The Old Beggar-Woman

by


There was once an old woman, but thou hast surely seen an old woman go a-begging before now? This woman begged likewise, and when she got anything she said, "May God reward you." The beggar-woman came to a door, and there by the fire a friendly rogue of a boy was standing warming himself. The boy said kindly to the poor old woman as she was standing shivering thus by the door, "Come, old mother, and warm yourself." She came in, but stood too near the fire, so that her old rags began to burn, and she was not aware of it. The boy stood and saw that, but he ought to have put the flames out. Is it not true that he ought to have put them out? And if he had not any water, then should he have wept all the water in his body out of his eyes, and that would have supplied two pretty streams with which to extinguish them.


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