1559. Birds, bees, and butterflies

Flora was true to her name. She had planted her large property in plants to attract butterflies and bees. When summer came there were flowers flowering and butterflies fluttering and bees buzzing. She planted shrubs to attract nectar-eating birds. Who needs wind chimes when choirs of bellbirds tinkle in the breeze? And to lie in bed a little longer in the early hours of a summer’s day and hear… the birds!… oh! the birds! The dawn chorus! It was a piece of heaven fallen from… heaven.

Flora’s new neighbour didn’t appreciate Flora’s slice of bliss. “Those bloody birds wake me up every morning. What a racket. As for the bees – I see you’ve put in a hive. Some people react to bee stings. The bees are a menace. And as for flowers, especially lilies, don’t you know people get hay fever from the pollen? I suggest you pull a few things out and start recognizing the needs of other people who live nearby.”

Flora didn’t flinch.

The neighbour’s property was empty and well sprayed. There wasn’t a weed in sight. For that matter, there wasn’t a plant in sight, not even a blade of grass. “We’re getting ready to put it all in concrete. It’s so much nicer, and easier to maintain, and we’ll charge only a few dollars for every kid who wants to play.”

Flora left her paradise for one and a half weeks to go on the Horticultural Society’s Grand Garden Tour. It was one of the highlights of her year. When she returned her garden was dead; no thriving nectar-producing trees, no bellbirds, no lilies, and butterflies, and bees. Even the hive sat silent. Flora asked the neighbour what had happened.

“I done nothing,” said the neighbour. “We’re putting our concrete backyard into a go-cart race track for the local kids. You could learn a trick or two from that as to how to be neighbourly. No bee stings. No hay fever. No bird poop all over the go cart track.”

And that was that.

23 thoughts on “1559. Birds, bees, and butterflies

  1. umashankar

    That is botanical equivalent of massacre. I’d be the last person on earth to blame Flora when she decides to unleash the brood of scorpions she has been hiding under her kitchen sink for months on the neighbourhood-friendly jerk.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Andrea Stephenson

    That’s shocking, I’m quite sad now at the devastation. Reminds me of a book I recently read called The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, about a woman who creates a haven for wildlife in a tiny garden among gardens full of concrete and paving slabs that offer nothing for the birds – a very enjoyable book but it has the same sense of despair at the lack of space for things to grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

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