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A Garden Fantasy

One beautiful summer afternoon I was resting in my garden when suddenly became aware of a strange murmuring all around me—the flowers were talking!

The first words I distinguished came from a tall white lily in the eastern border.

"It is curious," she remarked, "to see the great variety of colors with which our friends here clothe themselves; personally I consider white is the ideal raiment, spotless white," and she sighed gently. "I cannot agree with you," replied a rose near her, "to my mind white is rather chilly-looking. I like variety and rich coloring; now crimson,"—here she slightly stirred her petals—is the favorite hue of our lord the sun when he passes at evening behind yonder hill-top; it is a majestic color, fit for a queen," and she glanced around with a somewhat self-conscious air. At this a group of com-flowers in the opposite border became rather agitated, and one of them exclaimed, "I cannot see why crimson should be accounted superior to any other color, surely blue, the hue of the sky, is quite as beautiful if not more so." "That is all very well," hastily put in a calceolaria," but what about yellow and gold? We who robe ourselves thus, make a garden look bright on even the cloudiest days, we, infact, are the true sun-worshippers."

Here the lime under which I was seated, joined in the conversation. "Friends," he exclaimed, "in the anxiety each of you has displayed to prove her own color the best, you have overlooked one fact. Consider for a moment what is the prevailing hue of vegetation all the world over. What, I ask you, is the color of grass, of trees? There can be but one answer—it is green! You flowers are of many hues, your shades are innumerable, we trees, with slight variations of course," here his leaves rustled half apologetically, "adhere to the one dominant color, the true nature-color, the color in fact to which all others must yield preference."

So impressed were the denizens of the garden by this authoritative utterance that for some time none dared to reply; at length one of the pink hydrangeas glanced across at her cousin in blue and remarked softly, "Did you ever hear such arrogance? Green indeed! all very well for leaves and grass, I suppose, but when the trees desire to look their best, do they not copy us and don pink, lilac, and yellow blossoms?" "Of course they do," answered the flowers in chorus, and in their delight that the lime's pretension to superiority was thus overthrown the flowers forgot their former dispute, and silence reigned.

Presently my friend the artist came out into the garden and looked around admiringly. "What a feast of color," she exclaimed, "each so lovely and contributing its loveliness to the perfect whole." I roused myself from the reverie into which I had fallen, and related the strange conversation I seemed to have overheard; my friend listened with a smile in her eyes. "How exactly like the way we humans talk about religion," she remarked, "always our own creed, our own rites are the true ones while the others," and she waved her hands expressively. I confessed that the similarity was indeed remarkable, and as we stood watching the glory of the June sunset, my friend murmured, "Many colors—one light; many tones—one harmony; many changing forms—one abiding Reality."

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Margaret E. Ford

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