“Were they not high-born?”
“High-born!” said the darning-needle, “no indeed, but so haughty. They were five brothers, all born fingers; they kept very proudly together, though they were of different lengths. The one who stood first in the rank was named the thumb, he was short and thick, and had only one joint in his back, and could therefore make but one bow; but he said that if he were cut off from a man’s hand, that man would be unfit for a soldier. Sweet-tooth, his neighbor, dipped himself into sweet or sour, pointed to the sun and moon, and formed the letters when the fingers wrote. Longman, the middle finger, looked over the heads of all the others. Gold-band, the next finger, wore a golden circle round his waist. And little Playman did nothing at all, and seemed proud of it. They were boasters, and boasters they will remain; and therefore I left them.”
“And now we sit here and glitter,” said the piece of broken bottle.
At the same moment more water streamed into the gutter, so that it overflowed, and the piece of bottle was carried away.
“So he is promoted,” said the darning-needle, “while I remain here; I am too fine, but that is my pride, and what do I care?” And so she sat there in her pride, and had many such thoughts as these,—“I could almost fancy that I came from a sunbeam, I am so fine. It seems as if the sunbeams were always looking for me under the water. Ah! I am so fine that even my mother cannot find me. Had I still my old eye, which was broken off, I believe I should weep; but no, I would not do that, it is not genteel to cry.”