A little girl lived all alone with her grandmother near the borders of a forest. They were so poor and unable to buy food or clothes.
One day the little child went off into the forest to gather sticks.
These she hoped to sell for some money to buy something for them to eat.
It was bitter cold and the child wrapped her little shawl about her.
Just as she reached the edge of the forest.. a little boy was crying
because he was hungry.
So she took the piece of bread from her pocket
and gave it to the little boy.
Farther on, she met another child almost frozen from the cold.
Her clothing hung about her in rags.
So the girl took off her dress and gave it to the little child, and wrapped her the shawl around her.
She hasten on but when she reached the place where the sticks were she saw an old woman, gathering up the fallen wood.
The old woman was so bent and poor and cold.
Here she said to the woman... "take my shawl" and gave it to the old woman.
She stood there in the forest with her arms and shoulders bare, and with nothing on her but her little shift.
The wind blew but she was not cold nor hungry.
She was fed and warmed by her own kindness.
She gathered her sticks...when an old man said to her, " could you please give me your sticks, "for it is cold and I am so poor and too old to gather wood for myself."
"Take them," she said, "in heaven's name."
No sooner had she said this when it was not an old man but a shining angel.
"You have fed the hungry and clothed the naked and you have given help to those who asked it.
You shall not go unrewarded. See!"
At once a light shone around the child and the stars of heaven were falling and these stars were diamonds and rubies.
They lay thick upon the ground.
"Gather them together," said the angel, "for they are yours."
The little girl and her grandmother were not only able to have all they wished for, but to give to many who were poor.
So they were not only rich, but beloved by all who knew them.
Adopted from the Brothers Grimm