Little Blue's Conclusion
The Rest of Little Blue’s Story
This is a conclusion to "Little Blue's Story".
Story by Nancy Goulden and Phyllis Scherich
The girls and boys of Kansas wanted Kansas to have a state grass, and they wanted that grass to be their happy friend, Little Blue. So they got busy. At first there was just one group of students in one school. They studied about the prairie where Little Blue lived, and about Little Bluestem. Then they wrote lawmakers in Topeka asking them to pass a law to make Little Blue the Kansas State Grass. Before long more students from more schools all over the state joined in.
On a cloudy, windy day in late winter, Little Blue shivered as her few remaining seed heads were whipped by the cold wind. She was glad when Larkie came zooming in and landed on one of Woody’s bare branches. Sunny’s dried remains of last summer’s flowers rattled in the wind. Larkie was very excited, “Little Blue, I just heard from a cousin of mine who has some great news from Topeka. The lawmakers are hearing about a bill today to make YOU the Kansas State Grass!” Woody and Sunny cheered. Little Blue smiled, and smiled, and smiled.
But it wasn’t that easy. Two days later Larkie’s cousin sent word that some of the Representatives who make the laws really wanted Little Blue to be the Kansas State Grass, but one very important Representative had decided naming a state grass was just silly and so the bill would not be voted on.
Little Blue was sad, but said, “Oh well, at least some of the people who make the laws like me.” And Larkie added, “My cousin told me something else important. The people in the government in Topeka can vote again next year. That means the school students have another year to tell the lawmakers about Little Blue.”
So another year passed. And then two more years. The lawmakers were busy with many other laws, and the state grass bill still did not go to all the lawmakers for them to vote. Little Blue and her friends began to believe Kansas would never have a state grass. FIVE years had passed since Little Blue and the other state symbols had first talked about Little Blue becoming the Kansas State Grass.
On a brilliant, sunny winter day, the time each year when the lawmakers meet in Topeka, Little Blue was standing in a snowdrift with just her tattered seed head sticking out. Larkie flew up and took his usual perch on Woody’s branch. “Hey Blue, my cousin says things seem to be different this year in Topeka. Many of the lawmakers are talking about a state grass. They even invited students from two Kansas school to come give speeches about Little Blue at the State House in Topeka. And here is the really BIG NEWS the lawmakers are finally ready to vote.”
Of course Little Blue and her prairie friends were very happy, but they wondered,
“Would enough of the senators and representatives vote “yes” to make the bill a law and name Little Blue the Kansas State Grass?”
Weeks passed and Little Blue and her friends heard nothing more about the vote. On a late winter day, when Little Blue and Sunny were beginning to feel the first little hints of spring growth in their roots, they heard someone talking. SammyJo, Cael, and Joseph, three students who loved being on the prairie, were looking at what remained of the prairie plants from last year and hunting for new little green shoots coming up.
Joseph looked up and saw Larkie “Look, there is our state bird, the Western Meadowlark, perched in our state tree, the Cottonwood. I wonder if we could find the Sunflower and Box Turtle too.”
Cael remembered where he’d seen sunflowers last summer and found some of the tall stalks and seed heads.
SammyJo remarked, “I think it’s still too cold for the box turtle to be out and walking about, but there is one more state symbol we should look for.”
Larkie, Sunny, Woody and Little Blue were puzzled. Another state symbol? What is SammyJo talking about? So they listened as the children continued walking around the hillside, looking at the plants.
Suddenly SammyJo stopped at a bunch of grass with copper-colored stems. She put her arms around the bunch and called out, “I’ve found it. Here’s our brand-new state symbol, Little Bluestem, the Kansas State Grass!”
Little Blue shouted out loud “Oh!” This time it was a surprised, but very happy, sound. Larkie, Sunny, and Woody all cheered.
Joseph said, “Remember the day our teacher told us that the lawmakers had voted on the state grass bill and nearly all had voted ‘yes’? We were so excited because we’d waited so long for Little Blue to become our state grass.”
SammyJo added in, “The day we were really the most excited was when we were invited to go to Topeka and watch the Governor of Kansas sign the bill that made Little Bluestem our official Kansas State Grass.
Cael spoke up, “We weren’t the only ones who were happy. Kids in classrooms in the west, south, north, and east parts of the state celebrated when Little Bluestem finally became the first new Kansas State Symbol in the twenty-first century.
And now Little Blue is gently swaying in the breeze. She is waiting for you to come visit and learn about the Kansas prairie.