The Nightingale and the Rose

Oscar Wilde, Read by John Moffat

Read time: about 2 minutes

There is a reason classics last a lifetime! And this particular story is a brief reminder of the same.

I had read this particular story before, not for 365stories though. So, when I came across it on BBC radio narrated beautifully by Moffat I just didn’t want it to end. This is a gruesome story of love and its importance to different beings.

There lived a student once. He was in love with a professor’s daughter. She was coming for a ball that all the young men were looking fowrard to, merely to dance with her. However, she had decided that she would dance with only the one who brought her a red rose. It may look simple but this was a matter of great concern. There was no red rose around. The student was extremely upset! No red rose in all my garden!

There lived a nightingale on the tree next to the students house. She would see the lover and his love for the beautiful girl. She always admired such true love! Nightingale sung songs of this kind of love.

Now, when she saw the student remorseful she decided to help him by getting a red rose for him. There was no red rose to be found though. All the roses were either white, yellow or pale. The bird flew from tree to tree but no luck.

There was just one way she could get a red rose. But she had to pay for it with her life. She would have to sleep inside a rose and plunge the thorn in her chest. The blood that spills would color the rose hence make it red. The nightingale decides to do it anyway. Love is better than life. Because what is heart of a bird compared to heart of a man!

I am really tempted to talk about the ending of the story but I will restrain! I will just say that the story is extremely gruesome. I had never read Oscar Wilde before but I did not expect him to be this gory.

Go read this story and get back to me! I am dying to discuss this particular story!

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH