HOW THE ROSE GOT HIS THORNS
Author's Notes: A long time ago, when I was in middle school and dinosaurs roamed the earth, my English teacher taught us about folktales from around the world such as "How Porcupine Got His Quills" or "How Giraffe's Neck Became Long." These stories would explain the oddities of nature and how they came about. I found it amusing how just one porcupine and one giraffe managed to represent all existing porcupines and giraffes. They were also named after their own species, even though I've never encountered any stories like "Why Human Has Hair on His Head." But anyway, they were cute stories, and the teacher wanted us to make our own. I wrote mine about The Rose and how he got his thorns.
The story has a romantic/lustful theme, because flowers are the sex organs of plants.
There was once a Rose who lived by the side of a Blackberry Bush. He had a happy and content life, for he was the most beautiful and sweet-scented flower in the meadow and all The Butterflies were attracted towards him. However, one day when the winds changed, he noticed an enticing scent that nearly rivaled his own. It was so alluring and intoxicating, he couldn't resist finding out where it was coming from. The Rose peaked around The Blackberry Bush, and in the middle of the field was a plant unlike any other he had laid eyes upon. She was an exotic plant with dainty white flowers and long, slender thorns on her leaves. Her beauty was so inviting, The Rose barely noticed he was slowly wandering towards her.
"What do you want?" asked the mysterious plant when he got too close.
The Rose replied, "I only wish to gaze at your magnificence."
"You may, for a short while," she told him.
"May I ask of your name?" requested the Rose.
"I am a Venus' Fly Trap," she replied. "Now then, if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to attract my meal."
No sooner had she said that did a little fruit fly wander near her, for it too was lured by her sweet scent. However, instead of stealing her nectar, the fly landed on one of her leaf petals, where it met its fate when she clamped her thorned leaves shut. The Rose was astounded by this action, as he had never witnessed such a beautiful plant do such an amazing feat. The Rose wished to stay by her side, but she shooed him away, for he was in the way of her sunlight.
As she wished, The Rose went back to his spot beside The Blackberry Bush. However, he could not get away from her enticing scent, which The Butterflies preferred over his own, and he could not stop thinking of her beauty and grace, which he admired in his thoughts. Day and night, the Rose would watch The Fly Trap basking in the sun and catching insects. He had never spent so much time obsessing over another plant other than himself.
"It must be because I lust for her," he declared one morning.
The Rose decided to visit The Fly Trap once again.
"Dear Venus' Fly Trap, please be mine," The Rose asked of her.
However, The Fly Trap was not impressed with The Rose, and did not find him attractive. When The Rose asked her how he could become desirable, she said to him, "I only like plants with thorns."
"Aha!" The Rose exclaimed. The Fly Trap had many thorns, yet The Rose was completely smooth and bare. "Surely if I had thorns, the lovely Venus' Fly Trap would lust for me."
So, The Rose set off to look for thorns which he could use to adorn himself, thus making him beautiful to The Fly Trap.
First, The Rose looked around in the forest. There he found The Pine Trees, which had many, many thorns on their branches. He asked The Pine Trees, "Please, Pine Trees, may I have some of your thorns?"
The Pine Trees, however, said to him, "I'm sorry, Rose, but we do not have any thorns."
"But what are those long, sharp things protruding from your branches?"
"These," laughed The Pine Trees, "are not thorns. They are needles. You may have them if you wish."
But The Rose was not looking for needles, and so he left.
Next ,The Rose looked around in the grasslands. There he found The Porcupine who had an entire coat of thorns on her back. He asked The Porcupine, "Please, Porcupine, may I have some of your thorns?"
The Porcupine, however, said to him, "I'm sorry, Rose, but I do not have any thorns."
"But what are those long, sharp things protruding from your back?"
"These," laughed The Porcupine, "are not thorns. They are quills. You may have them if you wish."
But The Rose was not looking for quills, and so he left.
Finally, The Rose looked around in the desert. There he found The Snake, who had two very large thorns in his mouth. He asked The Snake, "Please, Snake, may I have some of your thorns?"
The Snake, however, said to him, "I'm sorry, Rose, but I do not have any thorns."
"But what are those long, sharp things protruding from your mouth?"
"These," laughed The Snake, "are not thorns. They are fangs. You may have them if you wish."
But The Rose was not looking for fangs, and so he left.
All hope seemed lost for The Rose, for he ran out of places to look, and was unable to find any thorns. He went back to his meadow and sat by The Blackberry Bush. Just as he was about to fall asleep for the night, The Rose suddenly noticed something on The Blackberry Bush that he had never noticed before. The Blackberry Bush had many tiny thorns, more than he could count, all along their stems!
"Of course!" exclaimed The Rose. "They were right in front of me the whole time!" With his hopes up once again, the Rose asked them, "Please, Blackberry Bush, may I have some of your thorns?"
The Blackberry Bush, however, said to him, "We're sorry, Rose, but you cannot have any of our thorns. They are ours, and we need them."
"But I must have some thorns so I may become beautiful to The Venus' Fly Trap!"
The Blackberry Bush declined once again. "We cannot help you with that, Rose."
The Rose felt this was unfair, but did not argue with The Blackberry Bush. He thought to himself, "The Blackberry Bush has so many thorns, yet I have none. Surely they will not really care if I took them."
So, at night The Rose stole the thorns from The Blackberry Bush and wore them on himself. In the morning, he visited The Venus' Fly Trap once again.
"Dear Venus' Fly Trap," The Rose asked her, "will you be mine today?"
But The Fly Trap still did not find The Rose attractive. The Rose, now confused, asked her why, as he now had thorns, just like she mentioned the day before.
The Venus' Fly Trap explained, "I was talking about a different kind of thorn."
The Rose did not understand what she meant by that, but nevertheless was heartbroken. He sulked back to his spot next to The Blackberry Bush and gave them back the thorns he stole last night.
It was obvious that The Rose would never be able to win the affection of The Venus' Fly Trap, who he longed for so deeply. Sadness overtook his body and mind, and even poured into his scent, which made him all the more sweet. Soon all The Butterflies were drawn away from The Fly Trap and back to him. It was no use, though, as no dazzling Butterfly could ever cheer him up. As days turned to nights, and suns to moons, The Rose became more depressed, more flawed, and slowly, he grew thorns of his very own.
Then one day, when the winds changed again The Venus' Fly Trap could smell his sweet, sad scent, and when the evening sun shone on him, she could see his sharply pointed thorns. The Fly Trap immediately became enamored, but it was too late, as he no longer lusted for her.