Gateway to the Classics: The Golden Windows by Laura E. Richards
The Golden Windows by  Laura E. Richards

The Staff

dropcap image NCE there was a woman who had a sword in her heart; but because she was a decent body, she covered it with her shawl, and went about her business, and no one knew of it.

Once as she went along the way, she saw another woman, tottering slowly along, groping with her hands, and moaning as she went.

"Why do you grope thus?" asked the first woman, "and why do you moan as you go?"

"I am sick and wounded," said the second woman; "moreover, I am blind, and I am groping for something that may serve as a staff; to stay my steps as far as the end of the way."

The first woman looked about for a tree, but there was none, nor any bush from which she could cut a staff.

Then she drew the sword out from under her shawl, and put it in the blind woman's hand, and said, "Take this, since it is all I have to give."

The blind woman took it, and felt it all over, and leaned on it.

"Oh," she cried joyfully, "here is a good staff; with this I shall do well." And she thanked the other, and blessed her.

And when the first woman looked at that which had been her sword, it was a staff indeed.

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