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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "What Happened to the Thistle"

What Happened to the Thistle

She felt as full as if the sunshine and dew went through her.

"I must be more important than I thought," she said to herself. "I really belong inside, not outside the fence. One gets misplaced in the world, but I now have one of my offspring not only over the fence but actually in a buttonhole!"

To every one of her buds that bloomed, the thistle bush told what had happened. Not many days went by before she heard important news. She heard it not from passers-by, nor from the chirping of little birds, but from the air itself, which collects sounds and carries them far and wide - from the shadiest walks of the garden and from the furthest rooms of the manor, where doors stood ajar and windows were left open. She heard that the young man who got the thistle flower from the slender fingers of the girl from Scotland, now had won her heart and hand. They made a fine couple, and it was a good match.

"I brought that about," the thistle believed, thinking of how her flower had been chosen for the gentleman's buttonhole. Each new bud that opened was told of this wonderful happening.

"Undoubtedly I shall now be transplanted into the garden," thought the thistle. "Perhaps they will even pinch me into a flowerpot, which is the highest honor of all." She thought about this so long that at length she said with full and firm conviction, "I am to be planted in a flowerpot."

Every little thistle bud which opened was promised that it too would be put in a pot, perhaps even in a buttonhole, which was the highest it could hope to go. But not one of them reached a flowerpot, much less a buttonhole. They lived upon light and air. By day they drank sunshine, by night they drank dew, and were visited by bees and wasps who came in search of a dowry - the honey of the flower. And they took away the honey, but left the flowers behind.

"Such a gang of robbers!" said the thistle bush. "I'd like to stick a thorn through them, but I can't."

Her flowers faded and fell away, but new ones came in their place.

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