The sunflowers are growing already. I can see them growing all along the edge of our fields, putting out leaves, growing taller. In a month they’ll be as high as my waist, maybe higher, and their heavy, nodding heads with start to open.
I love the sunflowers. We plant them every year, in every field, right along the edges where they’ll protect our crops from the pests that try to steal them. We can chase away the blackbirds and gophers ourselves, but the others are harder to get rid of. The willow elves. And the water sprites. They like to steal into the fields and steal the seeds, uproot the seedlings and dig in the ground until our crops are nothing but lumpy ground and useless, trampled leaves.
But the sunflowers keep them away. Always. I don’t know why. My mother says it’s because the yellow flowers frighten them. They only steal at night, you see, and the sunflowers are as bright in the moonlight as they are during the day. It frightens the pests, and they think it is still broad daylight.
They must be very stupid. I’ve stolen out to the fields at night to see them, and it is just as dark there as anywhere else. The sunflowers don’t change that. But I suppose to a willow elf, which is a very small little creature, they must look a bit like the sun. Perhaps they don’t have very good eyes.