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American 'Pract Societg,
IO EAST 23d STREET, NEW YORK.
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.
SOME MISSIONARY FLOWERS.
SHE said they never had any flowers," said Madge
She said most of them never even saw any," said
Harry still more gravely.
See said zey did n't know what zey were," said little
Polly in the most tragic tone of all.
The three little Dennison children were sitting on
the side-piazza steps eating their supper of bread and
milk, as they liked to do on summer evenings. They
could look through the open door, and see their father
and mother at the table chatting together. They could
join in the conversation if they wished, and if any of
them wanted more bread and milk-which they always
did-all they had to do was to jump up and run to mam-
ma and get it. The little Dennisons generally enjoyed
their picnic teas very much, but on this particular after-
noon they were talking about something which made
them all feel rather sad. It had been announced in
Sunday-school the previous Sunday that a branch of the
New York Flower Mission had been established in
Hillsdale, and the lady at whose house the flower depot
was to be, had asked all the children to contribute to it.
The flowers were to be sent to the city every Wednes-
SOME MISSIONAR Y FLO WERS.
day and Saturday. Some were to be given to little
sick children who had to lie on beds of pain in hospitals,
while others were to be given to those who were well
but who could not get out into the blessed country and
gather such treasures for themselves. The lady who
spoke described very feelingly the joy of these poor little
waifs-some of whom had never even seen a flower--at
having bunches of the beautiful fresh blossoms put into
To the little Dennisons, who had lived in a world of
flowers all their lives, this seemed a sad state of things.
Their hearts were full of pity for the poor little city
children, and they resolved to gather flowers for them
regularly every week. After supper they had a talk with
their mother about it, and she told them she would be
very glad to have them do -it. So the next morning they
all started together for the daisy-fields, which were not
far away. Any children might have been happy in such
a meadow, for a lovely brook ran babbling through it,
with ferns and wild forget-me-nots growing upon its
borders, while in the meadow itself were crowds of
big white daisies, together with plenty of splendid but-
tercups, yellow and shining, sure to reflect butter under
any little chin. Then, in the corners, along the fences,
grew companies of clover, red and white, a tangle of
grasses and wild blackberry-vines skirted the wayside,
and there were sumach and elderberry-bushes along one
side like a hedge.
Each of the children had a basket and a pair of dull
scissors. They cut the flowers with long stems, and
sprinkled them from the brook to keep them fresh.
When they each had a basket-full they took them
home and divided them into bunches, which they tied to-
gether loosely. Then they laid them lightly in the baskets
again and carried them to the lady who was to send
them to the city. She was delighted when she saw them.
" Ah," said she, these little wild flowers are the prettiest
One morning Polly had an inspiration: I 'm doin'
to send my biddy-hen's eggs to a sick little girl wiv' the
flowers," said she.
"Yes," said her mother, "that is a nice idea. I will
send some fresh eggs, too." So a dozen of eggs were care-
fully packed and sent to the city with the flowers.
Then Harry picked some wild blackberries, and sent
Finding that they were acceptable, they sent harvest
apples, peaches, pears and grapes in the same way.
Then Madge thought of another pretty thing: she gath-
ered pretty bunches of seeded grasses, and wheat and
oats, and rye, and Harry cut a quantity of cat-tails;
and last of all the autumn leaves came, and the children
dried those, and pressed delicate green fern-leaves to go
with them; and what a revelation they were to the little
WHEN Uncle Jack asked Rose what she would
like for a birthday present she answered, without the
least hesitation, Please, Uncle Jack, a parrot."
So on the morning of her tenth birthday Rose and
her uncle started out hand in hand to find a parrot which
would exactly suit the little lady. Rose was very par-
ticular, but she felt that she would know her parrot.
when she saw it.
Uncle Jack took Rose at once to a beautiful aviary,
where all sorts of birds were for sale, one room of which
was kept for parrots alone.
There were great creamy cockatoos, with their yellow
crests, which Rose declared looked exactly like bunches
of celery, sticking up from the tops of their heads; and
there were dear little love-birds, who stood with their soft
green breasts pressed together as if they could not bear
to be parted. There were beautiful gray parrots with
crimson wings, and others, equally pretty, in green with
yellow epaulettes. Some of the parrots could talk, others
had never learned, while others still were not the kind
which talk. Rose wanted a talking parrot. Rose ex-
amined them all with great interest, but for some little time
she did not see one that she wished to have for her own.
Finally a little voice behind her said, Scratch my
head. Oh, please scratch my head."
Rose turned, and there, clinging head downward to
the wire netting, was a pretty green parrot with yellow
tips to her wings. She was looking at Rose with round
yellow eyes, and as Rose looked at her she said again, in
exactly the same way as before, Scratch my head. Oh,
please scratch my head."
"You cunning thing!" said Rose, and she reached up
her hand and gently stroked the yellow crown. The
parrot seemed to enjoy this very much. Pretty Polly,"
she said in a satisfied way. Pretty Polly."
Oh, uncle," said Rose eagerly, "I want this one.
Buy this one, please."
What is her price?" inquired Uncle Jack of the
That one is twenty five dollars," answered the
man, taking Polly and setting her, right side up, upon his
wrist so that she might be seen to the best advantage.
" She is one of my best birds. She has an excellent dis-
position, and she learns easily."
Twenty-five dollars seems a good deal to pay for
a bird," said Uncle Jack, but if that is the one you
want I think we must have her." So they paid the man
his price, and Polly was put in a cage and they took her
home with them.
She proved to be a very intelligent bird, and soon
learned to know all the family, though from the first her
favorites were Uncle Jack and Rose. She would carry
a letter or any light article to him in her beak, whenever
she was bidden to do so. And when he said "Polly,
please find my glasses," she would search about the
room, hopping on chairs and table, until she found them,
when she would bring them to him with a funny little
chuckle; and she always expected to be rewarded by a
gum drop, a supply of which Uncle Jack always kept in
the pocket of his house-coat for that express purpose.
Polly was rarely confined to her cage. A perch was
placed in the bay-window for her among the flowers, and
there she would sit for hours amusing herself by gazing
at the passers-by.
She loved Rose very much and would go with her
all about the house sitting upon her wrist. She learned
to call the dog very cleverly, and when Fido came run-
ning into the room she would laugh. Poor Fido did not
know what to think of such treatment, and when he found
he had been deceived he would go out of the room look-
ing much disgusted. Fido did not like Polly.
Parrots are very long-lived birds, and Polly lived
with Rose for many years, in fact until Rose grew to be
a lady, and was married, and had several little boys and
girls of her own. When Rose's first baby came they
thought Polly was a little jealous, for she moped and
seemed cross for some time. But after a while she learned
to love the little Rosebud, as they all called her, and she
enjoyed the society of the children very much; they often
had good times playing together, and Polly enjoyed a
romp as well as any one.
THE TOMPKINS FAMILY.
THEY lived in the toolhouse. A box with some hay
and a piece of carpet in it was their bed; two flowerpot
saucers, one for meat and another for drink, were all
their dishes. Some people would have felt very poor at
having no more than that, but they did not; they felt rich
and happy. They each had a very nice suit of clothes
which fitted them perfectly, and though they wore them
both day and night, never taking them off, in fact, yet
they did not get soiled or tumbled; and if ever they got
a spot on anywhere their mother never scolded a bit, she
just took her pretty pink tongue for a clothes-brush and
licked the place until it was clean-and that was all there
was about it. She used that same tongue, too, for a
washcloth, and washed their faces for them every morn-
ing. You see, the Tompkins family were not people,
they were kitties. Mrs. Tompkins was the mamma cat,
and Benny, Bob, and Buttons were her three babies.
You can see the three kittens in the picture now.
They are having a frolic just outside the toolhouse door.
Buttons is the little white one with black spots. Benny
is the one in the flower-pots, and Bob is hiding in the
watering-pot but Buttons has found him.
Mrs. Tompkins is Edith's cat, and she loves her
little mistress dearly. She is never afraid to let her
babies play with Edith, for Edith always plays very
THE TOMPKINS FAMILY Y
gently and never teases them. When Edith comes out
with a ball, or a spool tied on to a string, the Tompkins
family are glad. The kittens begin to frisk at once, while
their mother sits peacefully in the sunshine, with her
tail wrapped about her pretty paws. When they are
tired of play Edith goes to her hammock, and Mrs.
Tompkins and her family always follow after. The
hammock is swung very low, so first Edith gets in and
lies down comfortably, then Mrs. Tompkins hops after
and calls the babies to come too, so they jump up. Then
they all cuddle down cosily together and take a little nap.
Sometimes Edith has a picture-book and sometimes she
goes to sleep too.
Once Bobby Tompkins did something that was quite
naughty, but being only a kitty he did not know how
naughty it was. He went upstairs all by himself, and
trotted along the hall until he came to grandma's room.
Grandma was in the parlor entertaining a visitor, so
nobody saw him. Master Bob played about for some
time, and got into a good deal of mischief. He tipped
grandma's neat workbasket over on the floor and chased
the spools about; he got at her knitting-work and pulled
the needles out, and tangled the yarn; finally, after ac-
complishing all this, he felt tired, as well he might, and
looked about for a bed. Grandma's bandbox was sitting
on a chair, and in it was her best bonnet. The cover
was off, for grandma was interrupted just as she was
putting her bonnet away. Bobby was used to going to
bed in a box, so perhaps he thought this had been pro-
vided expressly for him. Anyway, he hopped in and curled
himself down, right in the crown of the bonnet itself,
and went fast asleep. When grandma came back to her
room it was all in confusion, and the naughty little sprite
who had wrought all the mischief lay cuddled down in
her best bonnet fast asleep.
"Well, I never!" said grandma looking quite pro-
voked. Then Bobby looked so cunning she laughed, and
called Edith to come and see him, and to take the little
Edith took master Bob up in a minute and carried
him down to his own house, and she told Mrs. Tompkins
she ought to take better care of him, and not allow him
to be such a trouble. Then Edith ran back to help
grandma straighten her room.
What a time she had picking up the spools! Some
were under the bed and some were under the bureau, but
finally Edith picked them all up and then she sat down
and wound them all neatly, and put the basket in nice
order, while grandma repaired the damage to the knitting-
LENA was a dear little girl who lived with her papa
and mamma and four younger brothers and sisters in a
small white cottage which stood by itself in a green and
shady yard. Lena's papa and mamma loved all their chil-
dren dearly, but they did not have much money, and they
both worked very hard to feed and clothe their little
brood; so none of the children had many toys.
Lena had to work also; she washed and wiped the
dishes, dusted the furniture, ran on errands for her mam-
ma, and, best of all, she helped to take care of her little
brothers and sisters, and she was always kind and good to
Lena was a happy little soul. She did not mind
going without things usually, but there was one thing
which she did long for with all her heart, and that was a
dolly-" a real dolly "-as she used to say. She had a
funny little old doll made out of a corn-cob, with a cloth
face, and clothes-pins for arms. She loved old Betsey,
and took care of her faithfully, but she thought if she
could only have one of those lovely dollies with real hair
and blue eyes, which she sometimes saw in the arms of
their fortunate little girl mammas, she should be perfectly
happy. She used often to fancy she was soon going to
have such a doll, and she would plan pretty little dresses
and coats and hats for the dolly of her dreams. She had
even decided upon her name: it should be Florabel; but
she never expected to really have such a doll, for she knew
that it would cost far more than her papa could afford.
Beautiful things, however, sometimes happen in this
world of ours. All the good times are not in Fairyland.
A young lady for whom Lena's mamma did washing
.often came to the house, and Lena was quite a favorite of
hers. One day this young lady saw her with old Betsey
in her arms.
Is that the only dolly you have ?" asked Miss Catha-
Yes, ma'am," answered Lena with a smile. "She
is n't a very pretty doll, but she is always good."
I am sure of that," answered Miss Catharine, reach-
ing out her hand for Betsey without smiling in the least
at the funny old thing. "' Handsome is that handsome
does;' and I am sure there could n't be a better behaved
,doll than Betsey."
When Miss Catharine went home that afternoon she
said to her mother, Mamma, I am going to be a good
fairy for once in my life. Just you wait and see if I do n't."
That very day she went down town, and when she
came home her hands were full of parcels. After that for
several days up in Miss Catharine's room there went on a
great amount of cutting and fitting and sewing of all sorts,
while the bed looked as if a rainbow had been dropped
upon it, it was so full of bright silks and ribbons; and all
this work was being done for a young lady with flaxen
hair, blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a tiny smiling mouth
where two little white teeth were always showing-a young
lady who was, in short, a beautiful French doll. When
everything was finished Miss Catharine packed the pretty
clothes in a nice little trunk which had been bought ex-
pressly for the doll. Then she took the doll and the trunk
both to Lena's house one night, after dark, and set them
both on the door-step; the doll with her back leaning
against the trunk and her pink parasol in one hand, while
she held a little note with the other. The note said, I
have come to be Lena's doll; please take me in." Miss
Catharine tapped at the door and then slipped quickly be-
hind a lilac-bush.
Lena opened the door herself, and when she saw that
lovely vision she could scarcely believe her own eyes, and
it took her mamma some time to convince her that the
dear doll was meant for her very own. When she was
assured it was so, however, she was the happiest little girl
in all the village. She could not rest, of course, until she
had unpacked the trunk and examined every one of the
dainty garments. Then she undressed Florabel and put
on her little nightgown and took her to bed, and fell asleep
with the doll in her arms. And since that time Lena and
Florabel have spent many delightful hours together.
KATIE AND GYP.
KATIE wanted a dog-a nice little dog; not so little
that she would have to carry him about, nor so big that
he would knock her down if he jumped against her. She
talked about him a great deal, and planned what she
would teach him and how she would train him.
He will be the beautifulest dog, mamma, and just
as cunning !-if I can only get him. Do you 'spose he
will come on my birthday, or will I have to wait till
One beautiful May morning, when it was neither a
birthday nor Christmas, nor any other special day, some-
body walked into Katie's room while she was asleep; he
was dressed all in black and white fur, and he had a pink
ribbon around his neck. He walked about the room for
some time and smelled of the furniture, the carpets, and
the rugs; finally he jumped on the bed and looked at
sleeping Katie. He walked cautiously up to her, and his
sharp little nose went sniff, sniff, sniff as he smelled of
her rosy hands and her yellow hair as it lay tossed up on
the pillow. Katie stirred. Somebody sat very still and
looked at her hard. Katie opened her eyes, and there,
within reach of her hand, sat a little curly dog. Katie
rubbed her eyes-she thought she must be dreaming. She
stared at doggie and doggie stared at her. Finally Katie
spoke. Doggie," said she softly, "are you my doggie ?"
KA TIE AND GYP.
Doggie gave a funny little wink, as if to say, "I
know all about the joke."
Katie laughed, sat up, and held out her arms. "Oh!"
cried she, I believe you are my very own dog. So come
here to me."
When Katie said that, doggie got up, wagged his
tail, came at once to Katie and licked her hand. Then
how Katie did hug him! He was Katie's dog, and they
loved each other from that very minute.
A cleverer, better-tempered dog than Gyp it would
be hard to find. Katie fed him always with her own
hands, and washed and brushed his curly hair so that he
was always clean and glossy to look at. She saved her
pennies and bought him a fine ball to play with, and was
as kind a little mistress as a dog could wish for.
She taught him a number of pretty tricks, though it
took time and patience to make him understand what she
wished him to do. The first thing he learned was to sit
up on his haunches and speak for his dinner, as you see
him doing in the picture. Then he learned to hold very
still while Katie placed a crumb on his nose, when he
would toss it into the air and catch it in his mouth as it
fell. He would also take the letters from the postman
and carry them to Katie, and when Katie would say, Lie
down in your tracks, Gyp. Lie down in your tracks," Gyp
would drop to the ground at once wherever he chanced
to be. He followed Katie about .as closely as if he was
her little shadow, and if it was not best for him to go he
had to be shut up until she was well out of sight, and
even then he would sometimes scent her footsteps and fol-
low her. He followed her to church in that way once,
and walked quietly up the aisle after her, to the amuse-
ment of the congregation. She did not see him till she
turned to enter the pew, and there was the little dog look-
ing at her very pleadingly, as if to say," Please let me stay
with you." Katie's mamma whispered to her to let Gyp
come in and lie down at her feet; so he did, and he kept
perfectly quiet and disturbed nobody. When the minister
saw him after church he patted his head, and said he
wished everybody always behaved as well in church as
Gyp. Whereat Gyp wagged his tail, well pleased.
I have not the time to tell you of all Gyp's pretty
tricks and manners. You would have to see him for
yourself to know them all; but I am sure I have told you
enough to have you agree with me that he is a very dear
and clever little dog.
WHEN Rob and Laura woke up that March morning
a keen wind was blowing through the valley and driving
the snow in drifts against the doorstep. The buds on the
boughs were tightly wrapped in their tough little winter
sheaths, and not a flower was stirring under ground. Ap-
parently -spring was, as Rob said, "miles away," and they
were yet in the dead of winter. By-and-by the snow
-ceased to fall, though the clouds still hung heavy and
grey above the trees. The children were standing in the
bay-window looking out on the white lawn, when sud-
.denly they heard two notes of music fall upon the air not
far away. Rob and Laura stared at each other in great
-surprise. Presently the two notes came again.
Was that a robin ?" asked Rob.
"Where could a robin come from ?" returned Laura.
They began to look about eagerly in every tree and
"I see him!" cried Rob. He is right here, in this
"I see him too said Laura; and, sure enough,
there he sat, his little red breast puffed out and one cold
foot drawn up under his feathers; but not a bit disheart-
ened or afraid was he. Every once in a while those two
clear, brave notes sounded, "Cheer up! cheer up!" though
-no breakfast could he find far or near.
The children ran to their mother. Mamma," they
cried, spring must have come and we did n't know it, for
here is the dearest robin out in the spruce-tree, singing."
"A robin singing this morning!" exclaimed their
"Yes," cried the children, "singing; and we must
give him some breakfast right away."
They wrapped themselves up warmly and took a
plate filled with crumbs, crept softly, out to the spruce-
tree, and sprinkled them upon the snow.
"Don't be afraid, little bird," they called gently.
"Come down and eat your breakfast."
The robin was not afraid; he flew down directly, and
began to eat as if he were very hungry.
"I am going to call him my robin," said Rob, "be-
cause I saw him first, and the next one we see you may
Laura agreed to this, and the bird was called Rob's
Robin from that time. He soon learned to know the
children, and would follow them from tree to tree as they
played about the grounds, and they never forgot to keep
plenty of crumbs sprinkled under the spruce-tree for him.
After a few weeks spring came indeed, and with the
warm, beautiful weather the children thought their robin
might leave them and seek a home in the woods. But
no, he loved his friends too well. He chose a mate and
brought her to the spruce-tree to begin housekeeping.
Laura called the little wife hers; so then each of the chil-
26 FIRESIDE STORIES.
dren had a robin. How interested they were when the
pretty pair began to build! They contributed various
bits of soft yarn and cotton for the house-furnishing, and
Laura even cut off one of her own silky curls and hung
it on a bough. Mrs. Robin evidently liked it, for she
flew down at once and took it and wove it into her nest.
Soon four blue eggs were laid on their soft bed, and
then the patient little mother brooded over them -for three
long weeks, while her faithful little husband brought her
food and sang to her to beguile the weary hours. When
the baby birds were hatched both the father and mother
were busy from dawn until dark filling the hungry little
mouths, while the children helped as usual with crumbs.
All through the long summer the birds and the chil-
dren were friends, and when the autumn came and the
robins flew southward the children felt lonely enough.
After they were gone Rob climbed up into the spruce-tree
and got the empty nest, which they would need no more,
and brought it into the house, and kept it as a reminder
of the happy days which they had spent together.
FRITZ AND HIS SKATES.
FRITZ -was a little Dutch boy. He lived in Holland,
that brave little country which the sea encircles so closely
that the people have to build high banks, or dykes, to
keep it from overflowing the land.
Every boy in Holland can skate of course, for in
that country everybody skates-men, women and children.
The country is crossed by canals which go in every
direction, and people skate upon them to business, to
church, to school, and to market, as well as just for plea-
sure. To help them to go faster still, the boys sometimes
rig a sail such as you see in the picture. When they
have on such sails, and the wind is at their backs, they
can skim along like birds.
Fritz lived with his grandparents on a farm about
five miles from the town, and in the winter he used to
skate to school every day on the canal which bordered
one side of the farm, and every Sunday he and his grand-
father skated to church, taking the grandmother with
them in a comfortable arm-chair which was on runners.
Fritz loved his grandmother dearly, and always saw
that she was well wrapped up and had a warm soap-
stone under her feet when she went out. She was quite
infirm, and it was only on the bright, still Sundays that
she could go to the house of God which she loved so
FRITZ AND HIS SKA TES
well. -It was for this dear grandmother that Fritz took a
skate one cold night that he never forgot.
It was shortly after midnight, one cold night in
January, when she was taken suddenly very ill. Grand-
father got up and raked open the fire, heated water and
applied all the simple remedies there were in the house,
but the suffering grew constantly worse. At last he came
to Fritz's bedside and woke him. "Thy grandmother
is very sick," said he, and thou must dress and away to
the doctor with all speed."
Fritz's fingers trembled as he hastily dressed himself,
for he could hear his grandmother groaning in her room
"Haste! haste," called his grandfather as Fritz ran
down the stairs. Tell the Herr Doctor that this attack
is like the others only it is far worse, and beg him to
Fritz seized his skates and his sail and ran down to the
canal. I will be as quick as I can," he called as he went.
In a moment he had on his skates and his sail was
at his back. The wind was just right, and he skimmed
along like a bird. "Dear God," he prayed, help me to
get to the doctor's in time," and on he went faster than ever.
The wind was bitterly cold and the stars were shin-
ing. Fritz was only eleven years old, and he had never
been out in the night so late before, but he never thought
of being afraid. If he could only get to the doctor's in
time it was all he cared for.
In a few minutes he had reached the town. He flung
off his sail and skates, scrambled up the bank, and ran at
full speed through the silent streets ; he soon reached the
doctor's house, and seizing the knocker he knocked so
hard than the echoes resounded through the street.
"Who is that ?" cried the doctor, thrusting his red-
nightcapped head through the window.
It is I; Fritz Ritter," cried Fritz breathlessly, and
he gave his grandfather's message.
Before he had well finished the doctor jerked in
his head, slammed down the window and dressed in
haste. Soon he came out in his great fur coat, cap and
gloves, with his skates in one hand and his medicine-bag
in the other. His long strides left little Fritz far behind,
but Fritz did not mind that and he followed on as fast.as
When Fritz reached home he found the doctor
sitting by his grandmother's bed, and she already was
able to give a faint smile to the trembling, panting boy,
who was so tired he could hardly stand. His grandfather
helped him off with his cap and coat, and chafed his cold
feet and hands, and gave him a cup of hot soup to revive
him. Then he kissed him on both cheeks.
God bless my boy," said he. Thou hast saved thy
And Fritz answered softly, I prayed the good Fa-
ther in heaven, and it was he who helped me to do it."
WHEN Jack went out to his grandfather's farm, one
summer, he found that old Madge, the Shetland pony, had
a dear little colt only two weeks old. It was a beautiful
little creature, not so large as a Newfoundland dog, and
grandfather gave it to Jack for his very own. Jack could
hardly believe that such good news was true at first; but
when he was sure that grandfather meant just what he
said he thought he was the happiest boy in the whole
No other boy can be so happy as I am," he cried,
"unless he has just such a little colt, and I don't believe
there is another such colt anywhere."
And Jack hugged grandfather, old Madge, and the
colt too, in a transport of delight.
You -do n't have to bring up that colt all by your-
self," said he to old Madge, I'11 help you;" and so he
did. Old Madge and her baby scarcely had a minute to
themselves from morning till night. He was full of ad-
vice and suggestions, some of which, I am sure, would
have made-old Madge laugh in her sleeve, if she had only
had a sleeve to laugh in. But she was a very wise and
kind old pony, who had brought up at least half a dozen
colts very nicely, and she knew very well that Jack was
only a little colt of a boy himself, so she allowed none of
his doings to disturb her; besides, she was fond of him,
JACK'S PONY 33
.and often, after she had licked her little sheltie's glossy
.side, she would turn and give Jack's brown cheek a kind
lick also. So they got on very well together.
Jack named the colt Noble, and when Noble was old
enough to feed Jack always brought him his meals him-
self, measuring his food very carefully just as grandpa told
him. He also curried and rubbed him down, morning
.and night, so that his brown coat was as smooth as satin.
Noble was always treated so kindly that he was as
gentle as a dog. He used often to put his head in at the
dining-room window when the family were at meals and
give a little coaxing whinny, hoping for a treat; you may
be sure that a little piece of bread and salt or a lump of
sugar was always given him. Once he came into the
kitchen and pattered across the kitchen floor after grand-
mother when she was going into the pantry.
For two years master Noble did nothing -but eat,
drink and be merry, but during his third summer grand-
father said Jack might halter-break him; so a pretty new
halter was bought for him, and one morning Jack took it
to him in his box stall and let him look at it and smell of
it.' Then he carefully put it on him. It took some time
to do this, for Noble, of course, did not understand what
was wanted; so le tossed his head and played a good
deal, but Jack was patient and spoke gently, and at last he
was able to fit the halter on him. Then he led him out of
doors and walked him about for some time.
When he was quite used to the halter Jack taught
him to take the bit. At last he saddled him, and got
on his back.\ Noble hardly knew what to think of all
these new experiences, but he loved his kind little master
and tried to understand what he meant with every new
thing that he taught him.
After a while he liked very much to take Jack on his
back and give him a ride.
The first time he went to the blacksmith's shop, to
have heavy iron shoes put on his neat little hoofs, he
was very much frightened, although the blacksmith spoke
kindly to him and did not hurt him at all. Jack soothed
him as well as he could, but when it was over poor Noble
trembled a good deal. After a few times, however, he be-
came used to the blacksmith, and did not mind being shod.
When Noble was three years old grandfather let Jack
take the little fellow back to the city with him, and they
went together for a gallop in the Park every fine day.
IN THE SWANWHITE.
SANDY, Charlie, and Maisie-look as if they were all
alone in this pretty yacht, for Sandy is holding the -tiller
while Charlie has little Maisie' snuggled down close by
his side; but papa, mamma, and Uncle Aleck are all
forward, and are keeping a bright lookout for the small
sailors who sit aft.
When Uncle Aleck brought the Swanwhite to Green
Cove all the Gardners were much surprised and delighted,.
for they thought he was still far away in his big ship on
the other side of the world, and when he announced that
he and the Swanwhite had come to spend the whole
summer with them their joy became positive rapture:
for one of the nicest things in the world is to have a
sailor uncle, who is kind and jolly and full of sea stories,
come to stay for a good long time in one's house.
Uncle Aleck took the family many delightful trips
in the Swanwhite, but' I think the nicest time of all was
when he took them to see Duck Island Light.
Duck Island was a sandy bar at the entrance of the
harbor, about five miles from shore. On it was a splendid
lighthouse, with one -of the finest lights on the coast.
Many a time, when the children had seen its beams
shining over the water, they had wished to go to see
it, but they never could go until Uncle Aleck took them.
It was a beautiful day when they started. They
IN THE SWANWHITE.
had some big lunch-baskets in the little cabin, snugly
wrapped in tarpaulin so that the salt water could not touch
them; for a stiff breeze was blowing, and every now and
then a' little spray came aboard though the yacht skimmed
the waves like a sea-gull. She was not long in reaching
Duck Island wharf. They were all ashore in a minute,
and soon were knocking at the lighthouse door. Mrs.
Frank, the keeper's wife, opened it, and readily consented
to show them .all over the place.
The house was built of stone, with solid stone foun-
dations. It looked as strong as a fort. And it had need
to be strong, for in the winter, when the sea was lashed
to fury by the tremendous ocean storms, the wind and
waves would beat against it with such force that only the
strongest house could stand the shock.
It looks very pleasant here now," said Mrs. Frank
smiling, but in winter, when a gale is blowing, my hus-
band and I cannot hear each other speak sometimes
for the noise. And it often happens that he cannot go
ashore for a month or' six weeks, the sea is so rough.
We always keep two months' provisions in store during
the winter season."
Then,she took them up the winding stair which led
to the tower and showed them the great lantern, with
its beautiful lenses polished to a crystal clearness and the
wicks of the lamp perfectly trimmed and ready for light-
ing, and said that its rays would shine for more than five
miles over the ocean.
The children listened to all these tales of storm and
tempest while they looked out over the beautiful sunlit
sea with white gulls sleeping upon its breast, and it
seemed impossible that it could ever be so furious and
cruel. While they were talking Capt. Frank came in
and drew Maisie to his knee. "Well, little maid," said
he kindly, "how do you think you would like living
here in the rough winter weather which they are talking
I should like it," answered Maisie earnestly.
You should?" said the captain much surprised;
"would n't you be frightened ?"
I would try not to be," said the little girl with a
brave look in her blue eyes. "If you were my papa I
would help you tend the light, and if you were sick and
could n't go up the stairs I would go and sit by the light
all night myself, and take care of it, so no poor ship
should lose her way and be lost in the storm."
"Why, bless your little heart," said the captain, I
will try to be as faithful to the light as you would be if
you were here."
Please do," said Maisie; "because my Uncle Aleck
is a sailor, and if he should be sailing by here in his big
ship he might need the light very much, you know."
Uncle Aleck shall always have it, so set your little
heart at rest," returned the captain smiling.
Then they bade the captain and his wife a kind good-
by and sailed merrily home.
ALL ABOUT A PICNIC.
AUNTIE DEL was going to a picnic. Mamma and
she had been making frosted cake and biscuit and chick-
en-salad all the day before, and the things did look so good
as they sat in a row on the pantry shelf.
The children crept in and looked at them with their
hands clasped behind them, lest they should be tempted to
touch; and they lifted their little snub noses into the air
and sniffed the delicious smells, and wished and wished
they could have a taste of them.
"Run away, children; run away," cried Auntie Del.
" Molly, wont you send the children out of doors, or some-
where?-they are sure to be nibbling."
This was too bad, for the children were true little
trusties, and never would have done such a thing.
Run away, little dears," said mamma gently. "I '11
make this up to you to-morrow. You would n't touch, I
know, but trot out with yourselves."
Next morning the children all stood in a row and
watched Auntie Del- and a nice young man drive away to
the picnic together, with the basket of delicious lunch
under the seat, while Auntie Del herself made quite a pic-
ture, in a sweet pink muslin gown and with her hair done
in a very becoming fashion.
The children gazed after her wistfully as she kissed
her hand to them gayly when she drove out of the gate.
ALL ABO UT A PICNIC
How delightful it must be, thought the little folks, to be
grown up and able to have such fine times !
The children's mamma looked sweetly at them.
" Now, all you tiny-wees," said she, if you will each do
your bit of work well you shall have a nice picnic lunch-
eon out by the arbor-vitae bushes, and dear old Rover
shall be your company. I have something nice for
each one of you. Even Rover shall have a delicious
Then all the children clapped their hands and jumped
up and down, while Rover wagged his tail.
By-and-by, when all their tasks were done, their faces
were washed, hair brushed, and clean frocks were put on,
and Rover had his coat brushed too, so that they were all
as fresh and sweet as could be. Then mamma gave them
a big basket, which she had already packed with goodies,
while Rover's bone was wrapped in a paper by itself, and
the children set out, marching two by two to a green and
shady nook where they often used to play, and Rover fro-
licked beside them.
When they were all seated on the grass, May, who
was the eldest, asked a reverent little blessing, as children
should always remember to do when eating by themselves,
and then they began to unpack the basket. The lunch in
it was delicious-just as nice as Aunt Del's. There were
such nice biscuits, with cold chicken; and pretty little
frosted cakes, and there was a bottle of milk and a bottle
of cocoa. Besides all this, down in the bottom of the
basket were two rosy-cheeked peaches apiece for each one
How many times the little people said "Oh'!" and
"Ah !" and Is n't mamma good !" while they were setting
out all these nice things, I could never tell.
Rover waited like a gentleman until Robbie gave
him his bone, and then they all began to eat very happily.
They all shared bits of chicken and cake with Rover,
while the baby, who said she had a little house all by her-
self under a big umbrella, also divided with a shiny black
cricket who crept into her lap and ate crumbs dust as if
he was used to 'em," to her great delight.
After the luncheon was over mamma brought her
sewing out and sat under a tree and told them stories.
After a while, when it got cool out on the croquet ground,
they played croquet-mamma, too-and that was a great
When Auntie Del came home they greeted her with
shouts of "We had a picnic too, and our picnic was just as
nice as yours was!" And when they had told her all about
it Auntie Del agreed that they had had just as nice a
time as she had.
A LOST DAISY.
MILDRED and Mabel were playing with their paper
dolls under the chestnut tree. They each had a dolly
house and a box for a doll's trunk filled with the most
beautiful paper clothing. They were having a delightful
time when Mabel's mamma called to her:
Mabel, I am 'going to send Daisy out to you now
for an hour or so, for I shall be very busy in the kitchen.
Take good care of her."
Oh, dear!" said Mabel fretfully. "Now she will
want to do everything we do, and that will spoil all our
Presently little Daisy came trotting out. Here I
come, Mabel," she called gleefully. Mamma said I
might play wiv you and Mildred now. Will you give
me some of your dollies, and help me to build a dolly
house like yours ?"
"Oh, Daisy," said Mabel, "I haven't any dolls to
spare; besides, you tear them so !"
Daisy looked at her sister reproachfully, and it
seemed as if she was about to cry. So Mildred, who
was a little neighbor, said hastily, "Don't cry, Daisy;
here, I '11 give you Mrs. Peach."
Mrs. Peach was not a very pretty doll. Mildred had
made her herself, and used her for a kitchen-maid.
Fank you," said Daisy, gravely accepting the doll;
A LOST DAISY.
"but I do n't fink you are very kind, Mildred, to only
give me Mrs. Peach."
Oh, Daisy," said Mabel, "don't be such a bother.
Go and get some of your playthings-can't you?-and
bring them out here to play with."
Daisy's bright little face clouded over, her lip quiv-
ered, but she walked back to the house without a word,
while the two older little girls resumed their play. At
first they felt a little uneasy, though they would not have
owned it: then they forgot all about poor Daisy, for they
were in a very fascinating part of their play.
But Daisy could not forget so easily. She sat down
on the piazza steps a few minutes looking very grieved.
Then she said to herself decidedly,
I is n't goin' back. They's naughty to me. I wis'
I knew what to do till mamma comes." She thought a
minute, then her face brightened. I know," said she.
" I '11 take myself a walking' like big ladies does. I '11 get
a bastick an' go an' pick flowers." She started at once,
and the little trotting figure disappeared down the lane.
By and by mamma came out, smiling, with a plate
of cookies in her hand; suddenly she stopped short.
"Why," said she, "where's Daisy ? Did n't she come
to you ?"
"Yes," answered Mabel, but-but-she went back
to the house for some of her playthings."
Mamma set the cookies hastily down upon the
bench. Has she been gone long?"
"She only stayed with us a little while," faltered
Mabel, and we forgot about her."
"Then she has been gone more than an hour," said
mamma anxiously. Run quickly to the field and tell
John to come and help me to find her. Then come back
and search all about the house and the garden for her.
Daisy! Daisy!" and mamma set off at a run.
They searched the house, the barn and the garden.
They looked down the well, and in the cistern, while
mamma grew more frightened each minute.
Meanwhile little Daisy had trudged down the lane,
and out on- the big road," now chasing the yellow but-
terflies, now pausing to listen to the chirping of the birds
in the hedges, until she came to a big meadow filled
with tall grass and nodding golden-rod; between the fence
rails she squeezed, basket and all, and sat down in the
shade of a sumach-bush to rest. There her mamma found
her talking to the flowers-which had proved to be
pleasanter companions than her own little sister and Mil-
My darling," said her mother, how could you run
away and frighten mother so?"
I did n't run away. I dust taked myself a walking .
I was tumin' home pretty soon," answered Daisy.
They took her home, and when Mabel saw her she
flung her arms about her little sister's neck and burst
into tears. "Oh, Daisy," she cried, I '11 never be so
cross to you again."
THE SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP.
IT is a fresh spring morning in the picture, and the
kind shepherd has led his flock to the pleasant pasture.
It is a beautiful place. There are trees in the shadow
of which the sheep can lie down when they are tired.
The grass is short and tender, and a.cool brook is near
where they can go and drink whenever they wish. The
lambs feel so happy that they frisk and gambol about on
the soft grass until they are tired. Then they nestle
down by their mothers' sides and go to sleep. They are
not afraid, for they know that their inothers are near, and
that the brave, kind shepherd will not let anything harm
In the. other part of the picture it is twilight, and a
dear little baby has gone peacefully to sleep in his
cradle while his mother watches by his side. She has
gently undressed him, and laid him in his little white bed
and has sung to him till he has gone sound asleep.
Somebody else is watching by the baby, too, though
you cannot see him in the picture. It is Jesus, who is
the Good Shepherd who takes care of the whole world.
He calls the old people his sheep, while the children are
his lambs, whom he dearly loves.
No little boys or girls need ever be afraid of the
dark, or of anything else. If they are Jesus' own lambs
he never will forget their, but will love and take care
of them always.