Hosta By Kelley
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The Best Place to Start - At the Beginning …
A man is standing over a hosta garden with a light weight contraption on his head. An evil maniacal laugh rises over the landscape from him ... He turns the device on: “Grow my pretties Grow! And take over the world!”
Hosta turn their attention to him; *Nope. Nope, no can do! Can't be done. Nope. Quite impossible, Nope. Nope!*
"Wait a moment - you heard that!?" says the man back.
*Of course we heard that; we hear EVERYTHING! What's more surprising is that YOU can hear US … and understand US!* the hosta respond with some surprise.
"The planmunicator works! Yaahoooo!" His shout is heard throughout the neighborhood. The man performs a jig of happiness. He comes to his senses with an uneasy pause coming about ... in a sightly calmer voice “What do you mean you CAN’T take over the world‽”
The leaves rustle back and forth. Hosta: *We already have!* followed by light, polite giggling between the plants.
An uncomfortable pause settles in … In a bit more cautious voice. "If you can't take over the world then why are you here?"
Hosta; *We've come to take YOU over!*
The Introductions Begin …
"Mr K, who was that running down your drive scamming about hosta taking over the world?"
"Nothing to worry about Anna, just Mr. Muir Glen, the neighborhood mad scientist running amok … I think. I have to remind him these are MY plants not his sometime. So what brings your over?"
"I'm nineteen years old and still calling you Mr. K; it's Kelley right?
"Peter will be fine."
"Papa needed silence so he cleared the house out. So I came over to see what you were doing."
My condolences on the loss of your mother. She was a very dedicated person.
"With 26 children she had her own style of dedication."
"Was just thinking that maybe I ought to send your father a present."
"What could you possibly get Papa that he can't get himself. He probably has as much money as the whole of this Town."
"Probably Anna, don't be hard on him Your father, Papa Bullion, earned it promoting the peace movement in this country."
"True. Our college textbooks have his name all over them. Seems I can't open one without finding his name somewhere in it. Did you just hear something? … "
In Coming …
"Anna … don't look behind, just run for the porch!"
"That looks like remains of a … giant … tomato."
"… it is. It's one of the few things that Mr. Glen knows HOW to do well."
"Growing and lobbing tomatoes?"
"More precisely GIANT house-sized tomatoes and catapulting them at persons across town."
"Everything ok here?"
"Yes. Stio. We're fine."
"Was that another …"
"Yes, it was! I'll get the axes, grinder, and press out."
*Gonna take another two weeks to clean this up,* "I'll get the snowshoes, and hose!".
"I'll call home."
"Hello. Father. It's Anna."
"What's going on out there?"
"It's Mr. Glen and one of his … tomatoes.?"
"How long has this been going on?"
"Ever since he moved in 2 years ago."
"This is Judge Wiseson here."
"Yes your Honer."
"Could you send a complimentary dumpster to Garden Hill Circle by dawn; your people will recognize which residence it needs to be sent to."
"May I ask why?"
"Had I not seen it for myself I wouldn't believe it … I've just witnessed a giant tomato being hurdled from one lot to another …"
"So the reports are true."
"I'm afraid so."
Introductions Continue …
[Bells are heard; followed by loosely metered marching of feet]
"That's father calling the herd. They'll be here shortly." Anna said calmly.
"I wondered what those were over the years." Peter responded.
"Parents devised a bell system. If one knows the pattern and tones you can eventually discern its meaning."
"Clever, Saved the neighborhood from screaming parents."
"We brought more axes … and snowshoes!" The two saw four young adults to the other side of the lawn.
"Anna, This is Alexander, Chris, Robert, and Torry. There from the first house on the left of the drive into the Circle."
"With respect … I thought Robert was a male name?" Anna walked over to shake each of their hands.
"If you go back about 400 years it was popular for women too."
"They're the neighborhood musicians." Stio added warmly. He walked behind Anna and whispered, "They'ld be better if they did less 'filk'", and kept walking.
"Stio could you take the mill, and Anna I'll show you the … " before Peter could finish there was the joyous screams of children running towards Anna to welcome her home.
Both Papa Bullion and Mr. Kelley lost control of the scene.
Of Tomato Flour, Fertilizer, and Sauce
[Sounds of liquid being vacuumed up, a press squeezing, and material being ground up can be heard]
"Here are the bottles!"
"Let me sign for them!" Peter lifts the plastic wrapped bottles over his head. "Izumi, you asked for more bottles!"
"Papa we found another seed!" Sage says gleefully.
"Take it to Anna, and she'll clean it off!"
"Very good Teagan and Sage. Keep looking for them. We must find all of them!" Anna vacuums off the liquid, and then axes it into pieces, and hands it to Stio for milling.
"Looks like an improvement from the last one. Mr Muir has been making improvements as much as he hates them." Stio observed.
Papa Bullion pulls out a vial, a pocket knife, and adeptly takes a sample. "That should do it."
"What are you doing Papa?" Nico asks.
"It's time to get to the bottom of what our neighbor is doing to tomatoes."
There we have enough liquid fertilizer, tomato flour, and tomato sauce for another year!
"… and we'll take our work shares." Chris said as they swung their axe.
Ending In Chaos …
[A end of the summer has come ...]
Peter, "Oh hello, Anna. I'm about to do the cut back."
"Kinda thought so. For some reason I wanted to sing?"
"Be my guest."
"The Hosta will come out tomorrow,
You can easily bet that garden trowel.
The Hosta will come out tomorrow
You can easily bet that garden trowel.
Through the rain, the sleet, the freezing rain. The snowstorms big and small …
The Hosta will come out tomorrow,
You can easily bet that garden trowel; and they shall …
The Hosta will come out tomorrow,
You can easily bet that garden trowel; and they will …
These Hostas, These hostas,
We love ya, We love ya.
Tomorrow is JUST … "
"Mr K when is tomorrow?
"Tomorrow is six and a half months from now. When the temperature reaches fifty degrees, and then you count twenty one days after that!." Peter turns to see Mr. Muir Glen walking away from a planter. "Mr Muir come BACK here with that plant!" He then hears a car door and turns.
Stio, "I've left a note on the desk!"
"Anna didn't your mother ever tell you NOT to run with sharp pointy things!"
Hints Of Celebration and New Planters
“Yes Mr Widrow the raised beds must be installed by April 1st for the annual Raising Of the Plants Celebration. The City permits are in hand.”
“I’m not sure if it can be done …” came the voice of the contractor.
“The challenge will be to get the beds staked and marked. We found before that it took a day to produce the current raised bed; take that by 11 and you have yourself a 13 day project. with a crew of 7 … if you include the civil engineer. I am asking for the same design.”
“Granted. My I point out the conditions will be hovering round freezing as there will be the issue of cutting through the frozen ground and work men safety.”
“Like your equipment can’t handle hard work. Yes I was anticipating a cost increase for this project because of that.”
“Two days to prepare, ten days to construct, and one day to back fill. Anything after that you get to do!”
“… But your team can do it in 11 days if they have some spirit about gardening.”
“These men don’t garden - their wives do I guess.”
“Then get the wives to be cheerleaders! Agreed!”
“Excuse me Sir. A package.”
“We’re not expecting packages. Simon.” Mr Bullion focus’ at his work.
Anna enters, “Let me see.” There’s a pause. “Papa, you really ought to open this. It’s from Mr. Kelley.”
“What could he send me?” Papa Bullion stops his work. He gestures for the box, and opens it coarsely. “He mocks me with plants. Aztec Treasure, Doubloons, Fort Knox, Lost Gold Mine, Treasure.” The box and the contents are strewn across the study.
Anna and Simon gather the contents. Anna re-examines them. “No, Papa, I think you misunderstand the … message.” She walked to his desk, “The first five are all valued things you can’t have.” She arranged them. “There’s more.”
Papa spoke in a near whisper, “Anna, … Bella, … Carol, … Dax, … and Elrod.” There was utter silence from him. “I didn’t realize.” He wiped tears.
“Mr. Kelley’s Hosta are not chosen by accident. He plans them with GREAT care, This gift to you is no different.” She gently set the box on the desk and began to walk out.
“He’s adding garden space isn’t he?”
“I think so … not sure.”
“Then he deserves a Raising Of the Plants Celebration like he’s never had before!”
The Celebration Begins … An Extended Act
“Shhhhh!” Robert reproached the two hundred guests.
“The diagrams. Plant them exactly.” Papa Bullion said.
Peter awoke to sounds. *That’s not normal.* From the second floor of the round house he looked out and noticed persons scurrying around. *It’s the day of celebration. Let them have fun.* He bathed and dressed. He came down and heard persons hiding. He decided to let them suffer by having breakfast. He fetched a shovel, and exited from the front door.
He came face to face with Papa Bullion who also had shovel. “May your garden always … teach!”
“May yours bring … beauty!” Mr Kelley replied.
The two struck shovels. “Surprise!” sprung up around them!
“A community celebration awaits!” spoke Papa Bullion.
“My lead? But it’s never been choreographed.”
“But it has been watched. Nico, says there is a pattern.”
“Ummm ok …” He went to the front of the raised beds and held his shovel in front of him. The others took positions as Nico planned. The tonal chorus began.
The scene and tonal chorus fades as the scene shifts through a mist to the world of plants. Each plant has a ghost personna which can speak and move.
[Xanadu Empress Wu] “The call begins. Blue Mammoth, you must grow or you will be replaced!"
[venusta] “Xanadu. You were the last planted. Your the replacement."
[Little Sunspot] "My vote is TRIFECTA!"
[Dixie Chickadee] "He wanted Dixie Chick before. He'll go back to that!"
[Lemon Lime] "I am content as it is. Will this second round get off my side!"
[Itsy Bitsy Spider] "I just want to come up!"
[Little Devil] "The devil is in the doing."
[Dragon Tails] "What were we feed?"
[Popcorn] "I think I can, I think I can, …"
[Vulcan] "What doesn't come up won't be replaced."
[Frosted Mouse Ears] "Vulcan, STOP showing off. You made everyone look bad last year!"
[Holy Mouse Ears] "Frosted, we both did very well after we were feed the sheep shit."
[June] "To grow a little more this year, please."
[Gorgon] "Growing was fun, Growing was …"
[Dancing Queen] "Grow any more there won't be space to dance!"
[T-Rex] GROW my leaves GROW, and take over the … garden!!
[Sum and Substance] “ ‘Venusta’ and Vulcan summed the substance of the problem up! We must consider what happens if we ALL come up?"
[Blue Mammoth] "Chaos and Destruction; … of course!"
Loose Ends and New Ends
The Raising Of the Plants Celebration continues with music in the background.
“Nico, has Elrod been helping you understand journalism?”
“Yes, Papa. He helped me understand my problem.”
“Good. If you move fast you have a second chance.” Papa Bullion turned to find Mr. Kelley “Did you call the police? Behind you.” The two men watched as a squad car pulled up to Muir Glen’s residence.
“No. Whatever it is about, this might get interesting.”
The whole of the attendees watched as Muir Glen was escorted from his home ranting loudly. He was placed in the vehicle. The two officers approached the gathering. One gave a firm whistle, “We apologize for this interruption. The city of Paulapolton seeks the following households.” They listed of each the residents of the circle.
The two men moved forward. “Peter Kelley here, What seems to be the matter.”
“You’ve done nothing wrong, Sir. The City has asked me to hand to you a summons for Mr. Muir Glen’s court hearing. An attorney might be advisable non-the-less.”
Mr. Bullion nodded in agreement, “Simple things can get messy sometimes.”
“Like … tomatos falling from the sky?”, Peter broached.
“That sounds about right …”, Mr. Bullion reflected.
Nearly Forgotten Lose Ends
The Raising Of the Plants Celebration winds down. Papa Bullion and others begin clean up.
“I never heard what became of Stio.” Papa Bullion broached.
“Stio moved on.” Mr. K sadly reflected, “There were issues about living here that … bothered him.” Mr K responded, “Why did Anna return home; if I may ask?”
“I seems I have to large of presence in society. The family name kept intruding on her desire to be viewed as an … average person.“
“You can’t blame her can you.”
“No. Her mother and I knew that some of our children would have to face that issue. Thank you for the memorial gift you sent. They’ve been planted lovingly. I see Anna left her apology gift.”
Peter noted the bowed shears, “So noted. I noticed you took a sample of the last tomato.”
“… and here I thought no-one noticed. It’s being analyzed; no idea when the results will be in. Might be useful in court.”
A sound was heard. It was unclear as to where it came. A momentary flash of light erupted from one of Mr Glen’s residence’s windows. It hit the original raised bed. Where Anna Bullion had stood; she vanished.
Adventures in Court Begin …
All stand! This court is now in session. The honorable Windy Leaf presides.
“Greetings. Before I proceed I need to make it very clear to the defense that the city and the justice system debated at length as to if a change of venue was necessary, There are 42 counts standing against Mr Muir Glen.”
An officer of the court entered, approached be bench, and handed the judge a document.
“Correction 43 counts against Mr. Glen. With a great degree of confidence I will be able to balance the needs this hearing - even if it takes into next growing season!”
“With all due respect Justice Leaf would you be able to explain further?”
“Certainly, Attorney Windrow. To be direct I was elected last fall by your community. I have a minor in horticulture as well. Being that I am a new resident of this city, for less than a year, I have the disadvantage of knowing any thing about each of you. This is also my first case within this court.”
Mr Glen’s Attorney whispered. “This just became harder.”
Peter whispered to Papa, “Was the 43rd yours?”
“No, that one's coming. An issue of legal classification.”, Papa responded.
It's been a few years since I wrote this, and I was talking to a relative about this passage. I realized that neither he, nor anyone else, might not understand what the celebration of "The Raising Of the Plants" is about. In the world of Round the Neighborhood gardening is taken very seriously. Anyone who can garden does garden. Rather than putting money into Christmas lights ... this community puts their money into gardening! There are some extremely elaborate private gardens in the City of Paulapolton.
The Celebration itself is held on April 1st. Gardeners go out to their gardens and call their plants to come up. A symbolic, but very serious action. This is not a behavior of silliness, or childishness. It is done with all seriousness. Every gardener has their own way of doing this.
As suggested by Papa Bullion the main character has done this for years as a solo endeavor. His son, Nico, has silently watched, and believes that Mr. Kelley's motions can be choreographed into a full scale 'dance' production. Mr. Kelley's garden no longer is just 22 plants it is now 260 plants; across 12 planters.
Mr Kelley's version of this celebration has him go to each plant, call its name, and then strike the raised bed with the shovel. Nico produces this into a full scale, theatrical, dance production. Had the police arrived earlier, they would have witnessed one amazing tonal song, and dance production!
If this sounds mildly familiar; this is a subtle reference to the Addams' family children playing "Wake the Dead" on Halloween. The characters Wednesday, and Pugsly do it as a game. The citizens of Paulapolton do this with full seriousness.
Plant Name Menu Codes:
In Gardner's collection: green.
In Collection but is an unregistered sport: BLUE.
Past Plants that are no longer in the collection: Brown.
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