Tulips and Parsley
A long time ago there lived an old woman who had an especially beautiful
and large bed of tulips. The fairies loved these flowers. Each
spring evening, just when the last rays of the sun dipped below the horizon,
they gently placed their tiny babies inside the tulips and rocked them
In return, the fairies made the tulips bloom as long and smell as wonderful
as roses. When the old woman died, a gentleman who didn't care
for flowers at all bought her house. He dug up the tulip bed and
planted row upon row of herbs instead.
That spring, when the fairies arrived with their newborns, there was not
a single tulip in sight. They searched the entire garden but found
only broad-leaved herbs. Furious, the fairies placed their babies
under some ferns and attacked the herbs. They ripped up the edges
of the leaves with their little fingers and spat at them with all their
might. Then they picked up their babies and flew off in a huff.
The next morning, when the gentleman came outside, his sweet-smelling herbs
were gone. Looking down on his garden, he saw only row upon row of
a funny-looking plant. Its edges were ragged and crinkled, and when
he tasted it, he nearly choked because it was so bitter.
That plant was the herb we now know as parsley. The ragged edges
of the leaves are from the fairies' tiny fingers ripping them up, and the
bitter taste is from fairy spit!
Usually fairies are dressed in the colors of the flowers they protect.