| 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 PEA BLOSSOM.
HERE were once five peas in one shell, they were green, the shell was
green, and so they believed the whole world must be green also,
which was a very natural conclusion. The shell grew, and the peas grew;
they accommodated themselves to their position, and sat all in a row.
The sun shone without and warmed the shell, and the rain made it clear
and transparent; it was mild and agreeable in broad daylight, and dark
at night, as it generally is; and the peas as they sat there, grew bigger
and bigger, and more thoughtful as they mused, for they felt there must
be something else for there to do out in the bright sunshine.
And as weeks passed by the shell became yellow, and the peas turned
"All the world is turning yellow, I suppose," said they—and perhaps
they were right.
"Are we to sit here forever," asked one inquisitive little fellow; "won't
we turn hard by sitting so long."
Suddenly, one day, they felt a pull at the shell; it was torn off, and
held in human hands, then slipped into the pocket of a jacket in company
with other full pods.
"Now we shall soon be opened," said one, and just what they all
"Crack" went the shell as it burst, and the five peas rolled out into
the bright sunshine. Then they lay in a child's hand. A little boy was
holding them, and said they were fine peas for his pea-shooter.
"I should like to know which of us will travel furthest," said the
smallest of the five.
"What is to happen, will happen," said the largest pea.
"Now I am flying out into the wide world, catch me if you can," said
 one pea, as the boy put him in the pea-shooter, and he was gone in a
"I," said the second, "intend to fly straight to the sun, that is the
shell that lets itself be seen," and away he went.
"We will go to sleep wherever we find ourselves," said the next two.
I'm afraid they were lazy peas. But they were put into the pea-shooter
for all that, and were shot far out into the wide world.
"What is to happen, will happen," exclaimed the last as he was shot
out of the pea-shooter; and as he spoke he flew lip against an old board,
under a garret-window, and fell into a little crevice, which was almost filled
up with moss, and soft earth. The moss closed itself around him, and there
he lay, a captive indeed, but not unnoticed by God.
"What is to happen, will happen," said he to himself.
Within the little garret lived an old woman, who went out to clean
stores, chop wood into small pieces and perform such-like hard work, for
she was strong and industrious. Yet she remained always poor, and at
home in the garret lay her only daughter, Nellie, not quite grown up, and
very delicate and weak. For a whole year she had laid in bed, and it
seemed as if she could neither live nor die.
"She is going to her little sister," said the woman; "I had but two
children, and it was not an easy thing to support both of them; but the
good God helped me in any work, and took one of them to himself and
provided for her. Now I would gladly keep little Nellie that was left to
me, but I suppose they are not to be separated, and my sick girl will very
soon go to her sister above." But the sick girl still remained where she
was, quietly and patiently she lay all the day long, while her mother was
away from hone at work.
Spring came, and one morning early the sun shone brightly through
the little window, and threw its rays over the floor of the room. Just as
the mother was going to her work, the sick girl fixed her gaze on the lowest
pane of the window—"Mother," she exclaimed, "what can that little green
thing be, that peeps in at the window? It is moving in the wind."
 The mother stepped to the window and half opened it. "Oh!" she
said, "there is actually a little pea, which has taken root, and is putting
out its green leaves. How could it have gotten into this crack? Well
now, here is a little garden for you Nellie to amuse yourself with." She
drew Nellie's bed nearer the window, that she might see the budding
plant; and then went out to her work.
"Mother, I believe I shall get well," said Nellie that evening, "the sun
has shone in here so brightly and warmly to-day, and the little pea is
thriving so well. I shall get on better, too, and go out into the warm
"God grant it!" said her mother, but she did not believe that it would
be so. But she propped up with a stick the green plant which had given
her child such pleasant hopes of life, so that it might not be broken by
the winds; she then tied a piece of string to the window-sill, and to the
upper part of the frame, so that the pea-tendrils might twine round it when
it shot up. And it did shoot up, indeed it might almost be seen to grow
from day to day.
"Now really here is a flower coming," said the mother one morning,
and she began to hope that her child might recover, and as she pulled the
bed nearer the window, that Nellie might watch her little garden, she
noticed that her child's eyes sparkled brighter, and that she could raise
herself up in bed, to see the little flower that was coming on the pea vine;
so the poor mother went off to her hard work feeling much happier than
for many days. A week later, Nellie was able to sit up by the window
for a whole hour, and this day was like a glad festival to both the
mother and daughter; outside in the warm sunshine grew the plant, and
on it a pink pea blossom in full bloom.
"Our heavenly Father has planted the pea, and made it grow, and
bloom, to bring joy to you and hope to me, my blessed child," said the
happy mother, and long after, when Nellie had grown strong, she stood by
the open window, with sparkling eyes, and rosy cheeks, and thanked
God for what he had done for her.
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