Stone Bunny has been thinking about the snowdrops. She has been thinking and puzzling and figuring and there is something she just can’t figure out. “Hmmmm.” She thinks. “It just doesn’t make sense. Maybe Iron Turtle will know.”
“Turtle,” she says.
“Yes?” he replies.
“I’ve been thinking.” Stone Bunny continues. “Do you see the pretty little green pattern on the inner flower of the snowdrop?
“Well, the bees, of course.” says Stone Bunny. “Flowers attract the bees to the plant so they can cross pollinate with other similar plants.”
Stone Puppy has been listening in. He can’t resist. He jumps right in.
“I get it. Those green marks are like a big ol’ highway sign for the bees. Its like they say EAT HERE. See, they even kind of look like an arrow.”“Exactly.” says Turtle. “Good job Puppy. Now do you understand, Bunny?”
“No.” replies Bunny emphatically. “I do NOT understand. You think I’m stupid! You think I don’t even know what flowers are all about. I get all that. What I don’t understand is why the snowdrops only show those marks at the very end of their bloom. I mean, we have had snowdrops blooming around us here in the garden and out in the woods for weeks and weeks. Most of the time they bloom, they keep that pretty little mark covered up. They only show it at the very end. The other flowers usually show all their best markings the whole time they are blooming.
Bunny continues. “It takes a long time for them to open the bloom and show the pretty little inner flower with the pretty little green markings.”“By then” she continues “Even the purples are up. Why don’t the snowdrops just show it all the whole time?”
Turtle replies gently. “Well, for one, did you ever think that maybe while they hold that tidy, closed bloom they are working on building and growing that inner flower? Note that the flower is only shown after the seed pod is fully formed. But I think there is another, more obvious reason. And I think Puppy has the answer.”
Puppy, barely able to control himself as usual, has been very agitated, itching to answer.
“I figured it out!” he blurts. “The snowdrops come up in the middle of winter but the bees don’t come until early spring. The snowdrops only show that big EAT HERE sign when the bees begin buzzing around. Am I right? Am I right?”
Bunny smiles. “I think you must be right. It makes sense. The purples don’t even bloom until the bees are around. The snowdrops wait until the bees come, show their best markings, then fade. Wow.”
Iron Turtle is pleased with his little friends. “That settles it, then.” He says.
“Ummmm,” Bunny mutters. “Maybe not really. I still don’t understand. I get the bees and the seed pod thing, and maybe it just takes a long time to build that seed pod, but I still don’t understand why any flower would want to come up and begin blooming in the middle of winter. I mean, just look at Snowdrop the first time we saw her. She was blooming under the snow!!!”“I suppose” chimes in Stone Turtle, who has been quietly listening the whole time,