When Poppy Flora First Emerged

Poppy Flora made a mistake when she was just a tiny sprout. It was towards the end of winter, when the sun was beginning to peak through the clouds, and life above the ground for Poppy and other young plants like herself had just begun.

And boy, what a site it was!
The most interesting, spectacular thing Poppy had ever laid her little eyes on, was a beautiful bay horse. She had never seen anything quite so magnificent in height and in strength; it seemed to glide over the valley like a sun ray. She watched this wonderful being with amazement, yet she couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by its power and mystery.

One day, she felt outside her usual meekness, and summoned the courage to talk to the beast. She asked him what it would be like to run; but the horse did not answer. Soon after a prolonged silence, she asked what the grass tasted like, but again, silence. This led to a flood of questions pertaining to his nature, to his view, to the world up in the air, but no matter the question, the horse never said one word. Poppy began to feel frustrated and embarrassed.

Around that time in the afternoon, a nymph appeared before the blossom, and told her, in a rather snarky tone, that the horse could not hear Poppy because she was too small.
Realizing this, Poppy suddenly became very self conscious of her overall being. Although her pedals were bright with rich reds and yellow ochres; it did not matter, for it was not quite the same as his long illustrious mane. Her stem was long, delicate and slender; however, that, too, did not matter, for it was not so tall, thick and strong like the horse’s. No matter how perfect of a blossom she could be, Poppy Flora was no horse, and could never be heard like one.

Furious with herself, she called for the nymph to return.

The nymph did so, and the blossom demanded that she is transformed into a wonderful horse. The nymph surely agreed, although, as our young heroine was too naive to know just then, that the sureness of a nymph should never be trusted. Then, the nymph told Poppy that on the next Blue Moon, she will transform Poppy into a Bay horse, so that she could finally woo her distant lover. Poppy asked in grand excitement when this next blue moon would be, and the Nymph replied,

“As far away as your longest leaf.”

Right here, I must explain, that back in these early days in the Valley, full moons appeared quite often, and so a blue moon was only relatively striking.

Sure enough, it seemed as though the next evening the opal night sky was light up by a beautiful, pearl of a moon. The nymph reappeared before Poppy, along with beetles, ladybugs, spiders, rats, snakes, hummingbirds, bees, and all other creatures of the valley, to watch this wondrous event. As the viewers settled into a circle, the Nymph prepared her magic, and turned back to the blossom, warning her of the responsibilities as a free-walker. Poppy agreed, regardless of any outcome, she was dead set. And so, the Nymph gathered a spell, and danced around the blossom brilliantly like a firefly.

Suddenly, Poppy felt incredible horrid pain in her stem as it begin to split! Legs, she though, I’m growing legs! And as the legs spread, her leaves grew also, and so she had for legs! Her pedals, although brilliant and soft, split apart into millions of tiny shreds. The pain was worse than a thousand scorpion stings; but alas, she was growing a mane! Through the mess of pollen, she grew two large, almond shaped brown eyes, and a pale smooth skin formed and grew over what had now become her face. A horse, she pranced, I’m becoming a horse!

However, as she stood in great height, looking over so much more of the valley than she ever could before, Poppy noticed that she would not bend down like a regular horse, and coarse fur had not grown on her back. She reached towards her behind, and there was no tail. She looked around, noticing that the once incredible insects now looked tiny and insignificant in shape. They gazed at her in trembling horror

“What happened?” She finally spoke, and her broken voice, although beautiful and strong, did not sound like a horse’s. The nymph approached her, and her usual smirk had changed into a grimace.

“I’m sorry, m’lady, I have been mistaken. Tonight was the first moon, not the blue moon.”

Silence reigned the plain, as Poppy looked over and around; the valley that once looked as though a wonderful forest, had now looked quite desolate. She began to cry, and her tears formed a river that drowned her tiny insect friends. Poppy Flora was all alone, away from nature.

She asked the Nymph, “What am I? What have you done?”

The Nymph responded, in solemn, “It looks as though you are neither a blossom, nor a horse, but somewhere in between, something new. Yes, something new, indeed. I think we shall call you a Human Girl.”

When Poppy had awoken the next day, the field was dried, for the bees, the beetles, the spiders, and the snakes had drowned or been stepped on; and that beautiful bay horse, the one who could never hear her, was nowhere to be scene. The nymphs were all that was left, and they looked at her with smirks, but they felt pity. She tried to join them in their spirit, but they explained that she did not have the magic or the roots of a nymph.

And so, she had no choice, but to wander through what is now the desert, enriching the soil with her tears, leaving only a trail of poppies behind.

But alas, one morning, near the rocky bay, she heard something quite extraordinary; it was no horse, nor was it any creature she’s ever heard before. It was music, she was hearing music for the first time, and it was off into the west.

“This shall be my destination,” she decided, and headed off towards the music in great haste.

The nymphs snickered at her pathetic ignorance. They knew exactly what the sound was, but wanted to see what kind of trouble Poppy could get herself into next.

What Poppy would realize, in time, that it was the sound of wind, drifting through the rocks and dead leaves. This did not matter to Poppy, it gave her something to discover.

“You got hand it to her,” replied the guilty, sinister Nymph, “coming from just a poppy seed, she’s got a lot of courage.”

Be Still, My Blooming Heart

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