A gently allegorical tale, based (as explained in an author's note) on two Japanese ideas: the philosophy, expressed in the folktale on which this poem-story is based, that each season is a gift containing the next; and the tradition that ``all heavenly bodies...were once presents, and...by opening gifts we continue to create the universe.'' Rose's first present is adorned with a picture of a forest; when the little girl opens it on a wintry day, she finds herself within the forest, from which she sees another present, wrapped in a glowing spring garden.
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