In the deepest forest full of moss, trees and ferns lived a little elf. He was about as small as a mushroom, wore a green pointed hat and his cheeks were always red. He was very kind and always smiling. All the animals liked him. And because he was always happy and happy about everything, everyone called him Happy.
One day, when Happy was walking in the woods like this, he saw a little squirrel sitting on the ground by a tree. Her head was down, she was looking sadly down, and tears were running down her cheeks like peas. Happy sat down beside her, stroked her fur and asked her what was troubling her. The squirrel looked up at him and said sadly, “You know, little elf, I am little. And I’m not a flying squirrel, just an ordinary one. And I can’t do a lot of things, I can’t reach a lot of things, so I’m sad. If only I was a flying squirrel. How do you do it? You’re tiny, and yet you’re still so happy and smiling.”
The Happy smiled at the squirrel. “My dear squirrel, I am sad sometimes too, but I try to be happy about the little things. There are many things I can’t do, but there are also many things I can do. And when I’m happy about the little things, it makes me happier. Our friend the snail from the forest taught me that.”
“Snail?” The squirrel looked at the elf in surprise. “Yes. Come, I’ll show you something,” replied Happy the Elf, taking the squirrel by the paw. He led her to a large tree among the tall grass. “Come. Lie down here and wait a while,” the elf pointed to the grass and together they lay down on their bellies. They could see a small forest path ahead of them, but they lay where no one could see them.
After a while, the squirrel heard some loud cries of joy in the distance. She waited a moment and discovered the tortoise moving slowly along the path. A snail was sitting on its shell and shouting happily in all directions, “Yay! Yay!”
The squirrel looked at the elf in disbelief and asked in amazement: “Why is he so happy? The turtle is walking slowly. Why is the snail so happy?” The elf just smiled mischievously and explained, “Yes, the tortoise climbs slowly, but if the snail were climbing alone, it would go even slower. For a snail it’s speed! See? The snail enjoys the little things. For us it is foolishness, for him it is a reason to rejoice. A snail has many reasons to be sad too. It has no legs and no arms. It crawls slowly. But he’s happy. Squirrel, every day you can find something to be happy about. And it makes the world a happier place.”
The squirrel thought. She thanked Happy for his advice and then climbed up the tree. She started jumping happily from tree to tree, and she was happy about it. She no longer minded that she was small, and she also did not mind that she was not a flying squirrel. And whenever she was sad about something, she remembered the snail, who was happy to be riding the turtle just a little faster than if he had been going alone. He was happy about the little things. And so the squirrel decided to find something to be happy about every day, too.