Maxime was not alone. In fact he had thousands upon thousands of brothers and sisters. All of them looking exactly like him and all of the same age as him.
Then again, maybe they did not look all alike. Maybe they were all different from one another just like snowflakes.
Maxime liked to sit close to his siblings on the Grimsel. He felt the sun during the day, the cool of the night and the dew in the morning.
But one day he became restless.
There was this pull in the air.
He wanted to leave his flower home and he felt the same sentiment in his brothers and sisters who lived on the same plant.
‘Let’s!’ they all felt and with a sudden gust of wind most of them got carried into the air.
As was Maxime.
Wow, what a feeling! Suddenly he floated way up high. And fast! And with him were countless other parachutes as he called his fellow floaters.
‘Where to?’ they called silently to each other.
‘No idea, it doesn’t matter!’ was the answer.
‘It matters to me’, thought Maxime. ‘With so many like me what difference does it make if I exist or not? Nobody would miss me if I weren’t here.’
He felt heavy and began to float back down to earth towards a street where cars were rushing in both directions.
‘I’d just get squashed and that’s it. No point struggling.’
Slowly he drifted lower and lower when suddenly a car came rushing towards him with a dog sticking its nose out from the window.
And there he got stuck.
Right onto the shiny wet nose.
‘Peggy, get in!’ The window scrolled up slowly and the dog pulled its head in just before it got stuck.
‘Shnuff!’ Peggy shook its head because Maxime was tickling its nose and head over heals or rather parachute over seed Maxime was shaken off the dog’s nose and landed on a bunch of flowers that was tucked in a basket on the back seat.
And there he stayed for quite a while.
He was the only seed of his kind and quickly became friendly with the other flowers in the bunch.
‘Hi there, stranger!’ they welcomed him.
‘Where are you going?’ Maxime wanted to know.
‘Granny lives in the city and we are all going to visit her today.’
And sure enough some time later the car slowed down and turned into a narrow street. At the end of the street was a tiny house. It was barely as wide as two beds standing head to head. But it had two stories and on each story there was a window with a window box full of bright orange geraniums – except the one on the ground floor. That one was empty.
‘Grandma!’ ‘Wuff!’ ‘Hi mum! So good to see you again!’
‘Come in, kids! I’ve got tea and cake ready for you.’
The family stepped into the house and settled in the living room.
‘What a lovely bunch of flowers you brought, thank you!’
Before grandma poured the tea she found a vase to put the flowers in.
The day went buy so quickly for the humans, all chatter and laughter and coziness.
Later in the evening they left after a noisy farewell and grandma came back into her house with a quiet smile on her face.
She looked into the living room that was upside down after her grandchildren’s visit.
‘That can wait until tomorrow’ she thought to herself.
Then she turned to the bunch of flowers with her reading glasses on her nose.
‘Just what I thought I saw earlier’ she smiled and tenderly picked up Maxime.
‘You are exactly what I wanted for my last flower box.’
And with a gentle push she planted Maxime into the soft soil.
‘I do count’ Maxime thought before he fell asleep.