Roses of Mary

Once upon a time, in a cottage not far from the town of Rosama, lived a couple and their three daughters, Joy, Dolores, and Gloria. The three sisters loved each other very much and shared everything. They helped their mother around the house, and especially with the three rose bushes. Each bush produced a different kind of rose, one had white roses with a soft scent, a few thorns, and dark green leaves; the next one had reddish orange roses with a slight bitter scent, a few light green leaves, and was practically covered in thorns; and the third had golden yellow roses with a magnificent scent, no thorns, and silky green leaves. The roses had been a gift to their mother by Queen Mary, having been one of the Queen’s handmaids before she moved to Rosama to be with her husband. Listening to her stories of days in the palace woke a desire in her daughters to travel to the capital and serve the Queen. But the sisters never did anything without the other, so they waited until after Gloria’s eighteenth birthday before setting out for Heavalem. They brought five roses from each bush to give to the Queen, and were quickly accepted into her service. It wasn’t long after that that several men wished to court the sisters. Joy quickly found her love in a carpenter named Patrick, while Dolores found herself interested in a soldier named Joshua, and Gloria began to like a wealthy merchant named Colin.

One day, when during one of their trips through Rosama for the Queen, they met a witch named Catharyn. Most simply called her an odd old woman as she liked having everything in pairs, but she became rather furious at the sight of three sisters working so well together. She wanted to make it even, and set her sights on removing Dolores from the trio. She whipped together a potion that would change Dolores into another animal and managed to slip it into Dolores’ drink at a party. But Joshua drank the drink instead, and it turned him into a panther. Terrified of the harm he could do, Joshua ran off. Dolores took off after him, her sisters and their boyfriends helping in the search. They finally found him hiding in a cave, and were able to convince him to return to the capital to seek aid from the Queen. On their way back, they stopped at a church to rest. The priest sprinkled some holy water over the group in a blessing, and it changed Joshua back to normal. They returned to the capital rejoicing and praising God. When the tale was revealed to the Queen, she had Catharyn banished from  the capital, and gifted the same rosebushes to the girls, Joy getting white, Dolores getting red, and Gloria getting yellow. The three married their boyfriends, and lived happily ever after, the rosebushes a sign of their deep bond and courageous strength.

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