Summary of “Unknown Flower” by Platonov
There was a small flower in the world. No one knew that he was on earth. He grew up alone in a vacant lot; cows and goats did not go there, and the children from the pioneer camp there never played. In the wasteland, the grass did not grow, but only the old gray stones lay, and between them was dry dead clay. Only one wind walked through the wasteland; as a sower girl, the wind bore seeds and sowed them everywhere: both into the black wet earth, and to the bare stone wasteland. In the black good earth seeds and flowers were born from seeds, and in the stone and clay the seeds died.
And once one seed fell from the wind, and it was sheltered in a hole between the stone and clay. This seed languished for a long time, and then it was saturated with dew, it broke up, it let out of itself the thin hairs of the spine, stuck them into the stone and clay and began to grow.
So that little flower began to live in the world. There was nothing for him to eat in stone and clay; drops
In the daytime the flower was guarded by the wind, and by night dew. He worked day and night to live and not die. He raised his leaves large so that they could stop the wind and collect dew. However, it was difficult to eat the flower from some dust particles that fell out of the wind, and still collect dew for them. But he needed a life and overcame his pain with hunger and fatigue. Only once a day did the flower rejoice:
If the wind did not come for a long time to the wasteland, then a small flower did not feel good, and it was no longer enough for him to live and grow.
The flower, however, did not want to live sadly; therefore, when he was completely woeful, he was dozing. Yet he constantly tried to grow, even if his roots were swallowed by a bare stone and dry clay. At this time, his leaves could not get drunk with full strength and become green: one vein they had blue, another – red, the third – blue or gold. This happened because the flower lacked food, and its torment was indicated in the leaves in different colors. The flower, however, did not know this: he was blind and did not see himself as he is.
In the middle of summer the flower dissolved the corolla at the top. Before that, it looked like grass, and now it’s become a real flower. His corolla was made up of petals of a simple light color, clear and strong, like a star. And, like a star, it shone with living flickering fire, and it was visible even on a dark night. And when the wind came to the wasteland, he always touched the flower and carried off his scent with him.
And so one morning Dasha was walking by that wasteland. She lived with her friends in the pioneer camp, and this morning she woke up and missed her mother. She wrote a letter to her mother and carried the letter to the station so that it would soon reach. On the way, Dasha kissed an envelope with a letter and envied him that he would see his mother sooner than she.
At the edge of the wasteland, Dasha felt a fragrance. She looked around. Near there were no flowers, one small grass grew along the path, and the wasteland was completely naked; but the wind came from the wasteland and brought from there a quiet smell, like the calling voice of a small unknown life. Dasha remembered a fairy tale, her mother told her for a long time. Mother spoke of a flower that was all sad for her mother-rose, but he could not cry, and only his fragrance passed through the fragrance.
“Maybe this flower misses her mother like me!” thought Dasha.
She went to the wasteland and saw that little flower near the stone. Dasha has never seen such a flower – not in the field, in the forest, in the picture book, or in the botanical garden, nowhere. She sat down on the ground beside a flower and asked him:
“Why are you like that?”
“I do not know,” said the flower.
– And why are you different from others?
The flower again did not know what to say. But for the first time he heard the voice of a man so close, for the first time someone was looking at him, and he did not want to offend Dasha by silence.
“Because it’s hard for me,” said the flower.
– What is your name? – asked Dasha.
“No one calls me,” said the little flower, “I alone live.”
Dasha looked around in the wasteland.
“There’s a stone here, there’s clay!” – she said. – How do you live alone? How did you grow out of clay and not die, a little one?
“I do not know,” said the flower.
Dasha bent over to him and kissed him in the luminous head.
The next day all the pioneers came to visit the little flower. Dasha led them, but for a long time, before reaching the wasteland, she told everyone to breathe and said:
– Hear how good it smells. He’s breathing like that.
Pioneers long stood around a small flower and admired them as a hero. Then they went around the whole wasteland, measured it with steps and counted how much it was to bring wheelbarrows with manure and gold to fertilize the dead clay.
They wanted the land to become good even in the wasteland. Then a small flower, unknown by name, will rest, and from the seeds it will grow and beautiful children will not grow up, the best, shining flowers, which are nowhere to be found.
Four days the pioneers worked, fertilizing the land in the wasteland. And after that they went to travel to other fields and forests and did not come to the wasteland anymore. Only Dasha came one day to say goodbye to a small flower. Summer was already over, the pioneers had to leave home, and they left.
And for another summer Dasha again came to the same pioneer camp. All the long winter, she remembered a small, unknown by name flower. And she immediately went to the wasteland to visit him.
Dasha saw that the wasteland was now different, it now overgrew with herbs and flowers, and birds and butterflies flew over it. From the flowers there was a fragrance, the same as from that little flower-worker.
However, last year’s flower, which lived between the stone and clay, was no more. He must have died in the past autumn. The new flowers were also good; they were only slightly worse than that first flower. And Dasha felt sad that there was no old flower. She went back and suddenly stopped. A new flower grew between two close stones-just as sure as the old flower, only much better and even more beautiful. This flower grew from the middle of the cramped stones; He was alive and patient, like his father, and even stronger than his father, because he lived in a stone.
Dasha thought that the flower reaches out to her, that he calls her to himself in the silent voice of his fragrance.