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Herbert, S. (1922). A Child's Birth-Myth Story. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:187-188.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:187-188

A Child's Birth-Myth Story

S. Herbert

Nesta is nine years old and has had a liberal education in sex. She was enlightened about the origin of children in early childhood; and now, as her sex interest is reviving, the lesson has been repeated to her.

This is how she elaborated the newly-won knowledge in her own way. She was going to tell a story and asked what it should be about. 'About a red berry' was the request; whereupon she told the following tale spontaneously, given here in her own words:

There was once a berry alone on a bush, and her husband had been plucked off, and she was so sorry, because she wanted to have some children. Then a little red berry rolled along near her, and she asked who it was, and it said: "Somebody plucked my mummy and daddy, and so I am all alone, and have nobody to take care of me." Then the old berry said it had no children, and would the little berry be its child, and it would be its mother. So they agreed, and lived together.

After a while, one day the mother said to herself: "I wonder why little Reddy is scratching herself so much. —Why are you, Reddy?" "O mummy, I have to scratch, because I feel as if there's something inside me." "Oh, " said the mother, "we must go to the doctor."

So they went to Dr. Berry, and he said she must be cut open. So he laid her on some soft moss—

('Didn't she have chloroform?' asked the listener.)

O no, but he poured some early dew on her, which is the same as chloroform for berries. Then he cut her open, and out came a little thing with two legs, two arms, and two wings. It was a fairy. It said it had been caught in a flower in the spring and made a prisoner, and then felt something growing around itself, and that was the berry. So then it flew away.

Then the berry woke up, and it was quite well, and it gave the doctor three bottles of rose water.

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