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 happy?”

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 recess.

“Take half my apple, Susie.”

Harry protects Susie from the oxen

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.”