It lay by the roadside until it grew to be humble and glad to be of any use,—even delighted when one day the owner of the building took it to finish a wall which was being built around some pasture land.
“Here I can be of use,” she said, as the workmen deposited it on a sunny corner as the place it was to occupy. It was glad to be there and find itself useful and at rest; for it had been obliged to listen to the remarks of the passers-by each day, and to endure their comments on its misfortune.
“I suppose I shall never know any other life but this; so now, being firmly set, I can sleep a little:” for the stone was sadly in need of rest.
After what seemed to be a long period of repose, the stone awoke, with new pulsations and finer emotions thrilling within it. The sound of children’s voices were heard in the air. How sweet and life-giving they were! far more pleasant than the words of admiration which men uttered when she was on the building’s top. A new joy was hers also, for soft hands were caressing her. Beautiful mosses had grown on her surface, and delighted children were gathering them.
Useful and beautiful too! and the stone was silent with happiness. She hoped the children would come again; and they did, bringing others with them.
“I wonder how this beautiful moss grew on me,” she said one day to herself—at least she thought no one heard her. But an older stone beside her replied, “By being perfectly quiet we become covered with this lovely moss, firmer than grasses of any lawn.”
The once vain stone grew to be perfectly contented, and never longed for her former position. When the storms came, it knew it was close to the earth. It had no fearful height to be pulled from, and the beautiful lichens which grew upon its surface were far more ornamental than its former carved and elegant adornings.
They lay side by side one morning, while the gardener was preparing the ground in which to plant them and many other varieties.
“Just think,” said the more talkative one of the two, “how sad it is that we are going to be put in that dismal ground! I shall not allow myself to be buried out of sight this lovely morning.”
“But,” answered the more quiet seed by her side, “it is only for a brief period that we shall lie there, and then we shall be far more beautiful.”
“What care I for beauty for others to look at? I want my freedom, and intend to have it, too. The wind is my friend, and I shall ask her to waft me over to those lovely hills, where I can see something of the world.”
“I think it would be wiser to remain where we are, and let the gardener care for us: he must know what is for our good,” remarked the gentle seed.
“You are too prosy by far. I think our own feelings tell us what we need. So good-by,” exclaimed the self-reliant seed, as she motioned to the wind to bear her away.