"I can do it. I tell you I am big enough. You needn't be afraid to trust me to do a little thing like that."

This was what Kelsey Wright was always saying.

He was an ambitious boy. He hated to be thought a little boy. He liked to be entrusted with work such as older people did. He was really capable and trustworthy for his age; therefore he was trusted a good deal. 

It was a great mortification to him to fail. He never would fail, if he could help it; he would leave no stone unturned by which success might be attained.

These were very good and hopeful qualities in a little boy; and his parents often said of him, "Kelsey will be successful in business when he is a man, because he is smart and persevering."

How he learned, that, even in a good cause, he must not do evil, I am going to tell you.

One day Mr. Wright was called away from home suddenly. Fire was raging in Bruin's Woods, and the neighbors were called to help put it out.

"Fred must go with me. Kelsey, you must drive the cows to pasture, and clear up the barn. I've fed the horse already. He'll need nothing more but drink. Give him water by- 

and-by. I presume I shall get home by noon."

He went away, and Kelsey went manfully about his work, which he did in a very thorough manner. Before noon, the barn was as neat as shovel and broom, and plenty of clean sand, could make it. Everything was in its own proper place.

"I wish you'd come out, mother, and see how nice the barn looks," said Kelsey, who liked to have his work praised.

"I'm very busy, dear. Father will see when he comes. I've no doubt you've done it well," said she.

Kelsey went back to look once more, and make sure he had left nothing undone.

Noon came; but the father did not come as he expected. Dandy was whinnying in his stall for his noon feed of cut hay. The hay cutter stood there; but there were standing orders that no boy was ever to meddle with it. Cutting the hay was the father's work, and he would have no help about it: that was well understood.

Two o'clock, and Mr. Wright had not come yet. Kelsey came into the barn every few minutes, and every time he came, Dandy whinnied.

"It's time he had his hay; father always gives him hay at noon. He isn't coming home, and I ought to give it to him," said Kelsey.

He knew well enough that it wasn't essential that Dandy's hay should be cut for him, though the horse liked it better so, and usually had it so. He wouldn't listen to a little voice within, suggesting that it would be better to give it to him uncut than to disobey orders; he wouldn't heed the thought that he had better ask his mother what it was best to do. "Dandy must have his cut-feed;" that was all he would allow himself to think.

He climbed upon the mow, and threw down the hay. Then he came down and began to put it into the hay cutter; then he took hold of the handle, and began to turn. It worked delightfully. Why wasn't his father willing to let him cut hay? It was the easiest, most interesting work.

He was proving himself able to do it, quite to his own satisfaction, and had almost finished the work, when a coarse bit of brier obstructed the working of the machine. He put his hand over to remove it.

He never knew how it happened; but in half a minute he was running to his mother with a white, scared face, and the blood dripping from his forefinger, which was shortened almost an inch.

"It cost me just that forefinger to learn to obey orders," Mr. Kelsey Wright tells his own little boys. 


 in Well-Spring.