Would You Be a Cactus?

Meet Tiny Lady, a petite lass of 14, a princess in her world. Once Tiny Lady decided to take a walk in the garden in front of her granny’s house. Daisy, pansy, lily, rose, daffodils; the garden was filled with all kinds of flowers. Tiny Lady loved the sight of these beautiful little things. It was her favorite way of passing time.

Her small steps graced the garden like no other. The plants admired her presence. There were a few trees beyond the fence, not very tall but shady enough when the sun heated up. Tiny Lady smelt the flowerily fragrance in the air. She could smell her favorite; the pink rose that lay just across the main door.

She took a few steps when her eyes caught a different sight. A shrill ran down her body. Her smile turned into disgust. She had just seen the cactus beside the edge of the wall.

‘I don’t like the cactus,’ she uttered wanting to step away the next moment.

Lassie ran back inside the house. The ugly outlook of the plant had drained her will to leisurely stroll around the little square garden.

The next day Tiny Lady asked Granny to join her along in the stroll.

‘Lassie, I’ve got many things to do,’ said Granny.

Tiny Lady was adamant.

They walked through the pink rose, the little daisy and the yellow marigold. Tiny Lady almost dragged her aged granny through the garden. Slowly they approached the edge, closer to the trees.

‘What is it lassie?’ questioned Granny.

‘Look at that Granny,’ she said pointing towards the little green cactus.

‘A cacti!’ exclaimed Granny.

‘Yes Granny,’ she said with a slight fear and disgust in her voice.

Granny looked at her granddaughter in surprise.

‘Please get it out of here,’ Tiny Lady pleaded.

‘The cactus?’ questioned Granny.

Tiny Lady nodded with an innocent look in the eyes.

The tree leaves were rattling with the passing wind. Granny looked at the little girl and smiled.

‘Are you scared of it?’ she questioned.

‘Yes, Granny,’ replied the lass.

‘Why don’t you like it?’ questioned Granny again.

‘It is so ugly and scary,’ she said.

‘Is it not like the other plants?’ Granny asked.

‘No no Granny!’ exclaimed Tiny Lady. ‘It is not beautiful.’

Granny smiled.

‘Its thorns, Lassie, are its assets. If you shall see beyond them, you will be able to appreciate its beauty.’

Tiny Lady seemed perplexed.

‘Have you heard about the deserts, Lassie?’ Granny questioned.

‘The place where there is very little water and is very hot, yes Granny I have,’ replied the girl.

‘The place where very few trees can survive,’ said Granny.

Tiny Lady was perplexed again.

Granny pointed towards the pink rose, Tiny Lady’s favorite.

‘That could never survive there,’ she said.

Tiny Lady’s face turned pale with the thought of her beautiful flower dying amidst the deserts. This time Granny pointed towards the cactus.

‘That can survive,’ she said. The little cactus gleamed.

‘With the least of water and the burning heat, it can take everything,’ she added. ‘We must be like it Lassie. When the seasons change we must not wither away, must not fall when the wind comes by, must not surrender when the sun is cruel to us.’

Tiny Lady nodded.

‘It may not look beautiful at the first sight. But once you see beyond its thorns, you shall realize that it is beautiful; beautiful in its own creation. The creator does justice, Lassie. You may not compare the creations among themselves.’

Tiny Lady smiled. She has understood what the cactus represented in the garden.

‘Would you be a cactus?’ Granny asked.

Tiny Lady nodded.

‘Yes Granny,’ she replied with a new zeal in her eyes.

The cactus was no longer ugly. The creator did justice.

(Illustration by Ritika Adhikari.)

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