Why is Maggie called a ‘precious burden’ in the short story ‘An Angel in Disguise’ by T S Arthur?
He bore a precious burden, and he felt it to be so.
In the above-quoted line Maggie, the sick young girl, is called a precious burden literally as well as metaphorically.
To think literally, for Joe Thompson, it felt like a heavy burden to carry a child. She was precious just because she was a human being, and not a lifeless mass. Metaphorically, the girl was precious too, as she would bring love and happiness to the childless family.
Here Maggie is called the “previous burden”. The burden part refers to the part that a bed-ridden child usually is where she requires constant care and support from whoever takes her in. The burden is called precious because she brought about happiness into the lives of childless couple by giving them a reason to love and care for. Mrs. Thompson carries her as a precious burden in her heart as well as in her arms. She acts as “the honey to the soul” of Mrs. Thompson as she looks to her in love, patience and gratitude.