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THE CHILD'S ANNUAL.
THE FORTUNATE DISAPPOINTMENT.
It was on a pleasant afternoon in summer, that the village school at Cloudville was dismissed, and the boys rushed forth, some to play, and others to return quietly to their homes. The next day was to be a holiday, and various plans of amusement were to be planned for the occasion.
Some of the boys might be seen sauntering arm in arm, with their satchels swung over their shoulders, while others were collected in small groups, and listening to the earnest address of some youthful speaker.
« Now, school-fellows,” said William Ray, as he mounted the decayed stump of a tree, “what shall we do tomorrow ? Shall we go into the woods after berries, or shall we play at foot-ball, or shall we have a sail on the pond? For my own part, I am willing that you should do what you like, – but I neither care for the berries, nor the foot-ball.”
“We will have a sail on the pond,” exclaimed half a dozen voices,“ hurrah for a sail upon the pond !" And it was decided by most of the boys, that such should be their amusement for the morrow.
Among those who anticipated with most delight the coming holiday, was a young and bright-eyed boy, named Edmund. As soon as he heard of the projected sail, he ran home in the greatest haste, in order that he might obtain the consent of his parents to go with the other boys. His mother told him, that perhaps she would permit him to go, if she found out that any older person was going in the boat, and if the weather should be fair and favorable.
Edmund hardly stopped to listen to the last part of her reply. He jumped about the room, clapped his hands, and ran to tell his sister Marian of his expected pleasure. “I shall sail upon the pond,” he exclaimed, "and perhaps William Ray will let me catch some trout with his hook and line. And then we shall go on shore, and kindle a fire, and cook the fish, and 4
Stop, Edmund,” said Marian; “ what if something should happen to prevent your going?”
“Oh, I am not afraid of that,” replied Edmund. “We shall have a delightful sail ; don't you wish, Marian, that you were going?”
"I would rather walk in the garden,” was the reply.
Edmund continued to talk the whole evening about the next day's sail on the pond. And even when he was snug in his bed, it occupied his thoughts. Once
in the course of the night, he arose, and looked out of the window, to see if there were a promise of fair weather in the sky. The stars shone bright, and the moon was unshaded by clouds, and, closing the window, he returned to his repose, and was soon after in a sound sleep.
The first sunbeam had not brightened the east, before he was up and dressed. He impatiently waited till breakfast was ready, and then rushed into the parlor, and took his seat at the table.
“Well, Edmund, what is your hurry?” said his father.
"Oh, I must be upon the green by eight o'clock," was the reply ; " and it is seven now. I would not be too late for the sail, for twenty breakfasts."
6. Too late for the sail,” said his father; " what sail do you mean, my son ?'
“ What! have you not heard about the sail that we are going to have today upon the pond ? Almost all the boys, whom I know, are going.”
" Then, Edmund, they must go without you."
If the pond had been dried up before his eyes, Edmund could not have been more mournfully surprised, than he was by this reply. He looked steadfastly in his father's face for a moment, and then, while his eyes were filling with tears, he inquired, in a broken whisper, “ Are you serious ?”
“ Most certainly,” answered his father. weather looks uncertain: the pond is deep: the boat is small, and will be filled with boys. It would be unwise in me to let you go. Besides, you have just
recovered from a severe cold, which may be renewed by your going upon the water."
This was a most painful disappointment to poor Edmund, and he could not help expressing his sorrow and regret. His sister Marian produced all her playthings, and tried to soothe him, but she could not win from him a single smile. He stood at the window, looking silently out upon the road, and in a few moments, the party of boys, which he expected to have joined, passed by the house. Some carried baskets in their arms, and others bore fishing-lines, while others were running before, and shouting with joy. William Ray, as he passed, beckoned to Edmund, who hung down his head to conceal his tears. As soon as the boys passed on out of sight, he turned away in hopeless discontent.
Let us follow the boys in their excursion upon the pond. When they arrived at the water's edge, they found that the boat was about a mile distant from the place where they expected to find it. They kept on, however, over rather a disagreeable road, till they came to the boat; and then, after spending an hour in baling from it the water, they put on board their baskets of provisions, and their fishing-lines, and all embarked. 'A sail was soon hoisted, and a light breeze soon carried them into the middle of the pond.. Ilere they stopped to fish.
The hooks were soon baited and cast into the water, and the young anglers patiently waited for the fish to bite. But though the trout seemed disposed to “ nibble gloriously,” they appeared singularly indif