Here is a story about the oldest of the three little Parlin girls, ''sister Susy;'' though so many things are always happening to Prudy that it is not possible to keep her out of the book. I hope my dear little friends will see how kind it was in God to send the ''slow winter'' and the long nights of pain to little Prudy. If trouble should come to us, let us grow gentle, and patient, and lovely. Little friends, be sure of one thing--our dear Father in heaven sends us something hard to bear only because he loves us.
ut by and by, when the right time had come, the folding-doors were opened, just like the two covers to a Christmas fairy book. Then, in a second, it was so still you might have heard a pin drop.
Such a funny little old gentleman had arrived: his face alive with dimples, and smiles, and wrinkles. His cheeks were as red and round as winter apples, and where there wasn't a wrinkle there was a dimple; and no doubt there was a dimple in his chin, and his chin maybe was double, only you couldn't tell, for it was hidden ever so deep under a beard as white as a snow-drift.
He walked along, tottering under the weight of a huge pack full of presents. He extended his small arms towards the audience most affectionately, and you could see that his antiquated coat-sleeves were bristling with toys and glistening with ornaments. His eyes twinkled with fun, and his mouth, which seemed nearly worn out with laughing, grew bigger every minute.
It took the dear old gentleman some time to clear his throat; but