Once upon a time, a young girl named Veronica had woken up early and, instead of reading as she usually did, she was lying in bed thinking of all the wonderful things her mother did for her. She was filled with so much gratitude, that she decided she was going to do something special for her mother to show her appreciation. Veronica thought about making her mother breakfast in bed, but she had already done that the week before. She then thought that she could make her a photo frame using the bits and pieces in her craft basket. But, she had been through that recently and she knew she didn’t have everything she needed to create one she would be happy with. Then Veronica had an idea: She was going to wake up and find and pick her mother the most beautiful rose in the world.
Not having much time if she wanted to find the rose before her mother woke up, Veronica asked herself where she should begin. The best place to start, Veronica thought, would be the back garden. She got dressed and went outside where there were dozens of roses waiting to be examined and picked. She knelt down in front of the garden bed and thought about how she was going to decide which of the roses in front of her were the most beautiful. If roses are both beautiful in groups and on their own, then one of them had to be more beautiful than the others, she concluded.
Veronica’s first challenge was to start seeing each rose as an individual and not as a bed of roses. She could tell simply by looking that the roses were beautiful, but she quickly discovered that there was little point in being able to examine each individual rose if she didn’t know what it was that made a rose beautiful in the first place. I always notice how red the roses are at first, Veronica thought. So, she knew the colour was beautiful, but, despite them being a mix of lighter and darker reds, every one of the roses was red. How was she going to decide which shade of red was more beautiful than another? Leaning forward, Veronica compared two roses which were obviously different shades, but, neither one immediately struck her as being more beautiful than the other. If roses were grey, she thought, would they still be as beautiful? She didn’t think they would be but searching for an answer to this question confused her, so she decided to try examining their petals.
Roses are mostly made up of petals, Veronica thought, so they certainly contribute to their beauty. She chose a rose and looked closely at each petal, reaching out with her fingertips to examine the curves of the petals; starting with the curled-up petals in the middle of the rose and gradually moving out to the larger ones towards the outside. She realized she could see the veins of the rose through some of the petals and thought that even they carried their own unique beauty. Would a rose with one petal still be beautiful? Veronica asked herself. She couldn’t bring herself to pluck all but one of the petals off of any of the roses, nor did could figure out what made one petal more beautiful than any other, either. She was now running out of time before her mother woke up.
Veronica’s last resort was to try and think about the problem from the roses’ perspective. Does a rose know it’s beautiful? How would the roses feel if they knew I was trying to decide if a single rose was more beautiful than the one next to it? Feeling overwhelmed, Veronica was about to give up on the whole idea altogether, when she noticed a rose lying on top of the ground of the garden bed. It had fallen away from the other roses and the two petals left attached to its stem were grey and were not curled up neatly like the other roses. Veronica was able to pick it off the ground with ease and immediately noticed how fragile it felt. She stared at it for a long while, trying to decide if was beautiful or not. Although it took a little more effort to appreciate its beauty, Veronica eventually convinced herself that he may have just found the most beautiful rose in the garden.
Cupping the rose gently in her hand, Veronica went inside to show her mother.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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