by Juliana H. Ewing
This is a story for kids about a father and his child who he lovingly refers to as ‘Brownie.”
“I can’t imagine,” said the Rector, walking into the drawing-room the following afternoon; “I can’t imagine where Tiny is. I want her to drive to the other end of the parish with me.”
“There she comes,” said his wife, looking out of the window, “by the garden-gate, with a great basket; what has she been after?”
The Rector went out to discover, and met his daughter looking decidedly earthy, and seemingly much exhausted by the weight of a basketful of groundsel plants.
“Where have you been?” said he.
“In the Doctor’s garden,” said Tiny triumphantly; “and look what I have done! I’ve weeded his sweet-peas, and brought away the groundsel; so when he gets home to-night he’ll think a Brownie has been in the garden, for Mrs. Pickles has promised not to tell him.”
“But look here!” said the Rector, affecting a great appearance of severity, “you’re my Brownie, not his. Supposing Tommy Trout had gone and weeded Farmer Swede’s garden, and brought back his weeds to go to seed on the Tailor’s flower-beds, how do you think he would have liked it?”
Tiny looked rather crestfallen. When one has fairly carried through a splendid benevolence of this kind, it is trying to find oneself in the wrong. She crept up to the Rector, however, and put her golden head upon his arm.
“But, Father dear,” she pleaded, “I didn’t mean not to be your Brownie; only, you know, you had got five left at home, and it was only for a short time, and the Doctor hasn’t any Brownie at all. Don’t you pity him?”
And the Rector, who was old enough to remember that grave-stone story we wot of, hugged his Brownie in his arms, and answered,
“My Darling, I do pity him!”