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TO MR. MICHAEL ANAGNOS Roxbury, Mass. Oct. 17th, 1888.

Mon cher Monsieur Anagnos,

I am sitting by the window and the beautiful sun is shining on me Teacher and I came to the kindergarten yesterday. There are twenty seven little children here and they are all blind. I am sorry because they cannot see much. Sometime will they have very well eyes? Poor Edith is blind and deaf and dumb. Are you very sad for Edith and me? Soon I shall go home to see my mother and my father and my dear good and sweet little sister. I hope you will come to Alabama to visit me and I will take you to ride in my little cart and I think you will like to see me on my dear little pony's back. I shall wear my lovely cap and my new riding dress. If the sun shines brightly I will take you to see Leila and Eva and Bessie. When I am thirteen years old I am going to travel in many strange and beautiful countries. I shall climb very high mountains in Norway and see much ice and snow. I hope I will not fall and hurt my head I shall visit little Lord Fauntleroy in England and he will be glad to show me his grand and very ancient castle. And we will run with the deer and feed the rabbits and catch the squirrels. I shall not be afraid of Fauntleroy's great dog Dougal. I hope Fauntleroy take me to see a very kind queen. When I go to France I will take French. A little French boy will say, Parlez-vous Francais? and I will say, Oui, Monsieur, vous avez un joli chapeau. Donnez moi un baiser. I hope you will go with me to Athens to see the maid of Athens. She was very lovely lady and I will talk Greek to her. I will say, se agapo and, pos echete and I think she will say, kalos, and then I will say chaere. Will you please come to see me soon and take me to the theater? When you come I will say, Kale emera, and when you go home I will say, Kale nykta. Now I am too tired to write more. Je vous aime. Au revoir

From your darling little friend HELEN A. KELLER.

TO MISS EVELINA H. KELLER [So. Boston, Mass. October 29, 1888.]

My dearest Aunt,--I am coming home very soon and I think you and every one will be very glad to see my teacher and me. I am very happy because I have learned much about many things. I am studying French and German and Latin and Greek. Se agapo is Greek, and it means I love thee. J'ai une bonne petite soeur is French, and it means I have a good little sister. Nous avons un bon pere et une bonne mere means, we have a good father and a good mother. Puer is boy in Latin, and Mutter is mother in German. I will teach Mildred many languages when I come home. HELEN A. KELLER.

TO MRS. SOPHIA C. HOPKINS Tuscumbia, Ala. Dec. 11th, 1888.

My dear Mrs. Hopkins:-- I have just fed my dear little pigeon. My brother Simpson gave it to me last Sunday. I named it Annie, for my teacher. My puppy has had his supper and gone to bed. My rabbits are sleeping, too; and very soon I shall go to bed. Teacher is writing letters to her friends. Mother and father and their friends have gone to see a huge furnace. The furnace is to make iron. The iron ore is found in the ground; but it cannot be used until it has been brought to the furnace and melted, and all the dirt taken out, and just the pure iron left. Then it is all ready to be manufactured into engines, stoves, kettles and many other things.

Coal is found in the ground, too. Many years ago, before people came to live on the earth, great trees and tall grasses and huge ferns and all the beautiful flowers cover the earth. When the leaves and the trees fell, the water and the soil covered them; and then more trees grew and fell also, and were buried under water and soil. After they had all been pressed together for many thousands of years, the wood grew very hard, like rock, and then it was all ready for people to burn. Can you see leaves and ferns and bark on the coal? Men go down into the ground and dig out the coal, and steam-cars take it to the large cities, and sell it to people to burn, to make them warm and happy when it is cold out of doors.

Are you very lonely and sad now? I hope you will come to see me soon, and stay a long time.

With much love from your little friend HELEN A. KELLER.

TO MISS DELLA BENNETT Tuscumbia, Ala., Jan. 29, 1889.

My dear Miss Bennett:--I am delighted to write to you this morning. We have just eaten our breakfast. Mildred is running about downstairs. I have been reading in my book about astronomers. Astronomer comes from the Latin word astra, which means stars; and astronomers are men who study the stars, and tell us about them. When we are sleeping quietly in our beds, they are watching the beautiful sky through the telescope. A telescope is like a very strong eye. The stars are so far away that people cannot tell much about them, without very excellent instruments. Do you like to look out of your window, and see little stars? Teacher says she can see Venus from our window, and it is a large and beautiful star. The stars are called the earth's brothers and sisters.

There are a great many instruments besides those which the astronomers use. A knife is an instrument to cut with. I think the bell is an instrument, too. I will tell you what I know about bells.

Some bells are musical and others are unmusical. Some are very tiny and some are very large. I saw a very large bell at Wellesley. It came from Japan. Bells are used for many purposes. They tell us when breakfast is ready, when to go to school, when it is time for church, and when there is a fire. They tell people when to go to work, and when to go home and rest. The engine-bell tells the passengers that they are coming to a station, and it tells the people to keep out of the way. Sometimes very terrible accidents happen, and many people are burned and drowned and injured. The other day I broke my doll's head off; but that was not a dreadful accident, because dolls do not live and feel, like people. My little pigeons are well, and so is my little bird. I would like to have some clay. Teacher says it is time for me to study now. Good-bye. With much love, and many kisses, HELEN A. KELLER.

TO DR. EDWARD EVERETT HALE Tuscumbia, Alabama, February 21st, 1889.

My dear Mr. Hale, I am very much afraid that you are thinking in your mind that little Helen has forgotten all about you and her dear cousins. But I think you will be delighted to receive this letter because then you will know that I of[ten] think about you and I love you dearly for you are my dear cousin. I have been at home a great many weeks now. It made me feel very sad to leave Boston and I missed all of my friends greatly, but of course I was glad to get back to my lovely home once more. My darling little sister is growing very fast. Sometimes she tries to spell very short words on her small [fingers] but she is too young to remember hard words. When she is older I will teach her many things if she is patient and obedient. My teacher says, if children learn to be patient and gentle while they are little, that when they grow to be young ladies and gentlemen they will not forget to be kind and loving and brave. I hope I shall be courageous always. A little girl in a story was not courageous. She thought she saw little elves with tall pointed [hats] peeping from between the bushes and dancing down the long alleys, and the poor little girl was terrified. Did you have a pleasant Christmas? I had many lovely presents given to me. The other day I had a fine party. All of my dear little friends came to see me. We played games, and ate ice-cream and cake and fruit. Then we had great fun. The sun is shining brightly to-day and I hope we shall go to ride if the roads are dry. In a few days the beautiful spring will be here. I am very glad because I love the warm sunshine and the fragrant flowers. I think Flowers grow to make people happy and good. I have four dolls now. Cedric is my little boy, he is named for Lord Fauntleroy. He has big brown eyes and long golden hair and pretty round cheeks. Ida is my baby. A lady brought her to me from Paris. She can drink milk like a real baby. Lucy is a fine young lady. She has on a dainty lace dress and satin slippers. Poor old Nancy is growing old and very feeble. She is almost an invalid. I have two tame pigeons and a tiny canary bird. Jumbo is very strong and faithful. He will not let anything harm us at night. I go to school every day I am studying reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and language. My Mother and teacher send you and Mrs. Hale their kind greetings and Mildred sends you a kiss. With much love and kisses, from your Affectionate cousin HELEN A. KELLER.

During the winter Miss Sullivan and her pupil were working at Helen's home in Tuscumbia, and to good purpose, for by spring Helen had learned to write idiomatic English. After May, 1889, I find almost no inaccuracies, except some evident slips of the pencil. She uses words precisely and makes easy, fluent sentences.

TO MR. MICHAEL ANAGNOS Tuscumbia, Ala., May 18, 1889.

My Dear Mr. Anagnos:--You cannot imagine how delighted I was to receive a letter from you last evening. I am very sorry that you are going so far away. We shall miss you very, very much. I would love to visit many beautiful cities with you. When I was in Huntsville I saw Dr. Bryson, and he told me that he had been to Rome and Athens and Paris and London. He had climbed the high mountains in Switzerland and visited beautiful churches in Italy and France, and he saw a great many ancient castles. I hope you will please write to me from all the cities you visit. When you go to Holland please give my love to the lovely princess Wilhelmina. She is a dear little girl, and when she is old enough she will be the queen of Holland. If you go to Roumania please ask the good queen Elizabeth about her little invalid brother, and tell her that I am very sorry that her darling little girl died. I should like to send a kiss to Vittorio, the little prince of Naples, but teacher says she is afraid you will not remember so many messages. When I am thirteen years old I shall visit them all myself.

I thank you very much for the beautiful story about Lord Fauntleroy, and so does teacher.

I am so glad that Eva is coming to stay with me this summer. We will have fine times together. Give Howard my love, and tell him to answer my letter. Thursday we had a picnic. It was very pleasant out in the shady woods, and we all enjoyed the picnic very much.

Mildred is out in the yard playing, and mother is picking the delicious strawberries. Father and Uncle Frank are down town. Simpson is coming home soon. Mildred and I had our pictures taken while we were in Huntsville. I will send you one.

The roses have been beautiful. Mother has a great many fine roses. The La France and the Lamarque are the most fragrant; but the Marechal Neil, Solfaterre, Jacqueminot, Nipheots, Etoile de Lyon, Papa Gontier, Gabrielle Drevet and the Perle des Jardines are all lovely roses.

Please give the little boys and girls my love. I think of them every day and I love them dearly in my heart. When you come home from Europe I hope you will be all well and very happy to get home again. Do not forget to give my love to Miss Calliope Kehayia and Mr. Francis Demetrios Kalopothakes. Lovingly, your little friend, HELEN ADAMS KELLER.

 

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