"Bertha's Grave-yard,"    

LITTLE Bertha  Dickinson was  a decided 

enemy  of  tobacco.  She used  to say  she 

hated it.  Now hate is a strong,  bad word, 

I know.  My mother has  often said  to me, 

My dear, you must hate nothing but sin," 

and I never use  the word  without  thinking 

of  my  dear  mother  and her  advice.  But I 

think,  as Bertha did,  that it is  quite proper 

to  say  "hate"  in speaking  of  tobacco,  for 

it  is  a  terrible poison, and injures more people, 

body  and soul  too,  than  folks  are willing 

 to  believe.  And then  it  is  so  nasty! 

There!  That  is  another  word  which  my 

mother never  liked  to  have  me  use.  She 

said  it  wasn't  "a  pretty  word;"  but I 

can't help using it when I speak of tobacco, 

and  Bertha  always  did  too.

But she  did something  besides hating  it 

and  calling  it  bad  names.  She tried to 

persuade  every one  who  used  it  to  give  it 

up.  She was  a  queer  child.  She never 

acted like other  children, but had  a  way  all 

her  own,  which sometimes made folks laugh, 

and sometimes  cry,  and  always  made  them 

shake their heads,  and say,  "What  an  odd 

little thing Bertha Dickinson  is!"

She took a notion  into her head one day 

that she would  have  a  little  graveyard  all 

her own. There was  quite  a large piece  of 

ground in  the  old  garden  behind  the house, 

where nothing  was  planted.  There was  a 

long row  of  blackberry  bushes  which  hid 

this  corner  from  the  house-windows,  and 

she  used  often  to  go  down  there  to  play 

alone.  It was  one  day  after she  had  been 

to  visit  Samuel  Hill, the village undertaker, 

that she  got  the idea  of  having  the  grave- 

yard.  She  went  straight off  to  the woods 

and brought  home  four  pretty  little    

hackmetack  trees,  which she planted in  the 

four corners of the lot she  had chosen, and

  then, happening to think it would  be better to    

secure  the ground by asking her father to give 

it  to her, she  went  in  pursuit  of  him.

"Papa!  Papa!"  she  called  aloud  as  he 

was  threshing  grain  in  the  barn;  "Papa, 

will  you  give  me  the  north-west  corner  of 

the garden?"

"The what, child?"

"The north-west corner of  the  old    

garden, papa.  It is bounded on  the north  by 

the seek-no-further  apple-tree,  east  by  the 

walk, south  by the  blackberry  bushes,  and 

west  by the sweet  corn field."

There was a  general laugh  at  the   

conclusion  of  this speech.  Father and  all  the 

threshers stopped  their work,  and held  their 

sides, while such peals of laughter resounded 

through the  great barn  as  brought  mamma 

and Hepsey out  to see  what was the matter

“You needn't make fun of me,"    

exclaimed Bertha,  "I tried  to  be  particular 

just to  save you the trouble of going  

down there.”

"Bertha wants me to deed  her the north 

 west  corner  of  the  garden,  mother,"  said 

Mr. Dickinson, as soon  as  he  could speak; 

"are you  ready to sign  the papers?"

"What do  you want it for, deary," asked 

mother.  "Are you  going  to  build  a  doll- 

house?"  Her mother knew that particular 

spot  was  her little girl's favorite resort,  and 

that scarcely  a  day  passed  but  the  dollies 

were  taken  there  too.  So she thought  of 

course  that  Bertha,  with  her  queer  ideas, 

was  planning  some  sort  of  a  dwelling  for 

them.  She  was  quite  unprepared  for  the 

answer,  and  the  roar  of  laughter,  which 

was repeated,  as  the  child  looked  up  very 

meekly,  and replied,

"I want  it for  a  graveyard,  mamma."

When father had recovered  the  power  of 

speech,  he  pursued his  inquiries further.

"What  are you going  to  bury, dear?"

Quick  as  a flash  of  light,  Bertha  picked 

up  her  father's  pipe,  which  lay  on  the 

wooden  bench  by  the  door.  "This first," 

said she, and off she ran.

So  quick  was  her motion,  and  the words 

that  accompanied  it,  that  no  one  of  the 

amused  group  perceived what she  had  done, 

and,  as  she  flitted  down  the  garden-walk, 

thought  only  that  she  was  running  from 

their mirth.

But, when work was  done, and the farmer 

was ready for  his  evening smoke,  the  pipe 

was  nowhere  to  be found.

"Where's  my  pipe?  Who's  seen  my 

pipe?"  shouted  father,  up  and  down  the 

yard,  in  no  very  pleasant tones.

"I  buried  it, father,  in  my  new  grave- 

yard," said  the  child  coolly.  

"Come  and see."

The  heavy  steps  of  the  tired  man,  and 

the  light  trip-trip  of  the  little  girl's  feet, 

fell  together  on  the  garden-walk,  as  they 

proceeded  to  the  north-west  corner  of  the 

garden,  where Bertha pointed to  a neat   

little mound  about  a foot long, nicely rounded 

and  turfed, at the head  of which was  placed 

a  bit  of shingle  with  the inscription 

Here lies

 My  Father's Pipe. 

Rest forever.

The  astonished  parent was  at  a loss  what 

to say.  He  hesitated whether to  laugh or 

chide.  He finally concluded  to  do  neither, 

but to  try to  get  at  the  child's  meaning  in 

all  this.  So, sitting down on an  overturned 

wheelbarrow,  he took  Bertha  on  his  knees, 

and  began  to  question  her. 

"Why did you do so, child?" 

"Because, papa, I  didn't  want  you  to 

die,  as  Mr.  Thurston  did,  of  pipe.  It's a 

fact,  papa," seeing  a smile  gathering in  his 

eye.  "I heard  Dr.  Bell  say so,  when  we 

were  coming  home from  the  funeral.  Miss 

Stevens  asked  him  what  ailed  Mr.  Thurs- 

ton,  and  Dr. Bell said,  'Pipe, Miss  Stevens, 

pipe.  He smoked himself out of this world 

into well,  Miss  Stevens,  I  can't  say  ex- 

exactly where  he  has  gone.  If folks get  so 

used  to  their  pipes  here  in  this  world,  I 

don't see what they're  going  to  do  in  the 

other.  Seems to me  they'll want  to  keep

up  the  smoking,  but  I'm  most  sure  they 

can't do  it in  Heaven;  for  you  know,  Miss 

Stevens, Heaven is  a  very  clean  place,  and 

they're not going  to  let  anything  in  there 

that  defileth.  So  I  don't  know.'  Now 

papa,  you see I wanted  you to  be my papa 

a  long,  long while first  before  you  die,  and 

then  I want you  to  go  to  Heaven.  So, you 

see, I thought I'd dig  a  grave  and bury the 

old pipe.  You  won't  dig  it  up,  will  you, 


The  farmer  held  his  peace  for  a  few 

minutes.  Then he spoke slowly, but firmly,

"No,  Bertha,  your  father  is  no  graverobber. 

I  shall  miss  the  old  pipe;  but  I 

suppose I must say  about  it  as we  do  about 

everything  that's  put  in  the  grave,  "Thy 

will  be  done.'"

"That's  good,  father,"  said  the  child 

with  a  kiss.  "Now I  have  a  good,  clean, 

everlasting  papa.  Ain't  everlasting  what 

we  call  things  that don't  die?" she  added, 

again  perceiving  a smile.

"Yes, sweety, but  then  none  of  us  are 

everlasting,  exactly,  we  all  have  to  wither 

and  die sometime."

"Why, no, papa; don't  the  Bible  say 

we live forever?"

"Was that  what  you  wanted  this  great 

grave-yard for?"  ask father, smiling  again, 

and seeking to divert the conversation, which 

he  feared  might  get  beyond  his  depth. 

"Was it only to bury that old pipe?"

"No, indeed," exclaimed Bertha 

earnestly.  "I'm  going  to  bury  lots  of such 

things  here.  I expect I shall have  a funeral 

almost  every  day.  I'm  going  to  bury 

old Aunt Smith's snuff-box  next.

"How will you get it?"

"Oh, I'll get it; I'll manage,  papa.

And  then  there's  Joe's  tobacco,  and  uncle 

Ned's  cigar,  and  lots  more  of  the  nasty 


Bertha  proved  a  busy little  undertaker, 

and  before  a week  had  passed, more  than 

a  dozen  interments  had  been  made  in  the 

new  cemetery.  The  graves  are  all  made 

evenly,  side  by side,  exactly the same size, 

nicely rounded  and turfed,  and,  at the head 

of each,  a  tiny board  on  which was  printed 

with  pen  and  ink  some  simple  epitaph. 

These  headboards cost  the little girl  a great 

deal of time and labor.  On one was  "Aunty 

Smith's  snuff-box.  Closed forever."  On 

another,  "Joe  Tanner's  pigtail.  Lost  to 

view."  On  the next,  "Cyrus  Ball's cigar. 

Burned out."  All were  equally  characteristic.

The north-west  corner  lot was  at  length 

full.  Over sixty neat little graves were there, 

in  rows  as  regular  as  the  children's  graves 

in  Greenwood.  The seek-no-further spread 

a  friendly  shade  over  the  spot,  and  the 

blackberries  ripened  beside  them;  and 

many  and  many  a  visitor  was  taken  slyly 

down  the garden-wall to see  Bertha's grave- 

yard.  But the best part of  the whole  was, 

that  for  every  little  mound  in  that  quiet 

spot,  there stood  a man or woman redeemed 

from  an  evil  habit,  a  living monument above 

it, and  all  alike  bearing  testimony  to  the 

faithfulness  and  perseverance  of  the  queer 

little  girl,  the hater of tobacco,  the  lover of 

purity  and  health,  and  of  Heaven. 

Mrs. H. E.  Brown, 

in  Christian  Weekly

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with meditation  and prayer.