Press enter after choosing selection

For The Children

For The Children image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Coming home from school one day, I found a large pile f wood before our door. "There's work í'or you, Willie," said JSTedBlake, the boy who was with me. "Your father had better do as my father does, hire a man to get it in. It is too much for a boy, mother says; and it will take the whole of Wednesday afternoon. You will have no time for play. Now, Will, I would not do that I teil you." This wii3 the substance of Ned's luik, as we stood before the woodpile; and the more he said, the higher it grew. By the time ho loft me, I began to think myself a poorly used boy, indeed. "There is work for you, Willie," said mother, as I sidled into the kitchen. "Did you see that beautiful wood at the gate as you came in F" "I should think I did!" 1 muttered to myself, but said nothing aloud, only asking how father was. He was UI, and had been for many months; and the family f unds.I knew.were becoming low. "It is a monstrous pile," I at length said, getting a glimpse of it from the window. "So much the better for iu, Willie," said mother, cheerfully. A long winter is before us, you know' Diuuer was soon ready, the table spread in the little kitchen, and father was helped out from the adjoining room by nis two little daughters, one on each side. Father and mother sat down to our frugal meal with thankful hearts, I am sure; the girls chatted as uaual, while I sat brooding over tliat "awful woodpile." I am afraid my chief dish was a dish of pouts. Father asked me several questions, but I took no part in the pleasant table-talk. ""Well, my boy," said father, after dinner, "there's that wood tobs put in. No school this afternoon, so you have time enough. You had better do ït the Crst thing." "It will tako the wholo afternoon," I said coldly. "The boys are going nutting." I was uot sure of tliis, bufc anything in the way of an objection to the wood. My íather said nothing. Dear, dear father! God forgive me for woiuiding his feelings! "Mother," I said, folio wing her hito the pantry, "Ned Blake's father hires a man to get his wood in. llis mother thiuks it is too much for a boy to do. Wby does uot father hire one?" "Ah!" said my mother, sadiy, the Biabes are better off than vve. Your poor father" - Tears carne into her eyes. She stopped. Mary ran in where we were, and I, half ashamed of mysolf, escaped out of the back door. Still, Ned Blako'a words rankled in me, and 1 thought it was too bad; nor did the brisk west wind Wow oiï the fumes of the foolish grumbling which made a coward of me. I sat down on tlio wood-block with my hands in my pockets, and shuffled my f eet amongthe chips iu sour discontent. "It is suca a monstrou3 pile," I said to myself a dozen times. I'resenüy out carne mother. I jumped up. "Willie," she said cheerfully, "l would go to work in earnest. You will soon get it iu." . "it is so moustrous, mother," I said in a self-pitying tone. "It will take me forever, and half kill me iu the bargain." "Forever is a long, long while," she said. "Come, let us look at the pile. It is big, but all you have to do is to take a stick at a time. That will uot hurt you, Willie, I am sure - only one stick at a time: yet ono stick at a time will mako that pile vanish quicker than you think for, Willie. Try it, now." There was a kindnes3 and yet a decisión in my mother's fcones which were iriesistible. She could put even hard thiugs, or what we thought hard, in a very achieveable light. "Only one stick at a time!" 1 cried, jumping up and following her. Really, the pile Beemed already to lessen under this new mode of attack. "Only one stick at a time! What need of a man todo that? One stick at a time! If Ned Blake could not do that, he was a poor tooi." Ah! and a poor tooi he pro ved to be. My mother had got my mettle up, and I boldly went to work. "Father," said I, bolting into the house at a later hour in the afternoon, all in a glow "please teil me what time it isï" "Eight minutes after three," inswercd he, looking at his watch. "Wliew!" I shouted, "and the pile ia mastered!" Never did I feel such a .strong and joyous sense of the power of doing. Finding mother, I put my arms around her neck, and said, "Mother, I was a naughty boy, but 'one stick at a time' has cured me." I did not theu know the f uil value of the lesson I had learned. Years of labor - snccessful labor- havo si nee ed and amply proved its value. When your work looks inaurmouutable and you seem to have no heart to takehold of it, as work many a time will, remeaaber it is only one stick at a time, and go n,t it.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat