E ARLY one winter morning, some little sunbeams started to find their way down to the earth. They had been kept up in the sky a long time by dark, ugly clouds, but now they came dancing and skipping along, as if to make up for their long imprisonment.
These little sunbeams were very good-natured little things, and they were very busy, too. They tried to do just as much good to others as they could; so when they got to the end of their long journey, they all ran about to see how they could make themselves most useful.
One little fellow perched himself on the window-sill of a large brick, house. Looking in, he saw a little boy fast asleep in the trundle-bed. "Now," said he to himself, "I wonder if Charlie wouldn't like to wake up this bright morning? He will lose all chance of taking a sleigh-ride with his father, if he doesn't wake up soon; I really believe I will rouse him." So saying, he flew onto Charlie's face, and danced over his eyes with so much glee that he had to open his eyes to see what was the matter. And, oh, how happy Charlie was, when he saw the sun shining! He jumped out of bed, shouted and laughed, and before many moments was off on as merry a sleigh-ride as was ever had.
Another sunbeam went hurrying along, until it saw a poor rose-bush trying to get a little warmth from the sun. It was standing in a basement window, where scarcely any light could get to it. The little sunbeam stopped, crept in through the dingy glass, and shone on the leaves and warmed up the roots of the poor plant until it really began to look quite green again. But it did even more good to a poor sick child than to the flower; she loved the rose-bush dearly, and had been very sad to see it fading so. But now she grew quite bright and happy, and was very thankful to the good warm sunbeam.
One little sunbeam melted off some snow in the barnyard, so the birds and chickens could find the seed and insects underneath. Some dried the wet, muddy walks, while others danced so merrily through the air that every one was happier in looking at them. All worked away at something till night came, when they flew away home. And now shall I tell you who can be like the sunbeams, if they try? Why, it's you little folks. By being good and happy, and dutiful, you can be as useful as those little sunbeams. I know a little girl whose parents always call her Sunbeam, because she is so good-natured and cheerful.
Welcome, little sunbeam,
Kindly hast thou come,
Bringing cheerful sunshine,
From thy far-off home!
Gentle little sunbeam,
Gladly I would be,
Pure and warm and loving,
Helpful, just like thee.