T HERE was once a king of Prussia whose name was Frederick William.
On a fine morning in June he went out alone to walk in the green woods. He was tired of the noise of the city, and he was glad to get away from it.
So, as he walked among the trees, he often stopped to listen
to the singing birds, or to look at the wild flowers that
grew on every side. Now and then he stooped to pluck a
violet, or a primrose, or a yellow
After a while he came to a little meadow in the midst of
the wood. Some children were playing there. They were
running here and there, and gathering the
It made the king glad to see the happy children, and hear their merry voices. He stood still for some time, and watched them as they played.
Then he called them around him, and all sat down
"Now, my little folks," said the king, "I want to ask you
Then he held up an orange so that all the children could see.
"You know that we all live in the
The children were
"It belongs to the
"Why so, my lad?" asked the king.
"It is the fruit of a plant, and all plants belong to that kingdom," said the boy.
The king was pleased. "You are quite right," he said; "and you shall have the orange for your prize."
He tossed it gayly to the boy. "Catch it if you can!" he said.
Then he took a yellow gold piece from his pocket, and held
it up so that it
"Now to what kingdom does this belong?" he asked.
Another bright boy answered
"That is a good answer," said the king. "The gold piece is your prize."
The children were
"I will ask you only one more question," said the king, "and it is an easy one." Then he stood up, and said, "Tell me, my little folks, to what kingdom do I belong?"
The bright boys were
At last a tiny blue-eyed child looked up into the king's
smiling face, and said in her simple
"I think to the kingdom of heaven."
King Frederick William stooped down and lifted the little maiden in his arms. Tears were in his eyes as he kissed her, and said, "So be it, my child! So be it."