SEPTEMBER 29, 1941
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I have spent a day and a half in the country and the need of rain is noticeable everywhere. I'm afraid if rain doesn't come soon, the autumn foliage will be spoiled, for I notice many leaves are shrivelling up and turning brown, instead of waiting for the frost to take on the gay colors we usually expect.
It has been a good apple year around here and the crop will not be affected, but the rain should come soon to keep faith with the saying that winter really never sets in until all the springs are full.
I reached the big house yesterday just in time to share in considerable excitement. Our naughty pony, who knows only too quickly when he has an inexperienced rider on his back, decided to take a little girl who was riding him back to the stable at a gallop. Instead of choosing to fall off on the grass, she waited until she reached the road. I was afraid she had scraped hands and knees, but she picked herself up apparently unhurt and was plucky enough when I suggested that it was bad for ponies to be left with the impression that they could do as they wished with their riders. She let the sergeant catch the pony and started off again, this time on a leading rein to make sure the pony would not get his head.
In the meantime, one of the other horses being ridden in the field, grew excited by contagion and threw his rider on the grass. The only horse which remained utterly calm, was Johnny's old hunter. Perhaps experience in a hunting field gave him wisdom enough to know that he did not have to imitate the others. He continued untroubled on his way, and the little girl on his back dismounted when she was ready.
The two smallest members of the household, Franklin III, and Haven, looked on rather bewildered by all the excitement. Franklin, III rode off on his tricycle seeming well satisfied that he could govern his vehicle better than the other children seemed to be able to manage the horses.
My habits of sleep are not as well regulated as they should be. Regardless of the fact that the time changed an hour, I woke up at the usual time, which gave me a whole extra hour to map out work for Miss Thompson. It isn't quite fair to do this on a Sunday, but then the time shouldn't change on a Sunday.