'The Little House'

Story Time

Editor's note: The noise and congestion of the city overtake the little house, which yearns for its quiet spot in the country and a family to take care of it.

January 31, 1999|By Virginia Lee Burton

Once upon a time there was a Little House way out in the country. She was a pretty Little House and she was strong and well built. The man who built her so well said, "This Little House shall never be sold for gold or silver and she will live to see our great-great-grandchildren's great-great-grandchildren living in her."

The Little House was very happy and she sat on the hill and watched the countryside around her. She watched the sun rise in the morning and she watched the sun set in the evening. Day followed day, each one a little different from the one before.

More roads were made, and the countryside was divided into lots. More houses and bigger houses ... apartment houses and tenement houses ... schools ... stores ... and garages spread over the land and crowded around the Little House. No one wanted to live in her and take care of her any more. She couldn't be sold for gold or silver, so she just stayed there and watched.

The Little House was very sad and lonely. Her paint was cracked and dirty ... Her windows were broken and her shutters hung crookedly. She looked shabby ... though she was just as good a house as ever underneath.

Then one fine morning in Spring along came the great-great-granddaughter of the man who built the Little House so well. She saw the shabby Little House, but she didn't hurry by. There was something about the Little House that made her stop and look again. She said to her husband, "That Little House looks just like the Little House my grandmother lived in when she was a little girl, only that Little House was way out in the country on a hill covered with daisies and apple trees growing around."

They found out it was the very same house, so they went to the Movers to see if the Little House could be moved. The Movers looked the Little House all over and said, "Sure, this house is as good as ever. She's built so well we could move her anywhere." So they jacked up the Little House and put her on wheels. Traffic was held up for hours as they slowly moved her out of the city.

When the Little House saw the green grass and heard the birds singing, she didn't feel sad any more. They went along and along, but they couldn't seem to find just the right place. They tried the Little House here, and they tried her there. Finally they saw a little hill in the middle of a field ... and apple trees growing around. "There," said the great-great-granddaughter, "that's just the place." "Yes, it is," said the Little House to herself. A cellar was dug on top of the hill and slowly they moved the house from the road to the hill.

The windows and shutters were fixed and once again they painted her a lovely shade of pink. As the Little House settled down on her new foundation, she smiled happily. Once again she could watch the sun and moon and stars. Once again she could watch Spring and Summer and Fall and Winter come and go.

Once again she was lived in and taken care of.

Never again would she be curious about the city ... Never again would she want to live there ... The stars twinkled above her ... A new moon was coming up ... It was Spring ... and all was quiet and peaceful in the country.

From THE LITTLE HOUSE by Virginia Lee Burton. Copyright 1942 by Virginia Lee Burton. Copyright renewed 1969 by George Demetrios. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Pub Date: 01/31/99

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