“That is all very well, but such tales or stories are worth nothing! No, the right ones come by themselves and knock at my forehead saying: ‘Here I am.’”
“Will not one knock soon?” asked the boy; and the mother smiled while she put elder-tree blossoms into the teapot and poured boiling water over them. “Pray, tell me a story.”
“Yes, if stories came by themselves; they are so proud, they only come when they please.—But wait,” he said suddenly, “there is one. Look at the teapot; there is a story in it now.”
And the little boy looked at the teapot; the lid rose up gradually, the elder-tree blossoms sprang forth one by one, fresh and white; long boughs came forth; even out of the spout they grew up in all directions, and formed a bush—nay, a large elder tree, which stretched its branches up to the bed and pushed the curtains aside; and there were so many blossoms and such a sweet fragrance! In the midst of the tree sat a kindly-looking old woman with a strange dress; it was as green as the leaves, and trimmed with large white blossoms, so that it was difficult to say whether it was real cloth, or the leaves and blossoms of the elder-tree.