Bloom Where You Are Planted
Let's Stick Together
All the cacti in the arboretum stood at attention and listened to Stan Saguaro. "The monthly meeting of the captive cacti will be called to order!" He by virtue of age and stature was the leader of the group. Barry Barrel was the vice president in charge of attendance. All the others listened to Barry and voiced their complaints to him. No one was brave enough to talk to Stan. His arms could swoop down and wound you in a flash. Then there was Patty the Prickly Pear. She was always getting into fights and picking on others. True to her name, always prickly when challenged. Many others stood round the leaders and waited for the big announcement. There'd been word on a major change in management of the arboretum.
"You've undoubtedly heard this but it bears repeating." The little cacti huddled around. Aloyisious Aloe moved in. Stan continued, "Our home is about to be redone. They are going to throw us out folks. The cactus room is to be no more!" Great groans went up from the prickly members. Spines flew into the air in disgust.
"What? How can that be?" Patty yelled. Her paddle-like arms waved.
"Walter the cactus wren heard the story. When he flew into the interp center the other day he heard the in-charge people talking. They think of us as boring, uninteresting. We are spiny, hurtful. Dry, dusty, and not of this century."
"So untrue. So short sighted." Murmurs came up from the smallest cacti at Stan's base. "With climate change, this planet will soon be a dust bowl. We can hold water, be used for food, and habitat for animals. So unfair."
"So what are we going to do Stan?" Aloyisious asked. He always wanted to please and do the right thing, smooth things over.
"We have to stick together! The best thing we can do as a group is to put on a big show as our last hurrah. The century plant and I had a long conversation yesterday. We formulated a plan to gather our resources and get to blooming. He'll bloom one last time as his honor to us, then be buried in the compost pile. What do you say?" Stan held out his arms. Cactus wrens rose and chattered, giving their approval.
"But how can we do it?" asked Barry. "That'll take lot of energy." Barry flattened a little just to think of this.
The little gift cacti in their pots gathered together and cried out in unison. "We're up for the challenge!"
All the rest cheered and the push was on. For the next month all energies went into the 'big bloom'.
Suddenly the day arrived. As the caretaker opened the door to the cacti display, a wondrous array met his eyes. Colors he had never seen before were on cactus that had never bloomed before. He got on the intercom.
"C'mon over here, boss. You gotta see what's up in the cactus room."