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EMILY C. JUDSON.
picked my way along, and laying hold of my fine gentleman in limbo, succeeded in burying him, wet face and all, in the folds of my white apron! But such an uneasy prisoner! More than one frightened toss did he get into the grass, and then I had an infinite deal of trouble to secure him again. His gratitude was very like that of humans’, when you do them unasked service.
When I had reached a cool, shaded, deep spot, far adown, where the spotted alders lean, like so many self-enamoured narcissuses, over the ripple-faced mirror, I dropped my apron, and let go my prize. Ah! he was grateful then! He must have been! How he dived, and sprang to the surface, and spread out his little wings of dark-ribbed gossamer, and frisked about, keeping all the time a cool, thin sheet of silver between his back and the sun-sick air! I loved that pretty fish, for I had been kind to it; and I thought it would love me, too, and stay there, and be a play-fellow for me; so I went every day and watched for it, and watched until my little eyes ached; but I never saw it again. That was my first grief: what is there in years to make a heart ache heavier? That first will be longer remembered than the last. I dare say.