Short Stories » Aggie
SOME thoughtless persons are very fond of teasing little children, and seem to enjoy their discomfiture, but it is an unworthy amusement. I think they little realize how sensitive are the feelings of a child, and how much dependence the little ones place upon words, until they learn how untruthful grown persons can sometimes be. It is a sad thought that innocence receives its first wrong lessons from supposed best friends. Said a middle-aged man one day : " I never knowingly deceive or mislead a child, or make fun of, or tease one. I speak the simple truth to them in few words. In my early childhood, one of my uncles, just to tease me, said I would have red hair when I grew older. Before this I had as good an opinion of one color of hair as another; it was the person I regarded; but the way in which he said it perplexed me, and others, seeing this, joined in the merriment, and kept it up in various ways. I became so sensitive on this subject that if anyone looked at my hair I became flushed with shame, and finally used to keep away from company as much as possible, thereby losing much enjoyment I might have shared. I had one old uncle whom I soon learned never teased or joked, and, having confidence in his perfect truthfulness, I asked him about it. His answer was a comfort to me, and I never wearied of rendering him any little attention or service I could perform; and I never see a child teased but that I just step in and take its part."
Many little children have not a wise old uncle or friend to go to, and no doubt suffer keenly sometimes. Others have sufficient spirit to defend themselves, for we are not all alike. One case comes to my mind. A dear little girl of three years used to often come across the clover-field to see me. Her name was Aggie, and she was Frankie's sister. One warm summer day she came all flushed with her little escapade, and, not seeing anyone outdoors, continued her walk along the veranda until she reached the open parlor door. The room was pretty well filled with company, and after a nasty glance across the room, Aggie started across the room to where I was sitting. As she proceeded, a person who thought to amuse himself and others by startling her, suddenly ejaculated, " Bow, wow, wow!"
Aggie turned just to see where the sound came from, and with sweet dignity answered, "Dogs belong outdoors," and then climbed up to my knee.
The laugh that followed satisfied the person that he had made a great mistake, and we all admired the little lady more than ever.