Betty was a little girl who lived many years ago. She was not very big, but she had learned to help her mother.
She could wash the dishes and mend the stockings. She could spin, too. But best of all she liked to cook.
One day Betty was alone at home. Her father and mother and brother had gone to town to see a great sight.
President Washington was making a journey through the country. He was going from town to town, in a fine coach pulled by six white horses.
Four soldiers rode in front of the coach, and four others rode behind it. They were all dressed in white and gold.
At every town crowds of people waited to see the President. Little girls threw flowers before him as he rode along, and little boys, dressed like soldiers, marched to meet him. Betty's brother John was to be one of these boys today.
But Betty could not see this wonderful sight. Someone had stay at home to keep the house.
"I will stay, mother." Betty had said.
"John must march with the boys to meet the President. I will stay at home and cook supper for you."
Betty felt very sad that morning as her parents rode away. She did want to see George Washington, the first president of our country.
By seven o'clock her work was finished. She sat on the front porch and watched the people going to town.
"Oh, if I could only see the President." she said to herself.
But what sound was that? Someone was coming!
Four soldiers were galloping along the road on horse back. Behind them came a great white coach, which was pulled by six white horses.
Betty jumped up, for they all stopped in front of the house.
A tall man stepped from the coach and came up the path to the porch. He took off his hat as he reached the steps.
"Good morning," said the tall man. "Can you give me some breakfast?"
"I'll try, sir," said Betty with a smile. "My parents have taken Brother John to town to see the great George Washington. I am all alone here and have no one to help me."
"If you are as quick as you are pretty, you won't need any help," said the man. "Just get a good breakfast for me, and I promise that you shall see Washington before your brother does."
Betty almost danced with joy.
"I will do the best I can, sir." she said.
Quickly she put on a clean apron. Then she spread a white cloth on the table and set out the best dishes and silver.
She brought cold meat and bread from the cupboard, and ran to the cellar for butter and cream.
She put some fresh eggs into boiling water and cut pieces of the cold meat. When everything was ready, she called the hungry man to the table.
He had a fine breakfast. As he left the table, he smiled and kissed the child.
"Now, my dear little cook," he said, "you may tell your brother John that you saw Washington before he did, and that he kissed you, too."