Happy Little George

Lydia Maria Child’s story “Happy Little George” is a short story about a young boy, George, and the lessons he learned in creating a bountiful garden. When George first receives a plot of land, he plants all of the flowers he owns at once, but they wither in the sun. Then, his mother shows him how to properly plant flowers. She tells him to be patient and wait for the flowers to grow, adding that it is foolish for boys to fret when things don’t grow as fast as they want. After returning from a trip to Boston with his father, George only asks his mother once when she thought the flowers would begin to show through the ground. After four days they became visible.

The next day, George finds a flower pot in his garden with three roses and three rose buds. It was a gift from his father for being so patient about his garden. From then on, George brought roses to school for Little Mary. He also gave a rose to any “ragged child” without a rose garden.

Child, Lydia Maria. “Happy Little George.” Flowers for Children. Boston: C.S. Francis &, 1854. Print.


Happy Little George focuses heavily on patience, like “Llama llama red pajama” by Anna Dewdney. Although the contemporary example is filled with large, colorful pictures, the theme that decision making and patience is what will ultimately get a person what they want is the central idea of both texts.