The Miniature Rose
Once upon a time, a little Seedling poked through rich, dark dirt and raised her head toward the sun. A soft breeze blew, cool air sending waves of delight along her delicate stem.
The Gardener smiled, leaned down, and brushed a speck of potting soil off a tender leaf. After giving the Seedling a drink, he left her on the deck to bask in the warm light.
Days passed, and the little Seedling grew and grew, until she was a Seedling no longer--but a small plant with beautiful, pink flowers growing off her in all directions, reaching over the sides of her little terra-cotta pot. She heard the Gardner telling his child that she was a Miniature Rose. Oh, how the Seedling loved the sound of that. Rose. Reaching for the sun and wind, she bent and twisted her small, thorny stems so the scent of her flowers could reach the child who played on the deck every morning.
Once the trees dropped their leaves, the Rose went to the place the Gardner kept his precious plants in the winter, and slept. When spring came, He placed her in the sun and she grew and stretched, and for weeks waved her new blossoms in the gentle wind.
After a few seasons, it became harder for the Rose to stretch. Her roots grew uncomfortably tight, pushing against the sides of the pot, and it pained her to reach out to the breeze. Still, she smiled and nodded hello to the birds that visited the feeder, and the child (who now went to school) played near her every afternoon. The Rose kept growing in her cramped pot, but try as she could, her flowers wouldn't bloom very well and she feared the child would stop seeing her. "What's wrong with me?" she cried. "Am I dying?"
The Gardener heard her weeping. "Rose, dear Rose, soon you will blossom anew. Wait, and I shall help you when the time is ready."
So the Rose waited, roots cramping and tight against the cool stone of the pot, doing her best to find joy despite the pain. One warm day, the Gardener picked her up, walked across the yard, and set her down next to a large, new pot. She watched as the Gardener filled up the empty space with special food and deep brown soil, then the Rose braced herself as the Gardener lifted her slowly out of her cramped home.
How it hurt! The Rose's roots were a horrible, tangled mass. "Here, let me help you, little one." The Gardener gently loosened her roots, which ached from being in one position so long. Then he settled her into the new pot, swept dirt around her roots, pressed firmly, then gave her a long drink of crystal clear water.
Then the Gardner rose and went away, boots clomping back to the house. The Rose looked around at her unfamiliar surroundings. He'd moved her to the garden.
That night, she cried as mist left dewdrops to fall off her leaves. Who was she now? Would she see the child again, or the birds by the feeder? She shuddered as rabbits hopped near in the gray morning hours, sniffed at her and wriggled their noses in curiosity. Wind whistled through the ivy, making her shiver. As the day grew warm, the Rose relaxed. Butterflies of rainbow colors visited her and the other flowers. She made friends with the daisies and the peonies, and their silent songs of beauty touched all who came near. The next morning, a light rain fell, and the Rose reached out her leaves to shelter the rabbits who came to see her again.
As the weeks passed, the Rose stretched and grew and bloomed as she never had before. She grew to love hearing wind whistle through the ivy, and even made friends with the rabbits. The Gardener's child came to visit sometimes, and the Rose was happy. She grew old and wise, and comforted all the frightened, young flowers who came to her garden. She taught them that even if they had pains from growing, all flowers could trust and be safe in the Gardener's care.