|I found a rose sitting on the grass one day. I picked her up, and saw her bleeding eyes. I asked:|
"What makes you cry?" For a long moment, she just sobbed. And then her lips parted, wider and wider. Her pained voice squeaked out:
I glanced down at her broken and bent stem. No thorns, all torn off one by one. My heart clenched, and I gently set her down beside me on the grass.
"Who did this to you?" The silence stretched as far as the sea went. She sobbed some more, as if the very words had pierced right through her heart and her soul.
"I-I did it to myself, of course." With widened eyes, I turned to the rose. How could a rose take away her only protection? Why would she do such a thing? And how?
"Why?" She fell completely silent.
"I thought my thorns would be my protection."
"Weren't they?" I asked with a hushed whisper.
"My thorns only hurt others. If I wished not to be alone at all, I would have learned to take off my thorns for those whom wish to take away my loneliness." The rose sighed shakily and looked up at the blue, translucent sky. "In that way, they offered me protection. But I didn't need protection to begin with."
I narrowed my eyes, massaged my head, and glanced up at the blue sky just like her. But no matter how hard I mustered, I could not understand her words.
"But you are a rose."
"Roses are cowards." She answered. "Too afraid to go about the world without their thorns to protect them."
"But you are a rose." I said again.
"No longer am I a rose. Without my thorns, I am just like any other flower." And as she looked upon the world, she fell silent for the last and final time.