The Secrets of the Dandelions
Once upon a time, there lived a little girl named Aurelia. She lived with her mother in a little yellow house with a big, green garden. Her mother was a wise gardener and she knew of the secrets of the plants that lived in their garden.
No matter the weather, Aurelia loved to play outside. There was always something to do and discover in the garden. Her little cat Goldy would walk beside her and together they would play. Now, it was spring time. The sun warmed the earth and the days grew longer. New green plants were sprouting up each day. Oh, how good it felt to touch the earth again with her bare feet!
Aurelia and Goldy wandered out each day to see what was new. One morning, in the month of April, Aurelia saw a carpet of bright, yellow flowers dotting the green grass. The dandelions were back and they were a sign of spring. How she loved the dandelions! She bent down to look at them more closely. They were round and their golden petals rayed out from the middle. "Ooh!" she cried with delight. "You look like little wee suns! Round and yellow and bright. You make me so happy!" She ran inside the house to fetch her favorite, yellow cape. She put it on and proceeded through the yellow speckled grass like a queen. Then, she twirled and danced a little dandelion dance. Goldy loved the sun too. He rolled on her back in the grass and soaked up the sunshine as Aurelia sang a little song:
You are so much fun
Bright and round and yellow
Shining like the sun!
That spring, Aurelia became good friends with the dandelions. At night, before sleep, she would tip toe out to the grass and leave little gifts for the dandelion faeries. She would give them tiny crumbs of honey cake in a sea shell or even a little blanket that she stitched from her basket of sewing scraps. In the morning, she would put on her cape and lay out a quilt in the dandelion patch. She would dress up her dollies and have fancy tea parties in the spring time sunshine. Her mother joined her and showed her something fun to do. "Every queen needs a royal crown" she declared. "Let's make one together." So they picked handfuls of long stemmed dandelions and Aurelia's mother made a little hole in the middle of each stem. "You can use your thumb nail" she said. "then you can weave the next stem inside. Do this over and over until you have a crown that fits your head. Just the right size!" Aurelia watched her mother weave the stems. She tried her hand at it and caught on quickly. While they worked, they sang their little song..
You are so much fun
Bright and round and yellow
Shining like the sun!
And before they knew it, they had woven their crowns!
They put them on their heads and smiled. Aurelia made tiny crowns for her dollies. She even made one for Goldy. They drank fresh peppermint tea and had a royal tea-time!
The dandelions bloomed on and on and . Aurelia could pick as many as she wanted. "Be sure to leave some for the honey bees" her mother reminded her. Her mother let the dandelions grow freely all over the grass for she knew that the bees loved to gather pollen from them to make their sweet, golden honey.As Aurelia watched the honey bees do their work, she could see their legs grow fat with the fluffy, yellow pollen stuck to their legs. She picked bouquets of violets and dandelions for the supper table each night but made sure to leave plenty for the honey bees.
It seemed like her golden friends would bloom forever, but, as time passed, there were less and less of the sunny blossoms. The flowers were closing up at the top. They looked like little bundles all wrapped up tight. There was only a tiny tip of yellow at the top of each one. "Hmm" she wondered. "It looks as if they are going to sleep. I wonder what will become of them? " she said to herself. Her mother, who was gathering dandelion leaves to add to their salad for lunch, overheard Aurelia's question but she quietly kept on with her work.
Aurelia felt a little bit sad. She missed her sunny friends. "Where did they go?" she asked her mother. "Will I ever see them again?" Her mother smiled and gently put her arm around Aurelia's shoulder. She knew of the secrets of the plants in her garden, but she wanted her daughter to discover this treasure for herself. "Wait and see my dear. Something new will come" was her reply. And she walked off to tend to her roses.
Aurelia watched as all the dandelions closed up. There was a quiet hush in the garden. "Perhaps they are only going to sleep" she said. "It's hard to just wait and see, like mother says." She remembered how hard it was to wait the night before her fifth birthday. She knew that a special package awaited her in golden wrapping on the kitchen table the night before, but she had to wait until the next morning to open it up.
By now, each sleeping dandelion had grown a fuzzy white tuft on top. Aurelia touched them with her finger tips. "Ooh, they are soft" she said. "Soft and white. I wonder why they are changing colors?" She waited and watched until one morning, they began to open up. "Oh my" she said. "They are waking up, but now, they look different!" Everywhere were round, white globes across the green grass. They were not sturdy like the yellow flowers. They were soft and delicate, kind of like a dream. Aurelia bent down to look more closely. "You don't look like a sun anymore" she said to them. "You look like the moon up in the night sky. The same moon I say goodnight to each night before sleep." And she made up a new song and sang it to her fluffy friends.
Silvery, white balloons
Dreamy, soft and round
You look just like the moon
And this time, she danced a little more softly. Her soft cat purred and rubbed against her leg. "I think you like the moon dance as much as the sun dance!" she said to Goldy. Just then, her mother joined her. She plucked a dandelion stem and put it close to her mouth. She closed her eyes and waited a moment. Then, she blew with all her might and tiny seeds flew away in a cloud of silver. "I just made a wish" said her mother. "You can make one too. And now that the dandelions have made their little seeds, you can pick as many as you like!"
And so, Aurelia spent the days picking the delicate globes and making dandelion wishes. She made wishes for her family, her friends and the honey bees. Her most special wish was that the dandelions would return the next spring. Just then, Brother Wind blew his big breath and a cloud of tiny seeds blew all around her! Goldy jumped up to try and catch a flying seed.
When Aurelia caught one, she had to hold it carefully between her tiny fingers. She cried with wonder "My stars! Just when I thought you could not change again, now I see another special thing about you!" Each tiny seed looked like a little star. When they swirled around her and filled the air, they looked the starry sky at night. She called her mother to share what she had just discovered.
"Mother" she called. "I have one more song for the dandelions. Come and sing with me." Her mother joined her and they danced in the garden as Brother Wind blew the starry seeds all around them. And together they sang
Your seeds go near and far
You travel all around the world
You look like tiny stars!
And so, that spring, Aurelia found out about watching, waiting and wondering in the garden. Her mother and her now shared the secrets of the dandelions...that they indeed were just like the sun, the moon and the stars.
written by Christine Summerfield, April 2017