- Year Published: 1918
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Garis, H. R. (1918). Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys. New York, NY: A. L. Burt Co.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 5.0
- Word Count: 1,363
Garis, H. (1918). Chapter 4: “How Curly Helped Mother”. Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from
Garis, Howard R.. "Chapter 4: “How Curly Helped Mother”." Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys. Lit2Go Edition. 1918. Web. <>. June 27, 2022.
Howard R. Garis, "Chapter 4: “How Curly Helped Mother”," Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys, Lit2Go Edition, (1918), accessed June 27, 2022,.
“Well, this is certainly a fine day for washing!” exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, one morning as she got up from the nice, clean, straw bed where she had slept with little Pinky. “I must get right to work and hang out the sheets and pillow-cases so the sun will make them nice and white.”
So she hurried through with the breakfast of sour milk with corn meal and sugar cakes, and as soon as Mr. Twistytail had gone to the factory, where he helped make sausage for buckwheat cakes, Mrs. Twistytail said:
“Now, children, do you want to help me wash?”
“Oh, yes, mamma!” they all cried at once.
“I’ll turn the wringer,” said Curly, “for I am good and strong.”
“And I’ll put the clothespins in the basket and have them all ready,” said Pinky, for, though she was only a little girl pig she could easily carry the clothes pins.
“What can I do?” asked Flop, the other little pig boy. His real name was Floppy, or Flop Ear, but I call him Flop for short you see.
“Oh, you can bring me in the sticks to make the fire,” said his mamma, and soon the three piggie children were working away as fast as they could, helping their mamma, who was busy sorting out the clothes.
Soon the fire was made, and the sudsie-soapy water was boiling the clothes to sort of cook them nice and clean, and Pinky had the clothespins all ready. Flop had put up the line, after he had brought in the firewood, and Curly was all ready with the wringer.
Well, you should have seen Mrs. Twistytail rub-adub-dub the clothes up and down on the washboard. My! how she did scatter the suds all over, and once some splashed right up in her eye, but she only laughed and sang a funny little song.
“Ready now, Curly!” she called to her eldest little boy. “Ready to wring out the clothes through the first water!”
So Curly turned the wringer, which doesn’t ring like a bell, you know, but squeezes all the water out of the clothes so they will dry better. Around and around Curly turned the wringer handle, and the clothes came out like corn out of the popper.
“Oh, what fun!” cried the little pig boy, and his brother and sister thought it was very jolly to help their mamma.
“Now, you may run away and play for a while,” said the pig lady. “I have to get the rinsing and bluing waters ready.”
So Curly and Flop and Pinky ran out in the yard to play. Flop and Pinky saw a little boy and girl pig whom they knew, and they began playing, but Curly walked about, thinking maybe he might find a penny, when all of a sudden he saw his mamma hurrying out of the kitchen.
“Where are you going, mamma?” he called to her. “Is the washing all done? Can’t I wring any more clothes?”
“Oh, yes,” she answered. “There are plenty more to wring out even yet, but they must wait. Mrs. Littletail, who lives down the street, has just sent in to say that her little rabbit boy Sammie has the stomach ache and I am taking over some hot peppermint tea for him. The washing can wait until I get back.”
On ran Mrs. Twistytail to make Sammie Littletail feel better, and just then her own little boy Curly had a great idea.
“I’ll just slip in and finish the washing for mamma,” he said to himself, as he saw that Flop and Pinky were still playing tag. “Won’t she be s’prised when she comes in and sees the clothes all hung up to dry?”
So Curly hurried into the kitchen and there he saw a lot of water in a tub, and the pile of clothes in the basket ready to be rinsed and blued and hung out to dry. Then Curly began to help his mamma to make her surprised.
Into the tub he plumped the clothes, and then, fastening on the wringer, he began to wring them out as dry as he could. There were a lot of sheets and pillow-cases, and these last were like bags, full of wind and water when you put the open end in between the rubber rollers first. And then, when they came toward the closed end. My! how they would puff out and make a funny sissing noise.
Curly always liked to wring out the pillow-cases this way, and he had lots of fun. Soon he had a big basket of clothes ready to hang on the line. Wasn’t he the smart little piggie boy, though?
Out into the yard he carried the basket of clothes. It was hard work, but he managed it. And how the wind did blow! It was all Curly could do to hold the big sheets from blowing away, but somehow he did, and he didn’t want to call Flop or Pinky to help, for he wanted to surprise them, too, as well as his mamma.
Well, he had hung up quite a lot of clothes to dry, and then came a large pillow-case. The wind was blowing harder than ever, and as Curly tried to hang the case on the line a big, strong breeze just took hold of it, puffed it out like a balloon, and then—and then, my goodness me, sakes alive! the wind took the pillow-case right up in the air, and as Curly was hanging tightly to it, he went up also!
Right up into the air he went, sailing and sailing, just like an aeroplane, and he cried out:
“Mamma! Papa! Flop Ear! Pinky! Save me!” But none of them heard him, and he went higher and higher until the pillow-case, full of air like a balloon, caught in a tree, and there was the little piggie boy held where he couldn’t get down. Oh, dear me, wasn’t that terrible?
Curly didn’t know what to do. The tree was too big for him to jump down and he couldn’t climb very well. He thought he would have to stay up there forever, maybe. But he didn’t. Pretty soon Sammie Littletail’s stomach ache was all better and Mrs. Twistytail came home. The first things she saw were the clothes hanging out on the line—that is, all but the pillow-case that had taken Curly up in the tall tree.
“My goodness me! sakes alive and a corn cob,” exclaimed Mrs. Twistytail. “The children must have done this to help me. My, but I am surprised. But I wonder where they are?” Then she saw Flop and Pinky playing tag, but she couldn’t see Curly.
“Oh, Curly, Curly, where are you?” she called, and her little boy answered:
“I’m up in the tree with the pillow-case!” Then his mamma saw him and she nearly fainted. But she didn’t quite faint, and then she telephoned for a fireman with a long ladder, who came and got Curly safely down.
So that’s how he helped his mamma, and he surprised her more than he meant to, but it all came out right in the end. And soon the washing was all done, and the firemen gave each of the pig children a penny.
So that’s all now, but in the next story, in case the oil can doesn’t slide down the clothes pole and break the handle off the pump, so the angle worm can’t get his ice cream cone, I’ll tell you about Curly and the elephant.