Short Stories » What a Little Girl Could Do
What a Little Girl Could Do
FAR away in England a family was bowed in sorrow and want. The father had died, and there was a good- sized family to be provided for. The eldest children could get work away from home, just enough to provide for themselves. At home there were three more for the mother to toil for, the eldest only six. One day a little friend said to her: "Elizabeth, I have a place to work, but my time is nearly out, and I'm going home; but I think my mistress would take you if you would like to go." "Oh, thank you! I'll go with you now and find out about it." When they reached the house, the lady, in answer to the introduction and explanation, said, " You are so young and small, how could you wash my dishes?" "I would stand upon a box." " You might break them while putting them away." " No, ma'am, for I would be so careful that it could not happen." "What would keep you from being homesick ?" "To know I was helping mother." "Are you not afraid I might scold you?" "Not if I do right, ma'am." The lady was so pleased she called to see the mother, who, after many sorrowful feelings, and the kind assurances of her visitor, who was well known, consented to the offer. Once a week Elizabeth saw her mother, and at the end of the year her kind employer paid . her the full salary and a bountiful allowance of clothing and books, for Elizabeth had expressed a wish to attend school. This she did for one year, and helped her mother all her hours out of school-time. "Now," said Elizabeth (eight years old), " after one year in school, I ought to study alone." So she worked for small wages all day, and spent her evenings at home in study, instead of playing in the streets. So she continued for ten years.
At a proper age Elizabeth married a good man, and by the earnings she had saved, helped her mother as well as herself to come to Zion. The once poor little girl now rides behind her own horses, and looks from her door upon more than one hundred acres of land, their valued and happy inheritance in Zion.
I cannot help thinking that the spirit shown by the little girl, and her course in life as she grew older, must have won the approval and blessing of our heavenly Father. I think that holy angels must have looked with tender care upon the little Elizabeth, who started out in life at six years of age, and bore up her simple prayers to the holy throne.