“You say tomato and I say, ‘It’s alive! It’s alive!'”


By Tiber

Dad’s still toying with the insane idea of saving money by having me make goat cheese for the family. My guess is, the only reason for the delay is that since the goats he brought home now know me, they’re trying to take him to court.

In the meantime, Dad has chosen  my sister, Iris Nell, to grow some more of our food. I don’t mean like cattle or wheat, though for all I know, those may be next. He’s had her plant a kitchen garden, where she’s growing herbs and vegetables.

Of course, you always have to take Iris Nell’s personality quirks into account, as you do with all of us, since our quirks are the kind that can suddenly leap out, block your path and taunt you by stripping off their underwear and throwing it in your face, blinding you to the location of the exit. Or maybe that’s just me. Actually, let’s pray that’s just me.

Iris Nell has, at least,  had a little experience with growing tomatoes. When she was a kid, somebody gave her a little plant in a pot. She took good care of it and it began to produce, yes, actual, real tomatoes! This blew Iris Nell away. She’d sit there and stare at the produce on the vines, marveling,

“I made these!”

I think it made her feel sort of like a god. And my parents let it go, thereby setting her up for a lifetime of disappointment when she couldn’t also flick lightning bolts to zap the unkind.

The thing was, though, she could never bring herself to actually eat the perfect little tomatoes, which sort of defeated the purpose. She may have had them bronzed for all I know, so we can only hope that she’s moved along from that stage.

In a way, I understood her feelings. When you’re a kid, you just don’t expect to see some item they sell in a store suddenly appear in your own backyard just because you watered it.

It’s almost like creating your own cat just because you buried a flea collar.

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