Dec 31, 2013 7:16 PM CST
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South Texas (Zone 9a)
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Region: Texas Region: United States of America
I written a story for the end of this year. I didn't forget this forum. So I will publish the story, for the first time, here.
- - - - -

The Sleeping Beauty

Long time ago I found a beautiful place. With many happy people. People from Flowers Tribes People. No, don't imagine a huge place with many wild landscapes. Just a small place of neighborhood land around an old and abandoned tennis court. An abandoned little piece of land on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Small but wonderful. With many princesses laughing in the sun. Showing their beauty and smiling generously to all passers-by.

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But Lord Lawn was jealous on this happiness and he given order to his general, Lawn Mower, to pass with army over this place.
-Well, things like that it happens sometimes, said the Flowers Tribes People. We will build our world again!
And they did!
But now, General Lawn Mower, had orders to pass with the army, regularly and frequently over this little world.
Every time the Flowers Tribes People tried to rebuild their world. But after a while they started getting tired.
At one point an Opuntia lady asked me to save her daughters. I lowered my head. Thinking, what can I do? A man's life is short. How can I save them? I prefer to see them there in their world. Leave them there to see and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature all the passers-by.
The lady, guess what happen in my mind.
- Which our world? We are lost! In these circumstances we can not make flowers. Without flowers we can't fulfill our destiny. To born children. Children are the seeds. The seeds of Hope. Please ...
- Well, I think, perhaps I can take few seed and try.
- Which seeds? You didn't when we have. Now, we haven't.
- Taking a plant from Mother Nature it is an act of vandalism. I can't do that!
- What vandalism? In which world do you live? Take a look around you!
I looked around me. Hundreds of broken pieces of Opuntia.
- Well, they will make roots … I whispered.
- Yes, while many will die, some will do. But ...
She stop ... and I respected her silence. The Lady was right. On the last year, they do not bloomed. Had not even a chance to grow. Every time they raise a bit, General Lawn Mower passed without mercy.
After a while she continued:
- I don't ask you to take a plant. Take few broken piece and try.
I have not felt able to meet her wish. What can I do with them. I went home. Sad with a helpless feeling.
But that night I couldn't sleep well. Nor the next night. The third day, I returned to this place.
I got one piece in my hand. It was tiny and shriveled. Roots will she do? Or not? Then, after I reflected a bit I took another three. Four pieces. Four broken pieces, tiny and dirty. Four wounded princess, who seemed very sad …
Home I put them in pots. I had no where else to put them. After a while, they have recovered and made roots. After a few months they looked really good but not thriving.
Finally I found a place for them. And surprise, planted in soil, they turned into little princesses.

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Even more. One has flourished showing their beauty to the all world.

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But my story does not end here. A queen with a heart of ice, The Queen Winter, heard of the beauty of the princess. This queen is very selfish. And jealous. She does not accept that another girl can be more beautiful than her. So she sent a witch, Cold Witch, to kill the princess. But the powers of this witch are not so strong. She couldn't kill the princess, with her ​​witchcraft. But the witch managed to sleep the princess. In a deep and long sleep. And she sent to slept the all smaller sisters of the the Beauty Princess who dared to flourish.

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Well, now, the princesses are sleeping and here my story ends.
But ... an old legend says that when the time will be, a young prince, The Charming Spring Prince, will come. He has the power to awaken all sleeping princesses of the The Sleeping World. By his kiss.
Well that it is a legend of Hope.
It is pretty sad that today many don't believe anymore in legends of Hope.
But I believe ... no, I don't believe, I am sure, when the time will be, The Charming Spring Prince, will arrive and will awake all The Sleeping World.


Well, it's a story. And who believes today in fairy tales? Who knows? What part is true and which is not? Maybe just the teller. Or maybe either him. Can you imagine? He thinks he can talk to plants. ( Smiling )
What I can say to you is that the habitat mentioned in this story is not in danger due to "General Lawn Mower." And no, the plants are not in danger. Unfortunately, it's true, Opuntia plants don't look good after mowing. But they survive and they bloom. How they can, bloom less but continue to do so.
Beyond the fences that limit this place, the plants continue to produce seeds. Along the fence, Opuntia plants continue to thrive.
But a city resident don't have access beyond the fence. It's normal, there are farms. Some small, some big, all with their life.
Of course we have wonderful parks, sometimes called Wild Refuge, sometimes Wild Sanctuary or just National Park. But, unfortunately, too frequent they are not close enough to the city to can be visited after a day work. Sometimes or frequently is difficult to reach them even in weekend.

As about Opuntia, the Prickly Pears. Plants shown in culture are from multiplying four piece removed after mowing.
Poets call them "The Desert Roses". True, but only in part. Only in part, because they don't live only in the desert.
And yes, they are prickly. And yes, they are wonderful. Wonderful Prickly Princesses.

I hope that someday, every city will have at least a place where the native plants will be preserved. Alive and thriving. So that every inhabitant of the city, child or adult, will have a quickly and easily access to this place. A place, to enjoy, to see and to know the native wonders of Mother Nature. A place full of positive energy. I know this is possible. I know because I've seen!

I wish to all a New Year full of hopes fulfilled and full of happiness.

Happy New Year !
Last edited by Justin Dec 31, 2013 9:32 PM Icon for preview
Dec 31, 2013 8:24 PM CST
Name: Julie
La Crescenta, CA (Zone 10a)
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Such a beautiful important message. I shared this article this week: on the benefits of digging in the dirt! Thank you for sharing this!
"Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?"
~Betsy Cañas Garmon
Jan 1, 2014 11:57 AM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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What a lovely tale! And charmingly told. Smiling Thank you for sharing it with us.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Jan 1, 2014 12:21 PM CST
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
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I agree I agree I agree Thanks for sharing this. I tip my hat to you.
Happy New Year !
Jan 1, 2014 1:16 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b, and F (Zone 9b)
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Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story, Justin!

Happy New Year to you, too! Hurray!
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