Yesterday I woke up to find two trays of plants labeled ‘broadbeans’ on my front doorstep. I planted them out after consulting ‘The Organic Gardener’ and this morning skipped straight from bed to back garden to see how much they’d grown.
They hadn’t grown at all. In fact they’d shrunk, and two of the plants seemed to have disappeared altogether. Slugs, I decided, after angrily consulting the dog-eared ‘Organic Gardener’ again.
I sat at the kitchen table and had a cup of coffee. I thought about slugs. I went out to look at the once virgin broadbeans again and considered how many bites the slugs had taken.
I went back inside and googled slugs.
Slugs can live for up to two years. They are hermaphrodites. They have a sense of place.
I went outside to inspect the broadbeans again. They seemed to have shrunk a little more.
I cursed slugs. I cursed god for inventing slugs, before retracting it, and instead asking him why, in god’s name, did you give them a sense of place? How on earth am I supposed to kill them now, knowing that they will cross huge fields and oceans of grass, to return to where they’re from?
Then I thought about my ex-husband. As long as he had a nice big house, plenty of food and wine, a little bit of sex now and then, and Sky Sports, he honestly couldn’t have cared less where he lived.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to take from that thought. I mean, I obviously don’t wish I’d married a slug. But is it possible that a slug may in some ways be more evolved than my ex-husband? A sense of place to my mind is a very important thing.