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The Exotic Flower

By: Kristina S.
California, Age 13

Far, far away, somewhere in a tropical garden on a remote island grew an exotic flower. It was one of a kind- unique. It blossomed like no other, every July, when the weather was just right. It was painted beautifully with all the colors of the rainbow and smelled like tropical fruits blended with citrus scents and other pleasant fragrances. When the flower was compared with the other flowers that grew around it, those flowers seemed like they were weeds that were scattered around randomly.
This flower was just about perfect, but there was only one problem- it was just about the most stuck-up and conceited flower on the whole island.
One morning, The Exotic Flower woke up, opened up it's petals, stretched out it's leaves and stood up straight to enjoy the morning sunlight. Pretty soon, a green caterpillar came crawling by and decided to crawl up The Exotic Flower's stem and chew on it's leaves for breakfast. So, the caterpillar decided to ask for permission.
''Oh Exotic Flower! Good morning! I just wanted to ask if I could climb up your stem and chew on a leaf for breakfast.''
''Go away you hairy caterpillar!'' The Exotic Flower replied, ''What do you think I would look like by now if I let anyone climb up my stem and chew on my leaves?!''
The poor caterpillar crawled away and a baby hummingbird zoomed by. The baby hummingbird wanted some nectar for breakfast so it decided to ask for permission.
''Oh Exotic Flower! Good morning! I just wanted to ask you if I could get some nectar from you for breakfast.''
''Go away you annoying little hummingbird! What do you think I would look like by now if I let anyone fly by and suck on my nectar?!'' The Exotic Flower scolded.
So, the poor hummingbird flew away and a beautiful butterfly fluttered by and wanted some pollen for breakfast. So, the butterfly decided to ask for permission.
''Oh Exotic Flower! Good morning! I just wanted to ask you if I could get some pollen from you for breakfast.''
''Go away you ugly butterfly! What do you think I would look like by now if I let anyone gather up my pollen?!'' The Exotic Flower replied rudely.
The poor butterfly fluttered away and along came a hippopotamus. The hippopotamus was really hungry because it didn't have any breakfast yet, so it looked at The Exotic Flower with hungry eyes for a few seconds and before The Exotic Flower could even say ''NO!'' the hippopotamus bit off the whole flower, chewed it up slowly, swallowed it and commented,
''Great breakfast! Best I've had in years!''

 

Author's comments

Dear Kristina:
What a great folktale, and what a wonderful ending!
I have very much enjoyed your sense of humor. You carry on the reader expecting to read something very traditional, where there would be punishment but also repentance and the Exotic Flower would change... and the, here comes the HIPPO!
Fantastic, this was really enjoyable to read.
You write very well and I want to congratulate you for your very nice use of references to the senses: you help the reader be there and smell all those fragances!
Your pacing was very good, moving from animal to animal, each asking for something different, always appropriate.
Your use of adjectives also deserves mentioning. You found one exact adjective to qualify each of the animals who approached the flower, not as we would, but as she would.
Additional recognition goes to you for your selection of verbs, they are vivid and specific to each animal. Vey well done.
Keep on writing. There is much promise in you and always retain that wonderful sense of humor. I will be looking forward seeing more things written by you. If you wish to contact me go to my website www.almaflorada.net
Best wishes to you from your author friend, Alma Flor Ada