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Title: A Little Colored Boy and Other Stories
Author: Concern, Methodist Book
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Little Colored Boy and Other Stories" ***

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[Illustration: Ned.]


                           LITTLE COLORED BOY


                             OTHER STORIES


                       THE METHODIST BOOK CONCERN
                         NEW YORK    CINCINNATI


                         A LITTLE COLORED BOY.


“YOU can’t help thinking when you listen to that boy,” said Mrs. Warner,
“that the Lord must want him in heaven. He has such a heavenly voice.”

“I think it more likely that God put an angel’s voice in Neddy’s throat
to give us a taste of heavenly music,” said grandma, looking up from the
apples she was paring.

“Bosh! you women folks are so everlastingly simple and silly that you
encourage the boy in his mischief;” and Farmer Warner set down the milk
pail with such a thud that the milk slopped over into the sauce his wife
was dishing for supper.

“Now, Henry, you have ruined that dish of apple sauce,” expostulated
Mrs. Warner; “and they’re the first apples of the season, too.”

“Never mind,” said grandma, “we’ll find something else. Just call the
boy to supper, Henry.”

“Indeed I won’t call him,” he sputtered. “For the past hour I’ve been
calling him to help with the chores, and I’ll call no more.”

Just then, in sweet, rich tones, came in the melody—

                  “O, there is rest, O, there is rest,
                   Yes, there is rest for my soul.”

“And your body, too,” growled Mr. Warner. “If you women had the trials I
have with Ned, you would not set so much store by him.”

“I won’t deny that he’s trying, Henry; but when one is weary and fretted
with a long, hot day’s work, it is the most soothing thing in the world
to hear the child singing in the twilight about rest for his soul. It
rests me way to my toes.”


“It would rest me a heap more if he did his work. Now, you see when I
called him to help he was singing about rest, but supper being ready, he
comes along without being called even.”

Bare feet came pattering along the porch and a little black face peeped
in the window.

“Did you call me, Mis’ser Warner?” The farmer grunted and drew up to the

“Henry called you a long time ago, Neddy; why did you not come?”

“I camed jes’ as soon as I heerd him, ’deed I did. I only stopped to
pick these fur you,” and he placed his hat on the table lined with
leaves and filled to the brim with luscious blackberries; then he laid a
great bunch of wild flowers beside them. Mrs. Warner buried her face in
the fragrant flowers. How long it was since anyone had brought her
flowers! Henry used to keep her supplied; but he was too busy now.

“Deary me,” said grandma; “these will just take the place of the apple
sauce;” and she began to pick over the berries.

Ned sat at a side table and did full justice to an ample supper. When
Mr. Warner called for pie his wife gave him half of one, and,
notwithstanding his frown, gave the other half to Ned. After supper they
both went out, but Ned soon returned and began helping clear the table.

“Henry may need you, Ned,” said Mrs. Warner.

“No’m, he don’t; he tole me to clear out. You put some flowers on your
dress an’ go out an’ get some air. I’ll clean up.”

It was a great temptation, and Mrs. Warner walked through the fields to
a neighbor’s, while Ned warbled over the dishes and her husband finished
the chores.

A few months before this a lady from the South had brought Ned to sing
in the church, and had told how anxious she was to get a home for him
with Christian people who would educate him. Mrs. Warner’s heart had
softened at once, and her husband was nothing loath to have a little
helper and do God service at the same time. But they had not found it an
easy task to train Ned up in the way he should go. A sweet-tempered
little singing bird was he, as neat as a pin and as quick as a wink, but
having no more idea of responsibilities than the little warblers he
imitated in his throat.

But his kind thoughtfulness for others gave Mrs. Warner courage to keep
on with him, and, as soon as she had, with very gentle teaching, made
him to understand that promptness was the one thing required by Mr.
Warner, and that the lack of it often caused serious inconvenience, the
little fellow began to mend his ways.


It was hard for him to understand at first. The fact that a thing would
give pleasure to some one seemed reason enough for its being done at
once. In fact, some of the unpleasant things seemed to him hardly worth
the doing.

But Mrs. Warner was very patient, and the heart that beat under the dark
skin was very loving and sweet.

“Yes; I see it now,” he said one day, as he dropped the first sweet
harvest apple into grandma’s lap. “It took a good while, but I
understand. If you are _told_ to do a thing, you must _do it_. Then, if
there’s any time left, or, if you can crowd the pleasant thing in along
with it, all right. But sometimes it’s powerful hard.

“There’s the sky. I s’pose he’d like to smile all the time and be bright
and jolly. But sometimes God tells him to rain, and he just goes and
does it, like a major.

“Didn’t use to seem ’s if I was selfish if I kept the cows waiting while
I picked some wild flowers for Mrs. Warner. But I _really_ suppose it

Dear little Ned! God bless him!



                            THE GOLDEN RULE.


LIZZIE had a present of a wild bluebird from her auntie, who caught it
when it was a wee baby bird. It was a beauty, and Lizzie was very happy
with her pet. One day she hung the cage on the veranda and saw how
pleased the little creature was. Pretty soon it burst into a beautiful
song, and she saw another bird near by, and that was a bluebird, too.
Lizzie fancied her bird looked sad when the other one flew away, and
that made her wonder if she had a right to keep a wild bird shut up in a
cage. “I wouldn’t like to be caught and shut up, I know,” thought
Lizzie, “and what I would not like to have done to me I ought not to do
even to a bird.” And so Lizzie wrote a letter to her auntie, asking if
she might set her dear bird free. Auntie said she might, and the very
next morning Lizzie opened the prison door and birdie went free, all
because a loving-hearted little girl was willing to do as she would like
to be done by.





“PICK your poppies every day,” said grandma, “and then others will come
to take their place; and if you leave a fine one here and there with a
bit of thread of the same color tied to its stem, you will know how to
sort them.”

So all summer Bessie picked the poppies and gave them to her friends,
who cried out with delight over their lovely colors; and she did not
forget the poor children who live in tenements without gardens, and who
looked longingly at the bright bed as they passed.

The seeds had only cost a nickel in the springtime; and caring for the
flower beds made the little girl well and strong. So it was wise in
Uncle Harry to suggest this pleasant task to Bessie.


                           AN EASTERN LEGEND.


                 THERE’S a tender Eastern legend,
                    In a volume old and rare,
                 Of the Christ-child in his garden,
                   Walking with the children there.

                 And it tells—this strange, sweet story—
                   (True or false, ah, who shall say?)
                 How a bird with broken pinion
                   Dead within the garden lay.

                 And the children, childish cruel,
                   Lifted it by shattered wing,
                 Shouting, “Make us merry music,
                   Sing, you lazy fellow, sing.”

[Illustration: What poor woman was commended by Christ as having been
more generous than all the rich?]

                   But the Christ-child bent above it,
                     Took it in his gentle hand,
                   Full of pity for the suffering
                     He alone could understand.

                   Whispered to it—O, so softly!
                     Laid his lips upon its throat,
                   And the song-life, swift returning,
                     Sounded out in one glad note.


                Then away on wings unwearied,
                  Joyously it sang and soared,
                And the little children, kneeling,
                  Called the Christ-child “Master—Lord.”


                           A RAINY DAY STORY.


THE water in the kettle decided to take a sail one day. What do you
think was its boat? Why, the soft, balmy air. What kind of a dress do
you think it wore? A beautiful white one made of vapor. Where do you
suppose it sailed to? Away to Cloudland. It remained away several days.
When it came back it had changed its dress, and then everybody said, “It
is raining.”


                           MISSIONARY SUNDAY.


“FORGOT my nickel,” mumbled the boy with the gold watch.

“Spent all my money yesterday,” laughed the one with the spike-toed

“Saving up to buy a ’bike,’” said the one with his hands in his pockets.


The envelope passed around the class and came back with six cents.
Everybody knew who put in that nickel and penny. It was the boy who
earned sixty cents a week on a newspaper route. His trousers were too
short for his fast-lengthening legs, and his carefully polished shoes
showed a break here and there; but one-tenth of his earnings was given
without fail into the Lord’s treasury.


                            DOROTHY’S DREAM.


            THIS is the queer little fairy dream
                That came to Dorothy Brown:
            “I was lost,” she said, “in the deep blue sea,
               A thousand fathoms down;
             There were branching corals and waving trees,
               And water-maids, good and fair,
             Who fed the fishes from pearly dishes,
               And gave to the least a share.
             There were schools of fishes, but never a book;
               There was sunlight without a sun;
             There were ways to roam, _but not any home_,
               And _mothers_—there were none!”


                           SOME BIBLE DREAMS.


WHEN he was only a boy Joseph dreamed that he was out in the field with
his father and his brothers binding sheaves in harvest time, and the
sheaf which he bound stood upright, and all the other sheaves bowed down
before his. Then he dreamed another dream, that the sun and the moon and
eleven stars bowed down before him. When he told these dreams it made
his brothers very angry, and they hated him, and the first chance they
had they sold him a slave into Egypt.

When Joseph was in the prison in Egypt it was a dream which saved all
the land in time of famine, but this time it was the king’s dream. King
Pharaoh dreamed one night that he stood by the river, and seven fat
cattle came up out of the water and fed in a meadow. Pretty soon
afterward seven lean cattle came up out of the water and ate up the
seven fat cattle. The king wondered what the dream meant, and when he
fell asleep again he dreamed that he saw seven large ears of corn come
up upon one stalk, and then seven thin ears that had been blasted spring
up upon the same stalk, and the seven thin ears ate up the seven good

When the wise men of Egypt could not tell the king what it meant his
chief butler remembered how Joseph had told him the meaning of a dream
when he was in prison; and when the king sent for Joseph he told Pharaoh
that the dreams were a warning from God, that after seven plentiful
years in Egypt there would be seven years of famine, which would eat up
all the corn they could save up, and so Joseph came to be a great man in

[Illustration: BEHOLD THIS DREAMER COMETH Joseph’s brethren determine to
slay him.]

Solomon, too, had a splendid dream just after he came to be king in the
place of David, his father. He was very young, and wondered how he was
going to get along and be wise enough to settle all the questions that
came before him as king. While he was thinking about it he fell asleep,
and he dreamed that the Lord appeared to him and asked him what he would
like the Lord to do for him, and Solomon said to the Lord that, though
he had been made king, yet he was only a child, and did not know how to
act, and asked the Lord to give him wisdom, so that he would always be
able to know which was right and which was wrong, and be a good king.

The Lord was so pleased with this request that he promised Solomon not
only to make him the wisest man that ever lived, but to make him very
rich and powerful as well.


                           THE YOUTH’S DREAM.



            “I HAVE dreamed a dream of a future time,
                 Of a scepter and a crown,
             For the sheaves of wheat and the moon and stars
               In my dream to me bow down.”

            ’Twas a vision true, as the future proved,
              For the boy, once sold a slave,
            By a faithful life rose to princely power,
              And the world its homage gave.

            Have you dreamed a dream of a future time,
              Of a fortune and a name?
            Of success and honor and love and joy,
              And at last undying fame?

            If your dream comes true you must toil and strive
              With a purpose strong and pure,
            For the kingly heart and the godly life
              Wins a crown that shall endure.


                         LITTLE MR. BY-AND-BY.



                    LITTLE Mr. By-and-By,
                       You will mark him by his cry,
                    And the way he loiters when
                    Called again and yet again,
                    Glum if he must leave his play,
                    Though all time be holiday.

                    Little Mr. By-and-By,
                    Eyes cast down and mouth awry!
                    In the mountains of the moon
                    He is known as Pretty Soon;
                    And he is cousin to Don’t Care,
                    As no doubt you’re well aware.

                    Little Mr. By-and-By
                    Always has a fretful “Why?”
                    When he’s asked to come or go;
                    Like his sister—Susan Slow.
                    Hope we’ll never, you or I,
                    Be like Mr. By-and-By.


                              NIP AND TUCK

[Illustration: Jamie’s Guests on their Way to Lunch with Him.]

NIP and Tuck lived in the same ledge of rocks. Nip was a chippie and was
Jamie’s pet. Tuck was a red squirrel, who, strange to say, was a dear
friend of the little chippie. Jamie kept on hand a basket of all kinds
of nuts with which to treat his two little friends. Jamie was as fond of
nuts as Nip was, so they lunched together every day at eleven o’clock,
and had a “nut-crack” at five. When the table was spread Jamie would rap
on the rock with a nut and Nip would come at once.


[Illustration: Finding Her Sunday School Lesson in the Best of Books.]


                             SWEET CHARITY.


A POOR little half-starved child, living in a London alley, had a ticket
given to her by a kind lady to admit her to a free tea and
entertainment. She was wild with delight at the idea, and was running up
to tell her mother, when she stumbled over a child crouched on the
stairs crying.

She asked what was the matter. The child said her mother had beaten her
because she asked for some breakfast, and she was so hungry she could
not help crying.

“Well,” said the other child, placing the ticket in her hand, “take
this, and get a good tea. I’ve had no breakfast either, but my mother
never beats me.”

She then passed on, leaving the ticket in the hand of the astonished


                       HOW A SNAKE CAME TO GRIEF.


THE bull snake, which is quite common on the Pacific coast, grows
sometimes to be quite large, but it is entirely harmless to human


A Californian, being something of a naturalist, set himself to work to
tame one of these snakes and was able to teach Slippery Dick—the name he
gave his strange pet—many tricks. He taught him to come at call, to coil
up, to wave his folds about in imitation of dancing, and many other
tricks. He would coil up on the table, his head in the center of the
coil, elevated about six inches in the air. The gentleman would place
the handle of a small fan in his mouth, and then the snake would gently
wave the fan to and fro, and thus keep the flies from his master’s face.

He was as good as a cat to keep the old log house free from mice. He
often brought in ten or twelve in a day. His fondness for mice was his
ruin. It happened in this way: One day the gentleman missed Slippery
Dick, and though he hunted and called all day, he could not find any
trace of his pet. About a week after his disappearance, having occasion
to explore the loft of the cabin in which he lived, he came across the
remains of his old friend. Apparently he had been more mouse-hungry than
usual, and in his haste to satisfy his appetite had swallowed a live
mouse, which had gnawed its way through the snake’s body, thus causing
his death.



                              IN THE PEW.


                   IN the morn of the holy Sabbath
                      I like in the church to see
                   The dear little children clustered,
                     Worshiping there with me.
                   I am sure that the gentle pastor,
                     Whose words are like summer dew,
                   Is cheered as he gazes over
                     The dear little heads in the pew.

                   Faces earnest and thoughtful,
                     Innocent, grave, and sweet,
                   They look in the congregation
                     Like lilies among the wheat.
                   And I think that the tender Master,
                     Whose mercies are ever new,
                   Has a special benediction
                     For dear little heads in the pew.


                          TWO LITTLE SWITZERS.


THIS boy and girl live in the mountains of Switzerland. The language
which they use is a very strange one, called _Schweizer-Deutsch_

These children in the picture are dressed up in their Sunday clothes to
have their photographs taken. When they go home to the little village
way up on the mountain side they will take off these garments and put on
their everyday things. Hans will draw a long-sleeved black apron over
his school suit, and then, fastening on his back the wooden pail which
you see in the picture, will run down the steep cobble-stoned street,
with his shoes clattering at every step, to the big stone fountain to
draw water for his mother. It takes a long time to draw that pail of
water, for all the boys run out to hear about what he saw in Berne that
day when he had his photograph taken. So Hans tells them about the two
big bears in the bear pit, to whom he and Gretchen threw some bits of
bread and an apple; about the tall clock tower built three or four
hundred years ago, where carved bears march around and strike a big gong
every hour. You know that Berne is full of bears. The coat of arms of
the city is a bear with a banner, and not only have live bears been
maintained at public expense for many, many years, but bears of all
kinds, carved in wood and stone, painted, or wrought in plaster, are
seen everywhere.

[Illustration: Two Little Switzers.]


Hans has at last filled his pail and hurries back to the house, whose
thatched roof is so low that it almost touches the ground. Gretchen has
taken off her grandmother’s clothes and is busy helping the mother
prepare supper. She is very proud of the fact that her pretty filagree
chains and pins, together with her velvet bodice and delicate muslin
waist, were worn by the dear old grandmother, on whose grave she lays
fresh flowers every Sunday. By and by they all draw the straight wooden
chairs to the table and the father says a simple prayer. Hans and
Gretchen eat thankfully the black bread and creamy cheese which was made
last summer up on the Alps high above them, where the snow flowers bloom
and the winds blow cold from the glaciers.

When the curfew bell in the church tower rings out at sundown Hans and
Gretchen tumble into their bed on the top of the stove. Yes, really, on
the top of the big, square white porcelain stove! It is a good, warm
place, although it never gets hot, and even on bitter January nights,
covered with a big red feather bed, the children are only comfortably
warm. They cannot fall off because the father has placed high boards on
each side of the bed.

Early in the morning, by the light of a candle, they drink coffee, with
plenty of milk, but no sugar. It is only on great festivals, like
birthdays and Christmas, that they taste sugar or cake. By seven o’clock
Hans buckles on his knapsack, in which he carries his books, and after
helping Gretchen to adjust hers they both run gayly off to school, each
one carrying in a roomy basket a huge chunk of black bread to eat at ten






                          BUNNY, Bunny,
                               Go away,
                          Come again
                            Another day.
                          Dolly’s crying;
                            She’s afraid!
                          See the trouble
                            You have made!

                          There’s a darling,
                            Bunny, go,
                          For my shoes
                            Are off, you know,
                          And your funny
                            Wiggling nose
                          Will be nibbling
                            At my toes.


                   You have spoiled your snowy dress;
                   You have soiled your toes, I guess.
                   Bunny, Bunny, go away,
                   Come again another day.


                               “SING IT.”


WHEN I was a little boy I used to play with my brother and sister under
the window where mother sat knitting. She rarely looked out, but the
moment we got angry she always seemed to know, and her kind and gentle
voice would come through the window, saying, “Sing it, children! Sing

Once I remember we were playing marbles, and I shouted out to my

“You cheated!”

“I didn’t!”

“You did!”

“Sing it, children, sing it!”

We were silent.

“Sing it, children!”

We continued silent. We couldn’t sing it. We began to feel ashamed.

Then came the sweet voice, the sweetest but one I ever heard, singing to
the tune of “O, How I Love Jesus” the words:

                        “O Willie, you cheated!
                         O Willie, you cheated!
                         O Willie, you cheated!
                         But I didn’t cheat you!”

It sounded so ridiculous we all burst out laughing.

You cannot sing when you are angry; you cannot sing when you are mean;
you cannot sing when you are scared. In other words, you cannot sing
unless you feel in some degree faith, or hope, or charity.

I think of God as at the window of heaven. So long as he hears us
singing he knows we are filled with a sweet and lovely spirit.




           WHEN Molly came home from the party to-night—
                 The party was out at nine—
           There were traces of tears in her bright blue eyes,
             That looked mournfully up to mine.

           For some one had said, she whispered to me,
             With her face on my shoulder hid,
           Some one had said (there were sobs in her voice)
             That they didn’t like something she did.

           So I took my little girl up on my knee—
             I am old and exceedingly wise—
           And I said, “My dear, now listen to me;
             Just listen and dry your eyes.

           “This world is a difficult world, indeed,
             And people are hard to suit,
           And the man who plays on the violin
             Is a bore to the man with the flute.

           “And I myself have often thought
             How very much better ’twould be,
           If every one of the folks that I know
             Would only agree with me.

           “But, since they will not, the very best way
             To make this world look bright
           Is never to mind what the people say,
             But to do what you think is right.”


[Illustration: “The party was out at nine.”]


                          CHILDREN’S SAYINGS.


BESSIE stood watching the sky one day as the sun went behind a cloud.

“The sun has gone to call on the moon. Why, there he is again,” she
exclaimed, as he reappeared almost at once; “I suppose she wasn’t at

When little Ada, aged three, had been told the story of Lot’s wife being
turned into a pillar of salt she asked her mother, anxiously, “Is all
salt made of ladies?” Later, when six years old, she was called one
Sunday, “Come, Ada, and learn your catechism;” whereupon she answered
roguishly, “If it’s for me, it ought to be a kittychism!”

Cyril was seven years old. He loved his mother very dearly, and had been
separated from her sometimes, as she had to go to India. Once when she
came to wish him “good-night” he was under the bed-clothes. He came out
with a flushed little face, and said, as he hugged her tight: “Mummie,
do you know what I was doing? I was asking God to love you as much as I
do. He couldn’t love you more.”





                            THE ROBIN’S EGG.


               WHAT was ever so dainty of hue?
                    Who can tell, is it green, is it blue?
                   Look, little girl,
                   At this beautiful pearl
                 Hid in the nest of the robin!

               Nay, little girl! Nay, nay, don’t touch!
               Wait for a week—a week’s not much—
                   Then come here, and see
                   What there will be
                 Hid in the nest of the robin.




               SOMEBODY shook and shivered,
                   Somebody sobbed and cried,
               While the Sponge and the Soap stood waiting
                 The nursery bath beside.

[Illustration: “Come on, dearie! we’re all ready.”]

                Why should she wash this morning?
                  Each day she said the same,
                And nurse, who was tired of the crying,
                  Quite vexed with her became.

                Never a bit of washing
                  Somebody got that day,
                And the evening fell, and her father came
                  To have a game of play.

                Black was her face—he could not
                  Its grimy surface kiss;
                At washing she never has grumbled,
                  From that sad day to this.


                       THE DIFFERENCE IN BIBLES.


LITTLE Mary wanted to learn her Sunday school lesson. It was Saturday
afternoon, and the time was passing; but she had been busy with her
dolls dress, and the lesson was yet unlearned. At length her elder
sister took a Bible and said:

“Come, Mary, I will help you to learn your lesson, and you can go back
to your play.” Mary came to her sisters side ready to begin her lesson,
when she suddenly began:

“Sister, let us study it out of grandfather’s Bible.”

“But what difference can it make?”

“Why, grandfather’s Bible is so much more interesting than yours.”

“O no, Mary, they are just the same, exactly.”

“Well,” replied the observing child, “I really think grandfather’s must
be more interesting than yours; he reads it so much more.”


                           WORTHY OF A MEDAL.


SEVERAL years ago there were two seals in the “Zoo” garden at Amsterdam
which were so fond of their keeper that they could recognize his voice a
long way off, and would go to meet him.

These seals also became attached to an old gentleman and his little
granddaughter, who often went to see them in company with a little
woolly dog, and who always took the seals something nice to eat. These
animals were kept in a large pond, and they would come out of the water
on seeing their friends and sit down with them to have a good time on
the sand.

The small dog was very lively on these occasions, and he and the seals
would frolic together as though they belonged to the same family, and
shared the fruit and cakes from the little girl’s basket.

One day, however, just in the midst of their fun, the dog fell into the
pond, and, after struggling for a moment in the water, he sank. The
seals uttered a cry of dismay as he disappeared, and then, flopping to
the pond, they plunged in. In an instant the larger one had seized the
half-drowned dog, and, carrying him very tenderly in his mouth, placed
the dripping animal at his mistress’s feet.





CISSY BELL’S heart was so tender that it made her feel very badly even
to hear of anything getting hurt. One day her brother Will and his
friend Tom were telling how a big dog chased a cat, and nearly
frightened her to death, when Cissy cried out, “O, what a bad, bad dog!
what made him want to hurt kitty?”

“Why, we told him to; he isn’t a bad dog,” said Will.

Then Cissy’s cheeks grew red and her eyes flashed as she said, “You is
bad boys; what for you want kitty hurted? God don’t want kitties to be
hurted;” and then the little preacher broke down and sobbed out the rest
on mamma’s shoulder.

Will and Tom both got red in the face and pretty soon walked off; but
they did not soon forget the lesson Cissy taught them.


[Illustration: Search the Scriptures.]


                            A SAUCY FELLOW.



              A GROUP of little pansy-folk
                  Came out one summer day,
              Nodding their pretty heads about
                In such a charming way.

              Bonnets of gold and lavender
                And purple, too, they wore,
              And such a jolly company
                Was never seen before.

              A very saucy bumblebee
                Came loudly buzzing by,
              And snubbed the pansy-folk, and whisked
                Their bonnets all awry.

              They scolded, frowned, and shook with fright;
                They bade him come no more.
              O such a sorry company
                Was never seen before!


                         THE FISHERMAN MARQUIS.


MACDONALD tells of a young marquis who lived for a number of years as a
poor fisherman in his own Scotch village, enduring the hardship of the
men who win their living from the sea, his rank being meanwhile unknown.
Finally he declared his position and assumed the rights of his place,
and now the men whenever they were in trouble brought to him their
grievances, with a feeling of certainty that he knew their sufferings
and would sympathize with them.

So Jesus, having once lived in the flesh, and for our sakes became poor,
and having suffered weariness, hunger, thirst, bitter temptations, and
finally death itself, knows all our human estate, our sorrows, cares,
and anxieties, and ever sympathizes with us with infinite tenderness and
love. We have not a Saviour who cannot understand all that comes to us.
He was a baby, a child, a man. He was despised and honored; loved and
hated; tenderly cared for and finally killed by envious hearts. So, you
see, he will understand anything we want to tell him about.


                          “EXCUSE ME, PRINCE.”


THE following pretty story is told of a brown-eyed maiden just four
years old, with the sweetest voice and the tenderest heart in the world.
She was pulling her little rocking-chair across the room the other day,
when somehow in her progress she trod upon the tail of dog Prince, and
drew forth a low growl of reproach from that much-valued member of the
family. A look of dismay crossed the baby’s face, and she turned
hastily. “Excuse me, Prince,” she pleaded, as she laid her snowflake of
a hand caressingly on the dog’s head. Prince thumped his tail heavily as
if to say, “It’s all right, dear little mistress. I know it was all an
accident, and you won’t do it again, I am sure.” And the little maiden
went on with her play feeling very happy.


                             LITTLE GIRLS.


        WHERE have they gone to—the little girls,
            With natural manners and natural curls?
        Who love their dollies and like their toys,
        And talk of something besides the boys?

        Little old women in plenty I find,
        Mature in manners and old in mind;
        Little old flirts, who talk of their “beaus,”
        And with each other in stylish clothes.

        Little old belles, who, at nine and ten,
        Are sick of pleasure and tired of men,
        Weary of travel, of balls, of fun—
        And find no new thing under the sun.

        Once, in the beautiful long ago,
        Some dear little children I used to know;
        Girls who were merry as lambs at play,
        And laughed and rollicked the livelong day.

        They thought not at all of the “style” of their clothes;
        They never imagined that boys were “beaus;”
        “Other girls’ brothers” and “mates” were they,
        Splendid fellows to help them play.

        Where have they gone to? If you see
        One of them anywhere, send her to me.
        I would give a medal of purest gold
        To one of those dear little girls of old,
        With an innocent heart and open smile,
        Who knows not the meaning of “flirt” or “style.”


                    THE FLOWERS AND THE WATER DROPS.


DOWN in an earth garden were some flowers all drooping and sad. Father
Sun saw them, and calling his little children, the sunbeams, to him,
said, “To-day, my little helpers, I need you to do some work for me. Go
down to the big, round earth far below, and bring back to the sky
country all the water dust that you can carry.”

The little sunbeams started, and although it was a long, long journey,
they were so bright and merry that it seemed like play to them. By and
by they drew near to Mother Earth, and before long saw myriads of tiny
drops of water, some taking hold of hands forming part of the great
ocean, others rushing along in a strong, deep river, while some were
dancing and tumbling in a merry little brook, singing sweet songs. But
how could the sunbeams coax the water drops to come up into the sky
country? Surely the ocean, or the river, or even the little laughing
brooks could not be carried up so high!

But the little workers were not a bit discouraged, and they began at
once to shake the water drops apart. The little particles of water no
sooner felt the sunbeams shaking them than they said to each other,
“Come, now for a long ride.” And sure enough, up, up, up they sailed in
the boats of air, helped on by the sunbeams. But as they rose higher in
the air suddenly they began to shiver, for just then Mr. North Wind came
rushing along. How the poor little vapor mass shook, and then suddenly
began once more to form into drops! And some little children, far down
on the earth below, looked up at the sky and exclaimed, “See the dark
clouds up there!” while their mamma said, “It is going to rain.”

In a few minutes the little drops felt as if they were being pulled back
to earth, and starting from the cloud which was holding them, they said
to one another, “Now for a race!” And soon, patter, patter, patter, came
the sound of the rain, and the little drops once more were back in their
earth home.

Ah! how the flowers lifted their drooping heads and smiled then. If you
had been very close, you might almost have heard them sing, “God is
good! God is good!”


                             BRASS BUTTONS.


LITTLE Ruth Cleveland, when she was the baby of the White House, had no
very exalted idea of her father’s great office.


Saturday, the weather being balmy and springlike, one of the policemen
who guard the private portion of the White House grounds took his little
daughter with him to enjoy the pleasant surroundings. The little girl
was not quite six years old. While the policeman was pointing out the
beauty of the grounds to his little daughter, Ruth and Esther Cleveland,
under the escort of their respective nurses, left the mansion for a run.

Ruth ran ahead of her nurse, and on discovering a girl of her own age
surveyed her from head to foot. After looking the little girl over Ruth
straightened herself up and said:

“My papa is President; who is your papa?”

The policeman’s daughter replied: “My papa is a policeman.”

Ruth glanced up at the burly form ornamented with bright brass buttons,
and hanging her head in an abashed manner, said, “I wish my papa was a

How often we think that the things we have not are better than the
things we have!


                          WHERE ARE THE BIRDS?


HAVE you heard, children, that the bluebirds are nearly gone from our
country? Other families of singing birds are going fast, and by and by
it may be that we shall have only the sparrows and other birds that have
no beautiful colors or sweet songs.

All this is true, and many good people are feeling very sad about it.
Where are the birds? Alas! They have been killed—thousands, yes,
millions of them—for the feathers that you see in the shops and that
ladies and little girls wear on their hats!




                             NEVER GIVE UP.


“I WILL get it right,” said Harry to himself, stopping just long enough
to toss the hair out of his eyes. “There’s a way to do it, and I’m not
going to give up, see if I do.”

“O, come on, Harry,” called Will; “what’s the use of hanging on so?”

“What’s the use? Why, when I begin I don’t like to give up beat, and,
what’s more, I don’t mean to.”

And Harry didn’t give up, and by and by the figures all came straight.


 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

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