The Canyon Flowers
by Ralph Connor (Adapted)
At first there were no canyons, but
only the broad,
open prairie. One day the Master of the Prairie,
walking out over his great lawns, where were only
grasses, asked the Prairie, "Where are your
And the Prairie said, "Master,
I have no seeds."
Then he spoke to the birds, and they carried
seeds of every kind of flower and strewed them
far and wide, and soon the Prairie bloomed with
crocuses and roses and buffalo beans and the
yellow crowfoot and the wild sunflowers and the
red lilies, all the summer long.
Then the Master came and was well pleased
- but he missed the flowers he loved best of all,
and he said to the Prairie, "Where are the
clematis and the columbine, the sweet violets
and wind-flowers, and all the ferns and flowering
And again the Prairie answered, "Master,
have no seeds."
And again he spoke to the birds and again they
carried all the seeds and strewed them far and wide.
But when next the Master came, he could
not find the flowers he loved best of all, and he said, "Where
are those, my sweetest flowers?"
And the Prairie cried sorrowfully, "O
I cannot keep the flowers, for the winds sweep
fiercely, and the sun beats upon my breast, and
they wither up and fly away."
Then the Master spoke to the Lightning, and
with one swift blow the Lightning cleft the
Prairie to the heart. And the Prairie rocked and
groaned in agony, and for many a day moaned
bitterly over its black, jagged, gaping wound.
But a little river poured its waters through the
cleft, and carried down deep, black mould, and
once more the birds carried seeds and strewed
them in the canyon. And after a long time the
rough rocks were decked out with soft mosses
and trailing vines, and all the nooks were hung
with clematis and columbine, and great elms
lifted their huge tops high up into the sunlight,
and down about their feet clustered the low
cedars and balsams, and everywhere the violets
and wind-flowers and maiden-hair grew and
bloomed till the canyon became the Master's
place for rest and peace and joy.