“Dandelions Never Roar”
Dave stared down at his opponent. He’d tried chemical warfare with both a weed and feed in the spring and several direct sprays. Now it was down to brute force. He got down on his knees with the spade and attacked the deep root of the dandelion. After a few minutes of effort, he dropped the mangled plant into the garbage.
“Daddy, why don’t you like dandelions?”
He turned to face his six-year old daughter. “They’re weeds, Jennifer.”
“What’s a weed?”
“It’s a plant that grow someplace it shouldn’t.”
“Then how did the dandelions get in the yard?” she asked.
“Dandelions grow everywhere.”
“Then don’t they belong here?”
“Well, no, because I want to grow grass. I can’t grow grass if there are dandelions in the way,” he answered.
“Grass is boring. I like dandelions.” The little girl picked up the sad yellow weed. “They’re pretty. And then they turn into puffballs. They’re fun.”
“Those puffballs just make more dandelions which means more work for me,” he said.
“Is it against the law to have dandelions?”
“Well, of course not.”
“Is it fun trying to dig them all up?” she asked. “There sure are a lot.”
“Well, no. But they’re weeds.”
“Only because you say so, Daddy. I think they’re nice.” She dropped the dead plant back into the garbage bag. “I want the whole yard to be nothing but dandelions. Then it would be the best yard ever.”
They heard the girl’s mother calling to her.
“Maybe you should be nicer to the dandelions, Daddy,” Jennifer said, and went into the house.
Dave slowly stood up, feeling his knees pop as he did so. There were a lot of dandelions to get rid of. He considered his daughter’s words and wondered how much time he’d spent that summer trying to get rid of the dandelions. He’d been outside nearly every weekend. He usually enjoyed being outside, but his war on the weeds had only frustrated him. He’d spent a lot of money on weed killers that were so dangerous he had to keep them in the garage so there was no chance Jennifer or his three year-old son would get into them.
“Why am I trying to kill these things?” he thought. “It’s not against city ordances or any housing association rules. I don’t like buying weed killers and worry the kids will get into them. It’s so hard on my knees to try to dig them up. I could have tried to grow a garden with all the time I spent trying to get rid of the dandelions.” He put up his spade and went into the house.
Jennifer was sitting at the table drinking some juice as his wife made lunch.
“Are you done already?” his wife asked.
“You know what, Tracy? Dandelions are pretty. Grass is boring,” Dave said, pitching in with lunch preparations.
“You aren’t going to get rid of the weeds?” she asked, surprised.
“They’re only weeds because I say so. So I say they aren’t weeds anymore.”
“Yay, Daddy,” Jennifer said. “Dandelions win.”
He smiled. “So, Jennifer, how would you like to help Daddy plant some herbs this afteroon?”