Jersey Journal/1929/Happiness

Happiness  (1929) 

The short story, Happiness, by Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) published in The Jersey Journal on December 15, 1929.

By Naida Muriel Freudenberg
9 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

Elizabeth Maxwell's parents certainly were puzzled. For once in their life they had found something money could not buy. It was the "happiness" of their only daughter, Elizabeth. This had perplexed them for the last few weeks and they were more concerned because she was a cripple. Elizabeth could not attend school like other children, but had to have a private tutor, when she wanted lessons she had them, but when she didn't wish to, her father always made and excuse to the tutor saying that she was ill. Often Mr. Maxwell would catch Elizabeth with an absent look in her eyes, and he was won't to say to his wife. "I'm afraid Elizabeth is gradually losing the contentment which she has always had. What can I do for her?" and Mrs. Maxwell said: "I'm afraid you can't do anything but show her how much we appreciate her love for us." One morning Mrs. Maxwell said, "Elizabeth do you realize your birthday is only a week off. You'll be 14, just imagine," "I'm not giving you any party this year." Then as Elizabeth's face clouded, "Here is a riddle for you to solve:
"It isn't big,
It isn't small,
You'll like it a lot,
Or not at all."
Mrs. Maxwell left the room leaving Elizabeth to puzzle over the riddle. When her husband came home from work she said, "I'm not going to give Elizabeth a party. Listen," and she confided the plan to him. Elizabeth's birthday morning dawned bright and clear. She was wheeled out on the veranda. No children greeted her, no presents, only a while envelope lying on the table. She picked it up. The Jersey Journal Junior Club Welcomes Elizabeth Maxwell to The Jersey Journal Junior Club. Mother! Dad? the weak voice now raised to a hearty shout, the tired eyes alight with joy untold her mother and dad came to her side at the imperative tone. "Look, can't you see mother, dear, I'm a member. This is the best present I have ever had any time." Her mother kissed her and left her with that queer light of interest in her eyes.

Happiness by Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) in the Jersey Journal on December 15, 1929 (crop).png

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.