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From Very Short Stories by W K Clifford.
Start of Story
Age Rating 6 to 8.
The sun came out and shone down on the leafless trees that cast hardly
any shadows on the pathway through the woods.
"Surely the Spring is coming," the birds said; "it must be time to wake
The thrush, and the lark, and the linnet sang sweetly. A robin flew up
from the snow, and perched upon a branch; a little ragged boy at the
end of the wood stopped and listened.
"Surely the Spring is coming," he too said; "and mother will get well."
The flowers that all through the Winter had been sleeping in the ground
heard the birds, but they were drowsy, and longed to sleep on. At last
the snowdrops came up and looked shiveringly about; and a primrose leaf
peeped through the ground, and died of cold. Then some violets opened
their blue eyes, and, hidden beneath the tangle of the wood, listened
to the twittering of the birds. The little ragged boy came by; he saw
the tender flowers, and, stooping down, gathered them one by one, and
put them into a wicker basket that hung upon his arm.
"Dear flowers," he said, with a sigh, as if loth to pick them, "you
will buy poor mother some breakfast," and, tying them up into little
bunches, he carried them to the town. All the morning he stood by the
road-side, offering his flowers to the passers-by, but no one took any
notice of him; and his face grew sad and troubled. "Poor mother!" he
said, longingly; and the flowers heard him, and sighed.
"Those violets are very sweet," a lady said as she passed; the boy ran
"Only a penny," he said, "just one penny, for mother is at home." Then
the lady bought them, and carried them to the beautiful house in which
she lived, and gave them some water, touching them so softly that the
poor violets forgot to long for the woods, and looked gratefully up
into her face.
"Mother," said the boy, "see, I have brought some bread for your
breakfast. The violets sent it to you," and he put the little loaf down
The birds knew nothing of all this, and went on singing till the ground
was covered with flowers, till the leaves had hidden the brown branches
of the trees, and the pathway through the woods was all shade, save for
the sunshine that flecked it with light.