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HOW HIRAM SPENT HIS SHRIMP MONEY.

from Cinderella The Little Glass Slipper





"I wish my mother had a ring like those the ladies wear at the
hotel," said Hiram Green to himself one day. "There isn't one of
those ladies as pretty as my mother; she ought to wear rings
too."

Hiram was the son of a fisherman, but the fisherman had died when
Hiram was a little boy. Hiram's mother took in sewing and fancy
work to earn money to support herself and her son. He helped her
what he could out of school hours, and in vacation. He had two
uncles who wad taught him how to catch shrimps. With the money he
earned by selling them he could buy things for his own use or
pleasure. He had a bank almost full of what he called his
"shrimp-money." He did not mean to count his money until the bank
was full.

Now Hiram loved his mother more than anything else in the world.
Whenever he dreamed of being rich some time, as boys often do, it
was not for himself he wanted the money, but that his dear little
mother might drive in a carriage, drawn by a pair of horses with
clanking chains.

The sight of the flashing gems on the hands of some of the summer
visitors at the fishing village in which he lived had added a new
article to the list of beautiful things his mother was some day
to own. He had heard that just one single diamond was sometimes
worth five hundred dollars or more. This had discouraged him very
much. But one day happening to pass a shop in the neighboring
town he saw a number of rings displayed in the window. Diamond
rings which flashed and sparkled, it seemed to him, just as those
worn by the ladies in the hotels. He stopped fascinated, ana
pressed his face against the glass eagerly to see if any prices
were marked upon them. Imagine his surprise when he saw upon the
largest one a tag marked $4.75. He looked again to see if he had
not made a mistake. Perhaps it was $475.00. But no, he knew
enough about figures to see that he was right the first time.

Home he went as fast as he could get there, and ran up into his
bedroom. Then, for the first time since he had begun to save his
"shrimp-money" he opened his bank and counted its contents.
"Three dollars and twenty-two cents!" he cried, "almost enough. I
was going to buy something for myself this time, but I'll have
that ring before another week."

Hiram worked early and late for the next few days. He caught more
shrimps than he had ever caught in the same length of time, and
sold them readily.

"I think there must be something you are wanting, very much, my
boy," said his mother.

"Yes, there is," replied Hiram.

At the end of the week he had the sum he desired. Hurrying to the
shop where he had seen the ring, before going inside he gave one
hasty, almost frightened look into the window. Could it be gone!
No, there it was flashing and sparkling as before.

That evening, he placed it on his mother's finger. She looked at
it in surprise. "It is yours, mother," he cried, proudly, "your
very own, I bought it with my shrimp money. I was determined my
mother should have a ring as handsome as those ladies wear."

"My dear boy," said his mother, while something as bright as the
shining stone flashed in her eyes, "Not one of those ladies can
value their rings as I shall value mine."

Years afterwards Hiram learned that what he had bought for a
diamond was only a bit of glass.

"Did you know it then, mother?" he asked.

His mother nodded. "And you never told me."

"It was brighter to me than any real diamond," she said, "the
brightness I saw flash in it was the unselfish love of my boy."





Next: THE ANT'S HOUSE.

Previous: THE ANGRY BOBOLINK.



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