1．George's mother was very poor. Instead of having bright, blazing fires in winter, she had nothing to burn but dry sticks, which George picked up from under the trees and hedges.
2．One fine day in July, she sent George to the woods, which were about two miles from the village in which she lived. He was to stay there all day, to get as much wood as he could collect.
3．It was a bright, sunny day, and George worked very hard; so that by the time the sun was high, he was hot, and wished for a cool place where he might rest and eat his dinner.
4．While he hunted about the bank, he saw among the moss some fine, wild strawberries, which were a bright scarlet with ripeness.
5．"How good these will be with my bread and butter!" thought George; and lining his little cap with leaves, he set to work eagerly to gather all he could find, and then seated himself by the brook.
6．It was a pleasant place, and George felt happy and contented. He thought how much his mother would like to see him there, and to be there herself, instead of in her dark, close room in the village.
7．George thought of all this, and just as he was lifting the first strawberry to his mouth, he said to himself, "How much mother would like these;" and he stopped, and put the strawberry back again.
8．"Shall I save them for her?" said he, thinking how much they would refresh her, yet still looking at them with a longing eye.
9．"I will eat half, and take the other half to her," said he at last; and he divided them into two heaps. But each heap looked so small, that he put them together again.
10．"I will only taste one," thought he; but, as he again lifted it to his mouth, he saw that he had taken the finest, and he put it back. "I will keep them all for her," said he, and he covered them up nicely, till he should go home.
11．When the sun was beginning to sink, George set out for home. How happy he felt, then, that he had all his strawberries for his sick mother. The nearer he came to his home, the less he wished to taste them.
12．Just as he had thrown down his wood, he heard his mother's faint voice calling him from the next room. "Is that you, George? I am glad you have come, for I am thirsty, and am longing for some tea."
13．George ran in to her, and joyfully offered his wild strawberries. "And you saved them for your sick mother, did you?" said she, laying her hand fondly on his head, while the tears stood in her eyes. "God will bless you for all this, my child."
14．Could the eating of the strawberries have given George half the happiness he felt at this moment?