Read THE LITTLE COOKS of Sugar and Spice, free online book, by James Johnson, on ReadCentral.com.

Everybody who knew Frank Green, liked him. He was always trying to do something to make those around him comfortable. His brothers, George and Edwin, were nice little fellows enough; but Franky, as people loved to call him, was the favourite. And he was generally so careful in all he undertook, that his parents let him do nearly everything in reason he desired.

So, one fine morning, when his mother and father were about to start for the Crystal Palace, Frank, who had been sitting on his thumbs and thinking very deeply, jumped up all of a sudden and said, (he tried to speak in an off-hand manner); “I suppose you couldn’t say to a minute, could you, when you’ll be back?”

Father laughed, and mother turned aside her head for an instant

“And mother’s laughing, too,” cried little Edwin. You can see him; but I’d better introduce them.

1st Frank: right hand, near oven.

2nd George: holding bird.

3rd Edwin: bearing tray and cover.

Now we can go on.

“I know mother’s laughing,” said Edwin, “because the back of her neck’s red!”

Mother kissed him, and said she’d be back at five o’clock, exactly; and father shook the boys by the hand, and said he’d be home at five, too.

The moment they were gone, Frank beckoned his brothers to him, and said in whispers;

“Let’s ask the cook to give us leave, and then treat mother and father to a jolly good dinner, and cook it ourselves!”

George clapped his hands with delight, and Edwin danced for a moment or two quite on his own account.

“Let’s have some shrimps and marmalade,” said he, about to run out of the room.

Frank and George laughed at him and told him he might buy some shrimps for a sauce and the marmalade would do for the pastry. They went to work, and Frank gave his orders quite like a grand cook. He tried the cookery book, but, boy as he was, he threw it away in disgust. “For,” said he, “if you live in one town, you’d have to send to another to get all the things named in it.” They had two nice birds and a joint, and many other things.

When their parents came home, and saw the table laid out with what the children had paid for out of their pocket money, they were very pleased; and, mind, I won’t be sure; but I don’t think the boys lost anything by their generosity. One thing I must tell, you as a secret Edwin nearly shed a tear when he found he had eaten so much of the meat, which his money had bought, that he couldn’t find room for his marmalade-tart.