The Daugher's Petals

 Once upon a time there was a young girl who plucked the petals from a flower that grew by the side of a road. Her mother saw what the little girl had done, and berated her. How dare she take from a growing thing the petals that would make it beautiful! How could she injure a plant so cruelly!

    A wise old woman who lived by the side of the road saw, too, what the little girl had done.

    Hobbling forward, she whispered in the mother's ear.

    When the old woman was done, the mother turned toward her daughter and smiled. She gripped the little girl's hand in her own, petals and all, and kissed it gently. It was then that the girl prized her petals most of all, and tucked them away in a box.

    Time passed by, and when the little girl had not long been a woman, she died.

    Her mother remembered the words of the wise old woman, who had whispered gently so long ago, 'One flower's petals preserved in death do not a destructive creature make. Her heart is as beautiful as her petals.' The mother opened the box with the old dried petals then, and held them to her heart.

    There they remained until the mother, too, died.

    And then, the wise old woman smiled. For in her second sight, she knew mother and daughter walked again together beside a different road.

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