Prairieflower

She was born on the open plains.
Due only to the strength of her will did she survive the constant battering wind, the July cloudbursts, the August prairie fires, the bleak, numbing cold of February.
She awakens each morning to the sweet song of the meadowlark.
She is friends with the prairie dogs who live close to her, especially Prickle, who was always finding himself tangled in the passing tumbleweeds, whose fleeting company cheers her days.
They roll by, slave to their master, the wind.
She watches them pass and a part of her envies them.
They stay in place only long enough to pause next to her and watch the cars go along that endless black ribbon of highway, swallowed up at the end by the horizon.
Then, in their tumbleweedy fashion, they roll on again.
She imagines what they must witness as they roll by.
Are other prairies different?
Are there prairieflowers like herself somewhere beyond the black ribbon?
And are there tumbleweeds (surely, she would miss them)?
Is the sky a different color there?
She ponders these questions each night as the blanket of stars over her head wish her goodnight.

One day, wanting to know what the tumbleweeds witnessed when they rolled away, the prairieflower transplanted herself.
Where she went, there were experiences of every color.
Instead of the constant conversation the wind tried to hold with her, her ears were filled with the sounds of traffic, music which was strange to her, but which pleased her, people speaking many languages she didnąt understand and insect sounds, foreign to her.
Instead of the pure air of the prairie, she smelled fumes from cars, mulch in small bright gardens, the sad smell of death and decay in alleys, but also, unexpected whiffs of rose and lilac and cherry blossom.
She made friends from places she had only heard about and truthfully, had almost doubted really existed.
There were no tumbleweeds, but many birds.
There were no meadowlarks, but instead sparrows, starlings, pigeons, ravens and the rare blue jay or red cardinal.
Once, she even saw a beautiful bird with irridescent black/purple feathers.
But he did not have a nice look in his eye like the sparrows and he had a long, sharp, black beak.
She didnąt greet him for fear of harm.
A prairieflower must be careful who she greets in a place which is not her home.
When first she came here, the city rats frightened her, but would only glance at her as they ran past her in the black of the night.
But she did make friends with a black squirrel named Zabu.
There was something in his eyes that reminded her of her Prickle.
Once, Zabu brought his mother, who was red and his father, who was black, to meet her.
They spent several hours talking and insisted that she tell them stories of the prairie, as they had never known of such a place before.
She told them about the stars and the wind, the tumbleweeds and prairie dogs.

She spent the rest of her days in her adopted home.
There were times when she missed the voice of the prairie wind and the meadowlarks and scent of the sagebrush.
But she had found a new home and was happy she had had the courage to transplant herself.



All writing contained in this website © 1998-2005 by Betty A. Parker

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