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A Story for Valentine's Day

A Million Valentines

It was Valentine’s Day in the little village. Papa Giorgio woke up early as usual. The sun had not risen yet, and he made a cup of tea and sat in his favorite chair by the big window. He could see near and far, and here he watched the winter sun rise. The morning pink first lit up the snow on the mountain, and slowly spread it’s warmth over the open valley to his own yard! It was so quiet and still. Nothing moved outside, except the occasional hungry bird looking for something to eat. Then the sun’s gold peeked over the mountain. Valentine’s Day had arrived!

Papa Giorgio suddenly sat up and thought, ‘winter is so long and cold, white and grey, what we need this late in winter is more golden like the sun. I know just what to do!’

He went to his cupboard and moved boxes and bins, looking for something. He thought he remembered having net bags that he used to fill with thistle seed to hang outside this time of year. The birds loved to eat thistle seed! ‘Oh yes’, laughed Papa Giorgio, ‘these seeds bring magic. They bring gold wherever they are!’ Papa Giorgio looked further in his closet and sure enough he found the net bags and the thistle seeds he had almost forgotten about.

He smiled, and wondered why he had not been feeding the birds for such a long time. ‘I must be getting old and tired, but today I will feed the birds, each seed will be a Valentine gift from me to them! I will fill these little net bags with seeds, millions of tiny thistle seeds, and hang them outside my window. Then I will sit and watch Gold come to visit!’

He filled each bag with tender, loving care. The tiny black seeds glistened in the sunlight. He hung 10 bags full of seeds in the trees outside his window. Even before he got back to his chair, the birds were flying in. They tucked their small bird feet into the netting and peck, peck, pecked at the thistle seed. How hungry they were this late winter! Here and there on all the net bags he saw flashes of gold. There was gold here, gold there, flying, pecking gold. The gold finches had found the thistle seed Valentines! As he watched, hundreds of golden birds flew in to eat the thistle seeds, they sang and flapped their wings to Papa Giorgio in thankfulness.

Papa Giorgio watched the birds for a long time, the gold of their feathers made him think of the coming daffodils and the yellow crocuses of spring. Winter would soon fade away as Lady Spring found her way to the village. How wonderful to see all the golden birds, like little sun children. As Papa Giorgio watched, he started to get sleepy, and his eyes gently closed…..

When he woke up, the sun was setting! All the net bags were empty! ‘Oh my, those hundreds of hungry birds certainly enjoyed their Valentine’s day meal!’

Papa Giorgio went outside to take the empty bags down….and much to his surprise he saw, on the ground, golden feathers in the shape of a heart! The golden finches had left him a Valentine too!



You may also enjoy our Valentine Tales for Young Children - a collection of original stories and adapted legends for young listeners.  Purchase it here for prompt and secure payment and shipping.