Short Stories » The Canary and the Prophecy

The Canary and the Prophecy

THERE was another boy, a little older. He was very fond of birds and felt willing to do anything he was able to perform, to earn money enough to buy himself a canary and a cage. Very soon he managed to find employment, sometimes one thing and sometimes another, always so prompt, faithful and cheerful that he soon found persons inquiring after him, instead of having to hunt work.

After what seemed a very long time, for birds used to be very dear in those days, my little friend had a sum sufficient, and started out, as happy as could be, to make his purchase. The bird was selected ; the price was $5.oo, and the cage was $1.50. He then bought ten cents' worth of seed to feed it, intending to soon purchase more. The merchant began laughing and ridiculing him about the small package of feed. The poor boy left the store with his treasure, but far from being as happy as when he entered it, and going home with burning cheeks and heavy heart, he told his gentle mother.

The father arrived and was informed and immediately started down town. When he entered the store, the merchant knew something was coming, and soon found out what it was. ''Where was your man- hood when you could ridicule a little child that had worked for weeks and weeks to pay you a high price for a bird and cage? I promise you here that that boy will rise and have name and wealth when you are down and poor! You may watch him and I will watch you!"

The man of avarice shrank before the eye and voice of the man who uttered those significant words.

Within ten years the merchant had lost his fine store, his comfortable home property, and was scarcely earning a living, besides being an object of sympathy, from his altered health and dejected appearance. Two years later, and while he still lived, the boy had realized the fulfillment of that portion of his father's prophecy which related to him, by an office of trust and emolument, which his proven integrity and ability had qualified him for, being conferred upon him.

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