A long time ago, when the lawless west was being forged by the pioneers, a solitary territorial farmer stood up and screamed, “This sucks. I should have stayed home.” That man was Rupert J. Snodgrass and he is credited with absolutely nothing. Which is extremely coincidental because he has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Except for the fact that he may have been the one who planted the lone hyacinth in the woods behind my uncle’s house. Rupert did own the land at one time and he did move west in 1834 after that I don’t know anything about him. But there is a lone hyacinth in the back, so I thought a bit of history might be a good place to start.
The first time I saw the undernourished flower I thought nothing of it. It just grew there all alone. Just a bit of grass surrounding it, brown and short, waiting for a little more spring before it decided to grow. If there had been an inkling of respect for my uncle’s yard, I would have pulled it, like a weed, without a second thought. However, I was a lazy sort, as most teenagers are, so I left it as it was. Then it bloomed.
Now, if this were a Hallmark Channel movie. The bloom would have been beautiful, and it would have prompted me to find love and cure some rare disease. If it were a teenage coming of age flick, the bloom would have been stunted, but it would have inspired me to be a better person and save the town chipmunks. If this had been a Harlequin Romance, I would have been a woman, so we can end it right there.
You see a hyacinth has a stalk and a bunch of flowers. Up to thirty I am told. Well, the first I saw this loner it had two tiny pink buds. Like I said I was a teenager and I ignored it until my sister told me what it was. I was certainly and totally unimpressed. It was a silly flower. My sister however, dug it up and replanted it in our yard.
“So what?” You may ask. Well I’ll tell you. We didn’t know those things should be planted in the fall. So, it died. Then to our amazement four years later the dang thing came back up and bloomed. My sister was out of my parent’s house by then and I didn’t want the lame thing in the yard, so I dug it up and threw it on the compost heap.
A few years went by and I dug out some of that compost out and used it in my newly purchased yard. I am not kidding you. That flower came back. It did look a lot better this time, after spending years in a bio-waste dump. It had several buds. My wife and I laughed about it, nurtured it, and then in the fall dug it out and threw the bulb in the trash. We planted tulips instead.
In the spring our scarlet tulips came up beautifully along side one pink hyacinth. That thing wouldn’t die. Whatever Rupert did to fertilize that bulb was amazing. It had survived bad transplanting, composting, years of neglect, and being dug out. It was still there. I laughed about it for a few spring times then grew tired of the scrawny thing. So, I sprayed it with a little RoundUp, and watched it die away. The tulips went out and irises went in. Yes, we love flowers in the yard. The next year, much to my dismay, the undernourished pink bugger looked pretty good among the purple irises.
I dug it out again and even put in some powder that was supposed to kill everything in the soil. Well the powder did the trick. It killed the two irises on either side of the dead hole. I bet you’re asking yourself if the lone hyacinth came back. Aren’t you? Well the answer is no. Two of them did. Yep, it separated. All of my neglect, torture, sincere hate, and weed killer, had nourished it into thriving.
Well this was now war. And I was not going to lose a battle with a springtime flower. I went and got a book, about how to keep hyacinths. Then I did everything wrong. It said to fertilize, I didn’t. It said to let the leaves grow all season, I cut them down. It said don’t set it on fire, and I was right there, gasoline can in hand. Nothing worked. It grew back stronger, but still looked pitiful. By this point I was obsessed. I went out and bought a book on Josef Stalin. He starved and tortured half his country’s population. He should be able to help me eliminate one lousy plant. Nope. However, I didn’t build a gulag, and force it to do manual labor until it died from exhaustion. But I did everything else!
Then I figured it all out. It was the only explanation which made sense. It was already dead. I had, in my yard, proof that the undead do indeed return from the grave. It is a zombie perianal. My wife tells me she doesn’t believe me, but I know that’s not true. Every time I brought up the cursed flower, she rolled her eyes and suggested it might be eating my brain. I’m sure her denials where out of fear for the safety of our children.
So, the question became; What should I do about it. Did you know the Church will not perform an exorcism on a garden plant? I didn’t until I asked. It’s okay though. I found Madam Victoria on-line under Tarot Card readers. She agreed to come over and evaluate the situation. By the time our schedules meshed the flower had faded but the leaves were long and broad. She put her ear to the plant then covered it with a yellow scarf. Standing and frowning, she told me that it refused to speak to her. I concurred. It’s been in my family for years and it never uttered a sound. The next thing to do was to massage each leaf over and over with the yellow scarf, while whispering in a strange tongue. It was all quite fascinating. Then standing, she charged me two-hundred bucks, and told me it was taken care of and everything would be all right. And sure enough, about two weeks later the broad leaves turned brown and died.
This brings us to late last month. As you might have guessed the lone hyacinth came up, but it was bigger than ever before. I had a head-cold and didn’t notice it at first. Then last week it bloomed. It has some twenty blossoms, and was brighter pink than it had ever been. I am confused. Does this mean the evil is gone and it is now at peace? Of, like Dracula, had it eaten enough of my brain to be healthy again? I did the best thing I could. I planted garlic. That’ll keep the evil spirits away.