Polly, the poor milkmaid, lived on a farm with her mother. Her father died years ago. She had to help her mother to earn their living. She always wanted to have a comfortable life. She loved to daydream, while milking the cow, or cleaning the house or the shed. Her mother often scolded her for wasting her time.
That day, Polly was thrilled because she had got a large pail of milk. She patted her cow and, balancing the pail carefully on her head, she waved goodbye to her mother. “Be sure to go carefully, Polly,” called her mother as she went off to the market.
‘With this good and rich milk I’ll get a good price today,’ she thought. As Polly walked along, she thought of the number of eggs. she would buy from Farmer Brown after she had sold the milk! How nice it would be when all the eggs are hatched and the yard full of young and colourful chicks.
‘Afterwards when the chicks are grown into hens, I would sell them to the parson’s wife, and have lots of money then!’ she dreamt. ‘And I’ll be able to buy that dress with pink flowers on it and a straw hat with a pink ribbon, with that money!’ she thought happily
‘How lovely i’ll look at the village fair!’ she thought as the went along the dusty road to the market. ‘And that Susan, who’s always preening, will see me!’ she giggled thinking of that.
‘The boys will look at me in the market! But i will not accept any one easily,’ Polly thought. It gave her a great deal of delight to think that she would attract so much attention.
‘No one will look at poor Susan when he sees me!’ preened Polly, ‘She’ll be so jealous! But I won’t pay any
attention to her. I’ll simply toss my head like this!’ And Polly tossed her head scornfully, quite forgetting that she was carrying a pail of milk on her head! The pail tilted and the milk poured down over her head, ruining Polly’s daydream.
The hens and the eggs, the dress and the hat, Susan and the boys all vanished in a flash! Too late, she remembered her mother’s words of warning. Her mother was quite angry with her but after that unfortunate loss, polly was more careful and worked harder; her mother was very much pleased with her seriousness and after a short lapse of time their farm activities brought some more revenue and they had a better standard of living.