Little Stiches


IT was such a long seam, and stitching was so tiresome, that Minnie thought she would never reach its end.  Everything out of doors was tempting, as if coaxing her forth for a frolic. The air came in fresh and clear through the open window, the birds were singing, and the flowers were blooming. Very nearly shaken was Minnie's, resolution, when a gay little songster hopped quite, close beside her on the window-ledge, and after-a merry "peep, peep," flew quickly down the garden path. How she would have liked to run after him!

Once she threw down the tiresome sewing, and half rose from her seat. And then, with a sigh, she took up her task again. Mamma's face rose before her; and she seemed to hear the kind words come from her lips. "I so much want my little girl to be a good, useful woman, and it would' please me very much if she would go cheerfully to her tasks, and strive to make a pleasure of them."' Minnie was fond of her mother, and anxious to please her; but how to make it a pleasure to push that shining needle in and out of the white cloth, she did not quite understand.

And then, as, still thinking, she worked on, she noticed how very neat and tidy one small stitch looked among its fellows. If one small stitch looked so well, how much better would many such look, she thought.

So, with dainty care she pushed the needle through, most carefully drew her thread, and soon, like little, soldiers well-drilled to their parts, a whole row of little stitches stood bravely side by side; but the best part of it all was that in trying to make each stitch smaller than its mate; Minnie forgot entire about the time.

The minutes which had seemed so slow when she stopped to count them, slipped gaily by when she gave them no thought; and when the big clock on the mantel chimed the hour, she looked up in astonishment to think that the task-time had passed. Then all in a moment she knew what her mamma meant. She saw now that to do well whatever she had to do, was a pleasure in itself.

"Just look at my little, little stitches, mamma," she exclaimed in a merry voice, running into the room, work in hand, where her mamma was busy over her task.

"Little stitches, sure enough," she answered cheerily, looking with pleasure upon Minnie's flushed, happy face. "And today my little girl has learned a very important thing. Life is all full of tasks; but they can be made pleasures instead of hardships, if you but know the way.

When you come to a hill of difficulty, my child, instead of sitting down discouraged at the bottom, start at once to climb it. Mount it bravely with a song in your heart, and the chances are strong that little by little the path will grow easier, and the flowers of duty well performed will  blossom forth to cheer you. But now run away, dear, and have a good play. I hear Willie calling you at the end of the lane." And do you know, children, that those little stitches were Minnie's pleasantest companions the live-long day!