nectarhoff: One Man's Petals

One Man's Petals

From "22"

One day I was walking down the road through the forest to pay my mother a visit. It was a splendid June afternoon, and the entire world was in bloom; the smell of summer filled the air! Rabbits hopped around beneath the trees and the occasional deer nibbled on the budding nubs of the bushes. All sorts of birds chirped above, and bees buzzed about with muzzles bursting with juice.

As I hummed to myself I heard a rustle in the brush to my left. Naturally, I stopped and looked more closely, wondering what manner of woodland creature I’d stumbled upon.

And out of the forest stepped a man. I was quite surprised! He was dressed impeccably. He wore a fine linen suit, and a large but stately pair of reading glasses hung on a chain around his neck. A bristly white mustache that matched his eyebrows rode his upper lip.

“Why, hello there!” he cried as he stuck out his hand.

“Hello to you too, sir,” I said as we shook. “How are you doing on this fine afternoon on this excellent road in this verdantly verdurous forest?”

He was smiling a marvelous smile and I could tell that he was in a most exuberant mood.

“I am just wonderful, thank you ever so much for asking!”

“But of course, sir! It would be ever so rude of me not to!” I replied. “However, I apologize in advance, for I must confess that I am on the way to pay my mother a visit. Her home lies at the end of the path. Is there anything that I can do for you, sir? Otherwise I must really be on my way.”

He clapped his hands together. “Why, friend, you are just the man I was looking for! I am a botanist and I’ve found a most peculiar and bedazzling flower down in the forest. Won’t you come look at it with me?”

What a lucky day! “Why, certainly, I would love nothing more!” I said.

He turned and pulled me by the hand off of the path and into the trees. We trounced through the woods for a few minutes and eventually the botanist stopped in his tracks. He lifted his head and closed his eyes as he sniffed the air with vigor.

“Ah,” he said, “This way!” He took a sharp turn and continued walking.

I couldn’t help but be impressed by his tremendous olfactory ability, and so I asked, “How ever did you learn to tell directions with your nose?”

Over his shoulder he replied, “Oh, that was just my allergies. Dreadful time of year for allergies, you know.”

We emerged into a meadow and I followed him as he pushed past some long prairie grasses. After a few more steps he stopped and grabbed my shoulder with one hand. He pointed forward with the other and began hopping with glee.

Right before us was a magnificent violet flower with a face as big as a plate. It towered above the dandelions scattered around it.

“Come look!” he shouted as he scampered toward the plant. “Let us examine this most tantalizing of specimens!”

I followed him and peered over his shoulder at the purple flower.

He spoke again and joy filled his voice. “Just take a gander at its glorious constitution! Its petals are perfectly flush with pollen; their ratio is precious! Fibonacci himself would have marveled at the pistil’s golden splendor. Perhaps Pythagoras took a holy bean and planted it square on this spot so many years ago! Such a plant’s roots would doubtless run deep; one could learn everything there is to know about anything from a proper inspection of this sensational creation. Why, I’ve never seen anything like it!”

He leaned back to me and whispered. “Although I’ve heard various detractors, who I will not name, say that botany can be reduced to physics and chemistry, I rest assured that those filthy surgeons never did see this flower.”

I couldn’t help but agree. “You are certainly correct, my dear sir, and I must thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this amazing flower.”

I gave him a hearty pat on the back. He stood up and we shook hands, and then he bent back down to further scrutinize his prize.

Just then a wicked thought came across my mind, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to make a little mischief.

And so I continued, “Dear sir, I would love to stay and chat some more about this most glorious of blossoms, but I really must now go visit my mother, and you have given me an ingenious idea!”

I knelt down and plucked the purple flower from right beneath his nose. “I will give it to my mother!”

The botanist looked as though he’d been stabbed clear through the heart, and a single tear ran down his white cheek.

I stuck the flower in my chest pocket and waved goodbye before turning to be on my way.

- 6/9/14


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