Flax at Apple Hollow Farm

THE FLAX

"the Flax had visions of himself being spun by the lady of the manor;

Long, long ago, in a beautiful field in a lovely little valley in the north of France there lived a Flax plant. This plant believed he was the most beautiful and most important plant in the field. When the harvesting day came, he was among the first plants to be pulled up, reinforcing his belief of his own importance. Throughout the process of preparing the plants for spinning, the little Flax plant reminded himself how important he was and assured himself that he would become something wonderful. As the long line flax was hackled, the Flax had visions of himself being spun by the lady of the manor herself. The line Flax was delivered to the manor house and sure enough, the Flax was placed on the Lady's distaff. With her own hands it was spun into a fine, beautiful thread. The thread was woven into a large tablecloth; the Flax knew he was something important. Only the table in the Banquet Hall was big enough to use this tablecloth! For years the linen cloth graced the manor table, and all who saw it admired the workmanship. The Flax thought they were admiring him. After many years, the tablecloth began to wear out in places and was removed from the table. The material was cut up and made into several pairs of lady's bloomers. "Oh, how awful!" The wonderful Flax thought, "now I will be hidden under petticoats and skirts!" Whenever the lady would wear the bloomers, the Flax would wish for a windy day so that someone might get a glimpse of the ruffle at his Lady's ankle, and admire the beauty of the Flax. After many more years of being hidden under the skirts, the worn pair of bloomers were made into several handkerchiefs that were given to the overseer of the manor. He wore the handkerchiefs in the pockets of his jacket, and although the Flax was no longer owned by the Lady, at least people would see him and admire him. When the overseer finally discarded the old, worn handkerchiefs, a rag picker bought the pieces and sold them to a book binder. The bits of linen were used to bind a book and once again, the Flax knew just how important he was. It must be a very important book to have a linen binding! The book was read and reread. The book was put on a shelf with one hundred other books, but the Flax knew that his was the most important book. The Father of the house read the book and the children looked at its pictures; everyone handled the book every day. Eventually it began to fall apart. Finally one day, the binding coming loose, and the pages torn and stained, the book was thrown into a fire --- How frightened the Flax was as it was turned to ash and floated up, up the chimney! It was a clear but windy day. The Ash floated over a beautiful field of flax and settled down on the ground between the growing plants. "Ah, yes," the Flax Ash thought, "now I know I am truly important! I am fertilizing the next generation of flax; surely the whole world should know of me!"

Editorial note: It is said that in 100 years, wool turns to dust, but linen turns to gold. And so it is . . .

Thanks to Paula Vester for permission to use selections from her book, "At The Humming of the Wheel: A Collection of Textilely-Correct Fairy Tales".

For links to our spinning, weaving and knitting pages, or to find more fairy tales,
RETURN TO THE MAIN FAIRY TALE PAGE





Copyright 1998 - 2011, Apple Hollow Farm Fiber Arts Studio. Permission is required before using or reproducing material found on any of the pages on this site, regardless of whether text or images or unique ideas. Much of the art is original. Permission is NOT granted to anyone who intends to use our name, Apple Hollow, alone or in combination with any other words, for commercial or personal reason, on or off the net. Additionally, I have made every effort to both ask permission and give proper credit where necessary when using material from others, however, if any of this material is being displayed in a matter you feel is inappropriate, please contact me via email so I can correct the situation.

MacThis page last updated: 16 May 2012

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