and everything seemed to go wrong--ah! it was so hard then to see the mother and the little ones have only bark-bread to eat, and not always enough of that, and one winter they had had nothing else for months. Erik wouldn't have minded for himself, but for them ...! Ah well, that was all over now; he had been able at last to save up a little sum of money, and the harvests were extra good this year, and he had bought Mother Stina a cloak for Christmas! Just think of it--a fine cloak, all the way from the fair at Kuopio!
And next to Erik sat his wife Stina, a short, fat little woman, with such a merry face and happy-looking eyes that you could hardly believe that she had lived on anything but the best herring and potatoes and rye-bread all her life. Close by her side was her little boy Antero, who was only seven years old, and in his eagerness for the stories to commence he still held his piece of candy in his hand without tasting it.
Then there was little Mimi in Father Mikko's lap. She was nearl
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