All over my garden I’ve planted nothing but roses, fragrant and—if looked at from afar—ablaze with color like sunset clouds, I’d be very happy if anyone of my visiting friends should desire to pick and take some for their homes. I trust that any friend of mine carrying the rose would vanish into the distance feeling that his emotions had been rekindled.
A close friend came for a visit the other day. I know her to be a lover of flowers and plants. And for that reason I told her at her departure that she should pick a bunch of roses to grace her boudoir. I promised that the scent of the roses would be wafted far, far away.
That girl friend of mine, tiptoeing into the garden in high spirits, sniffed here and smelt there, but in the end she didn’t pick a single rose. I said there were so many of them that she would pick as many as she’d like to; I told her that I was not a florist and didn’t make a living out of them. Saying so I raised the scissors for the sacrifice of the flowers, but she stopped me, crying no, no, no!
To cut such beautiful roses would hurt one, she said. With her hands clutching at my sleeves, she told me that by no means should they be cut. Roses are the smiling face of the earth, and who could be so iron-hearted as to destroy a smile so intoxicating?
My mind was thoroughly boggled: the ugly earth, the humble earth, the plain earth—it is for the sake of that smile that it wins the care and pity of people... .
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