Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Snowdrop

The SnowdropThe Snowdrop

There was a bulb under the ground. It was winter still and the snow was on everything. Rain and sun rays would occasionally pierce down to the bulb. It’s outside was softened but it was not yet time. The bulb soon decided that it had been underground long enough and wanted to see the world around it. It forced its way up out of the soil. The sun was there. The wind was there. The snowdrop thought it was the most wonderful thing. The wind cautioned it though, “You are much too early,” the wind said, “we still have power over you,” but the snow drop was stronger than expected.

Some children came along and picked the snowdrop, because it was the first one. They took it home and put it in a glass of water, where it stayed on for a bit, then it was sent in a letter of poetry to a young man, but he grew apart from the letter sender and burned the letter, luckily, the snowdrop fell out and onto the floor. The maid, as she was cleaning, found the snowdrop and placed it between the pages of the book because that’s where she thought it fell from.

Many years later the same man opened his book. It was a book of poetry and the snowdrop was there still. The poetry was beautiful and so was the snowdrop, both had been before their time. While the world appreciated them now, they were not much appreciated when they first came into being.


Snowdrops are in the Amaryllis family which means they are in fact a plant that grows from a bulb. I’ve never lived in an area that had snowdrops. I’ve never lived in a place that had snow on the ground for longer than a couple of days at a time. Needless to say, I am not at all familiar with the concept of flowers growing through the snow, but I do know that it is possible. There are plants that bloom in the winter, my Camellia bush for one, right in the middle of winter, red blooms, all over the bush. In the south, the early plant is not snowdrops, but daffodils. You know spring is coming when you start seeing yellow flowers popping up out of the seemingly still very cold ground.


This snowdrop was too early and so was the poet mentioned in the story. Hans a thing for poets. Besides Hans’ obvious love for poets, this story does have a point. Some people do things before other people do them and everyone looks at them strangely for it. The first people who drove cars around, got a good stare down. People thought it was silly to trade in a reliable horse for a car. Some of these things that people do first are passing fads, while others stick with us. The first people to have done them are eventually pioneers and everyone ends up doing the thing they did first.

In another sense, there are some art forms or concepts that are before their time. People just don’t get it and they won’t get it for another twenty, thirty, or forty years, maybe a hundred years, who knows. If you run into one of those situations, it may not make sense now, but wait a while and it will.


Hans and his poets.

Weigh In

Do all fads eventually become understood?

Is showing up too early detrimental in the grand scheme of things?


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