WHEN little Theodora was born, there came to her from grandpa and grandma, and the aunties and friends far and near, beautiful birthday things, in rosewood and silver and satin and lace. She was the first baby that family had possessed for a long time, and they made a great stir about her.

And the same day that her little life began, in the big beautiful house under the old oaks at Creston, there came a wee daughter into a poor little house on the road-side, just where you passed out of the Creston gate.

One of the baby Theodora's aunties lived at the Manse, being the pastor's wife; and on her way home, after seeing the little stranger at Creston, she stopped at the road-side cottage with a glass of jelly for the other baby's mother, and a small white garment for the other baby. "It's not much as we have to share with her, mem," the mother was saying; "but we 'a monstrous proud, and glad to get her; and we can 't find any name just good enough for her, Andy and me can't."

"Oh! call her Dorothea,—that means gift of God too," said the pastor's wife, and then told of the new baby at Creston, and how the grateful mother there had called her treasure Theodora,—gift of God.

So Dorothea became the other baby's name.

There was no rosewood crib, nor silver spoon, nor satin quilt, sent to greet Dorothea's coming; but she had a wonderful birthday gift nevertheless; for two shining angels stood over the little wooden cradle, and brought her a gift from her heavenly Father. Their names were Contentment and Thankfulness; and the gift was a gossamer veil, too fine to be seen by mortals, but throwing a brightness all about Dorothea. Seen through this veil, the sky was always blue, the earth always green, and sunshine rested on everything. "The best baby ever was," the happy mother said; while the little Dorothea sat, and cooed, and laughed, and played with her bare toes and her rag baby.

"My Dolly never loses a chance for a smile," the father used to say, as she grew into a merry, useful daughter of the house; and all the while the angel gift lay across her eyes, making every day's life beautiful and sweet.

The little daisies that grew by her door made her glad; the bare cottage in which she lived seemed a beautiful home to her; the plain gowns her mother could afford pleased her simple taste, and every kind look and tone from the neighbors touched her to gratitude.

I do not know about Theodora; I hope she grew up wise and kind, and anxious to share her abundance with everybody else; I hope so, but I do not know, for it is not always so with the little ones rocked in rosewood cradles; but I am sure that Dorothea's birthday gift was worth a prince's fortune to that little road-side cottage.

And, dear little people, though silver and gold may not be waiting for you, the white-winged angel Prayer, stands ready to bring you from above, and your heavenly Father is ever ready to bestow-Dorothea's birthday gift, a contented spirit.




Elizabeth P. Allan.