A Good Chuckle

A Good Chuckle

Monday, August 11, 2014

Plant Fingers

Another beautiful day in the mountains of Pennsylvania so naturally I have my oldest two kids outside playing, my oldest daughter and my son. They are running through the wooded parts of the yard going on an imaginary adventure and looking for "roley-poley" bugs underneath rocks. They point all of their findings out to me - ant colonies under the rocks, butterflies fluttering around, caterpillars eating leaves.

All of a sudden my daughter comes completely unglued. She yells, huffs and puffs, and then runs straight over to where I am sitting on the front deck. "Daddy, daddy, some buggy was bothering me when I was picking these flowers!" She cries and she tosses a handful of ferns on the deck beside me. My two oldest always liked to pick plants and flowers.

"What kind of bug? Where is it?" I ask her.

She calms down immediately, takes a look back at the place in the woods she was just picking ferns at and shakes her head, as though she caught a chill and was shaking it out. "Actually Dad, I don't think it was a buggy now, I think it was the plants brushing against me."

"You're probably right, Sweety. But let me check anyway." I check her out, no bugs on her anywhere. I tell her so and she smiles. "You know Honey, plants are alive just like you and me."

"Plants are alive? For real?" She asks in amazement at this new concept.

"Yes, for real Sweety."

"Can they be my friends?" she asks me.

"They sure can! They might be boring friends, but they'll always be down to hang out with you," I tell her with a smile. My inner hippy is so proud of her for wanting to befriend the plants.

She smiles wide and giggles, then scoots back out into the woods to continue playing. A little time passes by, maybe a half an hour or so and the kids are still exploring the woods in front of our house. They walk across a "secret passage" and into a clearing dead center in front of my line of vision before they split ways and my son ducks back into the woods.

My daughter stays in the clearing in front of me, examining a particular plant she found interesting, a short but wide bush that is presently no taller than the waist of a normal sized adult. She reaches out and touches a leaf on the plant, and gently strokes it as though it were a pet cat. All of a sudden she plucks a leaf from the branch it was on!

As she plucks the leaf I squeal out, "Ouch!" in a cartoon sort of voice.

My daughter stands straight up and yells once, so loud that I consider calling the police on myself! Then she looks at the plant and yells, then the leaf and yells, and back to the plant again, panic really setting in, and then she looks at me and goes completely insane. She runs at me as fast as she possible can, which is not that fast at all (my daughter sort of flutters when she runs) "Waaaaaaah!" Inconsolable, she reaches me and jumps into my outstretched arms.

"Honey, Honey, calm down! It's okay!" I say to her.

"That plant said 'Ouch!' That plant said 'Ouch!'  IT'S ALIVE! WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

"That was me Sweety, the plant doesn't talk. I'm the one who said 'Ouch', relax."

Her face contorts in the most accusing look she can give me while still maintaining a tear flow consistent with the great waterfalls of our world. "Why would you do that?!"

At this I couldn't help but laugh. She looked so offended and upset - a consequence I had not considered when I pulled my little prank. "You plucked one of that plant's leaves. What if one of your friends came up to you and pulled one of your fingers off? Wouldn't it hurt?"

My point set in and she slowly came to a calmer state, her choppy and upset breathing winding down back to normal. She was really pondering this concept that I posed to her. "So leaves are fingers on plants?"

Unsure of the science behind the whole thing at this point, I reply slowly, "Kind of."

She screams right in my face. Like, I can smell her breath as she wails directly into my gaze, that is how close she is to me. This outburst caught me off guard and I shook, startled.

"Whoa whoa, what is wrong Honey?!"


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