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Laura E. Richards

A Misunderstanding

dropcap image NCE a child who thought well of herself was walking along the street, and saw another child, who was poorly clad.

"How wretched it must be," she said to herself, "to be poor and shabby like that child! How thin she is! and how her patched cloak flutters in the wind; so different from my velvet dress and coat!"

Just then an Angel came along.

"What are you looking at?" asked the Angel.

"I was looking at that girl!" said the child.

"So was I," said the Angel. "How beautifully she is dressed!"

"What do you mean?" said the child. "I mean this one coming towards us. She is in rags, or at least if her clothes are not ragged, they are wretchedly thin and shabby."

"Oh, no," said the Angel. "How can you say so? She is in sparkling white, as clear as frost. I never saw anything so pretty. But you, you poor little thing, you are indeed miserably clad. Does not the wind blow through and through these flimsy tatters? But at least you could keep them clean, my dear, and mended. You should see to that."

"I don't know what you can mean!" said the child. "That girl is a ragged beggar, and my father is the richest man in town. I have a velvet dress and coat, trimmed with expensive fur. What are you talking about?"

"About the clothes of your soul, of course!" said the Angel, who was young.

"I don't know anything about souls," said the child.

"I shouldn't think you did!" said the Angel.