Mrs. Grumbly's magic glasses.
"Pollen," she grumbled. She walked down her front walk, seeing only the weeds coming up between the tulips. "Weeds, weeds," she complained as she pulled them from the ground.
A boy and a girl came skipping by. "Good morning, Mrs. Grumbly," they called as they passed Mrs. Grumbly's white picket fence.
"Good morning, indeed," muttered Mrs. Grumbly. "Don't you pick my flowers now."
"Oh, no--we won't!" the boy said.
"They're pretty flowers," said the girl. She sniffed the lilacs as she passed. Then the children skipped off on their way to school.
"Humph!" Mrs. Grumbly bent to pull another weed.
Just then a cheerful voice said, "Good morning, Mrs. Grumbly."
Mrs. Grumbly looked up. At her front gate stood the oddest little man, scarcely taller than the children who had skipped by. He wore a green and yellow jacket and a pointed green hat.
"What do you want?" Mrs. Grumbly demanded. She was sure she had never seen this strange person before. "How do you know my name?"
"I know everyone's name," the little man said, opening the gate. He came up the walk and set down a large green bag. "I want to give you something."
Mrs. Grumbly looked at the bag. "Are you a peddler? I don't want anything." The little man opened his bag and took out a small box. "In this box, I have something you need."
"Humph!" But what could he have in that little box? Mrs. Grumbly wondered. She came a step closer and leaned forward for a better look.
Slowly, the little man opened the box. Inside, lay a small pair of spectacles with gold frames and rose-colored lenses.
"Just a pair of eyeglasses!" Mrs. Grumbly said. "Is that all?"
"Magic glasses, they are, Mrs. Grumbly," said the man in the green hat. "Very special, indeed. The whole world looks different when you wear them."
Mrs. Grumbly hesitated. "Well, I might just try them on, I suppose."
"Here, let me help you." He slid the glasses on her nose.
As Mrs. Grumbly looked through the glasses, a strange thing happened. The sun shone more brightly. The red tulips looked redder, and the lilacs gave off a sweeter fragrance.
"Why, they do make things look different!" exclaimed Mrs. Grumbly.
The little man smiled.
"How much do you want for them?" she asked.
"Oh, they're not for sale," the little man said. "But you may wear them for a week."
"Only a week?" asked Mrs. Grumbly.
"Only a week," the little man nodded. "One week from today, I will come back for them."
"A week's not very long," grumbled Mrs. Grumbly.
Before she could say another word, the little man skipped down the walk and through the front gate.
"Goodness, what a peculiar little man," Mrs. Grumbly said to herself "But generous."
She peered through the magic glasses as she walked through her garden. "My, how lovely the tulips look today!" She sniffed the lilacs. "How sweet the lilacs smell!" She sighed. "What a beautiful, beautiful day it is."
Every day Mrs. Grumbly wore the magic glasses. And each day seemed more beautiful than the one before.
Mrs. Grumbly even sang as she worked in her garden. She smiled at the people who passed by. She was especially cheerful when the schoolchildren came to her gate.
"Good morning, children!" she called cheerily. "Wouldn't you like to pick some flowers to take to your teacher?"
"We sure would," said the girl. She stopped and picked two yellow tulips and a red one. "Thank you, Mrs. Grumbly. Thank you for the pretty flowers."
Mrs. Grumbly noticed that people who used to pass by without speaking began to stop to talk to her over her garden fence. What a pleasure it is to chat with friendly folks, thought Mrs. Grumbly. I'd rather forgotten, it has been so long.
Mrs. Grumbly was working in her garden when the little man in the green hat suddenly appeared at her gate.
"Good morning, Mrs. Grumbly!" He opened the gate and skipped up the walk. "I've come for the magic glasses."
"Oh, no!" protested Mrs. Grumbly. "Please don't take them!" She put her hands up to hold onto the glasses.
"I must take them," said the little man. "There are other people who need them as much as you did."
"But they are such wonderful glasses," said Mrs. Grumbly. She snatched the spectacles and held them behind her back. "They make the whole world look different."
He held out his hand.
"But I don't want everything to look like it did before!" Mrs. Grumbly said. "I don't want to feel cross and grumpy and lonely again."
"You don't have to," said the man. "The magic glasses have opened- your eyes and your heart to the beauty everywhere around you."
"But how can I see it without the glasses?" asked Mrs. Grumbly.
"If you want to see it, you can. Just look, Mrs. Grumbly. You're not wearing the glasses now."
Mrs. Grumbly looked around. Sunlight still lit up the red and yellow tulips. She sniffed. The gentle breeze still carried the sweet fragrance of lilacs.
"Why, I do still see it! Everything is just as it was when I was wearing the magic glasses," she said. She took them off and held out her hand.
The little man carefully settled the glasses into their box. "You can always see beauty in the world--if you try."
Mrs. Grumbly felt a warmness inside her heart. "Thank you, kind sir, for letting me wear the wonderful rose-colored glasses."
The little man put the box into his big green bag. "I'm glad you enjoyed them," he said as he turned to leave. "Never forget to look for the beauty in life."
"I won't," Mrs. Grumbly promised. She picked a tulip and sniffed it. "What a wonderful man."
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|Title Annotation:||short story|
|Author:||Hicks, Marjorie E.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1996|
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