Things That Spread

Galatians 5:9

“Oh, look how it spreads!” cried Ruth,

watching Cook trying to mop up a great

blot of ink that Benny had dropped on the

white tablecloth.

“It’s not the only thing that spreads,”

snapped Cook, annoyed at being interrupted

 in her work. “Children’s naughtiness

spreads too, making everybody around

them a lot of trouble.” Then, jerking the

blinds down, she hurried out of the room,

leaving Ruth alone in the darkness.

Through a tiny crack in the dark shade at

the other side of the room a little sunbeam

struggled in on the floor, its brightness

spreading through the threads of the carpet, 

leaving a streak of sunshine much

wider and brighter than where it entered.

“Sunshine spreads too,” said Ruth, “and

kindness.” Then she hummed softly, “Let

us gather up the sunshine lying all around

our path.”

“Lots of other things besides ink and

naughtiness,” Ruth said out loud; and

then, following Cook into the hot kitchen,

she heard her grumble:

“Everything spreads for me—especially

work; and there are the berries to pick for

supper besides.”

The day was hot, and Cook was tired

and cross; so, taking the basket out of her

hand, Ruth said, “Let me pick the berries,

Cook; I love to hunt them hiding among

the leaves,” and before Cook could object

she was gone. Soon she was back with the

tempting berries, and as she capped them

on the wide, cool porch, she overheard

Cook telling Sarah, the maid, about her

sister’s sick baby, and that she had been

rushing all afternoon, so she could get the

doctor’s medicine down to the child before 


“But now I can’t and the poor dear is in

sore need of it,” she sighed.

“Let me go, Cook, “begged Ruth brightly. “I 

know where Tommy’s mother lives,

and I can skip down in no time.”

“Mamma may think the walk too long,”

objected Cook.

“I’m sure she won’t,” insisted Ruth;

“she likes me to help people, and I just

love babies.”

“You surely do, Ruth,” agreed Cook.

“You are one comfort, truly; and happiness 

keeps spreading all the time wherever

you are.”

Just then Benny came up the walk, pushing 

baby’s stroller in front of him and


“Here I’ve been wheeling this cross

youngster about for a solid hour, and he

won’t go to sleep. I feel like spanking him

good, the little rascal.”

“Poor little Teddy,” said Ruth. “He is

sick, and it is so hot, and then he misses

his dear Mamma.”

“Nothing ails him but real crossness,”

said Benny.

“O Benny dear, don’t say that,” begged

Ruth. “His poor little gums are very hot;

look how red and swollen they are.

Come, baby! I will take him along down

to Cook’s sister’s,” and she started off

with a smile on her lips.

“Thanks to your kindness, Benny, Mamma’s 

head is almost well,” said mother

when she took her place at the table that


“It was Ruth who coaxed baby to sleep,

Mamma,” replied Benny. “I couldn’t do

anything with him. She must be a fairy, I


“It was just the happiness spreading,”

said Ruth; and then she told them the story

of the spreading of the ink and the sunshine.

V. Markwell

It is by faithfulness to duty in the parental home

that the youth are to prepare themselves

for homes of their own.

Let them here practice self-denial,

and manifest kindness,

courtesy, and Christian sympathy.