VERY early one morning in late October Bert and his little brother Herman woke up, and running to the window, peered out into the gray dawn. 

"Yes, there was a hard frost," said Bert, "and the nuts will drop off real easy." 

"Oh, I'm so glad," said his brother, "maybe papa will let us go today." 

All the fall the boys had been laying plans to go nutting with their father, and they had been waiting for a hard frost to come and open the chestnut burrs. 

They dressed and ran down stairs to ask their father to go that very day. 

"Oh, please do go father," they begged. Father said he was very sorry to disappoint his little boys, but that he must go away today on business. 

The boys were just getting ready to make some wry faces that looked a little like crying, when their father said, " It is such a good morning to gather nuts that I don't know but if neighbor Robinson's boy, Henry, wants to go along with you, and mother will put you up a luncheon, you may go without me when the dew has dried off. 

Only you must be sure to start home in time to get here before it is dark." Mother was glad to put them up a luncheon, and the boys ran over to neighbor Robinson's to see Henry. He promised to go, and by ten o'clock, Henry, Bert, and Herman, with their little sister Minnie, went trudging down the country road to the woods. The air was clear and the sun shone bright. Little squirrels and chipmunks ran across the road, or sitting on their haunches, peered curiously in the children's happy faces. 

When they got to the woods, they found the chestnut burrs cracked open and the nuts all ready to fall. Henry climbed the tree and shook them down, while Bert got a pole to help him. Minnie held her little apron for Henry to drop nuts into, and Herman picked up what fell to the ground. They found that they were not the only ones who were out nutting that bright autumn day; for little red squirrels with their bushy tails cocked over their backs were scampering up and down, in and out, among the trees, very busy laying up stores of nuts for the coming winter. 

Pretty soon they heard a shout from Herman who had strayed away from them. On going where he was, they found him with one hand in a hole in a gnarled old tree, and on drawing it out, he showed them a little bit of a squirrel that he had found. 

"Let's take it home," said Minnie. 

Bert wanted to do so, too, but his brother said, "Just think how sorry the squirrel's mother will be when she comes home and finds her baby stolen." 

Minnie thought squirrels didn't have any feelings, but Henry said he guessed they would better put it back. 

So after leaving the little thing safe and warm, they picked up their bag of nuts, Henry and Bert carrying the bag, Herman the basket, and little Minnie her apron full, and went home. 

In the evening, Herman drew on his slate a picture of the woods and flowers and the little brook, with Bert poking the nuts off with his long pole, just like the one on this page. Mamma thinks he will make quite an artist sometime. Don't you think so, too? 

W. E. L. 

No trait of character is rarer, none more admirable, 'than thoughtful independence of the 

opinions of others, combined with a sensitive regard to the feelings of others.’