Lately, I’ve been teased by the partial memory of a story that I read as a child. I remember just enough to be intrigued, but not enough to remember how the story went, or even to look it up. If the bits and pieces that follow ring any bells with anyone reading this, please let me know!
What I remember:
A man had three sons. I don’t remember if the man was a king or a worthy merchant. The man sent the eldest son out on a quest, but because the son didn’t follow his directions exactly (and I don’t remember what they were), he failed in the attempt. I don’t recall whether or not he was killed. So, the second son went out to complete the same quest, and he, too, failed. There was, of course, a beautiful woman involved. The third and youngest son went out on the quest after the failure of his brothers. So far, all standard. The youngest son succeeded, or very nearly succeeded. He was to retrieve a rose of gold, and did. He collected, or rescued the woman. But, rather than doing whatever he was supposed to do, he unwrapped and looked at the rose, and saw a worm, in the center of the flower, eating it and causing rot. At that point, the woman identified herself as the rose, or the rose as her.
And, that is ALL I remember. DH says that it is vaguely familiar to him, as well. Does anyone else have an idea?
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