My children have a beautiful picture book called Princess Thistle, which tells a fairy-tale like story of a king and queen who long for a child. A thistle in their garden takes pity on them, and transforms herself into a baby, until they lock the gates of the castle and imprison her - albeit for her own good, to keep her safe.
While all parents are biased about their children, my Hufflepuff often reminds me of a character from a fairytale. Sweet-natured, kind, imaginative, enthusiastic, graceful. I am deeply, deeply grateful that she is mine.
On one of our evening walks recently there were thistles in bloom amongst the roadside weeds and my mer-girl became entranced. The spikes perplexed her, but she persevered, exclaiming over the softness of the flower, the scent of the flower. As she traversed the road examining her hard-won find (we returned with scissors the next day to gather more) I photographed her, and thought that if I ever wanted a model for a fairytale princess, she would be the clear pick.