by Charlotte Maria Tucker
"I'll splash that duck all over! I'll make it as wet as a sponge in the water! I'll soon take out all the shine from its green and glittering neck!"
So cried little Guy, as with both hands, he flung water at the beautiful bird. But calmly the duck swam on. Its rich plumage was dry, not a drop would rest upon it and bright as ever in the sunlight shone its green and glittering neck.
"I shall pelt it with water from my squirt gun!" cried Guy, "I shall certainly wet it at last and make its feathers like those of the dead pigeon which I found yesterday in the brook!"
Yet calmly the duck swam on. Its rich plumage was dry, not a drop would rest upon it and bright as ever in the sunlight shone it green and glittering neck.
Why was the duck never wet, though the boy in his malice threw so much water upon it? Because nature has given it oil on its feathers that throws off the moisture at once. Even when the bird dives in the stream, it rises unwetted and unstained.
When we are pelted with scoffs and words of unkindness, let the oil of patience keep our temper unruffled and then they have no more real power to harm us than water to injure a duck. There are those who laugh and mock at others for refusing to join them in evil. They pelt them with bitter jests and try to throw shame upon them. Are not such acting the part of Guy? Let all who are laughed at for doing right, go steadily on their way. Shame cannot rest upon them, nor dim the brightness of a character that will shine but the more clearly for such vain attempts to blot it.
Edited by Pam Takahashi
Proofed by Deborah Gardner
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