Four Pairs of Hands.

"GRANDMOTHER," said a little girl, "I

wish I had four pairs of hands to help you


"Oh," thought the old lady, "how happy

I am in having a grandchild so ready

and willing to comfort my old age. Four

pairs of hands! According to that, I am

afraid I shall hardly find enough to keep

one pair busy."

In the afternoon grandmother went into

the woods to cut herbs. "You will spread

supper," she said to the little girl, "put on

the brown loaf, and mug of milk, and the

cold mutton, and make a cup of tea." And

the nice old lady put on her shaker bonnet

and took her way to the woods, wishing the

four pairs of hands could go with her.

Sunset filled the earth with golden light,

when grandfather from the brick-yard, and

grandmother from the forest, turned their

tired feet toward the cottage. Each thought

of supper, and what a good sauce hunger

was to give it a relish. Grandmother also

pleased herself on the way fancying her little

girl trotting about the old kitchen, and

making its gray walls cheerful with her

nimble fingers and glad song.

The old lady came into the porch.

There sat grandfather, tired and alone,

leaning on the top of his staff. No supper,

no tea-kettle singing, no little grandchild

to welcome her.

"Where is Elsie? Has she fallen into

the well?" asked grandmother, her kind old

heart going pit-a-pat. She looked out at

the window. There was Elsie swinging on

the gate.

"Elsie, Elsie," called grandmother,

"Why did you not get supper as I bade

you, child?"

"Oh! Because" drawled Elsie.

"For my part, I would rather have what

one pair of hands will do than four pairs

can promise," said the old lady.

Ah, selfish people are always generous

with what they don't happen to have.

National Journal,