One autumn night, as the heavy blue of dusk cut through the sweet golden of sunset, a single white tulip arose from the dusty riverbank and caught sight of her own silken reflection in the still, breathy water of the river. It was the night of the new moon, and as the low clouds around her dissolved into stardust and the heavens above her crumbled to black, the tulip turned her delicate head this way and that, combing down her brilliant petals and admiring the way that the last star of evening graced her slim form with swift lines of silver. It was not until the trees shifted and darkened the sweet spell of starlight that the flower, at last, seemed to notice the lively woods around her. Slowly, she turned up and took in the long forms of the trees and the flitting of the lightning bugs and the slipping shadows on the grass. She turned at once to the great oak, who had lived in the forest for many seasons, and knew much about the world.
“Aren’t I beautiful?” she asked him. The oak, awed by the pristine ivory of her petals, smiled and dipped his branches gently at the next touch of the rushing wind. But the flower did not see, for she had already moved on, peering beyond the oak into the open night.
“Aren’t I lovely?” she called to a young lilypad, who had made his home a little way up into the water. The lilypad, quite taken with her melodious voice and her delicate perfumes, blushed furiously and ducked his head under the froth of the river. But he said nothing, for when he surfaced to tell her that he loved her, he found that she had already moved on.