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SUNSHINE'S STORIES

 

"NOW I shall tell a story"said the Wind "Noexcuse me"said the Rain"now it is myturnYou have stood long enough at the street corner andhowled all that you could howl"

"Is that your thanks"said the Wind"for my havingin your honourturned many an umbrella outside inyeseven broken themwhen people would have nothing to dowith you"

"I am going to tell one"said the Sunshine"bequiet"and it was said with dignity and majestyso thatthe Wind laid itself down all its lengthbut the Rain driz- zled in the Windand said"Must we stand thisShe always breaks throughthis Madam SunshineWe shall notlisten to herit is not worth the trouble to listen"

And the Sunshine said

"There flew a swan over the rolling seaevery featheron it shone like goldone feather fell down on the big mer-chant ship which glided past under full sailThe featherfell on the curly hair of the young man who had charge ofthe cargothe Super-cargo'they called himThe featherof the bird of Fortune touched his foreheadand became apen in his handand he soon became a rich merchantwhocould easily buy himself spurs of goldand change goldplate into a nobleman's shieldI have shone upon it"said the Sunshine

"The swan flew away over the green meadowwherethe little shepherda boy of seven years oldhad laid himself to rest under the shadow of the single old tree thereAnd the swan in its flight kissed a leaf of the treeit fellinto the boy's handand the one leaf became threethententhen a whole bookand he read in it about the won-ders of natureabout his mothertongueand about faithand knowledgeAt bedtime he laid the book under hisheadso that he should not forget what he had readandthe book took him to the school bench and the desk oflearningI have read his name among those of thelearned"said the Sunshine

"The swan flew into the loneliness of the forestrested there on the stilldark lakeswhere the waterlilies and the wild apples growwhere the cuckoo and thewoodpigeon have their homes "A poor woman gathered fallen branches for firewoodand carried them on her backshe bore her childin her armsand was on her way homeShe saw thegolden swanthe swan of Fortunefly up from the rushgrown bankWhat shone thereA golden eggshe laid itin her bosomand the warmth remainedthere was certainly life in the eggYesthere was a tapping inside theshellshe noticed itand thought it was the beating ofher own heart

"At home in her poor room she took out the goldenegg'Ticktick'it saidas if it were a valuable goldwatchbut it was an egg with living lifeThe egg burstand a little cygnetfeathered like pure goldstuck itshead outit had four rings round its neckand as thepoor woman had just four boysthree at homeand thefourth which she had carried with her in the forestsheunderstood at once that here was a ring for each of thechildrenand just as she understood itthe little goldenbird flew away

"She kissed each ringand let each of the childrenkiss one of the ringslaid it on the child's heartandplaced it on the child's finger

"I saw it"said the Sunshine"I saw what followedthis"

"The one boy seated himself in the clay pittook alump of clay in his handturned it with the fingersandit became a figure of Jasonwho fetched the goldenfleece

"The second boy ran out at once into the meadowwhere the flowers stood with all the colours one couldthink ofhe plucked a handfulclutched them so firmlythat the sap sprang into his eyes and wetted the ringthere came life and movement into his thoughts and intohis handand after a year and a daythe great towntalked of the great painter

"The third of the boys held the ring so fast in hismouth that it gave out a soundan echo from the bottom ofhis heartThoughts and feelings lifted themselves inmelodylifted themselves like singing swansdived likeswans down into the deep seathe deep sea of thoughtHebecame the great master of melodyEvery country may nowthink'He belongs to me' "The fourth little oneahhe was the outcastTheysaid he'had the pip'and ought to have pepper and butterlike the sick chickens'Pepper and bootter 'was howthey said itand he got thatbut from me he got a sunshine kiss"said the Sunshine"he got ten kisses for oneHe had a poet's nature and got both knocks and kissesbut he had the ring of Fortune from Fortune's golden swanHis thoughts flew out like a golden butterflythe symbol ofimmortality"

"That was a long story"said the Wind

"And tiresome"said the Rain"blow on meso thatI may come to myself again" And the Wind blewand the Sunshine went on

——"The swan of Fortune flew away over the deep baywhere the fishers had spread their netsThe poorest ofthem had thought of getting marriedand so he got married

"The swan brought a piece of amber to himamberattracts to itselfit drew hearts to the houseAmber is theloveliest incenseThere came a fragrance as fro m thechurchthere came a fragrance from God's natureTheyfelt truly the happiness of homecontent with their lowlyconditionand so their life became a real sunshine Story

"Shall we stop now"said the Wind"Sunshine hastalked long enough nowI am tired of it"

"I also"said the Rain

What do we otherswho have heard the storiessay

We saynow they are finished

 


 

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