An allegorical fable of love, sacrifice and selfishness. As with all of Wilde's short stories it embodies strong moral values and is told with an effervescence akin to that of the 1001 nights.
It is the tale of a lovestruck student who must provide his lover with a red rose in order to win her heart. A nightingale overhearing his lament from a solitary oak tree is filled with sorrow and admiration all at once, and decides to help the poor young man.
She journeys through the night seeking the perfect red rose and finally comes across a rambling rose bush but alas, the bush has no roses to offer her. However, there is a way to MAKE a red rose, but with grave consequences.