"WHY is Fred like the cat's tail?"

The whole family father and mother, brother and sisters, all except Fred stood waiting, muffled and gloved, for him to get ready to go with them to the lecture. 

Tardy Fred had been loitering about, doing nothing in particular, in a dreamy, aimless fashion, and had yet to brush his hair, don his boots, overcoat, cap, muffler, and mittens, when roguish sister Mary proposed this conundrum, as the sedate old family cat walked across the floor, and jumped up into the cushioned chair.

"Don't you see? Because he is always behind." Fred turned from the glass with cheeks a little flushed by the laugh which Mary had raised, hurried into his outer clothes, and by the time the rest had waited for him full five minutes, he was ready.

"Always behind." Yes, that is his great failing. He is as quick motioned as other boys; can run as fast, jump as far, and skate as well; but he is always the late one. He is seldom ever ready to sit down at meals when the rest are; perhaps will get absorbed in a book, and forget to wash, or brush his hair, till the rest are taking their seats. I should be sorry to tell you how often tardy-marks stand against his name on the school-register, such a habit he has fallen into of waiting till the last minute before he starts. And on Sabbath morning he will sit reading, or dreaming over something, and never seem to think of getting ready for Sabbath-school till it is almost time to go. Then he is in a great flutter, and can't find this, that, and the other thing; the whole family have to help him; and he generally brings up in the rear, after all.

Well, it is only a habit; but it is a very bad one. Fred must leave off dreaming, and fall to doing, instead. Promptness in action has done untold good, and saved many lives; while tardiness has destroyed great numbers. In temporal things, as well as in spiritual, "Now is the accepted time." 

S. E. L.E. C. T