by Adrian Monroy
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“Grandpa, can you tell me a story before you go to sleep.”
“I believe I can. What do you want to hear?”
“Are you sure?”
“Very well. Five hundred years ago there used to be a field, the Daisyfields as a matter of fact we used to call them, here at this very spot. My mother, and her mother before her and so on used to tell us the story of the Daisyfields, and how the flowers were not only beautiful, but alive.”
“Because they spoke, they sang, they even gossiped about the other flowers if you knelt down and listened hard enough. Odd thing was there weren't millions of daisies, not even thousands, and no not even hundreds. There were only two of them, white, flawless, and their fragrance could tickle even the beaks the crows. Every creature that passed would marvel at them, saying what other flowers could look like these? And who could sway so handsomely? None but these two daughters of the field!
“But one day a branch from Father Oak grew a foot too long, and it covered one of the daughters underneath the shade. And so it was that the badger came and said, “I saw you glowing from afar and was amazed! May I ask to pluck a petal from you to hang from the roof of my home? For my son is quite simple and he forgets his way so soon.” And she bowed her crown with excitement and allowed the badger to pluck a petal, but the second daughter was forgot in the shade of the sun, and there was nothing that was asked of her.
“Then a butterfly landed next to the daughter, and stretching its kaleidoscopic wings high into the air it settled comfortably and asked, “I watched you shining down below and my my! I swear I can't remember the last time I saw such a beautiful thing. May I pluck a petal from your head that I may cocoon my firstborn so she may emerge more beautiful than any butterfly that has ever flown before?” So she bowed her crown with excitement a second time, and allowed the butterfly to pluck a petal, but the second daughter was forgot in the shade of the sun, and there was nothing that was asked of her.
“Each passing day another creature would slither, or hop, or shamble, or fly, or walk past and would ask of the flower still glowing for one of her petals but ignore the daughter still forgot in the shade, and she would oblige gratefully and gracefully bow herself. But there came a day when the branch that had grown a foot too long broke after a mighty storm one night, and as the light of the morning shone upon the field, the daughter that had been forgot and ignored, shone even more splendidly than the first Daughter.
“And it came to pass that on that very day a weary King, riding back home from a very long trip across the seas was looking for a gift for his daughter, who had fallen ill and was soon to die. And he saw the flower there in the field, and charged the horsemen and his knights to wait, and he departed his horse and knelt down to the flower, scooped it up with his hands, and set it within a golden bowl. But the King ignored the first Daughter, for she had given all her petals to the beasts of the earth, and withered because her Crown was taken from her.
“So the King arrived back at the castle and ran to the side of his daughter, for she was very weak, but awake and happy for there her father was with a smile she had never seen before, and the King cried, “Daughter! This morning I passed a field and behold I saw the most beautiful flower I have ever seen. Take it and remember the love of your father, for I know I was away for many years and feared you would think I too had forgotten you.” And the King took the bowl that held the flower out from underneath his cloak, and placed it at her bedside, and the King took his daughter into his arms they they wept together.
“So in the course of time the daughter rested, and the flower that had been given to her became the symbol of the kingdom, and a Sorcerer, who had not parted from his love for the King, secretly placed a spell on the flower that the last Daughter Daisy would continue to beam and blossom as long as the sun gave it's light, and that her Crown would never fade even after a thousand years. But evil had come to the kingdom, and the people forgot about the daughter and her Daisy, they forgot about love, they forgot about the King, and soon a great army came from the south and the whole kingdom was swallowed up in a mighty fire. The Sorcerer alone escaped with the flower, unable to do anything for his home, for it takes a power he could never hope to wield to stop such evil, and turned his back forever.
“So what happened to the Daisy and the Sorcerer grandpa? Where are they now?”
The man, staring restlessly above at the stars, took a flower out of the pocket of his coat, a Daisy, and placed it in the small hole at his feet. He answered the child with tears in his eyes.
“They came home.”
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