9. Her mother had now been three days gone, and Anna felt that she had not quite fulfilled her trust. But she satisfied herself with the thought that two days had been devoted to a charitable purpose, and she was sure her mother would think that she had made good use of that portion of her time.
10. The fourth day, she determined to make amends for past neglect, by studying double lessons. She went to her room and locked the door, resolving to perform all her duties on that day, at least.
11. She had scarcely commenced her studies, however, when she recollected that she had not watered her mother’s plants since she had been gone. She threw down her books, and running into the garden, sought her little watering-pot; but it was not to be found.
12. She was sure she had put it either in the summer-house, or the tool-house, or under the piazza, or somewhere. After spending half an hour in search of it, she remembered that she had left it under the great elm-tree, in the field.
13. By this time, the sun was shining with full vigor upon the delicate plants; and, forgetting her mother’s caution to water them only in the shade, she overwhelmed the parched leaves with a deluge of water, and went off quite content.
14. She then thought of her bird; and on examining his cage, found that he could reach neither the seed nor the water. So she replenished his cups, decorated his cage with fresh chickweed, treated him to a lump of sugar, and played with him until she had loitered away the best part of the morning.
15. Immediately after dinner, a little friend came to see her, and the rest of the day was consumed in dressing dolls, or arranging her baby-house.
The same subject, concluded.
1. On the fifth day, she summoned courage enough to persevere, and actually performed every task with attention.
2. In the afternoon, Betty took her out to walk, and Anna coaxed her into a visit to Mrs. Wilson’s cottage. What was her indignation, as she approached the house, to see the children again playing on the margin of the duck-pond!
3. As soon as they saw her, they ran to hide themselves, but not until she had observed that their new frocks were as dirty, and almost as ragged, as the old ones. Betty did not fail to make Anna fully sensible of her own superior wisdom.
4. “I told you so, child,” said she; “I told you it was all nonsense to try to dress up those dirty creatures; much good you have done, to be sure!” Anna almost cried with vexation, as she thought of all the time and labor she had wasted upon her benevolent task, and she walked home with a heavy heart.
5. The next morning, she had scarcely risen from the breakfast-table, when Kitty came to show her a beautiful little ship, which, her brother, who was a sailor, had made for her, as a token of remembrance.