The tiny squirrel made his way around the grass, nibbling at each end, pausing every now and then to look up. It was brown in color, with streaks of white fur. He then made his way to a part of the grass that was dry. There were a few chestnuts in that space. Swiftly, he picked one up. His puffy cheeks bit the chestnut as he held it in his paws.
When he was done, the squirrel ran towards a garden which was next to the patch of grass.
The garden had a single rose budding from its stem. It was planted in the ground. It was unique as it was the only flower blooming. It was winter time, though, so all plants and leaves were supposed to have withered and died. But not this rose bud.
The squirrel inched towards the rose bud. He was about to bite the petals, when a bee came charging at him, knocking the squirrel off balance.
The bee flew away, with a sharp buzzing noise that roared in the ears of the squirrel. After a few seconds, the squirrel went back up the tree and forgot about the rosebud for the time being.
The following day, the squirrel did the same thing. He tried to go towards the rosebud, but was met by a butterfly who came springing out from within and again knocked the squirrel over.
What was it about this rosebud that was making it impossible to even get a close look at? More less, even a sniff.
The squirrel heard high pitched voice from behind him. “You want to know why you can’t touch the rosebud?”
He turned around. Who said that? he wondered. He swiveled his head around. But there was no one there.
“I’m over here,” the voice said again. The squirrel turned to the left, where he saw a small snail in the grass. She had a brown shell and clear face.
“Yes?” the squirrel asked.
“You can’t go near that rose.”
“And why not?”
“Because, it’s a magical rosebud.”
The squirrel laughed. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, no one can go near it.” The snail was insistent.
“Then how are the butterfly and bee able to?”
“They are small creatures. That rose is not for big creatures like you. No big creature had been able to get near the rosebud.”
“And why is that?” the squirrel asked. “And aren’t you small? That means you can go near the rosebud, then right?” he challenged, seeing the snail’s small size.
The snail shook her head. “I could, but it would take me months to even reach it. I am very slow after all. And roses don’t interest me. I am more about the mud and grass. As for your first question, the rose, as I said is magic, some say cursed even.”
The squirrel nodded as he listened in interest. “I see. I will not go towards the rose again.”
The next day, the squirrel watched as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies escaped from the rosebud with ease. They were able to get an up close look at it, as well as rest their legs on it. He thought about what the snail told him, how the rosebud must be magic, that’s why it was allowing those certain animals to go near it.
The squirrel was now angry. He forgot what he said to the snail the previous day. He now wanted to get to the rosebud at any cost, now that he saw the bees and hummingbirds go near it.
The squirrel slept on it, wondering what he should do. Then suddenly, an idea came to mind. If during the day he couldn’t get to the rosebud, then at nighttime, he could get to it. Right?
He decided to try his plan out. He ventured out on the grass, away from his home, in the tree, and made his way the rosebud. He knew exactly where it was.
As he made his way to the rosebud, he saw that it sparkled and glowed. He hadn’t noticed this before, as he had been sleeping soundly the other nights.
“Now I can finally get a look at the rose bud!” he said to himself.
When he reached the rosebud up close, all of a sudden, the rosebud shriveled and turned cold. The glow disappeared. The rosebud as it was before was now a pile of brown and black petals.
Oh no! What had happened? The squirrel started to panic. He had ruined the beautiful rosebud. How careless could he be? Why did he decide to go out and see the rosebud at night? It was all his fault that it was now ruined!
The squirrel started to cry; his tears reached the ground. As each tear fell, one reached the shrunken petal of the rosebud. As the squirrel continued to cry, his eyes closed, he didn’t realize that the petals were now rising above the ground, glowing.
All the animals within distance of the grassy patch and garden woke from their sleep. They marveled at the glow that the petals brought.
The squirrel soon opened his eyes and gasped. He was shocked to see the rosebud petals rise from the ground and glow in front of him. What was happening? he thought.
The rosebud petals curled in a whirlwind formation and soon turned white. Everything was silent for a bit.
All of a sudden, the petals appeared in the air. They fell down to the ground and sudden transformed into the most beautiful rose anyone had ever seen. Everyone emerged out, gasping and chattering at the sight.
The rose, which was now a bright pink-red hue, glistened in the night. The moonlight shined her light directly on the center of the rose. From the rose came out a butterfly, a bee and some caterpillars.
They thanked the squirrel for freeing them from the old rosebud. They told him that they had been trying to find food, and got stuck inside. And the remaining lot of bees and other creatures had flown to the rosebud trying to free their friends, to no avail. When they saw the squirrel get near it, they thought he was trying to destroy the rosebud, which was why they charged at him. After all, they were looking for the one person who truly cared for the rosebud and would be able to get their friends out..
Little did they know that the squirrel would end up being the one to save their friends, at the end.
To reward the squirrel, the remaining colony of bees and butterflies allowed the squirrel to see the rose whenever he could. The squirrel was named the hero of the grassland.
And that is why the squirrel is the favorite animal of the grassland.