It was his very first spring; he was a young sprout and that day started out perfectly…
Blade looked up at the breathtaking sky. Beautiful, hardly a cloud covering its perfect canvas. “Isn’t it a nice day?” he asked his brother, Root who stood tall by his side.
“Yeah, sure,” Root replied in his usual disinterested drawl.
A ladybug passed Blade’s line of sight, and he watched it land on a lovely, tall stalked dandelion.
His roots tingled with excitement. It was Dandy. She had sprouted the same day as him, and he had loved her ever since she was a bud.
As the fat bug tickled the golden flower’s face, she laughed, and as that joyful melody rang out, Blade couldn’t help but smile.
Then it happened. She glanced his way. “Hi!” she said looking down at him.
What do I do? She’s talking to me! Blade thought in a panic.
“You’re Bean, right?” she asked.
He glanced around then looked back at her. Maybe she’s talking to someone else. Bean? There aren’t any Bean’s around here. “Are you talking to m-me?” He stuttered.
She giggled as the lady bug crawled down her stalk. “Yes, silly. I don’t think anyone else around here has got a name like that.”
“No, I guess not.” Blade wanted to tell her that his name wasn’t Bean, it was Blade, but the way she said it made him wish that it was.
“Not that I don’t like that name,” she continued, “It’s cute.”
Some of the other weeds and grass in between them snorted in amusement and Blade blushed slightly.
“Thanks, I guess. Uh… your name is Dandy, right?” Blade asked, trying to pretend like he wasn’t sure.
Dandy nodded happily, making her short petals bounce up and down. “It’s not the most original name for a dandelion, but I think it’s pretty.” She said.
“Y-yes. I think so too,” was all he could manage in return.
“Dandy,” her father called. He turned and looked down at the two of them, his old-fashioned white afro of seeds bobbing in the breeze. “Your mother and I need to talk to you.”
“Yes, Daddy,” she replied. Then, smiling once more at Blade, she said goodbye and turned to both of her parents.
Blade’s roots shivered with a sigh. “She talked to me,” he said in a daze.
“Yeah, and she called you ‘Bean’,” teased Root.
“Nice day for a trim,” interrupted Grandpa Green from behind them.
A trim? Blade wondered, “What do you mean?” he asked looking back at him.
Before Grandpa could answer, they heard a distant roar crack to life.
“You’ll see in a moment,” Grandpa said.
What was that? Blade wondered. His sharp body shook in the wind, “That… That doesn’t sound good.”
Root tried to hide his own worry but it was clear that he was concerned. “Don’t sweat it. Grandpa isn’t worried, so you shouldn’t be either.” But Blade wasn’t satisfied.
The roar came nearer, and screams of fear got closer with it, shaking the very ground they were rooted in. Then they saw it, a huge pink monster pushing a loud shiny, gray box. The gray box stormed over the screaming stalks of the lawn and spit them out of its side with horrifying hunger.
“What is that?!” Blade cried.
“That’s a lawn mower.” Grandpa Green told him.
“This is awful, Root! We have to do something!” Blade gasped, trying not to choke on his own fear.
“Like what? We can’t move.” His brother replied.
Blade looked around frantically as the monster got closer, and the screams became louder and then the truth of Root’s words sunk in.
I’m useless. A monster is eating my people, and I can’t do anything about it, he thought helplessly.
Then they heard another scream. Much like the others, but this one was different. Blade recognized the sweet melody mingled in it. He turned and his roots clenched the soil in horror when his fear was confirmed. It was Dandy; the mower was coming up right behind her, its evil roar mocking them.
“Dandy! Nooooo!” Blade cried in shock as he watched her disappear under the monster.
“Blade! Get down!” Root screamed as the mower covered them and they were shrouded in its shadow.
The sound was deafening and hot wind beat against Blade’s trembling body. Everything went black.
“Blade, wake up, we’re okay!” Blade heard his brother’s relieved voice announce.
I’m alive? Blade looked around with new joy. Everyone was short, their pointy tips had been cut off, and they were now a field of green midgets.
“You youngsters! You should have seen yourselves!” Grandpa began to laugh.
“What about Dandy?” Blade asked, looking at the deserted place where Dandy had always been and then back at Grandpa Green.
His laughter faded and he hesitated, “The weed you were sweet on?”
“She’s a flower.” Blade corrected, annoyed that he would call her such.
“They aren’t as durable as us, they—“
“Is she okay?”
Grandpa sighed and bent a little lower. “No, Sprout. She’s gone.”
It was like being uprooted. She… she’s gone? His green faded, and he couldn’t think about anything but her scream.
As the hours after the tragedy turned into days, Blade’s brother and plant friends tried to talk to him and make him laugh, but none of it worked. He withdrew into himself.
Days passed by, all a blur and dark. Why is life so cruel? Why would this world want to snuff out a beautiful life like Dandy’s?
Then one day Blade noticed the sun was shining, and he felt its warmth caress his skin. Birds chirped, and crickets sang. There were new flowers budding all around him, swaying to the tune they heard in their minds.
He pitied them as they chattered and played with the wind— ignorant to their fate.
One of the flowers, a bright wild daisy looked his way. She smiled at Blade and for some reason it annoyed him.
How can she be so happy? Why would anything dare to be happy when they live in such an uncaring world? He thought to himself grumpily.
“Hello there, my name is Dizzy,” The flower said, her light voice calming, but Blade made sure not to let it affect his sour mood.
“So, do you have a name?” she asked, leaning closer.
“Yes, of course I do.”
“That’s great,” she beamed, “can you tell me what it is?”
“What use is it?” Blade grunted. He was finding it hard to believe that only a few days ago he was as happy as this foolish flower.
“What do you mean? Telling each other our names is often the first step in a friendship.”
“Well, I don’t want any friends,” he snapped harshly. “It only ends up hurting you.”
Understanding covered her face. “Sometimes that’s the price of a good friend: Some heartache.”
He looked up at her, some of his anger turning into wonder. “How can you be so happy? You know you are probably going to die in a few days, don’t you?” He felt a little bad after he said it, but Dizzy didn’t seem upset at all.
She was quiet for a moment then that radiant smile returned. “Yes, but that’s why I think it’s so important to stay sunny. God gave us this short time on earth and we should use it for His glory. Not sulking.” Her white petals radiated the reflected sunlight, making her look like she glowed.
“But that doesn’t mean you have to forget those who have left us. It just means you need to make their memories count,” she added gently.
Blade was silent. What could he say? He looked away from her and for the first time since that awful day he realized something; the birds still sang their carefree melodies, even though only days before, many of the little flowers who had once danced to them were gone.
The bright sun still beat down on the earth, feeding the plants with its beautiful rays of light even though there were several young plants that would never again feast on its brilliance. Even the bugs didn’t seem to notice their old friends missing.
The world had moved on.
“Then what is the use of our lives if nothing we do or say will make a difference?” Blade finally asked.
“This friend of yours, the one that ended up harming you, have you forgotten them?” Dizzy asked. Her soft voice had become more serious but that sweet, happy note was still there.
“No, of course not.” He replied. What kind of silly question is that?
“What were they like?”
Blade hesitated, but then, “She was beautiful,” he began to remember the good times. “She liked to laugh and was always smiling. Anyone who talked to her always ended up with a smile of their own.”
A grin slipped onto Blade’s face and though he felt a little ashamed for it, he let it stay there.
“Then her life wasn’t in vain. She brought a little light into this world. As long as you remember that light, letting it bring new smiles to you and even others, then her short time was spent well, and she will not ever really be forgotten. God has not wasted her light because He let her give it to you, and it is now your turn to continue to pass it on so that it may grow brighter.”
Dizzy watched Blade for a few more moments then said, “The world is hungry… Share some light.”
Blade stared at her. He couldn’t think of how to reply. Share some light… Four words formed in his mind and he looked up at her.
Dizzy looked hopefully back at him.
“My name is Blade.”
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
Note: Illustrations were provided by Hannah Carmichael.