One brilliant Christmas day, two little girls were walking towards a neighboring village, when they observed a little creature walking about the road. “Surely,” said Mary, “it is a large mouse;” and it did not seem to be afraid, so they thought from its tameness, it must be hungry. “Poor little thing,” said Agnes, “I wish I had something to give you.” She took a few almonds from her pocket and went gently along towards the mouse and put it close by its side. The mouse began to nibble, and soon finished it. Agnes then put down two or three more, and left the mouse to eat its Christmas dinner. I think you would have enjoyed seeing the mouse eating the almonds. I hope you will always be kind to poor dumb animals. I have seen children who were cruel to dumb animals. This is very wrong, and such children will never be respected, nor can they expect to be befriended.
A few summers ago I was sitting on a garden seat, beneath a fruit tree, where the works of nature look very beautiful. Very soon I heard a strange noise among the highest branches of the tree over my head. The sound was very curious, and I began to look for the cause. I shook one of the lower branches within my reach, and very soon I discovered two birds engaged in fighting; and they seemed to gradually descend towards the ground. They came down lower and lower, tumbling over one another, and fighting with each other. They soon reached the lowest branch, and at last came to the ground very near me. It was with some difficulty that I parted them; and when I held one of them in each of my hands, they tried to get away, not because they were afraid of me but because they would resume the conflict. They were two young robins, and I never before thought that the robin had such a bad spirit in its breast. Lest they should get to fighting again, I let one go, and kept the other housed up for several days, so that they would not have much chance of coming together again.
Now, children, these two little robins woke in the morning very cheerful, and appeared very happy as they sat on the branch of the tree, singing their morning songs. But how soon they changed their notes. You would have been sorry to have seen the birds trying to hurt each other.
If children quarrel, or in any degree show an unkind temper, they appear very unlovely, and forget that God, who made them, and gives them many blessings, disapproves of their conduct. Never quarrel, but remember how pleasant it is for children to love each other, and to try to do each other good.
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Every hour is worth at least a good thought, a good wish, a good endeavor.—Clarendon.