The Mushroom Pickers
Dear friends, there is a tale,
One windy morning, two little girls were picking mushrooms. Since they spent all morning filling their baskets, they decided to take a shorter path home by crossing the railroad bridge. But as they climbed over the tracks of the bridge, the whistle of a train suddenly erupted. The elder ran back to safety, but the younger girl went forward. The elder cried out to her sister, “Hurry, keep going!”
But the noise of the oncoming train was so great that the younger sister could not hear, and thought she was being called back. As she ran towards her sister, the child tripped and scattered her mushrooms, which she hurriedly tried to collect.
“Leave them!” shouted the elder sister. But the younger sister heard nothing but the huffing and whistling of the train, and remained crouched hurriedly picking mushrooms from the tracks. As the train approached the mechanic was blowing the whistle constantly and waving his hat out the window. He could not stop the machine in time, and the train passed over the bridge.
The elder sister fell to her knees, crying and screaming, and passengers flooded the windows of the trains to see what became of the little girl.
The train finished passing, and the younger child lay motionless. Finally the roar subsided, and the tracks stopped shaking, so the little girl picked her head up, finished collecting her mushrooms, and ran to her sister.
Sophocles once said: One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.
With a full heart,
~ ~ ~
Mushroom picker: Karl Anderson, 1874-1956
Mushroom watercolor study: Mary Vaux Walcott, 1880