S8 THE AMBITIOUS ROSE-TREE.
The gardener came and sauntered down the
glass house, glancing from one to another. The
hearts of all beat high. The azaleas only never
changed colour, they were quite sure of themselves.
Who could do Avithout them in February ?
' Oh, take me ! take me! take me !' prayed the
rose-tree, in her foolish, longing, arrogant heart.
Her AvIsh Avas given her. The lord of their fates
smiled Avhen he came to Avhere she stood.
' This shall be for the place of honour,' he mur¬
mured, and he lifted her out of the large vase she
lived in on to a trestle and summoned his boys to
bear her aAvay. The very azaleas themselves greAV
pale with envy !
As for the rose-tree herself she would not look
at anyone ; she Avas carried through the old garden
straight past the Banksiae, but she would make
them no sign, and as for the blackbird—she hoped
a cat had eaten him ! Had he not known her as
Rosa Damascena ?
She was borne bodily, roots and all, carefully
wrapped up in soft matting, and taken into the
It was a very great house, a very grand house,
and there was to be a marvellous feast in it, and a
prince and princess from over the seas were that night
to honour the mistress of it by their presence. All
this Rosa-indica had gathered from the chatter of
the flowers, and when she came into the big palace