Young People's Page
SAVED PROM LIONS-A TRUE INCIDENT.
She lives in Africa, and her full name means in English, "Miss Watercress Littleback."
She was about ten years old when this story begins. She was very black and as full of energy as a buzzing bumble-bee.
A few miles from her home a native Christian convert and his wife had opened a station where they were teaching "everything that the white men knew" so far as they understood it.
The children on this station went out two by two-in real Bible fashion-calling on all the people within five miles of the meeting-house, and one day came to the kraal where our small friend lived.
She was wide-awake to all they had to tell, and went home with them at once to see and hear more of what was doing. She saw that each of the station girls had a good denim gown, while she still wore only a suit of peanut oil and sunshine; but what impressed her most was the singing, praying, and all the lovely life of the mission school.
The music touched her so deeply that tears ran down her shining cheeks. The story of Daniel in the lions' den was just the thing for her. She was glad to learn that there was One who could make even the roaring lions behave themselves.
When she went home she told her mother that she was going to be a Christian, and begin right away. But this did not make the mother happy. If her little girl were a Christian, she would never grind corn to make beer, nor tend the still where strong drink was made; nor would she join the dance any more.
The little girl returned to the mission, and finally ran away and lived there. This aroused her mother, who went after her, brought her home, and whipped her enough to drive out any sort of new spirits, so she thought.
But, as soon as chance offered, away went the brave child to the mission again, and again the mother brought her home-this time calling in the witch doctor, who whipped her well, but in vain, as she would not consent to stay away from, the station. Then he tied her feet to the limb of a tree, with her head hanging down.
Following this, he gave her dreadful doses of medicine, calculated to destroy the "religious germs," but all in vain. The girl lived, and by eating corn-meal mush seasoned with peanut gravy and thickened with powdered carterpillar, she gained strength to make a safe rush to the mission station again.
She did not report the dreadful treatment of the witch doctor, nor her mother's unkindness, until some time after her final tribulation, which she must now endure, for her mother determined on one last terrible resort to save her child for heathendom.
She appeared again at the station, and took the little daughter home with her. Toward evening, she prepared some bark rope, and took the girl to the forest. There, with her own hands, she bound the arms behind her, and then tied her to a tamarind tree, hoping that lions would come and either frighten the religion out of her, or, if the worst must come, that they would eat her up. Was it not better so than to have her lost to everything in the home, the tribe, and the nation?
No one knows what occurred in the dark, dismal forest that night, but one can believe that the little black martyr bound to a tree was not left alone. We believe the form of the "Fourth" was there.
In the early morning a small boy went out to pray, as is the usual custom on all the stations in these parts, and as he began his petition, Watercress Littleback heard him,. Knowing that it was the voice of a Christian at prayer, though she did not know who it was, she called to him. He heard her, came and untied the bark rope which bound her, and brought her to the station.
The teacher says that lion tracks were fifteen feet from where the child was bound. Lions had lain down, sat down, stood, and walked about until they had meditated their toothsome morsel at every point, but had never come nearer than fifteen feet.
Instead of scaring the religion out, the dark night proved to be the greatest help to its rapid growth.-"South African Missionary Advocate."
"If ye keep My commandments. ... I will rid evil beasts out of the land."
Soon, the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and they shall not hurt or destroy.
In Bessarabia, wolves attacked an express train while men were clearing snow from the track. The men flung meat into the luggage van and then slam-med the doors, The animals fought and howled for the rest of the journey. When Kischeneff was reached, six were dead and eighteen were caught in nets and shot.