"We shall take that with us," said the angel. "As we fly onward, I will tell you about it." And as they flew the angel told the story.
"Down in that narrow alley, in a dark cellar, there once lived a poor sick boy who had been bedridden since childhood. The most he could ever do, when he was feeling his best, was hobble once or twice across the little room on crutches. For only a few days in midsummer the sunbeams could steal into his cellar for about half an hour or so. Then the little boy could warm himself and see the red blood in his thin, almost transparent fingers as he held them before his face. Then people would say, the boy has been out in the sunshine today.
"All he knew of the forests in the fresh breath of spring was when the neighbor's son would bring him home the first beech branch. He would hold this up over his head, and pretend he was sitting in the beech woods where the sun was shining and the birds were singing.
"One spring day the neighbor's boy brought him also some field flowers, and by chance one of them had a root to it! So it was planted in a flowerpot and placed in the window beside the little boy's bed. And tended by a loving hand, it grew, put out new shoots, and bore lovely flowers each year. It was a beautiful garden to the little sick boy-his one treasure on earth. He watered it and tended it and saw that it received every sunbeam, down to the very last that managed to struggle through the dingy cellar window.
"The flower wove itself into his dreams; for him it flowered; it spread its fragrance, and cheered his eyes, and toward it he turned his face for a last look when his Heavenly Father called him.
"He has been with God now for a year, and for a year the flower stood withered and forgotten in the window until on moving day it was thrown out on the rubbish heap in the street. That is the flower-the poor withered flower-we have added to our bouquet, for it has given more happiness than the richest flower in the Queen's garden."
The child looked up at the angel who was carrying him.