YOU will expect to hear of spring-time and blue-birds and robins and long brown furrows waiting for the seed; but it was late in December. 

Outside, the world was white and sparkling; snow on the bare fields, snow on the roofs, snow lying in such heavy masses on the hemlock boughs that the saucy jays scolded noisily as they flirted their bright wings through it. Inside, the house was warm as the breath of summer; and in the library the carpet was flooded with sunshine that made it look like a bed of golden green moss. That is just what Daisy pretended it was, and she sat there with piles of papers strewn about her, stroking her gray kitten and singing softly a little song of her own.

All at once the door opened, and Uncle Nat came in. He walked slowly, for he was an invalid and quite lame. Daisy sprang up and wheeled the easy chair into the very sunniest spot, where he could look across the river at the White Mountains he loved so much.

"Setting your house in order? " he asked, looking at the piles of papers.

"Yes," said Daisy, scowling a little; 

"mamma said I must arrange all my papers neatly before I went to grandma's, and I'm so tired of the papers. Just see, Uncle Nat; the drawer is full, and all these besides. I mean to burn them up." 

"Why not take them with you?" 

"To grandma's?" asked Daisy, in astonishment. "There'll be better fun there than reading old papers."

"I wasn't thinking of fun. Suppose you should take a large package of these papers and scatter them along as you go; give them to children at the stations where you stop; throw them out of the window near huts and cabins; be a sort of little seed-sewer. Daisy, I suppose every one of these papers contains some good seed that might spring up in some heart if it had a chance. Now you can have a field five hundred miles long to sow it on. It will be very strange if some of it does not grow."

"What a splendid plan!" Daisy danced about with excitement, and immediately decided to fill her school satchel with the very neatest and prettiest of her Sabbath-school papers. Uncle Nat helped her fold them into the smallest possible compass and tie them securely, and then Daisy could think and talk of nothing else. She had a world of pleasant fancies about the mission of the little papers, and the messages they would carry and it seemed as if this new project had fairly driven all thoughts of the Christmas gathering and the long, delightful journey out of her mind.

Oddly enough, it chanced that the very morning they set out papa read at prayers how Christ sent his disciples out to teach, and the words that went deepest into Daisy's heart were these,

"And as ye go, preach."

"You see," said papa, "Christ did not tell them to wait until they got somewhere before they began, but to preach as they went along, every day and everywhere, and that is the way we must do."

"That's what I shall say to my little papers when I send them out," whispered Daisy to Uncle Nat as she bade him good-by.

"And don't forget to ask for a blessing on the seed sown," said Uncle Nat.  Daisy answered with another kiss, and then the train moved slowly out and she was fairly started on her long journey.

Papa was soon buried in his paper; mamma was thinking anxiously of matters at home, and wondering if everything would move smoothly in her absence, and Daisy sat by the window impatient to begin her seed sowing.  For half an hour the train made no stop, but at last they drew up at a large town where quite a crowd was gathered about the station. Daisy's courage almost failed her, but at last she ventured to drop a paper into the basket of a boy who passed under her window with apples to sell.

To her great disappointment he took it out and threw it rudely away, but two little girls ran after it and carried it into a cabin near the track, where Daisy saw them showing it to their mother. After a few trials she quite lost her timidity, and the papers went fluttering out at every station until the satchel was nearly empty.

Now Daisy had a secret, which she had not told any one but mamma. In the very bottom of the satchel was a neat little package carefully wrapped and tied up. Inside were two or three Sabbath-school papers, a beautiful card with the motto, "He careth for you," and a lot of puzzle pictures with which Daisy had amused herself when she was quite a little girl and had the scarlet fever.

It was almost evening, and Daisy sat with her face pressed against the window looking down the deep gorges among which they were slowly creeping, and up at the great frowning rocks that almost over-shadowed them. Presently the engine gave a long whistle that was echoed and re-echoed among the mountains.

"Now we are coming to the bridge," said Daisy. "Please open the window, mamma." The train moved more and more slowly, and at length almost stopped just as it came upon a long trestlework built over a deep ravine. At the bottom of the ravine was a little brook, and beside it, half buried under a big hemlock-tree, a small brown house with a whitewashed fence around it.

"There's the house, mamma," said Daisy in great excitement; "it's the very one where we saw the little girls swinging on a grapevine last summer;" and leaning out at the window she tossed the little parcel into the ravine. Down, down it went, dropping not at all where Daisy wanted it to fall, but outside of the fence in the snow. 

Something followed after, fluttering more slowly and settling at last on a bush where it waved like a little rosy flag. In her eagerness Daisy had dropped her pretty silk handkerchief.

"Never mind, daughter," said papa, "they will be sure to find that, even if they miss the papers."

"I am afraid the house is deserted," said mamma. "The snow does not seem to be broken around the fence."

"Oh, no, mamma," said Daisy. "Don't you see that little path from the back door leading up the hillside? And I am almost sure I saw somebody at the window. Oh, I do hope they'll find it."

By this time they had crossed the trestlework, and the train rushed away as if to make up for lost time. Darker and darker fell the shadows, and Daisy soon fell asleep, to dream that her little messengers were sailing after the train and fluttering at the windows like a flock of white doves.





IF you have seen the mountain valleys in winter, looking so still and white and lonesome, you never would guess how lovely they can be in the spring, when the grass along the little brooks is a tender green, and every sheltered nook and sunny slope is sown thick with delicate blossoms, or later when all the hillsides are covered with the rosy snow of the laurels and the wild azaleas. 

That was the way they looked when Molly went where she was to live with her mother and her brother Joe. If I said it seemed like a fairy-land to a child whose whole life had been passed in the garret of a miserable city tenement house, that would not half express it, for Molly had never heard of fairies, and had seen flowers only in shops and in rich men's gardens. It was hard for her to understand that she might go where she pleased and gather what she chose; but by-and-by she grew accustomed to her freedom, and while her mother sewed, and scrubbed, and made garden, and kept the little hut tidy, and Joe came home every night, black, and hungry, and good-natured, from his work with the charcoal-burners, Molly explored the valley, waded in the brook, gathered flowers and berries, and grew stout and rosy, if one could have seen the roses under such a covering of sunburn and freckles.

What do you think: do the good times make the bad times easier to bear? Or is it easier to get along with bad times when you have never known anything different? 

At least I know that when Molly, after six months of downright fun, fell out of a chestnut-tree and broke her leg, she thought that she was the most miserable child in all the State of Pennsylvania. There were no doctors in that region, but Joe brought down one of the charcoal-burners, a sort of horse-doctor who knew something about bones, and he bound up the broken leg after an awkward fashion, and then there was no more to be done but to wait.

"Be patient, sis," Joe would say every morning; "bones don't grow in a night.  "Oh, how Molly wished that they did, and how long and weary the days and nights seemed.

By-and-by she could sit at the window; and that was some comfort, though it was winter and nothing ever stirred in the valley except the jays that flew screaming about, the great hawks that sailed overhead, and now and then a rabbit that ventured into the garden to nibble a frostbitten turnip or cabbage leaf. But Molly found a new pleasure in watching the daily trains that crept across the long trestlework almost over her head. She never cared for them before, but now she watched eagerly, glad of a sight at the faces crowding the windows, the brakemen on the platforms, the firemen on the engines. Once a little boy's cap fell from his head into the ravine. 

Joe brought it in, and it hung on the wall still; a pretty blue velvet cap, too small for any of them, but Mrs. Longdon said she would make a fine cushion of it some day, or perhaps a bag for Molly. So one after another the days passed by, and Molly's leg was mending slowly in spite of its clumsy setting, when a new misfortune came upon her. She fell asleep in her chair, and, starting up suddenly, displaced the bone, and there was all the work to be done over again.

Poor Molly felt as if it was too much to bear, and nobody could say a word to comfort her, so she sat in her chair pale and disconsolate, too unhappy to care for anything. She heard the train coming, and it made her almost angry. It was near Christmas, and there would be lots of happy people on it, going about and having good times, while she must stay there, and nobody in all the wide world cared anything about her. The train came nearer. 

Yes, it was just as she supposed, all the coaches were full of people.

There were two children at one window, and there at another was a girl, no bigger than she was, with such a pretty scarlet hood on! She was leaning out at the window; she had lost something, or did she toss it out? It certainly looked as if she did it on purpose, and Molly saw just where it fell. She was so much excited she could hardly wait until her mother came in from feeding the cow.

"Right under that big bush, mother," she said, eagerly, "I saw her throw it, and she dropped something red too, you can see it hanging."

"It's likely an old lunch-box; or a candy-box maybe," said Mrs. Longdon. Molly thought it would be a pleasure to have even an empty candy-box, but her mother would not go out to see.

"You must wait till Joe comes home," she said. "There's no path broke, and my shoes are not fit for wading. It would go hard if I was laid up now with rheumatism."

So Molly sat, scarcely taking her eyes from the spot lest she should lose it in the twilight, until Joe came home and tramped through the snow, guided by the little red signal. Sure enough, he brought something up from the snow, carefully detached the bright flag, and carried it daintily between his thumb and finger.

"A pretty silk handkerchief with a scarlet border," he said, dropping it in Molly's lap.

"Now for the parcel," and he took out his big knife to cut the string, while Molly's pale cheeks flushed and her eyes grew bright as stars with expectancy.

You and I know what was in the parcel, but we cannot quite guess what a delight it was to the lonely, crippled child, without a playmate or a book or a plaything in the world.

"Well, of all things!" said Mrs. Longdon, while Joe drew his sleeve across his eyes and said with a queer laugh, "I reckon Santa Claus must have been on that train, sis."

"It wasn't Santa Claus," said Molly, "it was a dear, good little girl, and she did it a-purpose; I saw her."

It was a little seed, and cost very little trouble to sow, but by God's blessing it took root and grew. The puzzle pictures furnished delight for many a weary hour. 

The beautiful card, for which Joe made a frame of fir branches, preached a daily sermon in its assurance of divine care, and the papers with their simple stories and lessons from the Bible found a way into Mrs. Longdon's heart.

"We're no better than heathen," she said to Joe, "and it's a shame for me that was brought up to 'tend preachin' and say the catechism of a Sabbath. Do you tell Minot to fetch us out a Bible when he goes down again with charcoal. We ain't so poor but we've got souls to look out for."

"I'll do it," said Joe, and so he did.

The next summer as Molly sat reading to her mother from the new Bible, she found this verse: 

"Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you."

"Oh, that's what the card says," she exclaimed;" do you suppose God sent it to tell us He cared for us?"

"Maybe so," said her mother, "I'm sure it was good of him to care for us when we didn't care anything about him."

"And we ought to thank him," said Molly.

"Yes, indeed, child."  And Molly leaned her arms upon her book and looked up very reverently at the sky as she said,' "Thank you, God, for caring for us." 


 in Christian Union.

SOME little folks have a habit of whining. They get up in the morning in a bad humor, and they whimper, and whine, and make ugly faces, and put everybody in pain who hears or sees them. It is a habit, which is easily formed; and once formed it is very hard to break off. The whining boy or girl is sure to make a scolding man or woman, unless a sweeter spirit comes to bless the life.