How Arthur Made Valentines
by May G. Mooar
Arthur had a box of paints given him for Christmas, and he had learned to color pictures very prettily; so just as he was finishing the dress of a gorgeous Japanese lady such a happy thought came to him that he nearly spilled some yellow paint all over Miss Matsuki's gay pink dress, in his haste to find mother and tell her about it.
“I want to make my valentines all myself this year,” he exclaimed excitedly as soon as the yellow paint was safely back in the box, “for now I can paint. Why can't I paint some valentines, same's Aunt Frances did last year?”
“Why, I think you could, dear,” mother answered.
“'Course I don't mean I could make quite such lovely flowers as she did,” Arthur went on, “but I think it would be lots more fun to do it myself than to buy them.”
“So do I, Arthur,” mother said, “and I think if you look through those papers in the lower drawer you'll find some pictures to cut out that would make pretty valentines. Then you could color them with your paints and paste them on a sheet of note paper.”
“But, mother, don't valentines have some verses written on them besides the pictures? Aunt Frances' did. Where can I get those?”
“Perhaps I could write those for you,” mother laughed, “if I tried real hard.”
“Could you really write verses?” Arthur asked in round-eyed wonder. “Then we'll have some lovely valentines, won't we? I'll make one for you, and one for father, and Alice and John and Clifton and Barbara and oh, lots of folks.”
“Well, I guess you better get to work right away, if you've such a lot to do,” advised mother, “and I had better begin on the poetry.”
It was fun to find the pictures, for there were such a lot to select from, and by supper time Arthur had a nice pile all ready to paint next morning.
Two days before Valentine's day they were all done—prettily colored and pasted on note paper with a little verse that mother had written, printed in Arthur's very best writing.
“Aren't they bee-u-ti-ful,” he exclaimed as he laid them in a row on the dining-room table.
“They are very nice, dear,” mother said, “and which do you think are the prettiest ones?”
Arthur looked a long time at the row of little valentines and then he said, “These two.” One had a little curly-haired child carrying a big bunch of flowers in her hand, and the verse read:
“This bunch of roses I'm bringing,
Is a valentine for you,
To show that in storm or in sunshine
My love is always true.”
And the other valentine had a picture of two little boys carrying a big basket between them, and this was the little verse:
“What do you s'pose our basket holds?
Give guess one and two.
You'll never think, so I must tell:
It's full of love for you.”
“And to whom are you going to give the two prettiest ones?” asked mother.
An earnest look came into Arthur's eyes.
“I fought I'd send the little-girl one to that lame boy at the corner. I don't know him very well, but he looks kind of lonely, you said, mother. Don't you s'pose he'd like it?”
Mother nodded. “And who is to have the other?”
A little hand stole into mother's, and two brown eyes full of love were lifted to mother's face.
“That is for you,” he said.