The long building where the children will gather to eat or have games, will be centrally located if we build it in the valley between the three hills," explained Aunt Selina.
"Are we going to give the camp a name?" asked Edith.
"Why, we hadn't thought of that--we can use the name 'Happy Hills,'
couldn't we?" said Mrs. Talmage.
"n.o.body will know the camp is any different then. The place has always been called Happy Hills, so how is a stranger going to know that it is the same where the children are living?" said Dot.
"The name 'Hills' sounds all right, but you can't call the big house in the valley by the name of 'Hills'; we ought to have a new name for _that_ so the children will know what place we mean when we talk about the dining-room," suggested Norma.
"Just say 'Valley where the long house is,'" said Edith.
"That doesn't sound nice, a bit! Everything else we have have such nice names," complained Ruth.
"But, why do you children want a name for the valley and one for the children's camps?" asked Aunt Selina.
"Doesn't everything in the world have a name?" asked Dot.
The others laughed, but Ruth added, "Dot's right; we have a name for our cherry-tree nest, and one for the new nest; and Mrs. Catlin is going to call her Blue Birds' nest 'Hill Top Nest'--'Blue Birds of Hill Top Nest.'"
"But this is different," argued Mrs. Talmage.
"No, it isn't, Mrs. Talmage," insisted Dot. "We call our house 'Oakwood'
and you call this place 'Mossy Glen'--and our town we call Oakdale. Why, what for? Everyone knows where the Starrs live, and where the Talmages live, and we all know where the town lives, so what's the use of having names?"
"Dot, you hit the nail on the head every time," said Aunt Selina, as all of the others laughed at Dot's explanation.
"Yes, but that's why we want a name for our children's camp and the valley," said Ruth.
"Really, it doesn't matter to us how many names you choose to give it--just please yourselves about it," said Aunt Selina.
"All right, then, if you don't mind, we'll try to get a real lovely name for it," said Betty, smiling at Aunt Selina.
For quite a time, silence reigned, for the Blue Birds were trying to think of a pretty name for the farm.
"In 'Pilgrim's Progress' there is a 'Valley of Humility,'" suggested May.
"I'll run and get the Bible Concordance--that will have some valley names in it," said Ruth, running indoors to get the book.
"Now, listen while I read some for you," continued Ruth, bringing the book over to the wicker table.
"Here's one--'Inhabitants of the Valley'--turn that about and call it 'Valley of Inhabitants.'"
"No, that isn't nice!" objected several voices.
"Then comes a lot of hard-spelled names of valleys that won't do, either. Next comes: 'valley of pa.s.sengers' and 'valley of vision.'"
"We don't want either one," grumbled Dot.
"Would you like the name 'Valley of Joy'?" asked Aunt Selina.
After a few moments' thought the children replied, "Better, but not right yet."
Aunt Selina smiled and thought how difficult to please were these Blue Birds; but Mrs. Talmage smiled, knowing that the children knew just what they wanted.
After much thinking and suggesting, Ruth said, "We ought to have a name that will fit with Happy Hills, you know."
After "pleasure," "fun," "contentment" and other names had been suggested, Aunt Selina suddenly mentioned "delight."
"Valley of Delight," repeated Mrs. Talmage to hear the sound of it, while the Blue Birds hailed the name as just right.
"Happy Hills in the Valley of Delight!" said Aunt Selina, as pleased as the children were.
"Write it down--that's its name from now on," cried Dot.
"We want it printed on all of our letter paper that will be used for farm purposes," said Mrs. Talmage.
"Oh, yes; won't it look fine to send out letters asking folks to send donations for the poor children of 'Happy Hills in the Valley of Delight!' and let them see the name on top of some nice grey paper,"
"Wish we could find a name for those poor children. I never like to say that word--'poor,'" complained Ruth.
"Neither do I," added Norma.
"I know I wouldn't like a country child to be always calling me 'poor city child,'" declared Betty.
"Then you ought to find a nice name for all of them, too, so we won't have to say 'poor' any more," said Mrs. Talmage.
All heads were bent down again while busy brains tried to find a suitable name for the proteges coming from the city.
"Could they be called 'birds' like us?" asked Dot.
"I do not think city children would care for such a name. You see, dear, they are so precocious from their daily experiences that they might think a bird-name silly," said Mrs. Talmage.
"Maybe they would like the name 'Little Soldiers,'" ventured Norma.
"Oh, that makes you think of 'Onward Christian Soldiers' and they would guess we were goin' to make them join a Sunday School cla.s.s right off!"
Everyone laughed at Dot's viewpoint, but Aunt Selina was given an idea by Norma's suggestion.
"How would 'Little Workers' sound?" she asked.
"Then they will all fear you are going to make them work," laughed Mrs.
"'Little Lambs'--'Little Folks'--'Little Friends,'" recited Dot, zealously, then waited for a verdict.
Heads were shaken in negation of the names, and Ruth started a list of names.
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