Title : The Flower Girl
Author : Anne Frank
Date : February 20, 1944
English Translation by: Michel Mok
The Flower Girl
Every morning at seven-thirty the door of a little house at the edge
of the village opens, and out steps a rather small girl, carrying a
basket heaped with flowers on each arm. After shutting the door, she
switches her burdens and starts the day’s work. The people of the
village, who answer her smiling nod as she passes, feel sorry for her.
“That road is much too long and the job too hard,” they think, “for a
child of twelve.”
But the little girl, herself, naturally doesn’t know the thoughts of
her fellow villagers. Merrily, and as quickly as her short legs will
take her, she walks on and on and on. The road to the town is really
very long; it takes her at least two and a half hours of steady
walking to reach it and, with two heavy baskets, that’s not easy.
When she finally trudges through the streets of the town she is
exhausted, and it’s only the prospect of soon being able to sit down
and rest that sustains her. But the little one is brave and doesn’t
slow down her gait until she gets to her spot in the market. Then she
sits down and waits and waits . . .
Sometimes she sits and waits all day because there are not enough
people who want to buy something from the poor flower girl. Quite
often Krista has to carry her baskets, still half full, back to the
village in the evening.
But today things are different. It is Wednesday, and the market is
unusually crowded and busy. Beside her, market women cry their wares,
and all about her the little girl hears scolding and angry voices.
Passers-by can scarcely hear Krista, for her high little voice is
almost drowned out in the market hubbub. But all day long, Krista
doesn’t stop calling, “Pretty flowers, a dime a bunch! Buy my pretty
flowers!” Some people who, finished with their errands, take time to
look into the baskets gladly pay a dime for one of the lovely small
At twelve o’clock, Krista walks to the opposite side of the market
square, where the owner of the coffee stand is in the habit of giving
her, free of charge, a cupful withplenty of sugar. For this kind man
Krista keeps her prettiest flowers.
Then she takes her seat again and once more starts crying her wares.
At last, about three-thirty, she picks up her baskets and returns to
the village. Now she walks much more slowly than she did in the
morning. Krista is tired, terribly tired.
The trip back takes her a full three hours, and it is six- thirty when
she reaches the door of the little old house. Inside everything is
still the way she left it — cold, lonesome, and untidy. Her sister,
with whom she shares the place, works in the village from early
morning to late at night. Krista can’t afford to rest; she is no
sooner home than she begins to peel potatoes and clean vegetables. Her
sister gets back from work at seven-thirty, and they finally sit down
and have something to eat.
At eight in the evening the door of the cottage opens again, and once
more the little girl comes out with the two big baskets on her arms.
Now she walks into the fields that surround the little house. She
doesn’t have to go far; soon she bends down in the grass and picks
flowers, all kinds of them, big ones and little ones, and all of them
go into the baskets. The sun has almost set, and the child still sits
in the grass, collecting her next day’s supply.
The task is finished at last; the baskets are full. The sun has set,
and Krista lies down in the grass, her hands folded under her head,
and looks up into the sky.
This is her favorite quarter hour, and nobody need think that the
hardworking little flower girl is dissatisfied. She never is and never
will be so long as, every day, she may have this wonderful short rest.
In the field, amid the flowers, beneath the darkening sky, Krista is
content. Gone is fatigue, gone is the market, gone are the people. The
little girl dreams and thinks only of the bliss of having, each day,
this short while alone with God and nature.