Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Broadbeans and talking slugs

The broadbeans, while not exactly bigger, have shrunk no further. I’m hoping their lack of shrinkage might be related to a piece I stumbled across on the internet about Taoist farming.
The Taoist farmers make a pact with the slugs. They say something like, look, let’s try and get along together, okay? If I let you eat a small portion of my lettuce, you have to agree to leave the rest of the plants for me. How does that sound?

So yesterday evening I went out to the back garden and had a word with the slugs.
Me: Ahem . . . ahem (feeling a little silly) Ummmm . . .hello. Can anyone hear me?
Slugs: silence.
Me: No . .okay - Well . . anyway . . I just wanted to ask you if you wouldn’t mind leaving my broadbean plants alone.
Slugs: Heavy silence now, as though several hundred slugs had uncurled their tiny tentacles and were suddenly listening intently.
Me: (now feeling very self conscious) You can have the last two plants at either end of the bed. Otherwise I’ll have to kill you.
Slugs: You’d kill us?
Me (gobsmacked): Hello? You can speak?
There's a splutter from behind and I spin around to find Dómhnall and Seanie beag doubled over in the back doorway, locked in silent laughter.
'Classic,' Dómhnall sighs happily, wiping the tears from his eyes.

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