Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/250

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MY little daughter is sitting very quietly on the floor beside me, busily engaged in arranging her colored house blocks in streets and lanes. She seems so completely absorbed in her play that I am careful not to speak to her, or even to look at her, lest I should disturb her. Suddenly, however, she drops her little houses and, looking earnestly at me with her blue eyes, she asks:

"Mother, does everybody die?"

"Yes, dear; everybody," I answer, struck by her question.

"The very good ones too?" she questions on timidly.

"Yes, the good ones too. God takes them to him because he loves them, and wants them to be with him in his beautiful heaven."

For a while the little one remains quiet; then again, coming up and nestling at my side, she says:

"Mother, wouldn't it be all the same to the loving God if he didn't take me into heaven, but left me always here with you?"

Drawing her closer to me, I try by caresses and loving words to calm all the doubts of her little heart. She is in an inquiring mood, however, and shortly begins anew:

"Mother, does the angel who brings the little babies carry them in a box or just in his hand?"

Unprepared for this question, I answer hesitatingly, "No, not in a box."

"But they have dresses on, haven't they?"

"No, darling, the little babies come naked into this world."

"But then, mother, how can the parents tell whether it is a girl or a boy?"

Once more I am at a loss, but make out to say, "Oh, we see that in their faces."

The little one is satisfied for the moment, for she turns again to her toys. Suddenly an idea strikes her. "Mother, father said the other day that I had the face of a boy. Perhaps I am not a girl at all." This time I can answer without hesitation: "No, dear, you are certainly mother's own dear little girl. But now don't ask any more questions, but come and help me to bake in the kitchen."

The child is quite content to do as I say, and, following me, devotes her mind with as much seriousness to the cooking, or rather to watching it, as she had before shown in trying to arrive at the origin of mankind. Truly, there is something wonderful in the growing mind of a child. The world and life are full of insoluble problems for the adult understanding, but to the mind of a child every new phase of things comes as a riddle and a mystery. What