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POV: An Echinacea during demo and surv

As I watch the sun rise, I wonder what type of day it will be. Will I have ants crawling on me, or will I have a shield bug perched upon my head? As the sun grows higher, I see a group of large animals walking on two feet, carrying lots of brightly colored items. I watch as they come closer to me and my other plant friends. They start marking all the other plants that look like me, I wonder what they are doing. I even get a blue flappy thing of my own. They finally leave, but soon after these big creatures return. They take their time looking at each of us, recording strange data and replacing the flappy thing for another colored one. I wonder what is going on. Finally they get to me, I am the only one left with a blue flag, the others all have a neon. First the creature bends down and places something around the base of my head. I feel pretty, like I was accessorized. Then I feel them dig around near my roots and they find something sharp and metallic. It was placed there years ago and had grown into the dirt around me as time had passed. They dig it out and look closely at it, talking to the other creatures as they examine. Then they start to prod at me, feeling my rosettes and counting my heads. It feels weird, why am I getting all of this special attention? And what do they want from me? Will I be okay? Finally, they stand up, but I see the creature reach around their back to grab something. I fear the worst as they bend down with a sharp pin, but they don’t hit me. Instead, they replace my blue flag with a neon one like the rest had received, and walk away.

I start to relax, thinking it is all over. The creatures had gotten what they had come for. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to be done. A group of two of them started working their way through all of us who were marked, along with a tall stick they seemed to keep looking at. I worry what they are doing. I think that it may be the end. When the group arrives at me, I can feel the stick being placed next to me, nearly on top of me. I fret that I will be squished. One of the creatures bends down, again looking at the foreign metal object which seemed to be assigned to me. The two creatures talk for a moment, then my flag gets replaced again, this time I get a white one. I can’t relax, not when they seem to be coming back so often. But as the sun dips below the horizon, I think that the normal hush of the prairie may have finally returned, and I can again grow to my hearts content.

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