My Wonderland ~ Happy Home ~ By Norma Stevens

Refusing to grab for all
you can is a virtue.
Sometimes it's a virtue
that even brings a reward.
This story comes from a Civil
War-era school reader.

Many years ago, there was a great
famine in Germany,
and the poor people
suffered from hunger.
A rich man who loved children
sent for twenty of
them and said:
"In this basket there is a loaf of
bread for each of you.
Take it and come
back again every day till
the famine is over.
I will give you a loaf each day."

The children were hungry.
They seized the basket and
struggled to get at
the largest loaf.
They even forgot to thank
the man who had been
kind to them. After a few minutes
of quarreling
one little girl named
Gretchen stood alone at a
little distance
from the gentleman.
Then, smiling, she took
up the last loaf,
the smallest of all
and thanked him with all her heart.

Next day the children came again,
and behaved as badly as ever.
Gretchen who would not push with
the rest, received only
a tiny loaf again.
But when she came home
her mother began to cut
the loaf, and out dropped
six shining coins of silver.

"Oh, Gretchen!"
exclaimed her mother,
"this must be a mistake.
The money does not belong to us.
Run as quickly as you can
and take it back to the gentlemen."

So Gretchen carried the money back, but
when she gave the gentleman her mother's
message, he said:
"No, no, it was not a
mistake, I had the silver
baked into the smallest loaf
in order to reward you.
Remember that the person
who is contented to have a small loaf
rather than quarrel for a
larger one will find blessings that are
better than money
baked in bread."

by William J.Bennett