"Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you." 

This was Bennie's verse for the day; over and over he read it, then he closed the little red Bible papa had given him, and an odd smile lit up his face. 

"That's the hardest one I've had yet," he said. 

"I haven't got but one enemy, but I'm quite sure I couldn't love him. 

And as to doing good to him—well, I ought to, of course—" So thought Bennie, as he trudged along; but a sharp whistle ahead suddenly drove verse and all from his mind. 

"It's Tom," he cried joyfully. "I wonder what he's got to tell me now. About that new game, I hope. Was there ever, ever such a boy as Tom?" 

"I want to tell you," he began, as soon as Bennie came in sight, but Bennie interrupted him. 

Somehow the contrast of Tom's friendly face and the thought of how he loved him suddenly brought the verse to mind; he regarded his hero with a disappointed air. 

Tom was not at all the kind of boy Bennie wanted to see that moment. 

"I wish you were my enemy, Tom Hart," he said soberly. "I would give anything if you were Bob Tyler now. I want to try something, something the Bible says about—" 

"About enemies?" broke in Tom. "That's funny enough, Bennie Lee. If you want to try to love your enemy, you've got the best chance in the world just now. Listen, Ben. Who do you think has just gone into your school? Why, Bob Tyler, old straw hat, patches, and all. I was going to tell you, because I know what a time he'll have with some of those mean boys, and I feel awfully sorry for Bob. I know he was mean to you; but if you want to try to love your enemy, now's your time; you can do something in your sweet little way—" 

But again the bell rang; the last time, now, and Bennie, without time to answer, hurried on to school. Sure enough, there sat Bob Tyler, with his eyes cast down and a very unhappy look on his face; sure enough, there were the mean boys nudging each other and staring at him with mocking smiles. 

Despite his broken boat and the stolen walnuts, Bennie's heart began to ache for him. What a hard time he would have, what a dreary time, he thought. 

"Do good to them that hate you." 

Oh, he wanted to, now, he so wanted to, now; but what could he do—one little boy among so many - to make it pleasanter for him? Just now he wanted to do something. If he could only think— 

A joyful little cry burst from Bennie's lips; his hand was quickly raised for permission, and then away he trudged down the long room to the new boy's desk. He could speak no word; his heart was too full for that; he only laid in the little, rough hand the pretty rose mamma had buttoned in his coat that morning, and silently turned away, but not before he saw the surprised look and heard the words,— 

"You're the last boy I thought would ever like me, Bennie Lee; but you won’t be sorry for it, see if you are." 

What a happy boy was Bennie as he went back to his desk! 

"Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you." He had tried it; he had done the one little kindness that moment in his power. And he found the joy that all find who obey the words of the Holy Book. 

Only a flower; but the gift gained him a friend he came to love almost as much as Tom,—a friend he kept all through life.

—Rasa Graham