GRAMMY MIAMI AND THE CASE OF A MYSTERIOUS, DISAPPEARING, INTER-DIMENSIONAL SPACE (NOT TIME) TRAVELER NAMED LUCU (A YOUNG, FEMALE, AFRICAN ELEPHANT)
Grammy gazed fondly at the four lettuce plants now growing in her garden. Joe “Really” Raley, her youngest son, planted the “Quadruplets,” as Grammy was now calling them, at the beginning of the fence that separated her yard from her neighbor’s.
A trio of large, blue dragonflies hovered around the lettuce Quadruplets, then perched on Terrance the Tomato’s support cage.
“Good morning, boys,” said Grammy. “Nice to see you again.”
“Good morning, Grammy” they buzzed in unison. The three, Grammy learned, were brothers. They began visiting the garden on Monday, four days ago — the day they welcomed Terrance the Tomato.
“Fourth day in the garden, you know. And today we have four sisters, quadruplets, to welcome,” Grammy told the Dragonfly Triplets. Well, that is what she tried to say. When they all took off in a haphazard and playful flight above her head, Grammy realized she might have inadvertently buzzed a bit inaccurately.
“Was it something I said?” Grammy looked over at her cat, Tin City Kitty, who was stretched out on the grass in the sun.
TC yawned and stretched and took his time replying. Finally he sat down and stared at her. ‘Yep,” he said. “But, don’t worry. They think you’re hilarious.”
“Oh.” Grammy blinked, then smiled. “Well, that’s okay. At least they’re laughing.” She said to TC. “Laughter is good, right TC, even in the insect world?”
“Oh, especially there,” said TC. “And dragonflies have an entire society centered around laughter. They all do stand-up…er, “hover-around” comedy. They meet every night in secret dragonfly locations to tell stories about everything they briefly studied that day. It’s a hot ticket, and it’s really hard to get in. It sells out fast. I go sometimes.” TC began cleaning his paws.
“You, TC?” Grammy looked at her cat in astonishment. “They let you in?”
TC stopped cleaning and, paw still in mid-air, leveled a look at Grammy. “Of course. I’m fluent in several forms of insect, especially dragonfly. They have a show every night down at the — well, I can’t tell you that. It’s top secret, and they’ll ban me if I tell you.”
“It’s okay TC. I’m not fluent enough to understand it anyway.”
“At all,” TC said softly, and continued cleaning his paw.
‘Nothing. Anyway, sometimes the after-parties get a bit crazy especially the cat parties. I don’t stick around for those. Too loud.”
“Oh!” said Grammy. “You mean the fighting and the caterwauling and all?”
TC nodded. “Yeah, we get pretty attached to our favorite comedians and fight about who is best. Cats are hotheads. Not me, though.” TC began cleaning his back, his head twisted so much that Grammy couldn’t even see it.
“You’re too old and levelheaded to be a hothead,” Grammy said fondly.
TC’s head popped around in a murrr of surprise. “Hey, now. Not that old.” TC said.
“Darling Tin City Kitty, you are going to be 18 next month in human years. In cat years that’s…that’s uh…”
“That’s young. I’m young. Pfft. Spring Chicken. Cat.” TC went back to cleaning himself.
Grammy smiled. “Which dragonfly is your favorite, TC?”
“Well right now it’s the Djinn Brothers. That’s our triplet visitors. Their names are all variations of “Buzz” so I just call them all DJ or Djinn Brothers. They’re really funny. They do this running dialogue that just gallops along and they keep finishing each other’s sentences. Ever since Monday, you’ve become a big part of their material.”
Grammy blinked at TC in surprise, then burst out laughing. “Oh I wish I could hear them. But don’t worry TC.” Grammy made a lip-locking motion. “I won’t ever try to find the secret location and my lips are sealed. But maybe sometimes you can tell me about the show.”
TC ignored her and continued cleaning himself.
“So, what are we going to call our quadruplets?” she asked.
TC walked over to the four and gently sniffed them, then sneezed. “How about four variations of green? They sure are bright. Do they know you’re eventually going to eat them?” TC leveled a gaze at Grammy and laughed at the scandalized look on her face.
“I am not!” said Grammy.
TC cocked his head at Grammy and stared at her curiously. “Well then, why are you growing a garden?”
“To…um…learn about plants. I love plants,” said Grammy.
TC just stared at her.
“So let me see if I get this right. You don’t eat meat. You love plants too much to eat them. What are you going to live on? Air?”
Grammy looked confused. She furrowed her brow and stammered, “But, well, uh…oh! If I eat Terrance’s tomatoes, that’s not eating him, right?”
TC nodded. “Right. It’s eating his kids.”
Grammy’s hand flew to her mouth and she gasped in shock. TC rolled around on the ground laughing. “Hahaha! Oh my sides!” TC finally stopped laughing, then went over to stand near Grammy. “No! It’s not eating his kids! I’m joking!”
“Hey, Terrance is laughing too.”
“Oh,” said Grammy. She still looked vaguely uneasy.
“By the way, the ‘Quadruplets’ as you call them think you’re sweet, and a bit daft — their word. They know they are grown as food for humans. It’s not a big deal.”
Grammy looked at the lettuce sisters, then back to TC. “Oh, well, thank you for explaining,” she said. She chuckled. “I am a bit daft, if daft means happy and easily-distracted,” she said to the Quadruplets.
“Sounds about right,” TC said. “They think that’s a good definition too.
Grammy smiled. “Welcome to our garden, dear ones.”
After Grammy watered the garden and spoke to every plant and to Wish, she and TC headed inside for some lunch.
“Still no Lucu,” Grammy said and sighed.
“Patience, old grasshopper,” said TC.
LETTUCE HARVEST TIPS
Lettuce can be harvested any time after true leaves form. For the best quality, better to pick early than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough.