How To Cook Husbands (Chapter 2, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 2

You may say all I have been describing belongs more properly to little Mrs. Thrush, on my right. Bless you! that woman doesn't have to think and plan to make things comfortable. Were she set down in the desert of Sahara, she would sweep it up, spread a rug; hang a few draperies, and lo! it would be cosy and home-like. She can't help being and doing just right, wherever she is put, and her husband is just like her, as good as gold. Why, that man would bore a woman of ingenuity--a woman who had a genius for contriving and managing. He doesn't need any cooking; he's ready to serve just as he is, couldn't be improved. There's absolutely nothing to be done. Mrs. Owl would get a divorce from him inside of a month, on the ground of insipidity. Her fine capabilities for making much out of nothing, would turn saffron for lack of use. Mr. Owl is the mate for her. To every man according to his taste; to every woman according to her need.

I am lying in the hammock, under the soft maple tree in my side yard, speculating on all these matters. Summer is now upon us, for we are in the midst of June. Yesterday was one of Lowell's rare days, but this morning the thermometer took offense, and rose in fury. I can see the quivering air as it radiates from the dusty, sun-beaten road, and a certain drowsy hum in the atmosphere, palpable only to the trained ear, tells of the great heat. Some of my neighbors are sitting on their galleries, reading or sewing; some, like myself, are lolling in hammocks; even the voices of the children have a certain monotonous tone, in harmony with the stupid heaviness of the day. Only the birds and squirrels show any life or spirit; the former are twittering above my head, courting, it may be, or possibly discussing some detail of household economy. They hop from bough to bough, touch up their plumage, and chirp in a cheerful, happy sort of fashion, as if this was their especial weather, as indeed it is. Up yonder tree, a squirrel is racing about, in the exuberance of his glee. He has done up his work, no doubt, and now is off for a frolic. I lie here, not a stone's throw from him, watching his merry antics, and rejoicing to think how free from fear he is, when all at once the leaves of his tree are cut by a flying missile, and the next second I see my gay fellow tumble headlong from the bough, and fall in a helpless little heap on the grass. I start up in affright, and hear a passing boy call out to another, over the way, "I brought him down, Jim."

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