The Talking Lollipop     /p1

Whoever heard of a talking lollipop! Billy Bright had never even thought of such a thing-- not until the day he met one. That was the day he took the long, long train ride to Grandmother's.

Billy grew tired of sitting still and looking out of the train window. At first it had been fun to watch the green fields running by like water, the trees doing a dance down the hillside, and the cows hurrying so fast they didn't even have time to wave their tails at him. But, after a while, Billy felt hungry. He wished very much that he had a piece of candy in his pocket. His legs were cramped too, all curled up under him. They wanted to run a little. So they climbed off the red plush seat and took Billy out into the aisle almost before he knew it.

"Hadn't you better stay in your seat?" asked Billy's mother looking a little anxious. She was afraid the train might lurch and Billy would fall.

"No," said Billy, "I won't fall. I'm a big boy. I'll be careful."

Then he ran up and down, and up and down the aisle, again and again.

When he was tired of running, he slowed down to a walk and began to look around at the people sitting in the other seats. The car wasn't very full and there weren't any children at all besides Billy. So, if he wanted to talk to someone he would have to talk to a grownup. "Which grownup shall I talk to first?" he wondered.

There was an old old lady. She might have some good stories to tell, but she was busy knitting and Billy knew grownups didn't like to be interrupted when they were busy.

Then there was a young, young, man with a red, red tie. He looked quite jolly, but he was playing cards with a young, young lady and they didn't even seem to see Billy when he came up to them.

At the very end of the car sat a big, cross-looking man reading a newspaper. He was so very cross-looking that Billy was sure he wouldn't be interested in children at all.

Billy was just turning around to go back to his own seat and talk to his own mother when he heard a sugary voice say. "Hello, young fella. Where you going?"

It couldn't be the cross man talking because the sound was too sweet and not deep enough for a man's voice. Besides, the cross man hadn't moved his lips. He was still reading his newspaper and not looking at Billy at all. The voice seemed to come from the car seat next to the cross man, but no one was sitting there.