In the field between two wooded areas grew a rather large family of wildflowers. Summer was coming to an end, and all of the flowers were preparing for fall. They were a happy family of flowers.
A young girl, in preparation for the coming season, was out collecting flower seeds for her father’s greenhouse. Her father was a gardener and made his living growing flowers to sell at the market. When she found the field of flowers, she was so excited. Now she could go home with her seed bag full. As she was leaving, her eyes fell upon a magnificent flower standing alone on the edge of the field. The young girl ran over and bent down to smell it. Surprisingly the flower spoke to her. Sommer, that was the flower’s name, said, “I would be most honored if you would take my seeds to your father. I have heard he does great work.” The girl said she would love to have her seeds. Sommer called her four seedlings and told them of their good fortune. Before they left with the girl, she gave them this advice: She said, “Sleep in good soil, get plenty of sun, but not too much, and grow up to be beautiful flowers, always pleasing to the gardener. The little girl took the four young seeds, thanked Sommer, and made her way home.
On her return, the girl proudly gave her father a full bag of flower seeds. Her father smiled at her and sent her inside to wash her hands and get ready for dinner. He then turned to the new bag of seeds and separated the seeds by their kind. He picked a bunch of full-grown flowers, took them inside, placed them in the center of the table, and began to eat dinner with his family. Seeing this, the son’s of Sommer the flower began to argue. Handsome, the oldest, exclaimed that he, like his mother, would grow to be so beautiful that he would surely amaze the Gardener and be picked to sit at the family table. Soon Aromy chimed in. He stated that he, like his mother, would have a fragrance so wonderful the Gardener would surely smell him over all the others and pick him. Biggens bullied his way through his brothers and pronounced in a powerful voice that he would grow to be large and stand above all others, just like his mother. The Gardener certainly would pick him, for he could stand alone on the table. Sonny, the youngest, tried to remind his brothers of their mother’s advice, but they ignored him for they had become very arrogant.
Weeks passed, and Fall was upon them. The brothers, bored of waiting in the cup, became impatient. The Gardener had not planted them yet. They began to wonder if he had forgotten them. Handsome was tired of being ignored. The Gardener just did not seem to recognize his potential, so he decided he needed to get his attention. Late that night, Handsome sneaked out of the seed bag. He climbed down and slipped through a small crack under the greenhouse door. There he stood proudly on the garden path waiting to be found by the Gardener.
It was late Fall. In fact, it was almost winter, and most birds had flown South. Unfortunately for Handsome, however, one raven was still around and quite hungry. Seeing the lonely seed, the raven swooped down and ate it. Hansome’s brothers saw it all. Looking through the window, they saw the bird carry their brother away. They were sad.
It didn’t take long until Aromy and Biggens realized that the competition was now slimmer. They began to argue all again. A month or so passed and it was the middle of winter. The Gardener had not been to the greenhouse more than once or twice, and that was just to get some poinsettias. Aromy was determined to get to the center of the table before his brothers. He remembered Handsome’s idea to get the Gardener’s attention but had not forgotten his unfortunate fate with the raven. He spied a large stack of rocks by the door to the greenhouse. “From there I will certainly get the Gardener to see me, and birds can’t eat me from inside the greenhouse.” He thought. That night he made his way to the rocks. The winter turned harsh, and the gardener spent little time away from his family. The seeds and flowers slept.
Life in the greenhouse awoke with the first sunny Spring day. The door was open; the air was fresh, and the Gardener was busy. Aromy was on the rock pile desperately trying to get the Gardener to notice him. Biggens and Sonny awoke from their winter nap to find Aromy gone. The climbed to the top of the bag and looked around. Sonny saw him first. He pointed to the rock pile showing Biggens where he had gone. Biggens was mad. He wished he had thought of it first.
Aromy wasn’t having much luck where he was, so he decided to climb to the highest point of the rock pile. His brothers watched from afar. Biggens was still angry, and Sonny was a little worried. Aromy’s new place was so high he almost touched the glass ceiling of the greenhouse. Sonny noticed that the sun was rising and knew it could get very warm. He waved frantically at his brother to warn him, but to no avail. Aromy was too busy trying to be recognized to pay attention to his brother or the rising sun. The sun and temperature continued to climb. Aromy felt himself getting hot, and he had become very thirsty. His new-little roots had no soil to hid in, and the rocks offered no water. As the sun passed over, Aromy passed away. Sonny cried. Biggens was now sure he could win. The next morning Sonny woke up to find his last brother gone, and a letter addressed to him that read:
I will surely be the first one to make it to the center of the table; I am smarter than Aromy and Handsome, for I will not get eaten by a bird nor burned by the sun. I have gone to live with the Roses. There I will be protected from the birds by their thorns, shielded from the sun by their leaves, and noticed by the Gardener, for they seem to be his favorite flowers in the garden.
Sonny was all alone and missed his mother. He saw a little pink clay pot with some moist dirt in it. He climbed in, covered himself, and cried himself to sleep.
Several days later he awoke with the sun in his eyes. He yawned deeply and looked around. To his surprise he saw the most-beautiful flower. It looked very much like his mother. Sonny had grown while he slept in the soft dirt. It was his reflection in the flat side of a shovel. He enjoyed seeing all the new flowers that had bloomed in the greenhouse.
He soon found the rose bush in the garden and at their base laid the remains of Biggens. The roses had done a fine job of protecting him from the birds and had shielded him from too much sun. But they were a large bush and had many roots that had grown with the new Spring. They had accidentally choked out the little seedling. Sonny had watched all his brothers reap what they had selfishly sown, and he was sad.
Sonny was startled out of his sadness by the little girl bursting into the greenhouse. She was playing and laughing when her eyes suddenly fell on little Sonny. Her smile grew even larger as she came closer. Sonny had fallen asleep in her little flower pot, and she was so pleased to see him there. Standing single in a little pink pot, Sonny had made the little girl happy. She picked up the pot and danced around the greenhouse smelling him over and over.
She watered him carefully and added a little new soil. His roots drank and drank. He was very thirsty. Then, as Sonny was sure she was about to leave, the little girl picked up his pot and carried him out of the greenhouse. Together they walked through the garden and into the house. Sonny knew his mother would have been proud of him. As they walked through the dining room past the table, Sonny saw the flowers from the previous night. They were wilted. They had been cut away from their roots and were just setting in water. He became quite afraid. But the little girl kept right on walking past the kitchen, down the hall and all the way to her bedroom. She carefully placed him in front of a window on her night stand.
For the rest of the Spring, she took very good care of him. He was watered just right and given just enough sun. In return, Sonny grew quite large and offered her the most-wonderful fragrance. One day a little girl took him to a place where there were lots of flowers in pots. He still is not sure what it was for, but he was moved to a larger flower pot, and this one had a big blue ribbon on it. Sonny likes the ribbon, but not as much as the Gardener. He looks at his little girl proudly. Now she gets to help out in the greenhouse.
Winter is on its way again, and Sonny gave his little seeds to the Gardener. But before the little girl took them to her father Sonny gave them some very good advice. He said, “Sleep in good soil, get just enough water, and look to the sun.”0