I LOVE you, mother," said little John; 

Then forgetting his work, his cap went on, 

He was off to the garden swing, 

And left her the water and wood to bring. 

"I love you, mother," said rosy Nell; 

"I love you better then tongue can tell." 

Then she teased and pouted full half the day, 

Till her mother rejoiced when she went to play. 

"I love you, mother," said little Fan, 

"Today I'll help you all I can; 

How glad I am school doesn't keep!" 

So she rocked the babe till it fell asleep. 

Then stepping softly, she fetched the broom, 

And swept the floor and tidied the room; 

Busy and happy all day was she, 

Helpful and happy as child could be. 

"I love you, mother," again they said, 

Three little children going to bed. 

How do you think the mother guessed 

Which of them really loved her best?