The Legend of the Dandelion

What is one of the very first flowers you find in the spring? Have you ever seen a dandelion in blosson when there are little patches of snow still on the ground? Do you sometimes dig dandelions?
Do you know how to use a dandelion to find out who likes butter?
Have you ever made "curls" on the end of a dandelion stem?
When a dandelion grows old and has white hair, what do you do to it? What do you say when you blow the hair away?

Here is an old legend that tells why the dandelion grows everywhere. --Practical English: Book I-[III], Book 1 By William Dana Miller, Harry Gilbert Paul

Painting of dandelions and flowers in forest The Angel of the flowers came down to earth once—long, long ago—and she wandered here and there, in field, and forest, and garden, to find the flower she loved the most. As she hurried on her search, she came upon a gay tulip, all orange and red, standing stiff and proud in a garden, and the Angel said to the tulip: "Where should you like most of all to live?"

"I should like to live on a castle lawn in the velvety grass," said the tulip, "where my colors would show against the gray castle walls. I should like to have the princess touch me, and tell me how beautiful I am."

But the Angel turned away with sad eyes from the proud tulip, and spoke to the rose.

"Where should you like most to stay?" she asked the rose.

"I should like to climb the castle walls," said the rose, "for I am fragile, and delicate, and not able to climb of myself. I need help and shelter."

The Angel of the flowers turned sadly away from the rose, and hurried on until she came to the violet growing in the forest, and she said to the violet: "Where should you like most of all to live?"

"Here, in the woods, where I am hidden from every one," said the violet. "The brook cools my feet, and the trees keep the warm sun from spoiling my beautiful color." But the Angel turned away from the violet and went on until she came to the sturdy, yellow dandelion growing in the meadow grass.

"And where should you like most of all to live?" asked the Angel of the dandelion.

"Oh," cried the dandelion, "I want to live wherever the happy children may find me when they run by to school, or romp and play in the fields. I want to live by the roadside, and in the meadows, and push up between the stones in the city yards, and make every one glad because of my bright colors."

"You are the flower I love the most," said the Angel of the flowers, as she laid her hand upon the dandelion's curly, yellow head. "You shall blossom everywhere from spring till fall, and be the children's flower."

That is why the dandelion comes so early and pushes her head up everywhere—by hedge, and field, and hut, and wall; and has such a long, sweet life.

For the Children's Hour Book Cover From the Book "For The Children's Hour" (Summer--Flowers, And Insects)
By Carolyn S. Bailey and Clara M. Lewis
Illustrations by G. William Breck

Published in 1918
Milton Bradley Company
Springfield. Mass.