Declaring war on dandelions

I used to mow the lawn each week. Now I go out and mow the dandelions. If this means war, then it’s like one of those wars where a handful of people try to take on an entire army. And I’m the handful.

Our entire backyard looks like a forest, the dandelions are so tall. This was after I had liberally spread weed killer. Somehow, somewhere, there is a weed-killer factory next to a dandelion seed factory and the wrong substance got poured in the wrong bag.

And I think dandelions are a somewhat beautiful flower, at least for the 15 minutes or so before they turn to seed. I don’t mind them in early April, when they speckle the landscape. But now, it’s no longer speckling. It’s coating the landscape. It’s smothering the landscape like chocolate on a hot fudge sundae. Only replace the chocolate with tartar sauce.

My grandfather’s garden was once overrun by an equally pretty weed, known as the “Star of Bethlehem” which has small white flowers. He is a deeply religious man, and thought “Star of Bethlehem” was too benign of a name for the impossible-to-get-rid-of flower. He called them “Star of Satan” instead.

Our kids love to pick dandelions and give them to us. After some painful lessons in what flowers you can and can’t pick, they know that dandelions are always okay to pick, and they make a pretty gift for mommy or daddy. Little do they know that inside our heads we are smirking that at least one flower will no longer live to reproduce, and the smiles on our faces are not so much the worth of the present, but the thought of generations of flowers gone forever from the earth (it is, of course, the thought that counts).

We could eat them, of course, and we would probably never go hungry again on the bumper crop we have this year. But there is something unappetizing about eating weeds. If it was something we could buy in the store, then we wouldn’t mind at all.

What we’ll have to do is set up booths on corners, but instead of selling lemonade, we’ll sell dandelion greens. Everybody should come and buy them. They’re all natural. Just ask the people at the dandelion seed factory.


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