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before she started; how she put the tea-kettle on the lefthand corner of the fireplace, and took such a careful look about to see if everything was right, before turning the key. When they got out into the fields, they both enjoyed the fresh air as only industrious people can--every breath they drew seemed such a treat.
Uncle Tim went over fences and stone walls like a squirrel ; and as to Kitty, her merry laugh would ring through the woods till the little birds would catch it
and echo it back again.
Then, when they got home, they had such a good appetite for their bread and milk. Oh ! I can tell
Uncle Tim and Kitty were as happy as the day was long.
HOW JOWLER BRINGS SAD NEWS TO UNCLE TIM.
Now, one day Kitty asked Uncle Tim to let her go blackberrying. She said she knew a field where the berries were as thick as grass. Uncle Tim couldn't go with her because Sam Spike, the blacksmith, was in a hurry for a pair of boots to be married in, and of course Sam could not wait for all the blackberries in the world. Tim, therefore, stayed at home, humming and singing, and singing and humming; while Kitty, tying on her calico sun-bonnet, and slinging her basket on her little brown arm, trudged off with Jowler.
Jowler was very good company. Kitty and he used to have long chats about all sorts of things. Kitty always knew by the way he wagged his tail whether he agreed with her or not. When any other dog came up to speak to him, he'd look up into Kitty's little freckled face, to see if she considered the new dog a proper acquaintance; and if she shook her head, he'd give the stranger a look out of his eyes, as much as to say “It's no use," and trot on after Kitty.
Well, Jowler and she picked a quart of blackberries, and then Kitty started for home, - Jowler taking his turn at carrying the basket in his mouth whenever Kitty happened to spy any flowers she wished to pick. At last, having plucked all she wanted, she thought she would take a shorter cut home across the fields, and down on the railway line. So they trotted on, Kitty singing the while.
By and by they reached the rail. Kitty looked: there were no trains coming as far as she could see.
To be sure there was a curve in the road just behind her (round which the
eye couldn't look), but she wasn't afraid. Just then Jowler dropped the basket and upset the blackberries. Kitty was so sorry,—but she stooped down to gather them up, just as a train whistled like lightning round the curve of the road. Poor little Kitty was crushed to death in an instant !
Jowler wasn't killed, -faithful Jowler,-he trotted home to Uncle Tim, who sat singing at his work. He leaped upon him, and whined, and tugged at his coat, till Uncle Tim threw down the blacksmith's boots and followed him, for he knew something must be wrong. Perhaps Kitty had fallen over a stone wall and lamed her foot-who knew ! So Jowler ran backwards and forwards, barking and whining, till he brought Uncle Tim to the railroad.
Was that crushed mass of flesh and bone little Kitty ?his Kitty ?-all he had in the wide world to love?
Uncle Tim looked once, and fell upon the earth as senseless as a stone. Ever since he has been quite crazy.
All he cares to do is to draw up and down the road that little wooden horse that Kitty used to play with, hoping to coax her back to him.
Poor Old Tim! Will you throw another stone at him, boys ? Oh, no-no! Pick a flower and give it him, as Kitty used to do; take his hand and walk along with him : maybe he'll fancy that you are little Kitty. Poor Uncle Tim !
A NOBLE ACT.
THERE lived a certain man who had reached a great age, and who had amassed* much wealth. Not having hopes of living much longer, he divided the bulk of his property among his three sons. But he set aside a jewel of great value, which he determined on giving to that one of his sons who should perform the most noble act within three months. Father,” said the eldest one day,
a person entrusted † me with a sum of money: he was quite a stranger to me, and he had no acknowledgment # in writing, so that I might easily have kept it. But when he came for it I gave him back the whole, refusing his offers of remuneration.”] The father replied, “ Your act was one of justice.”
The second son approached his father, and said: “I was walking along the edge of a lake when a child fell in ; and at the risk of my life I plunged in, and brought it safely to its distressed mother on the shore. Was that not a noble act, father ? ” “No, my son ; it was but the instinct of human kindness.”
The youngest son then said: “One dark night I found my mortal enemy asleep on the edge of a precipice, without his being aware of it. The slightest movement on waking would have plunged him down the fearful abyss. I took care to rouse him with proper caution, and then directed him to a place of safety." "My dearest son," said the father, embracing him, “the jewel is thy due.”
* Amassed, collected, acquired in large quantities. † Entrusted, deposited in the confidence of its safety. | Acknowledgment, statement declaring the receipt of a thing. § Remuneration, reward, compensation for trouble.
REWARD FOR WELL DOING.
I ONCE entered a school in the country, and found some little boys and girls at their reading lesson. I very soon saw that they did not in the least understand what they were reading about. When I explained to them all about it, they were quite surprised to find that they had actually been reading a story.
The story was about two boys who had gone out to play, and who had been told by their mother to be home again at half-past eight o'clock. Robert was too fond of the sport, and wanted to stay longer; but John was determined to keep his promise.
Now, John might have thought of obeying his parents by keeping his promise, and clearly enough he would have then been the better boy of the two; but that did not appear in the story: it turned out that something nice was to be the reward of their punctuality. Thus John's eagerness
go home was at least open to the suspicion of being selfish. I tried
very hard to get my little class of girls and boys to suppose a better reason for John's being home at the proper time than the expectation of the promised cake or plum pudding, or whatever it may have been. But it was of no use. The inward pleasure John ought to have felt for having kept his promise could not strike them as an ample recompense. Perhaps the vision of nice things, which the story had roused, was too fresh and vivid in their minds to allow of their thinking at all.
I think that it is a bad thing for a boy or a girl to do well for the sake of getting a reward; and still worse for persons, who ought to know better, at least to promise a reward for good behaviour : as if doing well were not a benefit in itself.
THE BLACKBERRY SPRAYS GATHERER.
Never, surely, was man more fond of a blackberry than I. With all its thorns, the bramble is a favorite with me; it first gives me pleasure with its purple stem, green leaves, and white flowers, and then feasts me with its delicious fruit.
It was autumn; more than half September had rolled away, and I had not plucked a single blackberry. I set off to a hedge which had often provided me with a bountiful feast. There the spiky thorn formed a barrier which cattle could not pass, and there the bramble flourished in all its glory. Alas ! I was disappointed of my treat, for not a ripe berry could I find.
Trying to make the best of my little disappointment, I walked on, and soon after saw a poor fisherman coming towards me with a basket. The very sight of the basket encouraged both hope and expectation.
“ Have you been gathering blackberries ? " said I.
"I have, sir," replied the man; “but they are scarce enough at present; by and by there will be enough of them."
As the man spoke, he removed the lid of his basket that I might see his store; and a goodly store it was. Some of the berries were certainly red, but the greater part of them were black. Do you
sell them ?” said I. “No, sir," said he, “I don't. I get them for my wife, who is uncommonly fond of a blackberry pudding."
“That does not at all surprise me,” said I. “The blackberry is good, eat it how you will. It is good cooked or uncooked, in a pudding or a pie, plucked from the bush or picked from the basket. May I have a few ?
As many as you like, sir," was his frank reply; so I set