Story No. 77 – The proud red rose

One beautiful spring day a red rose blossomed in a forest. Many

kinds of trees and plants grew there. As the rose looked around,

a pine tree nearby said, “What a beautiful flower. I wish I was that

lovely.” Another tree said, “Dear pine, do not be sad, we can not

have everything.”

The rose turned its head and remarked, “It seems that I am the

most beautiful plant in this forest.” A sunflower raised its yellow

head and asked, “Why do you say that? In this forest there are

many beautiful plants. You are just one of them.” The red rose

replied, “I see everyone looking at me and admiring me.” Then

the rose looked at a cactus and said, “Look at that ugly plant full

of thorns!” The pine tree said, “Red rose, what kind of talk is this?

Who can say what beauty is? You have thorns too.”

The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, “I thought

you had good taste! You do not know what beauty is at all. You can

not compare my thorns to that of the cactus.”

“What a proud flower”, thought the trees.

The rose tried to move its roots away from the cactus, but it could not move. As the days passed,

the red rose would look at the cactus and say insulting things, like: This plant is useless?

How sorry I am to be his neighbor.

The cactus never got upset and he even tried to advise the rose, saying,

“God did not create any form of life without a purpose.”

Spring passed, and the weather became very warm. Life became difficult in the forest, as the plants

and animals needed water and no rain fell. The red rose began to wilt. One day the rose saw

sparrows stick their beaks into the cactus and then fly away, refreshed. This was puzzling, and the

red rose asked the pine tree what the birds were doing. The pine tree explained that the birds got

water from the cactus. “Does it not hurt when they make holes?” asked the rose.

“Yes, but the cactus does not like to see any birds suffer,” replied the pine.

The rose opened its eyes in wonder and said, “The cactus has water?”

“Yes you can also drink from it. The sparrow can bring

water to you if you ask the cactus for help.”

The red rose felt too ashamed of its past words and

behavior to ask for water from the cactus, but then it

finally did ask the cactus for help. The cactus kindly

agreed and the birds filled their beaks with water and

watered the rose’s roots. Thus the rose learned a lesson

and never judged anyone by their appearance again.