Alone in the Desert?

Posted by on Feb 21, 2002 in Children's Stories

Dedicated to J.V.R.

Many years go, not far away, a flower grew in the desert. She was lithe and lovely. But when the wind blew, sand was thrown in her face and her leaves wilted.

Oh, she thought. I need some protection.

Very shortly thereafter, a sand dune grew up in front of her and she felt comfortable in its shelter. But still she was dry.

Oh, I need water.

Not long after that a cloud came by and showered her plentifully. In the day it was hot but she could endure that. It was at night when it got so cold that she felt particularly alone and vulnerable.

Oh, I wish there was someone, something to keep me warm.

A wolf came and lay down beside her.

Oh, thank you, Mr. Wolf, that feels so much warmer with you beside me.

The wolf looked at her tenderly. I appreciate your gratitude, but you must also thank the One who sent me to you.

The little flower felt so much better. She was protected from the wind and the sun. She was well-watered and she had a warm wolf lying beside her so she sighed with contentment. She was about to go to sleep when the wolf once again said,

You must thank the One who sent me.

Who is it and how do I say it? asked the little flower.

I was sent by the One who made us both, who provided you with the sand dune for shelter and the water and soil in which you now live.

I don’t know how to do that.

I’ll show you, said the wolf. Thank you, God. Be simple, like that.

Oh, the little flower stuttered. Th-th-thank, thank you…

“No, said the wolf. “Don’t try to make it formal and impressive, God knows what you want to say even before you say it, so say it as simply as you need to.

Then the little flower perked up and said, Thank you, God.

The wolf smiled. Now you need to thank Him for all the good things that He has done.

So the little flower said, Thank you God for the sand dune that protected me. Thank you for the cloud that watered me. Thank you for the wolf who warms me and talks to me.

Then the wolf said, There is one other thing you must thank Him for.

What’s that?

Thank you for yourself, God.

Oh, said the flower. That sounds right. Thank you God, for who you are, for being here.

That’s right, said the wolf.

The flower sighed with contentment. But then a thought occurred to her.

Wolf, she asked. Are you going to go away and leave me?

Yes, I have other things to do, said the wolf.

Well, I’m all alone, said the flower. I wish I had a friend.

Ah, said the wolf. Don’t wish, just ask.

Who do I ask? said the flower.

You say, Please God.

Oh, said the flower. All right, and she stuttered again.

P-p-p-please…

No, said the wolf. You don’t have to be fancy about it. Just say it like you would to anybody. Please

All right. Please, God. I need a friend

Well, that’s pretty good, said the wolf. But I’m not sure you’re being careful enough about what you want.

At that moment a mouse ran up.

Oh, said the flower. Is this my new friend? I’m not sure I would know how to talk to a mouse.

No, said the wolf. That’s my dinner.

and he gobbled up the mouse. Then he said,

Thank you God.

Oh, said the flower. What should I say?

Well, say what’s in your heart.

So the flower said, Please God, send me a flower like me.

That sounds right, said the wolf. But nothing happened.

Oh, said the flower. Nothing happened.

Well, try again said the wolf.

Okay. Please God, send me a friend like me.

Still, nothing happened.

Oh, I’m so tired, I’m just going to go to sleep. I don’t think there is any God.

Wolf said, Just say, Please, God once more.

Oh, all right said the flower. Please God, send me a friend like me.

Well, nothing happened, or at least it appeared that nothing happened. Then the flower, feeling very discouraged, fell asleep.

Even faithful wolf wondered. Maybe she’s right and I’m wrong. No, I’m sure there is a God and He looks after our needs.”

With hope in his heart, wolf fell into a peaceful sleep. The stars looked down and the wind blew softly. It blew a small seed that landed close to the flower.

In the morning, the little flower noticed a tiny little sprout of green quite close to her. The seed, blown by the wind, had found a moist spot. Being a desert plant itself, it thought

This is as good as anywhere. Why don’t I live here?

The little flower looked down on this tiny green spout. She felt tender and protective toward it. She was disappointed but tried to be polite. Morning, tiny sprout. How are you?

The sprout had not yet learned to talk, so it went, Mumboring, blowen.

The wolf laughed. Look flower, I have to go away. I still think God is answering your prayers.

What do you mean He is answering? I don’t see any answer happening right now.

I must go, said the wolf. But I will come back in seven days and I believe by that time I will see God’s answer to your ‘Please.’

Good-bye, wolf. You’ve been a good friend. But I m so lonely said the little flower.

Don’t forget, you’ve got a little sprout living right beside you.

Yes, I know, but it doesn’t seem to know anything. Good bye, wolf.

The little flower was so lonely. She wanted so desperately to talk to somebody. But whenever she tried to talk to the little green sprout it didn’t say anything intelligible. It didn’t seem to know anything bout anything. But the little flower kept trying. The sprout didn’t seem to learn very much, but day by day it began to grow until it was almost as big as the flower herself.

I wonder what’s going on? said the flower.

Then, on day six, just before the wolf came back, the little bulb on the top of the sprout’s stem burst open and there was a flower.

Well, hello flower. Who are you?

Well, said the newcomer, I think I’m your cousin because I think I look like you. At least the part I can see of me looks like the part I can see of you.

Well, I do believe so, said the flower. Yes, you must be some kind of a cousin. We do look like, don’t we?

And so they began to chat. And they chatted and they chatted and then fell sleep.

The next morning there was the wolf.

Ah, said the wolf. I see you have a friend. I was right. God does answer prayers and often in ways you don’t expect. When you say ‘Please God’ He hears you.

Well, you’re right, said the little flower. I seem to have gotten a friend who is like me.

Now don’t forget what you need to say little flower, said the wolf.

Oh, yes, sad the flower. ”Thank you God. Thank you God, for my friend.

And most of all, said the wolf. “Thank you, God, for being our friend and hearing what we say. Thank you for answering our pleas in good time in just the way You want.

Now, I must being going, flower…I mean flowers. Good-bye to you both.

Well, the two little flowers were so happy they sang a song. The song drifted across the desert and the wolf heard it. He thought,

Well, that’s beautiful. Where’s it coming from?

And he followed the music back to where he just left. He looked over the top of the sand dune. There were the two flowers singing and swaying together.

Oh, thank you, God, he said. Thank you for making beautiful friends, and friends beautifull.