Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

In The Way
by [?]

Gladys Mercer sat looking at a snapshot which had come to her from one of her girl friends. It showed a strong, athletic woman with a blanket rolled over her back hiking along the road and with her six girls in middies and bloomers. And as Gladys looked at the picture, she smiled at the memories which it brought.

There was the long hike, the tired muscles, the view from the mountaintop, the wonderful sunset, the stillness of the night and the fear of the dark. Then there was the voice of the woman in the picture,

“Girls, you are safer here than in any house you could find. Just remember that God is over all and sleep as sound as can be.”

Then there was the sunrise, the pancake breakfast on the hill, and the hike home. Best of all there had been two long days with Mrs. Fuller, the friend of girls. What a good visit they had had with her! What a fine story she had told them at the sunset! What a helpful prayer she had made as they closed their good-night song when the sun went down!

And then from the thought of the trip, Gladys went to the thought of all that Mrs. Fuller had meant to her. She was sunny; she was happy in her work through the day, and happy to give her time to them at night; she was always ready to advise and help; she seemed to know just what to do when they did not know; somehow she could always get them to do the thing they had thought they would not do. She was to Gladys, the motherless girl, a friend, a companion, a leader and a heroine.

What was there about her that made her able to lead? Was it her smile? Was it her ability to do things? What made a leader anyway?

Gladys leaned far back against the old tree under which she had been sitting and said to herself, “I wish–I wish—-“

“And what do you wish,” said a little voice, and there close to her was a dear little lady dressed in red and in her hand she carried a lamp.

“Who are you?” said Gladys.

“I am the Fairy of Helpful Service,” said the little lady. “I heard you talking about one of my helpers, so I was interested to know what you wished when you thought of all she had done for you girls. Now tell me. What do you wish?”

“If you are a fairy, perhaps you can give me my wish. I wish to be like Mrs. Fuller. I want to help girls. I want to get the kind of letters she gets from girls who are far away. I want to see ‘my girls’ some day giving service all over the world as she does. I want to be like her. Please, fairy, give me my wish.”

“I can’t make you like her but I can put you in the way of service and then, if you choose, you can become like her and get the things you are asking for. Those things are not given–they are earned, and the cost of them is heavy. I don’t really think you mean what you say, for you haven’t even wanted to go to school to learn to help. Perhaps the best way would be to let you see her in the way and then you can choose for yourself whether you want your gift. Come and we will watch her climb the way.”

So the Fairy of Helpful Service and the girl who wanted to be a leader went together into the House of the Past.

“There,” said the fairy, “there is Mrs. Fuller as a little girl. We will watch her grow and you may see where she earned some of the qualities which you admire in her.”