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The secret of Sleeping Beauty's castle

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In the original Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty, the castle in which the princess slept was gradually overgrown with thorns “until at last the whole castle was hidden from view, and nothing of it could be seen but the vane on the roof.”

The story continues: “And a rumor went abroad in all that country of the beautiful sleeping princess; and from time to time many kings’ sons came and tried to force their way through the hedge; but it was impossible for them to do so, for the thorns held fast together like strong hands, and the young men were caught by them, and not being able to get free, there died a lamentable death.”

Sounds, well, “grimm,” doesn’t it? All those poor young men stuck in the hedge of thorns.

I’ve decided I know what kind of thorns were surrounding the castle. It was wild roses.

Seriously, we have tons of wild rose bushes around us here in our new home, and let me tell you they are dangerous and not to be trifled with.

The thorns are huge and vicious.

Can’t you just see some poor young prince getting caught within these things?

I expect nesting birds, everything from songbirds to pheasant, will take advantage of the natural barrier against predators to build nests and lay eggs.

The rest of us just have to put up with them.

I’ve seen neighbors pull in heavy equipment and do their best to rip out the roses, to little avail. They’ll just grow back.

Right now the rose bushes have no flowers (too early in the season), but I expect the hillsides will be a blaze of pink by June. Despite the thorns, I’m sure they’ll be beautiful.

After all, even Sleeping Beauty’s castle must have been gorgeous in the early summer.

From a safe distance, of course.


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