A Leaf from Heaven
High up in the thin, clear air there flew an angel bearing a flower from the garden of heaven. As he kissed it, a tiny leaf drifted down into the muddy soil in the middle of the wood; it very soon took root there, and sprouted, and sent up shoots among the other plants.
"That's a funny kind of slip," said the plants.
And neither the thistle nor the stinging nettle would have anything to do with the stranger. "It must be some low kind of garden plant," they said, grinning and making fun at it. But it grew and grew, and like no other plant its long branches spread far about.
"Where do you think you're going?" said the tall thistles, who have thorns on each of their leaves. "You're taking a good deal of space. That's a lot of nonsense-we can't stand here and support you!"
When winter came, the snow covered the plant, but from it the blanket of snow received a glow as if the sun were shining from below. Then the spring returned, and the plant was in glorious bloom, more beautiful than any other in the forest.
And now there came to the forest a professor of botany, who could show what he was with many degrees. He carefully inspected the plant and tested it, but decided it was not included in his system of botany; he could not possibly learn to what class it did belong.
"This must be some unimportant variety," he said. "I certainly don't know it. It's not included in any system."
"Not included in any system!" said the thistles and the nettles.
The big trees which grew round it heard what was said and they also saw the tree was not one of their kind, but they said nothing, good or bad. And that is much the wisest course for stupid people to take.
Then a poor, innocent girl came through the forest. Her heart was pure, and her understanding was glorious with faith. Her only inheritance was an old Bible, but from its pages the voice of God spoke to her: "If people wish to do you evil, remember the story of Joseph. They had evil in their hearts, but God turned it to good.