DID you ever notice a bed of pansies in a dry time, how their leaves are all curled up, and what queer little faces they make, some cross and worried, and some fierce?

They are not to blame, to be sure, for losing their smiling faces.  Somebody neglected to give them a drink of water, and that is the only way they have to let it be known that they are "just dying for a drink," as you sometimes say.

But what shall be said of girls and boys who allow a great deep scowl to come between their eyes, or who go about with seven wrinkles cross-wise of their foreheads, or who wear lips stuck out as if they were displeased about something?

"What a cross, disagreeable-looking child that is," a lady said of a little girl in a school which we visited.  It made me feel bad to hear it, because I knew she was not cross, nor unpleasant, and that she was trying to live as a little Christian should; but when I looked at her again, I did not wonder at the remark.  She was busily working out an example in her arithmetic* which puzzled her somewhat, and she had a great scowl on her face.  I knew it was only there because she was so intent on her work.  Another lady saw her in church, and asked, "What makes that little girl look as if she had lost all her friends?   Such a sour, gloomy look as she wears!"

"Why do you look so cross, Nettie?" I asked her one day.

"Do I look cross?" she said, as a bright smile quickly beamed from her face; "I don't feel cross."

"Oh,"_ I thought, "what a sunbeam you could he if you always looked like that!"

You see that tyrant ‘Habit’ had gotten hold of her, and so when she was simply earnest, or perplexed, or thoughtful, she looked like a little fury.

A funny little boy, who could not yet talk quite plain, one day watched his grandmother while she read the newspaper.  I suppose she began when she was quite a little girl to scowl up her forehead over her lessons, so when she was old, she had those deep frowns between her eyes that I have been telling you about.  She was a dear grandma, and kind to everybody, but the frowns were there because she did not drive them away years ago.  Robbie looked at her a few minutes, then he put up his little chubby hand and smoothed her forehead, and said, "Grandma, please do not growl so." That was as near as he got to "scowl," which he had been told he must not do.

Well, is it not a good word to use?!!  For it often is one way of "growling."

I heard one little girl, whose forehead was all scowled up, say, that she couldn't help it if it was.  Another one said, "It does not make any difference how you look, if you only behave."

But, my children, you know that it is the duty of every Christian man, woman, or little child, to wear a pleasant face?  If your faces are all scowled and wrinkled up like those thirsty pansies, does it not show that you want something that you have not; that you are not satisfied with what the heavenly Father has given you?



The Pansy.