Once upon a time there was a winter, quite different from this year's. Cold and full of snow. The plants froze and longed for spring. Then, under the thick blanket of snow, a tulip bulb asked fearfully, "What if spring doesn't come at all this year? If it remains winter forever?"
"Fiddle-dee-dee!" cried the other plants, "Spring always comes!"
"What if it doesn't? Once is always the first time!"
That's when the plants got thoughtful. What if it doesn't?
"We must fight!" cried the nettle. "We must not surrender without a fight!" And she put up her stinging hairs.
"Nonsense," replied the ornamental grass. "Fight against what? Because Spring would take it serious if you were there spitting venom like a stroppy child. No, we must preserve dignity. Look at me, I am withered and scrawny, but still a sight to behold. Dignified. That impresses Spring."
"Pride is a sin," whispered the snowdrop, bowing its head. "We must show humility and repent of our sins, and then Spring will be gracious to us."
"Humility alone is not enough!" cried the ground ivy. "We must throw ourselves at Spring's feet, grovel before him in the dust, beg him with uplifted hands to come again!"
"That will impress Spring very much," said the ivy cynically. "I always say, help yourself and God will help you. Look at me, I'm looking for any warm wall, don't let it get me down. My leaves are protected from the cold with wax, that impresses Spring! He admires me, that's why he will come again."
"You're not entirely wrong," said the coltsfoot. "But we must also attract Spring's attention! We must be fragrant, radiant!" And he lifted his bright yellow flower heads toward the sky.
And Spring came.
And every plant was convinced that it had come for them. Because it had struggled so. Had been humble, dignified. Because it had begged for mercy, had helped itself, had reminded him with its glow that it was time to come. They argued about who was the savior, the bringer of Spring.
Spring smiled gently and silently. Why had he really come? We will never know.