Sprite tends to over-think everything!
Weeding the garden should have been an easy task for her. I had even given her the raised planter box to weed so that she would not have to bend or kneel.
But when I returned to see how she was faring she had done nothing.
“How do you know which ones are weeds?” she asked
That was a reasonable question.
“Well for a start those clumps of yellow flowers are weeds.” I said. “And the thistles and those ones that just look like long grass – they are weeds too.”
“So these ones are weeds?
“Yes, they are Oxalis.”
“What about these ones?”
“No they are not weeds. I bought them at the nursery”
“I don’t get it,” said Sprite “They look the same to me – just different colours. The leaves are the same.”
“Well, yes, they are in the oxalis family too”
And what about those short grass leaves?”
“No, they are freesias”
“How do you know that?“
“I know because I planted them there”
“And anyway who says what is a weed and what isn’t? Is there some Weed Police Board or something?”
“Some plants are officially classed as weeds.” I said ‘because they are poisonous or dangerous or parasitic or because they take over large areas and won’t let other things grow there or because they spoil food crops.
Sometimes plants we like to have in our gardens can take over bushland and choke out the wildflowers and native plants.”
“But pulling them all out isn’t fair to the weeds,” said Sprite “Does it hurt them to be pulled out of the ground? And what if you pulled every last one out and they became extinct and it was all your fault?”
“And people would only know what weeds used to be like by looking at pictures in musty leather bound books in the WAS – the Weed Appreciation Society Library.”
“And what if you pulled out the last thistles and the Scots went to war with you and came running down the hill with kilts and cabers and bagpipes and haggis and stuff and said you had ruined New Year forever?”