When I was just a twig, I brushed against a man’s hat, and his hat fell off. He got off his horse, came to the tree, broke me, and put me in his pocket. He carried me to his home and gave me to his daughter, who planted me by her mother’s grave.

She visited me three times a day, and I grew quickly, watered by her tears. Soon a little white bird came to the shrine, eager to hear her prayers and make her wishes come true. Her wishes were simple wishes until the king invited all the country girls to a festival. She had no dress to wear, and she was ashamed, but it was time to step out of her dress of shame.

She took hold of me and shook me, crying, “Shiver and quiver, my little tree, Silver and gold throw down over me!”

The next thing she knew, she was standing in her own beauty. Just like me. I still shiver when I think about it!

The Little Hazel Tree in Cinderella, Grimms. Engraving by Edward Henry Wehnert. Illustration by Virginia Frances Sterrett.

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