There were once five peas in one pod; they were green and the pod was green, and so they believed that the whole world must be green also, which was a very natural conclusion. The pod grew, and the peas grew ; they sat all in a row. The sun shone without and warmed the pod, and the rain made it clear so that they could see through it. It was warm and pleasant in broad daylight, and dark at night, as it generally is. And the peas, as they sat in a row, grew bigger and bigger, and more thoughtful, too. They all felt sure there must be something for them to do, but they didn't know what it was.
"Are we to sit here forever?" asked one; "shall we not become hard by sitting so long? There must be something outside this pod ; I am sure of it." And so weeks passed by ; the peas became yellow, and the pod became yellow. "All the world is turning yellow, I suppose,"they said, and perhaps they were right.
Suddenly they felt a pull at the pod. It was torn off the vine and held in human hands ; then it was slipped into the pocket of a jacket in company with other full pods.
"Now we shall soon be let out," said one,—just what they all wanted. "I should like to know which of us will travel farthest," said the smallest of the five; "we shall soon see now."
"What is to happen will happen," said the largest pea.
"Crack!" went the pod as it burst, and the five peas rolled out into the bright sunshine. There they lay in a child's hand. A little boy was holding them tightly ; he said they were fine peas for his pea shooter. And immediately he put one in and shot it out.
"Now I am flying out into the wide world," said the pea ; "catch me if you can ;" and he was gone in a moment.
"I," said the second, "intend to fly straight to the sun; that is a pod that lets itself be seen, and it will suit me exactly," and away he went.
"Wherever we find ourselves we will go to sleep," said the two next; "we shall still be rolling
onwards;" and they did certainly fall on the floor and roll about before they were put into the pea shooter; but they were put in, for all that. "We will go farther than the others," said they. "What is to happen will happen," exclaimed the last pea, as he was shot out of the pea-shooter. As he spoke, he flew up against an old board under a garret window, and fell into a little crack, which was almost filled up with moss and soft earth. The moss closed itself about 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 a poor woman who had to go out to work every day. She had to leave her only daughter at home alone because the child was very delicate. For a whole year the little girl had kept her bed, and it seemed as though she could neither die nor live.
"She is going to her little sister," said the woman.
"I had two children. God took one of them to His home in Heaven. The other was left to me, but I suppose she will soon go to her sister in Heaven."
However, the sick girl remained where she was; she lay quietly and patiently in bed all day long while her mother was away from home at work. Spring came, and early one morning the sun shone brightly through the little window and threw his rays over the floor of the room. Just as her mother was going to work, the sick girl, looking at the window pane, said :
"Mother, what can that little green thing be that peeps in at the window? It is moving in the wind."
Her mother stepped to the window and half opened it. "Oh !" she said, "there is actually a little pea here which has taken root and is putting out its green leaves. How could it have got into this crack? Well, now, here is a little garden for you to amuse yourself with."
So the bed of the sick girl was drawn nearer to the window that she might see the budding plant ; and the mother went out to her work.
"Mother, I believe I shall get well," said the sick child in the evening; "the sun has shone in here so brightly and warmly to-day, and the little pea is growing so well, I shall get on better, too, and go out into the warm sunshine again."
"God grant it !" said the mother, but she did not believe it would be so. She propped up with a little stick the green plant which had given her child such pleasant hopes of life, so that it might not be broken by the wind. She 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 the pea 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 at last she began to hope that her little sick daughter might get well. She remembered that for some time the child had spoken more cheerfully, and during the last few days had raised herself in bed in the morning to look with sparkling eyes at her little garden, which contained only the one little pea plant.
A week later the sick girl sat up for the first time, and she felt quite happy at the open window in the warm sunshine. Outside the window grew the little plant, and on it was a pink pea blossom in full bloom. The little maiden bent down and gently kissed the delicate leaves. This was like a feast day to her.
"Our Heavenly Father, Himself, has planted that pea and made it grow so as to bring joy to you and hope to me, my beloved child," said the happy mother. She smiled at the flower as if it had been an angel from God.
Catholic Education Series Vol. 4
+ Imprimatur 1910
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