THERE was once a butterfly who wished for a bride, and, as may be supposed, he wanted to choose a very pretty one from among the flowers. He glanced, with a very critical eye, at all the flower-beds and found the flowers were seated quietly and demurely on their stalks but there was a great number of them, and it appeared as if his search would become very wearisome. It was in the early spring, when the crocus and the snowdrop were in full bloom. "They are very pretty," thought the butterfly, "charming little lasses but they are rather formal." Then, as the young lads often do, he looked out for the elder girls. He next flew to the anemones; these were rather sour to his taste. The violet, a little too sentimental. The lime-blossoms, too small, and besides, there was such a large family of them. The apple-blossoms, though they looked like fresh bloomed roses today they might fall off tomorrow with the first wind that blew and he thought that a marriage with one of them might last too short a time. The pea-blossom pleased him most of all. She was white and red, graceful and slender, and belonged to those domestic maidens who have a pretty appearance, and can yet be useful in the kitchen. He was just about to make her an offer, when, close by the maiden, he saw a pod, with a withered flower hanging at the end. "Who is that?" he asked. "That is my sister," replied the pea-blossom. "Oh, indeed and you will be like her some day," said he, and he flew away directly, for he felt quite shocked. A honeysuckle hung forth from the hedge, in full bloom, but there were so many girls like her, with long faces and sallow complexions. No, he did not like her. But which one did he like? Spring went by, and summer drew towards its close. Autumn came but he had still not decided. The flowers now appeared in their most gorgeous robes, but all in vain–– they had not the fresh, fragrant air of youth. For the heart asks for fragrance, even when it is no longer young, and there is very little of that to be found in the dahlias or the dry chrysanthemums. Therefore the butterfly turned to the mint on the ground. This plant has no blossom but it is sweetness all over with the scent of a flower in every leaf. "I will take her," said the butterfly and he made her an offer. But the mint stood silent and stiff, as she listened to him. At last she said, "Friendship, if you please and nothing more. I am old, and you are old, but we may live for each other just the same; as to marrying–– no, don't let us appear ridiculous at our age." And so it happened that the butterfly got no wife at all. He had been too long in choosing, which is always a bad plan. And the butterfly became what is called an old bachelor.