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For The Children

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"Mollie, do y ou think that you could walk over to your UncleSimon's rancne to-day, and teil him tliat the cattle dealers wiil be here to-morrow and I would be glad of his help in separating the cattle to be sold trom the herds that remain?" asked a pioneer on the Dakota prairie one morning before starting out to his herds. And Mollie, a bright, winsome child of nine summers- undaunted by the f act that her uncle's ranche was five miles away, with only a path leading over the iresh, green prairie, and no house between- answered quickly: _ "Of course I can, papa. How long can I stay to play with my cousins? "Your únelo will bring you homo tfils ovenino-; and, if you start now, you will have several hours to stay," replied the father. "I should not send you were ít not positively necessary for me to go m another direotion this morning, and you surely know the way." "I know cvery step," sbe answereil, earnestly. . . "Take plenty of time. It 18 a long walk for such a little g'rl, but you área pioneer's own daughter and will not miad it," he said, gazing proudly at the active little creature, who was bustling about after a clean apron and a sunbonnet. "Mmd it? I guess not! Just thinfc what a nice walk it will be! and such a good time afterward! Annie and I went a-iishing the last time I was there and „n,,r,i,f a n!nn st-.rinc of trout. and found a prairie hen's nest." . , Mollio had ncver crossed the prairie alone, but sho was perfeotly familiar with the way. The path was well vrorn and, with the whole day before her, ït seemed easy enongh. So, taking a bountiful luncheon of bread and butter with slices of cold, boiled venison, she set out gleefully. It was in what you would cali the "leafy month of June," but we cali it the "grassy" month, and the little girl followed a path leading out upon the prairie over long, easy slopes, and across wiele stretches of level ground coveredwith fresh, green graas and sprinkled all over with bright-colored Üowers as far as her sharp little eyes could see. There were beds of wildpinks very much resembling your own beautiful phlox tb. at you tended with so much care cluring tne sumuiui months- only yours covered but a few feet of soil, while hers extended over acres and acres, and then gave place to vast fields of wild roses, with every shade of coloring, from deepest blush to lightest tint- with opening buds bathedin dew, their bright crimson petáis contrasting beautifully with the dark green covermg from which they were bursting into the glory and sunshine of a summer's morning. 'Oh! if you wouldbehold nature in all the beauty and blooni of her primitivo wildness, visit the prairie in June! Away over the blooming ■wilderness walked the child, her gleeful song startlino- the prairie fowls irom their coverts as she warbled in the fulJness of her happiness, now stopping to culi the brio-htest buds and fairest flowers, and anon standing to watch the flight of some joyous bird, as it winged its way through the cloudless sky above her head. More than two miles of the way nao. been passed, when sudüenly a wil a goose, followed by four goslings, crossod her path. "O you sweet, little dears!" she exclaimed, dropping her flowers and running after them . excitedly; "vvhat fine pets you will make, if I can only catch you and take you home." The mother-goose rose upon her wings and circled round and round above her, while the little ones run hither and thither to hide in the grass, eluding her grasp and escapina: cvery time, just a3 she thought she ha3 thern. Butshewas a perse vering little body. and she followed on and on, goingfartherfrom the path, until she carne to a large pond. The old goose settled upon it, and utterino- a peculiar cry, called the little ones from the grass, and they plunged into the water and swam out oeyonu me reach of the eagor little hands stretehed out to take them. Sho stood gazmg after them with a look of disappointment for some time, then turned to retrace her steps back to the well-beaten path from which she had wandered, put she hadpaidno attention to thodireotionin which the coming bird was leading her, and, instead of going back, she started off in a widely diverging way. On and on she went, thinking every moment that she should find the path, but she walked mrle after mile and her feet grew weary and her eyes tired of looking, but still did not find the way. The gladsome song was hushed and the features so lately radiant with joy and happiness wore an anxious and troubled look. enough to get out of the right path, but it is another thing to get b a o k again." Think, my young friends, if at any time during your lives you have wandered from the path of right and found difficulty in returning to the way that was perfectly plain and easy to follow as long as you did not forsake it or allo w alluring pleasures to tempt you from it. Mollie did not notice the beauty of the landscape now, but anxiously scanned the horizon to see if somewhere in the distance she eould discern the trees which surrounded her uncle's house, she saw only the blue sky arching over and one wide expanse of grass and flovvers on every side around her. Again she started on and walked until she grew so tired that she threw herself upon the grass and cried until she went to sleep, ne sicpt ior au iiuui ui tvvo, then ate her luncheon, and walked on again. At length, away in the distanco, she saw some trees and went toward them as fast as her weary limbs could carry her. The sun was far down in the west when she reached it, but it proved to be only a narrow skirting of timber aronnd one of those lovely little lakes so often found upon the western prairies ; thero was no human habitation near, and Mollie cried again in her loneliness and disappointment. She began towander about aniong the trees, and at length, near tho roots of one which had been blown down by the wind, in a sheltered rock lined with leaves and resetnbling a dog's kennel, she found two little animáis. "O you dear little puppies!" she taking the little creature in her arrns. "Some wicked person has carried you off and left you to sterre; how lonely you must bë away out hiere all alone; but I' 11 stay with you to-night and in the morning FU be rested, an:l I'll take yon home with moif I can find the way, and i'f I don't papa will hunt me np tomorrow." So she cuddled down in the den witk hor nmv found oompanions,which sniflecl and nestled around her in a very íriendly manner, but they wore not deserted pupies by any means, butyoung wplves, with a mother without the lenst intention of deserting them, for she was at for supper. She sat hugging tho little creaturcs to her bosom (it seemed so good to have them with her in her lonelmess) and occasionally glancing outtoward the lake, when she saw something coming along tho shore toward her. "It looks like our dog Nero," she said, shading her eyes with her hand and gazing intently as the animal carne snufling along the track by which she came. Nearer and nearer it approachcd, and sure enonghit was theirlarge herd dog, which had gone with her f al her that morning to help drive the cattle. "O you dcar, darling old dog!" she said, joyfully, "you' re come to show me the way home, but I can't go to-night, my feet are so tired, and we 11 stay right here all night." The dog snuffed about suspiciously, but iinding that Mollie would not come away, ho laid down fey her side. One by one the stars came out and twinkled brightly overhead, and every now and then she heard the splash in the water as a buay beaver or muskrat plungcd into the lake, or the quack of an unfortunate duck as it uttered ono cry as it was being drawn under the water by som e marauding mink. It was a wild and lonely place to pass the night, and the littlo girl clasped her arms tightly around the neck of her shago-y protector and whispered, "O .Nero! 1 SilOUlU mivu uuuil au uiu ix you hadn't come!" But at length the tircd head drooped low upon the back of her faithful friend and in spite of her Btrange and wild surroundings the weary ehild feil asleep. borne time during the night the dog sprung up with a savage growl and Mollio could not prevail upon him to lio down again, but round and round the spot he walkcd, cvery nowaud then uttering a threatening growl, but keepino- close to the child all tlietimc. Af ter 3 time the little girl went to sleep with her pets again, but the faithful sentinel never for an instant relaxed his vigilancc until the morning dawned, and with the first distinct light carne a rifle shot, ana a great. gauni wun icii urau not twenty feet froni the spot so f aithfully guardad through all that long and lonely night. The dog gave a joyful bark, and the next iustant Mollie's fatlier and únele emerged froni the bushes and stood looking in mute astonishment upon the scène before them. A single glanco at the innocent child in the den of the savage animal affectionately clasping the young wolves in her arms, while the dog stood by; looking froni her to his master with an expression of almost human intelligence, told the story plainer than words could have expressed ït, ana tne eyes 01 ui father filled with tears as he caressed the sagacious animal, saying: "You noble oíd soldier! the last loaf and the last blanket shall be shared with you before you shall ever know. hunger or eold." The dog had returned from the herd, missed the child, and followed her in all her long walk, and the father, wondering that his brother did not come, rode over to see, and together they hadhunted all night long for the little wanderer who had passed the hours in this strange place.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat