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Daisy and Demi
I cannot feel that I have done my duty as humble historian of the March family, without
devoting at least one chapter to the two most precious and important members of it. Daisy
and Demi had now arrived at years of discretion, for in this fast age babies of three or
four assert their rights, and get them, too, which is more than many of their elders do. If
there ever were a pair of twins in danger of being utterly spoiled by adoration, it was
these prattling Brookes. Of course they were the most remarkable children ever born, as
will be shown when I mention that they walked at eight months, talked fluently at twelve
months, and at two years they took their places at table, and behaved with a propriety
which charmed all beholders. At three, Daisy demanded a 'needler', and actually made a
bag with four stitches in it. She likewise set up housekeeping in the sideboard, and
managed a microscopic cooking stove with a skill that brought tears of pride to Hannah's
eyes, while Demi learned his letters with his grandfather, who invented a new mode of
teaching the alphabet by forming letters with his arms and legs, thus uniting gymnastics
for head and heels. The boy early developed a mechanical genius which delighted his
father and distracted his mother, for he tried to imitate every machine he saw, and kept
the nursery in a chaotic condition, with his 'sewinsheen', a mysterious structure of string,
chairs, clothespins, and spools, for wheels to go `wound and wound'. Also a basket hung
over the back of a chair, in which he vainly tried to hoist his too confiding sister, who,
with feminine devotion, allowed her little head to be bumped till rescued, when the young
inventor indignantly remarked, "Why, Marmar, dat's my lellywaiter, and me's trying to
pull her up."
Though utterly unlike in character, the twins got on remarkably well together, and seldom
quarreled more than thrice a day. Of course, Demi tyrannized over Daisy, and gallantly
defended her from every other aggressor, while Daisy made a galley slave of herself, and
adored her brother as the one perfect being in the world. A rosy, chubby, sunshiny little
soul was Daisy, who found her way to everybody's heart, and nestled there. One of the
captivating children, who seem made to be kissed and cuddled, adorned and adored like
little goddesses, and produced for general approval on all festive occasions. Her small
virtues were so sweet that she would have been quite angelic if a few small naughtinesses
had not kept her delightfully human. It was all fair weather in her world, and every
morning she scrambled up to the window in her little nightgown to look our, and say, no
matter whether it rained or shone, "Oh, pitty day, oh, pitty day!" Everyone was a friend,
and she offered kisses to a stranger so confidingly that the most inveterate bachelor
relented, and baby-lovers became faithful worshipers.
"Me loves evvybody," she once said, opening her arms, with her spoon in one hand, and
her mug in the other, as if eager to embrace and nourish the whole world.
As she grew, her mother began to feel that the Dovecote would be blessed by the
presence of an inmate as serene and loving as that which had helped to make the old
house home, and to pray that she might be spared a loss like that which had lately taught
them how long they had entertained an angel unawares. Her grandfather often called her
`Beth', and her grandmother watched over her with untiring devotion, as if trying to atone
for some past mistake, which no eye but her own could see.
Demi, like a true Yankee, was of an inquiring turn, wanting to know everything, and
often getting much disturbed because he could not get satisfactory answers to his
perpetual "What for?"