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The Dandelion Girl by Robert F. Young

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“The Dandelion Girl” is a 1961 science fiction short story by Robert F. Young. It is about a middle aged man who falls for a young woman from the future.

Today Only: 2 for the price of 1

I heard this poem on NPR shortly after reading “The Dandelion Girl” and felt that the two would go well together:

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

by William Blake

Non-Spoiler Summary

Dandelion Girl by cochesaurus, CC 2.0 License

Mark Randolph is spending his 2 weeks of vacation all alone by the lake this year because his wife was unexpectedly called in for jury duty. So what should he do when he gets tired of fishing? How about a nice walk to the top of a spectacular hill! Yeah, and while there he meets Julie – an attractive young woman with a secret: she is from 244 years in the future! Well, Mark doesn’t really believe her, but he isn’t about to let that scare him away from her, so they end up talking. In fact they enjoy it so much they talk the next day too, and the next day… and the next – until pretty soon Mark realizes he has fallen in love with a woman half his age. The big question is what his wife will think of all this!

Some Interesting Tidbits

  • Word count: 5,610 (13 pages)
  • Did you know that Robert F. Young was a janitor in the Buffalo public school system? Yep. You can learn more about this talented science fiction author on Wikipedia.

Where To Find The Dandelion Girl

  • This short story was first published in the April 1, 1961 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.
  • You can read “The Dandelion Girl” for free online at an archive of the old Sci Fiction web site.
  • It’s also included in the 1963 anthology 7th Annual Edition: The Year’s Best S-F

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked “The Dandelion Girl” then you may also enjoy “My Wife Hates Time Travel” by Adam-Troy Castro – about a husband and wife who are bombarded with visits from their future selves.