WILLY was curled up in a corner of the sofa in the breakfast room, with a lap full of flowers.

"Willy! Willy! William!” somebody called from up stairs.

Down went the cinnamon roses, and columbines, and lilies of the valley, allover the floor, while Willy flew up  stairs two steps at a time, to see whatauntie wanted. Willy wasn't a boy, as you might suppose from her name,but a brisk, bright little girl, eight  years old. She was named for her aunt Wilhelmina, this very auntie who was sitting there on the floor in her room unpacking her trunk. But Wilhelmina was a name quite too long for everyday use, and so the little girl was called Willy for short, and sometimes William for fun. Well, there sat auntie in the midst of her possessions,and Willy's eyes grew big as she saw the pretty things that were scattered around.

"Of course you've brought me something, auntie, haven't you? You always do, and what is it?"

"Oh dear! Shall I never be able to teach this child politeness and grammar?" said aunt Willy, with a funny face. "Should you mind it very much if there wasn't anything for you this time?"

"I don't know, ma'am," answered Willy rather faintly, "but I am afraidI should. I didn't think about it last night, because I was so glad to see you, and besides, your trunk hadn't come."

"Well, here's a rubber doll for Bess, and two books for Lucy, and a new dress for Bridget; and, oh yes, here's something for your cousin Tommy and you may take it right over to him."

Here aunt Willy held out a long, pink box tied up very tightly.

"There, run along, and you shall have your present when you come back."

Willy took the box and went down stairs, wondering all the time what would be in it. Tommy's gate was exactly opposite, and she ran across, pushing it open with the box, and leaving it to shut itself as it always did.

Plow cool and fresh everything looked as she walked through the winding path by the great evergreens!

Bright drops of dew sparkled in the sun, and the close cut grass was like green velvet. The tulips were gay in all sorts of colors, and the birds were certainly crazy with joy, or they would not have sung so loud and sweet.

There was no Tommy to be seen in the garden, and Willy went round to the back piazza. There he was, sure enough, with his long brown apron on,

playing he was a painter. He had a little green paint-pot and a real brush with a long handle, and was painting the piazza in a very workmanlike manner.

The paint was only make believe, of course, but it was all the better on that account, as any sensible child would tell you.

"Hallo!" says Tommy, "I'm glad you've come, but I'm very busy and can't stop to play. Don't you want to help me paint? I've got another brush."

"Can't you stop long enough to see this? Auntie brought it from Boston,"

and Willy waved the pink box before his eyes. The painter forgot his hurry, dropped his brush and seized the box, while his cousin looked on with great interest. After fruitless attempts to break the strong cord, Tommy took out his little jackknife with a superior air, and cut the string.

"That's the way boys do," he remarked. "Now, if I had been a girl, I shouldn't have had any knife in my pocket."

"Scissors are as good as knives any day," said Willy, producing a "round toed" pair that had evidently seen long service. "I guess you couldn't cut many paper dolls with your old knife."

"And I guess you couldn't whittle many sticks with your old scissors," retorted Tommy. "But I like girls, after all," went on the small lord of creation, as he unfolded the long bundle of white tissue paper that he had just taken from the box; "and, O Willy, isn't this nice?"

If his auntie could have seen the little boy's brown eyes then, she would have been glad, I know. They shone with such a happy light as he spread the pretty dark blue silk umbrella, and held it over his head.

"Just what we wanted so the other day when it rained, and we had to carry that old, big thing to school.

And don't you know it kept shutting down on our heads and acting dreadfully all the time? And here's my name on this silver thing in the handle, so if it gets lost, somebody'll always find it. But it sha'n't get lost.

Don't you believe I'd better go right over and thank Aunt Willy?"

His cousin didn't answer at first.

  Since Tommy had opened that umbrella, she had met an enemy, and fought a battle. He was such a mean little enemy, too, that she was ashamed to think he should dare to come near her. But he did come near enough to whisper in her ear, and this is what he said when he saw the umbrella:

''There, Willy Morton, that's just what you wanted your own self more than anything else in the world.

Your Aunt Willy always gives Tommy the nicest things. And it isn't big enough for two, and you'll have to carry the horrid old bulgy one. Probably auntie has got a stupid book, or ribbon or something, for you, that you won't care for at all."

The miserable little enemy went on at such a rate that Willy really began to think herself the most ill-used child in the world. She felt as if she should cry in a minute, and put her hand in her pocket to get her handkerchief.

But she had on a long apron like Tommy's, and couldn't find the pocket at first, and when she pulled out her handkerchief, something else fell to the ground. Only a white card. She picked it up, and turned it over, and what should it be but her last Sabbath's lesson. "Little children, love one another." It was like a beautiful bright light shining into that dark place in her heart where she had been allowing the enemy to talk with her.

Now, all at once, she saw how wicked and hateful he was, and how wrong it had been for her to listen to him at all.

Then she looked at Tommy, standing there with his dear happy face half hidden by the new umbrella.

How glad he always was when anything nice happened to her. "Go away this minute, you dreadful thing," she said to herself, or rather to that enemy of hers. Then she stamped her foot hard, very much to Tommy's surprise.

"Why, what's the matter, Willy!" said he. "What makes you look so funny?"

"Oh nothing, now, dear; and I'm just as glad as I can be that you've got the umbrella, really and truly." I think she really was glad, for she forgot all about her own present, and stayed a little while to play with her cousin. They were so happy together that when she went away, Tommy said, "I don't want you to go, Willy, I think you are just as nice as if your name was really William."

When she got home, auntie was in the parlor lying on the sofa in the dark, resting her eye?. "Are you asleep?" said Willy, softly. "No, dear, come in. Do you want to know what I have got for you?"

"O auntie, don't," said Willy, in a great hurry. "I've got something to tell you first, and then I guess you won't wish to give me anything."

So she shut the door, and told it all how the envious and wicked feeling made her angry that Tommy should have what she had wanted so much for herself. "I know you have got something for me, of course, auntie,' she said, as she wiped her eyes, "but I almost hope it isn't nice at all. I don't deserve the leastest thing, any way."

Aunt Willy talked a good while to her little namesake, and told her that as long as she lived, such feelings would come and knock at her heart to see if they could get in. "Sometimes they won't even knock," she said, 'they'll come in as if they belonged here, and are so strong and fierce that even grown people find it more than they can do to drive them out."

"Oh dear!" said poor Willy, "and I'm only a little girl. What can I do, auntie? I'm afraid I know I never shall be very good."

There was no answer, and pretty soon Willy went on as if thinking aloud. "Yes, I see, that's why we have to ask God to help us, because it is so hard." After that, it was very quiet there in the dark for a good while. At last auntie put her hand on Willy's head and smoothed her hair.

"I must rest now, dear, and I wish you would go up stairs. You'll find your present in your own room."

Willy went slowly up and opened her door. There, over her table, hung a beautiful new picture. It was a head of Christ, and under it were these words:

"Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."

Willy stood looking at the picture for a long time, and she never will forget the thoughts that came to her then.

Suddenly her hand touched something on the table, and how do you suppose she felt when she saw that it was a long pink box?

The cover lay beside it, and peeping out from its white tissue paper wrapping was a blue silk umbrella exactly like Tommy's. 

Elizabeth W. Dennison