March 18, 2019

The village blacksmith and his good wife raised three daughters. At the time of this story, they were 14, 12, and 10 years old. They found time one morning to gossip by the well before returning to the boring tasks assigned to them.

“The queen has a secret bloom,” said Egborn, 10 years old.

“So?” sneered Ogbood, 12 years old.

“Eg is right. Whomsoever finds it will be drenched with gold,” said Ugbin, 14 years old.

“I will find it,” said Egborn.

Her sisters snorted.

“Don’t make me fetch my switch! Get back to work!” shrieked the blacksmith’s good wife, their mother.

The sisters hurried to their boring tasks. When exhaustion set out to fell them long after dark, Egborn fought sleep and listened for the snores of her sisters. In no time at all, the sisters were limp lumps, mouths agape. Egborn crept into the night, climbed the pear tree to the top of the castle garden wall and tumbled over it, landing quietly below in a neatly trimmed hedge. There she fell asleep. Lo, a scant few hours later, she was awakened by singing. She peered from the hedge and saw the queen standing by a glow of green and red.

“None shall find my secret bloom, the product of my magic loom, dum de dum de dum de doom,” sang the queen while caressing a flower hidden in the heart of a bush.

“I found it!” cried Egborn, springing from the hedge.

“Oh, goody!” said the queen. “Now is the curse lifted. Hurrah!”

So saying, the queen transformed into a glowing green bird and flew off ever shouting, “Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”

Egborn looked down and found that she was now splendidly garbed, a queen, and drenched in gold. In later years, she grew to envy the escape of the glowing green bird.

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