Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything


I forgot who it was. Friend of my wife, I think. My wife came home from work one day, the long slog up the highway and back over, a few shekels in her pocket, a slight aureole of weariness glowing around her, and handed me one of those nasty plastic pouches that have replaced paper bags at the supermarket. In it was an awful, dirty, watery fistful of hosta, given to her by one of her coworkers. It looked exactly like some half masticated frond a stegosaur might have spit out over some perceived unwholesomeness. It was too muddy to throw away, so I planted it.

I planted it with all the hope for resurrection I had when I planted the poor cat out by the swamp when she had strayed too close to the road and broken our hearts. That is to say: none. The hosta was nothing to me, but where else would I put it, but in the ground?

Of course it grew, because we left it alone and didn’t care about it. I’ve divided that hosta four times or so in the last eight years. Our yard is very shady, and there always seems to be one more spot that could benefit from its variegated if everyday charms. There’s a period in the summer when the long delicate stalks appear like magic from the center of the plant, and wave their delicate bell shaped flowers to the breezes, causing the hummingbirds to favor our yard like an Alfred Hitchcock/Doctor Seuss hybrid project. We croak the bird book, looking for the correct term for all those little irridescent wonders. Flock?Swarm? Gaggle? Herd? Pod? A murder of hummingbirds? We’re the only people who get them like this I guess, and so we’ll have to coin the term:

An unentitlement of hummingbirds.

2 Responses

  1. I like that. An unentitlement.

    According to this web site, it is a tune of hummingbirds. But I would not like to relate to you the ridiculous amount of time I spent searching for this. This is apparently the only man on the face of the Earth in possession of this fact.

    So, I say unentitlement wins.

  2. Jennifer, you deserve an award, or at least two aspirin, for reading that linked page of white text on a blue marble background.

    Remember, though, when faced with a conflict between the facts and a legend — print the legend.

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