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johnny crocus.

From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Age Rating 2 to 4.

Start of Story

"Wake up! Wake up, little Johnny Crocus! Sit on my knee and begin to grow." Johnny woke up, sat on his mother's knee, and began to grow. His mother fed him on rich white food, and wrapped him warmly in soft blankets, so he grew big and strong. They lived together under the ground, in a little round house with brown walls. One day Johnny said: "Now, I should like to go up and see what the world is like. May I go up to-day?" "Not yet," said his mother. "You must make your flower first." So Johnny set to work to make his flower. In the middle he set the pistil with its fans. Round the pistil he put the orange-coloured stamens with their long narrow sacks on their heads, ready to be filled with pollen. Outside the stamens he made a row of petals, small and closely folded now, but soon to grow big and wide. Then he wrapped a fine white silk cloak round the whole flower to keep it from harm. "My flower is made," he said to his mother. "May I go up now to see what the world is like?" "Not yet," said the mother. "Make your leaves first." So he made his leaves and set them closely round the flower. They were long and thin and pale yellow, for they could not turn green till they reached the sunlight. "My leaves are made," he said to his mother. "May I go up now to see what the world is like?" "Not yet," said his mother. "Make your pollen first." So he made his pollen, and filled the long sacks with it. Then his flower was quite ready. He wrapped one white silk cloak after another over flower and leaves together, till they were so snugly covered that no greedy insect could reach them.



"My pollen is made," he said to his mother. "May I go up now to see what the world is like?" "Yes," said his mother. Johnny jumped for joy. He pushed and pushed through the brown earth above him; at last out popped his little head into the light. The winter had not yet gone; snow still lay in shaded places. But the sun was shining, and he shone now full on Johnny Crocus. The silken cloaks fell away, the leaves sprang out and turned green, and slowly the flower opened its beautiful golden heart to the warmth of the sunshine. "Why, there is Johnny Crocus!" called the sun. He shone more brightly than ever on the gleaming petals. "If Johnny is up we must be stirring too," said the other crocuses. They sprang up and nodded and laughed to Johnny across the ground. Then the snowdrops peeped out, and soon the whole garden woke up, and the spring came.



the end

       



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