The Little New Year
by Ellen Robena Field
One cold morning Maurice awoke from his dreams and sat up in bed
and listened. He thought he heard a knock at his window; but
though the moon was shining brightly, Jack Frost had been so
busily at work that Maurice could not see through the thickly
painted panes. So he crept sleepily out of bed, and opened the
window, and whispered: "Who is there?"
"I am," replied a tinkling voice. "I am the little New Year, ho!
ho! And I've promised to bring a blessing to everyone. But I am
such a little fellow I need somebody to help me distribute them.
Won't you please come out and help?"
"Oh, it's so cold!" said Maurice; "I'd rather go back to my warm
bed; " and he shivered as Jack Frost, who was passing, tickled
him under the chin with one of the frosty paint brushes.
"Never mind the cold," urged the New Year; "please help me."
So Maurice hurried into his clothes, and was soon out in the
yard. There he found a rosy-cheeked boy a little smaller than
himself, pulling a large cart which seemed to be loaded with good
things. On one side of this cart was painted the word "Love," and
on the other "Kindness." As soon as the New Year saw Maurice he
said, "Now please take hold and help me pull;" and down the
driveway and up the hill they travelled until they came to an old
"Here is where I make my first call," said the New Year. Maurice
looked wonderingly at him. "Why, nobody lives here but an old
man who works for us; and he hasn't any children!" "He
needs my help," said the New Year; "for grown people like to be
thought of just as much as children do. You shovel out a path to
his door, while I unload some of my blessings; and the little
hands went busily at work, piling up warm clothing, wood, and a
new year's dinner, the New Year singing as he worked:
"Oh, I am the little New Year; ho! ho!
Here I come tripping it over the snow,
Shaking my bells with a merry din;
So open your door and let me in."
Old Joe, hearing some noise outside, came to the door, and when
he saw all the nice gifts the tears ran down his cheeks for
gladness; and as he carried them into the house, he whispered:
"The dear Lord has been here tonight."
"Where am we going now?" asked Maurice, as they ran down the
hill. "To take some flowers to a poor sick girl," answered the
Soon they came to a small white house, where the New Year
stopped. "Why, Bessie lives here," said
Maurice. "I didn't know she was sick." "See," said the New Year,
"this window is open a little; let us throw this bunch of pinks
into the room. They will please her when she wakes, and will make
her happy for several days."
Then they hurried to other places, leaving some blessing behind
"What a wonderful cart you have," said Maurice; "though you have
taken so much out, it never seems to get empty." "You are right,
Maurice, there is never any end to love and kindness. As long as
I find people to love and be kind to, my cart is full of
blessings for them; and it will never grow empty until I can no
longer find people to help. If you will go with me every day and
help me scatter my blessings, you will see how happy you will be
all the long year."
"A happy New Year!" called some one; and Maurice found himself in
bed, and his sister standing in the doorway smiling at him. "Have
you had a pleasant dream, dear?" she asked.
"Why, where is the little New Year?" said Maurice; "he was just
here with me."
"Come into Mamma's room and see what he has brought you,"
answered his sister. There in a snowy white cradle he found a
tiny baby brother, the gift of the New.Year. How happy Maurice
was then! But he did not forget his dream. Old Joe and Bessie had
their gifts, too, and Maurice tried so hard to be helpful that he
made all his friends glad because the happy New Year had come.