NETTIE Raymond was usually a happy child, but today something caused the bright eyes to look very unhappy. 

The smile that her face usually wore was gone, and the red lips stuck out a great deal too far; altogether, she seemed very miserable.

 She stood at the corner of her father's great white house, kicking up the grass with the toe of a chubby shoe, while one hand pulled the leaves from a great rosebush that stood near, covered with pretty buds. Nettie did not see the buds this morning. 

Naughty thoughts would not let her see anything beautiful.

Grandpa sat on the piazza reading a paper. The rosebush grew just at the end of the stoop, and when he heard the great shaking, he looked up and saw his little granddaughter tearing it to pieces in a way that surprised him. After thinking a moment, he said very gently, "My dear little Nettie, come here."

Nettie looked up slowly from under her pink-and-white sunbonnet, and saw grandpa's kind gray eyes looking at her. She loved her grandpa dearly, and was always glad to sit with him whenever he wished her to, but today the little feet moved toward him very slowly. What do you think was the matter, children? I think a naughty spirit was creeping into her heart.

Grandpa thought so too. He waited until she came close to his side, when he gently drew her into his lap and said, "This does not look like Nettie; let us see if we can find out what has taken the smiles away from her face."

 The red lips trembled, and tears shone in her blue eyes. "Oh dear!" she said, "I just wish I wasn't any girl at all, but a big, grown-up woman; then Ann could not send me out of the kitchen when I want to stay and help her make pies."

"Well," grandpa replied, "Ann is very busy this morning, and does not want to be bothered; besides, Nettie was a little cross, wasn't she? If you had asked pleasantly for a piece of piecrust, I think Ann would have given you some. There is something Nettie wants besides pies to make her happy. Shall I tell you what it is?" 

Nettie nodded, and laid her curly head on grandpa's shoulder. He took one little brown hand in his and stroked it while he said, "You need, more than anything else, a clean heart; your heart is stained with naughty thoughts, which make you feel cross. 

If they are not washed away, you will be a miserable little girl all day; but if you really want them to leave you, God can help you send them away, and will give you oh, so gladly! A clean heart.  "Then he asked her if she would like to ask for a clean heart now.

"Yes," she said. 

So she repeated this little verse after grandpa very slowly: 

"Create in me a clean heart, O God." They said it over and over, until the little blue eyes 

Had closed, and Nettie was fast asleep.

Grandpa saw a smile play around his darling's mouth, and he thought Nettie had a clean heart now, or she would not have sweet dreams to make her smile. God had heard her little prayer, and had forgiven her for her cross temper and naughty thoughts, and now the ugly spirit had gone and she was happy once more like herself.

My dear children, do you want clean hearts? If you do, ask your kind Heavenly Father to give them to you. Every morning, when you awake, say the verse in the Bible that Nettie did: "Create in me a clean heart, O God."