If you are just joining us for Young Farmer Friday, last week we shared the first part of The Little Lamb, you may find that post here. Apologies for no printable this week, life has been busy down on the farm!
The Little Lamb ... continued...
WHEN Christina drew near the farmer's house, she saw his wife standing at the door, with the youngest child in her arms, while the elder ones stood around her. They were looking at the beautiful rainbow, which now after the storm appeared among the dark gray clouds in all the splendor of its seven colors.
" Look at the rainbow,'' said the mother, as she pointed with uplifted arm, "and glorify Him that made it. In the fiery lightning and fearful thunder, God shows us his great pow-er and majesty; but in the beautiful colors of the rainbow, He displays his goodness and His mercy."
Christina was charmed, now in looking at the beautiful colors of the rainbow, now at the smiling faces of the children; and she was silent until the rainbow disappeared. Then she took the lamb out of her apron, and setting it on its feet, told how she had found it.
"It was very good and honest of you," said the farmer's wife, kindly, "to come out so late in the evening, and even while it was raining! You are a good, honest little girl."
"That she is, indeed," said the farmer, who now came out. ''I trust that you, my chil-dren, will ever be as honest and as upright as this poor little girl. It is better never to have a single sheep, and to be honest and virtuous, than to be the dishonorable and dishonest possessor of a hundred.
"The honesty which impelled this poor child to bring back the lamb, is a treasure of the heart more precious than a whole flock of sheep,—a treasure of which the wolf or the enemy can never deprive her." Frank, the farmer's little boy, now ran to the. fold and brought out the old sheep.
How the little thing jumped and sprang about her for joy! "Oh!" cried Christina, when she saw this; "if it were only for this delight that the poor little thing feels, I do not re-gret bringing it back—though I wished so much to keep it!"
"Well," said the farmer, “since you are so honest, and so fond of the little creature, I will make you a present of it. But it would do you no good at present. It cannot live without milk, and would perish miserably. But in about a fortnight it will be strong enough to feed on grass and herbs, and then Frank will bring it to you."
"But be sure to take good care of it," said his wife. " It will neither be troublesome nor expensive to bring it up. While you are gathering strawberries or sewing, you can easily herd it, and, without ever trespassing on any one's meadow, you can gather as much grass to dry for hay, as will feed it during the winter.
"When it once grows up, the milk will be very useful for your own and your mother's humble housekeeping, and the wool will supply a few pairs of stockings every year," "And if you have luck," said the farmer's little boy, " perhaps you will have a whole flock in time!"
Christina was forced to stay for supper, and heartily enjoyed the milk and bread and butter. The good woman then gave her a fine large slice of fresh, rich butter, wrapped in vine-leaves, and a dozen of eggs, to carry home. "Take these to your moth-er," said she, while she carefully put the eggs in her apron; "greet her kindly from me, and may God soon restore her to health!"
Christina hastened joyfully home through the flowery little valley. Meanwhile the sky had cleared, and the evening star and the slender moon, which now appeared for the first time, beamed gently into the valley. All the flowers and shrubs still dropped with rain, and had a fragrant perfume. Christina's heart felt indescribably happy.
"The heaven and earth," thought she, “are always more beautiful after a storm; but I never before saw them look so sweet and lovely as they do this evening." When she reached home, she told all this to her mother.
"You see," said her mother, "it is just as I told you. That is the pleasure of a good conscience. When we do what is right, our heart is filled with sweet peace; for God teaches us through our conscience that he is pleased with us. Christina! always hearken to the voice of conscience, and never do any thing that is not right and just before God.
" You know well we are poor, and have very little in this world; but let us keep a good conscience, and we are rich enough; and we will never want happiness—yes, the noblest and sweetest happiness in the world will be ours."
From the Metropolitan Second Reader 1883
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