But the wind blows chill again. The sky is clouded, and people begin to say, “I think we shall have another snow-storm.” It is not long before the feathery flakes begin to descend. The earth is so warm that they scarce touch it before they are melted and absorbed. The snow continues to fall, the earth grows colder and colder, and soon it cannot melt the snow, but is itself chilled, and accepts it as a mantle. For three days the storm rages. The ground is as white as in mid-winter.
What is to become of the birds? They can find neither food nor shelter. It is painful to see them flying distractedly through the storm, not knowing where to go; but too cold and too hungry to remain in the trees, and too fearful to seek comfort in the many warm houses, that would have opened their windows, if they would have entered under their protecting roof.
Mrs. Dudley’s children are all watching them from the windows, and throwing out hominy and bread-crumbs for them to eat. How cold the little sparrows look, as they pick up their food! Children’s hearts are generally tender, and always so unless they have been hardened by the practice of cruelty, and Mrs. Dudley’s were full of sympathy for the little sufferers. “Oh! mother!” said Eddie, the youngest, “if the birds knew how we loved them, they would come into the house;” but the birds did not know, and they stayed out in the snow, and many of them perished.
The children were sadly grieved, when, after the storm, they found many of their feathered friends dead. How much they regretted they could not have saved their lives! If the birds had only known, as Eddie said, how much the children loved them, they would have flown into the house, and been warmed and fed.
There are many dear children who do not know how much Jesus loves them; how much he wishes them to enter the “ark of safety,” and escape the dangers there are in the world. There are many who have not even heard of him; and many of those who have, do not know he is their best friend.
Do you know how much he loves you, and have you sought his protection amid all the dangers that surround you? If you have not found refuge in that “high tower,” of which David speaks in the Psalms, you are no safer than were the birds flying through the cold snow, and you surely will be lost if you do not fly to that kind Saviour, who has prepared a way of escape for you.
THE FIRST STRAWBERRY.
How bright and red it looked, half-concealed as it was by the green leaves! It was the first strawberry of the season. Mary gathered it with delight, and ran with it to her mother.
“Here is something for you, mother,” she said, holding up the rosy treasure.
“Thank you, my dear!” said Mrs. Dudley, smiling upon her daughter. She ate it with a double relish. She was very fond of the fruit, and she was gratified by this expression of the thoughtful, unselfish love of her dear child.