N is for Noble Nightingale

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.


From short story by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde wrote many short stories, plays, and works that we enjoy to this day. Here are two you probably know: “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” This Irish writer became most popular in the 1890s. Yet, how many know “The Nightingale and the Rose”? I happened to check out several books from the library in the 398 section of the library with the folktales and the fairy tales. I grabbed many at random, or at least picking out older books and not looking at the titles. Once home, I could explore.

A friend of mine knew I wanted to figure out “N” for this A to Z Blog Challenge. She mentioned “The Nightingale and the Rose.” The next day, what should I find? One of the books I had selected was “The Happy Prince and Other Stories” by Oscar Wilde. Amazing!

It felt like a sign to at least share this story so we remember it better together. If you are new to this story, read it. If you have known it before, read it. It’s one of those stories that seems to bring something else to light each time it is read.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Something so small can mean something so big. Would you ever think that the heart of a nightingale would be more selfless and loving than the heart of the girl in this story? And of the young student, too.

We have the ultimate sacrifice, and what happens in the end? Was it worth it? Some would say yes. Some would say no. What is more important? Life or love? And here we are with love and death as well as live and death. But this story is not for the student or the girl. It’s for us. We are witnesses to this event.

50-word-or-less summary:

Student must present red rose for Girl to dance with him. No rose! Nightingale asks for rose. Nothing. Rose-Tree warns that Nightingale must sing to moon while pressing thorn against heart. Dies. Red rose! Student gives to Girl. Clashes with dress. Loves Chamberlain’s nephew instead. Rose ran over in street.

Finding the Story: 

Story of “The Nightingale and the Rose” – found here

All of “The Happy Prince, and other Tales” by Oscar Wilde (includes this story) – found here

Official website of Oscar Wilde – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; and people like you.

Published by storycrossroads

Story Crossroads fosters creative and compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. 501(c)(3)

One thought on “N is for Noble Nightingale

Leave a Reply