What wonderful peaches the little girl’s mum brought home from the market! First she washed them carefully and put them in a dish, and then she brought them into the room where her daughter was lying in bed sick. The little girl had a bad flu, and for three days she’d had a fever and felt sick to her stomach.
The night before the doctor had taken a look at her and gave her mother some advice: “Go to the market and get her some peaches. They help fight off a sick stomach and are very good for the digestion. They also have a lot of vitamin C and pectins, which are important for fighting off infections.”
“Look how rosy they are!” the pale-faced little girl cried delightedly, reaching for the dish.
“Yes, the peaches are really beautiful,” her mum agreed and offered her daughter the juiciest one. “That’s why they have such a delightful name.”
The peach turned out to be good and sweet, and smelled even better than usual.
“What a big pit it’s got, like a little rock,” the girl said in surprise as she eyed the hefty, wrinkled-looking stone. “I wonder what’s inside?”
“Bitter seeds that smell like almonds,” her mum answered, happy that her daughter seemed to have got some life back into her.
“Mum, if we plant the pit in a pot, will a peach tree grow out of it?” the curious little one asked.
“I think it would, if we remember to take good care of it. But,” her mum admitted, “I’ve never tried growing a fruit tree at home before.”
The girl’s mum had a lot of house plants. Thanks to her wise care they had beautiful-smelling flowers the whole year round.
“Mum, let’s plant the peach pit! Please, mummy!” the little girl said, thinking up everything she could to persuade her. “Just imagine, we’ll have our very own peaches growing right at home. I promise I’ll take care of it.”
“Okay, dear, let’s do it,” her mum eventually agreed, and she brought a spacious pot full of earth in from the balcony.
A few days later, when her daughter was feeling better, the big pot with the wonderful peach pit took up its place beside her bed. For a long time the little girl watched the dark earth that filled the pot almost to the brim, and dreamed of the little peach tree that would grow from it.
“Oh, I wish it would hurry up!” she thought. “I’m just dying to pick a peach from my own darling tree.”
No sooner did she think that thought than a beautiful fairy carrying a basket of peaches flew in and landed on the pot. “I’m the mistress of a big peach orchard,” she explained in a cheery voice, “and I’m giving you this basket of my very best peaches. You’re a clever girl! Not just everyone tries to grow a peach tree in their house, you know.”
With a worried frown the girl asked, “What if my tree doesn’t grow?”
“I’ll tap your pot with my magic peach twig,” the fairy assured her. “Then your tree will be sure to grow.”
“Oh good fairy! I’d love to visit your big orchard, I’ve never seen a peach tree before,” the girl said a little sadly.
“Well, now, that’s not a problem. Just have one of my juicy peaches to get yourself ready for the trip, and we’re off! Did you know that peaches are one of the best fruits for you? They’re just full of fructose sugar and organic acids,” the fairy explained, and she took a big rosy peach from her basket.
“My mum says that peaches have a beautiful name,” the girl said as she munched noisily on the fairy’s gift.
“You must have a wonderful mum,” the fairy said with a smile, and then she tapped the little girl with her magic twig. Suddenly they were in the fairy’s orchard.
“What a delicious smell!” the girl exclaimed as she looked around in delight and breathed in the orchard’s peach-scented air. She set off down a narrow path that ran beside the row of modest trees with wide-spreading branches and reddish-brown, scaly bark. She ran her finger the length of a long, green leaf to its pointed tip.
“Welcome, friend, we’re glad you came to visit,” the trees greeted her in friendly tones, and waved their branches, which were absolutely covered with great rosy peaches. “Continue along this path and you’ll come to our gardener’s house. He’ll serve you up some peach tea with delicious peach jam, and tell you anyting you’d care to ask.”
Soon the girl saw a tidy little house with a kindly man standing on the steps. He smiled and stepped aside to let her pass.
“Please do come in, my dear, it’s been ages since I’ve had any visitors. And today I’ve baked a peach pie using the fairy’s own recipe, you’re sure to love it.”
Over the tea, delicious-smelling jam and flaky pie – which absolutely melted in her mouth – the curious little girl asked all about peaches and peach trees.
“When do peach trees bloom, and what colour are the flowers?”
“The flowers are pinkish-coloured and usually come out even earlier than the leaves, in March or April,” the old gardener answered. “Peach leaves and flowers are like medicine – they relax you. I gather them every year, and dry them.”
“Why have some of your peaches lost their fuzz? They’re smooth.”
“Those are nectarines – that’s what we call fuzzless peaches. The nectarine fairy has a great big tree farm in China , our peach fairy gave her the pits to plant. The trees are a lot like peach trees – they don’t like cold, either – and they get sick from the same diseases, grow the same amount of fruit which are just of full of vitamins and energy, just like fuzzy peaches. Honestly, I can’t imagine what isn’t inside a peach or nectarine: they’ve got iron, and silicon, and phosphor, and plenty of sugar for energy.”
“I think that nectarines are like peaches that are all dressed up,” the little girl said. “Peaches are like a patch of sun on a dull day, and nectarines are like bright sunshine.”
“You’re very observant. Also, nectarine skin doesn’t tear so easily as peach skin, so they’re much easier to collect and store and move from place to place.” the gardener commented with a smile.
“Tell me, please, does the peach fairy have her own house in the orchard, and where has she gone off to? Why did she disappear as soon as I got here?”
“Our peach fairy lives in every peach pit, in every peach tree and every single peach. Sometimes she sleeps in one of her little houses, sometimes she’s busy flying about with her magic twig helping people to grow those marvellous peach trees,” the gardener answered. “Of course, she only goes to those who want to make their trees happy.”
Before long the friendly fairy herself came for the girl and tapped her again with the magic twig, and … she woke up.
“Good morning, darling,” she heard her mother say in a voice she knew so well. “How did you sleep?”
“Mummy, the good peach fairy came to see me, and then she took me to visit her orchard. Just imagine! It was so beautiful! Now I know everything about peaches, and my peach tree is sure to be wonderful, because she tapped the pot with her magic twig.”
Smiling, the little girl cast a fond glance at the pot, where the fairy was asleep inside the cozy pit. And her mother smiled too.
Healthy Recipes included in the story:
– 2 peaches
– 2 apples 1 pear
– 100g cherries
– 2 tbsp soured cream
Remove the peel and seeds from the peaches, apples and pear, chop the fruits into small chunks and place in a bowl. Remove the stones from the cherries. Grind together the cherries and fruit skins. Place the cherries and skins in a pan of boiling water, and simmer for two hours. Pour the fruit-infused water over the bowl of fruit chunks and add the soured cream.
Cheese soufflé with peaches
– 500 g of cottage cheese
– 850 ml. of peach compote
– 1 cup of soured cream
– ½ a cup of caster sugar
Mix the cottage cheese with half a cup of the peach compote, and mix together thoroughly. Mix the soured cream with the caster sugar and add to the cottage cheese mixture. Add the rest of the peach compote and decorate with slices of peach.