"Aigle was a High Romantic. She saw life as an occasion for achieving the improbable, for aiming at the unseen, and enforced this frame of mind on others. For the enforcing, she relied on quests. She could not go questing herself, being a Queen, or send her ladies on them, questing being unsuitable for ladies; and the working fairies already had their duties to carry out. But for the male half of her court she invented one quest after another. The quests necessarily complied with the seasons: in the winter months they were domesticated, their objects ranging from a lost thimble or the Absolute to a Bflat in alt. With the spring, they soared. There was the Quest for the White Gentian, when the mountain slopes were speckled with stooping questers. There was the Quest for the Toad in a Stone, when the mountain peaks rang with tap-tap of geological hammers and curses of those whose hammers fell awry. There was the Quest for the Purple Carp, the Chamois Shod in Silver, the Ring Hung on the Topmost Bough, the Crested Hazel Hen. For several summers there had been a Quest of the Dragon, but this was abandoned, not so much because dragons were out-of-date as on account of so many questers being lost in caverns, some never to be found again. When Aigle's invention faltered, there was always the Quest of the Four-Leafed Clover to fall back on. There was also the twice-yearly competition for the First and Last Rose of Summer.
In the servants' hall opinions differed about the quests. The valets disapproved of them because of the clothes to be brushed and the boots polished, the housemaids because of the dirt tracked indoors. The kitchen fairies were sypathetic, and laid bets. Ludla (the Cook) invented a recipe for the Purple Carp, whose colouring she proposed to reinforce with beetroot. Meanwhile she put up picnic lunches."
(The Power of Cookery ~ Sylvia Townsend Warner)
Like Queen Aigle's Elfin Court, Schloss Dreiviertelstein, in Styria, here in Dandyland we have seasonal quests. Four-Leaf clovers fairly well present themselves to me, being naturally lucky, but the First and Last Rose we do, Most Scenic View of the Full Moon Rise, Perfect Xmas Tree, etc. And every fall Cebah gathers up candidates for Prettiest Fallen Leaf. Here she is arranging sets of sassafras leaves to reestablish that there are five distinct types; 3 lobes, right hand glove, left hand glove, single lobe, and a mysterious fifth that we can now neither find nor remember the shape of.