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Morning-glory

from Sandman's Goodnight Stories





Once upon a time there was a very little Morning-glory that grew on the
end of a high vine, and one day when the wind was blowing a brisk
breeze passed by the little Morning-glory, making it wish it, too,
could go along and see more of the world.

The big mother vine knew what was in the heart of her little Glory, so
she whispered soft words of love to it and told the little flower that
it must never follow the breeze, for he was a wanderer and might take
it far from its home, where it would be very unhappy and perhaps die
out in the cold world. But the silly little Morning-glory still wanted
to leave the big vine, and the next time the breeze came along it
pushed up its head and the breeze took it off the big vine and bore it
along with it far, far away.

But by and by the wind grew tired of carrying the little Glory, so it
dropped it, and when the Morning-glory looked around it found it was in
the midst of big tall trees and rocks and briers.

Vainly it tried to crawl along to a tree where it could twine itself
around and climb, but it was too small, and then the rain came and made
it cold and wet, and even the fickle wind did not come to it again.

Then the cold days came and the poor little Glory grew faded and had to
crawl under the dead leaves for protection.

When the summer came again up came the little Glory, but it was a sad
little flower. Now it longed to climb, but it was too small to do
anything but lie on the ground.

After a while it grew near to a bush and put its weak little vine
around it, hoping to get off the ground.

"What do you mean by trying to cling to me?" said the bush. "I have
all I can do to take care of myself."

So the poor little Morning-glory dropped back to the ground. By and by
it grew long enough to reach a tree and slowly it climbed up the big
trunk until it came to the branches.

"Now I shall be able to see the world," it thought. "This tree is big
and will shelter me, and I can climb to the very top."

As soon as the big tree saw what was happening it told the little
Morning-glory it would not have it climbing about its branches, because
it would spoil its leaves.

"What are you doing in our woods?" asked the tree. "You should be
growing in a garden, on an arbor or up the side of some little house.
How came you here?"

The poor little Glory had to tell how it ran away from its mother with
the breeze and was left alone in the woods all winter.

"Please don't send me back to the ground. I cannot see a thing there
and I am so lonely," pleaded the little Morning-glory.

"I am sorry for you," said the tree, "but I cannot have my leaves
spoiled on any account. I'll tell you what I will do, but you must be
satisfied and never ask for more liberty. If you do, back you go to
the ground."

The poor little Morning-glory was so lonely and sad it was ready to
promise anything to get off the ground.

"You should stay where you are, but you cannot grow up any higher. If
you do I shall grow my twigs and leaves about you and crush you," said
the tree.

So the little Morning-glory had to promise to stay on the trunk of the
tree and never grow any higher, but it sighed for its mother vine, and,
because it could not climb, never grew any big blossoms, but tiny
little flowers which sighed because they could not stretch out their
vines and grow. But the tree kept the little Glory to its promise and
not a vine could get above the trunk.

And then one day when the days grew cold and the Morning-glory vine was
going to sleep for the winter, the runaway Glory was heard to say to
the other blossoms: "Children, be careful of the breeze and what he may
tell you next summer. I may not be here to care for you, but he will
surely come and tempt you to go along with him. He is fickle and will
carry you far, far away and then drop you in a place perhaps worse than
this, for we do not belong here, but in a garden with other flowers. I
ran away from my mother vine one day, and this is where the breeze left
me; so cling to the big tree as long as you bloom, for here you are
safe at least, even if you do not live and bloom in a garden." And
then she went to sleep.





Next: The Peacock Butterflies

Previous: The Playroom Wedding



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