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Our Boys and Girls
THE STORY OF THE CHILD AND THE ROSE. One afternoon in the summer a little child went out in the garden to play. It was his mother's garden and it was filled with rose bushes. The mother had often taken the child there to walk with her; and as she bent over the bushes and touched the dark green leaves and the hard, prickly buds, she would say: "Soon these buds will open and then the roses will tell you their story." But the child didn't understand how the buds could open or how the flowers could tell a story. But on this beautiful afternon, as the child entered the garden, he saw that one of the buds had become a great red rose. lie bent over and touched it and said: 'Good morning, big red rose! Can you tell me a story?" And the rose slowly opened its dark red lips and said: "What kind of a story shall I tell you, little child?" The child waited for a long minute, for he was so surprised to find that the rose could speak. Then ha said, "Tell me a story of how you grew. The last time I saw you, you were a hard, green bud, and today you are a big red rose!" "Oh," said the rose, "don't you know how I grow? I do just as my Father wants me to do. I let my roots go way down into Ilis warm, moist earth, and I turn my head away up to His warm, bright sun." "Is that how you grow?!' said tha little child. "Yes," said the big red rose. "My Father takes care of me. Don't you see? When the hot sun makes my head ache, then God puts me to sleep in my cool, dark bed, which your mother calls the night. When I awake in the morning I find that He has kissed my cheek with dew; and when I'm thirsty, He sends down His shower, and T drink and drink. I just trust and do what He wants me to do.*' "Oh, I see?" said the child very much sur prised. And he walked to the house to tell his mother. The next morning the child went to the garden again, and beside the big red rose there was standing a rose bud which was trying very hard to open its eyes to the light. But they were still tightly closed. The child bent over the rosebud and said, "Good morn ing, little rosebud! Can you tell me a story?" But there was no answer. So the child spoke loudly: "Good morning, little rosebud! Why don't you open your lips to speak to me?" Then he bent down low so that his car al most touched the rosebud, and he heard this faint whisper: "Little child, I can't open my lips, and I fear that I shall never be beautiful like the big rose, for a green bug has crept into my heart, and it is eating out my life." "Oh, dear!" said the little child, "why don't you drive the green bug away?" "Alas! I can't," said the little rosebud. "If only I had hands like yours, I could brush him away, or if I had feet like yours I could run when I saw him coming. But I must stand here and wait." The little child sighed, for he was greatly distressed. He bent down close to the rosebud, but he could not see the green bug. It was wnv down deep in the henrt of the rose. "But listen, little child*1* said tho rosebud, "to what I have been thinking. When I see a little boy like you got angry at his brother or sister, I say to myself: 'A green bug is creeping into the child's heart, and it will keep his life from opening.' I wonder if you boys and girls have no better sense, for you have your hands and feet." And when the rosebud had finished this long speech it was all out of breath. And the little child didn't say a word, but he walked slowly towards the house to see his mother. A few mornings later the child went out again to the garden to play. The big red rose was still standing there, but many of its petals had fallen to the ground, and the edges of the inside petals were turning brown. But the rose was still very sweet. "Good morning, big red rose." said the little child. "Can you tell me another story?" And the rose opened its dark-red lips and said: "What kind of a story shall I tell you today, little child?" And the child bent over the rose and put his nose close down to its upturned face and said : "Tell me why you are so sweet." And the big red rose said, "I just open my face to the sun, and I open my heart wide to everybody. The bees come and suck honey from my heart, and little children come and kiss my lips. T just open my heart and give it to the world. I suppose that is why I am sweet." "But your petals are all falling off," said the child. "Yes," said the rose. "I have opened my heart so wide that T am breaking them off. And soon they will be all gone." "And I shall not see you any more when T come to your garden?" said the little child sadly. "No." said the big red rose, "but remember the fine talks we have had together. And 1 have made you happier, haven't I? And so my life has been worth living." Two days later the little child went to the garden again. The red rose was gone, and on the ground about the bush were a few faded petals which the wind had not yet blown away. But the child remembered what, the roses had said: "I do what my Father wants me to do." "I would run away if I had hands and feet." "I've made you happier, so my life was worth living." And when the child grew to be a man, he often told his little boy the story of the child and the rose. MARY ELLEN FIGHTS SOME GIANTS. "Oh, dear," sighed Mary Ellen, "why ean't there be giants around now-a-days for hoys and girls to fight, as there were when David was a little shepherd boy? But a girl never gets a chance to show how brave she can be." "What is that I hear my Mary Ellen say ing about giants?" asked Grandma, who had come in from the country to spend the day in Golden Rule Lane. She was reading in the lit tle sitting room where Mary Ellen was throw ing her books and tennis balls around. "Oh, nothing, Grandma. I was just wishing there were giants now as there were in Gul liver's Travels and when David killed Goliath. Miss Ophelia was telling ns at Sunday school this morning that all the king's soldiers were afraid of this giant, Goliath, and that David, a young shepherd boy, not so very much taller than I am. went out alone and killed him with only a sling and some pebbles and God's help. Miss Ophelia showed us how the sling was made and the way David put the pebbles in it." "What makes you think that there aren't any giants now a days, Mary Eilen?" Grand ma smiled in her quizzical way. "I think I sec several very dreadful ones in this pretty sitting room, my dear. And th^y may be even harder to kill than David's giant was." "Why, grandma, where are they? I'd like to kill one of them right off. Oh, couldn't I?" cried Mary Ellen. "Would you, really, Mary Ellen? Well, 1 think you can, if you just try hard enough. But you will have to work very hard and not let the giants pet the better of you." "Where are the giants, grandma? What are their names?" Mary Ellen ran around the room in great delight. "The giants I saw around here awhile ago, when mother and I tirst came in from church was when mother told a certain big little girl she must not go to another little girl's house when she had the measles. This giant's name was Bad Temper. He certainly did win a big battle when this little girl threw all her dolls and books in a heap, and stamped her foot at her mother. And little girls who want to fight giants ought first to know how to be prepared to fight. A good fighter must bo orderly, and know where to find his things without a great deal of fuss i*nd time being wasted." Grandma kissed Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen hung her head. "But, grandma," she said, "that isn't really, truly like Goliath." "Oh, de you think so? But those are the v?ry giants that cause so much needless fight ing all over the world. Let me tell you a few of them. Bad Temper. Selfishness, Jealousy, and a great many more of them you will meet by-and-by as you grow older." "But, oh, grandma, there wouldn't be any fun fighting such things as that." "Oh, no, I suppose not much fun. But I did not know that fighting was fun. I never thought it was. But these are the very kind of giants that cause all the fighting, as I told you. You would be just as brave as David was, if you could conquer those things because, you see. the worst about these giants is that the longer you let them act badly the bigger and stronger they grow, until they get enormously big and ever so much harder to fight. Sup pose you start before they get any worse." "I reckon you're right, grandma," agreed Mary Ellen. "I'll try to beat these giants all to pieces} so they won't have a chance to beat me." And Mary Ellen began to put her dolls away in their cradles. She irranged her books neatly on her little book shelves, put the ten nis set in the toy eloset and after hanging up her hat and coat she went and stood looking up into grandma's smiling face. "I've begun a real battle, grandma, dear," she said. "I see, Mary Ellen. Bravo! Tt needs pa tience and good humor to help." "A little girl had ton bright new pennies given her. 'This,' she said, laying aside one, 'is for Jesus, and this is for you, mother, and this is for father,' and so on to the last one. 'And this is for Jesus,' she said. 'But,' said her mother, 'you have already given one to Jesus.' 'Yes,' said the ehild. 'flut that belonged to Ilim; this is h present.' "