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head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
He read them to Marjory, and said, “ I like to think that God will take care of my little bird as well as of me.”
Next morning, very early, the thrush came hopping in at the open window;
and, day after day, he was to be seen there, or perched upon the tree, singing until Willie thought his little throat must be tired. When winter came, as it soon did, Willie fed him every morning; and one day, when the snow lay thick on the ground, he put the cage again on the window-sill, and the thrush seemed glad to come back to his old quarters. Every bright day he would fly away for some hours, and then come back, pecking on the window as if he would say, • Please let me in.” Then, when spring returned, he bade good-bye to the cage again ; and as Willie sat at the door, he could watch him and another thrush gathering grass and moss, and wool, and little bits of stick, with which they began to build them selves a nest. It was quite finished by the end of March ;
Willie often wished he could have a look at it. The nest was not very high up in an apple-tree ; and one day he asked his sister Marjory to go up to the tree gently and see if there were any eggs. She told him there were four pinkish ones, all covered with spots. Willie had a reason for wishing to know about the eggs. His father had then almost fixed to go with some friends to Victoria ; and Willie, who now read a great deal, knew that there were very few singing-birds there, and he thought it would be nice to take his dear thrush and the little ones with him. Brown, the miller, I have said, was a hard-hearted man, and he was often very cross to poor Willie ; and one night, when the child was supposed to be asleep, his father began talking over their intended emigration with Aunt Susan; and he heard him say, “ Willie must be left behind ; a lame child like him would be a dead loss in a colony, and
the Government won't give a penny to help his passagemoney.”
“ Brother, brother !” said Aunt Susan," what do you mean? Leave the best of your children behind ! ”
“ I tell you, sister,” said the miller, “it's no use taking him."
“ Then go without me,” cried Aunt Susan ; .“ for no blessing will go with you."
Brown knew that Aunt Susan never said what she did not mean, and to go without her clear head and active hands would never do ; so he yielded the point, and agreed that the boy should go with them : but his cruel words had sunk deep into Willie's heart.
“ I cannot bear to part with my little bird,” he thought, “and yet my father does not care about leaving me!” and many bitter tears he shed that night.
A day or two before they were to leave England, he asked Marjory again to climb up the apple-tree, and this time to bring down the nest with her. The eggs were hatched, and four very helpless little thrushes sat in the nest. Willie had seen the parent-birds wheeling about above the tree in great agitation while Marjory was removing it. He placed the nest inside the cage, leaving it outside the window, with its door open : and soon his own thrush lighted on the top, and after a while the motherbird came also, and she flew right into the cage beside the young ones. All next day they flew backwards and forwards with food to their family ; so that when it was time to leave, Willie had no difficulty in shutting them into the cage along with the nest. When they reached their new home in Australia, he was almost afraid to open the door of their little prison, for the trees was so gigantic that he feared they would soon be lost among the deep, dark branches. But it was not so; the thrushes lived and prospered, and became quite a flourishing little colony. It was very different with the poor Browns themselves. The miller had
made a sad mistake in leaving his old business to turn seitler and farmer. The run which he had bought was a large one, far up the country, where there was no market for his cattle and wool, and his herds were constantly straying or being stolen. Tom and Charles were little comfort to him ; for though neither was above sixteen years of
age, they were fast taking to the bad habits of many of the older settlers, and at last set off together to the gold-diggings, without the consent of their father. It was then that the poor lame boy, whom he would so willingly have left behind, was found, as Aunt Susan had predicted, to be the best of his children. Instead of resenting his father's harshness and neglect, Willie tried now to help and comfort him.
“Father," he said gently to him the night after his brothers had gone away,
" Aunt Ruth told me I was God's little prisoner, and like a bird whom he had shut up in a cage; and I think one reason must have been to prevent me turning wild, like Tom and Charles, that I might be a help to you,-only a little help I mean, father, just as my thrush was a little help to me when I was so ill.”
His father sighed ; but, turning to his despised little helper, was surprised to find that he had been thinking over everything, and planning quite a different mode of life for them all. It was this : that his father should give up the greater part of the farm, and turn the rest into a dairy. farm. The newly discovered diggings brought a great deal of traffic that way; and Willie thought, if really good milk and cream could be bought, it would be as welcome to many as the bad spirits that were sold by one of their neighbours.
Aunt Susan approved of the plan. She and Marjory could
Cows, and Willie sell their produce, while his father superintended the whole. So in a short time the ill-managed farm was changed into a well-kept, productive dairy ; but all their efforts could not make up for the losses of the past two years, and the money squandered by Tom
and Charles ; and there seemed no way of meeting a claim of £50 that would soon become due.
One morning Willie found an old newspaper left on the counter by one of his customers; and as his eye ran over the columns, it rested on a reward of £50 promised by the magistracy of Melbourne to any one who could succeed in successfully naturalizing the thrush, black-bird, or any such little songsters.
* Aunt Susan ! Aunt Susan !” he cried, “ I've done it!”
“Done what, boy?” said Aunt Susan ; and he stuffed the paper into her hands, almost too happy to speak.
Next day Aunt Susan left for Melbourne, taking with her two nests of young thrushes just ready for flight, and in the course of a week returned with the promised reward. From that time peace and prosperity reigned in their little household. The heart of the miller, which had been so long steeled against his suffering boy, now found him to be his greatest earthly comfort, and Willie's joy was complete.
After writing a long account of all that had befallen them to his beloved Aunt Ruth, he added: “You see, Aunt Ruth, I was rewarded for saving the poor thrush; and, now that my
father loves me, I do not wish for anything more. You were wrong in thinking that I would get well again, for I am as lame as ever, and will always be so ; but it is better to be lame and happy than like my poor, poor brothers ;—and I often think of the angel-wings you told me might yet be mine. And, O Aunt Ruth, when I remember how my dear old thrush sung his thanks to me that day when I opened the door of his cage, I think that, when I get to heaven, I will never tire of singing praise to Him who redeems us from all evil, and sets the prisoners free.Children's Paper.
EAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-The lessons
which the Bible teaches us on Light are far too numerous for me to mention, but they are all very interesting.
I have selected a few of them, and the rest I hope you will try and find out for yourselves.
God made the sun to be the source of light to our world. Gen. i. 16; Psalms
Ixxiv. 16. Jesus Christ is the source of spiritual light and life. John,
viii. 12, ix. 5, xii. 35, vi. 46. The power and wisdom of God. Job xii. 22, 25, xxviii 11.. The incomparable majesty and glory of God. Psalm civ.
2; Daniel ii. 22; Hab. ii. 4, 11; 1 Timothy vi. 16. The Bible is to be our guide through life.
Psalm cxix. 105 130; 2 Peter i. xix. The need of spiritual knowled ge for the right understand
ing and teaching of God's Word. Isaiah viii. 20. That the gospel of Christ reveals our immortality. 2 Tim
othy i. 10. The first appearance
of the Saviour on earth. Isaiah ix. 1, 2, xlii. 2, xlix, 6; Matthew iv. 16; Luke ii. 32 ; John
i. 9; Acts xiii. 47. The coming of the Saviour and the future glory of His
Church. Isaiah lx. I, 19, 20. That piety is the only source of true happiness and pros
perity. Isaiah lviii. 8, 10, (compared with the context.) That a good life is progressive. Proverbs iv. 18. That it is the privilege of good people to be joyful. Psalm