Counting on daisies

Did you know that the number of petals on a flower, like the numbers of many other things in nature, is often a number from the Fibonacci sequence?

In the Fibonacci sequence, each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89.

Daisies commonly have 34, 55 or 89 petals, though those numbers may be an average rather than specific to an individual flower.

The game “He loves me, he loves me not,” is played by stating each phrase in turn while removing a petal from a daisy flower. The phrase accompanying removal of the last petal is considered to be true. The result would obviously depend upon the type of flower chosen, as well as the number of petals on the particular flower.

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills has challenged writers to in 99 words (no more, no less) include white flowers in your story. This is a repeat prompt, but one that has an ability to be emotive. Humor, drama, irony — go wherever the white flowers lead.

The prompt led me to incorporate the two snippets of information above into an is true/isn’t true story on a topic often hotly debated by young children at this Christmassy time of the year.

You can count on it

“Is too,” he screamed, running away, blinded by tears.

Across the enormous park, he plonked himself down in a patch of wild daisies, and began pulling them up, ripping them apart.

“It can’t be. They don’t know anything.” Fists clenched against doubt that threatened annihilation.

As tears subsided to sobs, his petal removal became more rhythmical, purposeful: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true. Isn’t true …” He crushed the remains, then plucked another: “Is true. Isn’t true. Is true …” Nooo!

He started again: “Isn’t true. Is true …”

“I knew it! Santa is true! White flowers don’t lie.”

31 thoughts on “Counting on daisies”

1. Alice | Letters to my Daughter

A lovely story! I remember playing that game as a child – who ‘he’ was, I can’t recall, nor whether or not he loved me, but ho hom!
And congratulations because someone enjoyed this post so much, they added it to the #BlogCrush linky – feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” badge 🙂

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1. Norah Post author

Thank you for reading and commenting, Alice. I’m pleased you enjoyed the story. I’m sure whoever he was, was important at the time, however briefly. We all had those moments. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know about the #BlogCrush linky. I did see that in a comment but wasn’t sure what it meant. I’ll have to check it out.
Best wishes for 2018!

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2. roughwighting

I’ll show my ignorance here and admit I never even knew about a Fibonacci sequence. I never liked the pluck-a-flower game because I’m such a huge lover of flowers; even as a child it made me cringe when someone took apart the petals. ;-0 Yikes.
But I like your white petal Santa-is-true story. You should add a disclaimer to it though: (No live flower was used in the writing of this flash fiction).

Haha.

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1. Norah Post author

I like the idea of your disclaimer. I probably agree with you. I don’t think I ever played that game but am certainly aware of it – from movies mostly, I think. I’m pleased I alerted you to the Fibonacci sequence. I find it quite fascinating. Have a great year!

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3. Steven

The ratio of successive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence also approaches the Golden Ratio. It is a curious sequence and I like how you have weaved it into your posting and fiction, always trying to enlighten your audience somehow.

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1. Norah Post author

That’s right. The Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio are fascinating, aren’t they?
I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. It’s always lovely to hear from you.
I wish you and your family a wonderful 2018!

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4. macjam47

A great post, Norah. I enjoyed your explanation of the Fibonacci sequence which I had totally forgotten about. Who hasn’t plucked the petals from a daisy, hoping for the best outcome? Happy New Year, Norah.

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1. Norah Post author

Thanks, Charli. I appreciate your comment on my first ‘white flowers’ flash. I was pleased to fit a little education into this one. I find the Fibonacci sequence fascinating.

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5. Annecdotist

I remember your original white flowers flash, Norah, just before I followed your lead over to the ranch but you’ve managed to approach it from a different direction this time. And, recalling earlier conversations on the topic, I’m glad you’ve acknowledged the trauma of being disabused of the Santa myth! Incidentally, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere this weekend that 8 to 10 is the usual age for nonbelievers – I wondered what you thought. Seems a bit late to me.

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1. Norah Post author

Hi Anne, Thanks for your comment. I wondered what you’d make of my flash this time. Definitely trauma. Actually the two links I added at the bottom of the post give different views on the myth and its effect. One I think agrees with 8 to 10 being the age of “awareness”. I think year two – about 7 to 8 – would seem about right to me. My grandson is 8 and just finished year two. His parents weren’t going to uphold the myth and discussion with him two years ago led me to believe that he was a non-believer. Discussions this year made me wonder if he did believe. I mentioned it to his dad who said he definitely didn’t believe. Who’s fooling who? I give up hope of ever being the one who knows! 🙂

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6. mrmacrum

Ah, Santa Claus. One of the early disappointments in Life that helps us prepare for the reality of adulthood. I can remember arguing with Jimmy Grigsby in 2nd grade about this very issue. It turned out he was right, but was he really?

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7. reocochran

I used to pluck off petals in middle school, saying “He loves me, he loves me not” and always hoping he would love me, Norah. I think that the starfish and the numbers idea is so unique! Thanks for sharing this! hugs xo
Hope you have a happy new year, Norah! 🎆 ✨ 🎉

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8. dgkaye

Loved the post explaining the Fibonacci sequence and then the use of the daisy word, but also the bit where when we’re plucking them we’re always hoping we end the pluck on the positive for our wish. 🙂 ❤ Happy Christmas Norah.

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