Blossom Bluebell – by Shanna L
Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a fair king and queen. The king and queen were noble rulers and were beloved by all their subjects but the one thing they did not have, and the one thing that would make them truly happy, was a child. The queen wanted a child very much and although the queen and king tried for many years, they were not to be blessed with a young one of their own.
Until one day, the king heard of a witch who lived in the enchanted forest. People said that this witch had the power to grant wishes and had the magic of a thousand unicorns. The king sent out his riders to find the witch and to bring her to the castle.
The witch was old and hunched, and shuffled with a cane. Her eyes swept over the king and queen as she hobbled to their thrones.
“I understand that you grant wishes,” said the queen.
“I do,” nodded the witch. “But only to those who are deserving.”
“Oh I am deserving,” exclaimed the queen. “All my life I dreamt of having a child. If you could just grant me this wish, I would be ever so grateful.”
The witch stared at the king and queen, at their hopeful faces and clasped hands, and withdrew a seed from her pocket. “Here,” she said. “Take this seed and plant it in the garden, beneath the big oak tree, and in 14 moons you will have your child.”
She reached out and placed the seed in the queen’s hand, folding the queen’s fingers so that they cradled the seed.
“Thank you,” cried the queen. “How can we ever repay you?”
The witch replied, “The enchanted forest is my home and I do not take lightly to people intruding on it. Know this – if you ever seek to harm the trees or creatures in my forest, your child will be lost to you forever.”
The king and queen bobbed their heads and promised to leave the forest alone. Anything for the gracious witch, they thought.
That night the queen planted the seed in the yard, beneath the big oak tree. She watered the seed every night and sung to it every day. Soon, a shoot appeared, and then another. The seed was growing. The queen continued to water the little tree and to think about the child that she knew she would soon have. She waited patiently, counting the days and nights, until the 14 moon was soon upon them.
The morning after the 14 moon the queen dressed hurriedly and ran outside, eager to see what the little tree looked like today. But instead of a tree, there was a small baby girl lying in its place, covered in leaves to keep warm. The queen gasped as she saw the baby and slowly reached out her arms. She picked up the little girl and hugged her to her chest, knowing that her wish had been granted.
The king and queen threw an enormous celebration to introduce their child to everyone. People came from all around, wanting to catch a glimpse of the rumored magic child.
“We shall call her Blossom Bluebell,” announced the king. “For her eyes are as green as the leaves on the tallest tree, her hair as brown as the fertile earth, and her lips as red as the brightest flower.”
The party-goers cheered for the king and queen, happy that they had finally gotten their wish.
Many years passed and Blossom Bluebell had grown into an exquisite child. She knew everyone by name and could frequently be seen frolicking in the gardens or playing with the animals. Her laughter could be heard for miles around.
What was even more wonderful, was that ever since Blossom Bluebell was born, the kingdom had begun to increase its wealth. Its crops bore larger and tastier fruits and vegetables. Its animals grew bigger and stronger. The yarn that was spun from the sheep’s wool seemed to be softer and flew through the fingers easier. The eggs layed by the chickens seemed to never break, only when you wanted them to. Dogs that had once ran away slowly crept back into the kingdom, delighting children everywhere. The kingdom was healthy and prosperous, the king and queen more beloved than ever.
But the king and queen became greedy. For so many years they had everything they ever wanted, that soon it came to pass that nothing was ever enough. They wanted more land, and more food, and more gifts, and more gold. They spend hours every day thinking of ways and places to expand their kingdom. And they soon forgot their greatest gift that was given to them by the witch.
Indeed, Blossom Bluebell was outside sitting under her favorite tree in the garden. A noise made her look up and she saw an old woman standing next to her, her cane trembling in her hand.
“Hi!” said Blossom Bluebell. “Who are you?”
“I’m just an old traveler, just passing through,” the woman said. “Would you care to keep me company for a while?”
Blossom Bluebell nodded and jumped up. She threaded her arm through the old woman’s, keeping her steady as they walked. The woman smiled in triumph and in a flash they were suddenly in the great ballroom, staring at the king and queen.
“Who are you?” yelled the king. “Let go of Blossom Bluebell.”
“Oh how quickly you forget,” cackled the woman. “If it wasn’t for me, there would be no Blossom Bluebell.”
The queen gasped. “It’s the witch!”
“Yes, it’s me,” yelled the witch. “And what was the one thing I asked of you? To not bother the animals or trees in the enchanted forest. And yet here you are, clearing trees to make way for your roads and paths. Cutting down trees to build useless shops and chasing away the animals.”
The witch was frantic, waving her walking stick to and fro, keeping the guards away from her and Blossom Bluebell.
“You’ve taken away what I hold dear,” said the witch, “and now I will do the same to you!” A bright light lit up the room, causing everyone to shut their eyes. When they opened them they could only gawk in disbelief, for where Blossom Bluebell was standing now loomed a massive tree, its branches brushing against the ceiling.
The queen fell to the floor in a faint and the king and his guards could do nothing as the witch disappeared, never to be seen again.
The kingdom soon fell back to way it was, before Blossom Bluebell. The king and queen seemed to age rapidly after that day. There were no more celebrations and no more wishes made at the castle. For years after, many would think it strange that there was a huge tree in the middle of a ballroom and would wonder how it got there. But every spring, it would bloom with the brightest flowers and the greenest leaves and an old woman would appear, to pluck a blossom and harvest the seeds.