|The Story of the Little Red House|
| There was once upon a time a little boy named John who was tired of all his toys and tired of all his picture books and tired of all his play.
“What shall I do?” he asked his mother. His dear mother, who always knew beautiful things for little boys to do, said, “You shall go on a journey and find a little red house with no doors and with a star inside.”
Then John’s eyes grew big with wonder. “Which way shall I go?” he asked, “to find a little red house with no doors and a star inside?”
“Go down the lane and past the farmer’s house and over the hill”, said his mother. “Come back as soon as you can and tell me all about your journey.”
So John put on his jacket and his hat and started out.
He had not walked very far down the lane when he came to a merry little girl dancing along in the sunshine.
“Do you know where to find a little red house with no doors and a star inside?” John asked her.
The little girl laughed, “Ask my father, the farmer,” she said.
So John went on until he came to the great brown barn where the farmer kept barrels of fat potatoes and baskets of yellow squash and orange pumpkins. The farmer himself stood in the doorway looking out over the green pastures and yellow grain fields.
“Do you know where I shall find a little red house with no doors and a star inside?” John asked the farmer.
The farmer laughed too. “I’ve lived a great many years and I never saw one,” he chuckled, “but ask Granny who lives at the foot of the hill. She knows how to make molasses taffy and popcorn balls and red mittens. Perhaps she can tell you.”
So John went further still until he came to Granny sitting in her pretty garden of herbs and marigolds. She was as wrinkled as a walnut and as smiling as the sunshine.
“Please, dear Granny,” said John. “Where shall I find a red house with no doors and a star inside?”
Granny was knitting a red mitten and when she heard the little boy’s question she laughed so cheerily that the wool ball rolled out of her lap and down to the pebbly path.
“I should like to find that little house myself,” she chuckled. “It would be warm when the frosty nights come and the starlight would be prettier than a candle. But ask the wind who blows about so much and listens at all the chimneys. Perhaps the wind can tell you.”
So John took off his hat politely to Granny and went up the hill rather sadly. He wondered if his mother, who usually knew everything, had perhaps made a mistake.
The wind was coming down the hill as the little boy climbed up. As they met, the wind turned about and went along, singing, beside the little boy. It whistled in his ear and pushed him and dropped a pretty leaf in his hands to show what a good friend it was!
“Oh, wind,” said John after they had gone along together for quite a way. “Can you help me find a little red house with no doors and a star inside?”
The wind went singing ahead of the little boy until it came to an orchard. There it climbed up into an apple tree and shook the branches. At John’s feet fell a rosy apple.
John picked up the apple. It was as much as two hands could hold. It was as red as the sun had been able to paint it and the thick brown stem stood up as straight as a chimney. It was a little red house. It had no doors.
“I wonder,” thought John. He took his pocket knife out and cut through the center. Oh, how wonderful! There inside the apple, lay a star holding brown seeds.
John called to the wind, “Thank you,” and the wind whistled back, “You’re welcome.”
Then John ran home to his mother and gave her the apple and told her about his journey. (The apple must be cut horizontally, halfway between flower and stem ends. A larger apple works better.)