Thursday, December 11, 2008


For the next five hours Hank divided his time in the emergency room, between manic pacing and practicing art.
When Betty finally came out of the examining rooms, Hank looked at the stick figures he'd been drawing in the margins of a discarded newspaper and began to see Tony's point. Although he could draw a straight line, as long as it was really short, all of the lines went at odd angles.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Ani-mentals & Enviro-mentals aid the planet by their good attitudes.

Although she lived in a hot house on a grand estate, Fiona was very unhappy. She never felt well and when the hot house became steamy she became congested and her nose became stuffy. Her friends were full of helpful suggestions: “Fiona, rub one of your leaves against Rosemary she’s medicinal, maybe she’ll clear up your sinuses,” or “Try a petal of Mandarin orange’s blossoms, according to him he’s loaded with vitamin C, that should get rid of those aggravating symptoms.” And Fiona, being exceedingly polite, did try every idea that came her way, even though she had little hope that any of them would work. But neither she nor her friends could come up with any steps to take when the gardener (a big burly man) passed through spraying everything in sight with a very bad smelling mist. The only thing any of the plants could do was hold their breaths and hope that by the time they had to breathe again some of the fumes would have floated out the door. Silently, Fiona vowed that one day she’d figure out a way to put an end to the use of insecticides and other chemicals - which she did, but that’s another story.
Fiona had once heard the owner of the estate tell the gardener of the estate that Fiona was the youngest of a society of rare blossoms (Fiona decided that perhaps that was why she felt so out of place). So it was a huge surprise when the big, burly gardener came tromping through the greenhouse (with a stranger – a thin woman with gray hair) and roughly grabbed Fiona, pot and all.
“Don’t need to worry about this one, Rianna, she’s a gonner,” the gardener said to the woman.
“Maybe she just needs water or more light,” Rianna, suggested helpfully.
“Nah,” the gardener stated as he started toward the door with Fiona and her pot dangling helplessly, “spent too much time on her already.”
The air had a very cool nip to it, a chill that Fiona wasn’t used to and so she began to shiver.
“Sorry, darlin’,” the gardener said to her as he flung her onto the compost heap.
In a state of shock Fiona landed with a thump, but when she felt the heat generating from the pile she snuggled down into it, breathed deeply of the fresh air, and spent the rest of the day watching the clouds float past.
By late afternoon she was feeling much better. Better than she could remember, actually. But it was nothing compared to the way she felt as a fast moving shower washed her leaves clean.
From her position Fiona could see the door of the greenhouse where Rianna was staring at the compost pile as she waited for the shower to pass. And once it did, Rianna, dressed in rubber boots and other rain gear, hurried to Fiona. Gently lifting Fiona up, Rianna stuck Fiona, pot and all, under her rain coat as she whispered, “I’m taking you home with me!”
It was Fiona’s first ride in an automobile and her first visit to a cottage, a cottage bursting with potted plants. Some were in bloom; some were resting while they stored up energy. Some Fiona recognized, but most were foreign and Fiona was certain they had come from foreign places.
And to her great surprised and pleasure, when Rianna carried her across the room and set her down on a cloth covered shelf, Fiona recognized that the leaves of the plant she was next to were exactly like her own.
By the time the sun arose the next morning Fiona had learned from her new neighbor that they were of the same species of plant: a beautiful flowering plant that had originated in Tibet and whose life giving seeds had been hand carried to the new country by a very kind monk.
And to this day Fiona’s offspring grow and flourish for the benefit of all.