Press enter after choosing selection

A Story For The Little Folks

A Story For The Little Folks image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Kitty Lyman was feeüng very happy and healthful. öhe l'kcsd to ba oí use to her mamma, and no pet name of tho many that she said ever pleased hei like " Little Housekeeper." She was only five years old, scarcely tall enongh to keep the bright red border of the " glass-towel " iron touohing tho floor, but for all that she was helping vvipe the breakfast-things for the first timo in her life. Not much " help,'i for her mothor could have wiped all the eups in the time it took Kitty to polish two spoons - and the little figure in its high cheek-apron was sadly bothersome, dartiog about in the restless way peculiar to active children, vvhile her tongue prattled on in a deaf'ening stream of questiotis her mother did not pretend to ansvver. " I shall be nix j'ears old my next )irth-day; shan't I, mamma? Shall be as tall as you - wel!, most as tall - as tall as the door-knob - and go to chool as Louis does ? Oh ! L shall jet ahead of Louis fust enough - don't you think I will ? be can't dry the cups and saucera." " No, it's not a boy's work, but papa is going to teach hini work fit lor a boy. I heard hirn say yestorday that he was t.oo large now to play all the ti.-ne." "I guess not," said Magter Louis, who was hanging about the store-room oor, and inspecting the pies on tlie ovver shelf, that had just como in from he kitchen, "I'm not going to work!" " Papa will eee to that," said his nother. nl Suppose you stop swinging on that door, and find your readingjook, it's almost school-time." " Well, but I'm not going to - " " Husn, my son," and Mrs. Lyman nterrupted him before he could repeat lis disobedient sayicg. " Go at once. Come, litïle hotisekeeper, those plates vill be so cold you cannot dry them, if ou stand gazing out of the door. If 'ou could fitay by the table two mintes together ! " It was not wonderful that Kitty ked to take her vork into the sunüine. It was early spring, and the hildren had been shut up in the -ouse so mach during the rainy seaon, that now, sinee the clouds wero gone, and the muddy roads were dry, nd the short, tender graas began to arpet the lawn, they could not enjoy . enough. They were country children nd Iheir papa's house wa3 callecl The Maplea," (rom the beautiful naple trees that ehaded it. They were just putting out pala reen leaves; and in the flower-beds bout the door, the hyacinths, and )ink and white, nodded their fragrant jells, and the gay tulipa were begining to unfold. On tha lawn, the raceful spireus trailed their bridal reaths, and the birds sang; jn the rees above them, Bvery thing was o bright, and pleaeant, and sweet this morning, that Mis, Lyman hereelf ould ecarcely keep in-doors; and ae be looked at all tliis beauty, athought f thanksgiving arose in her heart, tiiat his pleasant place was her home, and hat God had given her these busy itt!e ones, with ampie means to train hifm up for usefulness here, and bapjiness hereattcr. The house itsell was olJ-fashioned, jut very comfortable. The oom in which sho stood, opened on a )iuzza shielded by vines. It was eatly and comfortubly furnished, and he bdght silver and pretty shapes of he china before her bespoke the proewrity oí the fumily. Up-stairs there was a little room uith a green carpet, and white curaina at the window, and a set of oak 'urniture, a bed, and small dressing bureau, and a bookcase filled with fasioaÜPg "juveniles;" and this Kitty nd her little sister Gortrude calied ' their room." So you see they had a great deal to make thern happy - ploasant things iround them, a kind father and mothur, vhose gneatest earthly happiness was tudying the gond of their children; neat and comtortable clothes, abunlance of good, nouiishing food, nicely erved, and not a care or trouble in the world, ejxept euoh as they made ior hemselvüs by naugbtinese. They had all learned the bymn, which I dare say you know - even baby Gertrude could liap it as sbe sat oa her japa's knee on Sunday night : - "ííot rr;ore tlian otliers I dcBerre, Yet God lina given me more, ForJ have food wliile othera starye, Orbeg from door to door." But whether they underetood it or not, we shall eee. "It'sa nice day, isn't it mamma?'" said Kitty? trav.eling to the open door for the ninth time, elovvly rubbiog a oup, with her eyes fixed on the tulipbeds. " A beauty day, as Tooty says; uid O mamma ! here'a sorne one comng - such a qneer little boy--0 dear !" " He has a message, perhaps." I gu.e?s not ; he hasn't got any shoes on, and I guess the gravel cuts bis fnet; and he's only got a pair of trowsers, and a shirt, and a great vest, that comes way down. I think hfl'a a beggarhoy " _ " Where ! callej out Louis, burstinr jnto the room ; and even Tootv craned out her little fat necji froin'the high Qhair by her mother, to see the queer i.tle stranger. It jsa sorry sight, as Mrs. Lyman wenf, to ,m,eet 'him - a miserable littia ögure, ,w.ith a brightj delicate fiice, and .clear blue eyes, but tlicre wira traces of tears on the dirty little cheeks, and the child's hair tfa's matted and I tOMed, as if he had not seen a comí fnr mbntbs. Ilis fróweéti wore mi at the knees, and his only other gar ment bosides his shirt wns n man' vest, that husg about him Kke a coat. Louis ftnted in bpyUh pitriosity, bu Kitty's kind little face workod omi noosly, betraying aütoLishmcnc aac very atronc: sympathy. Mrs-. Lynian went forward as the child shrank back, apparently throuo;! fear. He was but a vcry little taller than Louis, and did not look as utrong " Did you want soine breakfast, my boy ?" she said very kiinily, for hor heart wnsstirrod at such childish want and desolaron. "If yon jilease, tna'am, I'tn hunpri'v." It was no new thing to feed trnvelerson foot at the Maples. Almost cverv day somo woary wayfaivr found rest and food in its hospitable kitohen, wliore the good-natured cook contrived to find " a bit and a sup " for all corners. Ho líitty lost no time in pouring out a cup of milk berseïf, and thon thero was a nico slice of bread already buttored, which Gertrude had lef t on her pi ate. " May I, mamma ? " "Yes, deár;" nd Mrs. Lyman told the boy to sit down on the steps of the piazzu, while Kitty brought the food, with great efforts not tr spill Trom her fuil cup on the üice clean matting. The boy scareely raised his eres, buí drank tho miik with one deep, fu!l draught. Mrs, Lyman did not tpeak .o him again until the bread had ahnost disappeared, but Kitty hovered round nnd replenished the cup, and gazad at :iim, to tho neglect of her housekeeping duties, which her rnother speedily and quielly finished. " Wharo have you been living?" Mrs. ii}' man asKea Kinaiy, as tne enger eye8 were raised with a balf-gratètdl, ïaif-frightened look. "Up on John Taylor's farm, ma'am." "And why did you come avvay ? I ïope you have not run off." " No ma'am, he huntccl me off;"1 and he boy looked quickly over his shoulder towards the road, as f ia dread of i pursusr. "Hunted you off! poor chird." - Chat was tbo shy, nppealing look exictly, the look which had roused Mrs. jyrnari's sympathy tnore than tha boeleea fett or lamished manner. "Yes, ma'am, he got drunk last night, and abusad me and hunted me off at daylight." Atdaylight, ín the cliilliness of early iawn, when her own cliildren were inging and chattering üko so ma'ny ïappy birds, in thjeir cornfortable beds, his ehi'.d, no older than her own boy, who had liever yet been taught what labor meant, was tíying from the blows and angiy curses of a brutal master! There was too much honosty in the story, aüd tho simple wuy io which it was told, for Mrs. Lyman to question its t.ruth. " Here's how he beat me," said the )oy, who had alr-eady learned that oubt and unbelief cling to the unfor unate with their tattered garments; nd he turned back his shirt, esposing he livid stripes on tho iair, white skin, bat migbt have been a baby's. "O mamma! won't father have the wicked man sent to prison?" buist 'rom Kitty's parted lips. " Won't you ceep tho little boy and take care nf ïim ? Haso't he got anv fatber and nother?" " Have you ? " " No, ina'am, thoy'er dead in New Tork, but me aunt lives in Conneetieut, nd it's to her I'mgoing; me uncle jut me with John Taylor when he noved away up there." " Cannoi your uncle keep you with m ? " "No, raa'ara, he's hut a poor man limself, and siek mostly, but he'd t;.ke me in and get me another place inavbe." " What can you do ? " " Most anything, raa'ara ; chop wood, and mind the cows, and icL'd the turkeys, and water the cattle, ma'iiui." 5Irs. Lyman tried to think that she could empioy iiiin, but Wi)lie,Patfick, the present errand boy, who lived wiih his mothor in the villnge, had the strcngest claims. She could only dispatch Mary, her righthand wornan, to the garret for the grcat " give-awaybag," whereio uil such clothus as the children had defaccd or out-yrown were deposited regularly, for just such timos c;t' Deed ; and Kitty, still hovering about tlio w5r boy like a little inother, had the pleasure of findiii": ,vvo oíd jackgts and a pair oí stout hoes, that fittcd him exaetly, and stood )y while he putthem on, and saw his ronry little face light np with the first mile that had visited ie for many a d;iy, vhen he found the eorrfort of them. Louis feit sorry too, but his plavnato, Harry Page, had como for him o go to school, and that diverted his attenüoD; but Kitty scarcely took her eyes from the tad while he rolled up ho eacond jacket and a pair of trow ere Mrs.. Lyman had broughtout, and hanked i.he lady aad the jittle gk a reat nTany limos. " May I eay something to liim,. mamma?" Evidently her rnind was lont on some childish consoliition. " You'vo got one Father left, little )oy, haven't yon V " and her brown eyes ivere raiaed reverently to the rity overhead, and her hands, j-ust buiied o labora oJ love, instinotiveiy pointed upwards. "God takes caro of you novv, doesn't he ï" The boy looUed wonderingly into ïer face. Alas ! to him his Father in leaven seemed as far off and unknown ae the parent who had died in his jabyhood. " She wants to teil you," said Mrs. Lyman, standing botween the two, ' that God is your father if you love lim, and he will always take care of you if you try to picase, him, whatever rappens to you." And who knows but that Kitty'H words of comfort and pympnthy may lave cheored the boy'a lonely, empty ïeart, for all that vveary jnurney, and for the hurd journey of lifo that lay beyond. Ar for the little girl borself, r.he went tnoughtfully tbout the house, and played with her sister, or waited on her mamma, more gontly than fier ■eitk'es satire usuaüy allovved. All diiy ïong sha thought nt times, " what if that had been her dear, dear brother Louw, waudcring about hangry and beaten ! " lier father beard her sebbing ni night, as sho knelt by her mother's knee .o pay her prayers. " Hns Kitty been naughty to-day ? ' he asked his wife, as t.he caine back to the sitttog room. " Oh ! no, unusually good ; but when sho oame to pray for ' all poor little chillren who have no iathers or mothers,' as pbe alwaye does, she burst oulcrying íor a linie boy who was here this ruoroing ; " and theh Mr. Lyinan told the story. " She Rays she never knew beforo how good God Wfis to lier, and Louis, and Oertrude, to give thom 'such a nice home, and kind father an.l mother,' and she wants to bo a better little girl, and pienso Him, when he is so kind to her. You shonld have baard her childish fifith, when she prayed, sobbinf; all the whilo that God would give the littlu boy a place to sleep to-night, and friends to take care ol him. I do believe she has learned how much he has to be thankful !'or, in finding the reality of tho sufforing tiiere is in the world." Havo you learned it yet, little boy and girl, whose homo is as happy as Kitty Lyman's, or do you murmur and eomplain when anything crosses nnd vexes you ? Do you ovor think of the home'ess, wandering ofaildreo, all over the world, who havo no place to lny their heads, and are beaten and thrust out to starve, or stea], or die? God lolp thera, and send them iriends, as Kitty Lyman prayed ; for this i5 a true etory, and may you all come to say in your hearts : "Are these thy favori doy by day, To me abovo the rest ? Thsn let me love thee more than they, ArfÜ trv to serve thee bost."


Old News
Michigan Argus