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The Magic Seeds
by [?]

Little Mary Louise placed the ring upon her finger and then bidding the Prince good-by turned her steps as she thought, towards home. But she had gone but a short way when she came to a funny little dwarf tugging at a great sunflower, and every once in a while he’d shake the stalk until down would come a shower of black seeds, which he put in a small basket.

“Hello,” cried Mary Louise, “don’t you want me to help you?”

When the little dwarf heard her voice, he started to run away, but Mary Louise caught him by the tail of his coat.

“Don’t be afraid of me, little dwarf, I won’t harm you.”

So the dwarf set down his basket of seeds, and after he had straightened his coat, for it was half off his back, he said:

“I’ll give you some of the seeds. They are very wonderful seeds.”

Then little Mary Louise said good-by and by and by she came to a poor woodcutter’s hut. In answer to her knock an old woman opened the door.

“How do you do!” she said with a bow, and then she told Mary Louise that her husband had just gone to the village for sunflower seeds. Wasn’t that strange? It made Mary Louise laugh and taking from her pocket a handful she showed them to the old lady.

“My husband may not find any,” she said. “Will you give me two that I may plant them on each side of our front door?” Then digging a hole in the ground on each side of the step she planted the seeds. And, would you believe it? all of a sudden a yellow stalk sprung up, and pretty soon it was as high as the door and then it was higher than the roof and before long it reached way up into the sky, so far and so high that you couldn’t see the top.

“Goodness gracious me!” exclaimed the old woman. “What kind of seeds are these?”

“I’ll climb up and see,” and up the stalk went little Mary Louise. Bigger and bigger it grew until finally it spread out altogether into a great big meadow covered with sunflowers.

Everywhere the birds were singing and little rabbits hopping about, and nearby a flock of lambs nibbling the fresh green grass.

“Oh my!” exclaimed little Mary Louise, “this is strange, very strange!”

When, all of a sudden, one of the sunflowers began to sing:

“I love the sun in the big blue sky,
As he rolls along his pathway high,
Through the clouds and over the blue
While he brightly shines on me and you.
There’s no one else that I love so much
As the golden sun with his soft warm touch.”

And then all the sunflowers joined in the chorus:

“Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful sun,
We turn and follow you as you run
Over the soft and azure sky;
Beautiful sun with your golden eye.”

When the song was finished, little Mary Louise went on her way, and it was very lucky for her that the grass was soft, for she wore no boots, which I forgot to mention she had left a the foot of the big giant sunflower by the side of the poor woodman’s hut.

Well, by and by, she came to a little shoemaker’s shop, where the shoemaker sat just outside the door.

“Have you a pair of red top boots?” she asked. And would you believe it? That shoemaker got up and walked inside his shop and took down a box from the top shelf, and there inside was a beautiful pair of red top boots, which fitted as if they had been made for her. Well wasn’t that the luckiest thing that could have happened?

But perhaps it was just as lucky that she found money enough in her pocket to pay for them.