There once was a great mansion that sat atop a large hill. Every summer the owner Mr. Heart and his wife Mrs. Heart would plant flowers in their magnificent garden called “The Garden of Hearts”. In the center of the expansive garden lied his precious patch of sunflowers. Every night before Mr. Heart went to bed he would sneak out into the garden to make sure every sunflower was in place.
However, this period of peace and stability did not last for long. One summer Mr. Heart awoke to the sound his butler, Giles, frantically knocking on his door. He told Mr. Heart that during the night a creature must have crept into the flower-holder and destroyed all of the sunflowers. Mr. Heart leaped out of his bed and walked into the garden with Giles. Hundreds of petals and stems were strewn across the ground in a frenzy. It looked like the creature had picked out each flower individually and tore it apart petal by petal.
Mr. Heart was not amused at all by the sight before him. He was going to make sure this troublesome tragedy of trickery would never happen again. He spent the rest of the day planting new sunflower seeds in the ground. He knew as soon as the petal-stems started to bud the creature would be likely to strike again. As soon as the flowers had grown, Mr. Heart decided to try to catch the creature in the dead of night. However, the creature was too smart and it waited until Mr. Heart had dozed off into a deep sleep before it struck again.
Year after year, for twelve summers, Mr. Heart was unable to catch the mysterious creature who killed his sunflowers. Although, Mr. Heart was extremely persistent and insisted to his wife that he would one day catch the creature and punish it.
One day a young man named Trevor was minding his own business at his local pub when he overheard a strange story about a rich man’s sunflowers being destroyed every summer. He chuckled to himself and asked the storyteller where this “rich man” lived. Once he had gotten the address he quickly saddled up his horse, grabbed his lucky staff, and gathered a couple of his most trustworthy companions. They rode for three days and nights across the countryside until they arrived at the mansion.
As soon as Trevor and his companions arrived at the mansion, he was met by Giles at the doorway of the mansion. “I am here to speak to Mr. Heart because I believe I can save his sunflowers. I am the best gardener in the land, and I will protect these flowers from harm with the aid of my lucky staff named Nemo. I have heard your tale and I believe you have been approaching this problem the wrong way.”
“I believe I’ve heard a story about you. Aren’t you the kid who lost to a girl named Bertha in a gardening competition?” Giles asked, not seeming to believe Trevor’s story.
“I was only a child when I lost to Bertha. My plant-talker skills are beyond capable of punishing the creature. If the creature has deceived you for two decades, then I would highly recommend taking my help,” Trevor smirked. “If I lose to the creature and if it tricks me then you can have the last laugh. But alas I will not let it win this time.” After a little more convincing from Trevor, Giles lead him to Mr. Heart.
“So you, a young kid compared to a wise old man like myself, are trying to tell me how to plant my flowers?” Mr. Heart angrily asked. “I am your only option, and I know how to defeat this creature. You have not had any luck so far, so it would be wise to accept my help. I will defeat the creature and punish it, I promise.” Mr. Heart sighed and nodded his head in agreement, “Do what you must.”
That night Trevor and his companions set up camp around the fair, fresh, and fruitful patch of sunflowers. They had fashioned a wooden fence around the square shaped patch, hoping the creature would not be able to jump over it. Unfortunately, the creature was not what they had expected.
It was midnight when Trevor heard a sinister laugh coming from behind a large rosebush in the garden. “My friends, go see what lies behind the rosebush!” Trevor whispered. His friends crawled away into the darkness. Suddenly a small figure jumped up and over the wooden fence into the sunflower patch. Trevor got his staff and kicked aside the feeble fence.
He tapped his staff twice on the ground, illuminating the flowers. His eyes widened at the sight before him. A small cherub-person was chuckling as he ripped the sunflowers into pieces. He appeared to be around the age of six and did not seem to care if Trevor was standing right in front of him.
“You!” Trevor pointed at the boy. “How can a little boy terrorize a flower patch for over two decades? What kind of sinister creature are you?” The little boy dropped the flower he was holding and smiled up at Trevor. “My mother wanted me to be a child forever, that way I wouldn’t be a homeless gardener such as yourself. Now let me have my fun!”
“Your mother is a witch! And you are nothing more than a spoiled child who destroys other people’s property. Be gone!” The child tried to flee as Trevor angrily pointed his staff at him. “I curse you!” Trevor shouted, and a blinding white light illuminated the garden. A small path of sunflower petals was left in the child’s wake.
After all the ruckus Mr. Heart came into the garden. “Did you punish the creature?” He asked. Trevor nodded. “The creature managed to escape. However, he will not go unpunished. At dawn he will awaken to be the very thing he had stolen for these long years: a sunflower. I managed to grab a petal off of him before he escaped.” Trevor handed the petal to Mr. Heart. Mr. Heart was overjoyed by the news and he invited all of his closest friends to the mansion that day. He held a feast in honor of Trevor and they danced and sung all through the night.
The next day, Trevor was awoken to horrible news. During the night the creature’s mother had crept into the room of Mr. Heart’s closest friend, Arthur, and turned him into a frog. She also stole the sunflower petal that belonged to her son. Trevor decided that he would help Mr. Heart one last time by defeating the witch.
Trevor was told that the witch lived in a hut in the center of the forest. He left his lucky staff, Nemo, with Giles who gave him his staff called Hero. Once again Trevor took his companions and they journeyed into the forest to seek revenge for Mr. Heart. The tree-patch became darker, danker, and dangerously sinister as they progressed. Dead trees loomed over Trevor’s head as he walked with his staff. He told his men to go no further as they reached a swamp directly in the center of the forest.
Trevor grabbed Hero, his new staff, and waded into the swamp by himself. It took him a handful of hours to find the withering witch’s hut. He approached the hut carefully, peering into the window to see an old lady weeping inside. She did not look very threatening as her face was withered and her hair was white as snow. Trevor decided the only way to defeat her was to enter her home.
He knocked loudly on the door, startling the old lady. She got to her feet and peered outside the window, giving Trevor an evil grin when she saw him. The door slowly opened as the witch appeared in the doorway. Trevor gripped Hero and pointed it at the old woman, but nothing happened. She glared at him and started to make her way down the stairs, trying to grab Trevor’s staff.
Trevor soon realized Hero was useless against her. He tossed Hero to the side, never to see her again. He saw a small stick lying on the ground and grabbed it before the witch could get to him. Then he pointed it at the lady and she suddenly vanished into thin air. In her place rested yet another giant sunflower.
Meanwhile, at the edge of the forest Trevor’s companions were growing restless. They had thought he had been defeated by the great witch since he had been in the swamp for countless hours. All of a sudden, Trevor emerged from the swamp, carrying a small sunflower. He had retrieved the cursed creature from the witch. Trevor also informed his companions that he had defeated the witch as well.
When they returned to the mansion, Mr. Heart and his wife were overwhelmed with joy. They could not believe how brave Trevor had been. Trevor gave Mr. Heart the sunflower which had once been the sinister creature and he placed it in a golden case next on his bedside table. Mr. Heart knew that everything would be alright now that the witch was vanquished. He thanked Trevor and wished him farewell as Trevor traveled back to his home along with his companions.