A STORY ABOUT A DARNING-NEEDLE 321
'And now we are sitting and shining here!1 said the bit of bottle-glass.
At that moment more water came into the gutter; it streamed over the edges and washed the bit of bottle-glass away.
' Ah ! now he has been promoted!' said the Darning-needle. ' I remain here ; I am too fine. But that is my pride, which is a sign of respectability !' And she sat there very proudly, thinking lofty thoughts.
11 really believe I must have been born a sunbeam, I am so fine! It seems to me as if the sunbeams were always looking under the water for me. Ah, I am so fine that my own mother cannot find me ! If I had my old eye which broke off, I believe I could weep ; but I can't—it is not fine to weep !'
One day two street-urchins were playing and wading in the gutter, picking up old nails, pennies, and such things. It was rather dirty work, but it was a great delight to them.
' Oh, oh! * cried out one, as he pricked himself with the Darning-needle ; ' he is a fine fellow though ! '
' I am not a fellow; I am a young lady !' said the Darning-needle ; but no one heard. The sealing-wax had gone, and she had become quite black; but black makes one look very slim, and so she thought she was even finer than before.
' Here comes an egg-shell sailing along!' said the boys, and they stuck the Darning-needle into the egg-shell.
' The walls white and I black—what a pretty contrast it makes !' said the Darning-needle. ' Now I can be seen to advantage ! If only I am not sea-sick ! I should give myself up for lost!' But she was not sea-sick, and did not give herself up. ' It is a good thing to be steeled against sea-sickness ; here one has indeed an advantage over man ! Now my qualms are over. The finer one is the more one can bear.'
'Crack!' said the egg-shell as a wagon-wheel went over it. 'Oh ! how it presses ! ' said the Darning-needle. ' I shall indeed be sea-sick now. I am breaking! ' But she did not break, although the wagon-wheel went over her; she lay there at full length, and there she may lie*
Spottiswoode & Co. Ltd., Printers, New-street Square, London.