Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture
Interview with a Zucchini | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine-January 2018 |

Interview With  A Zucchini

David Wiley

“Hello! How are you doing today?”

“I’m feeling good, thank you.”

“I’m curious. Do you use those big beautiful leaves of yours to hide your fruits?”

“Mostly I use my leaves to provide shade for my young children. But yes, I do try to hide them, in hopes they will grow to maturity before they’re picked.”

“So you disapprove of having your children picked before they are fully grown?”

“Ideally, we all want to produce as many mature seeds as possible, so as to have the best chance of reproducing.”

“So your leaves have several purposes?”

“Oh, yes. My leaves not only provide shade for the young ones, and shield them from view, they eventually enrich the soil for the next generation. Also, I like to think they beautify the garden.”

“They are rather spectacular.”

“Thanks. I do my best.”

“This is an awkward question, but I’m curious to know what you think about how you are perceived by your human gardeners.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, some people seem to think you are too prolific, that you produce too many children, and that they often grow to be too big before they are discovered. And some people complain that you pop up in places where you are not supposed to be.”

“Not supposed to be? That’s absurd. All of us plants are meant to grow wherever our seeds find fertile soil, water and sunlight. If people think my children grow too large, well, what can I say? Is it wrong to want your children to grow up big and strong?”

“Of course not. Only your case seems to be a bit different from that of other plants. “

“You mean because the gardeners prefer to take my children when they’re small?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”

“We zucchinis don’t really like that, but we try to compensate. When we sprout up in unexpected places, we are only trying to give ourselves every chance possible. If we can just raise one of our children to produce mature seeds, out chances of propagation are fairly good.”

“How do you spread your seeds around so as to give your self the best chance of reproducing?”

“It’s easy. Birds and other animals will sometimes take our children and drop their seeds in the unlikely places you referred to. Mainly, however, it’s our human gardeners who spread our seeds around. They often don’t consume all of our fruits, in which case they give the leftovers to the chickens. Quite a few seeds remain intact in the compost generated by the chickens. This compost is spread around the garden area, and usually a few seeds will sprout.”

“Do you think the human gardeners are aware of this?”

“They must be. Human gardeners are sometimes paradoxical. Most of them want to plant our seeds in straight rows, a certain distance apart. Some, though, don’t seem to mind if we sprout in places they had not intended. They allow these ‘volunteers,’ as you call them, to grow where they are, and work around them.”

“What do you mean, ‘work around them’?”

“Well, sometimes we grow up being the centerpiece of a circle. Sometimes we become an ornamental border. In other words, we become part of an interesting and attractive design. These are the kind of gardeners we like the best.”

“Because they use you to make the garden more beautiful?”

“Yes, that. Also, they usually let us do our own thing. And they usually let our children grow to maturity.”

“When I was talking with the cabbage the other day, he said he spent a lot of time communing with the elements. Do you do that too?”

“Sure. Everyone in the kingdom of plants does that. Some more than others, perhaps.”

“Are you partial to any of these elements, fire, air, earth and water?”

“Well, that’s a little like me asking you if you are partial to your hands or your feet. Or your arms or your legs. I love them all equally- for different reasons. I love the fire of the sun because it gives me warmth and light, passion and happiness. It gives me life.”

“That’s what the sunflower said when I was talking with him.”

“Of course, the sunflower would say that.”

“But you do agree?”

“Yes, the sun really is our father, in a way.”

“What’s your take on earth?”

“I love the earth because it gives me substance, knowledge and strength. More than any other element, but not exclusively, it’s what makes me unique. Water I love because it’s my life’s blood. Without it, I would wither and die. As for air, I love it because it adds a certain amount of spice to my life. It is always changing in some way. It expands my consciousness and keeps me alert.”

“How do you feel about air when it gets cold enough to freeze your water- your life’s blood?”

“All of us plants are aware of the deadliness of cold air. Some of us can take it and survive it, others can’t. Each of the elements can pose a threat. Many of us can be injured by fire, as well as air and water. Earth can affect us in countless ways. It can be such a perfect blend of minerals and organic material that it makes us deliriously content. If the soil is out of balance or filled with poisonous substances it can make us sick and unhappy. In other words, our health depends on many things. Mostly it depends on what our human gardeners do- or don’t do”

“Looks like you have both the whims of the elements and the whims of the human gardeners to deal with.”

“Our lives are not boring. We are constantly trying to figure out ways to cope with the elements and the gardeners who are in control of us. That’s the hard part. We have almost no control over what happens to us.”

“Is that particularly painful for you?”

“It’s something we’ve had to live with for thousands of years, and we have learned to be at peace with it. You humans don’t always have control over things either, especially when the elements decide to raise a ruckus.”

“You seem to be doing a pretty good job of keeping your species alive and well, even without the help of human gardeners.”

“We are a determined lot.”

“Well it’s been interesting and illuminating talking with you. Is there anything I can do for you? Just name it.”

“Stand out of the sun.”

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
His painting and poetry appears monthly in Scene4 (q.v.)
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles, check the
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, Click Here.

©2018 David Wiley
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine




January 2018

Volume 18 Issue 8

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