|Little Playfellows (1884)|
A little boy was playing with his hobby-horse one day, and making a great deal of noise, when an old gentleman, who lived in the next room, called to him and said, "Can you not play more quietly?" The little boy answered, "It is raining and I can't go out of doors." The old gentleman said, "But can you not make less noise, for I am sick and need rest." The little boy said, "If that is the case, I will not make any noise." When his mother came home, she praised him for his kindness, and said he did right. Little Johnnie, for that was his name, had forgotten all about the old gentleman, when, a week after, a large box came to him on which was written, "To my young neighbor, a souvenir of a rain day." The box was full of beautiful lead
soldiers and cannons, with which he had a great deal of pleasure. When his mother saw them she said, "You see, my son, kindness always receives its reward."
THE LITTLE SAVOYARD.
There was once a little boy who came from Savoy to the City of Paris with a fellow-countryman. Soon after arriving his countryman deserted him, though he had promised his mother to take care of him. Little Pierre did not know what to do all alone in this great city. He walked around all day crying bitterly, but when evening came he thought of a prayer his mother had taught him, and he repeated it: "My God, you who watch over the little birds, oh! do not forsake the little children." As he ended the prayer the pigeons of the city, which were very numerous, flew about him, and one lit on his shoulder. He said to it, "Beautiful bird, go and tell my mother to come and get me." A lady passing by heard him repeat the prayer and give the message to the bird. She knew at once that he was a good boy, so she took him to her home, where she gave him nice clothes and plenty to eat. She sent a letter to his mother, and while waiting for her to come to him he used to go out and play with the pigeons. They would run to be caressed by him, for they well knew that they could trust a child who prays.
THE GOAT AND HER KID.
Goats are not naturally vicious, but will defend themselves if attacked. There was once a little boy in New York named Harry, who went to visit his aunt in the country. This aunt had a goat named Grisette, who had a little kid, and she told Harry that he could feed Grisette, but he must not tease her. But Harry was very mischievous, and liked to see the goat run on the hill-sides. To make her run, he would poke her with a stick, when one day he stuck the stick in her nose, which was more than
Grisette could stand, so she put down her head, butted him with her horns, and down he rolled to the bottom of the hill. Harry was much bruised and had to be carried into the house and put to bed, where he was confined for six weeks, thus losing most of his holiday. Let this be a lesson to you, my little friends, never to torment any animals.
THE DOG OF THE REGIMENT.
This dog is named Pompey; he is called the Dog of the Regiment, because he has been with a regiment of soldiers for many years. He is a wonderful dog; he can march on his hind legs, play the drum with his paws, and pretend to be dead. Pompey has been very useful to his regiment. Once he carried a dispatch through a fire of musketry; another time he woke up a sleeping sentinel; and again he pointed out a troupe of the enemy hidden in the woods. Finally he saved the life of the surgeon of the regiment, who had been left to die on the field of battle. Pompey is a friend to all the soldiers, from the colonel down. You will see him in the picture, pretending to be a bear that he may get a piece of sugar which the colonel's son is offering him.
THE LITTLE MARINERS.
George and his sister Lillie are having a nice time sailing their little boat in the brook. Their mother told them they could play here, for the water was not deep. She also told them a story about their friend Emil, who could not swim, although his father was a fisherman. Emil thought the water was not deep enough; so he went to the river with his boat. In leaning over the bank to push it into the current, he lost his balance and fell into the water. He would have been drowned had not his father, who was fishing near, came to his rescue. There is no fear for George and Lillie, for they will not disobey their mamma, and no danger will come to them.
Little boys and girls often think their parents are severe because they reprimand them for their faults, but they always know what is best for them. There was once a little boy named Gustave, who had but one eye. Gustave was naturally sweet and affectionate, but he was fond of teasing, and this fault caused him to lose his eye. I will tell you how it happened. One day he went to call on his cousin Frank. He found him in his garden, trying to catch a beautiful butterfly for his collection of insects. Gustave slipped up behind him slily, which made the butterfly fly off. Frank turned suddenly and knocked Gustave over. He fell on a large rosebush, one of the thorns of which penetrated his left eye, destroying the sight forever. You see that little causes often produce great effects. If Gustave had not been fond of teasing, he would not have lost his eye.