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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Rose Elf"

The Rose Elf

" sighed the elf. "How soon everything good and beautiful passes away!" But at last he found another rose, and made his home in safety behind its delicate, fragrant petals.

But every morning he would fly to the poor maiden's window, and he always found her there, weeping over the flowerpot. Softly her bitter tears fell upon the jasmine spray, and every day as she became paler and paler the sprig grew fresher and greener. New shoots appeared, one after another, and little white buds burst forth, and these she kissed.

When her wicked brother saw her do that he scolded her and asked why she acted so silly. He didn't like it and didn't understand why she was always weeping over the flowerpot. He did not know what closed eyes were there, and what red lips had there returned to dust.

And the pretty maiden leaned her head against the flowerpot, and the little elf found her there, fallen into a gentle slumber. So he crept again into her ear and whispered to her of that evening in the arbor and of the scent of the roses and the loves of the elves. Then she dreamed so sweetly, and while she dreamed her life passed gently away. She died a quiet death and was in Heaven with her beloved. And the jasmine flowers opened their big white bells and gave out their wonderful sweet fragrance. It was the only way they knew to weep for the dead.

When the wicked brother saw the beautiful blooming plant, he took it for himself as an inheritance from his sister, and put it in his bedroom close beside his bed, for it was glorious indeed to look at, and its fragrance was sweet and fresh. But the little rose elf went with it, and flew from blossom to blossom; in each lived a tiny soul, and to each he told the story of the murdered man whose head even now rested under the earth beneath them. He told them of the evil brother and the poor sister.

"We know it!" replied each little soul in the flowers. "Did we not spring from those murdered eyes and lips? We know it! We know it!" they repeated, and nodded their heads in an odd way.

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