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THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WOULD NOT WORK
 THERE was once a little girl who loved to play all day
out of doors among the flowers and the bees.
Her mother thought she would grow to be an idle little
girl if she played so much. "You are old enough to do
some work, little daughter," she said. "Even when you
are a tiny girl you can learn to be busy."
But the little girl said: "Oh, mother, I do not like
to work. Please let me go to the woods and play just a
little while before I do my tasks."
So her mother said she might play, but only for a
The child ran out of the house, and across the garden,
and down to the woods as fast as her feet could carry
her. As she hurried on, a Red Squirrel jumped across
her path and the little girl said to him: "Red
Squirrel, you don't have to work, do you? You may just
play, and eat nuts from morning till night. Isn't that
"Not work!" chattered the Red Squirrel. "Why, I am
working now, and I worked all day yesterday, and all of
the day before. I have a family living in the old oak
tree, and I must store away nuts for the winter. I
have no time to stop and play."
Just then a Bee came buzzing by and the little girl
said: "Little Bee, do you have any work to do?"
"Work!" buzzed the Bee. "Why, I am always working,
gathering sweets and making the honeycomb for you. I
have not time for play."
The little girl walked along very slowly, for she was
thinking, and she saw an Ant, down in the path,
carrying a very large crumb of bread.
 "That crumb of bread is too heavy for you, Ant,"
said the little girl. "Drop it, and come and play with
"I don't care how heavy it is," said the Ant. "I was
so glad to find it that I am willing to carry it. Oh,
no, I couldn't stop to play. Once some one stepped
upon our house and crushed it. We Ants thought we
would go and hunt for a ready-made house, but we
traveled a very long way, and we were not able to find
a house ready made, and we were obliged to come home
and build. Oh, we have no time to play," said the Ant,
as he started on with his crumb of bread.
So the little girl sat down upon a stone, that she
might think better, and she said to herself: "The
creatures all have their tasks to do, but I don't
believe the flowers work. Do you work, Pink Clover?"
she asked of a little flower growing at her feet.
"Oh, yes, I am very busy," said the Pink Clover. "I
gather the sunbeams every morning and keep them shut in
my petals quite carefully all day long. I drink up all
the moisture I can find with my roots, and I grow, and
grow, to get ready for the seed time. The flowers must
all work," said the Pink Clover.
Then the little girl decided to go home to her mother,
and she said: "Mother, the Squirrels and the Bees and
the Ants and the Flowers all work. I am the only idle
one. I want some work to do."
So her mother brought out a little apron which the
child had begun to hem so long ago that she had
forgotten all about it; and the little girl worked so
faithfully and well that she was not idle any more, but