How Flowers Came To Be

May 31, 2008
By Romana Pilepich, Bethel, CT

Whoosh! The wind gently ruffled the trees’ branches leading them in a slow dance. But the trees were not content. “Zeus!” they cried, “We are lonely. Send us some company.” Zeus thought for a moment, and decided that it wouldn’t be too far out of his way to create a friend for the trees. So he took a piece of clay and sculpted a friend for each tree on earth. Then he breathed life into the sculptures and named them flowers.
The flowers towered from the earth all the way up to nearly the heavens. Zeus could look at their smiling faces as he went about his daily business. They were favorites of the gods. Demeter gave them everlasting prosperity, Apollo gave them warm sun, Zeus gave them gentle rains, and Aphrodite gave them irresistible charm. When Athena gave them wisdom, they began to engage the gods in conversation.
The trees, seeing that they were being bested, complained again. “Zeus, kind god, shrink the flowers. We are dying. The flowers are blocking the rain and sun. We are withering away, o, Zeus.” Though Zeus wanted the flowers’ company, he realized that they were meant to be friends of the trees, not of the gods, and reluctantly granted the trees’ request. “But do not ask for more,” he called down to Earth, “two requests are more than enough for me to agree to.”
As the days went by, the flowers grew discontent. They wanted to go back to seeing the gods and talking with them. And so, on a lovely summer day, Zeus heard their tiny cries. “Zeus! Move us away from the trees and make us grow tall once more, so we can properly gaze upon the gods.” “Alas,” said Zeus despairingly, “I can only move you away from the trees’ shadow, for if I agreed to the other part of your request, the trees wouldn’t stop complaining until the end of time.” “What does it matter,” sobbed the flowers, “Aren’t we worth more than some trees?” Zeus was tempted to agree to both parts of the flowers’ plea, but he didn’t. With a wave of his hand, the flowers were replanted in meadows all to themselves.
The flowers were almost happy, but not quite. They thought they looked monotonous and dreary. So each meadow decided on the way they wished to look. Then, a bumble bee flew up to Zeus and whispered in his ear. Zeus laughed and agreed. Now, each meadow was full of different flowers, like daffodils, roses, dandelions, pansies, and chrysanthemums. Only one meadow hadn’t asked to be changed. The flowers there remained zinnias, the favorite of the gods.

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