God & Grass
An internet tale
We must really perplex God: he made us a perfect
world and we have to change it. Imagine the conversation The Creator
might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns.
GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What
in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the
dandelions, violets, thistles, and stuff I started eons ago? I had a
perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of
soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the
long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees, and flocks of
songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I
see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord.
The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to
great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It
doesn't attract butterflies, birds, and bees, only grubs and sodworms.
It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all
that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains
to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing
grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make
grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a
little, they cut it – sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up
and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell
ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to
throw it away.
GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass
so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer
when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the
growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord.
When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more
money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the
trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The
trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the
summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket
to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as
they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural
circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites
have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into
great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree
roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out
and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it
around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to
make the mulch.
GOD: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore.
St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you
scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid
movie about ...
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story
from St. Francis.