Amazing Kids! Magazine

Why Roses Have Thorns: A New Greek Myth

By Jimena Valdivia, age 11, California


Many years ago lived a pretty but very insecure woman named Rose. She worried all day and night about whether other people thought that she was attractive. Although everybody saw her as a beautiful woman, she lacked confidence in herself and felt ugly.

She often thought, “Am I pretty enough? I wonder what they think of me.”

One sunny afternoon, Rose was walking along a narrow path that was beside a lake near her house. As she walked past a man holding his keys in his hands, she accidentally got scratched on her face from the keys and received a long gash across her face.

The scratch eventually became an ugly scar. When Rose got home, she ran straight to her bathroom and stared at her mirror with complete horror.

“Oh, no! My face!”

Rose felt miserable because she believed that she had lost her beauty forever. While Rose was overwhelmed with thinking that everyone would call her ugly, the people in the village thought the complete opposite and knew she was still beautiful. After a few days of Rose feeling shocked and even more self-conscious than ever before, the villagers began to pray to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. All the villagers were asking Aphrodite to help Rose realize that her physical beauty should not define who she was and that eventually all physical beauty comes to an end.

The villagers wanted Rose to focus on her inner beauty—the beauty inside of her heart.

Two weeks later, Aphrodite became overwhelmed with all the prayers regarding Rose, so she wanted to see for herself what was going on. Aphrodite put on a disguise and dressed up as a young and beautiful woman wearing beautiful, deep blue eyes as blue as a calm ocean. She also wore a long teal silk dress that swept the floor and light blue glass slippers that would make Cinderella herself feel jealous to complement her outfit.

Aphrodite wanted to show Rose that her inner beauty was also special but that she was going to lose her physical beauty at some point in her life because, after all, it doesn’t last forever.

Over time, Rose’s scar on her face began to heal. Because of this, you could only see her scar when you were close to her.

Aphrodite arrived that afternoon at Rose’s house and made sure she looked good. Rose had just come back home from the store, where she bought more food because she was running out of materials to continue her beauty mask for her face. She also needed different food to continue her idea.

Aphrodite knocked on the door several times until Rose opened the door several minutes later. At first Rose was stunned because she had never seen anyone more attractive than herself.

“Hello, would you like to come inside?” asked Rose after studying Aphrodite’s face.

As this visit continued, Zeus watched.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha,” Zeus laughed to himself. “Rose is jealous. She thinks she’s the most beautiful woman ever. I’ve seen better-looking women.”

Back on earth, Rose offered Aphrodite a drink.

“No, thanks,” answered Aphrodite. “I just wanted to ask you what you will do after you are not beautiful anymore—because you are not worthy of being beautiful.”

At this Rose became silent and felt sick.

“You should lose your beauty when you reach age 40,” continued Aphrodite.

Now Rose really felt sick but still remained silent.

“I should be on my way to Legend Village right now. Good-bye, and thank you for your time,” said Aphrodite as she transformed into her normal self. She soon left floating towards the main door and disappeared into the windy afternoon.

As soon as Rose was sure Aphrodite was long gone, she threw up her lunch and breakfast.

“What would I do after I lose my beauty?” Rose thought worriedly.

“I knew this was coming! Ha, ha, ha,” Zeus laughed as he saw the scene while he was eating popcorn as if he was at the theaters watching a movie full of humor.

As each day passed, Rose worried more about her beauty because she was 37 years old and she had less than three years until Aphrodite’s wish came true.

Each day that she woke up, she prayed to Aphrodite to not make her wish come true and to make Rose into anything but not die as a horrible-looking woman Rose thought. Each day she awoke to seeing herself the same, and each day she awoke to being more anxious than the previous day.

One afternoon as she walked through the soft, green, wet grass of the gods’ park, she came up with an idea and started praying to Aphrodite in her head, kneeling down on her bare legs: “Please don’t make me become unattractive at age 40. At least make me into a charming flower.”

“Do it for her,” Zeus told Aphrodite, playing around as soon as Rose finished praying to Aphrodite.

“Just leave, Zeus. Mind your own business. I’m tired of you stalking me while I’m doing my job as a god. Anyways, you just joke around instead of doing your job.” Aphrodite complained, but she did listen to the main god, Zeus.

As she finished praying, Rose felt herself get lighter and smaller. A man who was watching this action became shocked, and after a few more seconds, he fainted. At some point, she stopped shrinking and getting lighter though she felt like a feather. Rose soon transformed into a wonderful red flower. Few people looked at Rose while she transformed into the first rose. Most were shocked; they told all the villagers about Rose and how she transformed into a flower. All roses now descend from Rose. The curly, multicolored petals stand for her beauty. The thorns stand for Rose’s selfishness. Last, roses don’t last long because two or three weeks for us humans are like forty years for roses.

So now you know where roses came from. Next time a god tells you astonishing news, don’t wish anything without thinking about it twice.