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OXFOltU, N. C., WEDNESDAY, APKIL 28," 1875.
AVliat noise is that, father ?
Birds ? How "street! 1 don’t see
anytlhrig do you !’
'Hush ! Look down there.’
The father pointed below the
bridge on which they stood, to
where a girl sat, near the dry bed
of a brook, lifting the sand and
))ebbles in her hands, and letting
them through her slender fingers
unon a inoa’.d she seenie d to be
unconsciously foriiiing, and at the
same time p.oiu’ing out a wild,
half discordant, half melodious
air, regardless of tlie two who
quietly stood to listen.
‘It’s a girl, father. What a
scrawny big-eyed face she has.
Let’s go down there.’
‘Don’t startle her,’ wdiispered
the considerate elder, and all the
time the little sand hill grerv higli-
er, and the sounds grew louder,
W'ildor, freer and more musical.
Creeping down the tangled bank,
tin y tvere close beside her before
she tvas aw'are.
‘What’s your name sis ?’ asked
the elder kindly.
‘Can’t you tell me your name!”
as she paused, eyeing them sus
piciously, with her dark brows
gathering into a half frightened
‘Sparkle! That’s a queer name!
Is that all—what’s the other?
‘Spark for short, and Firebrand
when they are mad at me,’ with
a don’t care gleam in her bright
” ‘Mad at you ! wdio gets mad at
such a midget as you ?’ asked the
‘But what is your last name,
and who do you belong to?’ witli
increasing interest from the boy’s
‘Ain’t got no last name, and do
not belong to anybodry so now,’
shnigging her shoulders and turn
ing away. Plainly she did not
like this questioning
‘But you sing sweethy dear ;
who taught you ; tell me, that is
a nice girl; here is a quarter for
you, do you know what it is for,’
as her eyes, lightening upon the
scrip, gleamed with half conceal
ed jo3U ‘Tell me wdiere did 3mu
learn to sing.’
‘Will 3-0U give me that,’ said
‘Yes, take it nowu’
‘I learned of the birds, the air
is full of them, and the bees the)’
will be here soon,’ making a buz
zing so near t'ne gentleman star
tled and the boy laughed very
‘What a funny thing it isfathor.
Look here, Spark, brand, or what
ever yen are, toll us w’here 3’ou
live, do not be afraid of fatlier, 1
‘Pooh ! I am not afraid. See
that old black house on tlie hill ?’
‘That i» the poor house, I live
‘Wliew !’ whistled the bo)^
glancing into hisfathe’s face.
‘Do> j'ou like to live tbere?’
questioned the other, apparently
to prolong the interview’.
‘Guess so—dutino—do not like
ant’thlng 011I3’ tobeintlie ivoods,,
then looking into the bo3’’s frank
bine G5’e& with a siveet, child-like
candor one ivould not have
.thought the elfin face could have |
assumed, she lidded, ‘I like the
birds, the)’ know me, and the)'
are not afraid, w hen 1 go out
‘Go where, dear V asked the
‘Where thev’ live—woods you
He found he was winning her
‘Would 3’ouletinego with 3-ou
sometime; introduce me to the
birds , I like music too.’
‘Do 3’Ou f staring soberly in
‘Ask Rob to sing to )'OU,’ said
the father in repl)’.
‘Will 3’OU I’ turning brightl)’ to
him, lier face lighteiiiug up won-
derfull)’, ‘OJi, will I’ou ?’
Laughing and blushing, Rob
complied, singing a little gay cho
rds he had leanied at school, and
ending witli part of a siveet, plain
tive Scotch song, a favorite of his
mother. All the while the briglit
dark e3’es of the puny girl seemed
to be drinking in ever)’ var3’ii!g
sound; she bubled over -with
laughter at tlie first, and tears
glittered on her lashes wlien ho
ended. It was a study to the
gentleman to watch her prett)’
‘Now’, you must sing for me,
‘Yes,’ and such a melody as she
trilled forth filled them W’itli
amazement; the bright cheerful
iioie .of tlie robin; with her head
perched on one side ; the sweet
song of the blue bird ; the plain
tive sound of the wliip-poor-will,
then a g-ush of melod)’ that one
expects fr’om a canar)’ or 3/’el!ow
bird, and at last, raising her arms
as if to fl)-, she gave the crow of
a veritable shanghai, and almost
I'le’w up to the bank beyond their
reach. Rob v.’.as about to spring
after her, but his father restrain
‘Let her go, Rob. I think we’II
come again and see her.’
Looking back with a meivy
triumphant glance, she sped to
wards the old house in the dis
tance, and they returned toivards
‘Weil, father, wliat do 3’0ii
‘I wish mother could see her.
In the poor house ! it’s a shame.’
The next day at the same hour,
a chaise drew up before the town
poor house, from which the gen
tleman with a lad)’, alighted. She
was a sw’eet, inotherl)’ apiieariug
|)erson, with the same look in her
bine e5’eB that Rob had. It was
his inotlier. The odd stor)’ had
filled her with interest, she would
follow it ’up.
Soon in the little dingy parlor
of the house the matron was toll
ing the little she kiieiv of the
girl’s liietor)'. Brought there
when she ivas quite a baby b)’ a
man who was toa ill to proceed
on Ills journe)’ to a neigliboring
town where ho hoped for work,
and she had been there ever
The man W’as a foreigner, and
soon died begging the matron to
be kind to his child. Her mother
was dead, she had no one on
earth to care for her ; so he said
in broken Englisli, and as she lay
on Ills arm, ho called her Sp.arkle,
or eomclliiug that Bounded like
it. So the former matron had
said before she left and the naino
had clung to her ever since, it
was all they knew of her histor)’.
She ivas a wild, headstrong girl,
quick to learn, read)’ to woi-k, but
with a passiomito temper tliat
brought her manv a whipping.
‘IIo'w old is she f’ asked tlie
lad)’, and there n as a tremor in
her voice, that the matron thought
timidity, hut her husband would
have called it suppressed indig
‘She’s eight, but small at that.’
‘And what work can such a
child do ? Pray tell me V
‘Oh, in a hou.se like this, there’s
plenty for younger ones than slic
is. She’s old enough to wash
dishes and siveep. We all W'ork
here,’ with a slight toss of the
somewhat untidy head.
‘Can I see the child V
‘Oh, yes. She’s never clean or
in order for company—screaming
out in some iimd-liill, I’ll be
bound.’ Nevertheless, she w’eiit
to the door and called, ‘Send
Sparkle to tho front room some
of you there.’
A moment and the door sw’uiig
open again, showing to the
stranger the same little creature
he had seen tho day before by
the roadside. A face half suUen,
half inquiring at first, but the
moment her glance fell on the
gentleman she cast such a looA:
of sunshiny pleasure upon him,
that he w’ondered no longer at the
singular name she bore.
‘Come here. Sparkle f he said,
She came at once.
‘ Tills i.s Rob’s mother. You
She nodded, looking into the
lady’s face, who asked, “will
you kiss, me, Sparkle?’
The girl looked at her in
amazement, while the lady drew
her close and tenderly kissed the
tliin scarlet lips.
Tbere was no response; like a
marble image tho girl stood in
her embrace, her eyes fixed no
longer, but tearful, with feelings
she could no. more understand
‘IVliy, what’s the matter child,
have I hurt, you, don't you love
to be kissedr
“Yes’m, dunno, nobody ever
did so before.’
‘La, child, how you act; of
course )’Ou’ve been kissed; to be
sure there’s something else to do in
this house, and I never W'as no
hand for foolin’ over children.
I gives’em enough to eat, and
keep thorn bus)’, they’re happy
The lady paid no attenton to
this tirade from the uneasy
matron, but holding Sparkle
close to her, asked in a low
“Would yo'U like to go with
me, Sparkle, and be my little
girl, and never come here again.^
1 had a little girl once. She is in
heaven now. May I have you.*”
“Yes, yes, take mo. I’d do
anything for you. I know how
“But I don’t want you to work.’
“What do you want me to do,’
with a grieved look of disappoint
ment. The child had been
taught to think hard work the all
important part ofJiviug.
“I want you to love aio,’ wlds-
rered the ladv.
Tho head nodded vigorously,
the eyes fairl)-shone.’
“I will, yes, I will’
“1 shall want yon to kiss me
every da)-,’ still whispering.
“Yes, of course.’
“Anii sing to me.’
“And buzz and crow, too.’
“Oh, yes, I can,’ the head still
“Now when they got through
talking you iiinst bo ready. 1
shall take you right along. Ilavo
you got your hat I’
“A shaker, yes; shall I get it?’
“Well, no, dear, I have a shawl.
And this veil will look better this
warm dav,’piimiiig a soft, white,
ckHuiy tiling beneath her chin.
“So you are going to take her
right off, inarm f
“I think so; iiiy husband lifts
the necessiu-y documents, I be
lieve, and if you have no objec
tion, it will save me coming again.’
‘Oil, it don’t make no kind of
difference; I believe I’ve got kind
o’ used to her. I shall miss her,
to be sure—run out, Spiuk, and
tell the girls good-bye —uo such
luck for the rest on’em.'
On tlie ride back to torvn, the
happy child sat between the two,
drinking in every kind w’ord and
look. Beneath the w'hito veil lier
eyes W’ere like stars, and the. thin
shawl W'as held tightly to a hap
piness so intense.
As they drove into the yard,
Rob just back from school, met
them ’with a whistle, a suppressed
halloo, and then as tho truth flash
ed ujxm him, lie sent up a great
shout, ending w’lth an attempt at
crowing, W’hicli the happy Sparkle
at once joind in, much to the
amusement of Mr.aiulMrs. Tihson.
‘Is it a fact, father, really now'?’
To W’hlch blind query the
father replied, ‘Trust your eyes
Rob. It’s a fact. Your mother
decided the matter on the strength
of the first /«isB; she ia yoiu-s
“0 I am so glad! Look here.
Sparkle, this is your home; you
never had any other, you know.
If any body comes prying around,
tell tliein you dropped from the
skies, w'ill you!”
“Yes, I'll tell them,” her cheeks
glowing and eyes sliming
“We’ll teU tliOTu the birds
brought you, dear,” said Mrs.
Tilsoii, as she drew her in the
door, thinking in her heart that
her until she looked less forlorn
A few days only, and it would
have been difficult to recognize
tho child as tho same once play-
ing by the hedge in the sand.
The hare feet -were covered
neatly, the little figure arrayed
in a bright muslin, set off with a
dainty W'hite apron, frills in nock
and sleovOs made the dark sldn
look brighter and fresher, and the.
eyes had seemed to garner tip
the suminer simshine, so full of
joy W’ere they:
There had been some thought
of giring her -another name, that
slio might the sooner forget
her former abode, but Rob vetoed
“I couldn’t know her by any
otlier name, mother. It just suits
her; do let hor.keop it, Sparkh
Tikxm-—I’m sure it's the thing.
I’d as Rooli tear out hef eyes
chaiigo her iiame.”
So it was decided, and b)'-aud-
hy Sparkle wont wilh .Roll td
school. The chihifen soon
looked upon her ag Rob’s oivu
beloved .sister, laughed at her
Iricks, adniirod lier skill at
mimicry, and faillifully believed
that siio had drojipcd from tlie
s!cy, as Rob persistently reitera
ted whenever questioned. At
lioine slie never forgot lier prom
ise, made the day licr new motlief
had claimed lier.
It her early chlhlliood had
boon a desert, ivhcre the sweet
dowers ot affcciion liad never
blossomed, tho years since have
been filled willi rare love and
tcinlcnioss; all that generous
hearts could do to extinguish
unpleasant meinorics.and Imild iqt
new and delightful associations,
these three were constantly
vying with each other to accom^
plish ill the life of this adopted
child and sisteft
Is it strange then, that the evils
of early neglect tvere eradicated,
and that tho w ild passionate,
uiiforineJ nature took on by de
grees all the loveliness of a true
and well-balanced womanhood ?
The world is wide, and home
less, motherless children roairt
everywhere, with none to ki,s3 or
cherish or understand them ; their
wayw'ardncss magnified. Their
noble traits hidden, their lieafH
Fortunate are they if the bird^
come to them wish songs of joy,
and tell them sweet secrets of
God and Heaveu, that tliev’ can
only unde-stand—'better still, if
human nature in tlie guise ol
father or mother could seek them
out and draw them home
Within a few mouths w’e have
■witnessed the anniversary exer
cises of the high school in oirf
town, and among the graduated
was one w-ho bore off the palm
with noble generosity and modest
grace. All present were at
tracted by her appearance. Even
her schoolmates ■watched her'
admiringly, and as the last words
of her valedictory address fell
from her lips, her eyes flashed
with grateful love upon the three
who sat near, ivatcliing her, and
listoiiiug W’itli triumphant joy to
the success of Sparkle.
Tiis CiiiLikREN’s Friend is published ev
ery Wednesday, at tlie Orphan Asylum, iiv
Oxford, N. C.
It enters a field occupied by no other
no one should get a glimpse of ™ PciWos inui-
-- - - ° - no sect m relijum; hut helping all parties'
and aD. sects to unite in promoting the'
judicious education of the young, and the con
tinuous huprovement of the old.
It disiaisses the duties and privileges of pa
rents and teachers,, ami defends tho rights and
denounces the wrongs of children.
It gives speciiil atteutiou to pwr orphans,’
and tells them how to escape their preseut deg
radation, how to grow up into wise and vir
tuous iiieu and wouieu, and how to vsectire ILh-
eral wages for lioiiest work, Tho object of
the paper is to lielp all our peo})le to ho gO(»fil
and to do good.
one doll(^r a yenr, etlicays in advance.
A few eaah advertiseiueuts will he admir
ed, at tea cents a hue fur the first insertioH,
and live cents a line for each suhseiucnt in
The same advertisement will not he In.sort.-
ed more thau thirteen times, as a live p!'i|>e.''
ciui not afford to siug auy one song forever.
All irtonds of the young iu'o vequested ts.
fo’-wanl subeocapiiofns at m»e.-
Oxford, N. O'