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The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

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"Nothing exciting has happened for ever so long," said the Story Girl discontentedly, one late May evening, as we lingered under the wonderful white bloom of the cherry trees. There was a long row of them in the orchard, with a Lombardy poplar at either end, and a hedge of lilacs behind. When the wind blew over them all the spicy breezes of Ceylon's isle were never sweeter.

It was a time of wonder and marvel, of the soft touch of silver rain on greening fields, of the incredible delicacy of young leaves, of blossom in field and garden and wood. The whole world bloomed in a flush and tremor of maiden loveliness, instinct with all the evasive, fleeting charm of spring and girlhood and young morning. We felt and enjoyed it all without understanding or analyzing it. It was enough to be glad and young with spring on the golden road.

"I don't like excitement very much," said Cecily. "It makes one so tired. I'm sure it was exciting enough when Paddy was missing, but we didn't find that very pleasant."

"No, but it was interesting," returned the Story Girl thoughtfully. "After all, I believe I'd rather be miserable than dull."

"I wouldn't then," said Felicity decidedly. "And you need never be dull when you have work to do. 'Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do!'"

"Well, mischief is interesting," laughed the Story Girl. "And I thought you didn't think it lady-like to speak of that person, Felicity?"

"It's all right if you call him by his polite name," said Felicity stiffly.

"Why does the Lombardy poplar hold its branches straight up in the air like that, when all the other poplars hold theirs out or hang them down?" interjected Peter, who had been gazing intently at the slender spire showing darkly against the fine blue eastern sky.

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"Because it grows that way," said Felicity.

"Oh I know a story about that," cried the Story Girl. "Once upon a time an old man found the pot of gold at the rainbow's end. There IS a pot there, it is said, but it is very hard to find because you can never get to the rainbow's end before it vanishes from your sight. But this old man found it, just at sunset, when Iris, the guardian of the rainbow gold, happened to be absent. As he was a long way from home, and the pot was very big and heavy, he decided to hide it until morning and then get one of his sons to go with him and help him carry it. So he hid it under the boughs of the sleeping poplar tree.

"When Iris came back she missed the pot of gold and of course she was in a sad way about it. She sent Mercury, the messenger of the gods, to look for it, for she didn't dare leave the rainbow again, lest somebody should run off with that too. Mercury asked all the trees if they had seen the pot of gold, and the elm, oak and pine pointed to the poplar and said,

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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