LUCIE was a little girl five years old. Her real name was Lucinda, but no one ever called her that. Her papa died when she was a baby, and ever since that time she had been living with her mamma on Grandpa Nichol's farm.

Grandpa's house stood on a hill, with tall trees growing all around it. Down in the hollow back of the house was a pond where grandma kept her ducks and lily-white geese. Lucie liked to watch them swimming gracefully around the pond, and she would often carry them breadcrumbs in her apron. On one side of the house was a large orchard of old gnarled apple, peach, pear, and cherry trees. Here grandpa kept two little brindle calves. On the other side was an arbor, covered with a tangled mass of grape-vines. It was a pleasant home, and Lucie liked it well.

One morning she waked up very early; for she had been told that her cousins were coming from town that day, and she wanted to watch her grandma do the baking. On the kitchen table stood loaves of snowy white bread ready to be put in the huge brick oven, and grandma was busy cutting out wonderful little boys and girls and birds from cookie-dough.  Lucie clapped her hands when she saw them, and said, "O grandma, are you making them for me?"

"Yes, dear," grandma replied; "for you and your cousins Harry and Minnie." Lucy was eager to help in getting ready for the company, so her mamma told her she might take her little broom and sweep off the porches and steps. This took some time, for the porches were long and wide. Lucy was a kind, helpful little girl, and was willing to do everything she could, and some things that she couldn't do. She thought she wouldn't trouble her mamma to tell her any more things to do, so she looked around to find something. She swept the walk from the house to the gate as clean as a parlor floor. Then she saw the plants standing in the sitting room window.

"Mamma forgot to water “em," thought Lucie;

"I guess I'll do it for her." So she ran to the woodshed, and filled the watering pot with water.

It was almost more than she could do to get it to the sitting room and lift it up off the floor to water the plants. She could not do it very well, and got more water and dirt on the floor than on the plants.

There stood in the window a beautiful geranium with yellow and green-leaves.

Lucie thought because they were part yellow that they were dead, and picked them all off, as she had seen her mother do to the dead leaves on other plants.

Then she went to a plant that stood in a chair, and began to water it, but it was up so high that the water all went on the chair and the pretty carpet.

Her mamma came in just then, and looked very sorry when she saw what Lucie had been doing.

She did not scold her, for she knew that the willing little hands had tried to do the best they could.

She kissed the flushed face, and told her next time to come and ask when she wanted to do anything; then she sent her out to give the chickens their breakfast. Lucie ran gaily to the hen-park, happy in thinking that she had helped her mother. It seemed as if the sun shone a great deal brighter and the grass was greener then when she first got up.  Perhaps some other little girls might feel happier and things might look prettier, if, instead of thinking of themselves and their play, they would try to help their mothers in every way they could; but they should remember always to ask when they want to do anything, lest, like Lucie, they hinder more than they help.





W. E. L.