Many years ago in a country far away from here there lived a little girl whose name was Miriam. She had a kind father and a loving mother who watched over her very carefully. There was a little brother Aaron, too, who was quite big enough to play with her. Such good times they had playing all day long in that sunny country!
Just as this story begins, the nicest thing had happened in that family. A dear little baby had come to live with them. Every one was so glad! Father and mother thought he was the most beautiful baby in the world, and Miriam loved him so dearly that she used to make little songs about him which she would sing as she watched him in her mother's arms.
Now King Pharaoh, who ruled in this country, was cruel and did not like little Hebrew children. One day he sent his soldiers out, telling them to take all the little boy babies they could find in the homes of the Hebrews and throw them into the river.
Oh, crow sad those mothers were! Miriam's mother hid her baby in the house, and the soldiers went right past the door, never knowing there was a baby there.
Later the king sent the soldiers out again, telling them to look carefully and see if they, had overlooked any little one.
Now Miriam's mother had been very busy since they had come before. She had been making a little basket of strong grass to use for a cradle. When she heard the soldiers were coming again, she covered this basket all over with pitch, so the water could not get into it. Then she put the baby inside, and hid it in the tall reeds by the shore of the river, telling Miriam to watch and see that no harm came.
Miriam liked to play by the river. At first she watched the little cradle as it floated in the water, never thinking of anything else; but when she saw how happy the baby was, she began to think of other things. Sometimes she picked the lovely flowers which grew near by. Sometimes she ran after the pretty butterflies as they flew over the flowers. But after a while she grew so tired of this. Oh, how she wanted to run away and play with the other children in the fields! But she remembered what mother had said about caring for her baby, and stayed quite near, where she could see if any one came to harm him.
When the day was almost over, Miriam saw a beautiful woman and her servants coming down the path to the river. She quickly hid in the rushes near the baby, wondering what would happen.
The princess, for she was King Pharaoh's daughter, had come to the river to bathe. As she reached the water's edge, she saw the queer little cradle floating in the river and said to the servant, "Bring me the basket which I see in the water." The maid brought it to her, and as she lifted the cover, the baby stretched up his arms and smiled.
The princess smiled, too, as she said, "It is a little Hebrew child which has been hidden from the soldiers. He is so beautiful I cannot let him stay here and be drowned, I will take him home and call him my own child. His name shall be Moses, which means 'taken out'; for have I not drawn him out of the water?"
Then Miriam, who had watched everything they did, came quite close and said, "Shall I not go and find a Hebrew woman to take care of the baby for you?" The princess told her to bring some one at once, and Miriam ran home and brought back her mother. The princess gave the baby to his mother, telling her to take good care of him until she should send for him-to come to the king's palace.
Oh, how happy the mother and little sister were! And the mother was proud of her little daughter, who had helped to save the baby for his home and his country.
|—LILLIAN BRICKETT POOR.|
Be tenderly affectioned one to another.
—Romans xii. 10.