Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

the winds carried the tidings over the garden, and bird and blossom

looked upon him as an evil spirit, and fled away or closed their

leaves, lest he should harm them.

Thus he went, leaving sorrow and pain behind him, till he came to the

roses where Lily-Bell lay sleeping. There, weary of his cruel sport,

he stayed to rest beneath a graceful rose-tree, where grew one

blooming flower and a tiny bud.

“Why are you so slow in blooming, little one? You are too old to be

rocked in your green cradle longer, and should be out among your

sister flowers,” said Thistle, as he lay idly in the shadow of the


“My little bud is not yet strong enough to venture forth,” replied the

rose, as she bent fondly over it; “the sunlight and the rain would

blight her tender form, were she to blossom now, but soon she will be

fit to bear them; till then she is content to rest beside her mother,

and to wait.”

“You silly flower,” said Thistledown, “see how quickly I will make you

bloom! your waiting is all useless.” And speaking thus, he pulled

rudely apart the folded leaves, and laid them open to the sun and air;

while the rose mother implored the cruel Fairy to leave her little bud


“It is my first, my only one,” said she, “and I have watched over it

with such care, hoping it would soon bloom beside me; and now you have

destroyed it. How could you harm the little helpless one, that never

did aught to injure you?” And while her tears fell like summer rain,

she drooped in grief above the little bud, and sadly watched it fading

in the sunlight; but Thistledown, heedless of the sorrow he had given,

spread his wings and flew away.

Soon the sky grew dark, and heavy drops began to fall. Then Thistle

hastened to the lily, for her cup was deep, and the white leaves

fell like curtains over the fragrant bed; he was a dainty little Elf,

and could not sleep among the clovers and bright buttercups. But

when he asked the flower to unfold her leaves and take him in, she

turned her pale, soft face away, and answered sadly, “I must shield my

little drooping sisters whom you have harmed, and cannot let you in.”

Then Thistledown was very angry, and turned to find shelter among the

stately roses; but they showed their sharp thorns, and, while their

rosy faces glowed with anger, told him to begone, or they would repay

him for the wrong he had done their gentle kindred.

He would have stayed to harm them, but the rain fell fast, and he

hurried away, saying, “The tulips will take me in, for I have praised

their beauty, and they are vain and foolish flowers.”

But when he came, all wet and cold, praying for shelter among their

thick leaves, they only laughed and said scornfully, “We know you,

and will not let you in, for you are false and cruel, and will

only bring us sorrow. You need not come to us for another mantle,

when the rain has spoilt your fine one; and do not stay here, or

we will do you harm.”

Then they waved their broad leaves stormily, and scattered the heavy

drops on his dripping garments.

“Now must I go to the humble daisies and blue violets,” said Thistle,

“they will be glad to let in so fine a Fairy, and I shall die in

this cold wind and rain.”

So away he flew, as fast as his heavy wings would bear him, to the

daisies; but they nodded their heads wisely, and closed their leaves

yet closer, saying sharply,–

“Go away with yourself, and do not imagine we will open our leaves

to you, and spoil our seeds by letting in the rain. It serves you

rightly; to gain our love and confidence, and repay it by such

cruelty! You will find no shelter here for one whose careless hand

wounded our little friend Violet, and broke the truest heart that ever

beat in a flower’s breast. We are very angry with you, wicked Fairy;

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

Categories: Alcott, Louisa May