Buttercup Gold and Other Stories

by Ellen Robena Field

“Five Little Indian Brothers”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1894
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Field, E.R. (1894) Buttercup Gold and Other Stories Bangor: C. H. Glass
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.0
  • Word Count: 525
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, british literature, children's literature, short stories
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Once there were five little brothers living in Farmer Lane’s barn. There were a great many other children there, too, but these little brothers played by themselves, and chased each other across the wide floor of the barn until they reached a corner where there was a large crack, and then they could look out into the world. The first thing they saw was Farmer Lane breaking up the rich brown earth with his plough, for Spring had come, and told him it was time to do his planting, while the little brothers were watching him, and wishing they could find a way to roll out into the bright sunshine and help him, something happened. What do you suppose it was?

A great brown hand came up behind them and in a moment they found themselves in a wooden measure with many more of their friends. “What is the matter?” said one little brother. “I don’t know,” said another. “Maybe we are going to travel,” said a third; while the two smallest cuddled very closely together, and whispered, “We won’t be afraid; God will take care of us.”

The measure was taken, out into the field, where Farmer Lane was still at work, and soon, into the furrows made by the plow, the little brothers were dropped one by one. They lay very still at first. It was so strange and dark in their new home. By and by they found a friend, an earthworm, who told them wonderful stories, how God would take care of them, and some day would give them a new life. Then the little brothers were glad and hoped it would be soon. Thus the days went by. The warm spring showers moistened the earth, and the sun shone so brightly that the brothers danced for joy way down in their dark home. What do you suppose happened when they danced? Why, their old coats split open, and some little hands came out. They were helpful hands, too, and went to work at once. Some of them went down into the earth to find food and water for the whole plants, and the others reached upward to the air and sunshine, and spread out beautiful, long green leaves.

Each day the plants grew taller and taller, and new buds came that blossomed into flowery tassels that waved over the tops of the plants. These tassels were fall of a golden dust called pollen, and as the wind blew it to and fro, some of the tiny grains found little green cradles along the sides of the plants, and crept into them. There they stayed, growing strong and round, until one midsummer day the plants were full of ripe, sweet ears of corn.

When were the five little brothers, do you ask? Why, they were five little kernels of Indian corn that Farmer Lane planted one spring morning, and each beautiful stalk of corn was the new life the earthworm told them about. God had taken care of them, and takes care of His little children, too.