Meandering Monday about Our Mutant Snapdragon

This is just a tale of an oddity. Or maybe it isn’t so odd…

Pictured is a plant that I have come to refer to as the THE MUTANT SNAPDRAGON. The plant popped up sometime this past spring – seemingly out of nowhere.MutantSnapdragon

There was a time when we had snapdragons, but that was long ago, back when I still had the energy and inclination to plant flowers out front – before the first of our two slab leaks, so maybe seven years ago. In all the years that I planted flowers, nothing ever reappeared like this, and certainly not after a gap of years.

It’s just the one plant. I haven’t been doing anything to take care of it, and yet it has grown to greater dimensions than any of the snapdragons I cared for in years gone by.

I joke sometimes that it is a true mutant – that one day it will be the size and personality of a Triffid. I’ll go out front to check the mail, and it will ambush me, then my SIGNIFICANT ONE when she goes outside to check on me. It will take over our small house and begin reproducing and feeding its progeny in our fenced backyard, where the neighbors won’t be able to see them until it’s too late. Maybe a ne’er-do-well will notice the lack of human activity at our house and jump the fence so they can break into our back door unseen and only realize what our fate was as they are pulled under the earth by the mutant’s children. Serves the parasite right (I told them to “Stay off my lawn!”), but there will be no warning to the wide world as the Snapdragons take over larger and larger swaths of suburbia.

Which is why I don’t plan to protect the plant this winter.

Of course, as mild as our Texas winter has been so far, plants are still flowering and producing fruit, and pollen has been a real problem (another, more insidious way that the vegetation forces try to finish us off.)

So just letting THE MUTANT SNAPDRAGON be may not be enough.

If I cared more about my fellow humans, perhaps I would be more proactive – go outside and try to uproot the creature. But I have no way of knowing whether that would be effective. It might return in another seven years, an even more aggressive version, angry at me for my attempt on its life.

So I will leave it alone, and hope that NATURE eventually takes care of it.

Maybe I won’t live here when it reemerges.

I wonder – would I be required to include a declaration about THE MUTANT SNAPDRAGON when we sell the house? I don’t think I will.

Don’t think badly of me. Out of gratitude to those of you who read my blog, you at least have been warned. Just saying…

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Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

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