Gateway to the Classics: A Child's Book of Stories by Penrhyn W. Coussens
A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens

Tired of Being a Little Girl

"O H, dear me," sighed little Eva one fine morning, "I am tired of being a little girl. I wish I could be something else."

"Well," said a voice near her, "what would you like to be?"

Eva looked about in surprise. She saw no one, but the voice repeated the words, "What would you like to be?"

Just to see what would happen, Eva spoke up quite loud and said, "I should like to be a rosebud."

The words were hardly out of her mouth before she felt her skirts twisting close around her body in a very queer way. She had on a little pink cambric frock, but when she touched it she found it was not cambric any longer, it was made of rose-leaves. She looked down at her feet. They felt very queer; they seemed to be turning green, and up and down her legs were funny little sharp things.

The next moment Eva knew she was a rosebud. She was growing on a bush in the garden. The wind swayed her gently back and forth. It was charming. Although she was a rosebud she knew everything that went on around her. Suddenly she saw a lovely fairy bending over her.

"Ah," said the fairy, "this rose-petal is filled with dew. First I will drink the dew, then I will eat the tender end of the bud for breakfast."

"Don't, don't," cried Eva, "if you do you will eat my head." The fairy began to laugh.

"Please make me something else, quick," cried Eva, "make me into a bird."

Before Eva knew how it happened she was hopping round among the daisies, a real live bird.

"This is great fun," she cried, "but I begin to feel hungry."

"Do you?" cried a voice beside her, "then I'll feed you."

To her horror in front of her stood a frightful little elf, holding in his hand an ugly worm, which he wanted to force into her mouth. Eva tried to scream; she looked round, hoping to see a friendly face, but the only faces she saw were those of some dreadful green apples, which seemed to be jeering at her from a tree.

"I won't eat that worm," she screamed; "I'm not a real bird! I'm a —I'm a —" Just then the sky grew dark, the wind blew fiercely; Eva put her hands to her head, frightened, yet glad, glad to find that she had hands and head, that she was not a bird.

"Why, it's raining hard," she said; "where have I been? I must have fallen asleep under the apple tree." And then Eva ran into the house as fast as she could go, to tell her strange dream to her mother.

"And, oh, mamma," she cried, "I've decided that I would rather be a little girl than anything."

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