WHAT KEPT THE NEW CHIMNEY WAITING
Annie H. Donnell. Copyright by "The Outlook."
A NEW chimney was going to be built on Grandpa's house,
and the boys were in a state of high glee. They were
always excited when something was going on, and this
would be splendid, Wayne said.
"Mike's coming, you know, to mix the mortar and
 carry it up the ladder to the mason. He'll tell us
stories in the noonings!"
"Yes," said Casper; "and I say, Wayne, let's go get his
hod and play we're hod carriers, with mud for mortar,
you know. Come on!"
"Come on!" shouted Wayne. "It's leaning up against the
barn where he left it when he brought the things over."
On the way to the barn they saw Grandpa harnessing Old
Molly to the big, blue cart. That meant a beautiful,
jolty ride down to the orchard, and the boys forgot all
about playing hod carrier. They climbed in, and jolted
"Mike's coming to-morrow, you know, Grandpa, and the
mason," said Casper, his voice quiver-quavering over
the jolts. But dear old Grandpa shook his white head.
"Not to-morrow, boys; you'll have to wait a bit longer.
I sent word to the mason and Mike last night that they
couldn't come for a few weeks longer. I've decided to
put the chimney off."
Both dear little voices were shrill with
disappointment. Both little brown faces fell. Grandpa
did not speak again at once—he was driving Old Molly
carefully out at the side of the cart road. The boys
saw a little crippled butterfly fluttering along in the
wheel track—that was why Grandpa had turned out.
Grandpa's big heart had room enough in it for every
live thing. Back in the track again, further on,
Grandpa said: "When we get home, boys, I will show you
why we had to wait for the new chimney. You'll agree
with me, I know. It is a case of necessity." And
Grandpa's eyes twinkled under his shaggy brows.
"A little bird told me," he said, and that was all
 they found out until they got home. Then the same
little bird told them, too. Grandpa took them up to
the attic with a great air of mystery. The old
chimney had been partly torn down, half-way to the
attic floor. Grandpa tiptoed up to it, and lifted
them, one at a time, to peer into it.
"Sh!" he whispered, softly. "Look sharp!"
And there, on a little nest of mud, lined with
thistledown and straws, that rested lightly on the
projecting bricks, sat the little bird! She blinked
her bright eyes at the kind faces peering down, as if
"Oh, dear no; I'm not afraid of you! Isn't this a
beautiful nest? So exclusive and safe! There are four
speckly, freckly eggs under me. When I've hatched them
and brought up my family in the way well educated
little chimney swallows should go, then you may build
your chimney, but not before."
And that was why Grandpa's new chimney had to wait.