Veronica checked the bottom of her shoes. She was sure she hadn’t trodden in anything, but she wanted to make sure that she had enough tread for the journey ahead of her. Holding her hand to her eyes to better see how far she had to climb, Veronica took a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty of the living organism towering above her. How lucky was she to be one of the only people ever to have existed to see a sunflower as tall as the trees surrounding it. She looked down at the hairs at the bottom of the flower, grabbed on to two of the stronger ones and lifted her feet to begin her climb towards the top of the largest sunflower in the universe.
The journey was not without purpose (though, who could blame a young girl for wanting to climb to the top of a sunflower if given the opportunity!). Veronica regularly picking flowers for her mother and, in fact, once spent an entire afternoon attempting to decipher which flowers were more beautiful than others to pick her mother the flower she deserved. In the end, she settled on a rose that her mother didn’t seem to appreciate too much, but the thought continued to play on her mind. As time went on, she could think of little else than finding a flower that symbolised the love she had for her mother. One afternoon, while watching her brother climb a ladder to get his ball down from the top of their cubby house, Veronica realised that she would have to find her mother the tallest flower if she was to both impress her mother and let her know how much she loved her.
Several hours into the climb, Veronica was yet to make it to the first leaf on the sunflower’s stem. She decided to start moving around the stem in an upward spiral to give herself various views on her way to the flower’s summit. The hairs on the stem felt surprisingly stable, though she did occasionally prick herself on their sharp ends, leading to one or two nasty frights. When she did reach the first leaf, she was very eager to step off from the stem and have a well-deserved rest. The view from higher of the two leaves afforded her was breathtaking and she stayed there for a considerable amount of time, soaking in the views of the valleys and trees below while still being able to clearly see the horizon and enjoy the whites and blues of the sky.
There was little time rest so, now that she was nearer to the top than she was down to the bottom, she decided to utilise what little energy she had on making it the last section of the sunflower: The flower itself.
After getting past the border of yellow petals surrounding the centre of the sunflower, Veronica took a couple of minutes to adjust to a new way of climbing. It took her longer than she would have liked to realise that the centre of the sunflower was made of hundreds and hundreds of even more tiny flowers. This fact impressed her immensely and only served to harden her resolve to confirm that she had finally found the perfect flower for her mother. That was, until Veronica made it to the top.
Sitting at the very top of the sunflower, Veronica had the most spectacular views of the mountain ranges and creeks below. She sat for the longest time, asking herself which was more unbelievable: That she had finally conquered the sunflower or the vistas that came along with completing this feat. Veronica closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to store the beauty in front of her in her lungs. She gradually opened her eyes, nodding after having made a decision about what she was going to do next. Getting herself to her feet, Veronica started making her way back down the sunflower, having realised that, despite all of its beauty, this was not the giant sunflower that would show her mother how much she loved her. Veronica knew that she would have to climb the considerable distance back down to the ground and continue her quest.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.