Two stories. One is an inspirational warm and fuzzy sort of coming of age story. The other is a brutally accidental murder. Both are about plants. Enjoy.
This is the story of the little plant that could.
Once upon a time a tomato seed was planted in a small plastic pot. The seed grew in the pot. Not a lot but enough that there were tender green leaves above the dirt. The beginnings of a tiny tomato plant.
A classroom of first graders went on a field trip to a local farm. Each student was able to take a potted plant home. One student chose the tiny tomato plant. He took it home with dreams of planting it in his family’s garden.
The plant was put on the counter by the window. The window never got a lot of direct sunlight. Mom slacked a lot when it came to remembering to water the little tomato plant. By the time Mom and Dad were ready to move the plant outside it was a wonder the thing was still alive.
Dad transferred the tiny plant from the flower pot into the freshly turned soil of the garden. Dad noticed that the plant seemed sad. He knew Mom felt bad for not caring for its needs better but that wasn’t the problem. The plant barely had any roots. The soil from the pot crumbled easily. Dad did not have high hopes for the tomato plant. He planted it anyway to keep his son happy. Secretly Dad planned on getting a new tomato plant the next weekend. He was confident the little plant had too traumatic a childhood to survive the week.
The tomato plant was sad. It’s childhood had been rough and full of neglect. The transfer to a new home nearly killed it. The overwhelming loneliness in the new home caused the little plant to droop until it was lying down. For a couple days the plant was addicted to sadness while it was prostrate on the dirt.
Then something changed. Maybe it was the family’s gentle encouragement, “Come on little plant! You can do it!” At any rate, the little plant realized he was in charge of his own destiny. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. Not only live but live well. The little plant was full of new hope.
Slowly he stood up. That very act filled him with unshakable confidence. Little by little the plant grew taller and wider. His strength was unquestionable. The cage that seemed so large and inappropriate for such a sad little tomato plant
now is a perfect fit. The little plant that could sure did. The family cannot wait for the robust tomatoes the plant will surely produce. His motto is and always will be: Never give up. Never surrender. The end.
This is a story of an unfortunate grizzly murder.
Once upon a time a family planted a garden. Over time weeds invited themselves to the utopian party. Mom kept telling Dad that she wanted to weed but wanted him to point out what was a plant and what was a weed first. They were busy and never remembered to look together.
One day Mom wanted to let off steam. She decided to weed the garden. She had a decent idea of what was a plant and what was either a weed or more plant growing where it shouldn’t be.
The chives had gone to flower a couple years ago. Now little chive plants are sprouting up everywhere. Mom knew that. She pulled a few but concentrated more on weeds.
Mom and Dad weren’t sure they would get any onions this year. Dad had created a couple of rows for onions and something else. Mom was in charge of onions. She dropped the seeds as instructed but got sidetracked by kids and didn’t realize she was supposed to cover the seeds with loose dirt afterwards. Dad laughed good naturedly and said better luck next year. Mom felt bad anyway.
Imagine their surprise and joy when they saw onions coming up. Imagine Mom’s confusion the day she took on a weeding project when she saw onions in a row as well as scattered randomly nearby. She knew she didn’t plant many onion seeds and they should have been in a row. But there were little onion blades shooting up underneath the spinach leaves a couple feet away. Hmm.
What really got her was the strange leaves next to the onions. They didn’t look like any weed Mom had ever seen before yet they didn’t look like any plant she knew of either. Mom’s thumb is the opposite of green so it’s not really saying much!
This strange “plant” was growing in a line in fairly consistent intervals. She also saw it other places throughout the garden but it seemed concentrated by the onions and the spinach. What was it?
As Mom pulled other weeds she pulled up one of these unidentified “plants.” Immediately the air was filled with the aroma of mint. Mom’s heart stopped momentarily as she thought maybe she pulled up something that wasn’t a weed. As she worked her way through the garden she kept seeing this “plant” right next to other plants or simply out in the open. Sometimes it seemed so weedlike but every time she pulled one and smelled that mysterious minty smell, she felt bad. She ended up leaving a lot of it in the ground as a result.
Mom moved her weeding over by the zucchini. Lunchtime was quickly approaching and Mom wanted to just finish for the day. It wasn’t a thorough job but the garden looked better.
The next day Dad had gone out to check on the garden while he was barbecuing something for dinner. He came back in laughing. He started out by saying, “Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this but . . .” Then he told Mom that he knew she didn’t mean to but she had actually pulled up the watermelon plant thinking it was a weed.
Remorse was immediate. She told him about the strange plant she couldn’t decide whether it was a weed or not. He insisted it was a weed. But she could not get over the death of the watermelon.
The watermelon had been planted too deep one year to yield any results. This year there was only one little watermelon plant bravely surviving until that fateful day when *snap* it was prematurely picked and casually discarded with weeds.
Mom and Dad’s oldest child loves watermelon. He was looking forward to homegrown watermelon. He happened to be in the room when Dad told Mom the information they all could have lived the rest of their lives never knowing.
Regret. Remorse. And a few giggles because it is funny after all.
The moral of the story is: Amateurs should not garden.