McGuffey Reader and Poetry Story 49


  1. One day, as two little boys were walking along the road, they overtook a woman carrying a large basket of apples.
  2. The boys thought the woman looked very pale and tired; so they said, “Are you going to town? If you are, we will carry your basket.”
  3. “Thank you,” replied the woman, “you are very kind: you see I am weak and ill.” Then she told them that she was a widow, and had a lame son to support.
  4. She lived in a cottage three miles away, and was now going to market to sell the apples which grew on the only tree in her little garden. She wanted the money to pay her rent.
  5. “We are going the same way you are,” said the boys. “Let us have the basket;” and they took hold of it, one on each side, and  trudged  along  with  merry  hearts.
  6. The poor widow looked glad, and said that she hoped their mother would not be angry with them. “Oh, no,” they replied; “our mother has taught us to be kind to everybody, and to be useful in any way that we can.”
  7. She then offered to give them a few of the ripest apples for their trouble. “No,
    kindnessthank you,” said they; “we do not want any pay for what we have done.”
  8. When the widow got home, she told her lame son what had happened on the road, and they were both made happier that day by the kindness of the two boys.
  9. The other day, I saw a little girl stop and pick up a piece of orange peel, which she threw into the gutter. “I wish the boys would not throw orange peel on the sidewalk,” said she. “Some one may tread upon it, and fall.”
  10. “That is right, my dear,” I said. “It is a little thing for you to do what you have done, but it shows that you have a thoughtful mind and a feeling heart.”
  11. Perhaps some may say that these are little things. So they are; but we must not wait for occasions to do great things. We must begin with little labors of love.

Go to Lesson 50 here.