And, full of faith, when at last she woke,
She stole to her shoe as the morning broke;
Such sounds of gladness filled all the air,
'Twas plain St. Nicholas had been there.
In rushed Piccola sweet, half wild—
Never was seen such a joyful child—
"See what the good saint brought!" she cried,
And mother and father must peep inside.
Now such a story I never heard!
There was a little shivering bird!
A sparrow, that in at the window flew,
Had crept into Piccola's tiny shoe!
"How good Piccola must have been!"
She cried as happy as any queen,
While the starving sparrow she fed and warmed,
And danced with rapture, she was so charmed.
(Excerpted from “Piccola” by Cecilia Laighton Thaxter)