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

The Plant of Life

"All this is yours, my brave Henry," said the fairy. "The Giant's thistle will obtain for you all that is necessary. The Wolf's staff will transport you where you wish. The Cat's claw will preserve your health and your youth and also that of your dear mother. Adieu, Henry! Be happy and never forget that virtue and filial love are always recompensed."

Henry threw himself on his knees before the fairy who gave him her hand to kiss, smiled upon him and disappeared.

Henry's mother had a great desire to arise from her bed and admire her new house, her garden, her woods and her meadow. But, alas! she had no dress. During her first illness she had made Henry sell all that she possessed, as they were suffering for bread.

"Alas! alas! my child, I cannot leave my bed. I have neither dresses nor shoes."

"You shall have all those things, dear mother," exclaimed Henry.

Drawing his thistle from his pocket, he smelled it while he wished for dresses, linen, shoes for his mother and himself and also for linen for the house. At the same moment the presses were filled with linen, his mother was dressed in a good and beautiful robe of merino and Henry completely clothed in blue cloth, with good, substantial shoes. They both uttered a cry of joy. His mother sprang from her bed to run through the house with Henry. Nothing was wanting. Everywhere the furniture was good and comfortable. The kitchen was filled with pots and kettles; but there was nothing in them.

Henry again put his thistle to his nose and desired to have a good dinner served up.

A table soon appeared, with good smoking soup, a splendid leg of lamb, a roasted pullet and good salad. They took seats at the table with the appetite of those who had not eaten for three years. The soup was soon swallowed, the leg of lamb entirely eaten, then the pullet, then the salad.

When their hunger was thus appeased, the mother, aided by Henry, took off the cloth, washed and arranged all the dishes and then put the kitchen in perfect order.

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