The Happy Sunflower

Written by Lisa Williams

This is a story about an extraordinary sunflower.  She was just a sprout when she realized how extremely fortunate her life was. She had been planted in a 2” crack in the concrete behind a dumpster at a popular McDonald’s Restaurant.  Just two feet away from her the concrete ended and lush green grass began and continued for about six feet up to a line of flowering pear trees.

At first, she wondered why she had not been planted in the grass.  Her answer came one day when she witnessed a man on a large lawn mower with huge blades cutting the grass and chopping off the heads of the dandelions.  “Oh my,” she thought to herself, that could have been me and I would be dead by now.  She felt safe behind the dumpster and even though she was alone, she thought it was a good place to grow up. She spent each day growing and moving her large, heavy head around and about to face the sun.

One day, a gray Subaru SUV pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot and parked beside the dumpster. Annie, a young girl, gets out of the car and spies the sunflower.

“Mom, look over there.  Look at that giant yellow and orange flower,” Annie said excitedly and ran towards the flower.

“Hi flower, my name is Annie, what’s your name?”

Startled, having not spoken to a human before, the flower said, “My name is Sunny,” with her head hanging down facing the child.  Annie’s mother, stopped in her tracks, amazed by what she just witnessed, a talking flower.  She continued to watch and listen in as her daughter conversed with the flower.

“I’ve never seen a flower as big as you, Sunny.  How did you get here?”

“Well. I am not totally sure, but I think a squirrel friend planted me here back in early April,” Sunny responded.

“You are as tall as me.  How did you get to be so big?” Annie questioned.

Sunny now stood to be approximately three foot tall.  However, when she held her head straight up facing the sun, she was four foot tall.  “I have been very lucky,” Sunny replied.  “My roots grow deep beyond the two-inch concrete into very nutrient rich soil, so I have a good source of food.  Also, the dumpster protects me from wind, so I won’t break off.  I will grow to be about twelve foot tall.”

Annie smiled and said, “I love you Sunny.  Can we be friends?”

“Sure, come back and visit me again sometime.  In a couple of months, I will have seeds I can share with you, my friend,” Sunny waved her green leaves as Annie and her Mom walked away toward the restaurant door.

“See you again soon, Annie.”

It was mid-August when Annie visited Sunny again.  “Hi Sunny.  Do you remember me?” Annie said stretching her neck to look up at Sunny.

Sunny, now ten feet tall, lowered her very heavy head and said “Sure do!  I’ve missed you.”

“Sunny, you have grown so tall, when I look up to you, I see the sky.”

“I have a gift for you Annie.” Sunny grimaced as she gently shook her head from side to side.  Hundreds of seeds fell to the ground.

“I would like you to gather up the seeds and plant them in your own garden, if it is ok with your Mom.”

“You can have the seeds Annie, but you will need to water and take care of them,” her mother replied.

“I will.  I am going to put the seeds in my sock for safe keeping.  Thank you Sunny.  I will always remember you!”

“Annie, I will think of you too!  A wise person once told me to remember to bloom where you are planted. I hope to see you again someday.  Whenever you see a sunflower, please think of me, Sunny your friend.”

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