Anne of Avonlea
Just a Happy Day
"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not
those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those
that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a
Life at Green Gables was full of just such days, for Anne's adventures and
misadventures, like those of other people, did not all happen at once, but were sprinkled
over the year, with long stretches of harmless, happy days between, filled with work and
dreams and laughter and lessons. Such a day came late in August. In the forenoon
Anne and Diana rowed the delighted twins down the pond to the sandshore to pick
"sweet grass" and paddle in the surf, over which the wind was harping an old lyric
learned when the world was young.
In the afternoon Anne walked down to the old Irving place to see Paul. She found him
stretched out on the grassy bank beside the thick fir grove that sheltered the house on
the north, absorbed in a book of fairy tales. He sprang up radiantly at sight of her.
"Oh, I'm so glad you've come, teacher," he said eagerly, "because Grandma's away.
You'll stay and have tea with me, won't you? It's so lonesome to have tea all by oneself.
YOU know, teacher. I've had serious thoughts of asking Young Mary Joe to sit down
and eat her tea with me, but I expect Grandma wouldn't approve. She says the French
have to be kept in their place. And anyhow, it's difficult to talk with Young Mary Joe. She
just laughs and says, 'Well, yous do beat all de kids I ever knowed.' That isn't my idea of
"Of course I'll stay to tea," said Anne gaily. "I was dying to be asked. My mouth has
been watering for some more of your grandma's delicious shortbread ever since I had
tea here before."
Paul looked very sober.
"If it depended on me, teacher," he said, standing before Anne with his hands in his
pockets and his beautiful little face shadowed with sudden care, "You should have
shortbread with a right good will. But it depends on Mary Joe. I heard Grandma tell her
before she left that she wasn't to give me any shortcake because it was too rich for little
boys' stomachs. But maybe Mary Joe will cut some for you if I promise I won't eat any.
Let us hope for the best."
"Yes, let us," agreed Anne, whom this cheerful philosophy suited exactly, "and if Mary
Joe proves hard-hearted and won't give me any shortbread it doesn't matter in the least,
so you are not to worry over that."