THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
14 Ma'am !" exclaimed Curdie. " How can you be ? n
" Because it has brought you to see what sort you were when you did it, and what sort you will grow to be again, only worse, if you don't mind. Now that you are sorry, my poor bird will be better. Look up, my dovey."
The pigeon gave a flutter, and spread out one of its red-spotted wings across the old woman's bosom.
"I will mend the little angel," she said, "and in a week or two it will be flying again. So you may ease your heart about the pigeon."
" Oh, thank you ! thank you !" cried Curdie. " I don't know how to thank you."
"Then I will tell you. There is only one way I care for. Do better, and grow better, and be better. And never kill anything without a good reason for it"
" Ma'am, I will go and fetch my bow and arrows, and you shall burn them yourself."
" I have no fire that would burn your bow and arrows, Curdie."
"Then I promise you to burn them all under my mother's porridge-pot to-morrow morning."
"No, no, Curdie. Keep them, and practise with them every day, and grow a good shot There are plenty of bad things that want killing, and a day will come when they will prove useful. But I must see first whether you will do as I tell you."