OLD Ana lived away back in the country, not a house being in sight. And after you had left the highway, you had to cross a rustic bridge over a narrow stream. The house was a small brown one, hardly as fine as those warmly thatched beehives that were ranged along the sunny side of it. It was pleasanter outside than within, but it was Ana's home, and the children loved it because she lived there. Out in the garden there were matted beds of yellow periwinkles, that almost crowded out the weaklier plants, and long rows of hollyhocks that purpled and crimsoned in the sun. Tall coxcombs lifted their heads high in air, and "Love-lies-bleeding" trailed its stained blossoms in the pitiless sand. But in the house there was not much beauty; Ana herself was far from fair; her hair had been bleached by the suns of many summers; and the tears of more than seventy years had sadly faded the blue of her eyes. She was a poor old woman, who was not very learned, and whose life had been one of constant toil, but I think her heart was still young, for she was fond of little children.

In one of her dingy rooms there was a heavy wooden loom, where Ana sat, day after day, throwing the shuttle from side to side, filling the "warp" with long strips of cotton or woolen "carpet rags." Sometimes they were bright as the flowers in her garden, sometimes they, were dull as the old stone wall around it; but the carpet, when it came from the loom, was often very gay, and fairly dazzling to the eyes of inquisitive children. Perhaps it looked brighter still when spread on her old floor for them to look at.

If some of you had seen the old carpet weaver as she labored hour after hour, the work would have seemed hard, and you would have thought the task unpleasant; but do you know that you are at work at a similar business every day, every hour, every moment of your lives? There is a "web" that God has given you to weave, and with it a "pattern" wonderfully varied, and more beautiful than human genius can design. 

At times the web is very white, at times it seems dipped in blood; one day the rainbow is not more brilliant, the next, the storm cloud covers it with blackness. Now we have the gold of the setting sun, then the roseate hue of early dawn, or the purple of the distant hills there is no shade or tint that may not shine or glisten here; there is no line or curve that may not decorate this web.

By-and-by the Master's hand shall cut the threads and gather up the web complete. Then shall it borrow priceless beauty from his glance, or crumble like dust beneath his touch. This web is the web of life; the pattern is Christ, and God slowly dyes it for us with carefulness and skill. Tears fade it, sorrow darkens it, sin mars it, but the smile of God brightens and restores. 

E. U., in Little Christian