Says So 


GRANDPA Giles has laid down his newspaper, and is taking off his spectacles. The children all know what that means they are to have a story.

When I was a little boy, I lived on a farm. We had horses and cows and chickens; but best of all, we had a long hill that sloped from the grove back of the house way down to the river. There we used to slide by the hour together, some of the boys from the village, and your Uncle Seth and Aunt Rosa, and your grandmother too. She was a little girl then, and wore a scarlet hood and short dresses. One day my mother said to me, "Johnny, you are not to go to slide today; will you remember?"

"Why not, mamma? It's only cloudy, and the snow is as hard as can be."

"You cannot go, Johnny, because mother says she does not wish you to. 

Isn't that enough? "

"I think I might," said I, whining and beginning to cry. "I don't see why I can't have a good time as well as the other boys. I don't want to sit rolled up on the rug all day, just like the old cat."

My mother looked very sober, but did not say any more. She left me and went into the back kitchen to churn. I could hear the splashing of the cream and the regular turning of the dasher. She had asked me to ravel out a piece of carpet for the rug she was making. The carpet lay by me, but I didn't touch it. I sat with my arms on the windowsill, looking out at the snow. As I sat there, I heard voices and footsteps. They came nearer, and soon Henry Jones and Like White came up. I beckoned them to the window.

"What! Ain't you going to slide today, Johnny?" said Henry.

"No," I answered gruffly.

"Why not?" said Like; "you sick?"

"I can't go because mamma says I can't," I said.

"Didn't she tell you why? " said Henry.

"No; she thinks it's enough if she says so."

"Ah m! " said Like. "I always make my mamma tell me the reason why. I'm big enough to know what I ought to do;" and Like drew himself up and stood on his toes; but just then a snowball hit him on the back, and he came down flat, and we all laughed.

The boy who threw the snowball came up then to the window.

 "Why, Johnny," he said, "why don't you come out and have some fun? Are you playing prison? You ain't sick, are you?"

"I did have a little sore throat last night, but I don't feel it any now. 

My mamma says I can't go, and so I can't." "I tell you what," says Like, "you just slip out the front door and come down for an hour. She'll never know. 

Making butter, ain't she? "I hesitated. Just then I happened to look toward the fire. The cat lay there purring. I remembered what I had said about lying around just like her, and I jumped up, took my cap and overcoat, opened the front door softly, and went out. My woolen scarf I entirely forgot in my hurry.

"That's jolly," said Like; I never do anything 'cause my mother says I must. If she don't tell me why, catch me!"  My red "Antelope" never seemed heavier then when I drew it slyly around the back way that day, and the air never so cold. My mother's face seemed to be looking at me from the clouds, the river and the trees. I thought I heard her calling me two or three times, but the boys said it was only the wind.

"Like," I said at last, "I am sure mamma is calling me; I'm going."  I went back as I had come. I went into the sittingroom. It was still as I had left it. The old clock in the corner was-ticking, the miniature ship rocking on the top, and the cat lying on the hearth. How I wished then I were the cat in truth. I went out into the back kitchen, but mamma was not there. Just then Hugh, the hired man, came in. "Sakes alive!" he said; "Johnny, what have you been about? Your mother was going to take you on a sleigh-ride to Aunt Hannah's. She was going to surprise you, she said, but she saw a boy who said he saw you going down the hill. So you see she left me to look you up. She won't be back till after dinner.”  

"So I lost a sleigh-ride, and, by leaving off my scarf, took the scarlet fever.” But I learned a lesson. After this, "because mamma said so," was enough. And now I am old, I have learned a greater lesson: "Thus saith the Lord;" and when I don't see the reason why he has said it, I still trust him.