Poor but Honest - Morality Stories for Children

by Sayem
(Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Poor but Honest - Morality Stories for Children.


Yes! poor indeed! A little girl selling papers in the streets of a large and busy city. She has no father or mother. Her name is Kitty, and she and her brother Charlie live with an aunt.

Every night these two children must sell eight dozen papers, and carry the money home to their aunt, who is very poor, and who takes care of them.

It is the evening of a bleak winter day: The clocks of the churches have just struck six. A biting wind is blowing, and our poor bare-footed girl is running from one side of the street to the other. As she runs, she calls out "City News-fourth edition."

Crowds are passing — rushing home from the day's work; but not many seem to want a paper. Carts, cabs, and carriages are moving along the street, and the poor girl runs in and out among them, crying "City News-fourth edition." She has still a dozen papers left, which she must sell. She sees the red light of a bus, and off she runs. In a few minutes she is on the steps; "Fourth edition-City News," she cries.

"Here, my girl, give me a paper," said a kind-looking gentleman, while he put his hand in his pocket for a penny. "No, never mind," he added." I find I have no change, and there is no time to get any."

"I shall get you some change in a minute," said the eager girl; "just hold my papers, sir, and I shall soon be back."

She threw the papers on his knees, and, taking the half crown out of his hand before he had time to think, she ran away.

The driver wanted to be off. There was the kind gentleman with a bundle of papers on his knees, and his money gone. The other people in the bus joked with him. "You had better get out, and try to sell your papers, sir," said one of them. All were quite sure he would never see his half-crown again.

The driver waited a minute or two, but the girl did not come. At length away went the bus, while all joined in making merry with the gentleman who had the bundle of papers on his knees.

But what had Kitty been doing?

She went first into a large shop, which was so full of people that she could get no change. Then she darted into the open door of a hotel, but a policeman seeing her asked her what she wanted there.

Without giving her time to tell her story, he marched her out of the door into the street.

She then thought of an old man who sold gingerbread at a stand down the street. Away she ran, and, to her delight, she got her money changed.

Back she came to the place where the bus had stood. The red light was no longer there. She looked around, but the bus was gone. Her papers were gone, too, and she had the gentleman's money.

What should she do? Just then she heard her brothers voice: have you sold all your papers, Kitty? I wish I could have such good luck!

Kitty told her brother what had happened, and showed him the money she had got.

Charlie jumped for joy. "O Kitty, let us go and have something nice for supper. I'm hungry.Help me to sell my papers, and then we shall have some fun. We can give aunt all the money that she would have got from the papers, and have enough left. Hurrah for a jolly good supper!"

Kitty did not go and have the jolly good supper. She shook her head in a very firm way, and said, "This money is not mine, Charlie."

She put the change with great care in a piece of paper, and began to help her brother to sell his papers. Ten o'clock struck before the last paper was sold, and they could go
home.

All at once Charlie missed his sister. He looked for her up and down the street, but he could not see her. At last he went home and told his aunt all that he knew. Both of them tried, but could not find the missing child.

What Kitty did is soon told. She slipped away from her brother, and went to look for the bus. At last she found it, and asked the driver to tell her who the gentleman was that had given her the money and taken her papers.

"I do not know the man's name," said the driver, "but he lives very far up town."

"0, how can I get there to-night?"

Kitty looked so anxious that the kindhearted driver at last said, "Well, get up here on top of the bus with me, and I shall put you down at the gentleman's house."

Kindly he helped Kitty up to the high seat, and before long she stood at the door of the gentleman's fine house. Her ring was answered by the gentleman himself. How he stared to see the poor, ragged little girl there at that time of night!

"Here is your change, sir," said Kitty, holding out her hand with the money held tightly in it.

The gentleman took the little cold hand in both of his own large warm hands, and led her into the bright room where his wife was sitting.

"Here Mary, is the little girl that sold me the papers! She has brought the change all the way to me! That is what I call ‘honest,' and no mistake about it."

The tears were in the gentle lady's eyes as she laid her hand softly on Kitty's shoulder. "Poor child!" she said.

"She's cold, and hungry, too, I daresay," said the gentleman. "She cannot go back home so late at night. The cook must give her a good supper and a warm bed."

"A good supper, most certainly," said the lady, smiling; but her mother will be anxious if she does not go home, John."

"Mother's dead, and aunt will not care; only for the money," said Kitty. So, after the best supper Kitty had ever eaten in her life, she was put to bed in a bright, comfortable little room.

She slept as only a tired child can sleep. The next morning, after a good breakfast, the kind lady said, "Kitty, I want a young nurse girl about your age — one whom I can trust to take baby out in his carriage. You, I am sure, are faithful and true. Would you not like to come here and live?"

"O yes, dear lady, indeed I would."

"Go, then, to-day, and ask your aunt if you may come to me."

Kitty's aunt gave consent, and so Kitty went to live at the gentleman's house. She was, indeed, faithful and true. — End of Story

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