Select the desired text size
Children and the garland.
From Very Short Stories by W K Clifford.
Start of Story
Age Rating 6 to 8.
"To-morrow is May-day," the children said; "the birds must call us very
early, and we will go to the woods and make a garland." And in the
morning, long before the sun had looked over the tops of the houses
into the village street, they were far away in the woods.
"I will give them some roses as they come back," the gardener said.
"They shall put them among the spring flowers, as a swallow among the
thrushes, to show that summer is on its way."
When the children had made their garland and a posy for each one of
them, they went singing all down the village street, over the grey
stone bridge, beyond the hayricks, and past the houses on the
In one of the houses there was a pale little child with a sad, thin
face. "Mother," he said, "here are some children with a garland. Will
it be summer when they have gone by?" He called after them as they went
on, "Come back, oh, come back again!"
"Yes, we will come back," they answered, but they went on their way
singing. All through the day he waited for them, but they did not come;
and at last, when it was evening, the mother took him up into her arms
to carry him to his bed. Suddenly he heard the children singing in the
distance. "Oh, mother," he exclaimed, "they are coming;" and he watched
till they came up the hill again and stood before him. "But where is
your garland?" he asked.
"We gave it to lame Mary, the postman's wife, for she is always longing
to see the fields," they answered; "but these roses are for you, dear
little boy; they are all for you," and putting them into his hands they
went back to the village.
"You are very tired," the child said to the roses; "all your leaves are
drooping. Poor roses, perhaps you are lonely away from the garden; but
you shall sleep near me, and there is a star rising up in the sky; it
will watch us all through the night." Then the child nestled down in
his white bed--he and his little warm heart, in which there was love
for all things. While he slept the roses looked at his pale little face
and sighed, and presently they stole softly on to his cheeks and rested
there. The children saw them still there when the summer was over; when
the garland was quite dead, and lame Mary longed for the fields no