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Now listen to this! Out in the country, close
by the side of the road, there stood a country house; you yourself
have certainly seen many just like it. In front of it was a little
flower garden, with a painted fence around it. Close by the fence,
in the midst of the most beautiful green grass beside a ditch, there
grew a little daisy. The sun shone just as warmly and brightly on
her as on the beautiful flowers inside the garden, and so she grew
every hour. Until at last one morning she was in full bloom, with
shining white petals spreading like rays around the little yellow
sun in the center.
The daisy didn't think that she was a little
despised flower that nobody would notice down there in the grass.
No, indeed! She was a merry little daisy as she looked up at the
warm sun and listened to the lark singing high in the sky.
Yes, the little daisy was as happy as if this
were a grand holiday, yet it was only a Monday, and all the children
were in school. While they sat on their benches, learning things,
the daisy sat on her little green stalk and learned from the warm
sun and everything about her just how good God is. The daisy
couldn't talk, but high above her the lark sang loudly and
beautifully all the things that the little flower felt, and that
made the daisy very glad. The daisy looked up at the happy bird who
could sing and fly, but she wasn't envious because she couldn't do
those fine things, too.
"I can see and hear," the daisy thought, "and
the sun shines on me and the forest kisses me. How gifted I am!"
Inside the fence stood all the stiff, proud
flowers, and the less scent they had the more they seemed to strut.
The peonies blew themselves out and tried to make themselves bigger
than the roses, but size alone isn't enough. The tulips knew that
they had the brightest colors, and held themselves very straight, so
that they could be seen more plainly. None of them noticed the
little daisy outside, but the daisy could see them and thought, "How
rich and beautiful they are! I am sure the pretty lark flies across
to them and visits them. Thank God that I stand close enough so that
I can see them!" But just as she thought that-keevit -down
came the lark!
But he didn't come down to the peonies or the
tulips! No, indeed, he flew right down into the grass to the poor
daisy, who was so overjoyed that she didn't know what to think.
The little bird danced around the daisy and
sang, "How soft the grass is here, and what a lovely little flower!
With gold in her heart and silver on her dress!" You see, the yellow
heart of the daisy looked like gold, and the little petals around it
were silvery white.
How happy the little daisy was no one can
conceive. The bird kissed her with his beak, sang to her, and then
flew up again-into the bright, blue air. It was at least a quarter
of an hour before the daisy could recover from her joy! Then, almost
ashamed, yet sincerely happy, she peeped over at the flowers in the
garden, for they had seen the honor and happiness that had come to
her, and would understand her joy. But the tulips stood up twice as
stiff as before, and looked very haughty and very red in the face
because they were very annoyed. The fatheaded peonies were
jealous-bah! - and it was lucky they couldn't speak, or the daisy
would have received a good scolding. The poor little flower could
see they were not in a good humor, and that made her very sad.
Just then a girl with a great sharp, shining
knife came into the garden, went straight up to the tulips, and cut
them off, one after the other. "Oh my," sighed the little daisy,
"that's dreadful! It's all over with them now."
Then the girl took the tulips away, and the
daisy was glad that she was only a poor little flower that nobody
would notice out in the grass. Yes, she felt very grateful indeed.
The sun went down, and the little daisy folded her leaves and went
to sleep, and dreamed all night about the sun and the pretty bird.
The next morning, when the flower again
happily stretched out her white petals, like little arms, toward the
early sun, she recognized the voice of the lark, but this time the
song was mournful and sad. Yes, the poor lark had good reason to be
You see, he had been caught, and now sat in a
cage close by an open window of the house. He sadly sang of the free
and happy roaming he used to do, of the young green corn in the
fields, of the glorious journeys he used to make on his wings high
up through the air. The poor bird was very unhappy, for there he
was, a prisoner-in a cage!
How the little daisy wished she could help
him! But what could she do? Yes, that was difficult to figure out.
She quite forgot how beautiful the world was, how warm the sun
shone, and how wonderfully white were her own petals. She could only
try to think of the poor little bird and how powerless she was to
Suddenly two little boys came out of the
garden, and one of them was carrying a big sharp knife like that
which the girl had used to cut the tulips. They went straight up to
the little daisy, who could not understand what was going on.
"Here we can cut a fine piece of turf for the
lark," said one of the boys. Then he began to cut out a square patch
of grass around the daisy, so that the little flower remained
standing in the middle of it.
"Tear off that flower!" said the other boy.
And the daisy trembled with fear! To be torn
off would mean losing her life, and she wanted so much to live now,
and go with the turf to the captive lark.
"No, leave it there," the other boy said. "It
looks pretty." And then the daisy, in a little patch of sod, was put
into the lark's cage.
But the poor bird was complaining about his
lost liberty and beating his wings against the wires of his prison;
and the little daisy couldn't speak, couldn't console him however
much she wanted to. And thus the morning passed.
"There is no water here!" cried the captive
lark. "They've all gone away and have forgotten to give me anything
to drink. My throat's dry and burning. I feel as if I had fire and
ice within me, and the air is so close! Oh, I must die! I must leave
the warm sunshine, and the fresh green, and all the splendor that
God has created!"
But when he thrust his beak into the cool turf
to refresh himself a little, his eye fell upon the daisy, who was
trying so hard to speak to him. He kissed her with his beak, and
said, "You must also wither in here, poor little flower. They've
given me you and your little patch of green grass instead of the
whole world that was mine out there! Every little blade of your
grass shall be a green tree for me, and every one of your white
leaves a fragrant flower. Ah, seeing you only tells me again how
much I have lost!"
"Oh, if I could only help him and comfort
him!" thought the daisy.
She couldn't move a leaf, but the scent that
streamed forth from her delicate leaves was far stronger than a
daisy ever gave forth before. The lark noticed it, and though in his
thirst and pain he plucked at the blades of grass, he did not touch
The evening came, and still nobody appeared to
bring the bird a single drop of water. At last the lark stretched
out his pretty wings and beat the air desperately; his song changed
to a mournful peeping; his little head sank down toward the flower,
and his little bird's heart broke with want and yearning. And the
flower couldn't fold its leaves and sleep, as she had done the night
before; she too drooped sorrowful and sick towards the earth.
It wasn't until the next morning that the boys
came; and when they found the bird dead, they wept many tears and
dug him a neat grave, adorned with leaves and flowers. They put him
into a pretty red box, for the poor bird was to have a royal
funeral. While he was alive and singing they forgot him and let him
sit in a cage and suffer; but now that he was dead, he was to have
many tears and a royal funeral.
But the patch of turf with the little daisy on
it was thrown out into the dusty road; and no one thought any more
of the flower that had felt the deepest for the little bird, and had
tried so hard to console him and help him.