WHEN we have picked the berries, mayn't we go over to the brook and fish awhile, mother?" begged Frank and Tom Merwin one fine May morning.

"No, dears," answered their mother; "you know grandpa leaves us this afternoon, and it would not be right for any of us to take the risk of missing his 'good bye.'"

Frank scowled, and Tom muttered something about it being "always the way."

"I am sorry that my dear boys care so little about giving the honor that is due to their parents," said Mrs. Merwin gently. 

"It is my wish, however, that my little sons shall be at home when their grandpa bids us farewell, and I hope that they will have the good sense and grace to yield cheerful obedience to my wish."

The boys took up their baskets, and prepared to pick the berries without further word, but their faces were not cheerful. 

It seemed that Tom had even caught Frank's scowl. Scowls are catching.

The bright skies, the glancing birds, and the luscious strawberries caused them to become better humored, and they appeared at the lunch-table with such bright faces that their grandpa never guessed there had been any scowling done on his account on this last day of his short visit.

"Can't you stay over one more Sabbath with us, father?" asked the lads' mother; "Dr. S. is to preach for us, and you have so often longed to hear him. He sails for Europe next week. You may never have another opportunity of seeing him. I wish you would remain."

"True," answered grandpa; "I would love to hear Dr. S., and I would dearly enjoy another week with you; and yet I cannot stay. Mother expects me on Saturday.   I told her I'd come home to her on that day, and of course I must."

"Why, grandpa!" exclaimed Frank. 

"Do you have to mind great-grandma yet?"

Grandpa laughed pleasantly as he answered, "Why yes I think I do. At least I shouldn't be happy were I to disregard her wishes, or to cause her any unnecessary anxiety. My dear old mother has been loving and kind to me all the days of my life. I don't believe that she ever gave me a causeless pang. Surely I ought to show her honor due. Oughtn't I, boys?"

The lads looked at each other, but as they seemed reluctant to reply, grandpa did not press them for an answer, but went on to say, "One of the most satisfactory reflections of my life is this, that from my earliest childhood I have obeyed my parents cheerfully. I do not remember ever having disobeyed my father. He died when I was but a little lad. And from that time to this I recall only one or two instances in which I rebelled against my mother's will and wish. I was wrong in every case, and sorely repented my action. But of all the times that I followed my mother's wish I have never repented of one. And nowadays," continued grandpa, smiling on the boys, "nothing disturbs me more than to feel that I am compelled to cause that dear mother uneasiness. So whenever it is in my power to save her any anxiety, I make a point to do it. I told her at parting when to look for me, and could I sadden her dim eyes by causing them to look and look in vain for her absent boy, who said he would come, but who did not keep his word?"

The lads' eyes, that had worn a serious look, twinkled with merriment as grandpa styled himself "a boy;" and grandpa, whose heart was young, although his hairs were gray, guessing the cause of their merry countenances, added pleasantly, "Old or young, my lads, we never get past being 'our boys' to our mothers; and I, for one, mean that my mother shall have a loving, respectful son so long as I live to honor her. 

Remember the fifth commandment: 'Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.'  'Tis the first commandment with a promise. Now think of it when grandpa is gone and you feel tempted to disregard your dear mother's wishes. Just remember that that which gives grandpa most pleasure now, is the reflection that all his life he has tried faithfully to keep the fifth commandment."

After grandpa had gone, Tom turned to his mother, and said, "I'm glad we didn't go fishing this morning."

“And I wish we had put a little more 'honor' into our obedience," added Frank, with a blush that did credit to his heart.

"Next time let's," said Tom decisively.

"Yes," said Frank, "let's follow grandpa's example. He's lived long upon the land; he's just the jolliest grandpa. I mean to be just like him, if I can."

"And I'm sure you can," said his mother, "if you continue in your resolve of following his example and in keeping the fifth commandment." 

Mary E. C. Wyeth.


"EVEN a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." Proverbs 20:11. And here is the rule by which it is known. The fifth commandment says, "Honor thy father and thy mother." That is, obey them cheerfully, with a smiling face, which will convince every one that you do honor them.

As I travel from place to place, I often find children that have a sour, ugly look on their faces. This is because they have formed the habit of looking sour when their parents tell them to do anything, and then when they wish to look pretty, they cannot, because the muscles of their faces have grown into that ugly shape. Should these children grow to be men and women, most of them would then look ugly, and act ugly, while those who always obey their parents with a cheerful smile will become more handsome both in appearance and actions as they grow older. Then how wise it was in the Lord to require children to cheerfully obey their parents. Children, do you always do this? Here is what the Lord says about it. "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance." 

Proverbs 15:13. 

"Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many." 

Proverbs 4:10. 

Children, never try to deceive your parents, for you always show guilt on your faces when you do it; but do just right and the Lord will bless you.