An English In Kentucky



















August 20th 2009

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    Those progeny of Colorado Beetle amongst eggplants are developing a worrying characteristic.  Perhaps it is an evolutionary trend and if so I must hasten to develop my own behavioral adaptation.

    Of the insects that dwell amongst the vegetables there are three main reactions to an approaching thumb and index finger.  Some squirrel around the plant stem and disappear from view.  These are usually beady eyed and agile.  Others fall like stones into the mass of the plant and it is then necessary to thrash around in search of them.  Still others appear to become motionless and these simple minded characters are easiest to hasten into the next world where probably they become nuns or librarians.

   The fat-backed and unhealthy looking child of the Colorado Beetle has in my view always belonged to the last of these categories.  I picture their awakening as a moment of purity amongst Saints or amongst the Tales of Beatrix Potter.




    But in the eggplants to the South Eastern Corner of the vegetable garden there is a new brood of fat-backed children that have in them a sentience that results in that strategy of survival that emulates a falling stone.  My first response of thrashing around and cursing is far from adequate.  The fallen become invisible to my eyes.  I cannot see them against the soil.

    Underneath the work bench I have a collection of tempting bottles.  This once might have been a final solution.  I picture the victims and shudder at the absoluteness of my killing.  Years and years of it.  On it goes into the soil down to where the earthworms live.  And afterwards I can see corpses as though there had been a holocaust, and bulldozers to bury them.  It is an awfulness out of which there can be no space for nuns or librarians.  And when I use these bottles, I am arrogant and I am God, and I am aware that through these generations of slaughter the Colorado Beetle has gained a tolerance to this carnival of killing that has so bonded the gardener to the chemical industry.

     Tomorrow I must add reading glasses to my armory and I must outwit those of the Colorado Beetle who have learned to fall like stones.  Otherwise and they deserve to one day rule the world with a fist as iron as mine once might have been.  But under the circumstances of my failing this mission I will surrender by telling the Colorado Beetle that if ever they do become the dominant species, I wish to return as a salt water crocodile.

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tim candler

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(Colorado Beetle