Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a seed came to land in fertile ground. With the slow deliberation of the approaching dawn marking a murderer’s execution or the last snapping of the thread holding a mountaineer aloft, the little seedling burrowed into the soil and started to grow. Time passed, as it will, and soon the seedling sprouted green stems of life into the air, as if to reach the sun. It inevitably pursued its battle against gravity and soon grew to its perfect potential height. More time passed, as it will, and soft leaves unfurled from the now bristly brown-green stems and branches that were once but a seedling. These leaves spread like glistening nature and soon covered the whole plant. Still time passed, as it will, and the magnificence of the dew-fresh leaves was suddenly overshadowed by a singular spectacle: a sweet, sweet blossom bursting from a dozing bud. It unfurled like a whispered promise and revealed the heart of beauty in perfect, velvet petals, its soft vellum gruesomely, beautifully painted with crimson veins. Once upon a time, I came across this flower in bloom. I made to grab it, pick it, but in my blindness I saw not the thorns that bit deeply and brought blood, Still, I grasped my treasure and tore it from its life and held it firmly, for me, only me. Time passed, as it will, and my flower lost its cream and crimson. Its petals became brittle and flew to the air at wind’s slightest caress. Finally there came a time when only the thorns, still hooked deep, remained bitten into my flesh, nestled in my torn and bloody hand as like a babe at a mother’s breast.