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“You may think that Mother Nature, like the famous “old woman who lived in the shoe,” has so many children that she doesn’t know what to do. But you will know better when you become acquainted with her, and learn how strong she is, and how active; how she can really be in fifty places at once, taking care of a sick tree, or a baby flower just born; and, at the same time, building underground palaces, guiding the steps of little travellers setting out on long journeys, and sweeping, dusting, and arranging her great house,–the earth. And all the while, in the midst of her patient and never-ending work, she will tell us the most charming and marvellous stories of ages ago when she was young, or of the treasures that lie hidden in the most distant and secret closets of her palace; just such stories as you all like so well to hear your mother tell when you gather round her in the twilight.”
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