Daughter. If the heat is in the wood and the coal, mother, why do we not feel it in them? They both feel cold. I cannot perceive any heat in them.
Mother. The heat is in the wood and the coal, although you do not see it. Do you see any smoke in the wood and the coal, my dear?
Daughter. No, mother, I do not.
Mother. Did you never see a stick of wood fall on the hearth from the kitchen fire, and see the smoke coming from it?
Daughter. O yes, mother, very often; and the smoke goes all over the room, and into my eyes, and makes the tears come into my eyes.
Mother. And can you see the smoke in the wood before the wood is put on the fire?
Daughter. No, mother, I am sure I cannot.
Mother. But you are sure that the smoke comes from the wood, are you not?
Daughter. O yes, mother; I see it coming right out of the wood.
Mother. Then, my dear, I suppose you know that if there is something in the wood and coal, which you call smoke, although you cannot see it until it comes out, you can easily conceive how another thing, which we call heat, can be in the wood and coal, which we cannot perceive until it is made to come out.
Daughter. O yes, mother; how wonderful it is!
Mother. Yes, my dear, all the works of God are wonderful; and what is very surprising is, that many of his most wonderful works are so common, so continually before our eyes, that we do not deem them wonderful until we have been made to think much about them, by talking about them, as you and I have talked about the rain, and the clouds, and light, and its colors.
Daughter. I have been thinking, mother, about Alice and the fire. You told me that the fire did not make the heat, any more than I make the little mouse or the bird when I open the cage door and let them out. I see now how it is. Alice brings the wood and the coal into the kitchen fireplace, and the match lets the heat out of the shavings, and the shavings let it out of the wood and the coal, until we get heat enough to make us warm.
Mother. Yes, my dear; and there is no more heat in the room after the fire is made than there was before,—only, before the fire was made, the heat was hid, and we could not perceive it; but when the fire is made, it makes the heat come out, and makes it free, just as I make the little bird free, by opening his cage door.
The Lark and her Young Ones.—Altered from AESOP.
1. A lark having built her nest in a corn-field, the corn grew ripe before the young ones were able to fly. Fearing that the reapers would come to cut down the corn before she had provided a safe place for her little ones, she directed them every day, when she went out to obtain their food, to listen to what the farmers should say about reaping the corn.