THE children begged for a story, 

"Just one more story, please!" 

As under the gnarled old apple,

They gathered about my knees, 

While Friday's sun was setting, 

Behind the orchard trees.

So I said, 'I'll tell a story

And a riddle both in one, 

About trees with bending branches,

Like those against the sun, 

And you shall tell me the meaning,

When the little tale is done.

"A king had a lovely garden,

Wherein stood seven trees, 

All laden with rosy apples,

More beautiful than these, 

And so lowly bent the branches,

You might pluck the fruit with ease.

"Now this kind king called the children, 

And he said, 'Come gather free

From six trees the rosy apples, 

But save the seventh tree;

If you love me, little children, 

You will keep that one for me.'

"Were the children good and grateful, 

To the king who loved them so?

I must not tell you the answer, 

But you yourselves shall show;

And the meaning of the story 

You may tell me if you know."

Said the children, "We have gathered, 

In the six days work and play,

All the six trees' rosy apples, 

And the King we will obey;

The seventh tree is the Sabbath, 

We will keep the Sabbath-day."

 Emma A. Smullar.