Gateway to the Classics: The Golden Ladder Book by E. Hershey Sneath
 
The Golden Ladder Book by  E. Hershey Sneath

The Shower of Gold

There once lived a poor little maiden whose father and mother were both dead, and the child was so very poor that she had no little room to live in, nor even a bed to lie on. At last all her clothes were gone excepting those she wore, and she had nothing to eat but a loaf of bread given to her by some one who had a kind, pitying heart. On the day when the kind-hearted person had given her the loaf of bread, she was walking along the road when she met a poor man who said to her, "Please give me something to eat, for I am so hungry."

At once she offered him her bread and went away after he had taken it, saying: "Heaven has sent it to you."


[Illustration]

Presently she saw a little child sitting by the roadside, crying, and as she passed, the child exclaimed, "Oh, my head is so cold, do give me something to cover it."

Instantly the poor maiden took off her own hat, and gave it to the child. A little farther on, she met another child, who said that she was freezing for want of a jacket, so she gave up her own. Another begged for her petticoat, and that she gave also.

At last she entered a wood, where it was quite dark, and here she intended to sleep. But she had not gone far, before she found another little child with scarcely any clothes at all. She appeared to be almost dying with cold. The good child thought to herself, "It is quite dark now; no one will see me."

So she took off all her clothes, covered the poor little shivering child with them, and went away. This good child had now nothing left in the world. She was turning to go into the wood, and cover herself with the fallen leaves, when all at once a golden shower fell around her.

At first she thought that the stars, which looked like golden money in the heavens, were falling; but when the drops reached the ground, they were golden dollars, and as she stood still under the shower, she found herself covered from head to foot with warm and beautiful clothes. She gathered up the golden dollars, carried them away, and was rich instead of poor all the rest of her life.


Grimm

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