THE MEAN OLD MISTRESS

Long, long ago, in the days of our great-grandparents, the farmer’s wives used to make their own butter by putting cream from the milk of their cows into a big pot called a churn. Then there was a large dasher, something like a paddle that fitted into the churn. Its long handle poked up through a whole in the lid of the churn. Then someone had to work that dasher up and down, up and down, round and round, round and round, until after a long time, the cream turned into butter.

Well, once upon a time there was a mean old farmer’s wife whom we shall call the Mistress. She had a little servant girl and she made this little servant girl churn cream into butter every day and every day.

Every morning, every noon, and every night the Mistress would half fill the churn with cream, put in the dasher, put on the lid that had a hole in it so the handle of the dasher could poke up through it, then the little servant girl would have to do the churning.

Up and down, up and down, round and round, round and round she would go ‘till after a long time the cream would be turned into butter.

Now this little servant girl was a good little girl, but the work was hard and she used to get tired. So you can’t be surprised that by the time the butter began to form, she would say to herself, "Goody, Goody, Goody! Pretty soon now I can have a rest! I will sit down in my little rocking-chair and rest my tired legs, and I’ll lean back and rest my tired back, and I’ll take my little dolly in my tired arms, and rock her to sleep."

But this farmer’s wife was a mean old Mistress! Do you know what she used to do? When the cream was half churned to butter, she would come along and dump in another jug full of cream and say, "Little girl, I found some more cream, so now you will have to start churning all over again!"

The little servant girl felt like crying, but she didn’t. She was a good little girl and just kept on churning. Up and down, up and down, round and round, round and round . Then after another long time, you can’t be surprised that she began to say to herself "Goody, Goody, Goody! Pretty soon now the butter will come and then I can have a rest! I will sit down in my little rocking-chair and rest my tired legs, and I’ll lean back and rest my tired back, and I’ll take my little dolly in my tired arms, and rock her to sleep."

But just then, what do you think? Yes, you’re right! That mean old Mistress came along with another jug of cream and dumped it into the churn and said, "Little girl, I found some more cream, and now you’ll have to start churning all over again!"

Poor little girl! She was so tired. She had been standing up so long, working that dasher . Up and down, up and down, round and round, round and round that she couldn’t help it. She just sat down and cried and cried and cried!

And you can’t blame the little girl for crying, can you? I feel so sorry for that little servant girl, don’t you? I wouldn’t be mean to her like that, would you?

But wait a minute, would you like to know that little servant girl’s name?

Then listen and I’ll tell you. It is STOMACH. And it could be your stomach.

Yes indeed. And the mean old Mistress is any boy or any girl who has a stomach and who eats between meals!

 

You see, our bodies need food to help us work and play and think and learn. But we can’t put cereals, milk and fruit or mashed potatoes, peas and carrots right into the blood stream. No, indeed.

The food first has to go into the stomach, where it is churned up and down, up and down, round and round, round and round until it is changed into just the right kind of liquid that can go easily into the bloodstream. We call this kind of stomach churning, ‘DIGESTION.’

And digestion takes about four hours for each meal.

And any boy or girl who keeps on putting fruit or candy, ice-cream or milkshakes, sandwiches or snacks every hour or so between meals is a mean old Mistress or a mean old Master. 

 

And if you keep on doing it your poor little stomach will get so tired that it will cry and cry and cry.

What? You say a stomach can’t cry? All right then, your poor little stomach will get so tired that it will ache and ache and ache! then YOU will do the crying! Yes you will!

And that’s not all. When you eat between meals the body looses count of the amount of food it needs and pretty soon there is more than it can use and it has to store up the excess as FAT. And then you are not only a mean old Mistress or a mean old Master, you are a mean old, fat Mistress or a mean old, fat Master.

But nobody has to be a mean old Mistress or a mean old, fat Mistress or a mean old Master, or a mean old, fat Master. We can all be wise, kind Mistresses and wise, kind Masters. Or wise, kind Bosses, or whatever you want to call yourselves.

You can eat the right kind of foods at meal-times and Nothing, nothing, NOTHING between meal.

This will give your little servant, Stomach, time to do her work thoroughly and then take a little rest— or as the story says, she can sit in her little rocker and give her legs a rest and lean back and give her back a rest, and take her little dolly in her tired arms, and rock her to sleep.

Then you will find that your little servant Stomach will do some magic for you and turn you into a beautiful Mistress or a Handsome Master !

Oh, By the way, do you know the name of Stomach’s little dolly? Well I’m not sure, but I think I heard someone say maybe it could be – Appendix.

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