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Stories II

Flowers make wonderful pets

by Henry LeFevre

‘Flowers are helpless. They can’t even turn on the hose.’ So begins Henry LeFevre in this ode to his beloved ‘pets’. Henry thinks his flowers won’t let him go on vacation. If only he knew that he could find a free flower-sitter through MindMyHouse. (But you knew I was going to say that!)

1 April 2004

‘Let’s pot some flowers,’ said my wife as we entered the all-purpose grocery store. Her look precluded a negative answer. In exchange for two hours of peace, I quickly complied.

Now, I’m both happy and sad about our ‘mutual’ decision. Our flowers make wonderful pets. I confide in them when I have secrets to hide, I sing to them when my wife’s not around, and I treat them like beer-drinking buddies while watching TV. There’s only one hitch. They can cause more problems than any hound puppy that has never been trained.

On the positive side, I think that confiding to flowers is great. They listen intently without interrupting, they nod their heads whenever I speak, and they never reveal my secrets to anyone else. During those posy-and-I discussions, they treat me as though I were king. They expose me to beauty, they provide cheap perfume, and they never talk back even when I forget to drown them in water.

When I sing to my flowers, they never object to my being off key and they never complain that I’m singing too loud. Despite my being tone-deaf, they applaud my efforts by growing much faster. As my wife, Myrtice, says, ‘Who needs a cat or a dog when flowers give us more comfort at one-tenth the maintenance cost?’

Although I wouldn’t bring it up to my wife for fear of spending a week fighting Rover for space in his doghouse, flowers do have their drawbacks. As an example, I have to compete with them over who gets fed first. Our flowers have an unquenchable thirst that demands priority service before I get supper.

‘Do they really need all that attention,’ I asked my wife, trying to show a touch of timidity.

Her answer came without malice or forethought. ‘Sorry Hon, but if they don’t get watered before I cook dinner, we’re apt to forget them.’

As usual, Myrtice was right. Flowers don’t even complain to their masters when they’re missing their afternoon drink. They just keel over and die. Then, we have to spend money to get them replaced.

There are times when I think that our garden is full of horticultural tyrants. They insist that we adapt to their schedules.

Watering gets particularly bothersome during the summer. That’s when the flowers get parched and complain to the neighbors that we are horrible parents. Only heartless ogres would force a family pet to fend for itself. Flowers are helpless. They can’t even turn on the hose. To keep from getting hauled into court on cruelty charges, we hire house sitters to take care of their needs whenever we leave town for more than a day.

Yes. Our flowers make wonderful pets but they’re as spoiled as my three-week-old grandkids. Too bad they’re so fragile. Too bad they can’t take care of themselves. Too bad they won’t let us go on vacation.

(C) 2004 Henry L. Lefevre

Henry LeFevre

About the author: Henry LeFevre

Henry LeFevre is the editor of the Retirement theme for an online articles website.