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- author Jackie French

Friday 8 November 2013

KBR Short Story: Dandelions

by Katrina McKelvey

‘STOP!’ I yell as I run outside. I’m too late. Dad has just mowed the grass including the dandelion flowers that were dotted all through it.

‘What’s wrong?’ Dad asks.

‘I was waiting for those dandelion flowers to turn into puff balls so I could blow them away.’

‘They’re just weeds,’ Dad laughs.

‘Not to me,’ I respond, tears filling my eyes.

Dandelions are my favourite plant. I love the fuzziness of their petals and how they are golden like the sun. After they turn into puff balls, I like to blow them until they float away on the breeze.

I sit among the cut grass with my chin on my knees. I’m crying. I’m waiting.

‘You look like you are waiting for something very important,’ Dad says as he gives me a tissue.

‘I am. Even though you mowed my flowers, they will magically come back.’

‘I’m very sorry I upset you. How long do you have to wait?’

‘A few days,’ I reply.

‘You can’t sit out here for all that time. How about you wake me every morning until they come back and we will check on how they’re growing together? I promise I won’t mow the grass until the magic is finished.’ Dad gives me a kiss on my head.

‘Thanks Dad,’ I reply, feeling a little better.


The dandelion flowers soon return. After a few more days the puff balls arrive too. I run around collecting as many as possible. I take a big, deep breath and blow as hard as I can. I send every tiny parachute spinning up, up, up. All the little parachutes remind me of broken umbrellas with the fabric torn away.

I chase them, running and panting, until they are too high to reach.

Exhausted, I lay down among the grass, looking up at the sky. I wonder where they go. Dad lies next to me and holds my hand.

Together we imagine those parachutes swirling in the wind as they pass the roses in my front yard … spinning in the wind through the poppies in the garden at the end of my street … twisting in the wind over the sunflowers in the park … whirling in the wind around the weeping willows near the river … turning in the wind under the oak tree canopies just out of town … twirling in the wind between hot air balloons bobbing above the country side and … we imagine them floating up so high they are collected by the sun. Maybe that’s why dandelion flowers are yellow.


A week later, I hear Dad start the mower.

‘STOP!’ I yell as I run outside.

Even more dandelion flowers are dotted through our grass this time.

‘You can’t mow today Daddy,’ I plead, ‘Look, my favourite flowers are back.’

Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author, wife and mum of two children, in no particular order. She performs these jobs simultaneously and loves them all. Katrina is the President of the CBCA Newcastle Sub-branch and is also actively involved in several local festivals. Find out more about Katrina at her website.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’ — and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.