SUN-DAY AT HOME.
WHEN I-da went home, and took Spot with her, the chil-dren said, "We shall see I-da on Sun-day, and Spot, too!"
But the first Sun-day af-ter Aunt Kate went back it came on to rain so hard, that it would not do to try to drive in-to town.
Rose, and Tom, and Ned said they did wish the rain would come some oth-er day, and not on Sun-day.
But their mam-ma told them they must try to have a hap-py Sun-day at home.
So she read to them a nice sto-ry from the Bi-ble, a-bout the good man who was put in the den of li-ons, and the li-ons did not hurt him, for God kept him from all harm. Do you know the name of that good man?
Then they sang some hymns, and they each got a verse from the Bi-ble by heart, to say to their pa-pa.
This was the verse that Rose learn-ed:-
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they fol-low Me."
Rose knew well that it was Jesus Who said this.
This was Tom's verse:--
"They that seek the Lord shall not want a-ny good thing."
And lit-tle Ned got this verse to say:-
"God is love."
Then they went down to see the kit- tens, and play with them till din-ner.
Af-ter din-ner, they each had a slate to draw up-on; and Rose and Tom tried to draw a pic-ture of Dan-i-el in the den of li-ons. Ned said he would draw a big li-on, too; but his li-on was all mouth and teeth. Mam-ma gave Rose and Tom a pic-ture to draw by, and they tried to make theirs like it. Did you ev-er see a real li-on?
When they were all tired of draw-ing, and look-ing at pic-tures, their mam-ma read to them a lit-tle book, which they
all liked to hear. The name of the book was "Em-ma; or, The Child that Je-sus Call-ed."
Rose was very fond of that book. She could read it now her-self, but she liked best to hear her mam-ma read it.
So, for all they had to stay at home, the chil-dren had a hap-py Sun-day.
We may be sure of a hap-py Sun- day, if we will try to keep it ho-ly; for God will bless His own day.
THE next Sun-day was a clear, fine day; but Rose, and Tom, and Ned did not get in-to town, to go to church, for their pa-pa was sick.
He had come home sick two or three days be-fore, and had been sick in bed most of the time since.
The lit-tle ones were ver-y sor-ry for their pa-pa, and they took great care not to make a noise near his room, for fear they might make his head ache worse.
They were glad to be sent up or down stairs, to get an-y-thing their pa-pa might want.
In fact, pa-pa said he had such good care, he must soon be well.
Rose liked to sit by her pa-pa, with a fan, to keep off the flies.
Once Ned saw her do this, and he said, "Let me keep flies off now."
So Rose gave him the fan, and put him up on the edge of the bed. He could not make the fan move ver-y well; he hit his pa-pa's nose with it. So he put it down, and kept the flies off with his hand. If he saw one come, he would call out, "Shoo, fly! don't bod- der pa-pa!"
Once mam-ma let Rose take up the tray, with some tea, to her pa-pa. She held it with great care, but just as she got to the foot of the stairs, Net, Tom's kit-ty, came and made a jump on her, to get her braids, and came near mak-ing her drop the tray.
Jane had put her hair in braids that day, to see how it would look, and kit seemed to think it was just for her to play with.
But Rose held fast to the tray, and all the harm kit-ty did was to shake a few drops o-ver, from the cup.
As I said, Mr. Dale was not a-ble to go to church on Sun-day, and as mam- ma had to take care of him, none of them could go. So they had an-oth-er Sun-day at home.
Mam-ma had to be in the sick-room
most of the time, so she could not read to them so much.
But Rose read to Tom and Ned, and kept them still some time.
Then, as it was a fine day, they could walk in the yard and gar-den; and they play-ed go to church, under the trees in the yard, and sang some hymns, and read some ver-ses.
THE CHIL-DREN'S TRI-AL.
PA-PA was soon well once more, and could go a-gain to town.
The first day that he went, when he came home, he said to the lit-tle ones,-
"I saw Aunt Kate to-day, and she says it seems an age since she saw you tots. She says she wants mam-ma to bring you all in to spend the day, as soon as she can. Do you think she can coax you to go?"
"0, I wish she would just try," cried Rose. "Mam-ma, do you think you can take us soon?"
"I think I mean to do so quite soon," said mam-ma.
"0, good! What day shall we go?" said Tom.
"I can-not tell now what day, but I want to go the last of this week, or the first of next week."
The chil-dren were full of joy at this news, as you may think; for they thought it nice fun to spend a day in town at Aunt Kate's.
But the next day, as Rose was read- ing her les-son to her mam-ma, she gave a lit-tle cough. Mam-ma look-ed at her, but did not speak; but soon she heard the same sound a-gain, and then a-gain.
Her mam-ma did not tell her then that she thought the whoop-ing cough had come, for she thought it might be a cold; but she told Jane to watch the chil-dren when they were with her.
The next day, Jane came to Mrs. Dale, and said, "I think they have the cough, ma-am, for sure; Tom has been cough-ing two or three times this morn- ing."
"Yes," said Mrs. Dale, "I heard one of them in the night, but I could not make out which it was."
' 'Poor lit-tle things!" said Jane; "they have so set their hearts on that trip to town, and you will not dare take them, will you, ma'am, for fear of lit-tle I-da?"
Rose had come in, just in time to hear this.
"Why, Jane," said she, "what do you mean ? Why can't we go to town ? What is the mat-ter with I-da?"
"Noth-ing the mat-ter with I-da, my love; but the truth is, we think you have got the whoop-ing cough, at last, and Tom, too. Now you know, dear, how Fred and Nell gave it to you; in the same way, if I were to take you now to Aunt Kate's, you would give it to dear lit-tle I-da."
Rose did not speak; she look-ed at her mam-ma, and then burst in-to tears, and cried quite hard. Tom heard Rose cry, and he ran in, and stood to look at her. Then he said, "Why, mam-ma, what is the mat-ter with Rose?"
"I wish, I wish," said Rose, with a sob, "that Nell and Fred had not come here with their old bad cough."
Just then Tom gave a cough, and that made him think what Rose could mean.
"Why," said he," have we got whoop- ing cough now, mam-ma? Why, Ro-sie, nev-er mind! it don't hurt a bit; and we can have some can-dy, as Fred did, to make us well! "
"But, Tom, just think! we can't go to town at all, for fear we will give it to I-da!"
"0! Now that is too bad!" cried poor Tom, with a stamp of his foot; and he look-ed as if he would like to have a good cry, too.
"There, there!" said mam-ma; "cheer up, now, my dear chil-dren; do not take these sad looks and wet eyes down to pa-pa. Cheer up, and by and by we will talk a-bout this; it may not be as bad as it seems."
Mam-ma spoke in a kind tone, that made Rose lift up her head, and dry her eyes.
"That is my good girl," said her mam-ma. "Now come, let us go down to prayers; pa-pa must be wait-ing for us; where is our Ned?"
"He has gone down to pa-pa; he said he would be first, and so he was, for I had to stop to see what was the mat-ter with Rose."
THE TALK WITH MAM-MA.
PA-PA took pains at the ta-ble to say all the fun-ny things he could think of, to make Rose and Tom laugh and feel hap-py a-gain.
Then, when he had gone, Mike call-ed them all to go and help him in the gar- den; he gave them each some-thing to do, e-ven fill-ing lit-tle Ned's cart with weeds, for him to draw a-way.
So they had no chance to feel bad-ly, till they came in to their books.
Then Rose gave a sigh, and said, "How long do you think it will be, mam- ma, be-fore we can go to see Aunt Kate?"
"I can-not tell, dear; it may be six or eight weeks; it may not be quite so long; I do not know how bad the cough will be, with you."
"Have we got to cough as hard as Fred did? I should not like that."
"I hope not; it may be light, so that you will not mind it much."
"Well, I do wish it had not come till we had been to Aunt Kate's; I don't see why it must. Can't we go to church, mam-ma?"
"I fear not, dear child; I do not think it would be right, if we are sure you have the cough."
Rose and Tom look-ed at each oth-er, and each wore a ver-y so-ber face in- deed.
"Rose," said mam-ma, "this is a hard tri-al for you and Tom; do you know what I mean by a tri-al?"
"It is some-thing that makes us feel bad-isn't it?" said Rose.
"Yes, but it is some-thing, too, that God sends us for our good.
"God gives all his dear chil-dren tri-als of some sort to bear, so that they may learn to love Him best of all, and to give up to His holy will.
"Do you know what I mean, my love?"
"But, mam-ma," said Tom, "God did not send us this bad cough; it was Nell and Fred who came and gave it to us."
"But God let them come, my boy; He could have kept you from it, if He saw fit; and that is why I say God gives you this tri-al,-1 mean, this hard thing- to bear.
"Now, my dar-lings, you know God loves you more than I can, and He would not let this come to you, if it were not for your good.
"So you must try and bear it well, and not cry, or fret, or feel vex-ed, if you can-not go where you want to, nor e-ven if the cough should make you sick, and give you much pain.
" That is the way for you now to show that you love God, and that you feel sure He loves you, and will do what is for your good."
The lit-tle ones did not say much, but they seem-ed to think of what mam- ma had said, and I think they did try to bear their tri-al well.
THE NEW COCK AND HENS.
A-BOUT this time some friend gave Mr. Dale some fowls of a rare breed, that he had wish-ed to have: they were a cock and two hens.
The cock was a fine, large bird; it was fun to see him strut a-bout the yard, as if he were the lord of all in those parts. He had no fear of a-ny-one, but the lit-tle ones were half a-fraid of him, he- was so bold.
One day Ruth gave Tom a turn- o-ver, that she had made for him; and he had on his bib, and sat out on a bench, near the wood-shed door, to eat it.
Up came the new cock, as pert as could be, close to Tom, as if to say, "Give me some of that."
Tom put up his arm, and be-gan to cry; he thought the cock had come to peck at him.
Ruth saw it, and she came to the door and said, "Give him a bit, Tom; that is what he wants; he will not hurt you."
So Tom broke off a bit, and threw it him; but he got up, and went in-side the shed to eat the rest.
"That bold fel-low makes me think of lit-tle Sue Lee and her black-ber-ries," said Ruth.
"What was it? What did she do?" asked Tom.
"When I lived with Mrs. Lee," said Ruth, "they had a fine, large, white roos-ter, whose name was Tim, or Tim- o-thy.
"Lit-tle Sue was just three years old, and Tim was near as tall as she, if not quite.
"One day Sue's pa-pa brought in a good hand-ful of black-ber-ries,-the first we had seen.
"He put them on a lit-tle plate, and gave them to Sue. She thought they were ver-y nice, and went and stood on the door-step with her plate, to eat them. "Tim saw her, and as he was such a pet, he seem-ed to think she had come out to feed him; so up he came, and pick-ed up the berries, one by one, till he ate them all.
"Poor lit-tle Sue stood still till he was done, and did not say a word; then she ran in, cry-ing, ' Tim-i-ty stole all my back-ber-ries.'
"We could not but laugh to think she did not dare drive him off. But her pa-pa told her Tim was a real thief, and he would look out and try to find some more ripe ber-ries for his lit-tle girl."
"Did he?" asked Tom.
"0, yes; there were lots of them soon."
"What a nice lot we got when Aunt Kate was here-did-n't we?
"0, dear! now this old cough has come, I s'pose we can't go to ride at all!"
"Why not?" said Ruth; "you wont give your cough to the woods-will you?
"They say a change of air is the best thing for whoop-ing cough; I dare say, now, your mam-ma will try to let you have more rides than ev-er."
"That is good," said Tom; "I like you, Ruth."
Tom did not know what made him say that; but I know; it was be-cause Ruth tried to say some-thing to make him hap-py, when he was with her.
And Ruth and Rose did their best to take care of the lit-tle boys, so they should not miss her. Ruth told them nice tales, and Rose read to them; and when Ned had a hard fit of cough-ing, Ruth sat down to rock him in her arms.
But they were all glad to see pa-pa and mam-ma come back.
Rose felt paid for try-ing so hard to take care of the sick ones, when her mam-ma gave her a good kiss, and said she was a dear lit-tle help-er.
Aunt Kate sent them a box of nice grapes, which was a fine treat for them.
THE LIT-TLE NURSE.
RUTH was right a-bout the drives. Mr. and Mrs. Dale knew it was well to let the chil-dren have the air a good deal; so Mike drove them out each clear day, and twice their pa-pa came home in time to take them to the Lake for a nice row in the boat.
Rose's cough was light; it did not seem to make her sick; but lit-tle Ned, who had be-gun to cough too, had it quite hard, and so did Tom.
Their mam-ma and pa-pa, and all, did all they could to cheer up the sick chil-dren, and make them hap-py.
Mam-ma did not leave them to go to town to spend the day. she said she should wait till they could go too.
The first Sun-day af-ter the cough be-gan, she staid at home with them, and their pa-pa went a-lone to church.
The next Sun-day, Rose heard her pa-pa ask her mam-ma if she would go that day.
"I do not know what to do a-bout it," she said; "it is four weeks since I have been to church, and I want to go ver-y much; but I do not like to leave the chil-dren, and it is Jane's turn to be g-one, too; I don't know how they would get on with Ruth all day."
Rose ran in and said, "Now, dear mam-ma, you can go as well as not; I am not sick a bit, and I can help take care of Tom and Ned, and Ruth is real kind to us."
"Well, love, I will see a-bout it; you are a dear, good girl to wish me to go; I will see if the lit-tle boys think they can spare me."
But Rose took care to get the first word with the lit-tle boys, and she did not find it hard to coax them to say they did not want mam-ma to stay at home with them.
So Mrs. Dale went to church, and had a good day of rest.
THE next week Ned did not cough so hard, but poor Tom grew worse and worse.
In a few days more he seem-ed ver-y sick in-deed; so sick that he lay in the bed all the time, and when the cough was not on, he-lay with his eyes shut, pale and weak.
Two doc-tors came from the town to see him; and one of them had to come twice a day for some days.
One day Rose heard Jane say to Ruth, "Poor, dear lamb, he will not last long at this rate; if he does not get bet-ter soon, he will be worn out."
Then Rose be-gan to see that her mam-ma look-ed worn with care, and that her pa-pa, too, was sad; and she knew they were a-fraid that Tom might die.
Rose could not bear to think of this at all. When she heard a-ny word said of how bad poor lit-tle Tom was, she would rush out of the room, and throw her-self on her own lit-tle bed, and cry.
One day her mam-ma saw her do so, and she went af-ter her, and sat down and took her in her arms.
"Rose, my love, do you cry be-cause dear Tom is so sick?"
"0, mam-ma," sob-bed poor Rose, "Jane said that day that it would be all for the best for us to have whoop-ing cough now; but it was not a-ny such thing! for it will kill my own Tom."
Her mam-ma could not speak at first, for you may know her heart was sad.
But soon she said, "My child, we will hope Tom may yet get well; we will pray God to make him well, if it be His will. But if not, dear Rose, our good God knows what is best for our Tom; He will keep him, e-ven if He takes him from us."
"But mam-ma, it is right to pray to God to let Tom live, is-n't it? I could not do with-out Tom, mam-ma."
"Yes, dear, it is right to ask this, if we try to feel all the time that God knows best, and to say, Thy will be done."
"Why, that is in the Lord's Prayer, mam-ma."
"Yes, that is in the Lord's Prayer, dear child; you may learn now what it means. Now I must go to dear Tom, and my Rose will pray for Tom, and for pa-pa and mam-ma too."
Rose did pray with all her heart, and she felt bet-ter af-ter this, for she felt that God would take care of Tom.
Tom did not die; in a few days he be-gan to gain, to cough less, and to take some food; and soon he be-gan to sit up.
0, how glad Rose was! And lit-tle Ned, too, was full of glee when he could talk to Tom once more.
One day, when Tom was much bet-ter, Mrs. Ray came to see them all, and brought Nell and Fred with her.
Mrs. Ray said to Mrs. Dale, "0, you do not know how bad-ly my chil- dren felt when they knew your lit-tle boy was so ill. They could talk of noth-ing else; they seem-ed to think they had kill-ed him."
In the mean-time, the five lit-tle ones had a talk by them-selves.
Rose had felt as if she did not want to see Fred and Nell a-gain.
But when she saw how sor-ry they had been, and how glad they were that Tom was most well, she could not keep her un-kind thoughts.
So they were soon all mer-ry and hap-py, at play. And I hope these five dear lit-tle ones did not for-get that it was the good God Who had kept them from death, and made them well, and full of joy a-gain.
Here I must end this book; but I will make an-oth-er book, to tell you more of lit-tle Rose, and Tom, and Ned.
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