The Fairies a Short Story


The Fairies” is a classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault, known for its themes of kindness, generosity, and the contrasting consequences of good and bad behavior. Here’s a retelling of the story, staying true to its original essence.

Once upon a time, in a distant land, there lived two sisters who were as different as night and day. The elder sister, named Rosetta, was as fair of face as she was sour of heart. Meanwhile, the younger sister, named Marianne, was kind and gentle, though her appearance was plain.

Their mother favored Rosetta, showering her with gifts and affection, while Marianne was made to do all the household chores and sleep by the hearth each night. Despite this, Marianne never complained and always carried out her duties with a smile.

“Marianne, make sure you finish cleaning the kitchen before supper,” their mother would often say, never acknowledging Marianne’s hard work.

One day, while fetching water from the well, Marianne met an old woman who asked for a drink. “Could you spare a bit of water for a weary traveler?” the old woman inquired.

Without hesitation, Marianne kindly offered her the freshest water from her pitcher. “Of course, you must be thirsty. Here, have some of my water,” Marianne replied with a smile.

The old woman, who was in truth a fairy in disguise, was so moved by Marianne’s kindness that she bestowed upon her a gift: “For your kindness, every word you speak will now bring forth beauty and value,” she said, as she vanished into thin air.

When Marianne returned home and recounted what had happened, roses, daisies, and diamonds spilled from her mouth with each word. “Mother, you won’t believe what happened at the well today,” Marianne exclaimed, as flowers and gems cascaded down.

Her mother, astonished and envious, sent Rosetta to the well, instructing her to behave kindly towards the old woman. “Rosetta, go to the well and do as your sister did. Perhaps you’ll receive an even greater gift!”

However, when Rosetta arrived at the well, she encountered a beautifully dressed lady (the same fairy in another guise) who asked for a drink. “Could you spare some water for me, my dear?” the lady asked gently.

Rosetta rudely refused and insulted the lady. “Why should I share my water with the likes of you? Move aside, old woman!” she scoffed.

Angered by her behavior, the fairy cursed Rosetta: “For your harsh words and cruel heart, every word you utter shall bring forth ugliness,” she pronounced.

Upon returning home, Rosetta attempted to speak, but to her horror and her mother’s dismay, her words were accompanied by vile creatures slithering and hopping from her mouth. “Mother, what’s happening to me?” Rosetta cried out, as a snake coiled out of her mouth.

Realizing her mistake, the mother lamented her partiality and the way she had treated Marianne. “Oh, what have I done? I favored beauty and scorned kindness,” she lamented.

In the end, Marianne’s kindness leads her to a happy life, marrying a prince who is enchanted by her virtue and the magical flowers and jewels she produces. “Your heart is more precious than any jewel,” the prince said to Marianne.

Rosetta, however, struggled with the consequences of her behavior, serving as a reminder of the importance of kindness and the perils of envy and rudeness.

Check the The Mastermind another fantastic fairy tale. Or Old Mother Frost that has a similar subject.

Follow Up Questions

Why was Marianne rewarded with flowers and jewels?
What happened to Rosetta when she was rude?
What does this story teach us about kindness?

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