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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, August 23, 1922, Image 5

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1922-08-23/ed-1/seq-5/

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Our Boys and Girls
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
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
"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
"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
"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.
"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
"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
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.' "

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