Grandma Burns sat knitting busily in the sun one bright morning the week before Christmas. The snow lay deep, and the hard crust glistened like silver. All at once she heard little sighs of grief outside her door. When she opened it there sat Peter and Jimmy Rice, two very poor little boys, with their faces in their hands; and they were crying.
“My patience!” cried grandma. “What can be the matter with two bright little boys this sunny morning?”
“We don”t have no good times,” sighed little Peter.
“We can”t slide. We haven”t any sleds,” whimpered Jimmy.
“Why, of course boys can”t have a good time without sleds,” said grandma, cheerily. “Let us look about and see if we can”t find something.” And grandma”s cap-border bobbed behind barrels and boxes in the shed and all among the cobwebs in the garret; but nothing could be found suitable.
“Hum! I do believe this would do for little Pete;” and the dear old lady drew a large, pressed-tin pan off the top shelf in the pantry. A long, smooth butter-tray was found for Jimmy. Grandma shook her cap-border with laughter to see them skim over the hard crust in their queer sleds. And the boys shouted and swung their hands as they flew past the window.
“I do expect they”ll wear ”em about through,” murmured grandma; “but boys must slide,–that”s certain.”
And the pan was scoured as bright as a new silver dollar and the red paint was all gone off the wooden tray when Peter and Jimmy brought their sleds back.
Grandma knitted faster than ever all that day, and her face was bright with smiles. She was planning something. She went to see Job Easter that night. He promised to make two small sleds for the pair of socks she was knitting.
When the sleds were finished she dyed them red and drew a yellow horse upon each one. Grandma called them horses, but no one would have suspected it. Then the night before Christmas she drew on her great socks over her shoes to keep her from slipping, put on her hood and cloak, and dragged the little sleds over to Peter and Timmy”s house.
She hitched them to the door-latch, and went home laughing all the way.