|See the following text/image to answer questions 1 through 10
|The Three Happy Children were looking at the calendar. It was a large one which had been given to Father by Silas Drown who kept the Hardware Store. On it was a picture of a meadow, with a green brook running through it; and people were haying in the meadow. It was undoubtedly a beautiful picture, but the children weren't interested in it at all. They were gazing at the dates.
Now one would suppose that nothing could be quite so dull as figures, or so uninteresting. But these told a very fascinating story. There were thirty-one of them, all in little black squares like those that make up a checkerboard. Thirty of the numbers were black like the squares, but one was red, bright red. And there lies the story. You see, there was a good reason for that one being red, oh, a very good reason!
Jehosophat took out a pencil and climbed on a chair, while Marmaduke and Hepzebiah looked on in wonder. The pencil made a mark at 23.
"Only two more days," said the older boy. "Hooray!" exclaimed his brother. "Hooway!" echoed their little sister.
Then they all sighed-three long-drawn out sighs-it was so hard to wait. And when they were through sighing, they all stood and stared at all those numbers, and particularly that bright 25, their eyes growing rounder each minute.
There was something in the air, most decidedly, something that the children couldn't exactly feel or touch or handle. It was as though the sky, and air, and the trees, and the house itself, were carrying a secret, a happy secret, and one almost too big to be kept.
They could get hints of that secret everywhere. Sometimes they caught Mother and Father whispering about things-very mysterious things. Mother, too, was working late these nights. What she was making they could never find out, though they looked and guessed and wondered.
The Toyman wouldn't let them in his shop. And Father, when he went to town, for once refused to let the children go with him and old Methusaleh. But the closets were the most mysterious of all. Some of them were actually locked, and, though Marmaduke tried to peek through the keyholes, all he could see was darkness-like midnight.
Once Mother saw him peeking. She went over to the door and unlocked it. But she didn't open it.
"I thought I would keep it locked, children," she said, "but after all I've decided I won't. Trust is stronger than any key. And I think I can trust you, can't I?"
"Y-y-yes," they all shouted.
"Thank you, my dears," she said, then went away, leaving the door unlocked.
For two whole weeks they hadn't peeked. They had hung around that closet and stared and sighed, but never once did they even try the door.