This is the tale of the hamlet of Fielding. Of how it came to be so full of flowers. Of how every house in Fielding has a garden. Of how all the meadows are invariably in bloom, come spring or winter.
It was not always like this. Before Fielding became famous on countless picture postcards as the world’s most beautiful hamlet, it was an ordinary place like any other. And behind the mundanity dwelt darkness and evil. Idle hands were at work. Anytime they passed by a flower, a petal was pulled, a stalk was broken, a flower was plucked.
There were one too many idle hands in Fielding. And the flowers were snapped and severed, splintered and scattered. Petals in pieces lay in painful shambles everywhere. The bugs, bees, and butterflies labored night and day in vain. By and by they fell and succumbed to starvation.
It was then that a tall stranger with a black hat appeared in the hamlet of Fielding. He stopped by every fallen flower and picked them up gently in his slender hands. One by one, he placed them on their shoots and melded them together again in lively blossom.
The people of Fielding did not take kindly to his deeds. Instead, they accused him of witchery. What he had put together to life they took apart again. The stranger did not stop but went on breathing life into the flowers anew in silence.
That is when the people decided to burn him at the stake. His hands were bound and his hat was doffed. His head was covered, and he was set on fire in the center of the village. Everyone in Fielding cheered his execution and the end of his sorcery. Legend has it that when the flames had consumed him, not ashes, but flowers were left behind.
Next morning, the villagers woke up and stared in shock at their hands that had shriveled away. Only two ugly stumps remained. That was when sudden realization dawned on them and the whole hamlet of Fielding wept in remorse. That day a deluge of tears gushed forth from the eyes of men and women as though it had rained for eons.
When their eyes had dried up, all the men and women vowed they would never again harm a flower, nor allow it to come to harm from others.
Thus it came to pass that the hamlet of Fielding was full of flowers once more. The bugs, bees, and butterflies were back in the gardens and meadows, hovering and resting on every flower and petal. The harvest season came by and the trees were heavy with fruits. And one fragrant morning, people woke up to find little fingers sprouting from their withered stumps.
Before long, their hands were like before. Only they were no longer idle. The stranger had worked his magic even from the beyond.
The morning was glorious. Flowers had opened their petals. The bugs, bees, and butterflies were dancing in joy.
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