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Main > France folktales > Blondine, Bonne-Biche, Beau-Minon > Fairy tale "The Plant of Life"

The Plant of Life

If I encounter on my return the same obstacles which met me as I came up the mountain, I shall perhaps lose my plant, my dear plant, which should restore my dear mother to life."

Happily Henry now remembered the stick which the Wolf had given him.

"Well, let us see," said he, "if this stick has really the power to carry me home."

Saying this, he mounted the stick and wished himself at home. In the same moment he felt himself raised in the air, through which he passed with the rapidity of lightning and found himself almost instantly by his mother's bed.

Henry sprang to his mother and embraced her tenderly. But she neither saw nor heard him. He lost no time, but pressed the plant of life upon her lips. At the same moment she opened her eyes, threw her arms around Henry's neck and exclaimed:

"My child! my dear Henry! I have been very sick but now I feel almost well. I am hungry."

Then, looking at him in amazement, she said: "How you have grown, my darling! How is this? How can you have changed so in a few days?"

Henry had indeed grown a head taller. Two years, seven months and six days had passed away since he left his home. He was now nearly ten years old. Before he had time to answer, the window opened and the good fairy Bienfaisante appeared. She embraced Henry and, approaching the couch of his mother, related to her all that little Henry had done and suffered, the dangers he had dared, the fatigues he endured; the courage, the patience, the goodness he had manifested. Henry blushed on hearing himself thus praised by the fairy. His mother pressed him to her heart, and covered him with kisses. After the first moments of happiness and emotion had passed away, the fairy said:

"Now, Henry, you can make use of the present of the little Old Man and the Giant of the mountain."

Henry drew out his little box and opened it. Immediately there issued from it a crowd of little workmen, not larger than bees, who filled the room. They began to work with such promptitude that in a quarter of an hour they had built and furnished a beautiful house in the midst of a lovely garden with a thick wood on one side and a beautiful meadow on the other.

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