Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Princess of Rose and Mandrake

There once was a princess married to a handsome warrior prince with two children, all living in a keep by a river. Although her home was beautiful, the princess did not want to spend time with the prince, enchanted more by what her garden could grow. During the day she raised her children, and at night she tended the garden which was split in two beds; one side grew roses, the other mandrake.
The princess wanted both rose and mandrake, but was not happy with the yield of roses saying, "it is mostly thorns." By moonlight and starlight she visited both garden beds, though the scratches and pricks of the roses kept her dance ridged and her smile slight. From a high tower, the prince watched her.
Time passed and the garden grew and the children grew. One night the princess stood in the garden regarding the cuts and scrapes that dotted her limbs. "The more I stay with mandrake the more I want rose, but look what I get." A man named Jack had spied the princess and hoped to share the love of roses and so he climbed over the wall of the garden and gave her a small rose bush. The one bud was small, but beautiful, and the scent was fresh. They planted it in the garden and the princess was so happy she asked Jack to join her in the garden again. The princess and Jack spent many an hour together, walking around the roses and talking. They enjoyed their time together and their joy made them smile. The light from the moon and stars reflected off their faces and illuminated the garden. Standing over the rose bush Jack had brought, they stared at each other, smiling, and from their enchanted eyes tears of joy fled. The happy waters fed the bush and the one rose bud bloomed so large the petals engulfed the princess and Jack. They sat in the rose together all night, climbing down the thorns like a ladder at dawn. At each of the Moon's four phases, full, right half, new, and left half, they met in the garden in their rose bud smiling and crying the tears the roses craved.
Time past and the rose bud was more beautiful than ever, it stood higher than the garden wall. Jack said, "princess, my love, the world is big, and my boots can be softened and dirtied more. But, do not be saddened for our rose is big and can be seen from far."
Jack left the garden. The princess returned to the rose at the next phase of the moon and peering over the petals she looked out for Jack. They saw each other and smiled, but his face was so small to her being far away, and she was sad being in the rose alone with no one in the garden to talk to. The princess cried and watered the garden, but as the moon traveled her tears were more sadness than joy. The rose shrunk, first becoming only big enough for her, then too small to climb. But climb it she still tried, not wanting the rose and her time with Jack to end. As she pulled herself around the dwarfed thorns the stem bent under her weight down into the rose garden. The princess was cut all over, shaken with pain.
Eventually Jack returned, but the princess didn't not want him in the garden anymore. She pointed to the scars that covered her and said, "this happened because of you!" The princess continued to spend her nights in her gardens, again spending more time amongst the mandrake than the rose. The prince, who hoped the princess would come away from the garden after the rose receded, left their keep for another that wouldn't have a high tower that sees over the wall of the garden.

Copyright Michael Mosher 2013