6. Anna was delighted with it; nothing could be more beautiful than its graceful form, its delicate rigging and snowy sails. She begged to have it set on her table, that she might see it while she was studying, and the good-natured Kitty left it with her.
7. But in vain the heedless child tried to study; her eyes and thoughts wandered perpetually to the pretty toy before her. “How I should like to see it sail!” said she to herself. The more she looked at it, the more anxious she became to see it in the water.
8. At length, taking it carefully up, she stole down stairs, and hurried across the garden to a little brook in the adjacent field. Here she launched her tiny bark; but it had scarcely touched the water, when it turned over on its side. She then recollected that she had once heard her father speak of the manner of ballasting a ship; so she hastened to gather a quantity of small stones, with which she filled the little cabin.
9. Again she intrusted her ship to the crystal streamlet; but, alas! the weight of the stones carried it straight to the bottom. There it lay in the pebbly channel, with the clear waters rippling above it, and the little girl stood aghast upon the brink.
10. She bared her arm, and attempted to reach it, but without success. At length, while making a desperate effort to regain it, she lost her balance, and fell into the water.
11. Fortunately, the water was not deep, and she soon scrambled out again; but she was thoroughly wet, and, having been very warm before the accident, she was now chilled to the heart.
12. Grasping the little ship, the cause of all the mischief, she hurried home, and creeping softly into the kitchen, sought her friend Kitty, to screen her from Betty’s anger. By this time she was shivering with a violent ague, and Kitty carried her immediately to Betty.
13. Poor Anna! she was now obliged to be put to bed, and to take some of Betty’s bitter herb tea, seasoned too with scolding, and all kinds of evil predictions. She felt very unhappy, and cried sadly; but repentance, in this case, came too late.
14. Her head began to ache dreadfully; her skin was parched with fever, and before the next morning she was very ill. She had taken a violent cold, which brought on an attack of scarlet fever; and when Mrs. Elmore returned, she found her little daughter stretched on a bed of sickness.
15. How did that fond mother tremble, as she watched by the bedside of her darling child, uncertain whether she would ever again lift up her head from her uneasy pillow!
16. Anna did not know her mother in the delirium of fever, and her melancholy cry of “Mother! mother! come back!—I will never be so bad again!” wrung Mrs. Elmore’s heart.
17. For three weeks Anna lay between life and death; and when she was at length pronounced out of danger, she was as helpless as an infant.