The Lamb Of Sacrifice





The Revolution was beginning, homes were empty, farms were deserted,

industries were checked, and the levies of a foreign army had consumed

the stores of the people. A messenger rode into the Connecticut Valley

with tidings of the distress that was in the coast towns, and begged the

farmer folk to spare some of their cattle and the millers some of their

flour for the relief of Boston. On reaching Windham he was received with

good will by Parson White, who summoned his flock by peal of bell, and

from the steps of his church urged the needs of his brethren with such

eloquence that by nightfall the messenger had in his charge a flock of

sheep, a herd of cattle, and a load of grain, with which he was to set

off in the morning. The parson's daughter, a shy maid of nine or ten,

went to her father, with her pet lamb, and said to him, I must give

this, too, for there are little children who are crying for bread and

meat.



No, no, answered the pastor, patting her head and smiling upon her.

They do not ask help from babes. Run to bed and you shall play with your

lamb to-morrow.



But in the red of the morning, as he drove his herd through the village

street, the messenger turned at the hail of a childish voice, and looking

over a stone wall he saw the little one with her snow-white lamb beside

her.



Wait, she cried, for my lamb must go to the hungry children of Boston.

It is so small, please to carry it for some of the way, and let it have

fresh grass and water. It is all I have.



So saying, she kissed the innocent face of her pet, gave it into the arms

of the young man, and ran away, her cheeks shining with tears. Folding

the little creature to his breast, the messenger looked admiringly after

the girl: he felt a glow of pride and hope for the country whose very

children responded to the call of patriotism. Now, God help me, I will

carry this lamb to the city as a sacrifice. So saying, he set his face

to the east and vigorously strode forward.





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