At last the tailor said, “I am going to do something for that brownie. He has done so much for us all.” So he cut and stitched the neatest little coat you ever saw; for he said: “I have always heard that a brownie’s clothes are ragged, so our brownie will need this, I know.” When the coat was done it just fitted Tommy and was very fine to see, all stitched with gold thread and covered with brave brass buttons.
That night the little coat was placed by the bowl of milk set for the brownie and, when the early morning came, the tailor was awakened by the sound of laughter and scuffling in the kitchen. “It’s the brownie,” thought he; and getting out of bed he crept softly down the stairs.
But when he reached the kitchen, instead of the brownie, he saw Johnnie and Tommy sweeping and making the fire and dusting and setting the table. Tommy had put on the coat that the tailor had made for the brownie, and was skipping about in it laughing and calling to Johnnie to see how fine he looked, but saying: “I wish he had made it to fit you, John.”
“Boys, what does all this mean?” cried the tailor. “Tommy, why have you put on that coat?”
When the boys saw their father they ran to him and tried to tell him all about it. “There is no brownie, father,” they cried, “but we have done the work. And O father! we are sorry that we were lazy and idle so long; but we mean to be brownies now, real brownies, and help you till we grow to be big men.” The poor tailor was so happy that he knew not what to say, and there were tears in his eyes as he kissed each little son.
Tommy and Johnnie kept their promise and continued being brownies until they went away to homes of their own. But their little sister grew to be the best brownie of all; and she kept her father’s house so bright and clean with mop and brush and broom and dustpan that not a speck of dirt was anywhere to be seen.
THE FAIRY SHOES.
Adapted from Mrs. Ewing.
Once upon a time a baby boy was born in a little brown house, far away in a country village, and everybody was invited to his christening and everybody was glad to come.
Now the baby’s mother had a fairy godmother of whom she was very fond. This fairy was rich and all the people said, “Surely she will bring a present to the baby on his christening-day, that is worth a great deal of money.” But, at last when the time came, what do you suppose she really brought?—a pair of stout little leather shoes with copper toes.