Defiant dock

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It had taken years to arrive at his place. Both genetics and observation had proven advantageous in the course of years and years, and the results were obvious.

Here he stood, unabashed, unafraid and proud, like a king surveying his subjects, daring one to rebel. But his whole world had come crashing down. It happened like this.

One summer day, he came to rest at his birth place. He had chosen it well. Having seen brother, sisters, cousins and the like come to an early demise, he himself survived primarily for two reasons.

First, he embedded himself at that place most likely for survival; immediately next to the row of peanuts, but not too close. He had seen that steel, triangular object called a cultivator come sliding through the field and take out many of his acquaintances.

But he noticed it never came but so close to the row. He also didn’t want to get center of the row lest he be robbed of his favorite nutrients. So just to the side was the perfect place.

Secondly, he was able to take advantage of the decades of work his forefathers had done. They had somehow genetically engineered themselves to be resistant to a liquid that humans sprayed over the fields that supposedly wiped out all weeds, including his family of dock weeds. But not him.

No, it no longer affected him. Those huge spray rigs passed over top and he simply shook it off like water while laughing at the farmer inside. And he rarely saw those farmers leave their comfortable little places with glass all around.

And so he was able to grow. And not just grow, but flourish. He loved it. He reveled in it. He was invincible and knew it. All the world was his, and he had no adversaries.

In a matter of days, he would send his thousands of offspring out into the world to populate.

And then he saw it. He had heard his grandfather talk of such things, but he never imagined it was still done. Way off yonder across the field a pickup truck stopped at the road. Out stepped a wrinkled old man with jeans who proceeded to walk across the field. Directly toward him.

Panic set in. There was nowhere to hide, no place to run. Surely this old man with the farmer’s cap would walk on by. But he didn’t. He stopped overtop. Suddenly he felt the farmer’s hand around his waist and to his dismay, he was thrust up into the air.

His feet no longer were in dirt, and the world became blurry. His breathing became desperate as he came to rest on his side, gasping for air, strength leaving his body and his world growing dark.

He had thought he would live forever, but now he knew it was not to be. The last words he heard slipped from the lips of the farmer as he returned to his pickup truck. “Damn weed.”