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FIVE OUT OF ONE POD

 

THERE were five peas in one podthey were greenand the pod was greenand so they thought all the world was greenand that was just as it should beThe pod grewand the peas grewthey accommodated themselves to circumstancessitting all in a rowThe sun shone withoutand warmed the huskand the rain made it clear and transparentit was mild and agreeable during the clear day and dark during the nightjust as it should beand the peas as they sat there became bigger and biggerand more and more thoughtfulfor something they must do

Are we to sit here everlastingly?”asked one.“I’ m afraid we shall become hard by long sittingIt seems to me there must be something outside-I have a kind of inkling of it

And weeks went byThe peas became yellow and the pod also

All the world’ s turning yellow,”said theyand they had a right to say it

Suddenly they felt a tug at the podIt was torn offpassed through human handsand glided down into the pocket of a jacketin company with other full pods

Now we shall soon be opened!”they saidand that is just what they were waiting for

I should like to know who of us will get farthest!”said the smallest of the five.“Yesnow it will soon show itself.”

What is to be will be,” said the biggest

Crack!”the pod burstand all the five peas rolled out into the bright sunshineThere they lay in a child's handA little boy was clutching themand said they were fine peas for his pea-shooterand he put one in at once and shot it out

Now I'm flying out into the wide worldcatch me if you can!”And he was gone.“I,” said the second,“I shall fly straight into the sunThat's a pod worth looking atand one that exactly suits me.” And away he went

We sleep where we come,”said the two next,“but we shall roll on all the same.”And so they rolled first on the floor before they got into the pea-shooterbut they were put in for all that.“We shall go farthest,”said they What is to happen will happensaid the lastas he was shot forth out of the pea-shooterand he flew up against the old board under the garret windowjust into a crack which was filled up with moss and soft mouldand the moss closed round himthere he laya prisoner in-deedbut not forgotten by our Lord

What is to happen will happen,”said he

Withinin the little garretlived a poor womanwho went out in the day to clean stovessaw woodand to do other hard work of the same kindfor she was strong and industrious tooBut she always remained poorand at home in the garret lay her half-grown only daughterwho was very delicate and weakfor a whole year she had kept her bedand it seemed as if she could neither live nor die

She is going to her little sister,”the woman said.“I had only the two childrenand it was not an easy thing to provide for bothbut the good God provided for one of them by taking her home to Himselfnow I should be glad to keep the other that was left mebut I suppose they are not to remain separatedand she will go to her sister in heaven

But the sick girl remained where she wasShe lay quiet and qatient all day long while her mother went to earn money out of doorsIt was springand early in the morn-injust as the mother was about to go out to workthe sun shone mildly and pleasantly through the little windowand threw its rays across the floorand the sick girl fixed her eyes on the lowest pane in the window

What may that green thing be that looks in at the windowIt is moving in the wind.”

And the mother stepped to the windowand half opened it.“Oh!”said she,“on my wordit is a little pea which has taken root hereand is putting out its little leavesHow can it have got here into the crackThere you have a little garden to look at.”

And the sick girl's bed was moved nearer to the windowso that she could always see the growing peaand the mother went forth to her work

MotherI think I shall get well,”said the sick child in the evening.“The sun shone in upon me today delight-fully warmThe little pea is thriving famouslyand I shall thrive tooand get upand go out into the warm sun-shine

God grant it!”said the motherbut she did not believe it would be sobut she took carec to prop with a little stick the green plant which had given her daughter the pleasant thoughts of lifeso that it might not be broken by the windshe tied a piece of string to the window-sill and to the upper part of the frameso that the pea might have something round which it could twinewhen it shot upand it did shoot up indeed-one could see how it grew every day

Reallyhere is a flower coming!”said the woman one dayand now she began to cherish the hope that her sick daughter would recoverShe remembered that lately the child had spoken much more cheerfully than beforethat in the last few days she had risen up in bed of her own accordand had sat uprightlooking with delighted eyes at the little garden in which only one plant grewA week afterwards the invalid for the first time sat up for a whole hourQuite happyshe sat there in the warm sunshinethe window was openedand in front of it outside stood a pink pea blossomfully blownThe sick girl bent down and gently kissed the delicate leavesThis day was like a festival The Heavenly Father Himself has planted that peaand caused it to thriveto be a joy to youand to me alsomy blessed child!”said the glad motherand she smiled at the floweras if it had been a good angel

But about the other peasWhythe one who flew out into the wide world and said,“Catch me if you can,”fell into the gutter on the roofand found a home in a pigeon's cropand lay there like Jonah in the whalethe two lazy ones got just as farfor theytoowere eaten up by pigeonsand thusat any ratethey were of some real usebut the fourthwho wanted to go up into the sunfell into the gutterand lay there in the dirty water for days and weeksand swelled prodigiously How beautifully fat I'm growing!”said the Pea.“I shall burst at lastand I don't think any pea can do more than thatI'm the most remarkable of all the five that were in the pod.”

And the Gutter said he was right

But the young girl at the garret window stood there with gleaming eyeswith the hue of health on her cheeksand folded her thin hands over the pea blossomand thanked Heaven for it

I,” said the Gutter,“stand up for my own pea.”

 


 

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