JESSIE RIGGS sat silent and thoughtful upon the lower step of the piazza. Her elbow rested on her knee, her chin was in her hand, while her eyes had a far-away look in them, as if they sought the solution of some question in the distance.

She was so completely lost in thought that she did not observe the presence of her uncle George, who came out on the piazza and seated himself a few steps above her.  For some minutes the silence remained unbroken. At length Mr. Riggs said gently, "Of what are you thinking so busily, Jessie?"  Jessie started like one aroused from sleep: 

"Oh, Uncle George, is that you? How long have you been here? "

"I have been sitting here for a few minutes, wondering what great question was bothering my little niece's head," was Mr. Riggs's reply.

Jessie and her uncle were great friends, and often had long conversations upon one topic or another. 

Whenever she was puzzled by a hard lesson or wanted some subject explained to her growing mind, it was Uncle George to whom she went for help.

So she turned confidingly to him, and said, "I was thinking, uncle, of Mary Stone, and wishing that people would say the same things about me that they do of her." 

"And what do they say of her, my dear?"

"Why, the poor people of the village call her an angel; old men and women cry 'God bless you!' when she passes; and all the boys and girls at school think there is no one like her."

"And you would like to have them say the same pleasant things of you?"

"Yes, sir," replied Jessie, clasping her hands, "very much. They say she is sure of her crown in Heaven; I don't believe any one says that of me."

"Do you see that field of waving wheat over yonder?" asked Mr. Riggs. 

"How thrifty and flourishing it looks, with its bearded heads tossing and bending in the summer wind!"

"Yes, uncle, but we were talking of Mary Stone, you know."

"True, my dear, but you know that I am fond of parables. We will get back to Mary, never fear. How came the wheat there?"

"Why it grew, of course," was Jessie's answer.

"Yes, it grew," replied her uncle, "But what had to be done first? Did it grow from nothing?"

"No, sir, of course not. Papa had the ground plowed and the seed sown."

"Just so, my child, must we do in this world to obtain the crown prepared for us in Heaven. In the Bible it is said, 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.'Now, your little friend Mary has, I hear, carried many a bowl of soup and many a warm blanket to the poor of the village. 

While others have been at their play, she has visited the old and sick, read the Bible to them in her sweet child voice, brightened their rooms with little nosegays from her own garden, and made her bright face welcome everywhere. Then at school no one has heard her lips utter an unkind or rude word; she is always ready to join heartily in work or play. No wonder she is a favorite. In this world she is sowing the seed of kind words and deeds, and she is sure to reap an abundant harvest. Now do you understand, Jessie, why I brought the wheat-field into our conversation?"

"Yes, sir," answered Jessie. "You wish to show me that as the wheat would not be growing in the field unless the seed had first been sown, so I cannot hope to be liked as Mary is, unless I live so as to deserve it."  "Yes, my dear, that is it; and one thing more. As the plowing and sowing will not make a harvest unless the rain from heaven fall on the seed, so must you have God's blessing with you if you would live a life full of good works. Try to think of this every morning when you rise, and ask God to help you to be one of his children, doing good to all around you."

 S. S. Visitor.