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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 355

  “But not to play bear,” said Mrs. Roosevelt, warningly; “the baby is being put to sleep.”
  No, he would not play bear, he promised, and we went up. But it is hard not to play bear when the baby squirms out of the nurse’s arms and growls and claws at you like a veritable little cub; and in five minutes Mrs. Roosevelt, coming to investigate the cause of the noise in the nursery, opened the door upon the wildest kind of a circus, with the baby screaming his delight. I can recall nothing more amusing than that tableau, with the silent shape upon the threshold striving hard to put on a look of great sternness, and him, meekly apologetic, on the floor with the baby, explaining, “Well, Edith, it was this way—” We never found out which way it was, for the humor of the situation was too much for us,—and the baby was thoroughly awake by that time, anyway. I say I can think of nothing funnier, unless it be Kermit taking his pet rat out of his pocket at the breakfast-table in the White House, and letting it hop across for my inspection. It was a kangaroo-rat, and it nibbled very daintily the piece of sugar the