Plant


Maru bought a carnivorous plant at her local nursery and named it Seymour (ha ha ha ha, she said to her 12-year-old son and her neighbor, Phyllis, who grew tomatoes). The carnivorous plant never did learn its own name, which was something Kenyon, her son, could never understand. He stood in front of Seymour three times a week and misted him and gave him ground earthworms from a resealable vacuum pack. But maybe Seymour does know his name, thought Kenyon, maybe it just doesn’t show he knows it because Seymour does not have eyes. He went to the Party Barn and bought plastic stick-on googly eyes and affixed these to Seymour’s widest leaf. The carnivorous plant’s google eyes bobbled along with an amiable little bounce, but it was never clear that the bobble eyes actually looked, actually saw. Kenyon was worried that Seymour was looking in some utterly other direction, so he removed the googly eyes. Now the widest leaf swayed gently on its sturdy stalk, gently and rhythmically, contemplative. The ground earthworms disappeared overnight, regardless of which side of Seymour Kenyon placed them. Maybe he has eyes all round, thought Kenyon.

One day, Kenyon made a trail of ground earthworm that started at the buried roots of the flytrap pot and trailed along randomly through the greenhouse and out the greenhouse door. When he awoke the next morning, the flytrap was gone. In its place was a trail of root bits and mud dragging along the shelf and down to the ground, out and through the greenhouse and into the open field. The field was full of corn and sunflowers. The business end of Seymour settled into the cornfield and waited, biding its time til the corn was ripe and the children of the village came looking for it, for the legend of it, that no one ever believed in anyway.

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