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teaches a child to notice and observe accurately, much, for I should think there are very few children and that is a great thing. Drawing-copies and who would choose to darn stockings for the sake of painting-books can now be bought at a trifling cost, the pleasure of it; but they wanted to give the and they give a great deal of pleasure to their stockings away. They had seen some poor chil
dren who were almost stockingless, and whose poor Cutting out pictures is a favourite occupation little red feet and hands were swollen and painful with children. Illustrations in magazines or with chilblains, and they knew that the old papers which are not needed should always be stockings, if well mended, would keep the feet of kept for this purpose, for the youngsters will be de- these little ones as warm and dry as would bran lighted if they find a roll of pictures ready for them
So they asked nurse to show them how when they are disposed to set to work. Coloured to mend, and they kept on patiently darning backpictures and scraps may be pasted into a blank wards and forwards until the stockings were strong book; but black and white pictures and large black and whole, and then they gave them to the chilletters can be cut out for play. An easy way of dren. If you could have seen how pleased they learning to read and spell is to cut out letters, and were, I think you would have hunted up all the old then form them into words—taking a long word, stockings you could lay your hands on, and darned such as Constantinople, and trying to find out how away until they were as whole as new, then given long a list of shorter words can be made out of it. them away also.
It is very amusing to cut various objects out Toys for sick children may be made by mountof plain stiff paper. All sorts of figures, cows, dogs, ing figures of dogs, cows, or other animals on horses, cats, men and women, &c., may be manu- strong cardboard. Rag dolls and animals made factured by drawing the outline on paper, which has of rag are very much liked by the poor little ones been folded double, so that when partially opened who seldom have a toy which they can call their the figure will stand. Houses also may be made to own, and therefore think a great deal of any that stand if side pieces are used which will sustain them. come in their way. Children who have beautiful
A great many coloured pictures are published dolls, with eyes that open and shut, and dolls' nowadays, and almost all children possess these. houses handsomely furnished, can have no idea It is a pity that they should ever be wasted, because how much a little child who has to lie all day on they give so much pleasure. Let children paste a sick-bed will think of a rag doll. them neatly into a blank book, and when they are There are some very good women, called Bible finished send them to one of the large hospitals, women, who work among the poor, and who are and they will delight the children who have to suffer very glad to take charge of old clothing or gifts pain and weariness.
which may be sent to them. They are in London, Odds and ends of wool or yarn may be knitted as well as in many large towns; and if you can together to make shawls and wraps for poor people. mend any clothes in this way, and will send them Paper pillows also may be made of old letters to these good women, they will see that they are and circulars by the little ones. These pillows are given to people who need them sorely. very cool and comfortable for the sick, and I have There is nothing out of the way in these employbeen told that many invalids prefer them to all ments which I have named. They are possible to other kinds of pillows. Letter-paper only should every child, and other ways are possible also, be used for this purpose, and it should be torn
will think of when you begin to work, for across singly into pieces half an inch wide. If a one thing will make you think of another. Only quantity were torn at once the paper might collect whatever else, children, don't be idle. Time is too in lumps. For the same reason the gummed parts precious to be wasted, and you are sure to be and postage-stamps must be thrown away—they miserable if you are doing nothing. would make the pieces stick together—and the As you grow older you will be able to do very pieces should be crimped up three or four at once, much more than you can now. I have tried to show, to make them keep separate, as otherwise the pillow in a book called “What Girls Can Do,'* a few of the would not be light. When a quantity of paper is ways in which older girls can do good work. That, thus collected it can be sewn into a calico bag, however, is for your elder sisters; it is not intended shaped like a pillow.
for little folk. Yet even children may,
young, I once knew some little girls who asked their get into the way of being busy and useful, which mother to give them all the old stockings and socks will certainly lead to their becoming both helpful which were not to be worn any more, and when and blessed.
PHILLIS BROWNE. she consented, they set to work and carefully mended them. They did not enjoy the work very * Published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co., London.
THE STORY OF A SAGACIOUS SQUIRREL.
ERHAPS the an opinion of the squirrel's capacity, for on break
squirrel is ing the nuts they were all found to be bad. No
more famous doubt the squirrel had tried them, and discovering for its mischiev- them to be worthless had placed them aside in a ous propensities little heap by themselves. than for its wis- When squirrels are unable to obtain a sufficient dom, but supply of nuts and such food—which is the case in stances of saga- the spring-time—they do not hesitate to eat the city are
young shoots, buds, and bark of trees, and they are sionally met with thus, in forest regions especially, the cause of a vast that serve
amount of injury. So destructive are they in this the exceptions' respect that in some countries they are regarded as which prove the vermin, and treated accordingly. "In Lapland and rule. See the parts of northern Russia they are killed in very
little fellow with large numbers for the sake of their grey winter his red coat, long bushy tail, and bright eyes, as he skins. nimbly skips from tree to tree, and you have a pic- One peculiarity in the squirrel calls for special ture of frolicsome gaiety rather than of sagacity-a mention. It spends the winter in a torpid state, feature that is, oddly and absurdly enough, attri- lying coiled up in its cell covered by its warm buted more frequently to “Minerva's bird,” the bushy tail. In autumn it gathers nuts, acorns, firowl. Of course you all know that nuts form the cones, and the like, and stores them away in dif. squirrel's favourite food. Give him a filbert and ferent places, near its dome-shaped nest of twigs, watch the business-like way he disposes of it. leaves, and moss. When winter has set in it retires Grasping it in his two fore paws he speedily to its nest and falls into a long deep sleep, from breaks the shell by means of his sharp incisor which, however, it sometimes arouses on very mild or cutting teeth, and then gradually removing the days. On such occasions it usually has a merry shell, he peels off the coarse brown skin, and at romp among the naked boughs, then it goes to one last eats it with considerable zest. He is a dainty of its stores, where it partakes of a hearty meal, little fellow too, in his way, and scarcely ever will after which it withdraws once more to its home for he eat the kernel of a nut without first of all strip- another slumber of several days, or even weeks. ping it of the outer covering.
This habit is known as hibernation. A lady tells a story about a squirrel that played As you know, squirrels are often kept as pets, and great havoc among some filbert-trees that grew though they are not so easily tamed as might be in her kitchen-garden. One year there was imagined, they can become thoroughly domesticated. promise of an unusually large supply of nuts, and In certain quarters of the globe they are actually the family looked forward with pleasurable feelings turned to account, being lodged in treadmill cages to the goodly yield of the favourite dessert of the which are made to “work” by the movements of household, when, to their utter dismay, the nuts, the unfortunate animal. These cages are too comas they reached maturity, were seen to diminish monly employed for housing tame squirrels, but we in a rapid and mysterious fashion. The trees feel sure that if the owners only knew that they seemed to be thinned almost by magic. Near to were inflicting pain upon their pets, they would at the garden was a vast plantation of larch and fir once abandon the use of such dwellings. The fact trees, which was known to be the haunt of many is that though the squirrel likes the treadmill a squirrel, and it was soon surmised that these exercise, as such, well enough in its place, it is active little creatures were the robbers of the nuts, positive cruelty to subject it always to motion of so steps were immediately taken to put a stop that kind. The proper cage for a squirrel must to their depredations. One day the lady's hus- therefore be large and roomy, square-shaped for band came indoors and remarked, with a very preference, and contain perches and other applicomplacent smile, that he rather thought he had ances as well as a treadmill. Such a home leaves got the better of the squirrels for once, as he had the animal free to take what exercise he pleases, found a heap of filberts which had been put aside and when he pleases, and if you wish to see the ready for removal, and which of course he had caged squirrel happy and lively, you must provide carried off. But the gentleman had reckoned him with such surroundings as will keep up his spirits without his host, 9r, ai any rate, formed too mean even under the circumstances of imprisonmert.
To his eyes.
HOW PHIL WENT FISHING.
And the booming of the mill,
When from out a circling eddy,
To Phil's manifest surprise,
The voice of schoolboy Phil.
From a water-lily's fold,
'Neath the river clear and cold; With the sound.
Told him kindly she would show him
All its store of shining gold,
Diamonds rare of purest water,
Down beyond the red-roofed farm.
Told him how her fairy maidens
Vigil ’mid the rushes kept,
Till the moon shone on the river
And the shining lilies slept ;
How they danced in dreamy measure
On the stream, till grey dawn broke.
“Right you are,” says Phil, “I'm coming!" Save the murmur as it glided,
And awoke. H. F. T.
THE SILENT MOONBEAM. MOONBEAM fitting, ting up and halting. Next a nightingale's notes stole without noise or tumult, when along on the breezes, and all the little leaves on the a pert grasshopper sprang trees clapped their hands as in rapture. across its way.
And now, what sounds those small musicians “ Ha ! ’tis well to be you, poured out into the quiet night-the grasshopper, the Miss Moonbeam, creeping blind beetle, the frog, with many little gnats filling and gliding about, like an up the chorus, after solo, duet, and the like had idle do-nothing as you are,
been gone through by their more gifted compawhile one half the world is toiling away its very nions. The moonbeam știll fitted in calm purity heart's blood-like I do, for instance. I've been among the sleeping flowers ; a sigh wandered by, it shouting myself hoarse, for I know not how long, might have been the wind, or it might have been to help charm the other half into something from the sprite-like moonbeam, by reason of a yearnlike good humour.” This was the mite's greeting, ing desire for gift or endowment it did not possess. and it fairly panted, because of the length of its Now, a kind little shrew brought bluebell goblets of speech, and its self-importance.
cooling dew for the singers, and a glowworm lit its “Oh, indeed !” no more, no less, replied the lamp to light them. The moonbeam stood apart, moonbeam, in its quiet self-possession, Aitting and in its dreamy, silvery robe, and watched and wandering among the sleeping flowers, so like little hearkened ; watched to see the many small creachildren slumbering.
tures which came wandering up, squirrels, dormice, “ And now must not keep quiet ;" and, as if to beetles, earwigs-oh ! quite a crowd hearkened to make good its assertion, the small grasshopper the strains, which were stirring them, and gatherchirped away with all its might.
ing them together. From afar, like liquid music, “Ay, pipe away, and I'll help you ; we keep the came the song of the nightingale, now blending world going," croaked a frog, in its by no means with that of the tiny minstrels, now wandering mellow tenor ; while a blind beetle, as children call away, the very essence of melody. the buzzing insect of night, droned in its bass, Ait- “Well
, you little pipers, you're doing a mighty
work in the world," said an old rat in its ignorance, even as they perform their own mission ; because putting its head out of a hole hard by the moon- the greatest work is done by littles, without beam. " Miss Moonbeam, if you could only make clamour, commotion, or great noise.” Overhead some such sounds, we should believe in you. But the heavens were grandly silent, but a soft voice just to fit here and there, a silent, silvery nothing- came stealing down as from the stars. why, the great world with its solid realities has “ Little sister," it said, "you are one with us, named dreams and fancies moonshine, by reason of shedding a light in a dark place; you there in the the low esteem in which they hold you.”
narrow circle of earth, we high up in space amid The moonbeam bowed its head.
the wonders of the heavens ; yet together we are " I know I'm doing but little in the great work doing, shining, soothing, and guiding alone, as it of life; still, I would do more if I could.”
were, and not half understood. Surely, to work on The moonbeam's heart was very sad ; she did not thus faithfully, whether a small moonbeam or a weep, but panted out more than tears could express mighty star, is the grandest work of all.” The of her craving, yearning hope, that she was not really moonbeam grew sweetly radiant as she heard this. doing nothing during her brief night of service. “ Too-hoo! too-hoo! too-hoo! I always said Tenderly she twined her fingers among the petals much noise, little work' was a true saying, and of the slumbering flowers, and now a sickly blossom now it seems I'm not far wrong ; I say three cheers lifted its languid head, and seemed to mutely bless for the moonbeam,” and the owl tossed up its nighther ; now a wee, belated wanderer took courage, cap, with a hip-hurrah. After this a silence fell. and wandered on, cheered and led by her silvery “Then we'll go home and sing no more, ” said radiance. Oh! it was hard and dreary, this the grasshopper, dejectedly. working in silence.
“Nay, there you are going to the other extreme ; “Too-hoo, hoo-too-hoo! What is all this noise sing and be happy, and play your part, good folk, about ? " inquired an old owl from a hollow tree, only don't look with disdain on quiet souls working peeping his head therefrom in his nightcap.
on in their own way, nor think there's nothing "We're charming the world,” returned the frog. beautiful in the world save your own work, or a
“Then I wish you'd charm it more like the sweet sound but it must be an echo of your own moonbeam, without all this ado,” quoth he.
music. Remember what the nightingale said.” “Who ever heard of anything done without “But are the sounds we make sweet music at noise?"
all?” questioned the blind beetle. “Who ever heard of anything done with noise - "Oh! well, that's a mere matter of taste ; don't anything great, I mean?”
worry yourself over that, my friend. “To hoot *Well, what great work is the moonbeam like an owl,' and 'stupid as an owl,' is said among doing?" and the grasshopper laughed-oh! a men in a way anything but flattering to me, still mocking laugh is that of the grasshopper.
I just hoot my best, and catch mice and so “Ask the question of the earth, growing and
in the cleverest way can, and I doubt if any blossoming under its gentle influence ; nay, I'll put do any better than that.” the question myself. Too-hoo, hoo-too-hoo! what “Well, there's something in doing one's best," great work is the moonbeam doing?” Mr. Owl was croaked the frog. the one to shout so as to be heard.
“Something! why, there's everything in it," The poor little sprite of a moonbeam quivered sang the nightingale, who now winged her way to now; was it come to this, that her usefulness was the spot. “She hath done what she could,' to be decided upon ? The sweet voice of the spoken long years ago by One who understands the nightingale was still thrilling on the midnight air. littles and the great things done by all, is still Ah! now came her song, not an echo of other thrilling the world to its centre ; why! it is the music, but a living voice with living words.
charm, the inspiration which keeps people from She weaves my notes into beautiful thoughts growing faint and weary.” and inspirations, for the solace of weary men.” Then the solemn voices of the night swelled on
“She is Nature's healer," whispered the flowers, as before, and amid all who wished, waited, and many a sick blossom held up petal-like hands and hoped for the morning, there was naught of to the heavens as in wordless blessing.
dissension ; no one said this is mine, or thine, in “Whir-whir-whir-r-r!” like a mighty chiming their wistful expectation. But, perhaps, the wee of the waves of the sea, came the testimony of the moonbeam, that seemed to be doing nothing, was cornfields, from valley and hillside, rolling, rolling the most calmly happy of all, glancing up at the in an overwhelming utterance, “Moonbeams bright and shining stars above, and remembering prompt and encourage us to grow, silently, calmly, her fellowship with them in their light and their glory.