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Patty’s Patchwork
by [?]

‘I perfectly hate it! and something dreadful ought to be done to the woman who invented it,’ said Patty, in a pet, sending a shower of gay pieces flying over the carpet as if a small whirlwind and a rainbow had got into a quarrel.

Puss did not agree with Patty, for, after a surprised hop when the flurry came, she calmly laid herself down on a red square, purring comfortably and winking her yellow eyes, as if she thanked the little girl for the bright bed that set off her white fur so prettily. This cool performance made Patty laugh, and say more pleasantly–

‘Well, it is tiresome, isn’t it, Aunt Pen?’

‘Sometimes; but we all have to make patchwork, my dear, and do the best we can with the pieces given us.’

‘Do we?’ and Patty opened her eyes in great astonishment at this new idea.

‘Our lives are patchwork, and it depends on us a good deal how the bright and dark bits get put together so that the whole is neat, pretty, and useful when it is done,’ said Aunt Pen soberly.

‘Deary me, now she is going to preach,’ thought Patty; but she rather liked Aunt Pen’s preachments, for a good deal of fun got mixed up with the moralising; and she was so good herself that children could never say in their naughty little minds, ‘You are just as bad as we, so you needn’t talk to us, ma’am.’

‘I gave you that patchwork to see what you would make of it, and it is as good as a diary to me, for I can tell by the different squares how you felt when you made them,’ continued Aunt Pen, with a twinkle in her eye as she glanced at the many-coloured bits on the carpet.

‘Can you truly? just try and see,’ and Patty looked interested at once.

Pointing with the yard-measure, Aunt Pen said, tapping a certain dingy, puckered, brown and purple square–

‘That is a bad day; don’t it look so?’

‘Well, it was, I do declare! for that was the Monday piece, when everything went wrong and I didn’t care how my work looked,’ cried Patty, surprised at Aunt Pen’s skill in reading the calico diary.

‘This pretty pink and white one so neatly sewed is a good day; this funny mixture of red, blue, and yellow with the big stitches is a merry day; that one with spots on it is one that got cried over; this with the gay flowers is a day full of good little plans and resolutions; and that one made of dainty bits, all stars and dots and tiny leaves, is the one you made when you were thinking about the dear new baby there at home.’

‘Why, Aunt Pen, you are a fairy! How did you know? they truly are just as you say, as near as I can remember. I rather like that sort of patchwork,’ and Patty sat down upon the floor to collect, examine, and arrange her discarded work with a new interest in it.

‘I see what is going on, and I have queer plays in my mind just as you little folks do. Suppose you make this a moral bed-quilt, as some people make album quilts. See how much patience, perseverance, good nature, and industry you can put into it. Every bit will have a lesson or a story, and when you lie under it you will find it a real comforter,’ said Aunt Pen, who wanted to amuse the child and teach her something better even than the good old-fashioned accomplishment of needlework.

‘I don’t see how I can put that sort of thing into it,’ answered Patty, as she gently lifted puss into her lap, instead of twitching the red bit roughly from under her.

‘There goes a nice little piece of kindness this very minute,’ laughed Aunt Pen, pointing to the cat and the red square.