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Manuel and Rita - The Holiday
The Children's Own Readers - Book Three
by Mary E. Pennell and Alice M. Cusack, Illustrated by Maurice Day and Harold Sichel
Boston: Ginn and Company 1929

The Holiday
     Early the next morning Father drove up with the carriage. He held the little horse's head while Mother and the children climbed into the two-wheeled carriage. Then Father got in and off they started down the road to the town where the children's cousins lived. There they were going to spend the day.
     Part of the time the road led through groves and groves of tall coconut trees. Then it ran along by the side of the ocean where waves danced and sparkled in the bright sunshine.
     Finally the road left the ocean, and ran along between fields and fields of rice. In some of the fields the rice was ripe, and people were busy cutting it with long, sharp knives.
     In one field a man was plowing. His carabao was pulling the plow across the field and back again, making the soil ready for the rice plants.
     Another field was black with rice birds. The birds were feeding on the ripe rice. The children wondered why some one was not frightening the birds away. Then they saw the reason. The little boy in the hut was fast asleep.
     Manuel called to him, "Wake up! The rice birds are in your field!" The little boy woke up with a start. Quickly he pulled a string. The string pulled the bamboo poles out in the field. The poles shook the leaves that were tied to the strings between the poles. Away flew the rice birds!
     At last the family reached the town. Soon they came to the house where the
children's cousins lived. Out from the house rushed Paz and Juan. Down from the carriage jumped Manuel and Rita. As soon as the greetings were over, the children ran to join some of their friends who were playing games.
     The boys played a game with sticks. Each boy found two sticks, one a short stick and the other a long stick. 
     Manuel put his short stick down on a stone. Then he hit the end of the short stick with his long stick. The short stick flew into the air. While it was in the air Manuel hit it again as hard as he could. The stick flew through the air and landed far away on the ground.
     The next boy hit his short stick. It landed under the house. Juan's stick hit a tree and bounded back. 
     After each boy had had a turn, they
found that Juan's stick had gone the shortest distance. So Juan was "It." Juan had to hop to each stick, pick it up, and hop back with it to the stone.
     Just as he was hopping under the house to get the stick that had gone there, out ran a pig. The pig ran right into Juan, and over Juan went on top of the pig. The squealing of the pig could be heard above the shouts of laughter of the boys.
     The girls played a jumping game. Paz and Rita sat down on the ground. Paz put her right foot against Rita's left foot. The other girls ran and jumped over their feet. Then Paz put her right hand on top of her foot. She spread her fingers as far apart as she could. Now the girls had to jump higher, for they must not hit her fingers.
     Then Rita put her right hand on top of Paz's hand. This made the girls jump
still higher. One girl hit Rita's hand. She had to take Rita's place.
     So the game went on. Higher and higher went the hands, and higher and higher the girls had to jump. Rita won because she jumped the highest of all.
     All too soon the visit was over. Back into the carriage climbed the family. They said good-by, and off they started toward home.
     When it got dark Father lighted the lantern on each side of the carriage. On the back of the carriage he hung a lighted lantern.
     After a while the full moon came up. It made the coconut and bamboo trees throw queer shadows across the road. At last the little horse stopped in front of the little house almost hidden by the banana plants and bamboos.