There were once five peas in one shell, they were green, the shell was green, and so they believed the whole world must be green also, which was a very natural conclusion. The shell grew, and the peas grew; they accommodated themselves to their position, and sat all in a row. The sun shone without and warmed the shell, and the rain made it clear and transparent; it was mild and agreeable in broad daylight, and dark at night, as it generally is; and the peas as they sat there, grew bigger and bigger, and more thoughtful as they mused, for they felt there must be something else for there to do out in the bright sunshine.
And as weeks passed by the shell became yellow, and the peas turned yellow.
"All the world is turning yellow, I suppose," said they—and perhaps they were right.
"Are we to sit here forever," asked one inquisitive little fellow; "won't we turn hard by sitting so long."
Suddenly, one day, they felt a pull at the shell; it was torn off, and held in human hands, then slipped into the pocket of a jacket in company with other full pods.
"Now we shall soon be opened," said one, and just what they all wanted.
"Crack" went the shell as it burst, and the five peas rolled out into the bright sunshine. Then they lay in a child's hand. A little boy was holding them, and said they were fine peas for his pea-shooter.
"I should like to know which of us will travel furthest," said the smallest of the five.
"What is to happen, will happen," said the largest pea.
"Now I am flying out into the wide world, catch me if you can," said one pea, as the boy put him in the pea-shooter, and he was gone in a moment.
"I," said the second, "intend to fly straight to the sun, that is the shell that lets itself be seen," and away he went.
"We will go to sleep wherever we find ourselves," said the next two. I'm afraid they were lazy peas. But they were put into the pea-shooter for all that, and were shot far out into the wide world.
"What is to happen, will happen," exclaimed the last as he was shot out of the pea-shooter; and as he spoke he flew lip against an old board, under a garret-window, and fell into a little crevice, which was almost filled up with moss, and soft earth. The moss closed itself around him, and there he lay, a captive indeed, but not unnoticed by God.
"What is to happen, will happen," said he to himself.
Within the little garret lived an old woman, who went out to clean stores, chop wood into small pieces and perform such-like hard work, for she was strong and industrious. Yet she remained always poor, and at home in the garret lay her only daughter, Nellie, not quite grown up, and very delicate and weak. For a whole year she had laid in bed, and it seemed as if she could neither live nor die.
"She is going to her little sister," said the woman; "I had but two children, and it was not an easy thing to support both of them; but the good God helped me in any work, and took one of them to himself and provided for her. Now I would gladly keep little Nellie that was left to me, but I suppose they are not to be separated, and my sick girl will very soon go to her sister above." But the sick girl still remained where she was, quietly and patiently she lay all the day long, while her mother was away from hone at work.
Spring came, and one morning early the sun shone brightly through the little window, and threw its rays over the floor of the room. Just as the mother was going to her work, the sick girl fixed her gaze on the lowest pane of the window—"Mother," she exclaimed, "what can that little green thing be, that peeps in at the window? It is moving in the wind."
The mother stepped to the window and half opened it. "Oh!" she said, "there is actually a little pea, which has taken root, and is putting out its green leaves. How could it have gotten into this crack? Well now, here is a little garden for you Nellie to amuse yourself with." She drew Nellie's bed nearer the window, that she might see the budding plant; and then went out to her work.
"Mother, I believe I shall get well," said Nellie that evening, "the sun has shone in here so brightly and warmly to-day, and the little pea is thriving so well. I shall get on better, too, and go out into the warm sunshine again."
"God grant it!" said her mother, but she did not believe that it would be so. But she propped up with a stick the green plant which had given her child such pleasant hopes of life, so that it might not be broken by the winds; she then tied a piece of string to the window-sill, and to the upper part of the frame, so that the pea-tendrils might twine round it when it shot up. And it did shoot up, indeed it might almost be seen to grow from day to day.
"Now really here is a flower coming," said the mother one morning, and she began to hope that her child might recover, and as she pulled the bed nearer the window, that Nellie might watch her little garden, she noticed that her child's eyes sparkled brighter, and that she could raise herself up in bed, to see the little flower that was coming on the pea vine; so the poor mother went off to her hard work feeling much happier than for many days. A week later, Nellie was able to sit up by the window for a whole hour, and this day was like a glad festival to both the mother and daughter; outside in the warm sunshine grew the plant, and on it a pink pea blossom in full bloom.
"Our heavenly Father has planted the pea, and made it grow, and bloom, to bring joy to you and hope to me, my blessed child," said the happy mother, and long after, when Nellie had grown strong, she stood by the open window, with sparkling eyes, and rosy cheeks, and thanked God for what he had done for her.
The Pea Blossom
A Fictional Short Story by
Agnes Taylor Ketchum & Ida M. Jorgensen