At the entrance of the park, a little ways from the No Parking Any Time, Don’t Litter sign, stands a great,

big,

beautiful oak tree.

Beautiful,

and dying.

For at the old oak’s roots grow seventeen dandelions, trying to take the beauty for themselves.

They only succeeded, however, in looking like cute little buttons that little girls like to put in their hair, as well as fluffy puffballs people of all ages make wishes on and send the seeds scattering through the air to drop, be buried, and eventually result in another adorable weed.

High above the little dandelions, another cycle of life continues.

Ah, look!  Little Robin is spreading her wings!  Not only is this mild spring day the perfect day to wear overalls, it is also apparently the perfect day for a first flight.

The small bird stands at the edge of her nest with dramatically spread, freshly feathered wings.

She is still standing there.

Still standing there.

Perhaps, she is nervous.

Thunk!

Alas, Little Robin was never able to have a grand take off from the home nest that day.  Little Robin fell down,

down,

down all the way the roots of the tree,

where seventeen dandelions grew and swayed in the Brooklyn breeze.

“What are you?” inquired a young voice.

Little Robin eventually stood up and shook her feathers off.  She realized the speaker was a young dandelion.  She looked at it in what she thought were its eyes.

“I’m a bird,” she replied.

“Oh,” was the dandelion’s reaction.

Little Robin looked up, up, up to where her younger sister, impatient to witness a robin’s first flight, had shoved her.  Another realization:  she would have to fly all that distance to get back home.

And to teach Littler Robin a lesson.

“I think,” the dandelion spoke again, “I think I am a bird too.”

Little Robin’s attention reverted back to the weed.  She cocked her head to one side.

Are you a bird?  I have never seen one that looked like you before.  Can you fly?”

A gentle breeze rustled the grass.

“No.

I

can’t

fly,” replied the dandelion. “But,” it continued, “You

can’t

Fly

either.”

Little Robin clawed at the ground, embarrassed, then lifted up her head haughtily.

“That’s because I haven’t grown my flying feathers yet.”

She went back to clawing the ground, pleased with what seemed to her like a clever answer.

The dandelion spoke up again.  It said cheerfully, “Me too.  See this yellow?  It’s going to fall out one day and be replaced with my fluffy white flying feathers.”

Little Robin considered.

“Maybe

you are a bird,”

and with that, she spread her wings to get back to her nest.

She succeeded.