The Dandelion Clock


“I am the most beautiful of all the flowers.” The rose made this assertion with no self-consciousness. But the lily shook her delicate head. 

 “None is so elegant as the lily,” she argued. 

 “The daffodil is the first sign of Spring. What can be more beautiful than a flower that stands for renewal?”

 “You are all too obvious for true beauty,” said the daisy. “Whereas I have a subtle prettiness that grows on you.”

 “I’m not only beautiful, but am cultivated all over the world for my special properties,” preened the poppy. 

“But you are all so common,” interrupted the orchid. “I am both beautiful and rare.”

 The dandelion sighed. She was not where the others talked, but just outside. “I think you’re all beautiful in your own ways.”

 The flowers nodded condescendingly. “Perhaps you’re right. You at least have some perspective, for you certainly are not.” They all tittered. 

 “No,” replied the dandelion. “I’m not very pretty. But I have much to give if only others would see it. My leaves make a lovely salad, my stem can be sautéed and eaten, my root can be roasted and ground as a substitute for coffee, and even my flower is edible. But not many know these things and I’m not fashionable, though children sometimes enjoy blowing my seeds out for me.”

 “It must be horrible to be so overlooked,” shuddered a stately iris. 

 “In some ways,” answered the dandelion. “But not completely. For instance, that is why I’m out here, growing freely in the field. But you! I am sorry for you all.”

 “Why?”

  The dandelion looked round at the marquee in which the other flowers blossomed. “Because of your beauty, you’ve been picked- to grace people’s homes. But not for very long. Didn’t you know? Picked flowers always die…”

By Abigail Shepherd. First appeared in Whim magazine. 

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