As they rattled up the little house they broke into song themselves:
"We've built the little walls and roof And made a lovely door, So tell us, mother Wendy, What are you wanting more?"
To this she answered greedily:
"Oh, really next I think I'll have Gay windows all about, With roses peeping in, you know, And babies peeping out."
With a blow of their fists they made windows, and large yellow leaves were the blinds. But roses -- ?
"Roses," cried Peter sternly.
Quickly they made-believe to grow the loveliest roses up the walls.
To prevent Peter ordering babies they hurried into song again:
"We've made the roses peeping out, The babes are at the door, We cannot make ourselves, you know, 'cos we've been made before."
Peter, seeing this to be a good idea, at once pretended that it was his own. The house was quite beautiful, and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within, though, of course, they could no longer see her. Peter strode up and down, ordering finishing touches. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. Just when it seemed absolutely finished:
"There's no knocker on the door," he said.
They were very ashamed, but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe, and it made an excellent knocker.
Absolutely finished now, they thought.
Not of bit of it. "There's no chimney," Peter said; "we must have a chimney."
"It certainly does need a chimney," said John importantly. This gave Peter an idea. He snatched the hat off John's head, knocked out the bottom [top], and put the hat on the roof. The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that, as if to say thank you, smoke immediately began to come out of the hat.
Now really and truly it was finished. Nothing remained to do but to knock.
"All look your best," Peter warned them; "first impressions are awfully important."
He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are; they were all too busy looking their best.
He knocked politely, and now the wood was as still as the children, not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell, who was watching from a branch and openly sneering.
What the boys were wondering was, would any one answer the knock? If a lady, what would she be like?
The door opened and a lady came out. It was Wendy. They all whipped off their hats.
She looked properly surprised, and this was just how they had hoped she would look.
"Where am I?" she said.
Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. "Wendy lady," he said rapidly, "for you we built this house."
"Oh, say you're pleased," cried Nibs.
"Lovely, darling house," Wendy said, and they were the very words they had hoped she would say.
"And we are your children," cried the twins.
Then all went on their knees, and holding out their arms cried, "O Wendy lady, be our mother."
"Ought I?" Wendy said, all shining. "Of course it's frightfully fascinating, but you see I am only a little girl. I have no real experience."
"That doesn't matter," said Peter, as if he were the only person present who knew all about it, though he was really the one who knew least. "What we need is just a nice motherly person."
"Oh dear!" Wendy said, "you see, I feel that is exactly what I am."
"It is, it is," they all cried; "we saw it at once."
"Very well," she said, "I will do my best. Come inside at once, you naughty children; I am sure your feet are damp. And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella."
In they went; I don't know how there was room for them, but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland. And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy. By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees, but she herself slept that night in the little house, and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword, for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl.