7. She wrote a line or two; then throwing down her pen, petulantly exclaimed, “There! I have made two mistakes, because I was in such a hurry;—I will not finish it till I come back.”
8. So away ran the little girl to her old nurse, and the next half-hour was spent in satisfying her hunger. As she was returning, with laggard step, she happened to spy, from the window, a beautiful butterfly fluttering about the rose-bushes in the garden; and, quite forgetting her unfinished exercise, away she flew in chase of the butterfly.
9. But, agile as were her movements, the insect was too nimble for her; and after an hour’s race beneath the burning sun, she returned, flushed and overheated, without having succeeded in its capture.
10. Again she applied herself to her books; but study was not so easy now as it would have been a little earlier. Anna was too tired to apply her mind to her lessons; and after loitering a while over her desk, she threw herself on the sofa, and fell into a sound sleep, from which she was only awakened by a summons to dinner.
11. After dinner, Betty proposed taking her out to walk; and though conscious that she had not performed half her duties, she had not resolution enough to refuse to go. Tying on her bonnet, she took a little basket on her arm, and set out with Betty to gather wild-flowers.
12. When they reached the woods, Betty sought out a mossy seat under an old tree, and, taking her work from her pocket, began to sew as industriously as if she had been at home.
13. “O Betty!” exclaimed Anna, “how can you sit and sew, when there are so many pleasant sights and sounds around you?”
14. “I can hear the pleasant sounds, my child, without looking round to see where they come from,” replied Betty; “and as for the pretty sights, though I can enjoy them as much as any one, I cannot neglect my work for them.
15. “I promised your mother to have these shirts finished when she came home, and I mean to do so.”—“Dear me!” said the little girl, “I wish I had brought my book, and I might have studied my lesson here.”
16. “No, no, Anna,” said the old woman; “little girls can’t study in the woods, with the birds singing and the grasshoppers chirping around them. Better attend to your books in-doors.”
17. Betty continued her sewing; and towards sunset, when they arose to return, she had stitched a collar and a pair of wristbands, while Anna had filled her basket with flowers.
18. As they approached the village, Betty called at a poor cottage, to inquire after a sick child, and Anna was shocked at the poverty and wretchedness of the inmates. The little children were only half clothed, their faces were covered with dirt, and their rough locks seemed to bid defiance to the comb.
19. Pitying the condition of the poor little girls, Anna determined to provide them with some better clothing; and she returned home full of benevolent projects.