Canto Forty-Seven – In the Flower Garden
“Don’t get too near that old plant again, Brekka,” warned George Jetson. He shuddered with the memory of it scooping her up in the mouth-like blossom and nearly munching her to pieces as it had done to the scabby.
“Silly boy, the man-eating plant is now my friend. He… or she… or it… is calling to me, telling me it will never harm me again. In fact, it wants to help me and protect me.”
As the emerald-green girl tadpole walked closer to the huge blossom, the plant seemed to be smiling with flower-petal lips. George looked at Menolly. Menolly looked back and shrugged her bare shoulders. She appeared to be creeped out by the carnivorous flower as much as George was.
Brekka stopped, naked and defenseless, directly under the giant blossom that was grinning at her. She reached up with her left hand.
The blossom lowered to her.
“Oh, no!” gasped George and Menolly together.
But the blossom stopped an inch above her hand and let her stroke it… her… or him… under what could’ve been a chin, but definitely had the look of sepals.
“That’s a good boy, Lester… er, good girl… er, well… that’s good anyway. You aren’t going to hurt anyone ever again, are you?”
The plant pursed its “lips”.
“Well, yes, I suppose you can eat all of those scabby thingies that you want. That wouldn’t bother me a bit.”
The plant rubbed leaves together to get an actual chirping sort of sound.
“What did he say?” Menolly asked Brekka.
“He says he… or… she can provide cuttings and runners to make baby plants that we can eat. She says she… or… it can process carbon out of the air with photosynthesis and make plenty of food for us… It says it… or he… um, can feed the whole Bio-dome if we want it to.”
“That’s good…” said George, “but if the plant is our friend now, wouldn’t that be eating our friend?”
“Lester says the plants on his… er… her world do it all the time… eat each other, I mean.”
“That will help with some of the food shortage problem, won’t it?” asked Menolly.
“Sure,” said Brekka.
“Maybe we should go talk it over with Sizzahl?” suggested George. He really wanted to get himself and the girls away from the creepy plant-monster.
“You and Menolly go,” Brekka said. “I want to stay here and play with Lester.”
“Are you sure that’s safe?”
“Lester can’t eat Tellerons without getting really, really sick. So he will never again try to eat one of us… er, she won’t. As long as we keep Sizzahl and the Morrells away from it… er, him. Geez, the boy-girl thing is really confusing.”
So, George seized the opportunity to get away. He dragged Menolly with him. Brekka seemed happier with Lester anyway, and George was thinking… well, maybe he and Menolly could try some more… kissing.