A Rose for Mama (by AC1830)

Summary: Adam and Hoss have a surprise for Marie.  A story for the 2021 Mother’s Day Challenge.

Rating – K, Word Count – 748

A Rose for Mama


Marie Cartwright closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the air filled with scents of pine and wildflowers, silently giving thanks for this Eden she enjoyed with her husband. Opening her eyes she beheld the handsome, dark haired man and gave him a big smile as he led her to their horses for the ride home. 

“Mon cher, thank you for this day just with you. When I awoke I felt it would be a special day and you have made it so. The Spring weather could not have been more perfect for our picnic and… time together.”

“It’s been too long since we had a day like this and I will warn you, it’s not over yet. I believe Hop Sing has been planning a meal for you as well.”

“What have I done to deserve all of this, my love.”

“You married me, my love.” 

Marie’s laugh at that statement sounded like music to Ben’s ears as they walked their horses across the pasture to the barn. 

“My darling, let’s unsaddle the horses here and let them roam. Adam and I can tend to them after dinner.”

Marie smiled agreeably and headed to the barn with Ben after releasing their horses. Inside the barn she stopped when she spied her stepsons waiting by the main door. A frown crossed her gentle features when she saw what Adam was holding.

“Why do you have one of my scarves, mon petit?” 

Adam swallowed at his stepmother’s direct question, but a nod from his father gave him encouragement. “We, um, that is Hoss and I, were hoping you might play a short game of Blind Man’s Bluff with us.”  The lad held his breath as he awaited her response. 

Marie’s frown flipped and she brought her hands together in a single clap. “A game? Oh that will be such fun. Of course, I will play.”  

Hoss clapped his hands and danced around as a five year old is wont to do while his older brother tied the scarf around Marie’s head. 

The silk scarf of sapphire blue covered her eyes, making her world quite dark.

“You can’t see, can you?”

“Non, mon petit. I cannot see.”  She held out her arms and a strong yet gentle hand took her elbow as the other hand rested in the small of her back. She was carefully guided through the door and into the yard.  Her senses were heightened by her lack of sight.  Every sound was magnified, every smell strengthened.  She felt rocks and dirt under her feet and could smell the strong pine scent on the breeze.  She was being turned and she heard the boys running and calling to her from many different directions. Suddenly all was quiet except for the song of birds celebrating the Spring day. 

When she heard a giggle and then a sniffle she reached out and touched Adam. She exclaimed, “I win!” and reached up to slip the scarf from her eyes. 

Blinking against the bright sunlight her warm brown eyes landed on the object in front of her, which was not her stepson.  Her hands covered her mouth as her eyes misted over and a cry of delight and disbelief escaped her delicate lips. 

 A card was held out for her to read.  She lifted her eyes to the tall, dark headed boy and the shorter, pudgy boy, and took the card.


To celebrate our first year with you as our Mama we planted this rose bush for you to enjoy. 

Love, Adam and Hoss


Marie knelt down and gently touched one of the single delicate pink flowers and dark glossy leaves of the young plant.  Turning she opened her arms wide and the two boys rushed to her with hugs of love. 

“Oh mes enfants, mes chéris. Merci!  My children, my darlings.”

When she rose up Ben’s arms awaited her. “Oh Ben, how could this be? Surely it’s not the rose I brought from New Orleans.”

Ben smiled down at her with a tear of joy in his deep brown eyes. “It is your rose bush but I cannot take credit.” He indicated their Chinese friend who had joined them, and his sons.

With joyful tears trailing down her cheeks she hugged all three and gathered with them around their gift of love – the small rose bush with pale pink flowers. 

La Fin


Tags:  Marie Cartwright

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Author: AC1830

Like many, I grew up with Bonanza. I'm an Adam gal from the beginning but I love all the Cartwrights, Candy and Jamie. In 2015 I reconnected with Bonanza through forums and also found my love of reading and writing fan fiction.

18 thoughts on “A Rose for Mama (by AC1830)

  1. I am a big fan of prequel stories, seeing as how I write them, too
    Thanks for this sweet tale. What a sweet gesture on the part of the boys, to show Marie how much they love her.
    Little Joe forever

    1. Thank you Lynn for your sweet comments. I enjoy writing prequels but alas don’t do it often. I’m glad you enjoyed the boys’ gift to Marie. Thanks for reading.

  2. Love the stories of the Cartwright boys’ during their childhood. Especially picturing Hoss as a little boy and dancing with excitement!

    Thank you for a wonderful look at Mother’s Day in the Ponderosa.

    PS Could I be the only fan that hasn’t noticed the rose bush???

    1. Hi Emie, I’m glad you got a kick out of Hoss dancing around, just like him, right? A couple of others made the connection with the rosebush as well. Thanks for reading and letting me know you enjoyed this little prequel. I like writing about the younger boys as well.

  3. Absolutely loved this! Little did they know, the simple gift of that rose tree would be a lifelong present and a good reminder of Marie for the rest of their lives.

    1. Thanks wx, for that insight. Indeed, it was a rare gift that gave back to the family long after Marie was gone. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Ah-h, that is so sweet. It’s nice to see a backstory on that rose bush/tree. I always notice it when I watch the episodes.

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