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A Little Princess

"Becky," she said, "weren't you listening to that story?"
"Yes, miss," confessed Becky, a little alarmed again. "I knowed I hadn't orter, but it was
that beautiful I--I couldn't help it."
"I liked you to listen to it," said Sara. "If you tell stories, you like nothing so much as to
tell them to people who want to listen. I don't know why it is. Would you like to hear the
rest?"
Becky lost her breath again.
"Me hear it?" she cried. "Like as if I was a pupil, miss! All about the Prince--and the little
white Mer-babies swimming about laughing--with stars in their hair?"
Sara nodded.
"You haven't time to hear it now, I'm afraid," she said; "but if you will tell me just what
time you come to do my rooms, I will try to be here and tell you a bit of it every day until
it is finished. It's a lovely long one--and I'm always putting new bits to it."
"Then," breathed Becky, devoutly, "I wouldn't mind HOW heavy the coal boxes was--or
WHAT the cook done to me, if--if I might have that to think of."
"You may," said Sara. "I'll tell it ALL to you."
When Becky went downstairs, she was not the same Becky who had staggered up, loaded
down by the weight of the coal scuttle. She had an extra piece of cake in her pocket, and
she had been fed and warmed, but not only by cake and fire. Something else had warmed
and fed her, and the something else was Sara.
When she was gone Sara sat on her favorite perch on the end of her table. Her feet were
on a chair, her elbows on her knees, and her chin in her hands.
"If I WAS a princess--a REAL princess," she murmured, "I could scatter largess to the
populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for
people. Things like this. She was just as happy as if it was largess. I'll pretend that to do
things people like is scattering largess. I've scattered largess."
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