Author: Alfred Crowquill
Release Date: January 24, 2004 [EBook #10816]
Character set encoding: ASCII
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[Illustration: The poor home.]
Alfred Crowquill’s Fairy Tales.
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The Reward of Industry.
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London: G. Routledge & co., FARRINGDON street. New York: 18, Beekman street. 1856.
SAVILL and Edwards, Printers, CHANDOS street,
Poor lit-tle Wil-lie re-turn-ed from the for-est la-den with as much wood as his fee-ble strength could bear. He was hun-gry and wea-ry, and had a great sor-row at his heart, for he had lost his fa-ther in the ear-ly spring, leav-ing his mo-ther to toil for a scant live-li-hood to sup-port her-self and him.
He threw the wood up-on the cin-ders on the hearth, and quick-ly rais-ed a cheer-ful blaze, at which he warm-ed his na-ked, swol-len feet, as he watch-ed the smoke ma-king its fan-tas-tic ed-dies up the wide chim-ney, and a-midst the raf-ters of the low roof. He heav-ed a deep sigh; for he saw no pot up-on the fire, which ought to have been bub-bling up with their fru-gal din-ner: but, a-las! they had none.
“This must not be any long-er,” thought he, “for I am get-ting ve-ry big and strong, and have a pair of hands that ought not to be i-dle. As my poor mo-ther gets weak-er, I should work for her; and as I grow in-to a man, she should not work any more, but sit by the fire and get the din-ner rea-dy, which I shall then be a-ble to la-bour for.”
[Illustration: Meeting the hands.]
Wil-lie was of an in-dus-tri-ous mind, and did not love to sit i-dle when e-ven his ti-ny strength might be used to some end.
So he sat and lis-ten-ed for the foot-step of his poor mo-ther, who, he knew, would come home, wea-ri-ed with la-bour, to share her scan-ty crust with her boy.
He had not to wait long be-fore the latch lift-ed, and his mo-ther en-ter-ed. She kiss-ed him, and threw her-self in-to a chair, with the tears of fa-tigue and ex-haus-tion in her eyes.
He em-bra-ced her, and whis-per-ed in-to her ear his firm resolve to start out in-to the world, and seek for la-bour, that he might no long-er be a bur-then to her. Her heart sank at the i-dea; but she saw no o-ther means to save them from star-va-tion, as her fail-ing strength gave warn-ing of the in-e-vi-ta-ble e-vil.