by Stella Ross, age 9
Daisies Stella is eight years old, going on nine -- entering fourth grade. Stella does not have a favorite color, is an aspiring writer / fashion designer, and her family is Eastern European. She has a black Goldendoodle named Charlie who is an F1B, which means his parents were a Goldendoodle and Poodle. So he's double Poodle! Stella loves him very much. He is hypoallergenic!!! He will never shed no matter how many times she asks him to (she doesn't ask him to).

“As soon as he saw the daisies, he locked eyes with his sister and shared a worried look. Emily was confused. Sam dragged her to the kitchen, grabbed the daisies, ripped them up, and poured them down the drain.”

Emily was a girl like any other. She lived in a modest good sized house with her mother, father, and older brother Sam. Remember this now you might need this later.

That Tuesday, Emily went and picked daisies from the meadow.

“Ooh, pink daisies,” Emily cried. She quickly scooped them up and scurried home.

As soon as she went home, her older brother Sam ran over to her. As soon as he saw the daisies, he locked eyes with his sister and shared a worried look. Emily was confused. Sam dragged her to the kitchen, grabbed the daisies, ripped them up, and poured them down the drain. 

“Hey!” Emily screamed. “Get back here!” She started chasing him all around the house. As they tore through the living room, their mother was reading a book on the couch. 

“What is the meaning of this?” their mother asked. Sam told her about the daisies while catching his breath. At each word he said, his mother’s face paled even more. Emily was fed up.
“Why are you acting like the daisies are something bad? They’re just flowers!” Her mother didn’t hear her as she was calling for their father. 

Her father raced into the room and their mother started launching into an explanation of the daisies. Like their mother, his face paled at each word she spoke.

And Emily repeated, “What is the deal with the daisies? They’re just a bunch of flowers.”

Her father told her that they would explain in the car as he told her to pack just the essentials. Her mother shoved her blue and pink striped travel bag at her and told her to pack a flashlight and some spare socks. Her mother grabbed her and Sam’s coats and shoved them through the door, and the second they stepped into the car, the door was closed. 

Her father was usually one to go by the rules and he was a slow driver, but Emily was surprised at how fast he was driving, making sharp turns and not stopping at stop signs. 

“Now can you tell me what the deal about the daisies are?” Emily asked. 

Her mother took a deep breath and sighed. 

“This started a long time ago, during which your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Agnes, was alive. She was a duchess. In other words, an ambassador of England.”

“Wow,” Emily breathed, “so we’re royalty!”

“Not now, Emily. This is important,” her mother said. So she continued the story, “Agnes was an ambassador of England. Since she was an ambassador, she travelled everywhere. From France, to Spain, even all the way to Japan. One day after a long trip to Norway, she sat down in the meadow. Yes, Emily, the very meadow you picked your daisies from.”

While Agnes was sitting down, she had a question. She thought to herself, ‘Why are the daisies pink? And why do they only bloom at a certain time and at a certain date?’ So she decided to go and ask the landscaper and the gardener. They had no idea. They told her that the daisies were there when they came, so they never bothered with them. A few times they tried taking them out but they wouldn’t budge. 

“So she went to the King. He was a personal friend. She didn’t talk to him all that much because he was a king, but she wasn’t afraid to talk to him. The King didn’t know either. All he knew was that his father’s father met a merchant on the street, and the merchant sold the seeds to him. That day he planted the seeds, and when he woke up, the flowers were fully grown. That was impossible. Agnes knew something fishy was going on, so she headed to the council. The council knew nothing more than the gardener, landscaper, or the King. So Agnes decided to find some information for herself. 

“The next day she headed to the royal library. She knew she was in for a long day because the library was three stories high (that was very high back then because they didn’t have the technology we do).” 

“I’m hungry,” Sam moaned. 

“Shhh,” Emily whispered, “I want to listen to the story.” 

“Here,” Mom said, and she tossed Sam a granola bar and gave Emily a box of yogurt covered raisins. 

“Now back to the story,” Mom said, “as Agnes walked down the long, cavernous hall, she looked at all of the books. She grabbed a big pile of books and settled down into the big, comfy armchair. She read and read and never saw anything about pink daisies, let alone daisies that only show up once a month. All she found was a chapter about glowing pink fungus. When she was about to give up and head home, a book caught her eye. It was titled: Flowers of the Rainbow. 

‘I guess one more book couldn’t hurt,’ Agnes said to herself. So Agnes settled herself once again into the big, comfy chair.

“When she reached the last chapter, the chapter about pink flowers, she found what she was looking for. So she rushed home to the gardener, the landscaper, the King, and the council. They couldn’t believe their ears, but apparently a councilman was taken aback by Agnes’ determination (it wasn’t very common for women to be too determined on a single thing. Mostly they were just there for tea parties), so he asked her to marry him. Of course she said yes. So they lived a good life and had three children. One of them was your great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Fiona.”

“How did Agnes meet the councilman?” Emily cried.

“How did he decide to marry her right there and then?” Sam asked. 

“Woah, woah,” their mom said. “One at a time, one at a time. But let me finish my story first!

“When she and the councilman were married, they decided to do research about the pink daisies together. They found that the pink daisies were planted by leprechauns. That was the reason the plants wouldn’t budge. They tried to make the petals green, but it was a miscalculation and  they made the petals pink! Leprechauns hate pink, so that’s why the daisies only show up once in a blue moon. So, on the next blue moon, (12 years later) they went to the flowers and met the leprechauns (they show up every blue moon to look at the daisies). So when she went to the leprechaun, Agnes apologized for disturbing the flowers, and that nobody in her family (the Bellinghangrhs) would ever bother the pink daisies again.”

“But why did we have to run away?” Emily asked, still confused. 

“Because Agnes struck a deal with the leprechauns that whoever picked the daisies would have to serve them for 100 years.”

“But I can’t live 100 years!” Emily cried.

“Don’t worry, Agnes made sure that if we had a good, valid reason, we would not have to serve 100 years of servitude. Instead, we would pick them red bell peppers for 2 years. I know you don’t like the sound of that, but Agnes saved you from 100 years of leprechaunian servitude, and that’s harsh!”

“But you still didn’t answer why we had to run away.” Emily said.

“Oh we aren’t running away, sweetheart. We just can’t be late to the place where we meet the leprechauns or else they will think it’s a sign that we think that we’re better than them.” 

3 Days later … 

“Wow, I’m glad we got that over with,” Emily said, slumping on the couch. “I’m pooped!” 

“Haha,” Sam said, “you said ‘pooped’.” 

“Oh shut up Sam!” Emily said.

“Now we don’t use that language,” their mom said. 

“Sorry mom,” Emily muttered. 

“What a day,” their father said. “At least we got out of 100 years of leprechaunian servitude! But your mom almost made it 6 years of picking red bell peppers.”

“But I didn’t!” Mom called from the kitchen. 

“But barely,” Dad whispered.

“I heard that,” Mom said, standing at the doorway with her hands on her hips.

“Ooh, hands on her hips is not a good sign,” Sam said. 

Mom cast a disapproving stare at the both of them. 

“Someone’s in trouble, someone’s in trouble,” Emily chanted, tauntingly.

“I’m gonna get you,” Sam said.

“Get back here you two!” their father said as he tackled them to the couch. Their mother gave them another disapproving glare, this time at Emily too. 

“Ha ha,” Sam said jumping to his feet, “you can’t punish me if you can’t catch me.”

Emily ran with him. Their mother chased after them, their father right behind her as he tried to reason with her.

“Margaret”—(Margaret was their mother’s name, Robert was their father’s)—“they’re just kids!” he tried to tell her, catching his breath at the same time.

As the family tore through the house, Emily thought, “I have the best family!”

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