Snowflower

Her mother gave birth to her on a cloudless night when the moon was in full bloom. The sun hardly showed itself to the world during this time when the village was dry and barren. The village’s crops had not grown that summer. It was wintertime and the village had used the last of their dried rations. Snow fell silently outside their red adobe home as cries from her mother reverberated around the room walls. The fire crackled and danced in the hearth casting a glow onto the mother’s face contorting with pain.

The grandmother spoke softly to her, “The baby will be here soon,” as she wiped her face with a cloth and held her hand. Humming a song to soothe her.

The grandfather stepped outside to gather more wood for the fire; he noticed that the snow had stopped falling. A wolf howled in the distance as an eagle swooped low just past the grandfather’s shoulder. The moon lit up the land and something glittered in the distance. The grandfather continued to look at the eagle and something caught his attention. He cautiously began to walk towards the object. In the middle of the field lay a single flower beaming against the stark white snow. Approaching closer he realized that he had never seen a flower before of such unusual color.

Turquoise, red, purple, and gold, like the colors of the land, all mixed into each petal. A few petals were missing, one from each direction lying underneath the flower in perfect formation towards each direction.

The turquoise petal faced north, red for the south, purple to the east, and west was gold.

As the grandfather stood there looking at the flower, a soft voice whispered in his ear, “You will name the child after this flower. Let this flower thrive and allow no one to see it but you and all your crops will be abundant; so long as this flower shall flourish. When the time comes, pass the flower down to the child and it will live for many generations.”

The grandfather sprinkled cornmeal around the flower to protect it. Just as he finished the snow began to fall hard. A pained voice echoed and the grandfather stood still listening. The voice yelled again, this time more clear. It was the mother. The grandfather quickly gathered the wood and headed for the house. He fed more logs to the fire to keep the room warm for the mother and baby.

As the mother began to push, the snow fell even harder. The grandmother’s hums grew louder and echoed the pain of the mother. It didn’t take long before the cries of the newborn sprang forth and was heard throughout the land.

The snow stopped and the grandmother announced, “She’s here.”

As she wrapped the baby in a blanket the grandfather came closer to see his new grandchild. The grandmother put the baby in his arms, with tears in his eyes, and whispered her name, as she opened her eyes, “Snow Flower.”

< Previous: Closure at the Blue CatNext: >