The Flower's Friend
One day a flower tipped her face toward the sun and noticed that the usual delight she took in feeling its warmth was absent. She knew she was the sole flower living in a field filled with tall wavy grasses, but she had not thought about how that made her feel. And this day it made her feel rather lonely.
All day long the flower thought about this strange feeling, and as night fell and her petals began to droop as they always did when the sky grew dark, the spark of an idea began to bloom. The next day, the idea had blossomed: she would get a flower seed to grow beside her and be her friend, for it seemed to her that to find someone just like her would defeat her lonely feelings.
The flower called up to a crow who was passing close by, saying, ‘Crow, could you please find the seed of a flower and drop it next to me so that I might have a friend?’
‘I’ll do as you ask,’ said the crow, ‘but you will need to find someone to dig the hole where it must be buried. Flowers cannot grow unless their seeds have been placed under the dirt first, and I cannot dig.’
The flower thanked the crow, and then turned again to thinking. It was just as the crow dropped the seed beside her that she happened to see a hare blazing by.
‘Hare!’ she cried out quickly because the hare was moving so fast, ‘a crow has brought me a flower seed that will grow and become my friend. Could you please dig me a hole with your strong feet so that the seed can be buried under the dirt?’
‘I can do that,’ said the hare, ‘but you will need to find someone to water it. Flowers cannot grow if they do not have a lot of water, and I cannot carry any between my paws.’
The flower thanked the hare, and again to turned to thinking. Just when the hare’s feet had finished digging the hole, a toad hopped by.
‘Toad!’ she called out, ‘A crow has brought me a flower seed and a hare has buried it in the dirt. Could you please bring me water from the river in your cheeks so that it so that it will grow and be my friend?’
‘I can do that,’ said the toad, ‘but you will need to offer it shade when the sun is strongest after it sprouts, for flowers do not grow if it is too hot, and I am not tall enough to offer shade.’
The flower thanked the toad for the water, and turned again to thinking. As she gazed around her, she realized just who to ask. It was a strange thing to ask the grasses, for they had always been her nearest neighbours but she had never spoken to them because they were so different from her.
Still, as she thought of her future flower friend, she put aside her nervousness and said shyly, ‘Grasses, would you be willing to shade my flower friend, please? A crow and a hare and a frog have all helped plant the seed, but none of us can shade her from the hot sun like you can.’
The grasses waivered a little, whispering to each other as they did. Then they said, ‘We were hoping that you would ask us, beautiful flower, for we have heard you ask the crow and the hare and the toad for help, and we would like to help, too. Yes, we will shade your flower friend for you.’
The flower beamed, and bowed her stem in thanks.
All that was left to do was to wait.
Each day the toad watered the seed, and the hare and the crow came by to watch the seed’s progress. The grasses peered over just enough to let the warm sun in and keep the hot sun out.
But as each day went on, the seed did not sprout.
Finally, the flower admitted to herself that there could be no hope.
‘I will not have a friend,’ she said to her helpers sadly, ‘for it seems that the flower will not grow. I thank you for your help, but you may be on your way for there is nothing to see here.’
The hare and the crow and the toad and the grasses looked at her a moment, and then spoke in conference among themselves. Finally, just as the flower was wondering very much what it was they said to each other, the toad said, ‘We are sorry that you will not have your flower friend, and we are sorry too for our own sake, but there is something to see here: there is you, our friend.’
The flower lifted her wilting head, and stared at her helpers. And then she noticed that, while her heart was sad that her flower friend would not be, her heart was not broken: for she had friends all around her. More than she had ever imagined.