The Little New Year by Ellen Robena Field
One cold morning Maurice awoke from his dreams and sat up in bed and
listened. He thought he heard a knock at his window; but though the moon
was shining brightly, Jack Frost had been so busily at work that Maurice
could not see through the thickly painted panes. So he crept sleepily out
of bed, and opened the window, and whispered: "Who is there?"
"I am," replied a tinkling voice. "I am the little New Year, ho! ho! And
I've promised to bring a blessing to everyone. But I am such a little
fellow I need somebody to help me distribute them. Won't you please come
out and help?"
"Oh, it's so cold!" said Maurice; "I'd rather go back to my warm bed;"
"and he shivered as Jack Frost, who was passing, tickled him under the
chin with one of the frosty paint brushes.
"Never mind the cold," urged the New Year; "please help me."
So Maurice hurried into his clothes, and was soon out in the yard. There
he found a rosy-cheeked boy a little smaller than himself, pulling a large
cart which seemed to be loaded with good things. On one side of this cart
was painted the word "Love," and on the other "Kindness." As soon as the
New Year saw Maurice he said, "Now please take hold and help me pull;" and
down the driveway and up the hill they travelled until they came to an old
"Here is where I make my first call," said the New Year. Maurice looked
wonderingly at him. "Why, nobody lives here but an old colored man who
works for us; and he hasn't any children!" "He needs my help," said the
New Year; "for grown people like to be thought of just as much as children
do. You shovel out a path to his door, while I unload some of my
blessings; and the little hands went busily at work, piling up warm
clothing, wood, and a new year's dinner, the New Year singing as he
"Oh, I am the little New Year; ho! ho!
Here I come tripping it over the snow,
Shaking my bells with a merry din;
So open your door and let me in."
Old Joe, hearing some noise outside, came to the door, and when he saw all
the nice gifts the tears ran down his cheeks for gladness; and as he
carried them into the house, he whispered: "The dear Lord has been here
"Where am we going now?" asked Maurice, as they ran down the hill. "To
take some flowers to a poor sick girl," answered the New Year.
Soon they came to a small white house, where the New Year stopped. "Why,
Bessie, our sewing girl lives, here," said Maurice. "I didn't know she was
sick." "See," said the New Year, "this window is open a little; let us
throw this bunch of pinks into the room. They will please her when she
wakes, and will make her happy for several days."
Then they hurried to other places, leaving some blessing behind them.
"What a wonderful cart you have," said Maurice; "though you have taken so
much out, it never seems to get empty." "You are right, Maurice, there is
never any end to love and kindness. As long as I find people to love and
be kind to, my cart is full of blessings for them; and it will never grow
empty until I can no longer find people to help. If you will go with me
every day and help me scatter my blessings, you will see how happy you
will be all the long year."
"A happy New Year!" called some one; and Maurice found himself in bed, and
his sister standing in the doorway smiling at him. "Have you had a
pleasant dream, dear?" she asked.
"Why, where is the little New Year?" said Maurice; "he was just here with
"Come into Mamma's room and see what he has brought you," answered his
sister. There in a snowy white cradle he found a tiny baby brother, the
gift of the New Year. How happy Maurice was then! But he did not forget
his dream. Old Joe and Bessie had their gifts, too, and Maurice tried so
hard to be helpful that he made all his friends glad because the happy New
Year had come.