Twelve by the Mail
" shouted those inside the carriage.
And then out came the lady, young and delicate, proud and pretty. You could easily see that she was born to be a lady of leisure. She gave a great feast on the longest day of the year, so that her guests might have time to eat the many dishes of food at her table. She could afford to ride in a carriage of her own, but still she traveled in the mail coach like the others, for she wanted to show she wasn't too proud. But she didn't travel alone; with her was her elder brother, July.
' He was a well-fed fellow, in attire, and with a Panama hat. He had but little baggage with him, because it was a nuisance in the heat. He had brought only his bathing cap and swimming trunks; that isn't much.
Now came the mother, Madam August, a wholesale fruit dealer, proprietor of many fish tanks, and landowner, wearing a great crinoline. She was fat and hot, and took an active part in everything; she herself even carried beer out to the workmen in the fields.
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," she said. "That is written in the Bible. Afterward we can have the picnics and dances in the woods and the harvest festivals."
Such was the mother.
Now again came a man, a painter by profession, a master of colors, as the forest soon learned. The leaves had to change their colors - but how beautifully - whenever he wished it; soon the wood glowed with red, yellow, and brown. The painter whistled like the black starling bird, and was a brisk worker. He wound the brown-green hop plants around his beer jug, which decorated it beautifully; indeed, he had an eye for decorating. There he stood with his color pot, and that was all the luggage he had.
Now followed a land proprietor, who was thinking of the grain month, of the plowing and preparing of the land, and, yes, also a little of the pleasures of field sports. He had his dog and his gun, and he had nuts in his game bag. Crack, crack! He had an awful lot of baggage with him, and even an English plow.