Brigg lived in a small room in a big city.
Every day, he walked through the city to work.
Brigg worked in the library, where dangerous books were stored.
One day, on a high shelf in a dim cellar, he found some books marked: «Do not read».
So, Brigg smuggled one out of the library, and took it home. He read it in secret.
It showed pictures of the most beautiful shapes and colours, and called them flowers.
Brigg felt sad that there were no flowers in the city. He supposed
that was why the book had been hidden away. He wandered down many streets,
searching for some sign of a flower.
In an old part of the city, he came to a junk shop… and there in the
window was a dusty picture of a flower. Brigg went into the shop and
bought the picture.
When he got home, he looked at the back of it. It said:
«Seeds». Brigg felt very excited about what they might be.
He opened the packet and tipped out seven brown wrinkled things.
On the back of the picture, it said «Cover with earth. Water.»
Brigg collected dust from all over the city… until he had enough to fill a mug.
He buried the seeds in it and added water. Nothing happened. Brigg was disappointed.
He thought the seeds must be dead. He left the mug on his table.
Then, when he woke up one morning, he saw just one beautiful green shot.
It grew and grew, and whenever he was not at work or asleep, Brigg sat and stared at
the fresh green leaves. At last the plant flowered. Brigg was overjoyed.
But one morning, while Brigg was at work, the room cleaning system came on and the
plant was sucked away. When Brigg got home, he cried.
At last, he dried his eyes. He set off to search for another picture of flowers. After many
weeks, he came to the edge of the city where the dust heaps were.
There, at the top of one of the huge dusty slopes, Brigg found his dead flower.
At first, he felt sad. But when he looked closer, he saw that there were new green shots
and flowers all around. Brigg sat and looked at them, until it was much too dark to see.
And he wondered how long it would take to fill a city with flowers.
— The flower, John Light [Swindon, Child’s Play, 2006]