May I Pop Some Corn?

by the American Sunday-School Union

"May I pop some corn?" asked Eddie.

"Yes," answered his mother; and laying down her work, she went to the closet and got for him several small ears—some red and some white—the kernels of which where not half so large as those of common corn.

Eddie took a white bowl and sat down on the carpet by his mother with the tiny ears in his apron. He worked away for some time, shelling first one ear and then another, till every little kernel was in the bowl, and nothing but cobs left. These he thought would help to build a "log-house," so he put them in his play-box, with those he had treasured before, and took his bowl to the kitchen.

Kate, the cook, was a coloured woman, and she loved children. When he said to her, "Mother told me I might pop some corn," she cheerfully placed the iron pan on the stove, and when it was hot enough, told him he might put in the corn. Pretty soon it went Pop! pop! pop! till the pan was filled with snow-white kernels. Eddie always wondered how they could turn inside out and suddenly grow so large. He did not understand that it was because of the expansion or swelling of the air within the hard case, which then burst open to find more room.

Eddie popping corn. Eddie popping corn.

Eddie was very busy for some time in the kitchen attending to his corn. When it was all done, he separated that which was popped from that which was only parched, and put it in different dishes. He gave his dog Philo some of the brown kernels, and he seemed to like them as well as Eddie himself. Eddie enjoyed hearing him crack them with his sharp teeth, and would stroke his great head, and say kindly, "Poor Philo! you are a good Philo;" and the dog would wag his tail as much as to say, "Dear Eddie! you are a good Eddie."

After giving Philo his share, and Kate hers, Eddie carried up a large dishful to his mother and the children. He did not wish to eat it all himself for he was a generous boy and always liked to have others partake of his pleasures, whatever they might be. He reserved some of the nicest of it in a tumbler, which he placed on his mother's work-table. Mrs. Dudley took a little, saying to him,

"If you miss your corn, Eddie, you will know what has become of it."

He looked up from his play quite soberly, and said slowly, "Mother, if you wish to eat more you may, but Iam not going to."

"Why not, my child?"

"I am going to save it for father."

Mrs. Dudley was pleased to see Eddie willing to deny himself to give to others, so she said to him, "That is right." When his father came home from his business, Eddie placed the tumbler beside his plate on the tea-table. After the blessing was asked, Mr. Dudley, looking at the children, inquired, "Where did this come from?" "I popped it," answered Eddie. And his father thanked him with a kind and loving smile.

Eddie was much happier than if he had eaten all the corn himself, for he had made others happy by his generosity. "It is more blessed to give than to receive," the Bible tells us; and Eddie had been learning this truth in the great pleasure he felt in dividing his popped corn with others. I hope you who read this story know how to sympathize with him. If you do not, will you try the experiment, and see if you are not far happier to share your corn, or your candy, or whatever else you may have, with your brothers and sisters, and those around you, than you are to devour it yourself? I have seen little chickens seize their favourite morsel and run away and hide where they could eat it all alone; but I should be sorry to think that any child would do so.