Lacknose

There was once a Gardener who had no nose, and he had a very nice garden full of beautiful flowers: roses, and pinks, and lilies, and violets, and all the prettiest flowers you can imagine.

Three little boys thought they would like a bunch of flowers, but they did not know how to get it. So one of them went into the garden and said:

“Good morning, Mr. Lacknose!”

“Good morning, boy,” said the Gardener.

The boy thought the best thing he could do was to flatter the old fellow, so he had made up a verse of poetry that he thought very pretty, and so he said to the Gardener:

“Cut, and cut, and cut again,
Hair and whiskers grow amain:
And your nose will grow like these:
Give me a little posy, please!”

The Gardener knew very well that his nose would not grow again like his whiskers, and he thought the little boy rather rude to mention it; so he became angry.

“Go away!” said he, “and get your posy somewhere else!”

The boy went away disappointed; but the second boy thought he would try his luck too. Perhaps the first boy had not spoken nicely; and he had made a verse of poetry too, which he thought would just suit the old Gardener. So in he came with “Good morning, Mr. Lacknose!”

“Good morning, boy,” said the old man. “And what do you want?”

Then the boy put on a coaxing smile, and said:

“In the autumn seeds are sown,
And ere long they’re fully grown;
May your nose sprout up like these!
Give me a little posy, please!”

“There!” he thought, “the old fellow will like that, because he is a Gardener.” But not a bit of it! The Gardener saw through his trick, and was angrier than ever.

“Be off!” said he, “or I’ll be after you with a stick! Plant a nose, indeed! You had better go somewhere and learn manners before you ask for my flowers!”

So the second boy went away faster than the first.

But the third boy was an honest little boy, and knew that there is nothing like the truth; so he determined to try what truth could do. He walked modestly into the garden and said:

“Good morning, sir!”

“What, another of ’em!” growled the Gardener to himself. “Another pack of lies, I suppose!” He would hardly look at the boy. But the boy, nothing daunted, repeated his verse:

“Babbling fools! to think that they
Can get a posy in this way!
Say they yes, or say they no,
Noses cut no more will grow.
See, I ask you honestly:
Give a posy, sir, to me!”

The Gardener was so pleased to find a straightforward and honest little boy, that he took his scissors and cut a most beautiful bunch of flowers, which he gave the boy with a smile. The boy said, “Thank you, sir, very much!” and went away delighted.

Lacknose

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