THE WINDFLOWER’S STORY by Abbie Phillips Walker

wildflowers and pansies in the wind

One day a little Windflower growing in a garden heard the Rosebush say to the Pansies, “What a quiet little creature the Windflower is! She seems to be a modest little thing, but she never stays here long enough to get acquainted; so I do not know whether she hides her ignorance by keeping quiet or is a deep thinker.”

“I think she is deep, Miss Rose,” said the Hollyhock, near by. “You know I can see farther than anyone here, and it is my opinion that the Windflower is deep, and I think, too, she has a story.”

“A story!” cried the Pansies, turning up their pretty faces to the Hollyhock. “Oh, how interesting.”

“What do you mean by a story?” asked the Rosebush.

“Oh, I mean she is deep and knows things of which we little dream. There is something between her and the Wind, but I cannot learn her secret.”

Rosebush held up her head, the Pansies turned their little faces around and looked at the modest little Windflower to see if they could read her secret.

“I have no secret the world cannot know,” said the Windflower. “All my family love the Wind; this all the world would know if they knew our history.”

Rosebush and the Pansies and Hollyhock began to question the little Windflower, and this is what she told them:

“Oh, a long, long time ago some beautiful goddess grieved very much over the death of some one she dearly loved, and she created in memory of this friend a beautiful flower which she named Anemone. That is our real name.”

“Oh, how grand is sounds!” said the Rosebush. “Such a big name, too, for such a little flower.”

“Yes, it is big,” replied the little Windflower, “but you see we had nothing at all to do with our name; the Wind fell in love with us and opened our blossoms—that is the way we happened to be named, I am told.”

“Oh, how interesting!” said the Rosebush, beginning to look with envy upon the little Windflower.

“But you are a small family, I think,” said the Rosebush. “I have seen very few of your kind in our garden.”

“No, we are a numerous and beautiful family,” said the Windflower.

“Oh, how conceited she is!” said the Rosebush in a whisper to the Pansies. “Think of calling herself beautiful. For my part, I think her white and purple quite plain-looking.”

But in spite of the low voice of the Rose the little Windflower heard her. “Oh, you are quite mistaken if you think I feel I am beautiful!” she said. “It is of our family I speak; you should see some of my sisters; they are wonderful, purple and so silky they are beautiful.

“And other sisters are a beautiful blue. Oh, I am by far the plainest of our family. But the Wind has no favorites; he takes us all along with him, though, of course, my sisters that grow in mountain pastures go oftener with the Wind than others.”

“Oh, here comes that horrid breeze!” said the Rosebush. “He always spoils everything.” And she gathered her petals closer to her and leaned back among the leaves.

When she opened her petals to look around the garden again the little Windflower was not there.

“Why, where has the Windflower gone?” she asked.

“Oh, you missed it!” said the Pansies, nodding very knowingly. “That breeze came to tell the Windflower that the Wind would be along in a minute. We heard him, so we watched, and in a little while the Wind came and took the Windflower away with him. She went up high right over Hollyhock’s head.”

Hollyhock, who had been gazing about, lowered his head. “She is out of sight,” he told the Rosebush and the Pansies. “The Wind came this morning and whispered to her, but I could not hear what he said; but she opened wide her blossom and nodded.”

“Now, what do you suppose there is between the Windflower and the Wind?” asked Rosebush.

“Just what she told us,” said Hollyhock. “He is in love with the Windflowers.”

“I should prefer a more tender lover,” said Rosebush. “I think him quite rude at times. The way he blows through our garden is far from gentle.”

“Some like strong lovers that can master them,” said Hollyhock, lifting his head and standing very straight.

“I suppose so,” sighed the Rosebush; “but it is just as I have always said. You never can tell about the quiet, modest ones. Think of the little Windflower having such a story and flying away with the Wind. My, my! What a world!”

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