Daisy Chains


They take us to the meadows once a month. We aren’t often allowed outside. Most of the time the keepers like to have us where they can see us, and where no one else can, but once a month they let us come to the meadows with them to make a daisy chain.

Retta starts it. She’s the best at beginning the chain, and for a long time I only bring her the flowers I pick and leave them in her lap. Her bright hair falls over her face while she braids the daisies into a long line, tying them together with grass stems and willow leaves, and sometimes, if I ask very nicely, she’ll sing for me while we work.

These are the days I like best. The birds sing so beautifully for us when we come out, as if they know how long it’s been since we’ve seen the blue sky and smelled the fresh wind and felt the grass beneath our bare feet. Our dresses are getting a little small, the hems of our skirts nearly up to our knees, but the keepers have promised we’ll have new ones next month, when the supplies come in. I hope mine is as blue as the sky, although I know Retta wants hers to be as yellow as the daisies that grow in the meadow. We always match, but sometimes I wish we could have separate colors.

The daisy chain grows quickly. We’re very practiced at making them. Last month’s chain fell apart in three days, so Retta is making extra sure to braid it tightly this time. It’s only just dusk when she finishes, and we have a little time to run through the grass before the keepers come. They lead us home on our daisy chain, but we’ll come back next month.

They promised.

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