The morning sun shone through the deciduous tree tops of the forest as two, young, garlic cloves made their way through the old oak forest. They hiked through, exploring all the while. Eventually, they wandered deeper into the forest than they had ever been before, and they found the branches of the trees give way, opening to a lush meadow of wildflowers.
“Wow, look at them Callie.” Paul said with wide eyes.
“There are so many colors. I can’t believe it!” Callie replied.
“Let’s go see them all!” Paul said, starting to skip. Callie giggled and was soon skipping right by his side. They kept equal pace, though he was a quicker than she.
“Green. Red. Yellow. Orange.” Paul cried out, smiling all the while.
“White. Pink. Blue.” Callie added to the mix, pointing at each as they skipped, tumbled, and tripped into the flower bed.
“Hahaha!” They laughed and rolled back and forth in the small, delicate carnations, poppies, dandelions, and daisies. It was a beautiful rainbow of colors that they had seen from the harvests and the celebrations across Frutopia. The flowers were pretty, the air warm, and they thought it could be no better. It was not till the two of them saw the purple flower that they both stopped rolling and gaped in awe.
The purple flower stood above their heads high above their heads. Its stem was thick as a small tree. The flower petals were the size of kitchen plates, and droplets of dew glistened on them in the morning sun. Its leaves spread out in all directions, some curling about the base and others pointing their way to the sky. As Callie and Paul approached, they were immersed in a magically enticing fragrance that made them want to approach all the more.
They stood directly under the shade of the purple flower, mesmerized by its beauty. Paul stepped toward it, reached out his stems, and wrapped his hands around the base of the flower ready to pull it from the ground.
“Stop!” Callie put her hand on his back. “If you pick it, you will kill it!”
Paul lowered his stems and looked around the meadow. “But there are so many others. Just look!”
Callie looked beyond the lone flower, and did indeed see several of the tall, purple flowers standing throughout the field. Some were clustered together like small forests, and other stood alone, mixed with a variety of other flowers. “Well…. Okay then. Taking one won’t hurt the rest of them.”
Paul put his stems back on the base of the flower and started to pull the plant out of the ground. The roots started to crack as he leaned back, until they finally gave way and emerged with a loud pop. The flower was heavy, and Paul could not carry it alone. Callie and Paul worked together, putting the flower across their backs as they carried it back to their village. They were tired from carrying such a heavy loadwork, but now that they had the purple flower in their home it was all worth it.
Paul and Callie showed the flower to their mother and father, and they were amazed. The beauty of it was captivating. “Let’s put it on the mantle.” Father said.
“The smell is so lovely; it’s spreading through the whole house!” Mother said.
The purple flower went up on the mantle and immediately became the jewel of the home. Mother invited the neighbors over for dinner, and they were so impressed with the purple flower they wanted one of their own.
“Where did you get this flower, Callie?” They asked her.
“Please show us, Paul. We want one for our home too!” Another said.
The two of them had never felt such praise, so they happily showed the way through the forest to the field of flowers. Soon, everyone in town had a purple flower on their mantle. Its color and fragrance brought such great light and joy to every plant’s home in the garlic village. Next, villages up the river heard about the purple flower sensation, and wanted their own too. Every Frutopian village sent someone to collect flowers for their village, and before long Callie and Paul noticed a change.
The purple flower on their mantle was beginning to wilt and soon it began to rot. Callie and Paul’s family crinkled their faces in disgust as they looked at the once beautiful trophy. “Oh, my! That flower stinks! Can we throw it away now?” Mother asked, and so they did. The head of the flower was tossed in the rubbage pile. The trend soon followed throughout the rest of Frutopia Valley.
“What a waste.” Paul and Callie said, as they walked across the once green meadow and sighed. All the purple flowers were gone. The surrounding field lay trampled in the wake of the purple flower sensation. The rush for everyone to get their own led to no one getting any more.
Paul stumbled over a root and looked at the ground. Budding from the soil there was a black flower, enchantingly beautiful. Callie and Paul stood and stared at it in awe. “Can you see it?” Paul said marveling, reaching forward to touch it.
“No, Paul.” Callie pulled his stem back. “Look at the natural beauty. Instead of capture it, let it be.”