Blindly Missed Beauties – by Isabella Ziarno (Middle School)

Does a flower not grow with a sturdy stem in the sun with petals fanned out to flaunt its ravishing colors? Do they not proudly display their myriad of tones and hues for the watching eyes of the world to see? Then why, might I ask, does this one simply sit? Sit with a crooked stem and bland petals; quite a normal flower to look at. Nothing that could make a man stop, look down, and say “Oh my, what a lovely flower I have encountered”. In fact, one might say that it is very odd indeed, for how could a plant like this not grow like the others? Why would it want to unfurl its white and seemingly lifeless petals out into the sun, where its softness surely cannot handle the brutality of the sun and footsteps passing by? Yes, it is fair to say that the spectacle is bizarre and most peculiar, and that to pass by it on a stroll would not be missing out on anything of importance.
Until you dig.
And once you dig and dig you might find something that will surprise you: thick roots pumping with life and gold, and when you look around through dirt and grime you’ll see some other roots. They are not nearly as plump as the bland-petaled one, weakly stretching out their elderly fingers to grasp onto something. Anything to hold onto, to anchor itself, to sturdy its growth. And then if you turn back to the crooked-stemmed plant once more, you will see that it does not crawl deeper in a desperate hunt like the others. It has already found its anchor, its grasp tight and firm. But the other flowers do not turn their buds or wiggle their roots over to the sitting flower even though it has shown success. They would much rather bear the search for strength than turn to a ghostly looking flower like that. Besides, they already conquer the surface. But our flower is fine with this, because it knows that there will be someone that will stop, look down, and dig.
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-01
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