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The Clown Has a Narrow Escape — Adventures of the Teenie Weenies by William Donahey

“Well, we’re goin’ to have a change in the weather,” announced Grandpa, as he peered out the tiny sitting room window at the sky.

“What makes you think so?” asked the Turk, who was playing checkers with the Cook.

“That toe of mine is hurting,” answered the old man, “and that’s a sure sign there’s going to be a change,” and with this prophecy Grandpa shuffled upstairs to bed.

Grandpa was quite right about the change in the weather, for it grew cold in the night, and the Lady of Fashion, who had to get up about midnight to give several of the children their cough syrup, noticed that the snow was falling.

In the morning the ground was covered with almost an inch of soft white snow and the little people shivered as they slipped on their tiny clothes.

After breakfast, several of the Teenie Weenies went out to play in the snow, but most of the little people were contented to sit before the warm fire.

“This snow storm reminds me of an experience of mine in forty-nine,” said Grandpa, who pulled his chair so near the fire he almost scorched his shins. “I was cuttin’ up an old ruler for fire wood one afternoon, when—”

“HELP! HELP!” screamed a voice from the outside.

“What’s that?” cried the General, jumping to his feet.

Suddenly the front door burst open, and a frightened Teenie Weenie boy sprang into the room.

“Quick—help,” panted the small boy. “The Clown has broken through the ice, and—and he—he can’t get out! Quick—help!”

“Land sakes,” cried the General, “where’s the Clown!”

“He’s over in the chicken yard, in a pan of wa-water,” gasped the small boy.

With all speed the Teenie Weenies made their way to the chicken yard. As they hurried up to the pan they could hear the Clown faintly crying for help. The Turk and the Cook boosted the Sailor up to the top of the pan, where he caught on, and pulled himself over the edge. The poor Clown’s head was only just out of the water, and he was holding fast to the edge of the ice.

“Throw me a board or a match, or something strong,” shouted the Sailor to the others, waiting below. At once the little people began to dig about in the snow for the desired board.

“Oh dear,” cried the Dunce, “if we only had a straw! I’ve always heard that a drowning man catches at a straw!”

“Here,” shouted the Old Soldier. “Here’s a burnt match, but it’s frozen to the ground!”

The Turk grabbed the match and with a mighty heave he pulled it free and threw it up to the waiting Sailor. The Sailor carefully pushed the match out across the hole, and with its help he soon pulled the half frozen Clown from the water.

The poor fellow was carried quickly to the shoe house, where he was given a hot bath, wrapped up in a warm comforter and set before the fireplace. The Cook made cocoa for the Clown and brought it to him steaming hot.

“J-J-J-Jimminie f-f-f-fishhooks,” stuttered the Dunce, as he watched the Clown sip the delicious cocoa, “I-I-I-I wish I’d have fallen into the pan so I could get some of that good cocoa.”

“You don’t need to fall into a pan to get some,” laughed the kind hearted little Cook, “I’ll bring you some,” and in a few seconds he handed the Dunce a steaming cup.

“Crickety, but this is good,” cried the Dunce, as he sat down beside the Clown. “J-J-J-Jimminie, I’m glad you fell into that pan.”

“So am I,” answered the Clown, as he drained his cup.

“Now I want you to tell me how this happened,” said the General when the Clown had finished his cocoa.

“Why, a couple of us were skating,” said the Clown, “and all at once the ice cracked, and—and I fell in!”

“Now then, I don’t want to hear of any more skating in pans,” said the General, shaking his finger at the open-mouthed Teenie Weenies, standing about.

“Yes, sir,” several meekly answered.

“That is,” continued the General, “unless they are shallow pie pans, out of which you could wade. Remember!”

“We will,” promised the little people.

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