The Last Leaf is a short story which is written by O. Henry. It was published in his 1907 collection ‘The Trimmed Lamp and Other Stories’. The storyline of this famous short story is set in Greenwich Village when there was a pneumonia epidemic.
The Last Leaf
Once upon a time, two painters used to share an apartment. They were very good friends. Their names were Sue and Johnsy.
Suddenly Johnsy fell very ill with pneumonia. She became bedridden. The disease was widespread in the city and many people lost their lives because of pneumonia.
Read the last leaf story to know what happened to Johnsy and how she recovered from pneumonia.
Sue called the doctor to check the health condition of her friend. When the doctor visited their apartment to look at her health, he told Sue that her condition was very bad as she had lost the will to live.
Listening to this Sue brought her materials of paintings from Johnsy’s room.
Sue prepared hot fresh soup for Johnsy. She muttered, “Five more to fall.” Sue asked Johnsy what she was talking about. Johnsy explained that there was a tree outside her window and it has only five leaves now. When the last leaf fell, she would also die.
Sue became very panicked hearing this. She went to her neighbour's home who was an artist by profession, Mr Behrman. Mr Behrman wanted to paint his masterpiece so he was very angry and did not help Sue at that time.
Sue started working day and night to take care of her friend.
Johnsy saw that there was only one last leaf left on the tree. It had not fallen from the tree for many days.
Johnsy Looking Outside Her Window
It rained terribly one night. Thunderstorms and hail went and came but the last leaf did not fall from the tree.
In the morning, Johnsy said to Sue she wanted to live now and would not lose hope easily. She said, “Living life is not an easy task but she will continue to live her life”.
Then Sue revealed that the last leaf on the tree is actually a painting. Mr Behrman painted that for Johnsy so that she can recover and not lose hope.
Sue and Johnsy with The Last Leaf Painting
Mr Behrman died after making this painting. It was the final Masterpiece that he wanted to paint.
It is an inspiring story for children as well as for grown-ups. It teaches us that we should never lose hope in life easily.
In the end, Johnsy thanked Mr Behrman and prayed for his soul. Then, Johnsy thanked her best friend Sue and gave her a tight hug.
1. What is the moral of the story “The Last Leaf”?
The moral of the story “ The Last Leaf” is that we should never lose hope in life. Sometimes we see bad aspects of life but she should not lose hope as there are always good days after bad days.
2. How did Johnsy recover from a fatal disease?
Johnsy lost her hope of living and was counting the last five leaves of trees. She said that she would die when the last leaf of the tree fell. Mr Behrman, who was her neighbour, painted a painting looking exactly the same as the tree outside which has the last leaf on a tree. Johnsy thought when the last leaf is not falling from a tree after facing thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. She should not lose hope and her willpower helped her in recovering from a fatal disease.