One needed to be the look-out. The look-out’s role was critical, but it was a dangerous situation.

“I’ll do it,” Varashi said.

The leader didn’t like that. Varashi had been the first dandelion to learn to stand up and lie down. Located in the yard’s middle, he’d been there a long time, spying on the humans through windows and learning their ways. In a sense, Varashi had been the leader’s inspiration.

Noting the leader’s reluctance to accept him, Varashi said, “Come on, I’m old. I’m due to be done. It’s not a great loss if I’m seen and weeded.”

Varashi’s logic was true, so the leader agreed.

The whole yard knew something was up. Even the clover, which was the dumbest plants in the yard, other than the grass, knew it. It had been a mild but wet winter. All the backyard inhabitants had thrived. The leader approved of the rise of his dandelions but knew that their success was also their threat. The human, the man, didn’t like weeds, and seemed particularly hostile toward dandelions.

The sun was high and the air was warm. It was time. “What’s the situation?” the leader asked. The word was sent through the roots to Varashi. He stood up his purple stalks. Although still twelve inches tall, they were naked on the ends. “All clear,” he reported.

The report was returned to the leader. He mentally nodded. They needed to leave as soon as possible. This was it. Per tradition and history, the man was going to come out soon and start removing them. The leader didn’t understand such hate and disdain for his dandelions. He didn’t feel understanding was necessary for him to take action to protect his people.

“All right,” he said. “Everyone ready?” The units reported that they were. Taking a deep breath, the leader stood. His many stalks were full and yellow on the ends. He looked about. Only Varashi stood. The man was not around. With the strength of commitment, he ordered, “Everyone stand up.”

His dandelions responded. Yellow heads rose. Oh, it was such a beautiful sight to behold, it hurt his leaves to see. “Now,” he said. “Lift your roots. Lift. Lift.”

He did so with the rest, pulling his roots free with a concentration of strength and willpower. “Now forward, toward the fence, march, march, march.” 

They managed twenty steps before stress rippled through the roots and everyone complained. Twenty steps — three inches. In that time, the sun had slipped behind the house, and their were in shadow.

Three inches. It was the most he’d ever gone. Ordering the others to stand down, he remained upright, staring at the fence.

Someday, they would reach the fence and get beyond it. And then?

Seeds, winds and birds brought news, and the trees offered their views, but those were just physical descriptions. None knew if his field of weeds could survive beyond the fence. But, they all agreed, it was a better choice than remaining in the yard, waiting to be pulled out of the ground and killed.



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