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From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Start of Story
Age Rating 2 to 4.
She grew at the very end of the rose-garden, next the road--that is
what vexed the other trees.
"You are only a common Brier," they said, "and yet you are placed in
the most prominent position. Everybody who passes can see you, while
we are half-hidden by your spreading branches."
"Look at us!" cried the Red Roses. "Are we not worthy to be seen? Our
petals are like rich velvet, not pale and colourless like yours. In
the morning light we glow like massed rubies, but you cannot glow at
"We are like bits of the sun brought down from the sky," said the
Cloth-of-Gold Roses, "and yet you have the presumption to stand between
us and the passers-by."
"If you were even a Sweet-Brier it would not be so bad," sighed the
Tea-Roses; "but you have no scent, so what is the use of you?"
Then the biggest of the Pink Roses spoke. "You have only one row of
petals," she said severely. "That stamps you at once as of low birth.
We others are all of higher growth than that. Look at my petals, set
so closely one above another that you cannot see between them! You are
a nobody, and yet you are allowed to retain the best position. It is
White-Brier had listened to it all in a sorrowful silence, but now she
spoke: "I am sorry, indeed, to be in the way," she said. "I should be
glad to be at the back of the garden, for I know you are all much more
beautiful than I am. But I was placed here, and here I am bound to
grow. I cannot help having only one row of petals and no scent. It is
The other roses only turned their backs on her at this, but the bees
crowded into her flower-cups to comfort her. "Don't take any notice of
their jealousy," they said. "If you have only one row of petals, still
they are so white and delicate that they can compare with any in the
garden; if you have but little scent, you have a sweeter heart than any
rose here. We love you best of all, and will do our best to carry your
pollen well, so that your seed-balls may be well filled."
The summer passed; one by one the roses faded and showered their petals
on the earth. Autumn came, and the green leaves turned red and yellow
and then brown; and they, too, dropped upon the earth. Winter came;
the proud rose-trees stood bare and thorny, shivering in the winter
But White-Brier was not bare. Her roses and leaves had indeed faded,
but the little seed-cases below the flowers had grown into green balls
that swelled and turned red, and now the whole bush was hung with
scarlet berries. How they glowed as they swung in the wind! The
passers-by stopped to look at the bush. "What a beautiful rose-tree!"
one of them said to the master of the garden. "What a glorious bit of
colour in this gloomy winter weather!"
"Yes," he said; "that is why I planted the tree in the front of the
garden. In the summer there are many beautiful flowers everywhere, but
in the winter there are so few, that it is good to have a tree like
that where everyone can see it."
Then the proud roses were ashamed, and begged White-Brier's pardon.
"You are more beautiful than we are now," they said.
But White-Brier did not grow conceited. "It is nothing," she said. "I
must grow according to my nature--that is all. But my heart is singing
for joy that I am beautiful at last."