[Written Especially for Children]

A New Lesson

The following portrays the author's vivid recollection of a lesson learned in early years.

Elizabeth's mother had told her that she might go to the berry patch and pick with the other workers if she would promise not to eat any berries. Elizabeth had promised and had run away to get her basket. She had been picking for some time when she found herself alone at the far end of the field. No one was in sight, and she could not even see the house. There was nobody looking and something seemed to make her forget her promise and think that no one would ever know if she ate some of the shiny berries that hung in big clusters from the stems. So she filled her hands with the fruit and ate all she wanted to. Then it was time to take her basket to the barn, where father was paying off the pickers.

It was strange that Elizabeth did not want to see her father: she did not wait, but went on to the house. And then she did not want to see mother. That was strange, too. She had never felt this way before. Mother was standing on the porch and asking, with a smile, how much her little girl had earned. Then all of a sudden mother's voice said, "Darling, did you eat any berries?" And the same something that had told Elizabeth that nobody would know, seemed to move her tongue to say, "No, mother." For a moment it was very still. Then mother took Elizabeth's hand in hers and said, "Let's go up to your room, dear, for mother wants to talk to you about something." So they went upstairs together, and Elizabeth was very quiet and mother was very grave.

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