ONCE there was a girl," said Aunt Patty, "who lived in a good home and had plenty to eat and to wear, and a good father and mother who were always doing all they could for her, but she didn't deserve it a bit. You wouldn't have believed it to look at her, but she was one of the most cruel girls that ever lived. I don't mean that she tore the legs and wings from the flies, or stuck pins through bugs; she did worse than that. She carried pins and needles about with her, and stuck theminto people. The strangest thing about it was that her own mother suffered most by her cruelty. Her mother wasn't a bit well. 

She often took a poor spell, and was a weakly kind of woman any way; but this wicked girl didn't have any sort of feeling for her. In went a pin here and a needle there whenever she happened to feel out of sorts."

"Stuck pins and needles into her own mother!" said Rose.

"Yes, she did," continued the old lady; 

"sometimes it was a great, coarse pin that tore her most cruelly, and sometimes it was a little, fine cambric needle, so fine you could hardly see it, that went way in deep. 

If she couldn't do just what she wanted to, or go where she wanted to, or read when her mother wanted her to work, she would just fly up and stick a needle or a pin into her."

"Mean, ugly thing," said Rose, her black eyes flashing; "why didn't her mother whip her or shut her up? "

"Served her right, if she had, I think myself," said Aunt Patty with emphasis. 

"But she was one of that sweet, patient kind of persons, and she would often go off by herself and cry and pray over her bad girl. You have seen little silk pin and needle cushions, haven't you, made in the shape of a heart? Well, what was strange about this was that the pins and needles went right through to this poor mother's heart, and there it was, stuck full. Nobody could see them only just herself, and the Eye that looks down into everybody's heart."

Aunt Patty stopped just here, and her gray eyes looked over her spectacles at Rose, as she slowly said, "Do you know of any other girl that carries pins and needles around with her?"

Rose's cheeks got redder, and her eyes blacker. She grasped her sunbonnet, dashed down the steps, and away she flew around the house, down to the farthest corner of the yard, out of sight and hearing, and then flung herself down on the grass under the old pear-tree, and cried aloud,

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Aunt Patty means me. I know she does!" she groaned. 

"I wish she never had come here. She's always watching me just as sharp. I don't stick needles and pins into mamma, and she needn't say that I did; and she's real cross, too, anyhow. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! "

She cried loud, angry screams until she was almost worn out, then buried her face in the cool, sweet grass, and fell asleep; and she dreamed. She thought her mamma was very sick, the blinds were all closed, and the house was still, everybody whispered and went about on tiptoe, and a doctor with gray hair and long gray beard bent over her mamma. "She has heart disease," he said," brought on by trouble;" 

then he turned and looked right at Rose from under his shaggy brows, shook his finger at her and said," This is the one who did it, the troublesome child, she is killing her mother."

She screamed out in her dream, and that awoke her. She sat straight up and looked round about her. She had been asleep a long time, for the sun was almost down to the top of the hill. Then it all came to her, Aunt Patty's story and her dream. 

When she recalled the words of the gray old doctor, she cried again with all her might.

It was a sorrowful little soul that sat there for the next half-hour. If naughty, cross looks, tardy obedience, as well as impenitent words, were pins and needles, how many times she had hurt her dear mother, her fair, sweet mamma, that she was proud of. She killing her mamma, indeed! She would die for her that very minute, if it were necessary; but then the dreadful truths would come and stand before her. How she had pouted when her mamma asked her to put down her Wide 

Awake and set the table for dinner; how she always fretted when she couldn't have the second piece of pie; and only yesterday she went through what she called a "real fuss" about wearing her white Swiss muslin; told her mamma, " Nobody else thought it was too cold, and it was real mean, anyhow." Why, it seemed as if she were always wanting to do the opposite thing from what mamma wished.

"Put on your rubbers, Rose."'

"I don't need them."

"Yes, you do; the ground is quite 


"Oh, no; it isn't damp where I am going, besides I can walk on my heels if it is. I don't need them, truly I don't."

Then she would hurry out of hearing quickly. That would oblige mamma to come to the hall door and issue a positive command for the rubbers to go on, and they always went on with a pout and a frown.

Her conscience gave her a very sharp twinge, too, when she recalled her mother's look, and tone, and words, only a few days ago when she had spoken disrespectfully to her.

"My child, when you speak in that manner, do you know that it pains me in my heart, just as your finger does when you run a sharp needle into it ?" Mamma knew about pins and needles, too, it seemed.

Yes, Aunt Patty was right. She did not feel angry with her now, nor was she crying in those loud, ugly screams; tears of real penitence rolled down her cheek. 

She knelt down behind the old tree, and told Jesus all about her naughtiness, and asked him to take those hateful sins right out of her heart. She made a solemn promise never to be naughty to her mamma any more ; never, never to let her lips speak those sinful words again. She asked the dear Lord to keep her from breaking it. 

Just then she heard her mamma's soft voice calling,

"Rose! Rose! Where is my blossom? 

Why, your drink is all ready, and we are waiting for you. What are you hiding down here for, little one?"

"O mamma," said Rose, in a little choked voice, springing up and hugging her mother close, "I am so glad you are not dead, won't be pins and needles any more, indeed I won't. Do forgive me."

"Pins and needles!" said mamma, looking puzzled, " what does that mean?"

"Oh, it means it means," sobbed Rose, "that I'm never going to be naughty any more."