Oh, we tried so hard to have children! Every day I was down on my knees, begging Heaven to hear my prayer.

“Please give me a child to care for, even a tiny child. I would be happy with a child the size of a hazelnut!”

Heaven granted my wish. My little son slept in the shell of a hazelnut, and never outgrew it, though he did grow. He grew in cleverness and wisdom. He grew into the sharpest and most sensible lad you ever met. Everybody loved him.

Still, I was bothered by the thought of what would become of him. “What do you intend to be?” I asked him one day. He was sitting in an eggshell on the table.

“A messenger,” he said.

I laughed. With his little feet?

Mother of the Hazelnut Child in The Hazelnut Child, Yellow Fairy Book. Painting by Vincent van Gogh.

hazel mom