What’s Best?

There was once a little girl who loved asking questions.
‘What’s best? she would ask her mother.
Alles r pears? Roses or gladioli? Water or lemonade? Ball or doll?’
Her mother answered patiently, though she did have her doubts. How can you say what’s best out of a ball and doll, a rose and gladiola?
There came a day when the little girl asked: ‘Mother, what’s best: fairy tales or songs?’
‘Just you tell me what’s best, the sun or sky’, Mother said. ‘ And if you can answer that, I’ll tell you what’s best out of fairy tales and songs.’
The little girl thought long and hard, but it was no use. She gazed up at the sky and the bright round sun. They were so beautiful and quite inseparable.
After that the little girl no longer asked what’s best. She had another question: what’s best about fairy tales? What’s best about songs?
And Mother was delighted to tell her.
From The Singing Feather by Vasily Sukhomlinsky
Raduga Publishers 1984

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