HERE we are at last," cried a chorus of merry voices, as the train stopped at the little station of Elmwood, and a troop of boys and girls, with their teacher, hurried from the cars, and, carrying their well-packed dinner baskets, made their way across the fields to the beautiful elm grove. In all their lives, many of these children had never been beyond the brick walls of the great city, and for weeks they had been looking forward to the summer vacation, when they were to spend a day in the country.  "Follow me," said the teacher, and he led the way through a lane where the tall trees shut out the sunlight. Soon they came to a wide opening, where the soft grass spread out like a rich carpet to the edge of a little pond.

"Oh, isn't it beautiful!" cried the children, and leaving their baskets under a tree, they quickly scattered in all directions.

A fine large swing was hanging from two of the tallest trees, and some of the children rushed toward it. Harry Blake reached it first, and was about to say, "Now I'll have the first swing," when he remembered his teacher's lesson only the day before. It was about the "Golden Rule," and quickly turning to the little group that had eagerly followed him, Harry said, "Come on, boys, there'll be time enough for us all to swing. Let's begin with the youngest first." "All right," was the answer, and one of the boys turned to lift little Minnie Lee into the swing. But the child shook her head, and drew close to the side of her teacher, who had now come up and stood under the shade of a tree near by.

"Let me go," said her sister Mabel, "I'm not afraid;" so she climbed into the swing, and Harry pulled the rope. "Why, it's almost like being a bird," she said, "to fly up so high among the branches." 

By the time they had all taken their turn at the swing, it was noon. They spread their dinner upon the grass, and no meal eaten at home was ever enjoyed half so much as this one in that leafy nook, where the sunbeams played hide-and-seek and the wind made music among the branches.

After dinner, Mr. Deane told them stories, and they gathered wild flowers in the grove, and played games till it was nearly sun set. Then the cars bore them swiftly away to their city homes, but I think that little picnic is a bright spot in their memories, and they will be better and happier children for the summer day spent at Elmwood. 

N. S.