: Other Popular Stories For Children

It was Christmas Eve and the frost fairies were busy getting ready

for Christmas Day. First of all they spread the loveliest white snow

carpet over the rough, bare ground; then they hung the bushes and

trees with icicles that flashed like diamonds in the moonlight. Later

on, they planned to draw beautiful frost pictures on the window panes,

to surprise the little children in the morning.

The stars shone b
ightly and the moon sent floods of light in every

nook and corner. How could any one think of sleeping when there was

such a glory outside!

Jessie and Fred had gone to bed very early so they might be the first

to shout "Merry Christmas!" but their eyes would not stay shut.

"Oh dear! it must be 'most morning," said Fred; "let us creep softly

down stairs and maybe we'll catch Santa Claus before he rides off."

Hand in hand they tiptoed to the dining-room and peeped out the big

window;--surely, surely, that was something climbing up the roof of

cousin Nellie's house; it must be old Santa. Fred gave a chuckle of

delight; to be sure the reindeer were very queer looking objects, and

the sleigh such a funny shape, but the children were satisfied.

The old fir tree, whose high branches almost touched the roof,

knew all about those shadows, but it was so old no one could ever

understand a word of the many tales it told.

"There's something scratching on the door," whispered Jessie; but

it was only a mouse, who had sniffed the delightful odors of the

Christmas goodies and was trying his best to find a way into the

pantry and test them with his sharp teeth.

"Come," said Jessie, "we'll turn to icicles if we stay here much,

longer"; so up-stairs they quickly scampered.

Papa had been to town on an errand, so it was quite late when he came

home. As he was hunting in his pockets for his key, he heard a pitiful

cry, and looking down he saw a big, white cat carrying a tiny kitten

in her mouth.

"Poor thing," said papa, "you shall come inside till morning."

Santa Claus had been there with the nicest wagon for Fred and a warm,

seal-skin cap that lay right in the middle of it. When papa left the

room, puss and her kitty were curled up comfortably on the rug singing

their sleepy song.

The sun was shining brightly in the dining-room window when Jessie and

Fred made their appearance; then Fred just laughed with delight, for

right in the crown of his new cap lay the cutest white kitten, with

big, blue eyes and wee pink nose, while standins close by as if to

guard her darling from danger, was good old mother puss.

"I never had a live Christmas present before," said Fred, "now I know

Santa Claus read the letter I threw up the chimney because I told him

to bring me a kitten and here it is."

Papa smiled and looked at mamma, and then everybody said "Merry

Christmas" at once.