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love mother.

From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Age Rating 2 to 4.

Start of Story

A potato and a rusty nail lay side by side in an old shed. Through the winter they found very little to say to one another, but when the spring came the potato grew restless and talkative. "This is a poor life for us," she said. "Do you not feel that it is a waste of time lying here like this?" "Not at all," said the rusty nail. "If you had been knocked about as much as I have you would be glad to lie still." He was bent in the back and had lost half his head, so he had a right to talk. "But I want to grow!" cried the potato. "I want to go down into the dark warm earth, where it is so easy to grow. Then I should send up white stalks that turn green when they reach the sunlight, and bear broad leaves and beautiful flowers. My children would grow on my white, stalks under the ground. Ah! that would be life indeed!" "You seem to me to be talking nonsense," said the nail. "I once lived in a kitchen, where a great many potatoes were cooked every day, but none of them had the beautiful leaves and flowers you talk about." But the potato was not listening now, for something seemed to be moving inside her. "I feel so strange!" she cried. "I am sure something is going to happen." The next moment something did happen. The skin was pushed open, and a little white shoot poked its head out. "I am growing!" cried the potato joyfully. "Oh, I wish somebody would put me in the ground." But, alas! nobody understood potato-language, so she lay there for several days longer. Then a little boy who was playing saw her and picked her up. "Here is a potato growing without any ground," he said. "I shall plant it in my garden."

He carried her to his garden, made a hole, and planted her. She nestled thankfully down into the warm earth as he covered her up. "At last I am put into my right place and can really grow," she said. And grow she did. Shoot after shoot ran up from her sides, spreading out in the sunlight into broad green leaves and beautiful lavender coloured flowers. And the little potatoes came, all along the white underground stems. Bigger and bigger they grew, till they were as big and fine as their mother had been. How proud she was of them! But as they grew she dwindled and lost her strength, for she was giving all the substance of her body to feed her children. "What is the matter, little Love-Mother?" they asked tenderly. "Why do you grow so weak and thin?" They did not understand where their food came from, but she knew and was well content. "It is my life, but they need it, and I am happy in giving it," she said softly to herself. So day by day she grew less and less, till with a loving sigh she died. "I am happy," was her last thought, "for I have done my part in the world, and now, like the rusty nail, I am glad to rest."

the end

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