God and St. Francis were Chatting...

God:  Francis; you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, the daisies, the thistles and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees, and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colour 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 all and replace them with grass.

God:  Grass? But grass is so boring. It’s not colourful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds, and bees; only grubs and worms. It’s temperamental with 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 fertilising the grass and poisoning any other plants that grow among it.

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? Then what? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis:  Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God:  They bag it? Ahh, I see...  Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis:  Well, no Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God:  Hmm...  Now let me get this straight. They fertilise grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

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 hose pipes and pay even more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God:  What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. Trees are a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. They 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. And as they rot, the leaves form compost to enrich the soil. It’s a perfect little eco-system.

St. Francis:  You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have created a new system. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles, bag them up, and pay to have them taken away too.

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 they scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine:  ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about...

God:  Never mind...  I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

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