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Five Out of One Shell.*



HERE were five peas in one shell. They were

green, and the pod was green, and so they thought all the world was green, and that was just as it should be. The shell grew and the peas grew.

The sun shone without and warmed the husk, and the rain made it clear and bright. It was mild in the bright day and in the dark night, just as it should be, and the peas as they sat there became bigger and bigger, and more and more thoughtful, for something they must do.

Are we to sit here forever?" asked one. “I'm afraid we shall become hard by long sitting. It seems to me there must be something outside." And weeks went by. The peas became yellow, and the pod also.

"All the world's turning yellow," said they, and they had a right to say it. Just then they felt a tug at the shell. The shell was torn off, passed through little hands, and fell down into the pocket of a jacket, along with other full pods.

"Now we shall soon be opened!" they said; and that was just what they were waiting for. I should like to know who of us will get farthest!" said the smallest

* These translations from Hans Christian Andersen and from Æsop's Fables are taken from Williams' Choice Literature, by permission of Sheldon & Company, New York.

of the five. “Yes, now it will soon show itself." "What is to be will be," said the biggest.

“Crack!" the pod burst, and all the five peas rolled out into the bright sunshine. There they lay in a child's hand. A little boy was clutching them, and said they were fine peas for his peashooter, and he put one in and shot it out.

"Now, I'm flying out into the wide world; catch me if you can!" And he was gone. "I," said the second, "I shall fly straight into the sun. That's a shell worth looking at, and one that just suits me." And away he went.

“We'll go to sleep wherever we are sent," said the next two, “but we shall roll on all the same." And they did roll and fell down on the ground before they got into the peashooter, but they were put in for all that. “We shall go farthest,” said they.

What is to be will be," said the last, as he was shot out of the peashooter, and he flew up against the old board under the garret window, just into a crack which was filled with moss and soft mold, and the moss closed round him; there he lay, held fast, but not forgotten.

In the little garret lived a poor woman, who went out in the day to clean stoves, chop wood, and to do other hard work of the same kind, for she was strong and liked to work. But she was always poor, and at home in the garret lay her only child, who was very ill and weak; and it seemed as if she could not get well.

“She is going to her little sister," the woman said. “I had only the two children, but it was not an easy thing to care for both, so the good God took one to


himself to care for; now I should be glad to keep the other that was left me; but I suppose they are not to remain apart.

But the sick girl did not go. She lay quiet all day long, while her mother went to earn money out of doors.

It was spring; and early in the morning, just as the mother was about to go out to work, the sun shone through the little window, and threw its rays across the floor, and the sick girl fixed her eyes on the lowest pane in the window. “What may that green thing be that looks in at the window? It is moving in the wind.”

And the sick girl's bed was moved nearer the win. dow, so that she could always see the growing pea; and the mother went forth to her work.

"Mother, I think I shall get well," said the sick child in the evening. "The sun shone in upon me to-day so warm and bright. I shall get well soon, and get up and go out into the warm sunshine."

“God grant it!" said the mother, but she did not think it would be so; but she took care of the little green plant which had given her child the pleasant thoughts of life, so that it might not be broken by the wind.

She tied a piece of string to the window sill and to the upper part of the frame, so that the pea might have something around which it could twine when it shot up; and it did shoot up; one could see how it grew every day.

"Why, here is a flower coming," said the woman one day; and now she began to hope that her sick child would get well. In the last few days she had sat up

in bed of her own will, and had sat upright, looking with her eyes full of delight at the little garden in which only one plant grew.

A week after, for the first time, she sat up for a whole hour. Quite happy, she sat there in the warm sunshine; the window was open, and outside, before it, stood a pink pea blossom, fully blown. The sick girl bent down and gently kissed the pretty leaves.

“The Heavenly Father himself has planted that pea, and made it grow, to be a joy to you, and to me also, dear child," said the glad mother, and she smiled at the flower as if it had been a good angel.

But about the other peas? Why, the one who flew out into the wide world and said, “Catch me if you can," fell into the gutter on the roof, and found a home in a bird's crop.

The two lazy ones got just as far, for they, too, were eaten up by the birds, and thus, at any rate, they were of some real use; but the fourth, who wanted to go up into the sun, fell into the sink, and lay there in the dirty water for weeks and weeks.

But the young girl at the garret window stood there with gleaming eyes, with the rosy hue of health on her cheeks, and folded her thin hands over the pea blossom and thanked Heaven for it.

The Daisy.



N the country, close by the road, stood a summer

house. Before it was a little garden with flowers, and all around it a fence. Close by it, by the ditch, in the midst of the green grass, grew a little Daisy.

The sun shone as warmly and as brightly upon it as on the splendid garden flowers and so it grew from hour to hour.

One morning it stood in full bloom, with its little shining white leaves like rays around the little sun in the middle.

It never thought that no man would see it down in the grass, and that it was a poor little flower. No, it was very merry, and looked up at the warm sun and heard the Lark singing, high in the air.

The little Daisy was as happy as if it were a great holiday; and yet it was only a Monday. All the children were at school; and while they sat on their benches, learning, it sat on its little green stalk, and learned also from the warm sun, and from all around, how good God is.

And the Daisy was very glad that everything it felt was sung so sweetly by the Lark. It looked up with love to the happy bird who could sing and fly. But it was not sorry because it could not sing and fly, also.

“I can see and hear," it thought; “the sun shines on me and the forest kisses me, and I am very happy."

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