Mother Stories

Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Power invisible that God reveals,
The child within all nature feels,
Like the great wind that unseen goes,
Yet helps the world's work as it blows.

One morning Jan waked up very early, and the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was his great kite in the corner. His big brother had made it for him; and it had a smiling face, and a long tail that reached from the bed to the fireplace. It did not smile at Jan that morning though, but looked very sorrowful and seemed to say "Why was I made? Not to stand in a corner, I hope!" for it had been finished for two whole days and not a breeze had blown to carry it up like a bird in the air.

Jan jumped out of bed, dressed himself, and ran to the door to see if the windmill on the hill was at work; for he hoped that the wind had come in the night. But the mill was silent and its arms stood still. Not even a leaf turned over in the yard.

The windmill stood on a high hill where all the people could see it, and when its long arms went whirling around every one knew that there was no danger of being hungry, for then the Miller was busy from morn to night grinding the grain that the farmers brought him.

When Jan looked out, however, the Miller had nothing to do, and was standing in his doorway, watching the clouds, and saying to himself (though Jan could not hear him):—

"Oh! how I wish the wind would blow
So that my windmill's sails might go,
To turn my heavy millstones round!
For corn and wheat must both be ground,
And how to grind I do not know
Unless the merry wind will blow."

He sighed as he spoke, for he looked down in the village, and saw the Baker in neat cap and apron, standing idle too.

The Baker's ovens were cold, and his trays were clean, and he, too, was watching the sky, and saying:—

"Oh! how I wish the wind would blow,
So that the Miller's mill might go,
And grind me flour so fine, to make
My good light bread and good sweet cake!
But how to bake I do not know
Without the flour as white as snow."

Jan heard every word that the Baker said, for he lived next door to him; and he felt so sorry for his good neighbor that he wanted to tell him so. But before he had time to speak, somebody else called out from across the street:—

"Well! I'm sure I wish the wind would blow,
For this is washing day, you know.
I've scrubbed and rubbed with all my might,
In tubs of foam from morning light,
And now I want the wind to blow
To dry my clothes as white as snow."

This was the Washerwoman who was hanging out her clothes. Jan could see his own Sunday shirt, with ruffles, hanging limp on her line, and it was as white as a snowflake, sure enough!

"Come over, little neighbor," cried the Washerwoman, when she saw Jan. "Come over, little neighbor, and help me work to-day!" So, as soon as Jan had eaten his breakfast, he ran over to carry her basket for her. The basket was heavy, but he did not care; and as he worked he heard some one singing a song, with a voice almost as loud and as strong as the wind....