I grew on the grave of the prince’s father, and I bloomed once every five years. Everyone looked forward to my blooming, for, though I bore but a single rose, its scent was so sweet that it would make you forget all your troubles.
One day, the prince dug me up. I had just bloomed. He put me, with great care, in a silver casket, and sent me off to the princess whom he adored.
When I was carried into her room, I could hear her playing children’s games with her ladies. She saw the silver casket, clapped her hands and said, “I hope it is a pussy-cat!”
The lid came off, and I was presented to the young lady who stood beside her father and her ladies-in-waiting. The ladies were charmed, and so was the emperor, but the princess? She looked at me aghast. She touched a petal and nearly burst into tears. “Ugh, Papa,” she said. “It is not artificial. It is real!”