The Bee and the Orange Tree

The Bee and the Orange Tree

The Bee and the Orange Tree is a French literary fairy tale by Madame d'Aulnoy.


After many childless years, a king and queen had a daughter, whom they named Aimée, but a ship she was on, wrecked. As fate would have it, she drifted ashore in her cradle. There, an ogre couple found her, and the ogress resolve to raise her instead of eating her; then they could marry her to their son and have grandchildren. The ogress, summoned a hind from the woods to nurse the baby. After fifteen years, the king and queen gave up hope, and the king told his brother to send his best son to be his heir. The brother chose his second son.

Meanwhile Aimee grew up among the ogres. A little ogre had fallen in love with her, but the thought of marrying him revolted her, because the things with which she had been found told her she came of good blood. She went along the shore after storms, to protect things swept ashore from the ogres, and one day, she found a man. She saved him, and it was her cousin, but neither of them could even speak to each other. She managed to make him understand that he had to hide in a cave. After some time hiding and feeding him, she wished to show her friendship and gave him a locket she wore. This had her name on it, and the prince deduced from her looks that she was indeed his cousin, the princess, rather than the locket having drifted ashore.

The little ogre decided it was time to marry, and horror-struck, she fled to the prince. When she returned, she injured her foot on a thorn and could go nowhere. The prince wondered why she did not come, tried to follow, and was captured.

Now, every night, the ogres all put on golden crowns before they went to bed. The princess got up and took one from the head of a little ogre and put it on the prince's. The ogre got up and seized on the sleeping one without a crown and ate him. Again the next night, the princess gave him a crown. This time the ogress ate one.

The princess remembered the wand with which the ogress had brought the hind. With it, she gave herself the power to speak the prince's language. He told her who she was, and the princess decided to steal the ogres' camel so they could ride away on it. She used the wand to enchant a bean to hide their escape. It spoke whenever the ogress asked anything. Finally, however, the ogress realized they had fled. The ogre used his seven-league boots to follow.

When the ogre caught up, the princess turned herself into a boatwoman, the prince into a boat, and the camel into a like; then she misdirected the ogre. He found nothing, but when he returned, the ogress told him how they had been transformed, so he chased them again. She turned herself into a dwarf, the prince into a portrait, and the camel into a pillar. When the ogre reached her, she told an elaborate story about how the prince had fought in a tournament in honor of the lady in the picture, and how they had asked the ogre to leave them; then she misdirected him.

This time the ogress came after them. The princess turned the prince into an orange tree, herself into a bee, and the camel into a box. The princess stung the ogress and drove her off, but some travelers carried off the wand.

A princess, Linda, loved to walk in the woods where the orange tree stood. Seeing the tree, she had to transplanted to her gardens, where Aimee stung her in jealousy. This caused the prince and princess to quarrel, but they made up. When Linda tried again, Aimee stung her again. Linda tried to armor herself, and broke a branch, but this drew blood. Aimee went to fetch a balm for the wound.

A fairy visited the princess and detected the enchantment. She restored the prince. He told his story, and she restored Aimee as well, and then brought them to her parents, where they married.

ee also

*Hop o' My Thumb
*Esben and the Witch
*Molly Whuppie

*The Master Maid

*The Grateful Prince
*King Kojata
*The Prince Who Wanted to See the World

External links

* [ "The Bee and the Orange Tree"]

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