Potanical Garden

The Zoological Society of Lucerne had done a great job developing the Botanical Garden. Danny took a leisurely stroll there most days, which cheered him up, especially in winter. He was healthy generally but became sad without sunshine. The blooms in the garden, especially the huge crimson flowers of Silva Sanguinara,were a vital tonic. The creator of this haven was known as The Gardener. As well as a grower, it seemed that he was also a healer.

Danny walked along the main path and stopped to admire a collection of funnel spider’s nests. They were marvels of construction, their weight close to zero, and their strength unbelievable; if only human beings could live so lightly and strongly. Beyond them were swallows’ nests; again, masterful engineering. High above, crowning a cedar was an eagles’ nest, providing the ultimate vantage point for this forest kingdom.

The Gardener practised permaculture. Everything grew among everything else, as it should do. There were no cleared patches for single species cultivation.

There was a wooshing near a side-trail, and Danny set off to investigate. It was amazing that five acres could be so diverse; you never knew what was happening anywhere elsewhere within it. It was probably the boys he saw playing hide and seek and fighting.

As he walked down the side trail, he saw something moving ahead, high up in the trees. He wondered if The Gardener had introduced monkeys, or maybe flying squirrels. The movement continued back and forth across the trail. The canopy made it hard to identify, but something was swinging quickly, whooshing, and sometimes stopping.

As Danny drew closer, the motions and sounds stopped. He too stopped instinctively, but was intrigued and went to investigate further. At first he saw nothing but then eyes and heads appeared. Boys were peering at him from both sides of the trail, hiding and whispering, trying to be invisible, but not doing a good job.

“Hey guys!” he said. “Why are you hiding? I’ve seen you. You may as well come out.” They didn’t move, so he said, “Sorry if I’ve ruined your game.”

Danny stepped off the trail towards the left and was met by five boys advancing, and was suddenly surrounded. He became scared and said, “What’s going on boys? I already said that I’m sorry for ruining your game.”

He wanted to say something more but didn’t know what to. He’d never imagined feeling threatened by young teens – thirteen, fourteen tops. All physically smaller than him, but together they were menacing.

One jumped at him suddenly, and two more followed with fists flailing. When he was on the ground, those standing kicked him. Danny shouted, but his voice seemed to die off in the forest. He renewed his fight back, till kicked in the head too hard to recover. One of the boys put his face close to Danny’s and said, “Shut up or we’ll kill you.”

Danny was terrified and stopped resisting. The boys lashed him with vines to a coconut tree, which he fertilized inadvertently. He thought of calling out again, but decided to remain quiet. He was never left alone for a moment, and the imminent threat of violence was a disincentive to fuss.

They left him there, and brought him food and drink; usually stuff they’d foraged in the forest. Over a week he lost a few kilos but was basically okay. He discovered the reason for their aggression. There were pot-growing patches on both sides of the trail, with gangs of boys competing for this lucrative trade. They swung in the trees for reconnaissance and to intimidate rivals. If they found plants unattended, they stole and replanted them in their own patch.

Danny was a problem for them now. Would they kill him if they lost patience?

One day he saw The Gardener walking on a path nearby. It may be his only chance to escape, so shouted out “Help!” The Gardener ran over immediately. Thank God, thought Danny, he can protect and free me with his machete. The boy guarding Danny backed away as The Gardener raised the glinting weapon. Like every good business man, he must protect his source of income. He brought it down on Danny’s neck.

Advertisements

One Response to “Potanical Garden”

  1. You write cool stories but I don’t always understand them. One of us needs to try harder, my friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: