The Devoted Friend

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Hans was a little man who owned a beautiful garden, where he grew flowers of all kinds and colours which were sold in the market to make some money. He enjoyed the company of another man called Hugh, a miller who used to visit Hans very often during the summer time and with whom he shared thoughts about friendship and loyalty. However, when winter came, Hans found himself in a very difficult situation, as his flowers wouldn't flourish anymore until the following spring, meaning that he was impoverished, living on a simple diet of a few pears or hard nuts. Meanwhile, the miller lived comfortably in his own house, and avoided visiting his friend or helping him in any way not to make him jealous and spoil, if not break, their friendship. After winter, when Hans' flowers are blooming, Hugh visits Hans with a basket to get flowers. Upon hearing Hans' story, Hugh promises to give Hans his wheelbarrow, which is falling apart and not even usable. In return for this 'gift,' Hugh guilts Hans into working for him day in and day out, selling his flour, mending his roof, and even going to get the doctor for Hugh's sick son. On the way back from this last errand, Hans gets lost and dies. Hugh gives himself a prominent place at Hans' funeral, promising never to give anything away again, since the wheelbarrow (which he never gave to Hans) was so much trouble. It was first published in 1888 in the anthology The Happy Prince and Other Tales, which, in addition to its title story, also includes "The Nightingale and the Rose", “The Happy Prince”, “The Selfish Giant” and "The Remarkable Rocket".
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