Tibi splendet focus!” quoted Mrs. Carey…”For you the hearth fire glows!”

“Have I not felt it from the beginning?” asked Ralph. “I never knew my mother, Mrs. Carey, and few women have come into my life; I have been too poor and too busy to cultivate their friendship. Then I came to Beulah and you drew me into your circle; admitted an unknown, friendless fellow into your little group! It was beautiful; it was wonderful!”

“What are mothers for, but to do just that, and more than all, for the motherless boys?”

“Well, I may never again have the courage to say it, so just believe me when I say your influence will be the turning-point in my life. I will never, so help me God, do anything to make me unworthy to sit in this fire glow! So long as I have brains and hands to work with, I will keep striving to create another home like this when my time comes. Any girl that takes me will get a better husband because of you; any children I may be blessed with will have a better father because I have known you. Don’t make any mistake, dear Mrs. Carey, your hearth fire glows a long, long distance!”

Mother Carey was moved to the very heart. She leaned forward and took Ralph Thurston’s young face, thin with privation and study, in her two hands. He bent his head instinctively, partly to hide the tears that had sprung to his eyes, and she kissed his forehead simply and tenderly. He was at her knees on the hearth rug in an instant; all his boyish affection laid at her feet; all his youthful chivalry kindled at the honor of her touch.

And there are women in the world who do not care about being mothers!

-excerpted from Mother Carey’s Chickens by Eleanor H. Porter (the authoress of Pollyanna)