It was a time of peace and prosper for the people of Squashland and Cukeville. The land was resplendent with blooming blossoms and the harvest was bountiful.
The vegetables lived in harmony with the Earth. Their growth was supported solely by water and organic fertilizers. The humans that tended to their needs were gentle and considerate beings, and the cucurbits were happy to help sustain the livelihood of their overseers, often competing among themselves to see who could grow the largest and thus feed the most of their benevolent hosts.
However, all good things eventually come to an end. As is the case with so many tragedies, this unfortunate turn of events began with mildew.
The squash, subjected to frequent torrents of rain and the sun’s cold neglect, slowly began to be overcome by the dreaded white powder mold. This affliction, combined with the gradual but undeniable change of seasons, left the human overseers no choice but to prematurely uproot these thriving examples of horticultural excellence. Thus began the decline of the cucurbits.
The final and felling blow came a short time later, this time in the form of a windstorm. Several rows of corn stood as a valiant blockade against the impending gusts, but it was not enough to spare this cucumber cage.
At the time of this writing, there remains one cucumber plant, fragile but determined, refusing to be discouraged by its own wilting and droopy leaves. I don’t have the heart to tell the poor thing that it will soon be uprooted to allow space for the fall crop of garden greens. I shall allow this proud survivor to produce one more half-hearted harvest — if Mother Nature does not choose to take it first.