A Very Short Non-fiction (as Possible) Short Story

by Anna Monday

Bare-handed, I was puttering in the rose garden one morning when I saw a really large locust-type plant-eating unit of pestilence on one of my beloved roses. Recently, one had…in a single sitting…turned my basil into a clump of sad lace doilies hanging off of forlorn branches. The Monster had to go.

Being too lazy to go back for gloves, and not wanting to lose sight of the little cuss, I weighed my other options even as my hand advanced. I could see three choices, all bad, as past experience had taught me that they bite: 

  • If I grabbed it like the hot potato it was and quickly threw it a few feet, the monster would be right back on the bush in a single bound. 
  • If I held it long enough to remove it any distance, I would earn a bite or four. In the present political climate, I wasn’t in the mood for turning the other cheek. 
  • Squish it. But no; it had a visible face and was so large that, to my mind, it had achieved personhood. (Yes, I know, that shouldn’t be the criterion, “and yet, and yet….”) 

With no happy ending in sight my hand closed further in on the Moment of Truth.

That Truth, when I got there, presented an unexpected none-of-the-above resolution: There was no Monster—just a strangely formed, perfectly harmless leaf. Instantly, “Well, that’s one way of handling it!” the little Master of Ceremonies in my mind chirped to the accompaniment of the sound of one hand clapping.

Anna Monday (Urvasi) has been a Member of a Vedanta Society, depending on where her and her husband’s careers took them, since 1970. She can be reached at anna@mondaymedia.org.

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