"Discontented Dewdrop" from Sandman’s Goodnight Stories by Abbie Phillips Walker
1 One morning a little Dewdrop was resting on the petal of a wild rose that grew beside a river.
2 The sun shining on it made it glisten like a diamond and a lady who was passing stopped to admire its beauty.
3 "It is the most beautiful thing in the world," she remarked. "See the colors in that tiny little drop. Isn’t it wonderful?"
4 "Wonderful," repeated the Dewdrop when the lady had walked away. "If I were like the river I might be wonderful; it is too bad; here I am sitting here while the river can run on and on and see all the sights. It bubbles and babbles as it goes, and that is worthwhile. I have never a chance to be wonderful. Oh, if I were only in the river water I might be something."
5 Just then a breeze passing heard the little Dewdrop’s wish.
6 "You shall have your wish, foolish Dewdrop," she said, blowing gently on the rose, which swayed, and off went the little Dewdrop into the rushing river.
7 "This is like something, being a part of this river," said the Dewdrop as it mingled its tiny drop with the running river. "Now I am worth admiring and can see something of the world."
8 On and on it ran with the water of the river, but it was no longer a Dewdrop; it was a part of the river.
9 "I wish I could stop for a minute so someone might admire me," said the silly little drop, for it thought it could still be seen and was making all the babbling it heard as the river ran along.
10 But no one admired it, nor did it stop. On went the river to a larger river, and by and by it came to the bay and the Dewdrop went rolling into it with the other water.
11 "Surely I am greater now than ever and worth admiring," thought the drop, but it heard no sweet words such as the lady spoke of the little Dewdrop on the rose by the river.
12 The bay mingled at last with the ocean and little Dewdrop knew at last that it was no longer a thing to be admired for itself alone, but a part of the great ocean. It was completely lost in the vastness of the mighty waters of which it was only a drop.
13 The breeze went whispering over it, calling, "Little Dewdrop, little Dewdrop, where are you?"
14 But the drop answered never a word. It did not even hear the gentle voice of the breeze, so loud was the roar of the ocean.
15 "Come away," called a loud wind to the gentle breeze; "that is no place for you. I must blow here and make the waves high, and you will never find your little Dewdrop. It has been swallowed long ago by the ocean. Go back to your river and tell the other Dewdrops the fate of their companion."
16 The gentle breeze went back to the river, and as she sighed around the rose where the discontented Dewdrop had rested she heard another drop say:
17 "Look at the river. Isn’t it big? Here am I only a Dewdrop, so small no one can see me."
18 "Ah, that is where you are mistaken, my dainty Dewdrop," said the gentle breeze. "You can be seen now, but if you were to become a part of the river you would never be seen. You would lose your identity as soon as you mingled with the waters of the river. Be your own sweet self and be content with the part you play in this world. You are helping to make it more beautiful by your own dainty beauty. Do not wish to do what only seems a greater thing."
19 And then she told the fate of the discontented Dewdrop that had wished to become great and how at last it was swallowed by its own greatness, and its dainty beauty which had been so admired no longer remained.
20 "Be content with the small but beautiful part you play in this world," she told the drop, "and do not long for a greatness which may result in your unhappiness."