Ep. 590 - The Happy Family - A Danish Folktale
The largest green leaf in this country is certainly the burdock. Put one in front of your waist, and it is just like an apron; or lay it upon your head, and it is almost as good as an umbrella, it is so broad.
Burdock never grows singly; where you find one plant of the kind you may be sure that others grow in its immediate neighborhood. How magnificent they look!
And all this magnificence is food for snails—the great white snails, which grand people in olden times used to have dished up as fricassees, and of which, when they had eaten, they would say, “H’m, how nice!” for they really fancied them delicious. These snails lived on burdock leaves, and that was why burdock was planted.
Now there was an old estate where snails were no longer considered a delicacy. The snails had therefore died out, but the burdock still flourished. In all the alleys and in all the beds it had grown and grown, so that it could no longer be checked; the place had become a perfect forest of burdock.
Here and there stood an apple or plum tree to serve as a kind of token that there had been once a garden, but everything, from one end of the garden to the other, was burdock, and beneath the shade of the burdock lived the last two of the ancient snails.