WIMP or SUPERHERO
This is a question I have often asked myself whenever I have stepped out
into my garden to tend my plants. You see, I am terrified of all the
little creepy things that we gardeners come across with excessive
regularity. Insects and other garden livestock are never nice. They are creepy or slimy or wriggly or multi-legged or scaly or just down right horrid!
But having this fear of horrid things in my garden in no way stops me from
gardening. I may take up my trowel in trepidation, but I do take it up.
Occasionally a well prepared and well briefed creepy will lay in wait
for me and momentarily get the better of me, but I return ... shaken
maybe, but resolute and determined.
One day, while tending my favourite Fuchsias in my greenhouse, I
fearlessly lifted each pot to closely examine and appreciate the finer
points of each specimen. I was happy in my work, content with my
mission, and a prime target for a sadistic creepy set on ruining my day.
I carefully returned one plant to the bench and selected the next for
closer scrutiny. As I lifted the pot, I had the strangest sensation of
something tightening around my finger. Puzzled, I twisted the pot for a
better look and that is when I saw it. It was HUGE!!!! It must have been
at least 50mm long. (I prefer millimetres ... two inches doesn't sound a
I dropped the pot and shook my hand. When I looked the $&@% thing was
still there ... a vile slug of monstrous proportions and wearing a smile
that said "shift me if you can". I hopped around my greenhouse, heart
racing, shaking my hand furiously as if I was trying to throw away a
red-hot coal. Its vice like grip tightened. Would it never let go? With
even greater vigour I shook my hand expecting it to part company from my
wrist at any moment. The slug's face distorted this way and that because
of the centrifugal forces acting on its slimy body. This was the best
Theme Park ride this slug had ever been on.
Suddenly I heard a dull thlup on the other side of the greenhouse. My
hand had finally come off. No, thank goodness, when I looked my hand was
still there but the tight sensation around my finger had eased. I
staggered outside and sat on a nearby low wall debating how long it
would take for my pulse to ease and my blood pressure to return to
something near normal.
Once rested and suitably recovered I took up my trusty trowel and went
in search of the enemy. I found it, and dealt with it unceremoniously,
but effectively. This is one slug that would never again attack an unsuspecting
gardener. After a strong cup of tea to calm my shattered nerves I once
again returned to the battle ground (my greenhouse) and continued to
inspect my treasured Fuchsias.
So, though I am a wimp to fear such tiny insects I am nevertheless brave
enough not to be deterred from my hobby by such feelings. But 'brave' is
one thing, isn't 'Super Hero' overstating the case, I hear you ask? Not
at all. My fearless approach to gardening does not revolve just around
my own selfish protection. My wife quite recently lifted a stone and
said "oh, look at all the snails under here". Like a man of steel, a
human tornado, a fearless defender of the human race, I leapt forward
without concern for my own safety ... and loaned her my trowel.