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Mon, 22 Mar 2010
Flower Legends - the Clematis, the Red Geranium and the Wallflower . MC Carey

Clematis - Red Geranium - Wallflower

 "You flowers are making a perfect catspaw of me !"
exclaimed the little Breeze as he got up with the dawn.
"I am not going to listen to you any longer. I am going out to sea, to make mare's tails of the clouds and white horses of the waves, and if you attempt to stop me I shall rise into a . . . a perfect Gale, so there .... !" He added triumphantly, knowing that gardesns hate gales.
" of course, " remarked a purple Clematis, which was languishing over the wall the Breeze was sitting upon, admiring himself before he went. "Of course, you can blow yourself into fifty gales, and never scare me. Nothing short of a tempest even lulls me to sleep ! "
" Nonsense, " said the little Breeze doubtfully.
"I was born in a hurricane," the flower went on tranquilly. Years and years ago the Cossacks were waging a great war with the Tartars, and fighting for their very existence.
But one day, when the battle was at its height, panic seemed to seize the ranks, and they realised the tremendous odds pitted against them, and  turned as one man to flee.
Cut to the soul, the proud old Cossack leader raised his pike and struck his forehead with the hilt, and on the instant a mighty tempest rose and whirled like leaves before the blast the cowardly horseman,  and high in the air their craven dust mingled with that of their enemies as they died, blown into a thousand fragments.
     From this dust the Clematis sprang, but the Cossack tribe were sore troubled in their souls that their bones for ever lay amidst the Tartar throng, and, praying to the holy Saints, they asked that the fair flower of Clematis might spread far to the Ukraine. The Saints granted their prayer, and to this day they hold in Little Russia that if every man would hang a garland of the flower suspended from his belt, so quickly would the fallen Cossacks rise again to life.
So naturally, I am not interested in mere Gales," the Clematis, concluded, as it fell asleep immediately.
"Good-bye," called the red Geranium from the border as the Breeze began to puff himself out, ready for departure.
"Give my love to the Prophet when you meet him ! "
" Why should I ? " replied the Breeze sulkily between puffs.
"Oh, only because I belong to him, you know," answered the Geranium eagerly. "One day he washed his shirt and threw it over a plant of Mallow to dry. When he removed it, I was there instead, born by contact with the sacred garment. Remember me to him when you meet !"
"All right," said the Breeze. " If  only I could get away." He was now beginning to rise, and had got himself entangled in a tuft of Wallflowers "Oh ! what is it you want now ? " He sighed impatiently.
"Nothing much, " answered the Wallfowers. "But you may as well listen to us as to anyone else. After all it is our wall you're sitting on all this time. . . Long, long ago there lived a young and beautiful maiden, who was never allowed to set foot outside her father's garden. It was a beautiful garden, full of shady trees and fascinating twisty paths, just the place for hide and seek, only the maiden had no one with whom to play. She longed to go through the big gates, and see all the wonderful things that lay outside.
The castle reared its old grey head upon the far bank of the river Tweed, and the maid would fain wed the young heir of a hostile clan. He, rendered desperate by her father's jealous guard, stole one night to the castle garden and , in the guise of a wandering minstrel, sang to his love of love's enchantment.
     In his song he sang to her of flight, and told her in the soft, melodious strains to fly with him that night, when she should hear the moorcock's note borne on the breeze to greet her listening ear. He there below the wall would wait, with horse and man, and ride with her to home and happiness.  When darkness fell, and the moon's fleeting beams sank low, the moorcock's challenge sounded through the silence, and the maiden crept from her room, escaping into the moonlit garden, clad in her banqueting robe of gold, which she endevoured to conceal unter a mantle of russet-brown.
     The girl bore with her a silken cord to aid her in her descent from the wall, to the top of which she easily climbed, as an old Apple tree lent its gnarled and trusty branches to help on the adventure. With excited fingers she fastened the cord to the tree,and, hearing her lover below, threw down the twisted strand before climbing carefully down to the encircling shelter of his arms.
   But Alas ! tempted down to slide withal, she brought all her weight to bear upon the slender strands. 'The silken twist untied' and she fell , bruised to earth, only to find death in her lover's arms.
    Venus, from above , who in the old days looked down in pity from the halls of Olympus on such deeds of love, sorrowed for the young couple with such a sad end.
So, bending low, she turned the maiden into the blushing flower which ever since has haunted grey old walls, enriching them with the robe of gold and cloak of russet-red, which man have learnd to call the Wallflower.

I do hope you enjoyed these three small extracts from the wonderful Flower Legends by M.C. Carey.

Clematis FairyRed Geranium
FairyThe Wallflower
Posted 16:54

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