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Bertie had the desire of his heart,--a corn-popper! He had wanted it for a long time,--three weeks, at least. Mamma brought it when she came home from the city, and gave it to him for his very own. A bushel of corn, ready popped, would not have been half so good. There was all the delight of popping in store for the long winter evenings.

Bertie could hardly wait to eat his supper before he tried his corn-popper. It proved to be a very good one. He popped corn that evening, and the next, and the next. He fed all the family, gave some to all his playmates, and carried a bag of pop-corn to school for his teacher.

Trip, the shaggy, little, yellow dog, came in for a share, and Mintie too. Who or what was Mintie?

Mintie was a bantam biddy, very small, white as snow, and very pretty. She had been left an orphan chick, and for a while kept in the house, near the kitchen fire. She had been Bertie's especial charge, and he fed and tended her faithfully.

As she grew older she would rove about with the larger hens, but was very tame, and always liked the house. She would come in very often. When Bertie happened to pop corn in the daytime she was pretty apt to be around, and pick up the kernels he threw to her.

One night he left his corn-popper on the kitchen table. It was open, and two or three small kernels were still in it.

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Early next morning, long before Bertie was dressed, Mintie came into the kitchen. She flew up on the table, and helped herself to the corn in the popper. The girl was busy getting breakfast, and did not mind much about her. Presently she went down cellar, and Mintie had the room to herself.

When Bertie came down to breakfast there was a white egg in the corn-popper! It was so small that it looked almost like a bird's; but it was Mintie's first egg.

Bertie clapped his hands; he was very much pleased.

"Mamma! mamma!" he shouted. "See this pretty egg! Mintie put it into my popper, and must have meant to give it to me."

And mamma said, "Very likely she did."

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