Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAP. V.

STORIES

FOR THE YOUNGER CHILDREN.

WHAT HONOR MEANS.

66

Henry was a bright little boy, just learning to read. His mother usually spent half an hour with him every morning, sometimes hearing him spell out easy sentonces, sometimes reading stories to him, and at others, she taught him to repeat texts from the Bible or simple hymns.

“ Come to me, Henry,” said his mother to him, one day. “ You may put away your blocks and little wagon first.”

Yes, mother,” said the little boy, and he hastily gathered up the blocks in his apron, and tumbled them into a large basket. - When I obey quick, then I'm a good boy.”

Yes, my dear-I can't read you a story to-day. I have a text for you to learn."

- But mother, I had rather hear a story. Aunt Mary always tells me stories when I want her to. I love to hear stories. Why can't you tell me one?”

"I think it is best to have you learn a verse today,” replied his mother.

Henry, who had never been allowed to tease, had nothing more to say. He repeated pleasantly the verse given him, which was “ Honor thy father and mother."

“ But what does honor mean ?" said he, after repeating it once or twice. « Does it mean to have

man.

the father's and mother's ride on a handsome horse ?" “ No indeed. But why did you ask that question?” Why, you told me about Mordecai and Ha

Mordecai rode on a handsome horse because the king wanted to honor him.”

“I am glad you remember something about the story. Can you tell me why the king wanted to honor him?» “ Yes, mother. Mordecai was a poor man.

He saved the king's life once.

Two wicked men wanted to kill him.”

Yes, that is right. Mordecai had done the king a great kindness, but the king did not make him any present, or reward him in any way. He might have told him he was much obliged to him, but that was al). An account of it was written in a book, and then he seemed to forget all about it. Here were many other things written in the same book. One night, when he was tired and could not go to sleep, he asked some one to read to him, and the person read what was written about Mordecai. Then the king was sorry that he had forgotten Mordecai. He wanted to show him some attention or respect, or to honor him, so that Mordecai might know, and all the people might know, that the king was grateful to him. He thought the best way to do it,' was to have him put on a suit of the king's clothes and to ride on his beautiful horse through all the streets, so that every one might see how highly the king thought of Mordecai.”

- But the word honor in this text means a great deal more. I will tell you when you honor your mother."

“ If I asked you to go down stairs and get my thimble, that I left on the table, and you should pleas

antly leave your play and run and get it, you would honor me."

“ Did I honor you when I picked up my blocks quick and put them away, when you told me ?"

Yes, Henry; so, you see, that to obey is one thing that honor means. Whenever you do cheerfully and quick what your mother tells you to do, and what

you

think she would like to have you do, even if she does not ask you, then you honor her.”

I might be very sick and lie on the bed all day, and not be able to say any thing to my little boy. If you were to be very careful not to make any noise to disturb me and not trouble any one in the parlor or the kitchen, because you knew that if you did any thing that was wrong it would make me very sorry and more sick, then you would honor me. Whenever you help me in any way, or are kind to me, you honor me. You know, you sometimes take care of your little sister for me when I am busy, and go up stairs and down stairs for me when I am at work."

Do you remember Mr. Williams, the man who made your shoes ?"

Yes, mother; he measured my foot with a stick.” “Well, Mr. Williams is a poor man and lives in a small house, but he honors his mother. He was a little boy once and his mother took care of him, just as your mother takes care of you. She gave him his breakfast and supper, and a soft bed to sleep on at night. When he was sick she was very kind to him, and held him in her arms or rocked him in the cradle and watched over him till he got well. Now he is a tall man. His mother is old and feeble. She is blind, but her son is very kind to her. He remembers how kind she was to him. He gives her her clothes, and gets a good breakfast and dinner and supper for her every day. Sundays he leads her to meeting, because she cannot see. He tries to do all he can to make her happy."

“ Now, God wants you and all children, to honor their fathers and mothers by being grateful to them for their kindness, and by treating them with respect and affection.”

THE WALK.

Julia and Maria were twin sisters, only children of Mr. and Mrs. Packard. They resided in a small village, about 40 miles from Boston.

Julia and Maria were about eight years old when their mother was attacked by a fever which confined her for a long time. The little girls were very attentive to her during her illness, and assisted the nurse as much as they could, to make her comfortable.

They both attended school about half a mile from the house. Their mother had requested them to be at home, especially during her sickness, as early as six o'clock, that she might know they were safe, and not feel anxious about them. They had been very punctual for many days, not having failed in a single instance to be in their mother's house, before the clock struck, to receive from her an approving smile. But, one delightful afternoon, in the beginning of summer, Julia and Maria lingered longer than usual about the school-house steps. It was so pleasant, they wished they could go and take a walk. “ It is only half past five,” said Julia, “and we shan't stay long. Mother won't miss us."

They knew their mother would expect them at six, but then, as they had always been so punctual, they thought that just for once, it wouldn't do any hurt to be a little late.

Well, come,-let's go,” said Julia, after they had hesitated for some time. Maria, who was always accustomed to do as Julia did, started with her. She felt a little uneasiness as she turned round to close the little gate, and beheld from the gentle eminence, her own home. Their eyes rested on their mother's room; they saw the shutters were closed, and they well remembered their pale sickly parent was within. But still they concluded to go on. They knew that a little farther on, there was a nest of little birds, and they thought they should like to go and see them. They arrived at the spot, just as the clock was striking six. Oh ! if they could have only known how anxiously their mother was watching for them after six o'clock had arrived, they could not have gone any farther.

Julia and Maria did not notice the striking of the clock. They were trying to find a place, where they could stand and watch the little birds.

66 Oh ! I mean to have one to carry home,” said Maria, and she put her hand into the nest, and in an instant held fast a little bird. How delighted she was, when she held the little prisoner, and thought she could have it for her own.

She did not consider that the parent bird could miss and mourn for it.

They continued their rambles. Maria once fell down, in trying to climb over a fence, and once stepped her foot into a ditch. Julia, too, tore her frock with the thorns on the bushes, and cut her arm, so

« PreviousContinue »