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The Flax

Why, I'm finer than ever! And people will write on me now. What wonderful stories they'll write! I certainly am lucky!"

And beautiful stories were written on the paper, and people read them and said they were very fine and would make mankind wiser and better. The words written on that paper would bring great blessings to the world.

"This is more than I could ever have dreamed of, when I was a tiny blue flower in the field. How could I have expected to spread wisdom and joy to mankind? I can't yet understand it, but that's what has happened. Our Lord knows that I've really never done anything myself, but just tried to live as well as I could, yet He carries me one honor to another. Every time I think, 'Now surely the ballad is over,' I am moved up to something better. Now I suppose people will send me around the world, so everybody can read me. That's most likely. For every blue flower I used to have, I will now carry a beautiful thought! How could anyone be happier!"

But the paper did not travel around the world-instead it went to the printer, and there everything that was written on it was printed in a book, yes, in hundreds of books. In that way a great many more people could get pleasure and benefit from the writings than if the one paper on which it was written had been sent out into the world and been worn out before it had gone very far.

"Yes, this is the most sensible way," thought the paper. "I didn't think of it. I'll stay at home, and be held in great honor, like an old grandfather. Because the book was written on me first; every word came down from the author's pen right onto me. But it is much better for the printed books to go out into the world and do good; I couldn't have wandered as far as they can go. My, how happy I am, and how lucky!"

Then the paper was bundled up and put away on a shelf. "It's good to rest a little after working," said the paper. "It gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and figure out what's inside of you. Now! I really know all that is written on me, and that means true progress.

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Dolph Heyliger
Category: United States folktales
Read times: 6