I grow into the finest apple in the whole world. I was so precious to the queen that when a magician stole me, the queen died.
The magician gave me to a king, and he planted me in his orchard. Again, I grew into the finest apple in the whole world.
But alas, he could not taste my fruit. If he plucked an apple before it had ripened, the taste was bitter and the fruit rotted away.
There is only one moment when my fruit is ripe, and the king and his sons are asleep when it happens.
The queen’s daughter is not. She comes at night, every year, in the form of a snow-white swan, and she plucks all the apples from the tree.
The Queen’s Seed in The Witch and Her Servants, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by Arthur Rackham.