The Princess and the Rose Bush

©2017 Written by: Christine Ann Craig Story #1 in her Princess Parable series

Once upon a time, there lived a Princess at the edge of a wheat field. She harvested most of her crops from that field, but in her spare time, she had a special hobby of tending to a special rose bush.

Her house was located at a fork where the field would divide into two pathways. And, down each of the dusty roads lived a prince…

One of the princes had a beautiful castle, and he had a favored horse that he would take for a trot every day down the dusty road. One day as he was going past, he caught glimpse of the beautiful Princess harvesting the wheat outdoors. He thought to himself, “it’s time to get married. She is very beautiful and a hard worker. I think she would make a wonderful wife.” He thought about all the securities he had, and he calculated that he could provide for her well. So, he made plans in the coming days to captivate her with all his riches and woo her for marriage.

Down the other dusty path lived a Prince in a very humble home. He had actually journeyed from afar, and although he was given permission by inheritance to bring all his possessions with him, he chose to take only what he needed, for he did not know how long his journey would be. Trusting his circumstances to a faithful and loving God, he cultivated a heart of gratitude for his present circumstances. As an evening solace, the prince would often travel the dusty path through the wheatfields by foot, usually too caught up in song to pay attention to his surroundsings. But, one day, he felt led to go for a walk in the afteroon, and as he was trecking down the path, his eye caught sight of a beautiful princess carrying a sheath of wheat and placing it near the grindstone near her porch. She disappeared to the back of the house, soon returning with a water bowl; then she watered her rose bush. Quickely surveying, the cut wheat around him, he thought to himself, “This beautiful lady is very hardworking. Does she tend to her field alone?” And, he had compassion on her.

Well, one beautiful early summer afternoon, the prince on horseback was going to check his estates when on his journey trotting down the dusty road, he saw the princess out in her yard tending to her rose bush. He went to her, and cordially bowed and introduced himself, then he admitted to her that he had been considering her for marriage. Would she consider his offer? To this confident lad, she had but a test. 

She told him that a long time ago, her Father had planted a rose bush for her. And, that she knew when it would be the fullness of time for her to marry because when her true love would come, he would be able to pass a single test. So, she looked him square in the eye, and asked him, if he were serious in his pursuit, and if he wanted to consider the test.

Feeling rather put off that she had rebuffed his offer of marriage, the prince had to try and hide his frustration before meeting her eyes and saying that he would take the test. What was it?

She told him that if he earnestly meant to win her heart, he must pluck a rose from the rose bush and give it to her in proposal.

So the prince set out to do just that. As the princess left to go inside the house, the prince hastily walked over to the rose bush, and he reached down to pluck the first rose he saw. But, alas, when he put his hand to the stem, his flesh was cut. A thorn had pierced his hand, and he was bleeding. When he saw what had happened, he was very upset.

Immediately, he stopped his endeavor of procurring the rose for the princess, and he got on his horse to ride home to bandage his wound, so he wouldn’t get an infection. Leaving the Princess and the rose behind for the day, he didn’t know if it were worth the cost of coming back any other day to try again. The thorn’s impression in his flesh had cut deeply, and it hurt. He didn’t know if he could ever take that kind of pain again. So, he said goodbye. 

The Princess wasn’t distracted. She was far too content to be distracted by suitors who didn’t know the price and cost of true love. She had promised her Father that she would trust and wait for Him to bring true love along with the time was ripe. She intended to go about her work vigorously unconcerned and kept until it was the Father’s time to join her heart with the love of her life.

Well, one day, the Prince on foot was walking down the dusty path, humming a merry song, when he once again noticed the Princess carrying a sheath of wheat from the field toward her porch.

“May I help you with that?” He called out to her, as his feet suddenly took a jog.

“I would be very thankful,” the Princess replied. 

So, the Prince took the sheath from her hands and carried it to the others. He noticed all the work that she had already been doing before the heart of noon.

Moving back towards the dusty road, he walked by the rose bush.

“What beautiful blooms!” The Prince replied, and he knelt down to gently smell a single rose.

“Be careful!” the Princess immediately cautioned, remembering the injury the other prince encountered, but she had spoken too slowly.

The Prince had already cut his finger on a single thorn.

“Well, dear Princess, what a beautiful bush, one that aptly protects you!”  The dear Prince laughed.  “Do you have any rose water that I may dip my finger in to take away its sting?”

Immediately, the Princess went inside to get the water, thinking to herself that the Prince was wise, and he had humor.  

When she got back outside, there he was kneeling with a single, glorious bloom in his hand.

“Will you marry me, dear Princess?”  The humble Prince asked.

She was a little surprised.  How did he know how to get the rose off the rose bush?  How did he know to ask her with the flower in bloom? She had never had a chance to share her Father’s test with him.

“Before I respond, I would like to ask you a couple questions. Kind, humble, sir, how did you get the rose?  How did you know to ask me to marry you?”

The young Prince with a kind twinkle in his deep brown, sincere eyes said, “That was easy.  My Father sent me on a long journey.  He told me that one day down a long road of a wheat field I would meet my true sister, my bride.  His only caution to me was that there would be a single thorn I would have to endure.  He told me that to win your heart, I would have to let it crucify my flesh with its searing pain.   He told me that although the pain would be excruciating that it would be brief, but the joy set before me in capturing your heart would be for His eternal glory.  He asked me if I were willing to go.  And, dear Princess, my answer to Him was Yes. So, my sister, my bride, will you marry me?”

The Princess bowed to the ground next to his feet, and she humbly spoke, “Yes, dear sweet, humble Prince.  I have been waiting for you all my life.”

The end.
Began on 1/19/2011. Finished today, on 8/21/2017.