8^ THE AMBITIOUS ROSE-TREE.
and other destroyers which Avere laid treacherously
within her leaves. The good blackbird, with many
another feathered friend, Avas for ever at Avork in
some good deed of the kind, and all the good, grate¬
ful flowers loved him and his race. But to this
terribly proud and discontented Rosa Damascena he
had been a bore, a common creature, a nuisance, a
monster: any one of these things by turns, and some¬
times all of them altogether. She used to long for
the cat to get him.
' You ought to be such a happy rose !' the merle
had said to her one day. ' There is no rose so
strong and healthy as you are, except the briars.'
And from that day she had hated him. The idea
of naming those hedgeroAv briar roses in the same
breath AvIth her!
You Avould have seen in that nroment of her rage
a very funny sight had you been ther'e ; nothing less
funny than a rose-tree trying to box a blackbird's
But to be sure you Avould only have thought the
Avind Avas bloAvIng about the rose, so you Avould have
seen nothing really of the drollery of it all, Avhich
Avas not droll at all to Rosa Damascena, for a Avound
in one's vanity is as long healing as a Avound from a
conical bullet in one's body. The blackbird had not
gone near her after that, nor any of his relations and
friends, and she had had a great many shooting and
flying pains for months together, in consequence of