Minou was sad as she sat by the river under the old willow tree. She’d hoped to have something special to give to her beloved for his birthday, but could find nothing worthy of him.
A beautiful young woman came passing by with a bottle in her hand. She stopped and looked at Minou and said:
“What troubles you, my lady, that you sigh here under the willow branches?”
“My own true love will come of age tomorrow and I’ve nothing to give him for his birthday.” Minou replied and sighed again.
“Maybe I can help you. I just came from my Grandmother’s home and I have this bottle of strawberry wine. I’ve tasted it in the past and it’s delicious. I will give it to you if you will invite me to your wedding the day you marry. But remember the wine is for him, you mustn’t drink even a drop or you’ll die!”
So Minou without thinking twice took the bottle of strawberry wine from her new friend, whose name was Kitsune by the way, took it home, wrapped it and the next morning offered it to her love when they met near the river.
“Oh, what a wonderful idea Minou!” He said, “I will open it this evening and we will drink it together!”
“No Michael … this is only for you. It’s a special wine given to me by my friend and she says no one else should drink even a drop of it, just you!”
“Ah, that’s silly … I want you to taste it with me or I won’t accept the gift at all!”
They nearly had an argument and to calm the waters Minou said she’d promised not to drink the wine but he could pour her a thimble full and they would toast with it on their wedding night. She herself was actually curious about the taste of the wine since she loved strawberries, but a promise is a promise.
That evening, Michael’s family threw him a big party and his wedding was announced at the culmination of the festivities. Their wedding date was set for the 21st of June, they thought it would be nice to celebrate the first day of summer in one another’s arms.
Finally the day came. Minou was being dressed in her wedding gown when Kitsune appeared in her room.
“My dear Minou, you forgot to send me my invitation!” Kitsune said in a petulant voice.
“Oh no dear friend … you forgot to give me your address! But here is your invitation. In fact if you wish you may sit in the first row with the royal family to watch the ceremony.”
Kitsune had to admit that she’d neglected to give Minou her address and was very pleased to be seated with the royal family.
Once they were married they all went to the party field to celebrate both summer’s coming and the new couple. There was dancing and merriment. They cut the cake and then Michael brought out the bottle of strawberry wine.
He poured a glass of wine for himself and a thimble full of wine for Minou. Which he left on the table.
“May our love last through-out eternity and may no one ever come between us.” They twined arms and he drank. Instantly, he backed away from her and said:
“Who are you? Where is my true love?” he said.
Kitsune stepped up, “Here I am my love, I’ve been waiting for this moment! You’ve finally drunk my summer wine! Now you are mine!” and she began to laugh.
Minou was surprised that her friend should have betrayed her in such a way but she was very quick, so she went to the table and drank her thimble of wine saying:
“Ah I die, but all will know you for the little traitor you are!”
Lightening flashed across the clear blue sky and dark clouds formed. Suddenly, Kitsune as transformed into a fox.
Michael looked at them both feeling rather confused. He no longer knew what to think but the spell had somehow been broken.
At that moment an old woman walked up to the table.
“Ah…so that’s where my bottle of wine got to!” she said. “It was a good thing for you my young man that you’d poured some for your new wife. If she’d just drunk the wine, she would have died, because the wine was given to you. But you offered it to her, so my dear niece’s plan was foiled and your bride is safe.” she picked up the fox and disappeared and with them the memory of what had happened vanished as well as the bottle of strawberry wine on the table.
Inspired by Anja from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Fairy Tale Prompt #8