The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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When our father died, he left my brother Bruno the house with everything in it. I was given a ring and a pot of pinks. I thought that Bruno loved me and that we could live together happily, but I was wrong.

“Keep your pot of pinks and your ring, but let my things alone,” he said. “I like order in my house.”

I stood up in tears and went outside while Bruno sat comfortably by the fire. When suppertime came, he made himself an egg and threw the shell to me.

“There, that is all I can give you,” he said. “if you don’t like it, go out and catch frogs. There are plenty of them in the marsh close by.”

I didn’t answer back, I just went away to my room and wept. My pot of pinks filled the air with a sweet scent. I vowed that I would always take care of them and never let a cruel hand tear their blooms from their stems. As I examined them, I saw that they were dry, so I took a pitcher and went out into the clear moonlight. I walked to a fountain some distance away, and when I arrived, I sat down to rest. Then, to my amazement, a stately lady approached. She was surrounded by many attendants. When they arrived at the waterfall, the lady’s maids spread a canopy. Under it they placed a sofa made of gold cloth, and proceeded to set up a table set with gold plates and crystal glasses. They served a meal while the wind in the trees and the falling water of the fountain made the softest music.

I stayed hidden, absorbed in the marvel. But then the queenly lady said, “I think I see a shepherdess standing near that tree over there. Bid her to come here.”

I came forward and greeted the lady with all the grace I could muster.

“What are you doing here, my pretty child?” she asked. “Are you not afraid of robbers?”

Oh goodness no. I had nothing to lose. How could I be afraid of robbers?

Felicia in Felicia and the Pot of Pinks, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by Kay Nielsen.