Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America

I was walking with the bigger girls today.  We found a large patch of white daisies with yellow centers.  The girls ran toward it and just sank down in the middle of them.   I don’t know what they were giggling about.  Each girl picked a daisy and took turns saying:*

He loves me,
He don’t,
He’ll have me,
He won’t,
He would if he could,
But he can’t,
So he don’t.

Each time they chanted a verse, they plucked a petal off the daisy.  Some girls picked three and four…maybe five flowers until the daisy petals ended at the answer they wished.  Josh and Brent sat to the side with me.  Josh said he had heard girls say: “he loves, me, he loves me not” while plucking off the petals one at a time.  It all seems very silly to me.  How can a daisy know that sort of thing?

I would rather make a daisy chain necklace.  I make one for Mother and one for me.  My friend Nell and I sometimes make a daisy chain that is sooooo long, we use it to enclose our pretend house and all the rooms on the grass. First you have to pick many daisies, making certain each one has a very long stem.  If you wish to make a chain with the daisies close together, you must split the stem near the blossom end.  The slit will only be 1/2 inch long.  I use my thumb nail to do this.  Then thread the stem of another daisy through this slit.  Next split the stem of this daisy and thread the stem of the next daisy through.  You may keep going for as long as you want the chain to be.  If you want a longer chain, you make the slit in the stem nearer the bottom of the stem. At the end of the chain, you join them together. I think that this is much nicer than tearing the petals off all the daisies!

*    Rhyming Witchcraft:  The History and Use of Rhymes by Elizabeth Yetter

by Mary Beekman

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Mary

Sometimes my fingers get yellow from the center of the daisies,

Jackie. I try to remember not to wipe them on my dress.

I hope you have fun making your daisy chain. Your mother

will be so happy with you, she will know and smile at you.

I love Mother's smile when it is looking at me.

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Jackie Conner

Dear Mary, Thank you for sharing your Daisies with me. My mothers name was Mary and daisies were her very favorite–I felt her close to me while I read your story. I think Brent and Josh must be fun imaginary friends to have. I will be sure to look for more of your adventures together– I am going to practice making daisy chains for my mom too!

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