I ran across this short story last week; I thought I’d pass it along.
God: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happen to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil; withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of song birds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
Saint Francis: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
God: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and soil worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
Saint Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great lengths to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
God: The spring rains and warm temperatures probably make the grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites very happy.
Saint Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it – sometimes twice a week.
God: They cut it? Do they bail it like hay?
Saint Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them bag it up or rake it.
God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
Saint Francis: No sir, many of the Suburbanites pay to have it removed.
God: They fertilize grass so it will grow. When it does, they cut it off and pay to throw it away.
Saint Francis: Yes Sir.
God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
Saint Francis: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide shade and beauty in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and shrubs. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form a compost to enhance the soil. It’s the natural circle of life.
Saint Francis: The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
God: No! What do they do to protect the bushes and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
Saint Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make mulch.
God: I don’t want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
Saint Catherine: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It’s a real stupid movie about…..
God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from Saint Francis.