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Stories, Dreams and Allegories. Schreiner, Olive, 1855–1920.
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page: 132

THE FLOWER AND THE SPIRIT

A FLOWER grew by the roadside.

A spirit passed.

It said: “Beautiful white flower, let me take you in my hands and carry you home. I will take you up with all the soil about you, and carry you safe.”

And the flower said: “No. Your hands will disturb me. Your hot breath will curl my leaves. I grow here by the roadside in my beauty, and all look at me. Go; your hot hands will curl my roots.”

So the spirit went.

And many days after it passed that way: and it was winter now, and all the ground was bare and white with frost. And the flower stood alone in the cold: and it said: “Oh, spirit, take me up, carry me home in your warm hands. I am freezing to death.”

And the spirit said: “No, my hands are full with other flowers. It cannot be now. See, this is all I can do ”—and it bent over the flower and wept page: 133 into its frozen cup burning tears; and for a moment they melted it.

Then the spirit went its way, and the flower stood alone in the cold.

Alassio, Italy, April 2, 1887.
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