The red-backpack lay near the daffodils, the black strap stretched just enough to gently touch the two tiny mushrooms growing under the flower.
Her mom named her Daffodil after her mom’s favorite flower, sometimes she wished mom’s favorite flower was named Amber or Kate. Most of the time, she wanted another name, maybe a normal name, a little girl’s name, not one meant for a flower. Maybe if she had a different name things would be easier.
The other girls in the class liked to make jokes about her name, and the boys, for that matter they teased, sang songs and danced around pretending to grow flowers out of their heads sometimes. That started after their teacher decided to play that movie “Daisy Head,” in class. Now the only name that seemed worse than Daffodil was Daisy.
Sometimes Daffodil wondered why the other children did not pick on how much her name sounded like her favorite cartoon character. The little black duck from the Saturday morning cartoons. She thought that it would be more fun to watch her classmates act like that duck getting frustrated, stomping, and even stuttering. She would have much preferred to be called Daffy. Daffy, Daffy she was singing in her head, Daffy never laffys. She does not like taffy. She was testing out the potential for her new imaginary name to be used against her by her classmates. Oh no, Daffy has gassy, oh no, that was worse than the plants growing out of kid’s heads. She made a mental note to hide all her drawings of the little black duck deep in her special red-backpack, to keep them safe.
Daffodil may not like to be called after the flower her mom loved the most, but she does love to play in the flowerbed full of them. Once she and her best friend Jenny pretended they were both horses pulling a princess carriage along the path next to the flower bed, this game was best with the yellow flowers. That was the game where they kept trotting along the path, and they would stop at each end of the path, pawing the ground, making horse sounds and then sneak a quick bite of a flower or grass nearby. Of all the games Daffodil played with her namesake flowers, she liked the one where she and Jenny played “Tea” where the little flowers were the best cups and saucers. You had to play this with the white and yellow flowers because they looked the most like cups and saucers. This was also a game that could be played alone if she was alone, and she was almost always alone.
Sometimes along the creek was the best place to play. There were willows, the trees that seemed to grow like very very tall grass, the willows were like a tiny jungle with little paths winding through them, and wow they smelled wonderful.
When Jenny and Daffodil went exploring in the willows along the edges of the creek, they always found families of mushrooms. Mushrooms always grew in what looked like families. There were the tall parent mushrooms, tiny baby mushrooms, and of course, what seemed like older siblings and maybe aunts and uncle mushrooms. Once the girls picked two whole families of mushrooms and made a mushroom stew.
When the stew was made, Daffodil and Jenny sat under the huge oak tree, pretending to eat a special wild mushroom stew, and they even served some for their future children, one of whom would be named Daffodil.