Military Handbooks: Infantry Drill Regulations United States Army 1911
One morning a little Dewdrop was resting on the petal of a wild rose
that grew beside a river.
The sun shining on it made it glisten like a diamond and a lady who was
passing stopped to admire its beauty.
"It is the most beautiful thing in the world," she remarked. "See the
colors in that tiny little drop. Isn't it wonderful?"
"Wonderful," repeated the Dewdrop when the lady h
d walked away. "If I
were like the river I might be wonderful; it is too bad; here I am
sitting here while the river can run on and on and see all the sights.
It bubbles and babbles as it goes, and that is worth while. I have
never a chance to be wonderful. Oh, if I were only in the river water
I might be something."
Just then a breeze passing heard the little Dewdrop's wish.
"You shall have your wish, foolish Dewdrop," she said, blowing gently
on the rose, which swayed, and off went the little Dewdrop into the
"This is like something, being a part of this river," said the Dewdrop
as it mingled its tiny drop with the running river. "Now I am worth
admiring and can see something of the world."
On and on it ran with the water of the river, but it was no longer a
Dewdrop; it was a part of the river.
"I wish I could stop for a minute so some one might admire me," said
the silly little drop, for it thought it could still be seen and was
making all the babbling it heard as the river ran along.
But no one admired it, nor did it stop. On went the river to a larger
river, and by and by it came to the bay and the Dewdrop went rolling
into it with the other water.
"Surely I am greater now than ever and worth admiring," thought the
drop, but it heard no sweet words such as the lady spoke of the little
Dewdrop on the rose by the river.
The bay mingled at last with the ocean and little Dewdrop knew at last
that it was no longer a thing to be admired for itself alone, but a
part of the great ocean. It was completely lost in the vastness of the
mighty waters of which it was only a drop.
The breeze went whispering over it, calling, "Little Dewdrop, little
Dewdrop, where are you?"
But the drop answered never a word. It did not even hear the gentle
voice of the breeze, so loud was the roar of the ocean.
"Come away," called a loud wind to the gentle breeze; "that is no place
for you. I must blow here and make the waves high, and you will never
find your little Dewdrop. It has been swallowed long ago by the ocean.
Go back to your river and tell the other Dewdrops the fate of their
The gentle breeze went away and the loud wind swept the ocean, making
the waves high and the roar louder and louder. The little Dewdrop was
there somewhere in the great whole, but it was lost forever in its
longing to become great.
The gentle breeze went back to the river, and as she sighed around the
rose where the discontented Dewdrop had rested she heard another drop
"Look at the river. Isn't it big? Here am I only a Dewdrop, so small
no one can see me."
"Ah, that is where you are mistaken, my dainty Dewdrop," said the
gentle breeze. "You can be seen now, but if you were to become a part
of the river you would never be seen. You would lose your identity as
soon as you mingled with the waters of the river. Be your own sweet
self and be content with the part you play in this world. You are
helping to make it more beautiful by your own dainty beauty. Do not
wish to do what only seems a greater thing."
And then she told the fate of the discontented Dewdrop that had wished
to become great and how at last it was swallowed by its own greatness,
and its dainty beauty which had been so admired no longer remained.
"Be content with the small but beautiful part you play in this world,"
she told the drop, "and do not long for a greatness which may result in