft, and, of course I wanted to fall onto somethin’ soft. Why, it almost scares me to death when I stop to think that if that pie had been an apple pie, with a-a-a hard crust on it, I might have broken an arm or somethin’.

“Well when I found I was goin’ to fall I stepped up to the edge of the window sill, just above the pie, for I wanted to fall into something soft. When I landed in the pie I made up my mind that it wouldn’t hurt anything if I took a bite, so I-I-I-I took a lick or two.”

“Well, sir,” said the General, “I have a feeling that I’m going to fall, and I believe that as long as I’ve got to fall it might as well be on you.”

“Wh-wh-what do you mean, General?” asked the frightened Dunce.

“I mean, sir,” growled the General, “that I saw a toothpick outside on the ground, and I’m going to get it and give you a much deserved whipping.”

The Dunce slowly crawled out of the pie, climbed to the window sill and followed the General down the vine to the ground.

The General picked up half a tooth pick, which lay on the ground, and taking the naughty fellow by the arm he led him back of an old tin bucket.

“Now sir,” said the General sadly. “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.”

“I-I-I’ll t-t-trade places with you, G-G-General,” stuttered the Dunce.

The General was a most kind hearted little man and he seldom used the switch, but the Dunce had been warned many times to keep from meddling, and he had to be punished.

He struck the Dunce several times very lightly across his teenie weenie legs and the little chap yelled as though he was being killed.

It didn’t hurt the Dunce a bit and he simply yelled because he was frightened, but it did him a great deal of good, for he behaved himself for a long time, which goes to show that even a Teenie Weenie needs a teenie weenie bit of punishment once in a while.

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