The Wishing Rose

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Illustration by Elisa Lopez

The Wishing Rose illustration

Once upon a time, in the middle of a small village, there was a very old, abandoned house. The house was surrounded by a high iron fence, and behind this fence grew yellow roses. All the children in the village were afraid to walk by the old house as it had dark windows and dark doors through which all day and all night there breathed a mysterious wind.

All, that is, except for one boy who so wished to see the yellow roses that he did not allow himself to be afraid of the dark windows or the dark doors or the breathing wind. Every day he stood in front of the old house, grasping the iron fence, listening to the mysterious breathing and gazing at the yellow roses.

Then, one day, as the boy came to the old house, he found that one of the roses had crept its head through the fence.  The rose stood in his way and was as tall as the boy and full of thorns.  But the boy did not allow himself to be afraid. He took the rose carefully in his hand.  As soon as he did the rose broke off at its base, as lightly as a dry twig, though it was fresh and green.

And so the boy took the rose home with him and hung it over his bed.  Late that night he woke, and looking up at the rose he said:

“My rose, why did you stick out your yellow head for me?”

“I stuck out my yellow head for you,” explained the rose, “because you so wished to see the yellow roses that you were not afraid of the old house or the dark doors or the dark windows or the breathing wind.  I am a wishing rose, and you may wish for whatever you like.”

“I wish to know,” said the boy, “why all the other children are afraid to walk by the old house?”

“Few are truly brave,” said the wishing rose.  “And few truly wish to know.  You are brave and that is why you have found a wishing rose.”

After that, as the boy grew up, he was never afraid to feel different from the other children.  When it came time to leave home the boy said to the wishing rose:

“My rose, I wish to know where in the world shall I go, and what in the world shall I do?”

“Go as far as you like,” said the rose, “and do everything you wish to do.”

So the boy took his rose with him, and travelled all around the world, and was never afraid to do anything he wished to do.  One day, after many great adventures, the boy realised that he was falling in love.

“My rose,” he said, “I wish to know, what shall I do now?”

“Love with all your heart,” said the rose.  “And never be afraid to lose what you love.”

So the boy became a man, and loved with all his heart, and was never afraid to lose what he loved.  Finally an old man, he one day lay dying.  His rose still hung over his bed.

“My rose,” he said.  “I wish to know why I am not afraid to die.”

“You are not afraid to die,” said the rose, “because all your life you have had a wishing rose, and you have never wished for anything but to know.”

The rose then let go of its perch and landed on the old man’s chest.  They breathed their last breaths together, and the old man was buried with his rose.

And if the story of the wishing rose is still being told, then the old house still stands, and the wind still breaths mysteriously through its dark windows and dark doors, and yellow wishing roses are still growing there, waiting for brave children.

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- Total nr. of readings: 1,015 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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