The Blue Rose
Once upon a time, there was a farmer who was very ill. He had an only son, called Colin, who had tried every cure possible to make him well again.
“Last night, I had a dream,” said the father one morning. “In this dream, a fairy came and told me that the only way I could be cured was to get hold of a blue rose, which grows in an ancient castle close to the sea. Whoever gets possession of it will have perfect health and long life.”
“If I have to cross all the lands and all the seas, I will find the blue rose for you,’ father,” Colin promised him. Pausing only to collect some food, Colin set off on his journey.
When it was dark, he came to the edge of a forest, very tired and hungry. He stopped and took a small piece of meat and some dry bread out of his pocket.
As he was about to eat it, he noticed an older woman nearby, looking at him and licking her lips.
“Are you hungry, too?” he asked.
“Very much. It’s two days since I tasted any food,” she replied.
At once, Colin divided the meat and bread and handed half to her.
“Thank you,” she sighed when she had eaten. “You are a good boy, and I will reward you. Take this whistle. When blown, it gives a note so soft that only you can hear it. If you blow one note, everything near you will stand still like a statue for as long as you wish. If you blow two notes, people around you will run and dance like mad. If you blow three notes, your table will have good things to eat.”
Thanking the older woman, Colin went to find a place to sleep for the night. He found a small cottage, the door opened by a poor peasant.
“Come in, my boy,” he smiled. “My wife and seven children are just sitting down to supper, but we have nothing better to offer you than a little bread and dried fruit.”
Colin turned his head and blew three silent notes on the whistle. Inside the cottage, the table became loaded with food and drink.
“What was that you told me?” asked Colin, going inside. “This is not just bread and dried fruit.”
Amazed, the peasant could not guess what had happened, but he and his family sat down to a meal as they had never eaten before-and. There was plenty left for later.
In the morning, when he was leaving, Colin asked if they knew anything about the blue rose.
When I was at sea, I heard of many beautiful things,” the peasant told him. “There is somewhere a magic castle in which a beautiful princess is a prisoner. You must wake up this princess and ask her to give you the blue rose but, to get to the castle, you have to go through a thick forest full of giants and then make the keeper of the castle, who is an evil wizard, give you the golden key which opens the tower in which the princess is a prisoner. Take care, however, for the wizard makes everybody who enters his forest prisoners for the rest of their lives.”
Colin thanked them and continued his journey. When he reached the magic forest, he heard angry voices like the rumbling of thunder and three great giants with big knives in their hands rushed at him. Anyone else would have tried to run away in fear, but Colin secretly blew one note on the whistle, and at once, the giants became rooted to the spot like stone statues, and he could walk past them without being harmed.
Thus he arrived safely at the magic castle. The door opened, and the ugly face of the keeper glared out.
Come in, come in,” growled the keeper. “I suppose you, too, have come to collect the blue rose?”
“Yes, that’s right,” said Colin.
The keeper chuckled and slammed the door shut behind them. “You are my prisoner forever,” he said.” From now on, you will be my slave. I will chop your head off if you dare touch the golden key or annoy me most slightly.”
Very well,” nodded Colin calmly.
He set about being a servant to the keeper and got him a meal, but when the magician was about to try the first mouthful, Colin blew once on the whistle, and he remained rigid, with the fork halfway to his mouth.
Colin laughed and laughed. When all the other servants came in, carrying trays of food, he blew the whistle twice, and they began to run to and from the kitchen like mad, bringing more and more food, which they stuffed into the keeper’s mouth until he could take no more.
“That’s enough,” laughed Colin. “You can see that he is like a statue and cannot move. Now you can all escape from here.”
When the servants had hurried away, delighted at their freedom, the boy took the golden key and went to the castle tower, where the princess was being kept prisoner.
She was fast asleep on a silver bed, but when Colin whistled twice, she jumped up and began to run and dance. Quickly, he changed the magic spell and explained to the girl why he had visited.
“Here is the blue rose,” she said, offering it to him. “I was keeping it hidden in this tower, and because I would never give it to him, the keeper put a spell upon me to remain asleep for the rest of my life.”
“Now you are free, princess,” said Colin. “As for the keeper
The princess laughed when she saw him still sitting at the table like a statue, too full of food to be able to speak. “Let him remain there like that forever,” she said. “It is what he deserves.”
Happily, Colin and the princess went back to the father, and when he touched the blue rose, he was at once made quite well again. and his joy was complete when, later on, Colin and the princess were married.