When everything was brand-new at the very dawn of time, God planned himself a garden and he filled it with every plant that you could imagine. Tall trees and flat mosses, flowering shrubs and tiny alpines, water plants and bog plants, desert plants. Plants with pretty flowers and plants with poisonous spikes and every other plant in the world. They all look so beautifully varied under the morning sun that God was very pleased with what he had made and he decided that he would go round and give them all names, and he did. He named the great trees: Ash, Yew, Willow, Beech and many, many more. He named the flowers: Rose, Violet, Hydrangea, Peony, Pansy, Buttercup and so on. So many thousands of names that it was late evening by the time he got round to naming the grasses the mosses and finally the lichens. He was very tired by that time and went home for his tea.
At first the plants was so excited and delighted by their new names that they chatted happily to each other, finding out what each one was called. The Feverfew consulted quietly with the Tea Plant about forming an association of really 'useful' plants.
"The trouble with all these chaps is, they really haven't really enough to do. We could call it the 'Useful Plant Association'."
"That sounds rather long winded, what about 'The Herb Garden'," responded the Thyme.
"I don't really know if I'm a herb or a vegetable" said the garlic. "I'm sure you're a vegetable - you should go in the vegetable patch". said the Mint, adding under his breath, "There is such a thing as being too aromatic!"
"You come over into the vegetable patch, me boyo," said the Potato in a rich Irish brogue.
"I don't know where you learned that strange accent, amigo, coughed the Tobacco. For, like me, you were born in South America."
"It is a very strange t'ing" said the Potato, screwing up his little eyes in a puzzled expression, "I don't understand it myself at all."
But then most unfortunately they all started to quarrel.
It was the holly that started the trouble, she had always tended to be a little prickly and she shouted down angry at the Ivy. "For goodness sake, stop creeping up me like that, and wrapping myself around my branches, you are strangling me and it's so uncomfortable."
"Well I'm sorry," said the Ivy, "but I've got to climb up on something. You have a great strong trunk to hold you up, how am I supposed to reach sunlight.?"
"Quite true," joined in the Morning Glory. "But luckily no one minds me climbing up because I am so beautiful. And she waved her great azure bells gracefully.
"Oh shut up," said the runner bean, "you are so stuck up but you are really only a glorified Convolvulus. You're a weed really!" The Morning Glory did not get on very well with the runner bean who twisted to the left and had very bright red flowers and revolutionary tendencies.
"I heard that," shouted to Convolvulus. "I am all for weed's rights. I'm going to form a society for weed's lib, why should we be treated as second-class plants?"
"Here, here, growled the Dandelion, although of course I'm not a weed, I'm a wildflower." And he tossed his beautiful golden mane.
"Wildflower! - My roots!" said the Deadly Nightshade rudely. "Of course, you are still a weed, we are all weeds. I don't care. I like being a weed. If anyone eats my berries they will be dreadfully ill, they might even die." And she gave a particularly nasty laugh.
"Really, you are the most poisonous shrub", said the waterlily. "Why do you have to be so unpleasant?"
"It's boring being so nice all the time", said the Stinging Nettle acidly. "If anybody treads On me I shall bring them up in bumps."
"I think all this quarrelling is a great mistake," said the Plum Tree in a rich, fruity sort of voice.
"It is quite beneath contempt." said the Pine Tree in a lofty manner.
"Oh, yes, yes, do stop." said the Aspen nervously.
"Oh dear, oh dear," said the Violet and hid under a leaf.
The Rose thought it more sophisticated to turn her face to the sun and ignore the quarrelling plants. But she spread her thorns like a cat spreading its claws. And the Poppy, the bringer of dreams, had dozed off as usual. But the Narcissus turned her head from looking at her great beauty in the pond. "If you were as lovely as me," she said, "you wouldn't wish to squabble amongst yourselves."
The Peony was too busy looking after its young buds.
"You keep away from those bees,"she called,"you are far too young."
They were all so busily occupied that for a long time nobody noticed a little snuffling noise coming from under the Hollyhocks leaves.
"Excuse me," said the Grass in the downtrodden tone. "I know nobody ever listens to what I say and my opinion isn't of any importance, but I thought you might like to know, if you would all stop arguing for a moment, that someone is crying down here."
Feeling rather guilty of the plants all stopped and listened. Sure enough there was a snuffily, whiffily, little noise of a small plant crying.
"Whatever is the matter?" enquired the Pansy who had a kind heart, "Who are you?
"I don't know"sobbed the little voice. "I don't know who I am. That is the whole trouble."
"Whatever do you mean," chorused the other plants. "Everyone knows who they are now. God has given us all names."
"Oh, boo-hoo-hoo," continued as the little voice. "I haven't got a name, God has forgotten me!" The other plants were all horrified. They immediately forgot to quarrel while they decided what to do.
The Bumblebee was dispatched to find God and tell him what had happened.
He found him dozing in a deckchair after his tea. The Bee was too shy to wake him up but buzzed loudly round and round his head until God opened his eyes.
"Go away my little furry friend" said God sleepily. "I have been working very hard naming the flowers and I cannot rest with all that buzzing."
"That's just the trouble," buzzed the Bumblebee. "You have forgotten one, she hazzzzn't got a name – and she'zzzz very upset."
"Forgotten one," said God standing up. "How perfectly dreadful. Take me to her at once."
So the bee set off for the garden and led God to where the little flower was still weeping bitterly under the Hollyhock's leaves. "Oh dear, oh dear, did I forget you?" said God, and kneeling down beside the little flower he pushed back the leaves so that everyone could see her little blue face.
"Yes, you did," gulped the little plant.
"Well, no one will ever forget you again," said God.
"For your name is Forget – me – not."