Little Miss Muffle by Anonymous

Little Miss Muffle was sitting waiting. She had on her new winter coat and her new winter bonnet, and she sat as still as a mouse.

'Why is little Miss Muffle so gay,
In her winter coat and bonnet to-day?
Because she is going with mother away
For a drive in a carriage and pair,'

said Uncle George, coming into the room. He always called his niece Miss Muffle, though her real name was Annette.

'Yes,' said Miss Muffle, 'I am going with my mother, and I shall not be a bit cold. I am never cold in the winter; my mother keeps me so warm.'

'Yes,' said Uncle George; 'your father and mother are rich, and can give their little girl all she wants. I wonder if Miss Muffle would like to go and see some little girls who have no warm coats or shoes and stockings?'

Miss Muffle looked up at Uncle George.

'I should like to see those little girls, Uncle George. Will you take me to see them?'

So Uncle George went in the carriage with Miss Muffle and her mother. And as they were driving along he told the coachman to stop at some poor cottages near the road. He lifted Miss Muffle out of the carriage, and told her mother they would not be long, if she would not mind waiting. Uncle George knocked at the door of the first cottage.

Miss Muffle gave a little shiver, for there was no fire, and sitting close together on the floor were three little children, trying to get warm under an old shawl of their mother's.

'And how are the children getting on at school?' said Uncle George.

'Only Ben has gone,' said the mother, 'for the others have on shoes, except a pair of slippers that they wear in turn on fine days, but such weather as this they would be wet through at once.'

'Have they had their dinner?' asked Uncle George.

'They have each had a piece of dry bread; that is all I can give them, for the father is out of work.'

The tears were in Miss Muffle's eyes.

Uncle George slipped out of the door, and presently came back with a great basket, which he opened, and gave each of the children a large sandwich, at sight of which their eyes gleamed with joy. How hungry they were!

'And you must get some coal at once, Mrs. Trotter,' said Uncle George, putting some money on the table, and at the same time taking out of the basket tea, sugar, bread, cheese, bacon, and all sorts of food. 'And you must have a good meal for your husband and the children, and we will see about shoes and stockings in a day or two.'

'Uncle George,' said Miss Muffle, when they returned to the carriage, 'I will give them all the money I have, and father and mother will give some, and we will buy clothes and shoes and stockings for the poor little children.