Mind the Flowers

by Zoe Rose

There was a little girl who would go out and pick flowers every day to take back home to her mother.

"So, pretty!" Her mother would say. "Remember only to pick the flowers 'round our house. Let the ones in the forest be, they belong to the fairies."

One day the child was out trying to find some pretty flowers to pick, but Winter was upon them and most of the flowers had gone to sleep for the season. She searched all around the house, by the barn and down the fence. Finally, she spied a huge flower. It was bright yellow with red streaks through the petals and almost as tall as she was. It was also on the other side of the road, at the edge of the forest.

"It is very close to the road," the girl thought, "and the fairies surely won't miss just one flower."

So the little girl crossed the road and sought to pluck the flower from its bed. The moment she succeeded in uprooting the thing she heard a shout and felt a rumble in the ground. The earth began to open and up sprouted a woman. Her skin was green and her hair was a bramble, but she was beautiful.

"You have defiled my forest! For your impudence, you shall become what you covet."

The girl was held to the spot. Her feet became roots and dug deep into the earth. Her legs fastened together and hardened into bark. Her hair turned green and reached out to the sky. Her face became mottled and brown. She closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep. When her mother came to find her, all she found was the giant yellow flower laying at the base of a willow tree.

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