"HARRY, do stop pulling that tassel in pieces. You have nearly destroyed it already. Just see!" and Aunt Nellie held up the ragged remains of a once handsome curtain tassel. 

"Oh, dear! I did not mean to do that. I was looking out of the window, watching the snowflakes come down, and wondering if it would ever stop snowing so I could go skating." 

"It is owing to idle hands," said Aunt Nellie. 

"Satan, you know, always finds mischief for such kind of hands; you must find something to do to keep your hands out of mischief." 

"I was so in hopes," said Harry, "I should find something for my feet to do; but, oh dear! It does snow so I don't know as it will ever stop, and if it should, the ice will be all covered with snow, so I can't skate. I do feel so miserable with nothing to do." 

Harry Hayden was spending the winter with his Aunt Nellie. 

He went to school, and in the short winter days there was very little time for out-of-door sports. 

A holiday was looked forward to with a great deal of pleasure. Many a ride, coasting or skating party, was planned for such days; and great was the disappointment of all, if the rain or snow prevented carrying out their plans. 

A week before, Aunt Nellie had said, "Harry, if you have perfect lessons for a week, on your birthday we will ride out and see your cousins, James and Sarah. 

"They live close by a large pond; and you can all of you go skating in the afternoon, if the ice is all right by that time. That will give you a chance to try your new skates." 

Harry's mother had sent him a nice new pair for his birthday present, and he was very impatient to try them. 

Now, the long expected morning had come. 

Harry had been marked perfect for a whole week, and there was nothing to hinder his going,—nothing but a blinding snowstorm, the worst of the whole season, that made the roads impassable. 

Harry hoped for a few hours in the morning that it would stop and the sun shine; but now he had given that up, and was wandering around, feeling miserable enough. 

"Come out into the kitchen and help me," said Aunt Nellie after a while, seeing Harry could not busy himself about anything. 

"I don't know what I can do," said Harry, dubiously. 

"We will see. First, you may pare some apples. I shall want a few this morning. Then, you may look over that rice and those raisins, being careful not to eat more than half of them." 

Harry's hands were soon busy; and he began to look more cheerful, and before he knew it, dinnertime had come

After dinner, Aunt Nellie said: "Now, we will go up into the attic and look up a lot of papers that have pictures and stories. You can then make a scrap-book, if you like, this afternoon" 

In a short time, Harry was busy with the shears cutting out the pictures that pleased him, and the nicest stories, while Aunt Nellie pasted them into an old ledger. 

The hours flew by without his paying any attention. When bedtime came, he said, " I don't know but I have had about as good a time as I should if I had gone skating. I shall believe in having busy hands after this. I will put the rest of the papers away until another stormy holiday, when my hands get idle. By the time the winter is through, the book will be full, and I shall enjoy looking them over and reading the stories. It will remind me that idle hands are of very small account."

—N. M. Abbey.