The sparrows often build their nests under the eaves of houses and barns. A young lad saw one of the sparrows conveying materials for her nest, which she was building under the eaves of a cottage adjoining his father’s house. He was told not to disturb it. But birds’ eggs form a temptation to many boys. At a favorable opportunity the lad climbed up to the roof of the cottage and carried away the nest with the eggs in it. Among the materials of which the nest was composed was a piece of paper with some printed verses on it. The boy pulled it out and found it to be a page of one of Dr. Watts’ hymns, which had been picked up in the yard by the poor bird for strengthening her nest. The boy unfolded the paper and read:—
“Why should I deprive
Of his goods against his will?
Hands were made for honest labor.
Not to plunder nor to steal.”
The lad says, in his after years, “I never forgot the lesson presented to me by that leaf of paper which had been fixed to the nest of the poor sparrow.” Let young people remember that when they do wrong they will get reproved, and it may be by the means of a bird.
Little Charles knew nothing about an echo. As he was playing by himself in the field, he cried out, “Ho, hop!” and immediately a voice from the woods near by answered, “ho, hop!” Being surprised at this, he called out, “who be you?” The voice answered, “who be you?” Charles thought this very strange, and cried out “you’re a stupid fellow,” and “stupid fellow,” was the reply from the woods.
Charles began to be much displeased, and called several abusive names, and every name he called, came back to him. “I never met with such insolence,” said he, “but I’ll revenge myself;” and he ran up and down among the trees, trying to find the supposed offender, but he could see no one. Vexed and disappointed, he hastened home and told his mother that a bad boy had hidden in the woods and called him all sorts of names.
His mother smiled and shook her head. “Now you have been angry at yourself, Charles, for you must know that you heard nothing but your own words repeated. As you have seen your own face reflected in the water, so you have now heard your own voice echoed.” Had Charles spoke kind words he would have heard kind words in return. It is often true that the behavior we meet with from others, is but an echo of our own. If we speak kind words we shall have kind words in return.