Amethyst by Krys Plate
Editor’s note: This is just so much fun. I love the way the baby arrives. I love the sachets. I love how accepting the characters are when a wonderful surprise happens to them. Enjoy.
On the edge of a wood lived an old woman who was known to grant wishes upon occasion. Now Flora was a kind and generous soul, and was frequently visited by the town folk who had need of her magicks. She never turned down anyone in need, and worked diligently to make things happen for other people. Some wishes were small, some were large, and some were just downright silly.
Flora worked in her gardens to prepare the ingredients needed for granting wishes. Everything was dependent upon the plants she grew, and she was always tending, gathering, and drying plants of one kind or another.
Oftentimes, Flora didn’t even know what people wished for. She simply gathered the required plants, had the person blow on them, and then Flora made a sachet. She asked that they place the sachet under their pillow every night for a week, and think about what they wished for as they fell asleep.
In typical fashion, one day a young girl came to Flora’s door and asked if the old woman could use an apprentice. Flora had seen this girl around the wood, and had visited with her several times, so she agreed. The girl was a quick learner, and Flora enjoyed teaching her all about herbs and the magicks within them. Most importantly, Flora taught her that she must never ask for anything for herself. That would be a recipe for disaster, and there were always consequences!
One day, the girl requested a wish from Flora. She looked at the girl askance, and knew this was going to be a bad idea. The apprentice looked at her mentor with pleading eyes, and eventually Flora relented, reminding her that there were always consequences.
Flora gathered ingredients and had the girl blow on them. She then painstakingly handcrafted a sachet. Flora instructed the apprentice on the proper use of the sachet, and told her to bury the little pocket of dried plants in her own backyard at the end of a week. The girl did exactly as instructed, except she tied the sachet shut with a lavender ribbon, unbeknownst to Flora.
Everyone knew that Flora had longed for a child of her own for almost as many years as she had been alive. She and her husband were not gifted with babies, however. No matter how much she longed for a child, and how much she cried over it, her womb remained barren.
One fine day, Flora discovered a new plant near her home. It was a lovely shade of purple, and unlike anything Flora had ever seen before! Puzzled and intrigued, Flora took her little hand spade out of her pocket and rescued the lonely plant, taking care not to damage its fragile leaves or roots.
Upon returning home, she planted the flower in a bright sunny spot next to some lilies, and watered it generously. Every day Flora checked on her new plant, watering it when needed, carefully removing any offensive weeds, and making sure the soil was fertilized. The plant flourished, and seemed to grow quickly.
One day, Flora noticed an odd bulge on one side of the plant, just under the blooming purple flower. “How strange,” she thought. “What could it be? A seed pod?” After a few days, the bulge began taking shape, and took on a deep shade of aubergine. In a week’s time, the bulge looked like a giant eggplant, and the delicate plant bowed under its weight.
“My gracious!” exclaimed Flora. “Look at the size of you!” As the warm summer days turned into brisk autumn ones, Flora tended her gardens and especially the unusual purple plant. She talked to it daily, as all cunning folk know that plants flourish with good conversation. The plant grew taller and the eggplant grew larger, until one day, Flora noticed a crack in it’s deeply hued skin.
“My gracious!” exclaimed Flora. “Look at this crack in you!” So heavy was the eggplant, it took both of her hands to lift it and examine the crack. She felt it wiggle, and then it began to split even more! Startled, Flora nearly dropped the eggplant. Suddenly, with a loud, juicy noise the two halves broke apart, leaving a startled baby girl looking up at her, like a pit in an avocado.
“My gracious!” exclaimed Flora. “Just look at you!” The baby began to cry as the autumn wind brushed against her wet skin. Flora gingerly pulled the baby from the eggplant halves, and took her into the house. After cleaning the baby and making a makeshift bottle from an old vase and a torn glove, Flora settled into a rocking chair to feed her. The little girl eagerly sucked down the bottle of sugar water and promptly fell asleep.
Flora studied the child while she was sleeping, and noticed something odd. It appeared that the babe had purple hair! How can this be? She thought. Right at that moment, her husband came in the door. He took one look at Flora holding the baby, and stopped in his tracks. “My gracious, what have we here?” he exclaimed.
After telling him how the little girl came to be in her arms, he started to cry, so happy was he. Together the couple wept tears of joy at their incredible good luck. After very little discussion, they decided to call her Amethyst.
The baby Amethyst grew into a young girl who was much loved by her parents, and her hair remained a deep shade of purple all the rest of her days.
As for the apprentice, she grew into an old woman herself over time, but never revealed the secret of the lavender ribbon she had tied the sachet with. There were, after all, consequences!
Krys Plate is a teacher from Iowa who collects fairy tales. A grandma who loves creating, she can often be found in her yard, harvesting “weeds” to turn into face and body products for herself and friends.
Image by Pixabay.