Cherry Tree Lane is a nice London street. On one side there are houses, on the other there is a park. The cherry-trees go dancing right in the middle. Number Seventeen is the smallest house in the street. The Banks live in this house. They are six — Mr. and Mrs. Banks and their four children — Jane, Michael and the twins — Barbara and John. Mrs. Banks has a lot of housework and she has a nurse to help her with the children. But one day their nurse left them and Mrs. Bank didn’t know what to do.
«Write to the newspaper,» said Mr. Banks, «and the nurses will come. I’m sorry, but now I must go to work.»
He kissed his wife on her nose and went away to the City. The City was a place where Mr. Banks went every day. There he sat at a large desk and made money. He was very busy with it. And he brought some money home in his little black bag. Sometimes he gave some to Jane and Michael, but sometimes he didn’t and said: «The Bank is broken.»
When Mr. Banks went to work, Mrs. Banks began to write letters to the newspapers.
Upstairs in the Nursery, Jane and Michael were waiting for their father. It was a windy evening and the East Wind was blowing through the cherry-trees.
«Look! The trees are dancing!» cried Jane.
«That’s Daddy over there!» said Michael.
«That’s not Daddy,» she said. «It’s somebody else.»
It was a woman with her hat on and a bag in her right hand. Suddenly a strange thing happened. The wind lifted her up and brought her to the garden door. When the woman opened it, the wind lifted her up again and carried her at the front door.
«Let’s go and see who it is!» said Jane.
They left their room to have a look at a visitor. Jane and Michael could see that she was thin and had black hair and blue eyes.
«They are very nice and very quiet children,» said Mrs. Banks but in fact she didn’t believe it. The ‘Nursery’ was upstairs and the woman followed Mrs. Banks but she slid up the banisters! Down, of course, the children often did it themselves. But up — never!
«Well, children,» said Mrs. Banks. «This is your new nurse, Mary Poppins!»
Mary Poppins looked at them carefully. At last the woman gave a long loud sniff and said: «All right. I’ll stay.»
When Mrs. Banks left the Nursery, Jane and Michael came up to Mary Poppins.
«How did you come?» Jane asked. «Did the wind blow you here?»
«It did,» said Mary Poppins and no more. And she gave another sniff and opened her bag.
«What a funny bag!» Michael said. There was nothing inside.
But the next moment Mary Poppins took out a white apron, a large cake of soap, a tooth-brush, a packet of hairpins, a bottle of perfume and a small armchair. Jane and Michael were shocked.
Then Mary Poppins took out a large bottle of medicine.
«Is that your medicine?» asked Michael.
«No, it’s yours,» said Mary Poppins.
«I don’t want it! I won’t!»
But suddenly Michael understood that he could not say «no» to her. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth.
«Strawberry ice,» he said. «More, more, more!»
But Mary Poppins, with her cold eyes, came up to Jane. Her spoon was full of something green and yellow.
«Sweet lemon-juice. I love it,» Jane said but when Mary Poppins came to the twins with the bottle, she cried.
«Oh no! It’s not good for them. Please!» But Mary Poppins didn’t look at her. She brought the spoon to John’s mouth. He drank it and Jane saw there was milk in the spoon!
Then Marry Poppins opened her bag and took out eleven pyjamas, a pair of boots, a set of dominoes, two bathing-caps and a book. Then came a bed.
Jane and Michael were very surprised. Now they knew that something strange and wonderful happened at their house.
«Mary Poppins,» said Michael, «will you never leave us?»
«Till the wind changes,» she said and went to bed.