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YuccaMany of us know the yucca came to be from a giant moth that once lived here in the Southwest.

This moth loved to eat wild flowers. Just as soon as a wildflower would sprout UP, she would chomp it up. The people of the desert were distressed. Only the cactus, tumbleweed and greasewood decorated the barren ground. They needed those wildflowers to make the desert a prettier place to live. They thought and thought of how they could rid themselves of the moth. No one could think of a solution, so years and years went by with the giant moth eating the wildflowers as fast as they bloomed.

One day a little boy said, "Why don't we make a large net and capture the giant moth and tell it how we feel?" "That is a great idea," said the people of the Southwest. So they went to work making a net.

They found a patch of sand daisies just ready to bloom. They had just secured the net when they heard the flutter of wings. Sure enough, here came the giant moth to eat the sand daisies. She fluttered down and began to chomp on the daisy buds. WHOOSH! The net covered the moth and she was entrapped! The moth pushed and fluttered, but could not get away.

"I guess you mean to kill me," the moth said.

"No," the people answered, "but we do want you to stop eating wildflowers. The desert is such a dry, barren place and the wildflowers make it so much prettier."

"But the wildflowers are my food, and I will starve without them," explained the moth.

"What can we do?" asked the people.

The moth thought quietly and then said, "See that scrawny, sticky plant with the thin leaves poking out? I will lay my eggs on it. The eggs will hatch into beautiful white blossoms. Soon the desert will be filled with pretty blossoms. I promise never to eat those blossoms, only to lay my eggs in them each year."

Content, the people decided to free the moth.

Just as she promised, she laid her eggs in the plant and beautiful white blossoms grew up. Soon the desert was filled with these beautiful white plants.

Today the desert is filled with yucca plants and yucca moths. The moths still lay their eggs in the plant, just as the giant moth promised years ago.

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