The Violet Bouquet


Billy was sad—almost sad enough to cry.

“What’s the matter, Billy?” asked Grandma. “Why are you so sad?”

“Because tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I don’t have a present to give Mommy,” Billy replied.

“Don’t be sad,” said Grandma. “Here’s a lovely card. It says Happy Mother’s Day and it has a picture of a beautiful bouquet of violets. Print your name inside, and that will make Mommy happy.”

Billy printed his name in his very best printing. But he still felt sad. He loved Mommy so much that he wanted to give her a very special present.

Grandma could see Billy was still unhappy. She thought and thought, but she couldn’t think of a single thing that Billy could give his mother.

While Grandma was thinking, Billy had an idea. “I know what I can give her!” he cried.

“What?” asked Grandma.

“A bouquet of violets!” Billy said. “Just like the one that’s on the card!”

“That’s a wonderful idea,” Grandma agreed. “I’ll help you pick some violets.”

“Thank you, Grandma,” said Billy, “but I’d like to pick the violets all by myself.”

“All right, Billy,” said Grandma. “But if you decide you need help, just call me.”

Skippity-skop went Billy’s happy feet out the door, down the steps, and right to the spot in the garden where the violets grew. He stooped down and began to pick.

He picked and picked.
He picked violets from here,
Violets from there—
From here,
From there,
From everywhere!

Billy began to get a little tired. I’ve picked enough, he thought.

But when he looked at his bouquet, he decided, This is only a little bouquet. I want a big bouquet for Mommy!

So Billy began to pick violets again.

He picked and picked.
He picked violets from here,
Violets from there—
From here,
From there,
From everywhere!

Billy’s back began to ache and his knees began to hurt. “I’ve picked enough,” he said to himself.

But then Billy looked at his bouquet of violets. This is only a middle-sized bouquet, he thought. I want a big bouquet of violets for Mommy!

So Billy began to pick again.

He picked and picked.
He picked violets from here,
Violets from there—
From here,
From there,
From everywhere!

Oh, thought Billy, I’m really tired and my back hurts. I think I’ve picked enough!

When Billy looked at his bouquet of violets, he was very happy. “Now I have a big bouquet!” he exclaimed. “A beautiful big bouquet of violets for Mommy!”

Billy forgot he was tired. Skippity-skop went his happy feet up the path, up the steps, and right into the house.

“See my big bouquet,” Billy said to Grandma. “Will you please tie it with a big ribbon, just like the bouquet on the card?”

“Of course!” Grandma answered.

As Grandma tied a pretty ribbon around the violet stems, she said, “This is a beautiful big bouquet, Billy. Mommy will like it very much!”

And Mommy did! When Billy gave his big bouquet of violets to Mommy, she gave him a hug and a squeeze and a kiss. She said it was the most beautiful bouquet of violets she had ever seen!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Sherry Thompson