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From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Start of Story
Age Rating 2 to 4.
The Root was grumbling again, and everybody felt unhappy. "It's not
fair," she said. "Why should I have to stay down here in the dark
while you can all live in the sunshine? It is work, work, work all day
down here, finding water and food for you all; while you do nothing but
"Oh, you must not say that," cried the stems. "We are as busy as you
are. Your work would be useless if we did not spend our time carrying
water and food from you to the leaves and flowers. And think of the
weight we are bearing. You cannot say your work is harder than ours."
"It certainly is not harder than ours," said the leaves. "Think of all
that goes on in our workshops. We supply as much food from the air as
you from the earth. You must not say we are not busy."
The flowers bent their heads and spoke. "Dear little Root-sister,"
they said, "do not make us unhappy with your discontent. Life is very
full of work for all of us. You must give us food or we cannot live,
and we flowers must make our seed or the family would die out, so we
help each other. Your work lies in the dark earth, certainly, while
ours is in the sunshine; but the life up here would not suit you. I am
sure you would die if you tried to live above the ground."
But the Root would not understand. "Fine words," she said, "but no
comfort to me! Oh! I wish I could go up into the sunshine."
One day she had her wish, for a slip of the gardener's spade turned her
above the ground. She was delighted, but the others were in despair.
"Oh, dear, whatever will become of us now?" they cried. "If only the
gardener would see you and put you in again!" But the gardener did not
notice; it lay there all day.
"The sunshine is delightful," said the Root, though really its glare
and heat were making her feel quite dizzy.
"How hot the sun is! And how parched we are!" sighed the drooping
flowers. "Now we must die, and our poor little half-formed seeds will
never grow into beautiful plants." And they laid their tender faces on
the hot earth and died.
The afternoon wore on. The gasping leaves and soft stems almost died
too, but the coolness of evening and the night dew revived them a
little; when the morning came they tried to lift themselves and live on
in spite of the hot sunshine that came again.
As for the Root, she was longing now for the gardener to come and put
her in the earth. She had been dried and withered by the heat, then
half frozen by the cold night dew; now here was another day to face in
this glare of light and cruel sunshine. She knew now that the flowers
were right in saying that the life above ground would not suit her.
"If the gardener does not come soon I shall die, too," she thought.
The gardener came, saw the upturned Root, and set it in its old place.
"I will never grumble at my life again," said the Root as the soft cool
earth closed in around her.
"How thankful we are!" whispered the leaves faintly. "Now we shall
But the flowers said nothing, for they were dead.