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
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