The Flower Show
By Susan Gordon
Most of the plants and shrubs at Dizzy’s nursery were feeling anxious. It was just the same every year in the Spring. The official Flower Show was only a few weeks away, and the flowers were nervous. Of course, they were looked after very well. Regular feeds, watering and even being talked to by Suzie Dizzy and her brother Tom. They were covered up away from any draughts and put into the greenhouses to escape any early morning frosts. Nothing was too much bother, and every detail was attended to.
We lovely yellow daffodils looked delightful. Okay we had been third last year, and the memory made us shudder, but we are full of hope. The second prize had gone to the Tulips, but the daffodils thought that the judges might have been bribed! A horrible thought to contemplate, but life is tough in the flower show game. The Primulas were especially admired by the judges. One had to admit that they looked very smart, all standing up and almost smiling. They may have been given some special extra feeds if you see what I mean. How else can they have won first prize?
Yes, we daffodils were worried. All those growers at the show showed signs of anxiety. Many complained of panic attacks and sleeplessness.
Quarrels started, and we think there may have been a punch up behind the mixed herbs section! You would think that the growers would behave themselves.
As far as the judges are concerned, well they can’t be trusted either. They all look a bit shifty-eyed, glaring down at us and measuring our heights and stem sizes and discussing our petals and buds and talking in Chinese whispers.
Still, the fight goes on. We had a meeting the other night and decided to take action. Daffodils Forever we call ourselves. Surely with a bit of looking through the plant books that Suzy and Tom keep in the shed, we could cook something up.
Norma, my neighbour in the greenhouse, had a very good idea. With her wide knowledge of chemicals, she suggested that surely a drop of something here and there in the watering cans might just do the trick! I know that you will think that this is cheating! We have always been against such deceit, but as they say, needs must.
Norma had to work at night, studying the bottles that stand on a shelf. A torch was quickly found, and two willing lookouts stood near the door. Norma squealed with excitement. She had discovered a clever booklet with tips on what the judges were looking for when they judged! This was just what we needed: an edge on the competition.
The judges hated signs of wilting. They also hated to see any insect damage. So easy! A couple of drops in the watering can of some weedkiller and a few ants dropped into the Tulip and Primulas’s pots and the gold medal, first prize, could be ours at last!
However, for the next couple of nights, Norma was pretty worried. It was so unfair to cheat! Did we really need to rely on such underhanded tricks? Didn’t we agree that we were better than this?
Bit by bit, we considered this. Was the only way we could succeed was by cheating? We were all thinking about this right up to the morning of the show. It’s not the winning that is important, we said, but the taking part. So we decided not to cheat after all.
There was the usual rush and panic as we all awaited the judgement. Then, can you imagine we won first prize, after all!- Total nr. of readings: 731 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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