There are so many stories I have read, but this is my current favorite. It’s so beautiful, and I think you will agree. This could be used again and again to give to a mother in a card on a five month birthday, if you change the child’s name. Don’t you think?
Just Five Months’ Old
Out of doors ’tis snowing,
And the day is chilly;
In my little parlor
All is bright and sunny.
Do you know what makes it
All so bright and sunny
In my little parlor
While the sky is cloudy?
I will tell you truly:
Nora is the Sunbeam
Lighting up my parlor
While without ’tis snowing.
Not six months has Nora
In this world been living,
But a dearer baby
Never blessed a mother.
True she tore the ribbons
From her silken bonnet;
Came so near to falling
That she scared me badly;
With her little fingers
Almost put my eyes out:
Still, I miss no sunshine
While I have my Nora.
Or next story teaches us two important lessons. One, first of all, always listen to your mother! Two, never say ‘Boo’ to scare someone. That reminds me of the song “Never Say Boo to a Crazy-Quilt Dragon.” But we will get to that for the Christmas season.
Emma’s mother had a watch, which she set by a good deal, for it was the gift of a dear friend. Emma loved to look at this watch and to hear it tick.
One day Emma’s mother hung the watch on a nail, and went out in the street to buy some things at a shop. Emma came into the room where the watch hung. She thought she would take it in her hand.
Now, she ought not to have done this; for her mother had told her not to touch it, except when she was by to hold the chain. But Emma thought to herself, ” No one sees me. I will hold the watch tight in my hand, and then I will hang it up on the nail. No harm shall come to it.”
So she took down the watch with great care. She held it to her ear, and it said, ” Tick, Tick — tick, tick;” and then, all at once, this sound seem to change to, ” Bad, bad- – – girl, girl; bad, bad – – – girl, girl!”
“How odd!” thought Emma. ” What a queer watch! ”
Ah! it was not the watch that said, ” Bad girl!” It was her own sense that told her she was doing what was wrong.
” I will hang it right up, and not take it down again,” said Emma.
But, as she was trying to reach up to the nail near the shelf, Jane, the girl, who came in today, saw her, and cried, “Boo!”
This startled poor Emma so that she dropped the watch on the marble hearth, and broke it.
Emma could not help crying at the sight. “Oh, how shall I ever tell my mother what I have done!” she said.
” It was my fault, Emma,” said Jane, : ” I was foolish to try to scare you. I will take the blame.”
” What shall I say to my mother?” said Emma.
“Here comes your mother,” said Jane. ” We will tell her the truth, and nothing but the truth, to be sure.”
So, when Emma’s mother came in, Jane pointed to the watch, and said, ” It was not Emma’s fault, ma’am. I did not see that she had the watch in her hand; and so, as I came in, I tried to start her, by crying ‘Boo‘”
” Never do that again, Jane,” said Emma’s mother. ” I have known of great harm being done – – – much greater harm than breaking a watch – – – by that silly habit of crying ‘Boo, ‘ to start people.’
” I will not do so again, ma’am,” said Jane.
” As for you, Emma,” said the mother, ” you are much to blame for taking down the watch. The thought that you have spoilt the gift of my dear friend will punish you enough. That is all.”
Emma, who loved her mother dearly, burst into tears. Those few words of her mother had indeed punished her more than if she had been shut up, and kept on bread and water for the rest of the day. Never would she touch her mother’s things again without leave.
How much better is it to be ruled by love then fear!
I like the little snippets of advice that these books occasionally gave children. The following is a great example that we all should remember.
Strive to make everybody happy, and you will make at least one so – – – yourself.
If your lips would keep from slips, five things observe with care: of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and how, and when, and where.