Once upon a time there was a girl whose father and mother were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had anywhere to live or a bed to sleep in – nothing but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand, which some charitable person had given to her. But she was good and honest.
As she was abandoned by all the world, she went forth into the open country, trusting in the good God to provide for her. A poor man met her, who said, “Give me something to eat, I am so hungry!” She gave him her whole piece of bread, saying, “May God bless it to your use,” and went onwards. Then along came a boy who moaned, “My head is so cold, give me something to cover it.” She took off her hood and gave it to him. When she had walked a little further, she met another child who had no jacket and was frozen cold. She gave the child her jacket. A little further on she met a child begging for a dress, so she gave her Dress away also.
At length it became dark and she walked into a forest, where she met yet another child, who asked for a shirt. The good poor girl thought to herself, “It is dark night and no one can see you, so you can give your undershirt away.” She took it off, and gave it away.
Now she didn’t have a single thing left. As she stood in the darkness without anything, some stars from heaven fell down, and they turned out to be hard, smooth, shiny coins, and a new shirt of the finest linen.
She gathered the coins into the front of the shirt, and was rich all the days of her life.
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