Here’s a little treasure I found…wrote it a couple of years ago at the end of the gardening season. I’m posting it now so we can psyche-up for the coming garden parties!


Well, there it was. The gruesome stories were true: gardens have slugs and they are slimy and kind of amorphous in a Jabba the Hut kind of way, and this particular slug was clearly and in no uncertain terms killing a rose plant. What was I supposed to do? I capture spiders inside the house and take them outside, but this was already outside. Taking it inside seemed counter-intuitive.

I could throw it over the fence into my neighbor’s yard. Bad karma. Plus, what if she saw me? The last thing I needed that day was to be judged by the world’s best gardener.

Salt, right? Yes, you create boundaries around plants with salt and slugs couldn’t cross over the line. So I ran into the house. What kind of salt? Himalayan pink? Fleur de Sel? Kosher. That had a religious-end-of-life feel to it. Back outside, I peeled the slug off the green leaf and gently laid it on a warm railroad tie in a patch of sun. No need to get homicidally violent here. I sprinkled some salt on the slug. And then, I was filled with a riotous guilt that no amount of chardonnay could ever erase.

Sweet Jesus, what was I thinking? Look at it, writhing in pain! If it could scream, I’m sure they could hear it in Canada. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I picked it up and ran inside, back to the kitchen. I started rinsing the salt off it, weeping apologies. The slug was dead. Disfigured and lifeless (although it had never really been zoo or circus material, had it?), I desperately tried to revive the slug. Wait, maybe I should put more salt on it…maybe my rinsing the slug was prolonging its suffering. The salt was outside. I dropped the now revered specimen of natural beauty into the garbage disposal. I turned it on, eviscerating all evidence of my treachery.

Now a Buddhist, I lay down on my yoga mat in a darkened room, mourning the loss of life, grateful gardens don’t have kittens hiding under rose bushes.


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