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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

''Have you got dandelions enough


'That's

its nickname, you may say. Look here, Miss Esther,--here's the _Hepatica_ for you.'

Esther sprang forward to where Christopher was softly pushing dead leaves and sticks from a little low bunch of purple flowers. She stretched out her hand with the trowel, then checked herself.

'Won't that grow either, Christopher?'

'It'll grow _here_, Miss Esther. See,--ain't that nice?' he said, as he bared the whole little tuft.

Esther's sigh came from the depths of her breast, as she looked at it lovingly.

'This is _Hepatica acutiloba_. I dare say we'd find the other, if we had time to go all over the other side of the hill.'

'What other?'

'The _americana_, Miss Esther. But I'm thinking, them greens must go in the pot.'

'But what _is_ this lovely little thing? What's its name, I mean?'

'It's the _Hepatica_, Miss Esther; folks call it liverleaf. We ought to find the _Aquilegia_ by this time; but I don't see it.'

'Have you got dandelions enough?'

'All I'll try for. Here's something for you, though,' said he, reaching up to the branches of a young tree, the red blossoms of which were not quite out of reach; 'here's

something pretty for you; here's _Acer rubrum_.'

'And what is _Acer rubrum?_'

'Just soft maple, Miss Esther.'

'Oh, that is beautiful! Do you know everything that grows, Christopher?'

'No, Miss Esther; there's no man living that does that. They say it would take all one man's life to know just the orchids of South America; without mentioning all that grows in the rest of the world. There's an uncommon great number of plants on the earth, to be sure!'

'And trees.'

'Ain't trees plants, mum?'

'Are they? Christopher, are those dandelions _weeds?_'

'No, Miss Esther; they're more respectable.'

'How do you know they're not weeds?'

Christopher laughed a little, partly at his questioner, partly at the question; nevertheless the answer was not so ready as usual.

'They ain't weeds, however, Miss Esther; that's all I can tell you.'

'What are weeds, then?'

'I don't know, mum,' said Christopher grimly. 'They're plants that has no manners.'

'But some good plants have no manners,' said Esther, amused. 'I know I've heard you say, they ran over everything, and wouldn't stay in their places. You said it of moss pink, and lily of the valley. Don't you remember?'

'Yes mum, I've cause to remember; by the same token I've been trimming the box. That thing grows whenever my back is turned!'

'But it isn't a weed?'

'No mum! No mum! The _Buxus_ is a very distinguished family indeed, and holds a high rank, it does.'


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