What is the name of this haunting story?
May 10, 2010 2:00 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a short story which I read when I was a kid. It might be a Hans Christian Andersen story, but I am not sure.

The story involved a youth discovering some sort of a green leaf, or a plant that granted him wishes, but he had to only use those wishes for himself and not help anyone else - he couldn't share his riches with his family for example. He leaves his family home and after many years have passed, he goes back to his old home and finds his parents in utter poverty and on deathbeds, so he finally decides to share some of his wealth but once he does, he either disappears in thin air, or turns into dust or something like that. Do you know what story is this?
posted by GrooveStix to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
not Hans Christian Anderson afaik
posted by infini at 3:14 AM on May 10, 2010

You're thinking of Godfather Death, recorded by the eponysterical Brothers Grimm and since retold by many authors. I came across a version in the latest volume of Roger Zelazny's short stories published by NESFA.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:36 AM on May 10, 2010

Response by poster: @Joe
I read the synopsis of that story and doesn't ring a bell unfortunately. :(
posted by GrooveStix at 10:24 AM on May 10, 2010

I'm interested to see the answers that come up. I'm a big fan of traditional stories, and this is kind of an odd one. The phrasing with the emphasis on sharing sounds to me like a modern interpretation or retelling rather than straight-up Andersen or Grimm. Or maybe it's non-European. Or maybe I'm totally wrong. I'll be waiting to see what people come up with.
posted by aimedwander at 2:41 PM on May 10, 2010

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