While she was a flower, Rose could still function and she tried to cry out for help but naturally she could not be heard for she was a rose.

"What am I to do? I cannot live like this for four years," she thought to herself sadly.

She cried tears of dew and it covered her petals.

A year passed and poor Rose remained in the forest as…well, a rose. But when night came she would wander the forest and cry. Her heart was heavy with grief and at times she thought about leaving the forest. One time she did try but she could not step out of the boundaries of the forest. The old woman had fixed it somehow to where she could not leave.

But one evening, in the second year of Rose's spell, there rode into the forest a young man upon a white stead. He wore a cape of blue and a tunic that was made from black cloth. His dark hair gleamed in the sun. But his deep blue eyes were filled with sadness. As his white stead plodded along at a slow walk through the forest the young man suddenly saw a small rose in the path and he pulled on the reins for his stead to stop.

"Woe boy!" the young man said climbing down from his horse.

He crouched down and looked at the rose.

"My stead almost crushed you beneath his hooves. What on earth could this little rose be doing out here in the middle of the forest?" the young man wondered.

He reached out and gently touched the rose and a soft smile came to his lips.

"You are a beautiful rose. Don't you think so Ken?" the young man asked his horse.

Ken's only reply was a soft neigh and he lowered his sleek neck and began to nibble grass.

"I think we will rest here for awhile," the young man said removing his cape and lying on his back. He placed his hands behind his head and looked up at the trees.

"Ah it is good to get away from the palace," the young man said with a sigh of relief.

"Ken, did you now that my father is actually trying to arrange a marriage for me? Of all the stupid ideas! I refuse to marry a complete stranger," the young man fumed.

Ken snorted and continued grazing.

From where she was, the rose listened. She could see the young man as he lay beside her.

"If only I could speak to him. Perhaps he could help undo the spell that is upon me somehow," the rose thought to herself.

But no matter how she tried she still could not speak.

"Maybe he will stay till dusk! Then I can speak with him," the rose thought excitedly.

But to her dismay, after an hour had passed, the young man stood and dusted himself off.

"Well we must head back to the palace Ken," the young man said.

Before the young man left he reached out and touched the rose gently. Then he turned and climbed upon Ken and galloped away.

The rose was in great despair as she watched him go. She cried tears of dew and the drops clung to her petals.

"Come back tomorrow, please come back to me," the rose whispered.

The young man did return and he would come to the exact same spot and lie down, or walk around, talking to himself. The rose heard all of his fears, his dreams, and many other things. He seemed to be a very troubled young man in a difficult situation. From what the rose had gathered the young man had to be a prince or of some royalty linage. Unfortunately, the young man never stayed till dusk but by now that did not matter to the rose. She enjoyed having someone near her, someone she could listen to since she could not speak and be heard. The young man's voice was soft and gentle and the rose enjoyed hearing him very much.

To Be Continued…

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