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We Are the Church
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Dismal Daisy
By Jacky Hughes

In the garden the flowers grew. The gardener loved to walk there admiring all the wonderful colors. It seemed as if the whole place was full of the most wonderful fragrance and that each bloom was opened to thank heaven. Weeds, if they dared to appear, were pulled up by the roots and everything was kept in perfect order. Sometimes a plant would need some pruning but nothing got really out of hand. The gardener seemed to know just what to do with each one.

One day a daisy appeared in the flower bed. She was newly formed and she had a bright yellow middle with perfectly formed white petals around it. The gardener stopped and admired her. He was so pleased with her beauty that he clapped his hands with joy. "This one is special," he said.

The sun beat down and the flowers needed water. They were glad of the tender way the gardener poured water from his big green can. Those who had begun to wilt revived and returned to their former glory. Daisy was glad too. She was so small and delicate it was easy for her to fade away in the heat. How she loved being in the garden.

One day a small fly entered the garden and he looked around. He loved to cause mischief. He went up to Daisy and he whispered in her ear. "You are so small. You don't smell. You really shouldn't be here. After all, you are a weed."

Daisy tried to ignore the fly but it kept on and on and on. "Maybe it has a point," she thought. "Maybe I AM a weed. Maybe they made a mistake."

It was true she did not have the fragrant smell of her special friend, Rose. The sun seemed to go in and the wind seemed to come and play around Daisy. She started to feel that somehow in that garden she was an impostor.

When the gardener next appeared Daisy was so ashamed of herself and so very worried that she didn't dare look at him. She kept her face firmly looking down.

"Come on Daisy," said the gardener, "look at me."

The gardener swatted the fly away but before it left it was able to whisper in her ear. "He can't want YOU."

Daisy kept looking down. All her happiness was spoilt and her petals seemed to be worn and faded. Her bright yellow face grew dark from lack of the sun.

Each day the gardener came and talked to her but Daisy couldn't listen. She was so afraid of being rejected that she didn't dare! She thought to herself that if she just kept looking down, then the gardener would leave her alone and not notice her and she could just survive in the garden.

The gardener would shake his head and walk away. He didn't want to lose Daisy but he couldn't have her stay like that. This was a prize garden and one single dismal bloom was spoiling it. If she didn't change soon he would have to uproot her and place her with the weeds.

Finally the day came when Daisy looked so very forlorn that the gardener felt he had no choice. He would have to uproot one of his beloved flowers. Daisy had been dismal for too long. He noted that she had almost become friends with the fly who kept insistently buzzing round her.

Daisy's friend Rose had been thinking. She saw the gardener approach. Rose had been driven crazy by her friend's gloom but she didn't want to lose her. There must be something she could do. Rose looked at the sky and as she did she saw how very blue it was. It was wonderful. Rose had an idea.

Rose found her sharpest thorn. She leaned over and she pricked Daisy hard. "LOOK UP AT THE SKY" she said.

"OW!" said Daisy, and in her shock and pain she looked just where Rose had said. How wonderfully blue the sky looked. How amazing! For the first time in ages Daisy was looking upwards. In the warmth of the sun she grew a little more yellow and the fly buzzed angrily. This time, however, Daisy was too busy looking upwards to hear him. She kept looking and looking and all her former glory started to return.

The gardener gave her a drink and her wilting petals started to revive. She saw that she was still in the garden and that the gardener was smiling. She smiled back. It didn't seem to matter any more that she had no smell. It was just good to be there and to smile again.

A deep fragrance wafted across the garden. Next to Daisy the blood red petal of a Rose dropped to the ground while a new rosebud started to unfold.

Jacky Hughes is a writer living and working in Oxford UK. She has two children, a girl aged 20 (who also writes) and a boy 17 who is at art school and illustrates some of her poetry. Most of Jacky's children's stories began when her children were young, and have been developed since that time. To read more of her work, please visit http://www.mercyuk1.highpowersites.com


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