The Little Flower That Might Have, Had It Been So Inclined
The following is in response to illustrator Adam Rex’s Character In Search of a Story #8 posted on his blog Editpus Rex. He’s a fantastic artist who’s always coming up with new ideas.
George the farmer loves to plant flowers. Big ones, short ones, purple ones, blue ones—every kind. But his favorite are chrysanthemums. He loves the bright colors and cute little button flowers. Every August, George goes to Flowers, Etc., his local flower store and buys a couple large bunches of mums to plant next to his fence in front of his house.
One time, several years ago, he noticed that one bunch of mums had one flower that was a little bit taller and bigger than the others. “That’s strange,” he thought to himself. “I guess the rest will catch up soon.” But as the days past, the one chrysanthemum flower only got bigger and bigger. George noticed this and also that some of the little flowers in the larger flower’s shadow were becoming wilted because they weren’t gettting enough sun. And mums love the sunlight.
So, George dug the bigger flower out of the bunch and put it in its own little pot next to the other ones. Its former neighbor flowers didn’t miss it at all and quickly filled the space—you would have never known it was there in the first place! But soon, the long mum outgrew its little pot and George had to put it in a large pot. He thought this was quite strange because he had never seen a chrysanthemum grow so large before.
Within two weeks, the flower was two and half feet tall and in George’s largest pot—fourteen inches in diameter. George also began to notice strange things about the flower. He could have sworn that the flower was growing close-together petals that looked like eyebrows, but he was too embarrassed to tell anyone.
One day, maybe a month after George had originally transplanted the mum flower, he was watering his flowers around dusk. Bent over with his big metal watering can, suddenly George heard a raspy voice say, “Ya got any smokes?” George fell over backwards in alarm and looked up to see two white eyes in the middle of the flower looking back at him. A mouth of petals moved and said, “Did ya hear me, or are ya deaf or somethin’?”
George, still on his bottom, struggled for words but couldn’t manage any. After a half-minute or so, the flower broke the silence and said, “Name’s Mitch. And you?” George stood, up and brushed himself off frantically. “Uh, uh…um, I’m George,” he exclaimed. “I, uh, run this place, and you…how can you talk?” George was proud that he had managed to get that last part out, as he was still very flustered.
Mitch looked around and then down at his two large leaves, which George now noticed looked a great deal like arms. Mitch looked back at George. “Well, er, I don’t know. I guess, I, eh, just had somethin’ to say,” said Mitch. “Now, um, you got any of ‘dem smokes I mentioned?” George told Mitch he did not and found himself wondering why a plant would want to dried plants. “Well, um, what is it that you have to say then?” asked George. And just like that, Mitch started talking. George pulled up a rickety three-legged stool and listened all night. Apparently, plants have a lot to say.
To Be Continued?