Author : KJ Hannah Greenberg

Snazzle considered, as she queued up, among the morning roses and goldenrod, that members of the machinists’ men didn’t take warmly to her puttering about their racks and chargers. Despite the technicians’ protest to the contrary, whenever she brought Little Guy to honk among the geese and ducks, those mechanics shuddered and pushed him and Snazzle away.

It was not so much that Little Guy emptied enough corn onto the ground for all of the barnyard’s critters, let alone the fowl, as it was that Little Guy picked up the heifers in the same way that more typical offshoots might lift a puppy. While they labored on their harrows and on their seeders, those lab guys slit their eyes at Snazzle and her kin.

Those thinker-tinkers especially got antsy when Little Guy wandered over to their self-propelled sprayer; they blamed that unit for her tot’s physical prowesses. They hadn’t known that Snazzle’s baby had snacked on foxes and on wolverines long before he tottled.

Rather, those applied science guys figured that a strong dose of nitrogen had altered Little Guy’s chemistry such that his xylem, which flowed among the cells of his mental engine, leaked out in almost organic guttation. The agricultural artisans reasoned that Little Guy performed feats during the day because at night his stomata remained closed. They hadn’t counted on his need to cuddle with his mama.

Snazzle shook her filaments in answer to that imagined discourse. Little Guy no more possessed hydathodes, through which he could express excess water, than he did any other means of transpirational pull. His mutant state meant that he would be, forever, forced to evaporate fluids through his tongue. To wit, he left his main orifice open. That he swallowed whole sheep or goats during his ambulations was accidental.

Consequently, Little Guy considered their jaunts to the ranch occasions for seeing and tasting animals. Snazzle, however, saw those journeys as opportunities for borrowing utensils she needed to create a system of secondary growth, of activated vascular cambium for her child.

To Snazzle, circumstances are caused by vicissitudes, not karma. Solutions derive from effort, not from self pity or blame. Ennui means lack of faith. Feelings of victimization mean not trying hard enough.

The thought of having to rupture Little Guy’s epidermis in order to accommodate his growth left her discolored and dried, but Snazzle was resolute about helping him. In the end, she would help him form cambia on the outside of his phloem.

Such direction would necessitate Little Guy ingesting a few horses and a couple of the farmer’s sons, but it would solve his metabolic quandary. Thereafter, Little Guy could cross pollinate with any woody vine of similar genetic material. The couple could produced mobile, flowering grandchildren for Snazzle and could rid the farm of its rat problem, its cats, its donkeys, its llamas and its prize elephant.

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