The Prettiest Flower
Elena set out one morning to find the prettiest flower around.
(Small girl walking down street.)
When someone asked her why, she had no real answer.
It was hard for her to explain how they always amazed her!
There was a seed, water, light, dirt.
Then something uncurled, and there was colour,
(Elena walking down a street full of Buttercups, Sea Lavenders, Magnolias, Peonies)
Elena looked in gardens, in shops, in parks.
(Watching florist as she walks by.)
She studied flowers all night,
(Pile of flower books around her as she reads one with Dahlias on the cover.)
and by day went looking in the wild.
(Walking, Red Gum Tree flowers dangling front tree in front of her, Bottlebrush and Wattle Tree flowering behind her.)
“How is your search?” people would ask, as she came home. “Have you found the prettiest flower around?”
Elena never knew what to reply.
Tired, yawning, she would tell them; “I liked the mulla mulla a lot.”
But she also enjoyed the kangaroo paws very much!
The banksias were superb…
(Double page spread if Elena walking through about 30 types of banksia. Praemorsa, Seminuda, Scarlet Banksia, Banksia Menziesii, Coastal Cushion, Christmas Banksia, Macrocarpa, Pincushion Protea, etc…)
“But have you found the prettiest?” they would ask.
And Elena would go home and brood.
All that searching, all that research. She was exhausted, always.
(Elena falling asleep amongst her pile of flower books. Flower posters on the wall behind her, a flower in a pot in front.)
When Elena finally did go to sleep, she would dream of floating away on blue orchids,
of it raining dandelions,
running through tunnels of rhododendron trees,
pirates with red roses instead of skulls and cross bones,
and floating downstream in a giant water lily – of course!
(Double page spread of Elena flying through giant flowers on the back of a bee.)
By day Elena began to notice beautiful flowers everywhere.
The carnation, almost laughing at the suit it was pinned to, so colourful it made the businessman seem small.
The lotus that was pretty because it was tucked behind the Japanese lady’s ear.
The black eyed Susan vine, the bougainvillea, and trumpet vines growing on all the old graves, somehow making them look warm.
But none of them were the BEST!
Oh, why couldn’t she find the prettiest? Elena loved flowers so much!
(Elena moping, near sunset, white cockies flying above her, as she sits in front of a Hydrangea hedge.)
Then, a writer came to her school. Writing was boring. Elena didn’t care.
(Elena, bored, doodling flowers on her desk while writer talks.)
“What is your favourite story you have written?” one of the students asked.
“The next one,” he said. “Always the next one.”
At first Elena didn’t really understand what he meant.
(Sitting on school bus, head leaning on window, which is reflecting clouds, thinking.)
But soon enough, it made perfect sense.
(Elena smiling, walking through field of Sunflowers taller than herself.)
Elena was a girl in love with flowers, and exploring,
(Walking through orchard of Blue Jacaranda and Magnolia Kobus)
She didn’t have to arrive somewhere to feel like she was home.
(Holding onto house ledge to stare at Wild Duck Orchids, while being surrounded by White Egret flowers.)
(In a paddock, searching, picture of Climbing Flame Pea in her hand.)
(Waking through waist-high Poppies.)
Knowing that made Elena smile. She slept well that night for the first time in the longest while.
(Sleeping, with some woody Banksias in a glass of water on her bedside table, flower books on her bed.)
And the next day, continued her search for the prettiest flower,
which, of course,
was without end.
(Just text in the middle of pattern of various species of Australian Peas.)