In a few minutes, therefore, she went out of the room, and took from the store closet an apple and a pear. They were both good, but the pear was particularly fine. It was large, mellow, and juicy. She then went back to her seat, and called, “Rollo.”
Rollo came running to her.
“Here,” said she, “is an apple and a pear for you.”
“Is one for me and one for Lucy?” said he.
“That is just as you please. I give them both to you. You may do what you choose with them.”
Rollo took the fruit, much pleased, and walked slowly back, hesitating what to do. He thought he must certainly give one to Lucy, and as he had just been boasting that he preferred another’s pleasure to his own, he was ashamed to offer her the apple; and yet he wanted the pear very much himself.
If he had had a little more time, he would have hit upon a plan which would have removed all the difficulty at once, by dividing both the apple and the pear, and giving to Lucy half of each. But he did not think of this. In fact his mother knew that, as he was going directly bark to Lucy, he would not have much time to think but must act according to the spontaneous impulse of his heart.
But though he did not think of dividing the apple and the pear, he happened to hit upon a plan, which occurred to him just as he was going back into the entry, that he thought would do.
He held the fruit behind him; the apple in one hand, and the pear in the other. Lucy saw him coming, and said,
“What have you got, Rollo?”
“Which will you have, right hand or left?” said he in reply.
Rollo held forward his right hand, and, lo! it was the pear. But he could not bear to part with it, and he brought forward the other, and said,
“No, you may have the apple.”
“No,” said Lucy; “the pear is fairly mine; you asked me which I would have, and I said the right.”
“But I want the pear,” said Rollo; “you may have the apple. Mother gave them both to me.”
“I want the pear too,” said Lucy; “it is mine, and you must give it to me.”
Just then a voice called from the bedroom,
“What, mother?” said Rollo.
“I want you both to come here.”
Rollo and Lucy would both have been ashamed of their contention, were it not that the pear looked so very rich and tempting, that they were both very eager to have it.
“What is the difficulty?” said Rollo’s mother, as soon as they stood before her.
“Why, Lucy wants the pear,” said Rollo, “and you gave them both to me, and said I might do as I pleased with them. I am willing to give her the apple.”
“Yes, but he offered me my choice,” said Lucy, “right hand or left, and I chose the right, and now he ought to give it to me.”
“And are you willing that I should decide it?” said the lady.