BY HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (ADAPTED)
 THE snow lay deep, for it was winter-time. The winter winds
blew cold, but there was one house where all was snug and
warm. And in the house lay a little flower; in its bulb it
lay, under the earth and the snow.
One day the rain fell and it trickled through the ice and
snow down into the ground. And presently a sunbeam, pointed
and slender, pierced down through the earth, and tapped on
"Come in," said the flower.
"I can't do that," said the sunbeam; "I'm not strong enough
to lift the latch. I shall be stronger when springtime
"When will it be spring?" asked the flower of every little
sunbeam that rapped on its door. But for a long time it was
winter. The ground was still covered with snow, and every
night there was ice in the water. The flower grew quite
tired of waiting.
"How long it is!" it said. "I feel quite cramped. I must
stretch myself and rise up a little. I must lift the latch,
and look out, and say 'good-morning' to the spring."
So the flower pushed and pushed. The walls were softened by
the rain and warmed by the little sunbeams, so the flower
shot up from under the snow, with a pale green bud on its
stalk and some long narrow leaves on either side. It was
"You are a little too early," said the wind and the weather;
but every sunbeam sang: "Welcome," and the flower raised its
head from the snow and unfolded itself—pure and white,
and decked with green stripes.
It was weather to freeze it to pieces,—such a delicate
little flower,—but it was stronger than any one knew. It
stood in its white dress in the white snow, bowing its head
when the snowflakes fell, and raising it again to smile at
the sunbeams, and every day it grew sweeter.
"Oh!" shouted the children, as they ran into the garden,
"see the snowdrop! There it stands so pretty,
so beautiful,—the first, the only one!"
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