“The Dandelion Girl” is nothing short of a miracle


Words have never tasted so rich nor have they sounded so lilting. They’ve never smelled as sweet, not like a flower wilting. Words can be soft, but none can be softer than those from “The Dandelion Girl”’s author. 

A 1961 short story by Robert F. Young drifted into a conversation with a friend one lucky evening. The recommendation of “The Dandelion Girl” was fate, to say the least.

As the online PDF illuminated my night-soaked bedroom, the heat in my cheeks and toes percolated through my body as I realized I was at home in this foreign writing. 

“…burning gently with the pale fires of fall,” was the first indication of the enchanter whose presence I entered as soon as I opened this tab. This wizard, this magician made me feel ways that words shouldn’t make me feel—ways words can’t make me feel. This short story isn’t just words. It’s music. It’s art. It’s everything. 

The lyrics of this music delicately lifted my eyebrows as my eyes graced the screen and danced across the words, intrigue tugging the arcs of my brows and inquisition extending the tails. My dopamine-drugged fingers scrolled as my mouth whispered along. 

Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you.

My tongue painted the words on the back of my teeth, and my lips came together forming, sculpting each syllable. Reading aloud was not a choice I had made but rather a choice the story had made for me. 

My conscience bloomed as I locked each passage of this story deep within my memories and deeper in my heart. The word ‘plot’ is entirely wrong for this story. Plots are structured, and this story is entirely fluid and liberated. 

I floated upward as I read the rising action and soared downward on the falling action, caressing the cheeks of the clouds as I peaked with the zenith of this story. My toes drank in the soft grass as the story prepared me for landing, and my heels tenderly connected back with reality when my scrolling ceased and my eyes blinked and rested. 

In the far distance, haze softened the serrated silhouette of Cove City, lending it the aspect of a sprawling medieval castle, making it less of a reality than a dream.”

— Robert F. Young

Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you.

“The Dandelion Girl” is a treasure. “The Dandelion Girl” is a beauty. “The Dandelion Girl.” “The Dandelion Girl.” “The Dandelion Girl.” 

This story balances on the line of comfort. The sci-fi details braid with a balmy romance while mystery acts a third. This macrame story is incomparable, miraculous, and lucid. 

“The Dandelion Girl” is not a “short” story—unless you want it to be. “The Dandelion Girl” is a long story just as much as a short one. Time stops for its reader and begins to flow again once chosen to do so. This story catches butterflies in a flutter of their wings, this story catches clocks as they stroke, this story catches the Mona Lisa mid-blink. 

Most of all, this story catches you off guard. 

Beauty is not a thing of words nor looks. Beauty is not a thing of whats or ifs. Beauty is a dream of ideas. This beauty is what “The Dandelion Girl” is composed of. This beauty that captivates my mind and soul with a phrase here and a quote there. This beauty that wrinkles my skin and smooths it with a place of a comma and garnish of an adjective. This beauty that glimmers in my eyes with the placement of a paragraph and the arrangement of a character.

This story leaks with resplendency and never tires of its own brilliance. A cheery yellow and a dashing white paint this story into a masterpiece, and I can’t stop reading it. 

Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you.