THE DIAMOND AND THE DEWDROP
: Stories To Tell Children
A costly Diamond, that had once sparkled in a lady's ring, lay in a
field amid tall grasses and oxeye daisies.
Just above it, was a big Dewdrop that clung timidly to a nodding
Overhead, the blazing sun shone in all his noonday glory.
Ever since the first pink blush of dawn, the modest Dewdrop had gazed
fixedly down upon the rich gem, but feared to address a person
At last, a large Beetle, during his rambles, chanced to espy the
Diamond, and he also recognised him to be some one of great rank and
"Sire," he said, making a low bow, "permit your humble servant to offer
"Tha--nks," responded the Diamond in languid tones of affectation.
As the Beetle raised his head from his profound bow, his gaze happened
to alight upon the Dewdrop.
"A relative of yours, I presume, Sire?" he remarked affably, waving one
of his feelers in the direction of the Dewdrop.
The Diamond burst into a rude, contemptuous laugh.
"Quite _too_ absurd, I declare!" he exclaimed loftily. "But there, what
_can_ you expect from a low, grovelling beetle? Away, sir, pass on! Your
very presence is distasteful to me. The _idea_ of placing ME upon the
same level--in the same family, as a low-born, mean, insignificant,
utterly valueless----" Here the Diamond fairly choked for breath.
"But has he not beauty exactly like your own, Sire?" the Beetle ventured
to interpose, though with a very timid air.
"BEAU--TY!" flashed the Diamond, with fine disdain--"the impudent fellow
merely apes and imitates ME. However, it is some small consolation to
remember that 'Imitation is the sincerest flattery.' But, even
_allowing_ him to possess it, mere beauty without _rank_ is ridiculous
and worthless. A Boat without _water_--a Carriage, but no _horses_--a
Well, but never a _winch_: such is beauty without rank and wealth! There
is no _real worth_ apart from rank and wealth. Combine Beauty, Rank,
_and_ Wealth, and you have the whole world at your feet. Now you know
the secret of the world worshipping ME."
And the Diamond sparkled and gleamed with vivid, violet flashes, so that
the Beetle was glad to shade his eyes.
The poor Dewdrop had listened silently to all that had passed, and felt
so wounded, that at last he wished he never had been born. Slowly a
bright tear fell and splashed the dust.
Just then, a Skylark fluttered to the ground and eagerly darted his beak
at the Diamond.
"Alas!" he piped, with a great sob of disappointment. "What I thought to
be a precious dewdrop is only a worthless diamond. My throat is parched
for want of water. I must die of thirst!"
"Really? The world will never get over your loss," cruelly sneered the
But a sudden and noble resolve came to the Dewdrop. Deeply did he repent
his foolish wish. _He could now lay down his life that the life of
another might be saved!_
"May _I_ help you, please?" he gently asked.
The Lark raised his drooping head.
"Oh, my precious, precious friend, if you will, you can save my life!"
"Open your mouth then."
And the Dewdrop slid from the blade of grass, tumbled into the parched
beak, and was eagerly swallowed.
"Ah--well, well!" pondered the Beetle as he continued his homeward way.
"I've been taught a lesson that I shall not easily forget. Yes, yes!
Simple worth is far better than rank or wealth without modesty and
unselfishness--and there is no _true_ beauty where these virtues are