Half-Past Seven Stories
By Robert Gordon Anderson
Public Domain Books
“The Top of the Morning”
“The top o’ the morning!”
That’s what the Toyman used to say. And I am sure if you ever go to the White House with the Green Blinds by the Side of the Road the Toyman will say it still, whatever the weather.
And when you hear him call that over the fence so cheerily, from his smile you will know at once what he means,–that he wishes for you the very top of the morning, not only the finest of weather, but the best of happiness and fun, in whatever you do and wherever you go.
If you have read all about him in the Seven O’Clock Stories you will remember his name. Of course, it won’t matter whether you’ve read them or not–you can make his acquaintance at any time–but the sooner the better, for, as all who know him will tell you, he’s worth knowing.
His name is Frank Clarke, but his real name isn’t really as real as the one the children gave him,–"the Toyman.” For he is forever making them things,–kites and tops, and sleds and boats, and jokes and happiness and laughter.
His face is as brown as saddle leather, with a touch of apple red in it from the sun. There are creases in it, too, because he laughs and jokes so much. Sometimes when he appears to be solemn you want to laugh most, for he’s only pretending to be solemn. And, best of all, if you hurt yourself, or if your pet doggie hurts himself, the Toyman will know how to fix it, to “make it all well” again.
The Three Happy Children love him. That’s what we always call them, though they, too, have other names–funny ones, you will think,–Jehosophat, Marmaduke, and Hepzebiah Green, but they are family names and came from some very old uncles and aunts.
They still live in the White House with the Green Blinds by the Side of the Road–that is, when they aren’t sliding down hill, or fishing in the Pond, or riding on the hay, or to town with the Toyman and Ole Methusaleh. Mother and Father are still there. Home wouldn’t be home without them. And they have many playmates and friends–of all sorts –two-legged and four-legged, in serge and corduroy, in feathers and fur.
[Illustration: “When they aren’t riding on the hay, or to town with the Toyman and Ole Methusaleh."]
What they all did, the fun they had, and the trouble they got in and out of, you’ll find if you turn these pages.
One thing more–a secret–in absolute confidence, though.–After all, it isn’t really so very necessary to read these stories at Half-Past Seven. You can read them, or be read to, “any ole time,” as the Toyman used to say–Monday morning, Thursday noon, or Saturday night–as long as it doesn’t interfere with those lessons.
Still, the very best time is at twilight in summer when the lights and the fireflies begin to twinkle through the dusk, or in the winter around the fire just before you go to bed–with Father or Mother–or the Toyman.
The Toyman says to send his love and “The Top o’ the Morning.”