Once a upon a time, a long long time ago, a man went to another Man, and asked him if he had a certain herb, a herb which had the magic power to make people happy. And the Man said he had, and the price was not great. And the man was exceedingly happy already. So he took the herb home, and showed it to his wife. She said she thought that there were many seeds through the herb, and they were not as good for making people happy as the dried flowers. But the man said to his wife: that's true, but the price was not great, and there is enough of the dried flowers for us, because we are happy anyway. And so it was. They were happy.
And when all the dried flowers were gone, the man thought he would keep the seeds, and he counted them. There were twenty four. Then the man and his wife went on a long journey. For many a year they travelled to hot deserts in the south, and cold mountains in the north, but they never stayed anywhere long enough for the man to plant the seeds.
Then one day, they built a little house. And they were very happy, even though they did not have any of the herb, and hadn't had for many a long day. But the man remembered the twenty four seeds, and at the winter solstice he made a little garden on their bedroom windowsill, and planted the twenty four seeds. After 15 long winter nights one seed grew into a little plant, and none of the other seeds grew. The man loved the little plant. He gave it a pot of its own. It was growing well, but then the man had to go away to the desert for a long time, but his wife stayed at home to look after the plant.
Now, the wife loved the plant, but she didn't understand about herbs like the man did. Sometimes she would give it too much water. Sometimes she would move it from the light. So the plant only grew slowly. Then the man came home, when the trees were all in bloom, even the Hawthorn, he saw how small the plant was, but he loved his wife too much to scold her, and instead explained how often to water the little plant. Then the man had to go to the desert again, and he was gone for a long time. Now that the wife knew what do she cared for the plant properly, and it began to grow, on the windowsill.
But then the wife had to go back to the mountains in the north, and had to leave the plant behind. The plant grew very thirsty, and every day it got more and more tired, until it knew it would die. And when it knew it was dying it grew a flower, a lovely little flower. So when the man and the wife came home, they saw that the plant had died, but they saw the little flower and were amazed. And they hid the flower.
Then one day the wife had to go to a great city with an iron tower, and the man was very sad. But one night, the night when some people say the new year is born, he remembered the little flower, and he brought it out, and it made him very happy…