| Kindergarten Gems|
|by Agnes Taylor Ketchum|
|A full collection of stories and rhymes for the youngest listeners. In addition to the usual fairy tales, folk tales, and fables, there are numerous stories about animals, tales of everyday doings, and stories of the seasons. The material is conveniently arranged in groups, with several stories and rhymes for each holiday and season throughout the year. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 4-8 |
THE DAISY SEED.
 HAVE you ever heard the wind blowing and puffing and scattering
the dead leaves on the ground and shaking them off the trees?
When the wind is howling in this manner it is planting seeds. That may
sound funny, but it is true, nevertheless. One windy fall day, the West
wind was playing merrily in a field where many daisies had bloomed during
the summer time (now they were all asleep), but on the ground all around
were tiny seeds which the daisy plant had dropped. The West wind saw
these little seeds and said to them, "You are so many here, that one will
not be missed, and over in the next wood there is not one daisy to make
things bright and pretty with its flowers, so I'll take one and carry it over
into the woods." He then blew, and blew the little seed along before him,
over the fence that enclosed the field, into the meadow, then down the lane
into the woods. Here all the trees were bare and brown, for it was fall,
and all plants were going to sleep for the winter. Here, deep into the woods,
right on the banks of a brooklet, the West wind dropped the little daisy
seed on the soft earth, then he stirred up the dead leaves that lay all
around, and covered up the sleeping seed. How soundly it slept! So soundly
that it did not even know that the wind was taking it away from its sisters
and brothers—the other seeds.
After a short while, Jack Frost came with cold winds, snow and ice,
which made everything shiver; but one little seed did not feel the cold, for
it was sleeping warmly under its bed of leaves, which the West wind stirred
up that fall day. How long winter lasted! The snow seemed never to
melt; but at last the sun did shine warmer, and melted the snow away,
then it made the brown earth warm and soft, and April came with its sunny
showers, which made the branches of the trees and bushes swell, and the
buds burst their brown coats which they wore in the winter time. One
little daisy seed, away down in the dark earth, began to wake up also; it
 rubbed its eyes, and tried to see, but it was too dark down where it was
to see anything, so it said to itself, "I must begin to grow upward where
it feels so warm, and then I can see." It then burst its tight brown
dress, and sent up two little green leaves, which peeped out of the earth
and saw all the beautiful things around. There was the brooklet, which
had been frozen all winter, thawed out now, and singing a sweet song to
the flowers around. On the right side grew a bunch of lovely ferns, and
on the left side were blue violets. When the little daisy leaves peeped
out, the ferns and violets and the great oak tree were just saying "how do
you do" to each other, for they had just waked from their long winter
When they saw the baby daisy, they all cried, "Oh! see there l there
is a stranger; it is a little daisy plant; welcome into our woods."
The daisy nodded and nodded, and felt glad. Then it began to grow
and get more and more leaves, until it was tall and round. "How lovely
it was here," it would say, when it woke up in the morning and heard the
birds sing and drank the dew into its leaves; the ferns and violets, and
even the big oak, were so kind to it.
One morning the ferns said to the violets, "Is not our daisy growing
beautifully? But it does not seem to get buds; I do wish it would, so we
could see the flowers. Do not you, also, dear violets?"
"Yes," said they; "we have never had daisies in blooms around here
before. I do wish the flowers would come."
Our little daisy was getting worried about it, also, and looked among
its leaves every morning to find a bud, and one morning the ferns shook
their leaves with laughter and said, "I see a bud, I see a bud!" The
violets said they saw a great many buds, and sure enough the daisy plant
was full of round green buds, which grew and grew, and at length unfolded
into beautiful daisies, with a golden center, and snow-white leaves, with a
pink border. The brook sang of its beauty, and the birds told each other
about it; every one loved the daisy, she was so sweet and modest.
One warm summer day, not long after the daisy had spread her buds
 into flowers, Mary and her papa took a walk in the woods to find flowers
for their garden. Mary spied the daisy first, and clapped her hands merrily,
and called, "Papa, papa, come and see the beautiful daisy plant; it is
full of blossoms!"
Then papa came up and said that they would have to be very careful,
in digging it up, for they might hurt the roots, and then it would die.
So out of his pocket he took a knife, and dug up a great square patch
of earth, with the plant in the middle of it. How sick the daisy felt! How
it shivered when it was lifted up, and put into a basket that Mary was
carrying! To think it would have to leave the woods, and the kind ferns
and violets, and the dear brooklet, that murmured such sweet songs! It
thought it would have to die right then, but Mary and her papa put cool
green leaves all around and over it, to keep it damp, for the sun was shining
so warm. It was then carried far out of the woods to Mary's home and
put on a table. Then she called, "Willie! Willie! Come, quick, and see
this pretty daisy I found in the woods!" Then the lid of the basket was
raised, and two pair of blue eyes looked into it.
"Give it to me, Mary?" was the first question Willie asked.
But Mary said, "No, no; I want to plant it in my garden."
"Oh! then I will have no daisy in my garden; that is too bad," said
Suddenly Mary said, "Willie, now I know what we will do—plant it
where our little gardens meet, then you will have half and I will have half,
and we can then both take care of it. Run and get your spade, and I'll
get a pail of water, for it is very thirsty; see how its leaves are hanging
down, and its flowers also; it looks as if it would die; let us plant it
So out into the garden they ran and planted it, just between their little
beds; then they gave it plenty of water, and Willie got a box from the
wood-shed, which they put over it to keep the sun of for a few days. At
first it felt sick and sad, but when night came and the dew, then it felt
better and straightened up and put up its flowers again. How pretty the
 garden was—full of roses, tulips, lilies
and snow-balls—all flowers that our
little daisy had never seen in the woods. They were so kind to her, and
asked her to dance with them, when they danced in the breezes, that the
daisy felt as happy as she had done in the woods. Every morning Mary
and Willie watered it, and dug around it, and one morning they picked some
of its flowers to put into a bouquet for their dear mother's birthday present.
When the daisy went to sleep with the other flowers for the winter, it said
to itself, "When I wake up next spring, there will be a great patch of us, I
am sure, for I dropped so many seeds." And so it was. The next spring
there were fifty daisies, where there had been one before.
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