Monday, March 20, 2006

A Daffodil Story

In honor of the arrival of Spring, I present the following tale.

The first spring we spent in this house I noticed a small daffodil sprouting right on the edge of my patio. There was only the one small plant, all by itself. I don't know if it was a stray, or the beginning of bed that never was finished, or a sole survivor of an attempted bed. There were rose bushes there then so it could have been any of the above. We removed the roses to allow a smooth transition from patio to yard, but the sole daffodil remained. Every year it would come up and present one bright yellow flower.

Then one spring not quite ten years ago or so, the daffodil was blooming and Older Son and a friend (who were about 8 or 9 at the time) were playing basketball on the patio. During the course of the game Friend stepped on the daffodil! "Oh, well it's just a flower," he said.

"Oh no, honey" I said as gently as I could. "This flower only blooms once a year." And I mourned for the poor crushed daffodil.

Next spring, although the daffodil sent its leaves up, there was no bloom. And again the next year. And the next. And so it continued, year after year. Daffodil leaves, but no bloom. It seemed as if the daffodil, having been so crushed was afraid to bloom again. I wondered if it ever would. It became something of a family joke, how OS's Friend had crushed the daffodil and it had never bloomed again. Then suddenly, two years ago, after five flowerless springs, the daffodil bloomed again! And not just one flower, but FIVE! There was much rejoicing and admiring of the multitude of blooms.

But our joy was short-lived, because the following year, last spring, the daffodil was flowerless once more. Was this a pentennial blooming daffodil? I wondered, and waited. But fear not dear reader, for I bring tidings of great joy:

Not just one, not even five, but I count NINE buds which so long as they aren't frozen should bloom this spring.

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