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At Green Oaks Elementary School, an eight year old girl named Rose was playing at recess with her best friends, the Anna-Belle twins. Well, aside from her sister, Amy, they were her best friends. The Anna-Belle twins got their nickname for two reasons: 1, one was named Anna and the other was named Belle; and 2, their teachers could never tell them apart so they were both called “Anna-Belle Twin.” Rose was having fun, but she had a foreboding feeling that something wasn’t right.
Rose got the terrible news this day. Miss May, her extremely kind teacher, was the one who told her. “Your sister, Amy, is in the hospital. Your mother is here to pick you up to see her.” Miss May took Rose by the hand and they ran to her parents’ car. Rose and her mother rushed to the hospital.
Amy was in a hospital bed, sleeping. Rose hovered over her. Then the attending nurse said, “The only things that can save her now are rare white roses. Rose, you are our only hope. Your mother fainted at the sight of your sister, and your father is out of the country.” There was silence. Finally, the nurse spoke up again.
“Here, use this to pay for twenty-six white roses.” The nurse handed Rose a one hundred dollar bill. “Bring them back here. The shop that sells them is in the Snowy Mountain Range behind the hospital. It’s on the third mountaintop.”
Rose looked astonished and said, “Are you sure about this? I’m only eight years old.”
“If you believe in yourself, you can do it,” replied, Maria, the nurse.
Rose went home to get her green backpack. In the backpack she put a sandwich, a water bottle, the one hundred dollar bill, and her companion dog, who actually jumped in himself. His name was Blackie, and he was a black lab puppy. She was ready to go.
Rose walked up to the hospital, then looked behind it and saw the Snowy Mountains. Rose, with Blackie’s head sticking out of her backpack, walked to the foot of the mountain. She gazed up at the huge, snowy hills. This is why they’re called mountains. They are so big that they look like mountains, but they actually are just very tall hills. Rose took a moment to gather up her courage, and then headed out on her mission to save Amy.
* * *
As Rose was trekking up the hill, she heard a rumbling sound. An avalanche! But it was only her stomach - she was starving. Rose paused to eat her sandwich. She took off her backpack and reached inside. No sandwich. She looked up from her backpack and saw Blackie with a piece of lettuce stuck to his lip. “Black-IE!” yelled Rose. Her only food was gone. She was lost in a world of snow with only a dog to accompany her.
Rose wandered around the hills. Not too long after, she stopped to rest. “Now I’m really starving!” muttered Rose, taking a sip of her water. Then, a team of two men suddenly ripped off Rose’s backpack and took out the money. “Who…who are you?!” Rose asked, panicking. The duo didn’t answer her question.
Instead, they just said, “See you later! Hahaha!” and just like that, they were gone.
Rose stared down at her feet. There was her backpack lying on the ground with her water bottle, a nickel she happened to have from the school book fair, and Blackie. Rose hugged Blackie and cried.
Finally, after hiking all day, Rose found a small shop called The White Rose. She sat down on a bench outside of the shop to think. I’ll just rest a while, she thought. Now that her money was gone, she worried about how to buy the flowers Amy needed to get well. It seemed hopeless.
Rose got up her nerve and walked into the shop. Inside, there was a lady arranging flowers. “Hello, may I help you?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, I have no money,” Rose said sadly. The lady said, “Are you lost? A child your age shouldn’t be wandering alone in the Snowy Mountains.” Rose told the lady all about what happened. She told her about Amy, the hospital, the sandwich incident, and the robbers.
“That’s quite a story.” the lady said. “I know why you’re here, but I still don’t know your name.”
“I’m Rose Petal and this is Blackie, my dog that I was telling you about,” Rose said, holding up Blackie.
“Arf, arf!” Blackie barked.
“My name is Karalei. It’s quite a strange name, I know. Anyway, you said you were supposed to get twenty-six roses, right?” Before Rose could say yes, Karalei was gone. Karalei had disappeared behind the counter. But, about five minutes later, out came Karalei with a carefully taped package. Rose saw that on the box was written: TWENTY SIX ROSES.
“But I have no money,” Rose said again.
“That’s okay. Take it. It’s a present from a friend,” whispered Karalei, as if it were a secret although nobody else was around. Rose took it. Just as she was turning around to leave, Karalei stopped her. She smiled and said, “Don’t you think you should rest before your long journey back? Stay a while. I’ll make hot cocoa. It’ll be fun!” Rose stayed and spent the night at The White Rose. That night, Karalei told her a strange story about the rare white roses…
This is the story of the white roses - how they came into being, and about a rare disease, fidgfidghekkauitus, that only white roses from the Snowy Mountains can cure.
One night, an adventurous little girl, just nine years old, snuck out of her house at midnight. She had just moved that day to the town of Snowy Mountain in the Snowy Mountain Range. The girl loved her new home and wanted to explore her new surroundings.
She was very quiet and sneaky as she tiptoed to the foot of the Snowy Mountains. The girl started up the first hill in the bright moonlight. The air was cool and clean, and the trees looked like they were dusted with powdered sugar. It was eerily quiet and peaceful, except for the hooting of a snowy owl in the distance. She lost track of time as she happily climbed. But she got a scare when she came to a valley between two mountains, and nearly sank into the deep snow!
The girl felt lost, and when she saw the sunrise she knew she never should have snuck out. She started crying. All of a sudden, a small rosebud appeared out of the ground where her tear had melted the snow! The girl stared at the rosebud. She watched in amazement while rosebuds sprouted as far as she could see. They then blossomed into beautiful white roses. The girl picked one and ran towards home.
When the girl finally returned home in late morning, she found out that her sister, Maria, was sick! The girl found out that Maria had a rare disease called fdgfidghekkauitus. Doctors hadn’t yet found a cure for it. The disease makes a person very frail and sickly, and then puts them into a coma if not cured fast enough.
The girl was very worried for her sister. She decided to give Maria a white rose to cheer her up, but before she got to her sister’s hospital room, the rose petals crushed in her palm. “That’s it!” said the girl. “I can put the crushed up magic rose petals in a drink!” Most people would think this was a crazy idea, but she didn’t. She knew it was a brilliant idea!
So, the girl went to get some warm tea to put the powdery crushed rose in it. She mixed and mixed until you couldn’t tell that she had added an extra ingredient. She went to her sister’s room and handed her the tea.
“Thanks,” was all that Maria could say. She was very sick, so she strained to say anything. The girl waited and waited for a response.
The next day, Maria was out of bed. The doctors said that she was cured! Maria ran to her sister. “Oh my gosh! Sis, you’re better!” exclaimed the girl. They hugged. Then, Maria said to the girl ever so happily,
“Thank you so much, Karalei!”
Rose woke up early the next morning. She went into Karalei’s little apartment on top of the White Rose shop. Karalei was still sleeping. Rose left a note saying:
After placing the note on Karalei’s dresser, Rose walked out of the shop. She climbed down the first hill, and then stopped. In front of her was a huge frozen river. She couldn’t resist skating across it even though she only had on her sneakers. She put the roses down on the ice and “skated” around the river. Blackie jumped on top of the package of roses. He barked a tune for Rose to dance to. After a dance, Rose wanted to jump in the air and spin like she had seen professional ice skaters do on TV. She tried and landed on her bottom. She laughed at how silly she must look! Blackie panted in a way that made him look like he was giggling, too.
But, all of a sudden, the ice cracked! Rose scrambled out of the freezing water onto the shore and shivered. Then she remembered that she had put the roses on the ice! Rose looked around frantically. She saw Blackie floating on the rose package! “Blackie!” Rose yelled. She reached out to grab him, but it was too late. He was heading toward the waterfall. Then he was gone. Rose called to him, “Blackie, speak!” to see if he would bark back. Blackie didn’t make a sound. Rose sat on the snow next to the river and sobbed.
“Now what should I do? I have lost my two best friends. Blackie, because he fell down the waterfall and probably died, and Amy, because I lost the roses to cure her,” murmured Rose, solemnly. But to Rose’s surprise, when her tear fell upon the sparkling snow, a small rosebud appeared. Rose jumped back. A whole field of rosebuds popped up! In a few minutes, they opened up into beautiful white roses. Her sister would live after all! If only Blackie were here to see this! thought Rose. She picked exactly twenty-six roses and headed for the hospital. At first, Karalei’s story seemed like a fairy tale. Now she believed Karalei and her story about the white roses. But, what about her beloved dog, Blackie?
After a sleepless night on the mountain searching for Blackie, Rose hiked to town. She thought about how long it had been since she’d left home. Was her mother worried? Was it too late to save Amy? No, it couldn’t be too late, Rose hoped. But, after she thought that, she realized that she could be wrong. Maybe Amy wasn’t going to make it!
Back at the hospital, Rose’s mother got the news about Rose going to the Snowy Mountains alone. She was very worried about her. “Now I might lose both my daughters!” she said sadly to nurse Maria.Meanwhile, Rose was walking down the tall hill when she reached into her jacket pocket and felt paper - a note! Rose immediately took it out. It was a note from Karalei.
Rose read it over and over. Karalei was right - never give up. Rose dashed through the snow, excitedly anticipating her arrival at the hospital and her chance to save Amy.
A couple of hours later, Rose reached the edge of the Snowy Mountains. She looked back and thought, Goodbye, Karalei. Thank you for all your help. You are a great friend.
Rose got to the hospital and burst into Amy’s room, ignoring all of the confused nurses and doctors in the hallway. The first familiar face she saw was her mother’s.
“Rose! I’m so happy to see you!” her mom exclaimed.
They hugged. Then Rose went to Amy’s bedside. She handed the roses to nurse Maria. Maria started peeling the petals off the roses and ground them up with her fingers. By rubbing them together, the roses crumbled into a soft white powder. Rose was worried that the nurse was going to make Amy eat the dry rose dust. Instead, Maria put the rose powder into hot tea for Amy to drink. After she drank the tea, Amy smiled and everyone knew that she would recover.
Maria gave some hot chocolate to an exhausted Rose and smiled at her as if she knew what had happened to Rose in the Snowy Mountains. Rose looked into the steaming cup and saw the happy times with Karalei - the hot cocoa they shared, the ghost stories, the shadow puppets, and the story of the magic white roses.
Amy recovered quickly, and she finally came home. Rose was afraid to tell Amy about losing Blackie. She knew Amy would also be heartbroken. So, Rose immediately led Amy to the backyard. “Let’s play on the swing set! Let’s play on the swing set!” Rose chanted so that Amy would not look for Blackie. Also, Rose had missed playing with her sister and best friend, Amy.
After they burst through the back gate, Rose and Amy froze. Blackie was in the backyard. “Blackie!” Amy and Rose said together. Of course, Amy didn’t know that Blackie had got lost in the Snowy Mountains. She just hugged him because she hadn’t seen him in so long. Rose hugged Blackie, too, and wondered how he had survived going over the waterfall. (Would she ever know?) Now, everything was all right.
~20 YEARS LATER~
Rose was visiting Amy’s apartment for the day. An unexpected letter had arrived from an old friend, and Rose needed to share it with Amy. It said:
Rose and Amy were stunned. Of course, Rose remembered Karalei. Amy remembered Rose telling her about The White Rose - and everything else. Rose and Amy agreed that they would call Karalei to accept her offer. Rose looked in the phone book for Karalei’s phone number. There were so many Rosas! Karalei must have a big family, Amy thought. Amy was sticking her head in Rose’s way as sisters do.
“May I see, too?” Amy asked. Just as Amy said that, Rose hurried to the phone to get ready to dial the first “Rosa” in the book. Amy said, “Rose! Dial this, 666-748-5927! It’s Karalei’s number!” Rose dialed the number. The phone rang…and rang…and rang. Finally, the answering machine answered and asked the caller to leave a message.
“Hello, this is…” was all Rose got to say before Karalei picked up.
“Sorry,” Karalei said, “I couldn’t pick up the phone in time. So, who did you say you are?”
“I’m Rose Petal. I called to say that I got your letter and I want to help you with The White Rose.”
“Don’t forget Amy!” Amy added when she picked up the other phone.
“Oh, Amy…” Rose said.
“Thank you so much! You don’t know how much I owe you two!” Karalei exclaimed.
“But I have a question,” Rose asked. “Do you think we could build a White Rose in town so we could live close to our friends and family?”
Karalei was puzzled. “But how would you collect the white roses and keep them fresh? White roses only grow in a special place at a certain time in the Snowy Mountains.”
“We could collect the roses when they are blooming, pack them in Snowy Mountain snow, and bring them back to the shop until they are needed.” Amy suggested.
“Good idea. You’re officially hired!”
“Thank you so much! Bye!” Amy and Rose said together. Karalei gave a heartfelt goodbye and hung up.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s start building!” Rose said.