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A GREAT SURPRISE
By permission of the "Christian Register."
IT was very queer indeed! Tommy was walking slowly
down behind the barn, with his usually merry face all
scowls; and Teddy was peeping through the fence into
Tommy's garden, with a whole great family of wrinkles
in his forehead. Now, what was it all about?
Out in Teddy's yard grew a great, tall horse-chestnut
tree, and one crisp October morning a shower of pretty
brown nuts came tumbling out of their thick, green
shells—down, down, down, until at last they reached the
broad gravel walk and the smooth, green lawn. Teddy
spied them as he came hurrying home from school at
noon, and then the scowl came to make him a visit.
"That new boy has everything!" he exclaimed,
 crossly. "He has tops, and balls, and a bicycle, and
now he has got all the horse-chestnuts. It isn't fair,
it isn't." Then poor, discontented Tommy looked
crosser than ever.
Tommy did not know that down in his garden grew
something that the new boy, Teddy, had always longed to
have—a bouncing, yellow pumpkin! How Teddy did wish
that his papa had bought Tommy's house, and Tommy's
garden, and Tommy's pumpkin—all three. Teddy sighed as
he thought of the Jack-o'-Lantern that he could make if
he had only one of those wonderful yellow treasures for
his own. It was a very loud and sorrowful sigh, and
Tommy heard it, and then he discovered the new boy
peeping through the fence.
"Hello!" said Tommy, quickly.
Teddy jumped. He didn't know that anybody was near.
"Don't you like living here?" said Tommy. "You look as
if you were homesick. Now, you come over and look at
my pumpkins; I've got a whole lot of them, and they're
all mine—every one of them."
Teddy sighed. "I've been wanting a pumpkin for ever
so long," he said, sadly; "but they don't have gardens
with pumpkins in the city, and so I never had any."
Tommy looked surprised. "Would you like one?" he
asked. "Because I'll give you one of mine, if you
would. Come over, and I'll give you one, now."
Teddy climbed over the fence in a hurry, and he smiled
and smiled as Tommy took out his jack-knife from his
trousers pocket and cut off one of the biggest pumpkins
with a snap.
"You have everything, haven't you?" he said,
regret-  fully. "You have pumpkins—whole gardens
full of them, and apples, and grapes, and pears."
Tommy looked at Teddy in great surprise. "I have
everything?" he said. "Why, I thought you were the one
who had everything a few minutes ago. You have tops,
and a bicycle—and horse-chestnuts," he added.
"Why, so I have," said Teddy. "I wanted a pumpkin so
much that I forgot all about everything else. Maybe
you would like some of my horse-chestnuts, would you?"
"Oh, yes," said Tommy, his eyes dancing with delight.
"You may have a whole big bagful," declared Teddy, "and
I will fetch some toothpicks and show you how to make a
Brownie man with them."
"And, after school, I will help you make a
Jack-o'-Lantern," said Tommy. "We will help each
other, and we will divide all the things we make, and
then we can both have everything really and truly."
"Yes, so we can," said Teddy.
Then those tiresome scowls and wrinkles ran away in a
hurry. They went a long way off, to see if they could
find two cross, discontented boys. But I hope they
never found you!