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The Best Fun

June 2009

     "Now, boys, I'll tell you how we can have some fun," said Fred Blake to his companions, who had assembled on a beautiful, moonlight evening for sliding, snowballing, and fun generally.
     "How?" "Where?" "What is it?" asked several eager voices together.
     "I heard Widow More tell a man a little while ago," replied Fred, "that she would go to sit up with a sick child to-night. She said she would be there about eight o'clock. Now, as soon as she is gone, let's make a big snow man on her doorstep so that when she comes home, she cannot get in without first knocking him down."
     "Capital!" shouted several of the boys.
     "See here," said Charlie Neal, "I'll tell you the best fun."
     "What is it?" again inquired several at once.
     "Wait awhile," said Charlie. "Who has a wood-saw?"
     "I have," "So have I," answered three of the boys. "But what in the world do you want a wood saw for?"
     "You shall see," replied Charlie. "It is almost eight o'clock now, so go and get your saws. You, Fred and Nathan, get each an axe, and I will get a shovel. Let us all be back here in fifteen minutes, and then I'll show you the fun."
     The boys separated to go on their several errands, each wondering what the fun could be, and what possible use could be made of wood saws and axes, in their play. But Charlie was not only a great favorite with them all, but also an acknowledged leader, and they fully believed in him and his promise.
     Anxious to know what the "fun" was which Charlie had for them, they made haste, and were soon on hand, with their saws, axes, and shovels.
     "Now," said Charlie, "Mrs. More is gone, for I met her when I was coming back; so let's be off at once."
     "But what are you going to do?" inquired several impatient members of the party.
     "You shall see directly," replied the leader, as they approached the humble home of Mrs. More.
     "Now, boys," said Charlie, "you see that pile of wood; a man hauled it here this afternoon, and I heard Mrs. More tell him that unless she got some one to saw it to-night, she would have nothing to make a fire with in the morning. Now, we can saw and split that pile of wood just about as easy as we could build a great snow man, and when Mrs. More comes home from her watching, she will be fully as much surprised to find her wood sawed, as she would to find a snow man at her doorstep, and a great deal more pleasantly, too. What say you - will you do it?"
     One or two of the boys demurred at first, but the majority were in favor of Charley's project; so all finally joined in, and went to work with a will.
     "I'll go round to the back of the shed," said Charley, "and crawl through the window and unfasten the door. Then we'll take turns in sawing, splitting, and carrying in the wood; and I want to pile it up nicely, and to shovel all the snow away from the door; and make a good wide path, too, from the door to the street: What fun it will be when she comes home and sees it?"
     The boys began to appreciate the fun, for they felt that they were doing a good deed, and experienced the satisfaction which always results from well-doing.
     It was not a long, wearisome job, for seven robust and healthy boys to saw, split, and pile up the poor widow's half-cord of wood, and to shovel a good path.
     When it was done, so great was their pleasure, that one of the boys, who objected to the work at first, proposed that they should go to a neighboring carpenter's shop, where plenty of shavings could be had for the carrying away, and each bring an armful of kindling wood. This they did, and afterward hurried home, all of them more than satisfied with the "fun" of the winter evening.
     The next morning, when Mrs. More came home, weary from watching by the sick bed, and saw what was done, she was very much surprised. When she was told who had done it, by a neighbor, who had witnessed the kindly deed, her fervent prayer, "God bless the boys!" was, of itself, an abundant reward for their labors.
     Boys and girls, the best fun is always found in doing something that is kind and useful. If you doubt it in the least, just try it for yourselves, and you will be convinced.

The Story "The Best Fun"
is public domain.