Read THE LITTLE GARDENER of Sugar and Spice, free online book, by James Johnson, on ReadCentral.com.

There was no nicer garden in all Surrey than Mr. Woffle’s. A funny name you’ll say, but he couldn’t help that. One day he came home, and after first kissing his three children, who were all fairly good ones you know what I mean, neither better nor worse than most little children you and I know said, the governess, before he went to business, had mentioned that they had of late attended to their lessons, and he should be pleased to grant them anything in reason. They all blushed, Eva, a soldier’s coat colour! James, a light red! and Edwin, a rose-lozenge hue! The fact was, they had all been saying how they should like to gather some flowers and have a game at playing at lady and gentleman and gardener.

They spoke right out and told their father what was in their minds.

He said “By all means, my dears.”

Tom became gardener. You can guess who were the others. A very gentlemanly one he was, too. Full of nice bows and smiles. As for Eva, she looked quite the grown lady, and acted so well, that when she put her hand in her pocket for her purse, Edwin was quite surprised to find that only threepenny and fourpenny pieces came out of it.

“Now what sort of bouquets would your ladyship like me to cut?” asked Tom, holding up a very pretty rose before his sister.

“I have consulted his lordship, here,” answered, Eva, very grandly, “and I’ll have ten dozen in five minutes, like this one in my hand!”

“I’m pleased, your ladyship,” said Tom, respectfully, “that you give me plenty of time to execute so large an order, or I might not have been able to have come up with them to time!”

“Oh! great people are never in a hurry,” quietly remarked Edwin.

Tom cut all the flowers he knew could be spared from the greenhouse, and her ladyship and his lordship took them and gave them to a poor girl whose sick mother wanted some little pleasure; and the girl sold the flowers for gentlemen’s button-holes.

When Mr. Woffles heard all about it, he was very pleased, and kissed the little Woffles all round. Wasn’t it a nice game for rich children to play at; to do good to poor ones?