Second Evening

"It was yesterday," the Moon told me, "that I peeped into a little courtyard, enclosed by houses; there was a hen there, with eleven chickens. A pretty little girl was playing around them, and the hen clucked and spread out her wings in fright over her chicks. Then the little girl's father came and scolded her, and I passed on, thinking no more of it.

"But this evening, just a few minutes ago, I again peeped into the same yard. It was very quiet there, but soon the little girl came out, crept cautiously to the henhouse, lifted the latch, and stole softly up to the hen and chickens. They clucked loudly and fluttered about, with the little girl running after them! I saw it plainly, for I peeped through a hole in the wall. I was very angry with the naughty child, and was glad when the father came and caught her by the arm and scolded her, still more sternly than yesterday. She bent her head down, and her big blue eyes were filled with tears.

" 'What are you doing here anyway?' he asked.

" 'I wanted to go in and kiss the hen and beg her to forgive me for yesterday,' she wept. 'But I was afraid to tell you.' Then the father kissed the innocent child's forehead. I kissed her eyes and lips."