Ferdinand's Fritillaries, a Children's Tale

Ferdinand is the bison who lives at Childhood's Gate, the children's garden at the Penn State Arboretum. Ferdinand keeps a low profile by day, but he has a great big secret!!! Shh, if you wait a second, I'll spill all!!!

Ferdinand has a deep magic, and his secret is this: at night, when the place is dark, he comes to life and walks all around the Arboretum! Yes! It's true! Ferdinand himself has told me so!

He loves the children's garden where spends his days, of course. Little boys and girls come and sit on him and pet him and sit in his shadow. Even some of the adults come to play; there's this one girl, you see, who brings a Tiny Tiger to visit!

Ferdinand is a gentle bison, and has never harmed anyone. He is very, very mild-mannered, and his favorite thing (like Ferdinand the Bull in the great storybook by Munro Leaf) is to live in peace, and also this: to stop and smell the flowers.

So at night, when Ferdinand explores the gardens, he loves to sniff all of the flowers. Yes, every single one! Do you see that fancy, tall, yellow plant in front of Ferdinand? That is a fritillary.

There are many more flowers than this, of course. The Arboretum these days is full of blooms: among them, daffodils, tulips, helleborus, ranunculus, pansy, and hyacinths. But the big yellow fritillaries are his favorites!

The soundtrack song is Bruce Springsteen, with Secret Garden.

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