THE LEGEND OF THE DIPPER
C. S. B. Adapted from an old legend.
 THERE was once a little girl who had a dear mother, and
they lived, quite alone, in a little house in the
woods. They were always very happy, but one day the
mother grew so ill that it seemed as if she could never
be strong and well again.
"I must have a drink of clear, cold water," she cried,
as she lay in bed, so weak and suffering from thirst.
It was dark night, and there was no one near to ask for
water, so the little girl took her tin dipper and
started out alone to the spring to bring her mother a
drink. She went a long way through the woods, and she
ran so that she grew very tired, being such a tiny
girl; but she filled her tin dipper at the spring and
Sometimes the water spilled, because it was not easy to
carry, and sometimes the little girl stumbled over the
stones in the dark road. All at once she felt a warm
touch upon her hand, and she stopped. It was a little
dog who had been following her, for he, too, was nearly
dying of thirst, and he had touched her hand with his
The little girl looked at her dipper. There was only a
very little water in it, but she poured a few drops
into her hand, and let the thirsty dog lap them. He
seemed as refreshed as if he had been to the river to
drink. And a wonderful thing happened to the tin
dipper—although the little girl did not see. It was
changed to a silver dipper, with more water in it than
The little girl started on again, hurrying very fast,
 for she remembered how much her mother needed
her, but she had not gone very far when she met a
stranger in the road. He was tall, and wore shining
garments, and his eyes looked down with a wonderful
smile into the little girl's face. He reached out his
hand for the dipper, and he begged for a drink of the
clear, cold water.
Now, the little girl thought how her mother had told
her that she should be always kind to a stranger, so
she held the water up to his lips. And very suddenly,
as the stranger drank, the silver dipper was changed to
a gold dipper—full to the brim with sparkling water.
The little girl hurried on, but the road was so very
long, and she was so tired, that it seemed as if she
could never each home again. She was weak and faint,
and she longed to drink just a few drops of the water;
but, no, her mother would need all that was left. Had
she not given some to the thirsty dog and to the
stranger? So she never took a drink herself, but
hastened home and carried it to the dear mother. And
then came the greatest wonder of all! As soon as the
dear mother drank she became quite well and strong once
more; and the gold dipper, as it touched her lips, was
changed to a diamond dipper—all shining and blazing
with glittering gems!
And the diamond dipper left her fingers to shine up in
the sky, over the house and the woods. There it shines
every night to tell all little children how, once, a
child was brave and unselfish and kind.