THE TWO ROSES

Somewhere deep in the woods, there live a woman with her two daughters in a poor hut. They had a beautiful garden in front of the hut where two strange roses vegetated. One of the roses had white petals and the other had red ones. Both daughters were beautiful the two roses. They called one White-flower and the other Poppy. They were both very hardworking and smart. The girls loved each-other very much and any time they went out they were holding hands together. Their mother always told them to love each-other. The girls went very often to the forest and none of the animals hurt them. The White-flower and Poppy kept their hut so clean that you would love to see it. In summer when their mother was asleep, Poppy put on her bed a bouquet of flowers, a red flower and a white one. While in winter White-flower lit the fire and they stood around the chimney together. Once when they were staying together, the door knocked. The mother said:

- Poppy go and open the door! It may be a traveler that wants to spend the night.

Poppy opened the door and there was a bear instead of a man at the door. Poppy was so scared and White-flower went under the bed, but the bear said:

- Don’t get scared! I was freezing and I want to warm a little inside.

Their mother calmed the girls saying that the bear was kind and he would do nothing to them. Then the girls approached, took the brush and took off the snow on the bear’s back. The girls took to bear so much that he spent the night in their house. From that day on, the bear went every day to their hut and they didn’t sleep without seeing the bear. But the spring came and the bear told White-flower that he would go away. She asked him about where he would go and he said:

- I will go to the forest to save my treasures from the evil dwarfs. In winter the land freezes and they can’t find the treasures, but now the ground softens and they dig everywhere and they will find them.

She felt so bad that the bear would leave but she could do nothing to stop this. So the bear left quickly and he was disappeared in the middle of the tree trunks into the woods. One day mother sent the girls to the forest to collect braches. They saw a fallen trunk and a dwarf whose beard was stuck in the middle of the trunk. When he saw the girls, he said:

- Why don’t you move and look at me like that?! Don’t you understand what has happened to me?!

Girls asked him what had happened to him and he said that he had come to cut wood, but he had slipped and his beard was stuck in the middle of the trunk. The girls tried to get him out of there but it was impossible. Then Poppy said she would go to call other people but the dwarf didn’t want others come because he was afraid that they would kill him. Then White-flower took out the scissors and cut his beard. At the moment he felt he was loose, he took the sack full of precious stones he had hid under the tree roots, threw it on his back and left murmuring:

- Go to hell! You cut my beautiful beard! I will settle your hash…!

Once the girls went to the lake to fish. They saw something at the shore wallowing like a shrimp. They noticed it was the dwarf who wanted to jump into the water, but he said:

- I am not a fool, don’t you see that this damn fish is trying to withdraw and kill me?

The girls saw that the fishhook thread was tied around the dwarf’s beard and the fish was trying to pull him but it couldn’t throw him inside the water. The girls caught the dwarf and tried to pull him out but it was useless. The only thing they could do was to cut his beard, but when the dwarf saw them shouted out:

- What are you idiots doing?! Wasn’t it enough that cut my hair once, now do you want to disfigure me? How can I go in front of my people?

Then he took the sack with him and left without speaking a single word.

A few days later mother sent the girls to buy some thread, needles, ropes and ribbons. Over their head a giant eagle was flying. Then it flew like an arrow towards a large stone. When the girls saw it, the eagle had caught the dwarf. The kind little girls caught the dwarf from his legs and held him tightly till the eagle let him go. When the dwarf found his feet, he began complaining to the girls:

- You couldn’t be a little more careful! You tore my suit! Bad girls!

Then he took his sack and went through the rocks to his den and the girls went on their way. They carried out their mother’s order and were going back home. They found at the lawn the old dwarf, that didn’t expect anyone to pass there so he had left the precious stones in the middle of the road shining like the sun rays.

The girls froze:

- Why did you remain spellbound?! –the dwarf called.

His pale face flushed from anger. He was about to begin his offenses but a terrifying scream was heard at that moment and the bear came out of the forest. The dwarf jumped from fear but he couldn’t enter his hole because the bear cut the way. The dwarf was trembling and said terrified:

- Don’t eat me! I will give you all the jewels! My small body won’t satisfy you, you’d better eat those girls to fill your belly.

The bear hit the evil creature with his paw and the dwarf was dead down. The girls ran away but the bear called them:

- White-flower! Poppy! Don’t be afraid! Wait me and I will join you!

The little girls knew the voice of the bear who came at their house every night and stopped. Suddenly the bearskin fell down and in front of them there was a handsome boy inside the skin. He was the son of the king and he said to the girls:

- The evil dwarf that stole my jewels turned me into a bear. So I have been wandering in the forest till now. Now that he died I turned into a human again. Years later White-flower married the boy who was turned into a bear and Poppy married his brother. Their mother lived quiet and happy with her daughters for too many years. She planted both roses under the window of the house. Every year the roses gave beautiful rosebuds with pleasant flavor.