There was always more to be done by kindness

single daisy

The French call this flower 'Marguerite,' and they say that the little daisy can prophesy

There was once a butterfly who wished for a bride, and, as may be supposed, he wanted to choose a very pretty one from among the flowers. He glanced, with a very critical eye, at all the flower-beds, and found that the flowers were seated quietly and demurely on their stalks, just as maidens should sit before they are engaged; but there was a great number of them, and it appeared as if his search would become very wearisome. The butterfly did not like to take too much trouble, so he flew off on a visit to the daisies. The French call this flower “Marguerite,” and they say that the little daisy can prophesy. Lovers pluck off the petals, and as they pluck each petal, they ask, “Does he or she love me, or does she not? — Ardently? Distractedly? Very much? A little? Not at all?” and so on. Everyone speaks these words in his own language. The butterfly came also to Marguerite to inquire, but he did not pluck off her petals; he pressed a kiss on each of them, for he thought there was always more to be done by kindness.

by Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875)
from Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories, The Butterfly, 1861

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One Response to “There was always more to be done by kindness”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    To love someone ‘distractedly,’ what an intriguing thought. Do then thoughts of the lover distract from the quotidian or is it the opposite: that daily life keeps intruding on the love affair?