Sunflowers

Alexandra
Sunflowers Alexandra is eight, almost nine. She’s from Virginia. Her influences include J. K. Rowling and abstract art. She loves gardens, reading, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite food is pizza.

‘“Want to be friends with us?” the new sunflowers asked the caterpillars.
“We want to eat you! Are you new or old?” the caterpillars asked the new sunflowers.
“We’re new! So don’t eat us!” they replied.’

Once upon a time, Alexandra planted a sunflower seed in early April. That’s me! She watered me for a long time, but I did not grow. I was so lonely in the garden. There were a bunch of roses in the garden too, but they were already grown! There were also some peppers, daisies, and tulips, but they were all grown up too! When I was first planted, I looked like a little round circle. I was the color brown when I was first planted, but now, I am light brown, and I am an oval.

Today, I am surrounded by dirt, and I got a little bigger!

“You are a really late grower, so you can’t talk to us!” the roses said to me.

“Well, it’s not my fault that I was planted late!” I said.

“It’s okay because we were planted late too! We’ll be your friends!” the peppers yelled. The five peppers were red and shaped like big triangles. At night, the peppers and I gossiped about how mean the roses were.

I said, “Wow, the roses are really, really mean to me.”

“Yeah, I’m glad I was here to help you and talk about it,” said one of the peppers.

The daisies were really friendly; they also said that they would be my friends. Usually, the tulips couldn’t say anything because they were asleep! They were always super tired because they all stayed up late at night talking to each other.

***

Now, I’m about an inch across. I’m still just a seed. It’s late April, and I’m not cold or warm. It’s super sunny out, but I need water to grow! It’s been ten whole days since it last rained.

“I’m dry, and I need water to grow,” I complained one day.

“Oh, you’re too dry, Sunflower? So you can’t play with us? If we touch you, you’ll crack and break into a million pieces!” said the roses meanly.

“Well, you’re not getting any water either! So I could crumple you into pieces too!” I said.

“Well, you’re just a tiny little seed, and we’re already flowers! So you can’t even talk properly!” the roses said.

“It’s no big deal, you’ll just have to wait until you grow up, Sunflower,” said one of the kind daisies.

Another daisy said, “You’re fine little sunflower. You’ll grow up soon!”

When night came, after ten days of no rain, it thunder-stormed over the garden at midnight. This woke up all the people sleeping in the house with rooms close to the garden. Since the rain woke Alexandra up, she looked out the window at her garden, and she saw the mean roses were leaning sideways from the wind. I woke up and saw the mean roses and laughed. I’m glad they’re gone. I don’t have to worry about those mean roses now!

The morning after the big thunderstorm, it was drizzling a little bit. At 10:00 AM it stopped drizzling, and I was almost full-bloomed! I had a big, green stalk, and I was three inches tall!  

“You’ve grown a lot!” the daisies said cheerfully. Alexandra came out and looked at me to see how much I’d grown.

“This sunflower is so beautiful!” Alexandra said. She went inside and went back to sleep because she was tired from being woken up at midnight by the rain.

“You should go back to sleep, because you were up all night. We saw you! You look tired,” the daisies said.

“Ok, I’ll head back to bed. I AM tired!” I said, and I went back to sleep.

***

I woke up to a lot of wind swirling around me! I am only five inches tall! I was scared that I might be pulled out of the ground. I’d never been in a tornado before! I had to see if the daisies and peppers were okay. When I looked to see where the daisies and peppers were, they weren’t in the garden! Then, I looked up and saw the daisies and peppers swirling around in the air. They landed on the ground with a THUMP. I cried when I realized that the peppers and the daisies were dead! I was so sad that I fell asleep.

***

The next morning, I woke up and saw more sunflowers and two tulips. One tulip is purple, the other is blue. Seeds must have dropped from the old sunflower, and new ones grew, and Alexandra must have planted the tulips a couple of days ago. Since they were still covered by dirt, they were protected from the tornado, but received lots of water from the thunderstorm.

“Hi! Can we be your friends?” the sunflowers said.

“Yeah, sure!” I replied.

I made friends with the other sunflowers and the tulips. Then, Alexandra came outside to water me and eat lunch. She ate cheese pizza while sitting on her white porch. Whenever Alexandra is outside, the flowers don’t talk because we don’t want her to notice.

Another day, two green caterpillars came into the garden and crawled on me.

“Hello! Would you like to be my friends?” I asked.

“No! We just want to crawl on you and explore you,” one caterpillar said.

“What do you want to explore about me?” I asked.

“We want to see if you are old or new. If you’re old, we’ll eat you! If you’re new, we won’t eat you,” they said.

Since I am now seven inches tall, when I sway from side to side, I can shake the caterpillars off. They got frustrated with me, and they went to bother the new sunflowers.

“Want to be friends with us?” the new sunflowers asked the caterpillars.

“We want to eat you! Are you new or old?” the caterpillars asked the new sunflowers.

“We’re new! So don’t eat us!” they replied. The caterpillars left and crawled onto the tulips.

“Get off us now! Or we’ll make you flop onto the ground,” the tulips said. The caterpillars finally left and went to another garden.

***

Later that day, I heard something buzzing, and I knew it was a beetle! A beetle came to me and said, “I’m gonna eat your leaves!”

“Well, I’m old, and I don’t wanna lose my leaves!” I said to the beetle.

“Ok, I’ll go to the other sunflowers then,” the beetle said.

“Oh no! A beetle is coming to eat us,” the new sunflowers shouted.

The beetle ate the leaves from the new sunflowers. The new sunflowers bent and died.

Poor new sunflowers.

Now, for the tulips. One tulip was sleeping, so the other one woke him up right before the beetle came.

The beetle said, “Hey tulips, I am going to nibble on your stem.”

The tulips said, “No, do not nibble on us,” but the beetle had already started nibbling the tulips’ stems.

The tulips started to tilt sideways because of the beetle. Suddenly, two ladybugs came flying into the garden and went to help the new tulips.

“Beetle, stop nibbling on our stems,” whined the tulips.

One ladybug piped in and said, “Yeah, stop nibbling on their stems because they are new, and they don’t want to be ruined really soon.”

“I’m not going to listen to you because you aren’t the boss of me,” said the beetle.

“Okay,” said the ladybugs. Then, they flew on top of the beetle and ate him!

“Thank you so much, ladybugs! You are really helpful,” said the tulips. The tulips also said, “You can come back here and visit us whenever you want.”

Then, the ladybugs flew away back to where they came from.

Then, some ants came. I said, “Hi ants! What are you doing here?

They said, “Hi, just exploring this place.”

“Can you go to a different garden?” I asked. Then, the ants left, and that was the end of that.

A couple years later, I died. It was so sad.

Before I died, Alexandra liked to look at me. She smiled at me, and I smiled back.

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