Once upon a time there was a most precious rose whose penchant for blooming in the cold autumn months presaged a reversal of fealty. It was that kind of rose.

Yet it was said that were a landed gentleman or Lord to tour the countryside and discover the rose prior to its fearsome bloom that he might stave off the foretold revolution. Furthermore, boiling the rose’s petals granted the Lord the ability to sow love and kindness amongst his kingdom’s vassals. And a season of bounty would follow the winter’s exacting chill. Yet it was also said that the Lord must happen upon the rose accidentally. Because no man saddled a horse in late summer without his mind on the rose, peaces were few and far between.

Since the serfs were so seldom the recipients of the rose’s awkward spell, they bore the brunt of its magic, or curse, or joke. So one particularly dry autumn they burned the entire countryside in hopes of saving their masters’ fields.

This is why today we have no lords and public education. And why roses can now only be found in grocery stores, where they know better.

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