The Stranger Child: A Legend

By Count Franz Pocci (Translated)

There once lived a laborer who earned his daily bread by cutting wood. His wife and two children, a boy and girl, helped him with his work. The boy’s name was Valentine, and the girl’s, Marie. They were obedient and pious and the joy and comfort of their poor parents.

One winter evening, this good family gathered about the table to eat their small loaf of bread, while the father read aloud from the Bible. Just as they sat down there came a knock on the window, and a sweet voice called: —

“O let me in! I am a little child, and I have nothing to eat, and no place to sleep in. I am so cold and hungry! Please, good people, let me in!”

Valentine and Marie sprang from the table and ran to open the door, saying: —

“Come in, poor child, we have but very little ourselves, not much more than thou hast, but what we have we will share with thee.”

The stranger Child entered, and going to the fire began to warm his cold hands.

The children gave him a portion of their bread, and said: —

“Thou must be very tired; come, lie down in our bed, and we will sleep on the bench here before the fire.”

Then answered the stranger Child: “May God in Heaven reward you for your kindness.”

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