UK First Edition
1951 - Michael Joseph

US First Edition
1952 - Doubleday

This story is set in Assisi, the home of St Francis. It is the story of Pepino, a poor orphan, and his donkey Violetta. When Violetta falls ill, and the vet cannot do anything for her, Pepino tries to get permission to take her into the crypt of St. Francis. But when that permission is denied, then he realises that he has to go to higher authority...

This is a remarkably short book, but it is quite quite lovely. I defy anyone not to get a lump in their throat when they read it for the first time.

Other information
This was filmed twice to my knowledge. The first was in 1951, as Never Take No for an Answer; the second was a Hallmark production in the early seventies.

The story first appeared in Good Housekeeping under the title Never Take No for an Answer.

Listen for Pleasure produced an audio book of this in 1979, along with The Snow Goose and Ludmila. It was read by Sir John Mills, and can still be found occasionally on eBay.

The US edition of the book has one of the more bizarre comments I have ever seen on the back flap:-

Publishers of the
Comprehensive Desk Dictionary

This book is available in Britain as a Penguin paperback, paired with The Snow Goose. If you have not read either, then buy this book - you have a treat in store. Second-hand copies of the hardback are not hard to find - firsts are not uncommon, either.

In 1953, a new edition was published in the UK, illustrated in colour by David Knight. This is rather difficult to find, but quite attractive if you do find it.

In 1973, a Hallmark book was published, called Paul Gallico's The Small Miracle. Be warned that this is merely an adaptation of the story by Edward Cunningham, based on the Hallmark TV film, and is truly naff. It's got some nice photos from the film, though.

The Small Miracle can also be found in a book of short stories called Angels and Awakenings, edited by M. Cameron Grey and published by Doubleday in the US in 1980. The stories in here are all about miracles and angels; it's actually considerably better than it sounds, and has some very fine stories by some very fine writers.

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