Lame Susie by Unknown
CHILDREN,” said Miss Ware to her little band of scholars, “Susie
Dana is coming to school next Monday. She is lame, and I want
you to be kind and thoughtful toward her. She does not show her lameness
until she commences to walk, and then you can see that one of the
fat little legs is longer than the other, which makes her limp. So do not
watch her as she walks. Be sure not to run against her in your plays,
and don’t shut her out from them because she cannot run and jump as
you do, but choose, some of the time, plays in which she can take part.
Remember, I make this rule: When you leave the room at recess or
after school, wait, every one of you, in your places till she has passed
out; then she will not be jostled or hurt in any way. Her lameness is a
hard trial for a little girl. She would like to run and dance as well as
any of you, and I do hope you will feel for her, and at least not make
her burden heavier. How many, now, will promise to try to make her
Every hand was instantly raised, and the children’s clear, honest eyes
met their teacher’s with a look which was a promise.
You have read stories, no doubt, of lame, blind or deformed children,
and poor ones in patched clothes, who met treatment from others harder
to endure than their poverty, privation or pain. Sometimes their schoolmates
have been foolish and cruel enough to shun them, cast them out
from their plays and pleasures, brush roughly against them, talk about,
and even ridicule, them. But I hope it is not often so. In this case it
was by far the reverse.
These children remembered their pledge, and they made Susie so
happy that she almost forgot her lameness. She was a cheerful, pleasant,
good little girl, and her schoolmates, who had begun by pitying
her and trying to help her, soon loved to be with her.
“May I sit with Susie, Miss Ware?” became a frequent request.
“Susie dear, here’s a cake I’ve brought you,” one would say at
“Take half my apple, Susie.”
NOTHING SHALL HURT YOU.
One day, as Susie was on her way to school she met a large drove of
oxen. Poor little girl! she was very much frightened, and the big blue
eyes were fast filling with tears when Harry Barton, one of the school-boys,
stepped up before her and said, “Don’t cry, Susie. I will take care
of you. Nothing shall hurt you while I am here.” And right bravely
he stood before her until the last one had passed, and then took Susie
to school, kindly helping her over the rough places.
So the seasons wore on, and Susie, who, though she ardently desired
to learn, had dreaded going among other children, was always happy
with them. She loved her teacher and schoolmates, and made such
progress as she could not have done had these things been different.
The summer vacation was over. The glorious days of early autumn,
with sunshine glinting through the crimson foliage, dropping nuts and
golden harvests, passed swiftly away, and cold weather came.
The school-room was pleasant still with its cheery fire and bright
faces. One day, when all were busy as usual, a cry rang out,
“Fire! Fire! The school-house is on fire!”
Books and pens dropped from trembling hands, little faces paled, and
eager, appealing eyes turned instantly to the teacher.
“Run, children!” she said, hurriedly.
Only one moved—lame Susie. She limped along as fast as she could,
and all the rest, frightened as they were, remained in their places till she
was safe outside the walls. Then with a rush they cleared the room
almost in an instant. Even in that time of peril and dread they remembered
their duty and kindness toward her, and gave her the richest proof
in their power of their thoughtful love. Not mere obedience to a rule
could have prompted this unselfish act, and as such a proof she must
have felt it.
It is a beautiful illustration, as it is a true one, of God’s love for all
living and for all times.
“As ye would they should do to you, do ye to them.”