Pretty Tales


4. The Little Boy's Bedtime

One night little Albert sat at play with his box of bricks till bedtime. He sat at the foot of his mamma's work-table, and he built a house with walls round it, and steps up to the door, and a well in the middle of the yard. His mamma said it was very nicely done. Then Albert began to take the house to pieces, and put away the bricks; and before he had put all the bricks into the box, the clock struck eight.


When the clock struck, Susan came to the door and said, "Come, master Albert, it is time to go to bed." His mamma said, "Please to come again by and by, for the little boy is not quite ready. He has not said his prayer. He will be ready soon." But Albert cried out, "Go away, Susan. I do not want to go to bed. I want to sit up a little longer."

Mamma. My dear, it is bedtime, and you must go.

Albert. It is not your bedtime, mamma. I do not think any one goes to sleep so soon but baby and me.

Mamma. Oh yes, I can tell you of many more. The little birds' bedtime comes before yours. It comes when the sun goes down, so they went to sleep long ago.

Albert. Where do the birds sleep, mamma?

Mamma. Some are hid in the long grass in the fields, and some are among the leaves on the tall trees. There they are, if you could see them now, each with its little head under its wing.

Albert. I dare say they are tired with flying about all day.

Mamma. Yes, they were tired, and glad to go to rest. Then there are the doves in the dove-cot. If you were to go out and listen now, you would not hear their soft coo, for they are all asleep. And the white hen is asleep, with her seven little chicks safe under her wings.

Albert. But Keeper is not asleep. I heard him bark just now.

Mamma. No, for it is Keeper's duty to keep watch, and take care of the house.

Albert. Mamma, do you think that poor old woman and little girl are asleep, whom papa met to-day, and who begged for a bit of bread?

Mamma. I cannot tell, my dear boy. Only think, if they are now out in the dark, with cold and tired feet, what thanks they would give to any one for a soft warm bed like yours!

Albert. Must I thank Susan for my nice warm bed?

Mamma. Susan is very kind to you, my love, and you must thank her for all she does for you, and speak kindly to her in return. But it is God who gives you a home, and food to eat, and a bed to rest in. You must thank God for all the good things you have.

Albert. I do thank him, mamma, when I say my little verse. May I say it now?

Mamma. Yes, let me hear it before you kneel down to say your prayer.

Albert. I thank God for the soft warm bed
On which I lay my little head;
I thank him for the sweet repose
When my weary eyelids close;
But more then all I praise his name
Who once for me a child became,
And left his glory in the sky,
For me to suffer and to die.

Mamma. Now come and kneel down by me to say your prayer.

Then little Albert knelt down, and when he had ended his prayer, his mamma took him upon her knee for some more talk, as Susan did not come. She told him that he was a sinful child, and had done many bad things. But she also told him that God was full of love, and had sent his only Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins. And God will hear our prayers for the sake of his dear Son; and if we ask him, he will pardon our sins, and give us his Holy Spirit to make us holy.

When their talk was nearly over, Susan came again, and Albert kissed his mamma, and jumped off her knee, and bade her good night. And as he went up-stairs he said,

"I thank God for the soft warm bed
On which I lay my little head;
I thank him for the sweet repose
When my weary eyelids close."