The Fairy Christmas by Etheldred
It was Christmas Day, and Toddy and Tita were alone. Papa
and mamma had gone out West to see their big boy who was ill.
They had promised to be home for Christmas, but a big snow had
blocked the railroad track, and nurse was afraid the train
would be delayed until the day after
Christmas. What a dull Christmas for two little girls, all
alone in the great city house, with only the servants! They
felt so lonely that nurse let them play in the big
drawing-room instead of in the nursery, so they arranged all
the chairs in a row, and pretended it was a snowed-up train.
Tita was the conductor, and Toddy was the passengers. Just
as they were in the midst of it, they heard music in the street, and, running to the
window, they saw a little boy outside, singing and beating a
"Why," said Tita, "his feet are all bare!"
"Dess he hanged up bofe stockin's an' his shoes, too," said
"Let's open the window and ask him."
But the great window was too high to reach, so they took
papa's cane and pushed it tip. The little boy smiled, but they
could not hear what he said, so they told him to come in, and
ran to open the big front door. He was a little frightened at
first, but the carpet felt warm to his poor bare feet.
He told them that his name was Guido, and that he had come
from Italy, which is a much warmer country than ours, and that
he was very poor, so poor that he had no shoes, and had to go
singing from house to house for a few pennies to get some
dinner. And he was so
"Poor little boy!" said Tita. "Our mamma is away, and we're
having a pretty sad Christmas, but we'll try to make it nice
So they played games, and Guido sang to them. Then the
folding doors rolled back, and there was the dining-room and
the table all set, and Thomas, the black waiter, smiling, just
as if it had been a big dinner party instead of two very little
girls. Nurse said: "Well, I never!" when she saw Guido, but she
felt so sorry for the lonely little girls that she let him come
to the table. And such a dinner as he ate! He had never
had one like it before. "It is a fairy tale," he said.
Just as dessert came on, the door opened and in rushed mamma
and papa; the train had gotten in, after all. They were so glad
to see their darlings happy instead of moping that they gave
them each some extra kisses. You may be sure little Guido never
went hungry and barefoot after that. Long afterward he would
say: "That was a fairy Christmas!"
That night, after Tita had said her prayers, she said:
"Mamma, I know something. Whenever you feel sad and lonely,
if you will just find somebody sadder and lonelier than
yourself and cheer them up, it will make you all right."
And I think that that was the very best kind of a Christmas
lesson of love. Don't you?