Short Stories » Little Lizzie
SHALL I tell you of another dear child I once knew ? She was named for a friend, and to distinguish them, for they lived in the same house, they called her " Little Lizzie." Her face was a winsome little picture ; she had a way of holding her head on one side, in a shy, modest fashion, that was like no one else. Lizzie's hair was a golden brown and so soft and light, like silk floss, that part of it was afloat around her head most of the time, for a breath of wind through the window, or even her own restless movements, kept it in a stir. Such glowing red cheeks, such dark blue eyes, almost black, and such long lashes are seldom seen. Little "Lizzie was such a mite to begin with that when a year old babies half her age were larger. She was just like a bird bobbing around and twittering her sweet little tunes, for "Lizzie was always singing to herself when only two years old. Her very seriousness would make one smile ; those lovely eyes were so large and bright, so wide open, " they were just more than one person's share of beauty," someone said.
Lizzie's father had many very choice flowers in his garden and many arranged on stands also. Some- times she tried to rearrange these, but always to the injury of her clothing and sometimes the destruction of pots and flowers. How innocently she would survey the disaster, and, patiently clasping her hands, whisper a petition for forgiveness. Somehow, a gentle chiding, but nothing severer, followed when these things happened. The transplanting was also closely observed by her, and the good old gardener had no idea what was to follow. One warm afternoon her sister and I spread a rug upon the bedroom floor, closed the door and windows, arranged our pillows, and prepared for a cool time of reading or napping.
I awoke with a gentle breath fanning my face, and just opening my eyes met close to me those of little Lizzie, wonder- wide, gazing upon me. Garden soil was upon her vivid cheeks, and about the corners of her pretty lips, and those clean Saturday afternoon clothes what would her mother say?
" Little Lizzie, what have you been doing ? "
" Been a-digging the flowers out of the ground," said she sweetly, and, changing from all fours to an upright position, we saw upon the carpet the devastation she had wrought, the wilted plants. I roused her sister, and we went out. "Let's get them back in the ground as quick as we can," said Mary; and we worked quick, I can tell you! "If you were just more than two years old, I know what I'd do," said Mary, pressing the dirt around the last plant.
Little Lizzie answered with a sudden hug and kiss. She had a habit of going outdoors nearly every after- noon and returning in a very quiet mood. Once, as I saw her going, trailing her pretty sunbonnet along by the strings, I asked her, " Where are you going, Little Lizzie?" She paused, looked back, and answered seriously, " I'm going to seek my heavenly Father." "Where are you going to seek him ? " " In the barn," she replied and went out. The dear old grandmother followed soon after (no one else went), and when she returned she said: "We ain't as near to God as that blessed child is; I've been listening to her." "What was she saying?" tremulously asked Mary. "Forgive me another time, Lord Jesus," and I came away. We were all silent awhile and had our own thoughts.
The piety of this dear child remained a feature of her after years. She was gifted in music, and her parents would often listen with strange feelings to the harmonies that her own spirit called forth from the keys, with snatches of words here and there just ; they came to her. "She sings, and her soul is he. teacher," said her father. When she was twelve year - old, her sister six years older died. From that time Lizzie was silent and lonely. One day they missed her, and after searching vainly her father went to the sister's grave to weep over the sorrow that he felt was drawing around them. A little slender figure lay across the grave; it was Lizzie. They talked together, and he found out how she was missing her mate. Often after this they found her there, and they knew she was longing to go to her absent sister, and it was not long before her health yielded to her sorrow. When the end was near and she heeded not those around her, she repeated again so sweetly her own little prayer: " Lord Jesus, forgive my sins once more and take me."
Her sins! a gentle girl of thirteen. What had she to fear ? Might we all be as well prepared.
No doubt the loving sisters were reunited to walk together in happiness, awaiting the coming of parents and kindred.