1722. Sunflowers

Ghislaine’s next-door neighbour was Clotilde. To be honest, the boundary fence was way too close to Ghislaine’s house. It was only two or three steps away from Ghislaine’s sitting room window. Ghislaine planted some sunflowers in the space between in order to give a little privacy.

This worried Clotilde, not because it stopped her from looking into Ghislaine’s sitting room (she didn’t care about that) but because she loathed sunflowers. There was a good reason for this loathing. When she was seven years old her little sister had died and her parents put sunflowers on the coffin during the funeral. Sunflowers had become the unhappiest of flowers.

It’s not as if Ghislaine and Clotilde were enemies. They didn’t dislike each other at all. In fact, when the sunflowers weren’t there, Ghislaine and Clotilde would chat over the fence quite amiably. Clotilde decided to visit Ghislaine and tell her of her sunflower predicament.

Ghislaine understood perfectly. “Goodness!” she said. “I had no idea.” She pulled the sunflowers out at the height of their beauty despite Clotilde saying she would live with them for the season.

They reached a compromise; they bought a high trellis and together planted a beautiful yellow climbing rose. It was the perfect solution and gorgeous to behold!

This mutual and amiable conciliation reminds us all (surely) of today’s politicians.

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