Mrs. Morton had noticed for several mornings that something had gone wrong with little Donna May. The child seemed as happy as usual at the breakfast table, but when school-time drew near, she became restless. She took her hat and coat long before the hour and stationed herself at the window, looking up the street, as if waiting; yet when the time came, she went reluctantly, as though she had no heart to go.
When she came home at noon she was sadder than when she went.
“What grieves my little daughter?” asked her mother, as she came into the room.
“Oh, mother!” said Donna May, crying outright at a kind word. “You don’t know!”
“But I want to know,” said Mrs. Morton. “Perhaps I can help you.”
“Nobody can help me,” said Donna May. “Alice Barnes and I—we’ve always been friends, and now she’s mad at me.”
“What makes you think so?” asked her mother.
“Oh, I know! She always used to call for me mornings, and we were together at recess and everywhere. I wouldn’t believe it for the longest time; but it’s a week since she called for me, and she keeps away from me all the time.”
“Now that I know what Alice has done, dear, can you think of anything you did?”
“Why, mother! No, indeed, I don’t need to think. I thought too much of Alice.” Donna May cried again.
“There, my dear, don’t cry. You must find out why she keeps away from you. Very likely there is something that you never thought of.”
“I don’t want to ask her, mother. It’s her fault, and she ought to come to me.”
“I fear your pride is stronger than your love for Alice,” said mother. She was brushing Donna May’s hair as she spoke, and she stooped to give the girl’s forehead a loving kiss. Donna May knew that her mother was right, for she went straight to Alice when she saw her on the sidewalk after school, and said: “Alice Barnes, why are you mad at me?”
“I shouldn’t think you would ask me, Donna May Morton,” replied Alice, “when you’ve said such unkind things about me.”
“No such thing!” said May indignantly.
“Donna May,” said Alice, looking as solemn as her round, rosy face would let her, “Didn’t I hear you, with my own ears, telling Bess Porter that I was the most mischievous little thing you ever saw?”
Donna May looked blank for a moment, then burst into a laugh. Alice turned angrily away; but her friend caught her by the arm, and, choking down her laughter, said: “Alice, don’t you know I named my new canary bird after you? I was telling Bess about her, and how she tore her paper to pieces and scattered her seeds all over the floor.”
Alice stared and drew a long breath. Donna May’s eyes twinkled again and both girls forgot their grievances in a peal of hearty laughter.
“There, Alice,” said Donna May afterward, “if we ever misunderstand each other again, let’s speak about it at once. Perhaps it will be something as funny as this.”
Storytime Treasury, compiled by P.G. Temple, Harvestime Books, Altamont, Tennessee 37301.