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And then she gave her a good piece of her cake, and made her drink a small glass of fresh milk.
After that she took her by the hand and led her back home.
The Anxious Leaf.*
a sigh, as leaves often do when a gentle wind is blowing. And the twig said, "What is the matter, little leaf?''
The leaf said, “The wind has just told me that one day it would pull me off, and throw me down upon the ground to die."
The twig told it to the branch, and the branch told it to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent word back to the trembling leaf.
“Do not be afraid,” it said; "hold on tightly, and you shall not go off till you want to!”
And so the leaf stopped sighing, and went on singing and rustling. Every time the tree shook itself, and stirred all its leaves, the little leaf danced merrily, as if nothing could ever pull it off. It grew all the summer long till October.
And when the bright days of autumn came, the leaf saw all the leaves around growing very beautiful. Some were yellow, some were brown, and many were striped with different colors. Then the leaf asked the tree what this meant.
The tree said, “All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these beautiful colors because of their joy."
* From Stickney's Fourth Reader, by permission of Ginn & Co., publishers.
Then the little leaf began to want to go, and grew very beautiful in thinking of it. And when it was gay in colors, it saw that the branches of the tree had no colors in them. So the leaf said, "O, branch! why are you lead-colored while we are all beautiful and golden?"
“We must keep on our work clothes," said the tree, “for our work is not yet done; but your clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are over."
Just then a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go without thinking of it, and the wind took it up and turned it over and over and whirled it in the air.
Then it fell gently down under the edge of the fence, among hundreds of leaves, and has never waked to tell us what it dreamed about.
How the Leaves Came Down.*
'LL tell you how the leaves came down.
The great tree to his children said:
Yes, very sleepy, little Red.”
“Ah!"' begged each silly pouting leaf,
“Let us a little longer stay;
'Tis such a very pleasant day,
So, just for one more merry day
To the great tree the leaflets clung,
Upon the autumn breezes swung,
"Perhaps the great tree will forget,
And let us stay until the spring,
But the great tree did no such thing;
He smiled to hear their whispering. * From Stickney's Fourth Reader, by permission of Ginn & Co., publishers.
“Come, children all, to bed," he cried;
And ere the leaves could urge their prayer, He shook his head, and far and wide,
Fluttering and rustling everywhere,
I saw them; on the ground they lay,
Golden and red, a huddled swarm, Waiting till one from far away,
White bedclothes heaped upon her arm, Should come to wrap them safe and warm.
The great bare tree looked down and smiled.
“Good-night, dear little leaves,” he said. And from below each sleepy child
Replied, "Good-night," and murmured, “It is so nice to go to bed!"