The Proud Little Apple Blossom
by Hans Christian Andersen (adapted)
It was the month of May, but the wind still blew cool,
for the sun was
not yet ready to shed his warmest rays on the waiting earth.
Yet some of the birds had come, and
more were on their way, and many
beautiful blossoms were already showing their pink and
white blooms, so
that from bush and tree, field and flower, came the glad
cry, "Spring is
here! Spring is here." Now, it happened that a young
princess rode by a
beautiful orchard in full bloom, and she stopped to pick
a branch of
apple blossoms to take to her palace. All who saw the apple
praised its beauty and fragrance until the blossom became
thought that beauty was the only valuable thing in the
world. But as the
apple blossom looked out upon the field she thought, "Not
all of the
plants are rich and beautiful, as I am, some seem poor
and plain." And
she noticed a little, common, yellow flower, which seemed
to lift up its
sunny head and grow everywhere.
The apple blossom said to the
plain little flower, "What
is your name?"
"I am called the dandelion," replied
the little flower.
"Poor little plant," said the apple blossom. "It
is not your fault; but
how sad you must feel to be so plain and to bear such an
Before the little plant could reply
a lovely little sunbeam came dancing
along and said, "I see no ugly flowers. They are all
beautiful alike to
me." And he kissed the apple blossom; but he stooped
low and lingered
long to kiss the little yellow dandelion in the field.
And then some little children came tripping across the
youngest laughed when they saw the dandelions and kissed
delight. The older children made wreaths and dainty chains
of them. They
picked carefully those that had gone to seed, and tried
to blow the
feathery down off with one breath, making joyous wishes.
"Do you see," said the sunbeam, "the
beauty of the dandelion?"
"Only to children are they beautiful," said
the proud apple blossom.
By and by an old woman came into the field. She gathered
the roots of
the dandelions, out of which she made tea for the sick,
and she sold
others for money to buy milk for the children.
"But beauty is better than all this," still
said the proud little apple
blossom. Just then the princess came along. In her hand
something that seemed like a beautiful flower. She covered
from the wind. What do you think it was? It was the feathery
the dandelion. "See!" she said, "how beautiful
it is! I will paint it in
a picture with the apple blossoms."
Then the sunbeam kissed the apple blossom, and as he stooped
low to kiss
the dandelion the apple blossom blushed with shame.